The captain of Champion Jet 1, 35-year-old Giorgos Vazouras, speaks with enthusiasm about life on the boat and proves that not only in the storm can you tell who a good captain is.
I was born in Volos, so in winter and summer, I was by the sea. But I was not thinking of becoming a sailor. I found myself, rather, a little randomly in this profession. On my first trips, I was not that enthusiastic. However, through learning, over time I began to love my work to a point where I can no longer live without it. I love the mental freedom and the suspense it offers me. Of course, there are times when you enter a routine, but at any time something different can happen. In passenger ships, where I have been working for most of my career, the most “unpredictable cargo” at any rate is the man. You carry human souls and, of course, this creates an enormous sense of responsibility.
When the boat is full of people, then we feel that we really contribute. However, there are situations where you feel useful even if there is no passenger. In the past, I have worked in an unprofitable shipping line. In the winter, you fight in a harbor for the sole purpose of delivering a parcel of drugs because a person's life can depend on this parcel.
Undoubtedly, there are difficulties in the life of a sailor. Nature and weather are unpredictable factors, so as much as you feel confident, you should never overestimate yourself. Then, there is also the characteristic isolation imposed on you by this work. On whichever line you work, and as often as you can come back home, you are still far away from it. Sometimes you think “I make this journey on the line and come back home every day”, yet in fact, you are fooling yourself, as the hours you return for can be very few and late at night. I have come to the conclusion that the only way to do this profession is with the support of your family. Otherwise, your mind will always be on the land, so you cannot deliver peak performance nor distinguish yourself. I am married and have a little daughter and many times I have brought her with me on board. She loves to be on the bridge next to me.
In previous years, I was working on conventional ships. The big difference between a speedboat and a conventional one is at the time pressure. If you play against minutes in a conventional one, in the speedboat you do it against seconds. In everything you do, speed is always important: how fast your maneuvers will be in the harbor, how fast ship loading is done. Many factors determine the final time.
With my current boat, Champion Jet 1, I have a special connection. I had the honor to be present at its delivery in Britain in 2015. This boat initiated me to speedboats and on it, I became captain for the first time. In fact, it was me who commanded it from Britain to Greece. This five-day journey was a tremendous experience for me and a great source of knowledge about this particular boat. I am very glad that Seajets gives such opportunities to young people.