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Sea Phase lengths?

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  • Sea Phase lengths?


    I am in the process of picking my 3 preferred sponsors, But I am confused.

    1. For companies which are deep sea and can be away 4 months approx and the sea phase lasts for 5 months, would that mean I will be at sea for 3 months as I get a weeks leave for every month?

    2. Also will I be able to break up my months instead of going away for 3 months at a time?

    3. Is there a required time at sea you must spend each phase for instance, if you pick a short sea who's tour length is 6 weeks. Will you be at sea for 6 weeks then back home for the remaining time in the sea phase?


  • #2
    1. 4 months seatime + 4 weeks leave = 5 months sea phase.

    2. Unlikely. Companies aren't about to pay for extra flights etc. when they don't need to, the scheduling issues aside.

    3. There is a minimum seatime requirement to get the CoC, which is considered in the length of your sea phases. In order to get the required time, you'll be at sea for most of the sea phase. In the example you mention, I would expect two trips of that length, and potentially another shorter trip.

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    • #3
      Cheers, makes more sense now. So my college starts in August so I will most likely be away at sea from March to July time?


      • #4
        Just remember that leave is never guaranteed as seatime and college take priority.
        "The man who goes to sea is a man in despair.";- Marco Polo


        • #5
          Oh Well atleast if its at sea thats a bit more experience. Do you know if you find out you sea phases dates, may be going on holiday with friends next summer but don't want to say yes just now incase I have to pull out and lose money if my sea phase is during it.


          • #6
            Depends on your company. Some find out months in advance, some don't find out until a few weeks before, or less.

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            • #7
              Even if you find out your sea phase dates you can't really plan anything much in advance, for my first sea phase i had around 3 weeks off after college before joining ship. Some classmates had to wait 1.5 month and another joined ship the monday after we finished college... just shows how varied it can be!

              During sea phase i probably get on average a weeks notice before joining ship.

              I lost out on some flights due to changes in crew change dates... only cheap ones but still a pain. I just try do as much as possible when I'm home with who's about or just get something last minute, always going to miss somethings though... kind of comes hand in hand with this type of job!


              • #8
                Yeah suppose, I've got it quite lucky as I already live near my college
                Do you know how the typical year pans out for Cadets starting in August term wise?


                • #9
                  Some deep sea companies will expect you to do at least 4 months, some want 5 or even 6, whatever is easier for them at the end of the day.


                  • #10
                    As you are picking 3 preferred sponsors I'm guessing you are with one of the training agencies such as Clyde or SSTG, heres my perspective:

                    1. Taking into account time constraints of your sponsorship and how soon you join a ship when your sea phase starts this may be accurate. However, you may also be waiting for 2 weeks and then join ship, be expected to do a 4 month stint and then 2 weeks leave after. Or you may be waiting for 1 month before hand, do 4 months on a ship and then straight back into college when you get home. No set leave is guaranteed as a cadet as the priority is getting you sea time.

                    2. If you are working deep sea this is highly unlikely as 3-4 month stints away are the norm even for qualified officers.

                    3. As GHedges said there is a requirement for your CoC and getting this time in is the priority. My trip as a last phase cadet was over 6 months straight onboard, something which I never expected.

                    As for booking a holiday around sea-phases, I wouldn't advise it as you have to be ready at all times in a sea phase to join ship. The most notice I got for joining ship as a cadet was 2 weeks, the least 2 days. If you can't join a ship (unless due to exceptional circumstances) you could have your sponsorship terminated.


                    • #11
                      Deep sea companies will tend to make you do as long as possible. I know of some which deliberately schedule cadet rotations to take them to and from the UK. I've heard of guys doing anything up to a 10 month trip deep sea. Just remember though that the shorter the first trip, the longer you have to do next time. Personally i've done a 6 month and an 8 month trip deep sea. Also don't expect a massive amount of leave as most companies will give you a rotation which includes the old chestnut of 'subject to training requirements.'