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Just finished cadetship and not confident in skills.

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  • Just finished cadetship and not confident in skills.

    Hey all,

    I just finished my cadetship and although I got high marks in college and managed to complete my portfolio I still feel like I have loads to learn and am nowhere near confident enough to take a watch myself on a vessel. I know I can't know everything cause that only comes with experience but I just wondered if anyone else felt really quite bewildered when looking for their first posting?

  • #2
    When I went on my first watch alone I dug out the colregs book and put it on the chart table and in case I forgot them due to the panic I was in and every target that appeared on the radar made me sweat, every alarm made me jump out of my skin as I was so tense. After an hour something clicked and I realised how stupid I was being, I had done this before, as a last trip cadet I had been doing the watch while the OOW was doing paperwork or chart corrections, I was even allowed the odd watch by myself (naughty, I know) and I didn't panic then. I basically realised that if I was really stuck, instead of making the OOW look up from his oh so important paperwork (solitaire on the laptop) I could phone the skipper, after all that is what he is there for. I completely chilled out, put the colregs away and have been awesome ever since.

    Yes you probably do have a lot to learn and eventually you will get that experience but the first step to gaining it is putting yourself out there and just doing it.


    • #3
      know the feelin'

      I found this an interesting post as I am in phase 3 (of 5) at Glasgow and my last sea phase starts end of November and I honestly don't feel like I can be taught with my training company. I raised the concerns several times with my Training Officer but they have told me a company move is out of the question. I don't expect to be taken by the hand n shown everything and I certainly am not lazy onboard but it seems this nationalities I work with don't want to have anything to do with people of my nationality (british). So i feel I will be in your position by the end of my sea phase and college program. It seems to me my course does not bother teaching any principles of navigation or anything to do with the jobs onboard and concentrates more on Rendevouz, Maritime Law, Ship Masters Business, Structures n Maintenance etc....but then I am doing the dreaded Professional Diploma course (that I didn't apply for) and its packed with Chief Mate's stuff...I feel like I will be repeating your post (about not being confident about taking a watch) in a years time.


      • #4
        As what MinchMermaid wrote, plus:

        As a green OOW you are not expected to know everything; quite the opposite, your shipmates(unless they're arseholes) will understand as they have been through it too. What is expected is that you conduct your watch safely; if you are unsure of something, call a senior officer. Nobody will be grateful if your boat ends up on a reef or embedded in the side of another vessel because you didn't want to disturb the old man.
        '... 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


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