DEINO Campbell is hoping his son, Caleb, will continue the family tradition of a life on the high seas. Caleb is only six months old but his father already sees him, all grown up, at the helm of a luxury yacht or one of the Royal Caribbean Cruise Line’s majestic vessels. The Campbells have history with that company.
“I can remember when Port Royal cruise ship terminal welcomed its first cruise vessel to Kingston Harbour, I believe it was a Royal Caribbean. My father, Isaiah worked on that vessel as a bar manager while I was a child and, as a grown up, I was integral in allowing the vessel to make this historic visit to the Kingston Harbour,” a proud Campbell tells the Jamaica Observer’s LetsTravelCaribbean.com.
The 33-year-old, who leads a team of 11, works on specialised vessels (called buoy tenders) that play a huge role in the safety of all commercial vessels which enter and exit Jamaica’s ports, including cruise ships. They maintain the navigational aids that mark the channels used by ships. Once employed to the Grand Palladium Hotel as a water sports manager, Campbell has worked with the Port Authority of Jamaica since 2016. In 2018 he was promoted to the position of mate, which makes him second in command of the vessel. It’s a job that takes him away from home every month, sometimes for two- to three-week stretches. He leverages technology — phone calls, Skype, Facetime — to keep in touch with his son while he is away from home.
“I just try to still remain present in my child’s life,” he says of those times at sea.
The yearning to get back to his son has sharpened his time management skills. He has learned to become better organised so that he can do all he needs to do, both on the job and as a father.
“Whenever I am planning these operations I try to ensure that I make enough effort to minimise the time away from home, but in a manner in which the planned work will be executed properly and safely,” he says.
For someone who is about to become a new dad and may be worried about work-life balance, Campbell has this advice:
“Look at it from a positive light and don’t be scared. There’s always anxiety when you think about it, to know that your life will change. As a responsible parent you might be afraid of not knowing everything but be mindful that there are persons that you can always ask for help. Don’t shy away from it but ensure that there is proper planning in the back end, ensure the resources are put in place, and don’t be afraid to ask for help. That’s the most important thing: Don’t be afraid to ask for help. And in all of that, remember to add Christ to your relationship and to the home because through Christ everything is possible.”