It becomes your entire existence - You are a citizen of this world, but your being is locked into the four iron-clad walls of the cabin. Week upon week you briefly meet a new part of the world only to return to isolation, en route to the next country, the next city, the next country.
George, hardened seaman of 25 years, tells Danie in Port Elizabeth of the see-sawing life. Your cabin becomes your home, he explains. Photos are attached to the walls using prestik. You arrange the photos to remember and remain part, to cling to a family that lives ten thousand kilometres from you, living and existing in a way that has little or nothing to do with you.
But, it is the spaces between the photos that changes your cabin into a jail. Against the lifeless wall paint showing between the pictures lie the moments when your small daughter said her first word, the moment when your son scored a first try...
Technology changed a lot now. You receive SMSs and e-mails, but when your phone vibrates and announces that you have a text message, it may be a sombre message that tells you that your wife had been admitted to hospital... then the kilometres between you do not diminish. British research has shown that seafaring men have the second highest suicide rate of all careers.
George and Danie talk about faith. Eventually George takes the Tagalog Bible. As he presses it against his chest, he says that his cabin is now his church too. As Danie leaves, George throws his arms around him, the biggest and most valuable antidote for a mostly monotone existence - It encourages and gives hope.