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Patience - The Sebby Diaries
at 23:52 23 Mar 2022

Hey Seb.

It’s been a while. I was home for Christmas, it was my first one for a good few years.

You’ve been having a tough time on your Mam’s side of the family and it had a bit of an effect on our time together. My patience with you is pretty limitless, not so much your Mam.

It’s been hard watching you suffer, especially knowing I can’t really do much other than support you and give you the space you need. Sometimes in life adults make poor choices, your cousins living with you for months has been a necessity whilst court decides what to do. Maybe one day we will talk about it. But for now, I’ve been doing what I can to help you.

Christmas was over quite quickly, and before we knew it I was back away. Joining in dry dock. I’ve been working harder than I’ve worked for a long time. I hope I can show you how hard work pays off, and that you must also remain humble during the good times.

It’s been a hard couple of years Seb. Your brother and sister were born and very ill. Covid lockdowns, having to quarantine to join ship, delayed getting home. My new job meaning we can’t speak as much. Your Mam making things difficult. There has been a lot of change in the world, and our world. The one constant being that you’ve always got us, you’ve always got your own space with us, and you’ll always have me.

I should be sleeping right now, but I wanted to write to you. I’ve not done it for so long and for that I am sorry.

I’ll see you soon Seb, hopefully next leave will be better.

Take care of each other TWTD. I hope you’re all well. I’ll see you soon too. Maybe.
England coach leaving St George’s Park
at 23:08 10 Jul 2021

Covid anyone?
I’ve been in quarantine for a week so far
at 16:50 7 Jul 2021

I’m in Montevideo, Uruguay.

I received an email last Saturday telling me that somebody in the office had forgot to inform me that I needed to be outside of the U.K. before joining ship. A Brazilian regulation states that people can’t have been in various countries 14 days before being in Brazil. One of those countries being the U.K. Our next port after Montevideo is Itajai, Brazil.

So, here I am. Forced to leave my family 2 weeks earlier than planned. Not entirely happy about that and am having words with my company about it.

The food that I get given every day isn’t overly delightful. It’s slightly better than the food on the ship, but not by much.

I am managing to get over 10000 steps a day whilst locked in my room, a room that is 12 steps wide.

I can see the approaches to the port from my hotel room.

How’s everyone else doing?
I suppose an apt day for an update….
at 18:24 20 Jun 2021

I got home mid April, receiving a text message a week later telling me that I had been in contact with somebody who had tested positive for Covid. Giving me an instruction to self isolate for 36 hours (that was the end of the self isolation period after being in contact with said person). I had flown home from Montevideo, Uruguay. Had a bit of a journey getting home.

We decided that we would isolate when I got home despite being exempt. I took lateral flow tests and all showed negative. The person I was in contact with had been on one of the many flights I had been on or an airport.

The twins just grow and grow. MrsN has done an incredible job. Seb was a bit of a pain when I first got home, his mum didn’t help.

At the end of April I ventured north to Scotland to collect my fathers ashes. I saw some family, heard some things about my father. That was all a bit of a mess too, the man that took care of my fathers funeral and estate passed away whilst I was at sea. I had no way of getting in contact with his family.

Getting that sorted was a bit more stressful than it should have been.

So, the kids…

Seb - he has been a bit of a pain, kept refusing to stay the night. I never made him, but I did tell him that he couldn’t pick and choose. His mum disagreed…. Until she wanted to go away for a weekend. Then she decided that he had to stay with me. I said to her that she couldn’t pick and choose either. That’s seemed to have resolved it b

He’s doing ok in school, although he doesn’t try very hard. His mum has given him far too much screen time during the lockdown.

He’s still a wonderful little boy, who I am just having to be a bit firmer with when it comes to screen time and exercise, and sweets…

Madeleine - my little girl. She has grown. She’s just utterly beautiful. Her smile and laugh make me want to cry with happiness every time. She has started chatting away in the baby babble lately. She finds stuff so funny too. I love cuddling her. She’s sitting up, and doesn’t like being on her belly. But she is standing and trying to take steps. She’s going to walk before she crawls!

