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  • YOUR first trip qualified

    I don't think this question has been asked before, but forgive if it has (I can't find anything in search). What was your first trip qualified like? Did you buckle under the weight of some responsibility when you set eyes upon your ship? Did you panic like a spider evading a glass when taking your first solo watch? Did you question if you were even in the right career? Or did you breeze through your duties cool as ice like Mr. T in a freezer? Share all

  • #2
    I crapped myself the first time I had to call Portishead on the key. I was sweating that much that it stung my eyes. I spent 8 months pounding away on a hand key. The first thing I did when I got home on leave was buy an electronic one

    http://www.dl1hqe.de/cw/etm-3c/2_etm-3c.html
    io parlo morse

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    • #3
      I was lucky enough to qualify in the days of junior engineers, so my first trip qualified was on an ancient (even by those days standards) passenger ship called the Canberra, spent the whole trip on daywork before being transferred to another ancient, but at least motor rather than steam, ship called the Victoria as assistant EOOW.

      I really feel for guys now coming out of their cadetship and going straight on a UMS ship as duty engineer, the only advice is, "when unsure, or if in doubt, call the f*cking chiefy out" that's what he's there for and he will be glad that you called him.

      EDIT: same applies for first trip deck officers with the old man.

      No one will expect you to know everything on your first trip, they will expect you to know when you need to get help.
      Go out, do stuff

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      • #4
        Exactly what Clanky said re calling out the Boss, he/she'll trust you more once they've seen you go through a few tricky situations and sought advice, otherwise they don't know if you're **** hot or just cuffing it up there and not telling them anything. Although the phrase 'an idiot is someone who makes the same mistake twice' is equally apt when its something repeatedly trivial at 2am.

        I joined HMS Mersey as a freshly qualified 21 year old Subby Gunnery Officer as my 1st complement job and thought I was amazing. Fortunately my Captain was an utter hero and knocked me rapidly into my place. Giving me just enough scope to get myself into trouble but never too much to be dangerous. A few scary night watches trying to covertly track Dutch trawlers going the wrong way in the Dover TSS and I learnt my capabilities and those of my Ship pretty quickly.
        Superyacht OOW
        SSTG Cadet 2015-2017
        Ex Royal Navy Navigator.

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        • #5
          Luckily I was employed by my Cadet Training company so I went on a ship similar to ones I had trained on and fitted in quite well. Managed to stay for 3 trips in the North Sea before going off to Cruise ... and well that was a different kettle of fish!

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          • #6
            I was really lucky that I had a really fantastic Captain on my first trip qualified. Even though inside he must have been swearing and cursing at me at times he never once showed anything less than 100% trust. He said at the end of the trip that he never once felt the need to step in at any time, but I will be honest I think I would have done in his place on some occasions. To make matters worse the first week of my first trip included an ocean tow with an oil rig. I never did any towing when I was on anchor handlers as a cadet so I had a steep learning curve.

            To echo what the others have said, never be ashamed about calling out the Old Man or Chief, they will be happier in the knowledge that they know you're not afraid to admit when you think you are out of your depth. To be honest with you, the times when I did call him out, he let me continue to deal with whatever the issue was and just watched and listened. Nearly every time he said to me afterwards, "see you didn't really need me after all did you?" He was never upset about it, and in fact it was probably the thing that helped my confidence the most.

            There is a lot to process on your first qualified trip, not just the watch keeping, but learning a new vessel perhaps, meeting new crew, plus other duties. Every time you go away it gets easier, to the point where you can't remember what all the fuss is about. In actual fact I think that our current Captain has it too easy, so I take great pleasure in the times when I have to call him out at evil hours of the morning. Luckily we are operating in a high risk piracy area, so I get to call him whenever another vessel looks at me funny.

            Most importantly, try and enjoy it. It's a defining moment.
            They told me I was gullible and I believed them.

            https://twitter.com/ASFrance

            Instagram: ASFrance

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            • #7
              Luckily I was on a ship I was on as a cadet and it was a simple ship so I was already very familiar with it. It was my second trip that was a nightmare, and that was down to the people on board.

              in general I eecho the comments above. I always make sure I emphasise to new officers the fact that they can call me whenever and I will be on the bridge immediately. I also try to stand back and only actually step in if it is going to go pear shaped!!
              If you can't laugh, you shouldn't have joined!!

