>

Trust Fund

Richard's regular news letter

Former Cadet Richard - Now OOW

Most of the education offered by the Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers, embraces those already in the shipping industry. They work in shipbroking offices, in port agency or in companies on the fringe of the maritime world.

The Education Trust Fund has gone further than that by sponsoring someone working at the coalface of shipping. He is a cadet working aboard ships. The cadet, who has just completed his indentures and has passed his Class 3 certificate of competency, is Richard, aged 20 and is now eligible to perform the duties of a watch keeping officer on board ocean-going ships.

He was attracted to the sea from an early age. As a keen sailor and member of his local sea cadet group he had previously gained an RYA Commercial Masters Coastal License and during a 2 month cruise around the Cape of Good Hope, he got a taste for life at sea and a career in the Merchant Navy beckoned.

All these tasks he was busy learning during his three-year cadetship or apprenticeship. During this time he served on cargo ships, including one that carried bananas from the West Indies to Europe. He also served on board a passenger ship performing cruises around the Scottish Islands of the Inner and Outer Hebrides and up to the North of Norway. Another spell was spent on a ferry between England and Ireland.

He is able to stand a watch on the bridge for eight hours a day, usually from 0800 to 1200 and 2000 to midnight. He is capable of navigating the ship, making course alterations and keeping the Master informed of any unforeseen problems. He is usually posted on the afterdeck to oversee the mooring and unmooring of the ship when arriving or departing its berth.

Below is a regular news letter from Richard.

Second Sea Phase Report

During my second sea phase, I serviced on board three ships all with different contract lengths, and types of ships.

My first ship was MV Discovery she is a small to medium sized cruise ship carrying roughly 600/700 passengers and 300 crew, mainly cruising around Norway and the Baltics.
I joined the ship a week after finishing at Warsash Maritime Academy in Harwich were the ship had its turnaround days at this stage in the season. After all the familiarization training I got stuck right in with the bridge teams work, as we set sail for an capitals of the Baltic cruise.
When on board I have visited a large number of European countries including Germany, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Russia, Poland, Iceland and Norway, some of which we berthed at several different ports within the country. I think one of my highlights was going up to the White Sea in northern Russia, as at this latitude in the summer the sun never sets! This experience is unique as it was not dark for eight or nine days, coming onto the bridge for my midnight watch was just like walking onto the bridge at midday.
On board I was practicing my celestial navigation as well as passage planning helping the 2ndofficer, to improve my skills, as soon I will be having to do this as my job. Due to the type of ship safety is a lot higher in priority so have been improving on many of those aspects working with the safety officer and the other 2nd officers.
My time on Discovery was cut short as unfortunately the company emailed me and said I would be disembarking after two months rather than the four they had initially said. I was disappointed to start with then thought I will be moving onto another ship and learning even more on her, so this is for the better.

My next ship appointment was on board MV Arklow Wave a 13000 GT General Cargo ship carrying bulk cargos all around Europe and sometimes America and Canada. I boarded at Aughinish in Ireland, where they were loading Alumina a powder used to make aluminium then sailed Marseille, France. Loading had only taken 2 days, however discharging took a little longer… 18 days! This meant whilst in port a lot of maintenance was completed and I managed to get all my maintenance tasks signed off. 
For the rest of my four months on board we never stayed in port that long the maximum length was about 4 days, these ports were all over Europe from Spain to Netherlands to Lithuania. The ship was in the English Channel when the first of the big storms hit the south coast, it slowed us down so much that instead of the 12 knots we normally make, we were only making 1! I was understudying the 2nd officer for nearly all the time I was on Arklow Wave, and got to know the job very well, by the end of my contract I was taking the watch and doing all his safety rounds. The captain must have picked this up as he offered me a job when I qualify on board the ship, this makes me feel I am nearly at the stage to become an officer. After 4 months and 4 days my longest contact of my cadetship I left the ship and flew home from Lithuania.

My last ever ship as an cadet was the Stena Europe, which is a ferry going from Fishguard, Wales to Rosslare, Ireland twice daily.  Travel to ship was hampered by problems caused by the floods as there were so many delays on the train system, after spending the whole day traveling a normally 6 hour journey I arrived at the B&B for a quick sleep before heading down to the ship.

I enjoyed the work I was doing on board as its basically understudying the officers, giving me the confidence to perform a watch with little or no input from the officers.
Another really interesting part of the job on a ferry is the load and unload of the vehicles as there is no set loading plan so you have to think on your feet and ensure all is correct. I found this a challenge but one that I loved and by the end my time there I could load the ship with no input from the officer.
Overall, I think this ship has greatly helped my preparation for my oral exam in July, as the captain every day would quiz us on all aspects of shipping and navigation.

