From the pen of our esteemed member Hatchorder...

Here I sit, remembering my first trip to sea, and all the things I took that I did not need, and all the things I should have taken that nobody told me about. So my son, who is just about to start his cadetship, turns around and says “Dad, what will I need to take away to sea?” I got to work and produced a spreadsheet. Then came the inevitable questions of “why that?” so I started adding notes. By the end it was a work of art and I got to thinking “How many cadets do not have the luxury of an ex seafarer to help them or an adult with too much time on their hands and a passion for doing things to the nth degree and getting things spot on?”

The spreadsheet actually prints out on a single sheet and is split up into 9 separate sections. Below I have separated each section and added notes as to why things are on the list.

1) Uniform

Uniform No
Jumper 1
Long sleeve shirts 3
Short sleeved shirts 3
Black Trousers 2
White shorts 3
White socks 3
Epaulets 1
Black Tie 1
Black Shoes 1
Shoe Shine Kit 1
Prescription Glasses 2
Sunglasses 1
Glasses Wipes 50
Check with somebody in the company about whether you will need a Uniform Cap, tropical uniform, Uniform Jacket etc.

For many years I took my cap to every ship and never had to wear it. The first time I left it at home the skipper asked me on the bridge on my first standby “where is your hat?”…… Doh!

Some companies use grey uniform, and if you get onto anchor handlers many of them have no uniform at all. Do not be afraid to ask someone in the company before you travel to join the ship what you will need for that voyage.

If you need glasses take a spare pair. You will not have time to have a new pair made if you only have one pair and you break them. If you use contacts take enough to last the trip and a bit longer and don’t forget all your cleaning kit, pots etc if you use anything other than daily disposables.

Sunglasses for watch keeping or looking cool going ashore! Prescription ones if you need to.

Ladies, swap trousers for skirts on the list if you want! I’m not being sexist, lads you can pack a skirt if you want….. Shhhhhh!

2) Casuals

Casuals No
Underwear / socks 8
Jeans / Slacks 3
Shorts 2
Tops 5
Shore Shoes 1
Ship comfy shoes 1
Coat 1
Fleece 1
Swimming Trunks 1
Flip flops 1
Sun Hat / Cap 1
You may not be going somewhere too hot or too cold...