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              • #8
                I can't really add to this as I've still to have the adventure of a first trip officer type, good read though and in fairness that's all you ever hear if in doubt as/phone/shout/enquire or even check the manual
                Be what you want to be not what other people tell you to be
                Adapt and over come
                Careers At Sea Ambassador

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Clanky View Post
                  I was lucky enough to qualify in the days of junior engineers, so my first trip qualified was on an ancient (even by those days standards) passenger ship called the Canberra, spent the whole trip on daywork before being transferred to another ancient, but at least motor rather than steam, ship called the Victoria as assistant EOOW.

                  I really feel for guys now coming out of their cadetship and going straight on a UMS ship as duty engineer, the only advice is, "when unsure, or if in doubt, call the f*cking chiefy out" that's what he's there for and he will be glad that you called him.

                  EDIT: same applies for first trip deck officers with the old man.

                  No one will expect you to know everything on your first trip, they will expect you to know when you need to get help.
                  Totally agree and often it's a good idea if something is a little bit hairy then call the chief / captain and it reassures them you will call if needed in the future.

                  Bit OT but the Victoria!!! Remember it well - having to walk down the passage way to the showers in a towel as no showers in the juniors cabin!!
                  Pilotage - It's just a controlled allision

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                  • #10
                    Probably slightly different for engineers as it is for deck, Mine was okay, went from cruise ships to dual engine tankers, found the engine rooms much easier to understand and enjoyed not having an abundance of ratings following me with buckets everywhere. Didn't make any major mistakes, worst one was forgetting to disable dead man alarm one night after accepting alarm and waking everyone up.

                    Just think three times before you do anything and always ask yourself 'What if?' and 'Why?'.

                    Also be polite when calling the chief at night time.

                    This all being said I'm still only on my 2nd contract as 4th, but I've got my recommendation for promotion to 3rd so I must be doing something right!
                    "My Job"

                    It's not my place to run the boat
                    the fog horn I can't blow.

                    It's not my place to say just where
                    the boat's allowed to go

                    It's not my right to dock the boat
                    or even clang the bell

                    But let the damn thing
                    start to sink AND SEE WHO CATCHES HELL!

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by jcwilson91 View Post
                      Just think three times before you do anything and always ask yourself 'What if?' and 'Why?'.
                      This

                      Originally posted by jcwilson91 View Post
                      Also be polite when calling the chief at night time.
                      And definitely this.
                      Go out, do stuff

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                      • #12
                        Moreton Bay..... Had a shiny new motor ticket so got sent to a steam ship... You know it makes sense

                        As for phoning the chief, I used to start with hello sorry.. It's 0XXX then explain things

                        Mind you at the time it was more usual to call the second first as he wasn't a watch keeper......
                        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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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Chiefy View Post
                          As for phoning the chief, I used to start with hello sorry.. It's 0XXX then explain things...
                          Yeah, that is always a good idea, it’s actually been quite a while since I have been called in the night, but I always like to get a quick time check when someone wakes me up.
                          Go out, do stuff

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                          • #14
                            Currently on my first trip qualified on a ship type I've never experienced before.

                            Quite daunting! Honestly, I'm feeling the pressure at times. I think it has popped into my head a few times that maybe I should retrain completely as something else but then I remember all the great things about the job.

                            Let my self down a few times with stupid little mistakes but I'm just trying to learn from them and move on. Always ask if I'm unsure. Haven't had to call the old man out yet though. I'm expecting the worst from my first report to be honest but it's hard to tell.

                            Was nice to read other people's experiences in this thread.
                            Chiefly the chief

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                            • #15
                              I once sailed with an Old Man who, if you called him in the middle of the night and didn't tell him the time at the start of your 'please help me' message, would just hang up and make you go through it all again.

                              As for my first trip, my overwhelming memory is one of feeling very, very inexperienced. Which I was, of course, but it was hard feeling to put up with day in day out!

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