Michael - he laughs at everything, he is so relaxed. He still has a few reflux issues. A surgeon consultant is seeing him towards the end of the year for hypospadias. He has no interest in sitting up, or standing. But he will cuddle for hours if his mam would let me! His excitement to see me in the morning absolutely lights up my world. I love my mornings with them both.

Maddie and Michael had no centile when they were born, as they were almost 2 months premature. They’ve both tanked on weight despite the cows milk protein allergy. Both of them are fantastic eaters, we cook for them every day. I’ve got the oven on for making vegan pesto pinwheels as finger food for them right now. We are just starting them on the milk ladder, which introduces cows milk into their diets.

I’ve been called back to sea for 13th July, which is a shame. But I can’t stay much longer in the country due to tax reasons. I’ve been requested back to my last ship, they want me back, I put in a lot of work there, I will go back.

As for all things ITFC… an exciting future lies ahead.

There are many on here who have helped me in many ways, helping me become the man and father that I am.

Obviously Hoppy is in my thoughts today, CT would be proud.

I’ve been lucky enough to meet many on here, all who I am looking forward to the twins calling Uncle Mullet, Uncle Hoppy, etc.

I’m exhausted. Three kids. Plus me. Poor MrsN.

All the best TWTD, look after you each other. I’ll see you soon.

Happy Fathers Day, and Happy Summer Solstice for tomorrow. Enjoy the longest day!
Sometimes there are no words
at 11:35 10 Feb 2021

I’m sure I saw a loaf of bread with his name on it, then I realised it said “thick cut”.
“Set up an office in Europe”
at 02:57 7 Feb 2021

“To make trade easier” a British business is told by the government in the wake of Brexit woes.

Brexit leaves a bitter taste and a mountain of clothes
I’m having a pretty shoite night
at 02:45 21 Jan 2021

We are in Santos, Brazil. I do day work in port. So I came down to the office to check on things at 0700 before I went for breakfast. I finished at 1800, after being around for the handover between the junior officers. Cargo in progress, 3 cranes, departure at 0630. Everything else complete.

I was about to get some kip at 2020hrs when my phone went. The third mate giving me the good news that our heeling pump is no longer working.

The heeling pump keeps the ship upright in port. We have a panel that has sensors to sense how much of a list the ship has, and then pumps water from one side to the other when that list exceeds the limit that I set.

When I joined I was told that this pump is leaking water into the oil reservoir of the pump. The engineers say they just change the oil when it stops working.

Oil is changed and they say everything is fine. I test it and it’s still not working. Yeah he engineers say it must be working. They have a new mechanical seal for it, but it’s an 8 hour job and they want to do it when it properly fails. Which annoys me as it will “properly fail” in port when it is needed.

After some back and forth the 4th Engineer goes back down to the heeling pump. Apparently it’s making an awful noise.

So now I am the heeling pump. Moving ballast from one side to the other using my ballast pumps.

I imagine I will finish tomorrow once the pilot is off, so that will be around 0830.

I would leave my duty officer to do it, but I need them on deck monitoring cargo and checking the cargo securing as we are going on a 24 day crossing to Singapore.

I thought there wouldn’t be much that could surprise me...
at 23:23 6 Jan 2021


I have had one of the crew come to me complaining of stomach pain, acid, and heartburn. Complaining that it’s after eating the food.

The food is pretty oily, fair bit of spice put in it too.

Unfortunately the person complaining that the food is making him ill is.... the cook.

I am not kidding.

It’s really quite something.
It is 0500 here in the South Altantic
at 04:22 27 Dec 2020

I am an hour into my navigation watch.

Sunday morning. I’m on the 4-8 watch. This is the morning watch.

My new role, Chief Officer, is a lot more stressful. I’m enjoying it. Or starting to.

Christmas on board was the standard affair, not much to write home about. New Years will bring more of the same.

