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A simple guide to your first trip

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  • A simple guide to your first trip

    Right ho, this is almost cetrainly the wrong place for this however I am certain a kind soul will shift it at some point. Bear in mind this is written by a C/E and may or may not be totally relevant to all and in some cases the points are "personal" HOWEVER that said alot of my contemparories came through the same system and want the same things!

    First up remember you are a cadet, and as such you arent expected you to know every thing, we do expect you to be somewhat green in certain respects. It would be awefully nice if you listened and didnt butt in telling us......"yeah we did that at college". Over confidence is as bad as under confidence.

    So where to start?.......
    I suppose getting a pen and notepad would be a good start, write stuff at least gives the impression of paying attention.

    Ask questions, if you didnt understans or arent sure ask. There are no silly questions though there are plenty of dumb answers!

    Be safe, you may initially feel a right wally in boiler suit, boots, ear defenders, hard hats, goggles and gloves but belive me they are required.

    Turn up on time to watches / day work......this traditionally means a few minutes BEFORE ie 0750 onwards for an 0800 start, then if you want a brew and a yarn great, wandering at 0759:30secs is not going to impress anyone.

    Remember your alarm clock AND work out how to do Clox (ie advance/r_e_t_a_r_d them as ships time is altered) that was the point above can be adhered too

    Your portfolio / distance learning projects are your responsability dont expect to be chased to much or too often, everyone has plenty of things to be doing without chasing up your homework.

    Similarly do not turn up on the day before I or YOU pay off with a pile of projects needing checking and signing for, it is not going to happen.

    Learn to type or have nice handwritting, learn how to roughly scale a the main engine should look like it is bigger than a generator engine (on a large box boat for instance), the judicous application of colourd pens / pencils makes things look nice. I am sure they mention it in college that some marks are given for presentation, why give up free marks? They might make a difference between a Merit and Distinction

    Your cabin WILL be inpected for cleanliness at some point. This is for all sorts of reasons, so collections of crockery should be ZERO, bins should be, if not empty then not overflowing, bathrooms count too..I had one cadet complain when he was bollocked for leaving "skid marks" in the toilet pan, he wanted to know why we where looking in there?!

    If you feel you are being asked to do somthing which is well beyond your knowledge then say so.

    It can be very lonely no matter how many people are on the ship, if you arent having a good time or feeling home sick etc talk to some one, anyone. The Chief / Second can be talked to, but you might not want to talk to them for all sorts of reasons, but there will be junior officers nearer the age of cadets, some wont have been out of time too long so "should" still remember we where all cadets once, and all of us did a first trip.

    Try to "write" home to your friends/ family, pretty much all ships seem to have e-mail of some sort and for all it's limits even a small text only e-mail can be worth it's weight in gold

    For the ladies starting out on this career....Personal Hygene Items are NOT to be put into the toilets as you may be used to doing at home, see the Medical type officer or get yourself a bin / liners for the bathroom, dispose of them as directed. I know this is a delicate matter BUT a blocked sewage system when you are the only female (or one of a very few) will not endear you to anyone!!! And most on ship can be quite.....blunt..... about this matter
    In fact as a general rule if it itsnt "a natural waste product" then it dosent go dont the loo, this includes (in no particular order but all seen by me in a sewage system) Mars Bar wrappers, ciggarette butts, tee-shirts (no idea!), green scouring pads, smartie tube tops.

    If you are that new to living away from home, get some one to show you how to use a washing machine and tumble drier. Get into the habit of washing your sheets /towels weekly or find out what the routine is, I know that some companies have diffferent ways of doing stuff.

    Personal hygene... believe it or not I have sailed with people (not just cadets) who think that showering every other day or less is acceptable, if you are doing that little work then maybe being at sea isnt for you Engine Rooms are smelly and dirty.

    Right well I think that is a bit of a beginers guide, some readers will have completed thier first trips in which case feel free to add or subtract. This is by no means meant to be condecending or definative, just a view from the big cabin at the top with the nice furniture and views

    the word spelt with underscores is a deliberate word filter evasion, seemingly the word is not approved and was replaced with "silly billy", which while amusing in this instance is wrong
    Trust me I'm a Chief.

