SAFETY4SEA: What do you love the most out of your career at sea?
Capt. Ioanna Tzovara: My favorite part of the job is that every day is a new challenge and you never get bored. But the most important is that every day I wake up and go for duty and I have this amazing view. That pays back all the stress and the challenges of the job.
S4S: What have you learned over the course of your career at sea?
Capt. I.Tz.: Do not take anything for granted. Every day is a new fight. Every day is a new lesson to learn. Every day is an opportunity to elevate yourself and upgrade your knowledge. Every day is a chance to leave your mark in the industry.
S4S: How would you describe your daily life at sea/ work in a few words?
Capt. I.Tz.: Busy and unique, in a good way. Dealing with many different things on a daily basis – maintenance, safety, environment, navigation, human resources. We are multitaskers!
S4S: What is the biggest challenge that you have to face on board?
Capt. I.Tz.:This pandemic and the impact it has had on all of us. As an officer team, we worked very hard, under Captain Kate McCue’s leadership, to take of the entire crew during an uncertain time when it was difficult to be away from loved ones. It is unbelievable, now, that I’m walking around the ship and it is totally empty. Whenever I meet someone the first question I get is ‘’How is your family back home? Are they safe and healthy?’’
S4S: What is your piece of advice to fellow crew members onboard?
Capt. I.Tz: Never give up, don’t lose hope. Even when all of the odds are against you, fight for your values, stay strong for your people. When the bad days are coming, smile, take a deep breath and seize the day.
S4S: What inspires you every day onboard?
Capt. I.Tz.: The greatest inspiration is my ‘’TEAM’’! I’m so glad that I’m working with people I trust and I know that they will never let me fail (as Captain Kate McCue says). This gives me strength to be there for them and find ways to take the ‘’team’’ a step ahead. Also, we have this big sign in the bridge that is very motivational for me: ‘’ Eternal vigilance is the price of Safety!’’
S4S: What has been the most extraordinary thing that you have experienced on board?
Capt. I.Tz.: Last summer, during the pandemic and this negative situation we were experiencing, we had a wedding onboard. When I was studying, it never crossed my mind that I would be able to experience something like this. Watching two people, not giving up and making their dream come true, was very moving for me.
S4S: What is the one thing that should change to make life better on board?
Capt. I.Tz.: Internet should be available and accessible for everybody; it is a necessity not a luxury. Being able to see and hear your beloved ones is very precious. Talking from experience, when my dad passed away, my brother and I we were both onboard. My family managed to reach me because I have access to internet, but we spent hours locating my brother, an engineer in bulk carriers. That was pretty devastating for us.
S4S: What piece of advice would you give to someone thinking a career at sea?
Capt. I.Tz: If you dreamed about it, do it. Prepare yourself because it is not going to be easy. It will be stressful, sleepless and lonely, but there is nothing to fear. Remember nothing is good enough if you don’t earn it! The more you work for it, the greater the enjoyment.
The views presented hereabove are only those of the author and not necessarily those of SAFETY4SEA and are for information sharing and discussion purposes only.