As for 2020, it’s been a trying year. It’s tested my relationship with MrsN, it’s tested my patience, it brought untold happiness in the form of the twins, Seb has been his usual self (which is a good thing!). To end the year I got promoted to Chief Officer and I found out my father died on the same weekend. My father and I weren’t in contact for years.

Looking ahead to 2021, the twins will be growing and getting stronger. Madeleine still needs to see a cardiologist and Michael needs to see a surgery consultant.

I have some weight to lose (again).

It seems that COVID will still be an issue for crew changes, so making plans for the year ahead will be somewhat difficult.

Otherwise it’s going to be the same as every other year. Take it as it comes. MrsN likes to plan ahead. I like to deal with the near future.

I need to stop rambling and finish planning work for my crew for the day. I’ve got 4 able seamen, 2 ordinary seamen, and 2 Thai painters to plan work for everyday. I have to plan the maintenance of the accommodation and everything outside it on deck. The engineers just take care of the belly of the beast down there.

We have had a little project this crossing of doing maintenance to lashing bridges. They were pretty rusty, so needed chipping and painting. I’ve got ballast tanks to inspect before the end of the year, and have to prepare for our South America coastal run in that starts on 2nd January.

Between now and the coast I have to also monitor where the engineers are using their fuel oil from, and ensuring that the ship remains stable throughout the voyage. I’m having problems with torsion right now, which is a bit of a headache but I know these ships well, I know how to fix it.

Have a great day TWTD, I’ll try to look in on the 4-8 evening watch (the dog watch).
As Christmas festivities are in full swing
at 11:10 25 Dec 2020

I have come to my cabin for a bit of quiet reflection.

Thank you TWTD. You have been a constant in my life. You’ve been there for the heartache of miscarriages, the joy of pregnancy, and the worry of emergency section.

Where MrsN is Polaris (North star) in my life, she is unwavering, a guiding light. TWTD is the rest of the universe. Some unknown quantities, some stars, some that are not of human being.

Wherever you are, whoever you are with, I hope you have a wonderful festive period.

I wish you all fair winds and following seas.
You know what’s weird?
at 23:55 7 Dec 2020

I was invited into a Facebook group of ex RAF, all of which had the nicest things to say about my father. It was like they knew a different man, a father that was there when I was very young. One that was replaced by something else.

I almost don’t recognise the man they are talking about.

I should sleep. I’ve not slept much the last few days due to work.

I can only hope that I learnt from his mistakes... and that my kids don’t have too many of my mistakes to learn from.

It’s time to remember the good times, however few and long ago they may have been.

All the best TWTD.

Currently sat in Hong Kong airport
at 11:49 6 Dec 2020

Waiting for the results of my rapid Covid test. 8-12 hours sat here apparently. No food available.

How’s your day going?
The Sebby Diaries - Even though I’m leaving...
at 07:58 4 Dec 2020

Hey kids

At 0200 with Michael feeding, and Madeleine starting to stir, I kissed MrsN goodbye and left before she could see the tears on my face.

It’s going to be a long weekend. I’m travelling to Hong Kong. I have to get a COVID test in London, and then one on arrival in Honkers. I will be left to wait in a “holding pen” until my test result in Honkers comes back.

All going well I will board the ship Monday morning. It’s currently Friday morning.

I have been promoted to Chief Officer. The job I wanted. It’s a lot of responsibility.

I relish the opportunity. But leaving you all has never been harder than it was today.

It’s been a hard leave, full of hospital appointments and anxiety. I hope we are making progress.

When I get home you will all be bigger, stronger, and in more of a routine.

It’s a short one for now, I can’t put into words how much I miss you all. I hope that by doing what I do I can give you all the opportunities and happiness that I never had.

You’re all everything I love in life.

Here’s a song to convey my feelings.

at 17:30 3 Dec 2020

I’ve got an appointment at the Harley Street Clinic.

Do I park up outside London and jump on the Tube, if so, where?

Or park in London?

(Penis reduction surgery assessment in case you wondered)
TWTD is synonymous for ITFC
at 11:00 30 Nov 2020

For me, ITFC and TWTD are so intertwined that I couldn’t have one without the other now.

