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How much time ashore do cadets get?

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  • How much time ashore do cadets get?

    ok so im wanting to be an engineer in the merchant navy, just wondering-on the internet it says how good the travel is, but is it really? do you usually get time to go ashore or do you have to work? and does it depend on what type of ship you are on then? whats your experiences been like?

    [Title changed to be more specific]

  • #2
    Re: time ashore

    Ok.. lets try posting again!

    It all depends on several factors, however most captains and chief engineers realise that while you are a cadet you have the chance to go out and enjoy yourself ashore, since once you qualify your opportunities to go out become rare!

    Ultimately you are onboard to work / learn - so in a lot of cases, particularly if you are on ships with fast turn arounds the most you will get to see of some places is the view of the port from the ship!

    Another thing to bare in mind is that a lot of 'cargo ports' (and in fact a lot of ports in general) are actually located nowhere near anything in the middle of nowhere - and some places are generally not considered safe to go exploring! (I still remember walking up the main shopping street in Port of Spain, Trinidad and being told by two heavily armed police men "so your from the cruise ship - you probably don't want to go any further up this street, its best if you head back").

    Even on passenger ships where you are in port pretty much each day - you are there to work and while you may get more opportunities to go out (since you spend more time in port), it may not be in the ports you want, or when you want! There are also other factors such as 'port manning' (this may be specific to passenger ships - I am not sure) where there has to be a minimum number of crew onboard holding certain emergency duties at any given time, and therefore if its your turn to stay onboard - tough luck!

    In my experience as a cadet (and as an officer), generally out with your watches you will be free to go ashore if the ship is in port anyway - but you have to balance up going out with other things such as paperwork, other duties and the all important sleep!

    So, in summary; Yes, it is a way to see the world and visit new places - however, you are ultimately there to work and shouldn't count on being able to go off the ship in port. When opportunities to go off do appear they tend to be limited to a few hours - if your really lucky and have a ship thats in port overnight every so often its a bit better - but again you still need to be back onboard by the time of your next watch!

    If your sole reason for going to sea is to go sightseeing for free then being a cadet / officer is probably not the best way to do it - I recommend shop staff :-) they only work when the ship is at sea.
    ?Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn?t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.?

    ? Mark Twain
    myBlog | @alistairuk | flickr | youtube Views and opinions expressed are those of myself and not representative of any employer or other associated party.

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