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  • #31
    Originally posted by Olivier Ntcham View Post
    With regards to the 3/4 month trips, how difficult do you all find them? Do you look forward to getting back on a ship or do you dread it?
    First trip at sea was 5-months. The first 1-2 were grounding me in, getting used to the routine and operations- both in regards to cargo and bridge. And of course, plenty of chipping, painting and maintenance!
    3rd and 4th month , I found, I knew what was expected of me, I was familiar with the equipment, tools, had a understanding of how to operate bits and pieces on the bridge, cargo office and on deck- under supervision from the OOW, of course! It was a stage of familiarity and I felt as though I was comfortable and more confident, officers' and crew trusted me to do the jobs and tasks they set out, didn't have to be constantly over my shoulder or double checking.

    Then the 5th month hit. I'll hold my hands up and say the last month was a bit of a drag- same rotation, same work, (Voyage orders and quantities of cargo to load remained the same). I could go so far as to say becoming complacent and losing interest. Everyone will get it, everyone will 'Check Out' a week or two before the end- something the officers' frequently talked about. It was that stage of wanting to go home, have a break then go to college.

    And, you guess what?!?! Get home. Want to go back to college. Go to college. Want to go back to sea!! It's confusing and weird at the best of times- but you just got to keep on going, keep on at it. The first trip at sea, for any cadet, will make of break them. In my case, it made me a better person. But also broke me.


    "Heed forth thy storm, for tomorrow brings new adventures."
    "We have encountered an enemy square! The most deadly of all the quadrilaterals!" ~ EfffingController
    First of all, I'm not Scottish! I'm Drunk!

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    • #32
      Originally posted by Mr_Nicoll View Post
      Everyone will get it, everyone will 'Check Out' a week or two before the end- something the officers' frequently talked about. It was that stage of wanting to go home, have a break then go to college.

      And, you guess what?!?! Get home. Want to go back to college. Go to college. Want to go back to sea!! It's confusing and weird at the best of times- but you just got to keep on going, keep on at it. The first trip at sea, for any cadet, will make of break them. In my case, it made me a better person. But also broke me.
      I couldn't have put the end of the my first trip experiance better myself.
      27//Officer Cadet//Phase Three//Warsash

      My officer cadet blog - SeasboundBySummer.Tumblr.com

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      • #33
        Originally posted by Mr_Nicoll View Post
        Everyone will get it, everyone will 'Check Out' a week or two before the end- something the officers' frequently talked about.
        For historical reasons it's called 'The Channels'
        io parlo morse

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        • #34
          I did a 4 month trip as officer on an oil tanker and yes, it broke me. Impressive and fascinating for sure, but massively mundane after the novelty wears off. There was a book on the bridge about tanker operations and to quote the author in his intro: 'Like the rest of my class mates, I enjoyed going to sea. After I met my future wife the voyages became less enjoyable. I was also ambitious and after three years at sea, I came ashore with Texaco in 1969 in its New York office.'

          So this was 1969, How should a modern day wired brain with ambition look to this today? I am stating the obvious, but think long and deeply about this career especially when you are an older cadet.

          I felt like a shepherd dog in a cage, and the only way out of the cage within the industry is to get yourself on busy ships with shorter contracts or cruises.

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          • #35
            Originally posted by Unregistered View Post
            That's usually after you've had experience at sea when shore based options open up. What you'll find is depending on the shore based engineering company, they want someone with a degree/ masters in some sort of engineering discipline, so experience at sea seems to be essential before a raw marine engineer would be considered for the role.

            But I'd say I'm a rare case because I'm working at a decent engineering company just now, but that was because I knew someone inside the company and they decided to give me a chance fortunately. God knows what I'd be doing if I didn't have that job just now.

            I'll keep trying, it's the career I want. But I just need a chance of getting my foot in the door.

            MrStealth - I have, I've had the usual no response back.
            Cheers, definitely something I'll need to look into as an option because I know I don't want to be at sea, deep sea anyway, forever.

            I hope you find something soon.