I come to TWTD for all my ITFC news and updates.

TWTDers that I have met have become like family to me. Hell I only met Blubfish for a few minutes and he’s like that weird cousin that nobody talks to at family get togethers, but you would call him if you were stuck and he could help.

I have met Phil a handful of times. He’s every bit the Forum owning nerd that I hoped he would be. But he’s our forum owning nerd.

TWTD is more than a forum for some people. Some people come here for help with their mental health, some come to share their life stories. Others just come to talk football.

If the club read the forum, as many suggest they do, then they will do well to take note that ITFC in the community should also include the online community. We have Phil, the wielder of the banhammer to thank for what we have.

We have Gav to thank for all the wonderful tech updates too....
at 17:08 28 Nov 2020

All good things must come to an end
at 22:16 27 Nov 2020

No this isn’t some def info about Lambert.

I’ve been asked to join ship next week. I couldn’t say no, I had already done so at the start of November, rejecting a promotion too.

So, with a heavy heart I accepted this assignment. Luckily it is a promotion. I obviously didn’t burn my bridges.

As a senior officer I will have more of a chance to really make a difference for my crew.
Happy Birthday Dubtractor
at 17:42 21 Nov 2020

That win was for you!

Basically you have kept Shambert in a job.
Happy Diwali
at 06:51 14 Nov 2020

On Board with Indian crew it’s normally a fun celebration today.

We are having our own Festival of Lights here with the twins, with their projector going to give them stimulation.
As time went on
at 09:04 12 Nov 2020

The twins reflux worsened to the point that they were in pain more often than not. Neither one was keeping their milk down very easily without prolonged periods of being held upright and winding.

A lack of sleep became the downfall of MrsN. At 0200 one morning she handed me a baby and said “I can’t do this any more I am going downstairs to the sofa to sleep”.

I got through that morning. We muddled through a couple more days. We happened upon Carobel, which is a thickener. It sort of stopped the reflux. We got a 2 hour unbroken sleep for the first time in over a week.

Something still wasn’t right.

A couple of nights ago MrsN sat there sobbing. She told me she was frightened. Frightened of doing this all alone whilst I was at sea. Frightened that she couldn’t do it. Frightened that she’s not a good mum.

Seb was sleeping in his bedroom. Then it hit me. A couple of weeks ago I saw white seeds in a nappy. I have no idea whose nappy. But I saw them. Seb had that when he was a couple of weeks old. He ended up being lactose intolerant.

It was 2200hrs, I got in the car and went to Asda. I got a tub of Lactose Free formula. This was the moment our exclusively breastfed babies would get the dreaded formula that the midwife MrsN never wanted them to have.

The difference was almost instantaneous. Subsequent feeds through the night produced the same results. Happy, pain free, content babies. Babies that slept.

The relief that MrsN felt was clear. After so many people telling us “that’s life with premature twins” “it will get better” “sleep when the babies sleep” etc. We found the answer. MrsN called the GP. Who then confirmed that yes, this can be hereditary, and with the similarities between Seb and Michael (singular palmar crease on the left hand) this is highly likely.

A prescription for formula was given. The formula covers lactose intolerance and cows milk protein allergy. There isn’t a test to find out which it is, so there is a formula that covers both.

Last night the twins were adjusting to the formula. When breastfeeding they had been taking an incredible amount of milk. Breast milk is easily digestible, with a fairly sweet taste in case you’re wondering. Formula is harder to digest.

Whilst it was a fairly sleepless night, there were no babies in pain writhing around all night and making all sorts of noise.

Now we need to learn the skill of feeding two babies at the same time. MrsN needs to be able to do it on her own for obvious reasons. Michael is just really really small. 2.05kgs at the weigh in yesterday. His neck muscles are still developing.

As ever, we will find a solution. We’ve found solutions for every issue so far.

Seb loves life with his brother and sister. He loves his new bedroom with a TV in it. He loves that I have arranged the furniture as if he were in a cabin on one of my ships. He’s been wonderful.

Be good to each other TWTD.
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