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  • Doubts

    So I am currently on a deep sea ship as a 1st trip deck cadet, 3 months so far, and have been a reader of this forum for quite a while. I enjoy aspects of the cadetship (such as seeing new places, learning navigational skills and learning how the deck is run) but other parts I don't (such as the way us cadets are treated sometimes in terms of work asked of us, long irregular hours 7 days a week and trying to complete the TRB which is far out dated and complicated in my opinion). On top of this, time sometimes really seems to drag by.

    Did any of you have any similar doubts when doing your cadetships? I know job opportunities in the UK are scare and office work isn't for me and like I said I do enjoy aspects of the job, I'm thinking just to get through the cadetship and then maybe move onto offshore work or something similar?

  • #2
    Yup...everyone gets like this, it'll pass
    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

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    • #3
      The cadetship is tough, as you build more skills, become more proactive and more useful to the operation it does get a lot easier. The hours in this job can go from being pleasant whilst deep sea on passage to an absolute nightmare at times.

      What do you consider outdated in the TRB?
      What makes you feel that you a treated poorly?

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      • #4
        Reading between the lines
        Guessing your probably on a container ship?
        Probably with a foreign crew doing repetitive work on deck as chipping and painting?
        Probably feel like your being used as a extra pair of hands on deck rather than being there to be trained.

        Best thing you can do is just try and put up with it and hope the crew on your next ship are a bit more concerned about your training.

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        • #5
          Everyone has at least one occasion where they want to pack it all in and just go home. It'll pass and you'll feel stronger for getting through it.

          You obviously enjoy the job, just not the conditions. Don't judge it based on one ship/one company/one crew. Show an interest, keep working hard and you will gain respect as a trainee officer. I almost guarantee it'll get better, it's just a bit of a slog to start with!

          CD
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          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].

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          • #6
            As all the others have said, everyone has that moment at some stage in their cadetship. I had my little "what the bloody hell am I doing here?" moment after being thrown out my bunk for the 3rd time that night and listening to some of the loose cargo (broken loose) bounce around all over the deck below.

            It'll pass....
            I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.....

            All posts here represent my own opinion and not that of my employer.

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            • #7
              Everyone gets the 'I want to go home NOW' phase. It passes and doesn't last very long, although it seems like forever when it's happening.

              To boldly go.....
              Forum Administrator
              OfficerCadet.com

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              • #8
                Thanks for all the advice guys, its good to know I'm not the only one who has had these feelings. Even so, as others have said, this cadetship is making me tougher as a person, and much more secure in my male role in this world rather than previous jobs I have had (I hope that doesn't sound too weird a thing to say). AncientMariner, the way the TRB is laid out its just so easy to miss certain sections, and some of the tasks in it we don't do on this ship so I have no idea how I am going to get them signed off. In addition, the chances of the officers letting the cadets 'give orders for the preperation and launching of the lifeboat' and those tasks etc is rather slim, given the safety aspect and lifeboat launches being rare.

                It is not that the crew are mistreating us cadets, far from it as I get on well with everyone onboard. But, as someone else said, sometimes you do just feel like an extra pair of hands and like you are not learning anything new. Also, cadets are always the last to hear of anything, such as safety meetings, sailing times or even a change in your own duty. Maybe this is down to the language barrier but it is disheartening sometimes.

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                • #9
                  I can appreciate your situation, and particularly during the first trip its tough. Sometimes officers aren't even sure what to do with you, especially more difficult if their officers are of a different nationality and have trained under a different system. However, it's important to stay motivated and push yourself to get involved in everything you can.
                  There always will be items in the TRB that aren't relevant to your particular ship, and duties such as managing the lifeboat will come once you show you have the experience and understanding to do it, you just need to work on that and practice it with the officers at every opportunity. You have a whole cadetship to complete the TRB, and many of the more serious tasks demand experience that you will only have by your final phase.

                  My cadetship was on foreign crewed ships with british Master/Mate/Chief Engineer, although the final trip was as the only brit onboard and also my first trip as officer. I admit that in those scenarios it's tough, but you'll learn some good skills for working with multinational crews. Just keep trying to being involved in everything onboard.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Mr.Orange View Post
                    So I am currently on a deep sea ship as a 1st trip deck cadet, 3 months so far, and have been a reader of this forum for quite a while. I enjoy aspects of the cadetship (such as seeing new places, learning navigational skills and learning how the deck is run)
                    Rather than focusing on the cadetship look at the career ahead and see if you think you will like the 3rd / 2nd mates job, you mentioned navigational skills, those are exactly the things you will be putting into use when you qualify

                    Originally posted by Mr.Orange View Post
                    but other parts I don't (such as the way us cadets are treated sometimes in terms of work asked of us
                    Remember this when you qualify, I did my cadetship with a large passenger ship company and cadets were treated very poorly, a lot of the cadets stuck it out until they qualified and then figured it was their turn to have someone under them to try and bully, a few of us swore that we would never treat anyone like that.


                    Originally posted by Mr.Orange View Post
                    long irregular hours 7 days a week and trying to complete the TRB which is far out dated and complicated in my opinion). On top of this, time sometimes really seems to drag by.
                    No advice on this one other than get used to it, it really is part of life at sea, the plus side is the 6 months leave per year (or at least 4 months with most companies)

                    Originally posted by Mr.Orange View Post
                    Did any of you have any similar doubts when doing your cadetships? I know job opportunities in the UK are scare and office work isn't for me and like I said I do enjoy aspects of the job, I'm thinking just to get through the cadetship and then maybe move onto offshore work or something similar?
                    I have had doubts like that since I was a cadet, I still occasionally have them now that I am sailing as chief engineer, it's only natural, but in the end the positives for me, always outweigh the negatives.

                    Hang in there, it does get better.
                    Go out, do stuff

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                    • #11
                      Some very good points in this last post.

                      Remember, the cadetship is NOT the career. I know that as soon as I walked onto a ship as a qualified officer my life was really different from when I was a cadet.

                      To boldly go.....
                      Forum Administrator
                      OfficerCadet.com

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                      • #12
                        I really had some doubts when I did my first trip from April - August but then again I came away better for it..... after 3/4 months it seems like a prison and you can't remember when you were last at home and just looking forward to going home.

                        What got me through was a good relationship with the AB's/Motorman, Fitter and other crew, learning about other cultures, it gave me something to focus on other than 'when am I going home'.... I can't wait to go back!
                        Engine Cadet | Phase 5 @ Warsash Maritime Academy

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