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            • #36
              Originally posted by Mr_Nicoll View Post
              First trip at sea was 5-months. The first 1-2 were grounding me in, getting used to the routine and operations- both in regards to cargo and bridge. And of course, plenty of chipping, painting and maintenance!
              3rd and 4th month , I found, I knew what was expected of me, I was familiar with the equipment, tools, had a understanding of how to operate bits and pieces on the bridge, cargo office and on deck- under supervision from the OOW, of course! It was a stage of familiarity and I felt as though I was comfortable and more confident, officers' and crew trusted me to do the jobs and tasks they set out, didn't have to be constantly over my shoulder or double checking.

              Then the 5th month hit. I'll hold my hands up and say the last month was a bit of a drag- same rotation, same work, (Voyage orders and quantities of cargo to load remained the same). I could go so far as to say becoming complacent and losing interest. Everyone will get it, everyone will 'Check Out' a week or two before the end- something the officers' frequently talked about. It was that stage of wanting to go home, have a break then go to college.

              And, you guess what?!?! Get home. Want to go back to college. Go to college. Want to go back to sea!! It's confusing and weird at the best of times- but you just got to keep on going, keep on at it. The first trip at sea, for any cadet, will make of break them. In my case, it made me a better person. But also broke me.


              "Heed forth thy storm, for tomorrow brings new adventures."
              Thanks for that,

              Five months sounds a bit daunting haha. Thankfully I've went for engineering so hopefully shouldn't get hit with one of those.

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              • #37
                Originally posted by Olivier Ntcham View Post
                Thanks for that,

                Five months sounds a bit daunting haha. Thankfully I've went for engineering so hopefully shouldn't get hit with one of those.
                If you're worried about spending 5 (or 4 or 3 etc.) months away from home might I ever so gently suggest that the merchant navy isn't the job for you.
                io parlo morse

                Comment


                • #38
                  You can count companies who would give you 4 month trips on one hand nowadays, obviously as a cadet your trips may be much longer but it’s temporary. The longest trip I knew at college was 7 months, the longest trip length I hear from my qualified friends is 4 months.

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                  • #39
                    Originally posted by agibbs98 View Post
                    You can count companies who would give you 4 month trips on one hand nowadays, obviously as a cadet your trips may be much longer but it’s temporary. The longest trip I knew at college was 7 months, the longest trip length I hear from my qualified friends is 4 months.
                    Aye I reckon I could stick out 3, or 4 during the cadetship. Add another month on top of that and I'd start going mad I reckon.

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                    • #40
                      Originally posted by Olivier Ntcham View Post
                      Aye I reckon I could stick out 3, or 4 during the cadetship. Add another month on top of that and I'd start going mad I reckon.
                      In a strange way I found the third month worse than the six weeks that followed on my last trip. We'd have got back to shore around the three and a half months mark and I volenteered to do another month - It's another month ticked off in my TRB and after getting acclimitised to the ship and having spent two months on a Falklands run what's another few weeks? That middle lull between being excited to be somewhere new and that period where the end was in sight was definitely the worst personally.
                      27//Officer Cadet//Phase Three//Warsash

                      My officer cadet blog - SeasboundBySummer.Tumblr.com

                      Comment


                      • #41
                        Originally posted by Olivier Ntcham View Post
                        Aye I reckon I could stick out 3, or 4 during the cadetship. Add another month on top of that and I'd start going mad I reckon.

                        Top tip: take something to entertain you

                        This could be a hobby or films

                        I know someone who thought 10 dvds would do him a 4 month trip.
                        If you want to watch something, pack a hard drive full of TV and Films (plus play swapsies on ship)
                        Audiobooks and Ebooks are the best for space saving.

                        Just whatever you do, dont go to sea expecting it to be action packed 24/7, you need something to keep yourself entertained. Otherwise you will go mad.
                        2/O Tankers

                        Watch out for big green boxes...

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                        • #42
                          I've been on ships were after the working day everyone went their own separate ways and really never made an effort to communicate with one another. Some would find the isolation quite difficult to cope. However I've been on ships where every night there would be several officers watching movie which was great as it used up the remainder of the day. This experience and the effort people made to socialise made my 5 month trip fly by.
                          Phase 5 SPD engine cadet at city of Glasgow college. Doing a a combined motor and steam ticket.

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                          • #43
                            Thanks for everyone's input here. To be honest if I'm having serious doubts as early as this I think it's probably not the career for me. A lot more financial risk if the cadetship doesn't work out than the average career.

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