    Views expressed by me are mine and mine alone.
    Yes I work for the big blue canoe company.
    No I do not report things from here to them as they are quite able to come and read this stuff for themselves.

    Twitter:- @DeeChief

  • #2
    Re: A simple guide to your first trip

    That was brilliant, thanks for that... (you can turn off naughty word filtering if you like; or I can do it for you.. we did have some fun with that! )
    Emeritus Admin & Founding Member


    • #3
      Re: A simple guide to your first trip

      How wrong is it that I'm impressed by the fact that someone managed to get a t-shirt down the toilet!?


      • #4
        Re: A simple guide to your first trip

        Dead easy with a vacuum bog system; it won't quite 'suck a golfball through a gardenhose' , but it's not far off! The person responsible for the blockage will be the subject of torture/killing fantasies by the 3rd engineer(or whoever of the engineering staff that is unlucky enough to be in charge of the 'jobby wheecher').
        '... English is about as pure as a cribhouse whore. We don't
        just borrow words; on occasion, English has pursued other languages
        down alleyways to beat them unconscious and rifle their pockets for
        new vocabulary.' - James Davis Nicoll


        • #5
          Re: A simple guide to your first trip

          most excellent... thanks for this


          • #6
            Re: A simple guide to your first trip

            Good info, cheers


            • #7
              Re: A simple guide to your first trip

              Stickied for usefulness purposes.
              Hello! I'm Chris. I'm away a lot so I'm sorry if it takes me a while to reply to messages, but I promise I'll get back to everyone. If it's urgent, please email me directly at [email protected].

              Need books, Flip Cards or chartwork instruments? Visit!


              • #8
                Re: STICKY - A simple guide to your first trip

                LMAO!!! Skid marks down the toilet are not for your eyes, keep out lol!

                Erm....yeah.....I have a childish sense of humour for a girl =)

                Not wrong to be impressed by the T shirt though, I was too but was also puzzled why anyone would be eating smarties on the toilet??



                • #9
                  Re: A simple guide to your first trip

                  Bits I perticaly agree with is,
                  Punctuation - easiest way to make a bad reputation and hard time for yourself, not turning up on time.
                  Ask Questions - even when qualified you will be asking each other and manafacturers, and all sorts of people questions, without questions you'll never find out the answers.
                  Portfolio - I believe its computer typed essays only now, and start doing them from the first week on board, its the best time to do your "Familirisation tour to Shipboard safety" essay for a start.

                  The shipping company has an obligation to provide you with PPE (Personal Protective Equipment), however if your doing the job serious I would recommend taking a small LED torch, there so cheap now from ?5-30 for brilliant ones, and personelly I take a pair of my own Peltor Ear Defenders for comfort, as I use them day in day out, the top of the range are now only ?20 .

                  As for vacuum systems, yes we had one forign member of crew using the blue strands of mop head as toilet paper, and guess who was in charge of the sewage plant, oh how glamorous my life is, went around all the bogs with a open eye 'testing for vacuum' and found the one with a tiny stringy blue bit on, suspect found.


                  • #10
                    Re: A simple guide to your first trip

                    You would be amazed what you find in toilets/plumbing.

                    Dont ask but trust me I know.
                    Wise man says.... " Enough with the stupid questions "


                    • #11
                      Re: A simple guide to your first trip

                      Have never witness this but someday I am going to......glad to have info about it. Thanks


                      • #12
                        Re: A simple guide to your first trip

                        Originally posted by Dosedmonkey
                        Bits I perticaly agree with is,
                        Punctuation - easiest way to make a bad reputation and hard time for yourself, not turning up on time.
                        ...don't make me say it! lol
                        Emeritus Admin & Founding Member


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Dosedmonkey View Post
                          Bits I perticaly agree with is,
                          Punctuation - easiest way to make a bad reputation and hard time for yourself, not turning up on time.
                          Hate to point out punctuation is to do with you grammer, Being punctual or prompt is the correct word, sorry pet peve, not trying to be rude!
                          Peltor Ear Defenders are the best been using them for years, even and selling them now...