In the latest of our lockdown stories, Brian Laird describes what it’s like being an outdoors lover stranded at sea. 

I have been working at sea since 2003. My first time out was during the SARS outbreak. I thought that was a strange experience, but nothing compares to this. Then I was on cargo ships, now on cruise ships.

Every day the plans seems to change. Most of the time we are floating off Mexico’s west coast. Finding ports to dock is difficult because of the number of ships out here and the near constant demonisation of cruise ships by the media. There’s uncertainty with airlines and countries allowing access.

We knew things were going to change quickly as the news spread of other cruise ships in trouble and the number of cancellations. So I was not surprised when all operations were suspended.

The crew are trying their best to keep morale up. We have over 40 nationalities represented onboard and they all have the own coping mechanisms. For myself I try to keep busy working in the engine room. Off duty can be difficult as we would normally eat together as a group or have a couple of beers. Now it is eat by yourself and stay in your cabin. Due to our location, staying in contact with family and friends can be hard. It’s dependent on the wi-fi signal with everyone – all 650 crew members – trying to use it at once. Most people are finding that part the hardest.

We have a medical department here, working hard to keep us healthy and cooks to keep us fed.

I know everyone is finding the situation difficult. I think it is slightly tougher at sea as we cannot leave. We’re pretty much stuck. However, things could be worse. We have food, we have water, and we have toilet paper. Personally, I have to stop staring at the Mexican coastlines. They are really beautiful and would like to see them up close one day.

Make indoor time better with The Great Outdoors

During the lockdown, we’re continuing to work (from home!) to make a magazine that will help you keep your outdoor spirit alive. Even though you can’t go physically go to the hills and mountains, we aim to take you there with our words and images, and perhaps conjure some of the feelings they inspire. 

To show our readers our gratitude for their support at this time, current subscribers have had their subscriptions upgraded to include free access to the digital edition of the magazine.

To give you some great reading material for these indoor days, we’re also offering new readers:

Stay home, stay safe, and see you on the hills when the day comes!