Walking down the gangway of Stena Europe was a weird but great feeling as the next time I am on board a ship it will be as a qualified officer!

Thursday 20/03/2014 - Nearly there

I left ship on Monday after just over a month onboard, which was a great experience, showing me that that type of ship could be for me. So now the next time I step onto a ship I should be a qualified officer after successfully completing my orals!
Now however I have a couple of months in Warsash to complete to prepare me for that day, this will involve a lot of time with my head in books and revising 3 years of stuff.

The light is starting to get very bright at the end of this long tunnel, it's going to be a tough 2-3 months but hopefully well worth it!

---------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Sunday 02/03/2014 - Stena Europe the last ship as a cadet

Disembarking MV Arklow Wave just before Christmas was great as I could spend the holiday period with family and loved ones, I had been told my next ship appointment would be roughly February time. This gave me a good opportunity to catch up on some paperwork and revision, plus some down time to relax after 4 months onboard ship.

My appointment was finally confirmed as I would be joining Stena Europe, which is a ferry going from Fishguard, Wales to Rosslare, Ireland twice daily.  Travel to ship was hampered by problems caused by the floods as there were so many delays on the train system, after spending the whole day traveling a normally 6 hour journey I arrived at the B&B for a quick sleep before heading down to the ship.

I've been onboard now for a couple weeks and got into its routine, I am enjoying the work I am doing as its basically understudying the officers, giving me the confidence to perform a watch with little or no input from the officers.
Another really interesting part of the job on a ferry is the load and unload of the vehicles as there is no set loading plan so you have to think on your feet and ensure all is correct. I found this a challenge but one that I loved and I'm getting the hang of it now.

Overall I think this ship is greatly helping my preparation for my oral exam in July, another 2 weeks left and then home and back to Warsash for finally time!

----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Wed 18/12 - Home at last

After 4 months and 4 days I disembarked Arklow Wave in Lithuania with a job offer when I qualify in July, plus a lot of experience of all aspects of being a 2nd Officer. I'm now home for Christmas and New Year, then hopefully joining my last ship as a cadet nearing the end of January.

 

---------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Thursday 31/10 - Another Month Done

This month began with us in Ghent, Belgium loading Ammonium Sulphate, and bound for Motril, Spain. As there were no loading operations over the weekend, it was a good opportunity to go and see what the city was like, however I decided to walk… an hour and half later I wasn't so sure it was the right decision! But I did found a great Irish bar and spent the rest of the evening chatting and playing pool with the bar staff. When crossing the Bay of Biscay it gave me a good chance to get some celestial navigation completed, I got our position only 2 miles away from the GPS position which I was very happy with!

We left Motril with no orders except to head north. After 5 days we were instructed to sail to Gdansk, Poland to pick up Rye a type of grain, then sail to Marin in Northern Spain. We arrived today after being slowed down in the English Channel riding out the recent storm that hit the South of England an experience not to be missed! I am pleased this ship is giving me the opportunity and experiences to continue gaining all the skills I require to be an officer.

 

Aughinish Ireland.jpg

----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Sunday 29/09/2013 - Arklow Wave Update

I have now been on board Arklow Wave for about 6 weeks this has been a totally different experience to any of my last ships. I boarded at Aughinish in Ireland (see picture above), where they were loading Alumina a powder used to make aluminium we then set sail for Marseille France. Loading had only taken 2 days, however discharging took a little longer… 18 days! This meant whilst in port we completed a lot of maintenance and I managed to get all my maintenance tasks signed off. Due to being in port myself and the other cadet had time to explore all of the city and local beaches, as the weather was too good not to! Our next port was Barcelona where we received our next cargo of potash, this is also where the other cadet left, but not before a visit to one of the largest aquariums in Europe!

We then had a week's sail up to Amsterdam, during which time with supervision I was taking the 2nd officers watches, this was very beneficial and a glimpse of what it will be like when I qualify.

Potash Cycle.jpg

----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Fri 16/08/13 - My Fifth Ship

After only 3 weeks off I have joined my new ship the Arkwave which is a Dry Bulk Carrier, trading all around Europe and sometimes America and Canada. I am really looking forward to my time on board, I have been told I will be on for about 4 months. I will send you a progress report next month, keep a look out for it!

Dry Bulk Carrier

----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Fri 19/07/2013 - Change of Plans

Well the 3/4 months I was meant to be on has now changed slightly... Sadly I will be getting off in 4 days! I received an email from my company saying unfortunately I will have to disembark sooner than I thought. So after having a great 2 months on-board I will be leaving. The bridge team were as surprised as me and say they will miss me, but I'm sure the next cadet will quickly fit in and have as good a time as I have had. I have been to some wonderful places and cannot wait to see what my next ship appointment will be!

MV Discovery - Cruise Ship

----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Mon 24/06/2013 - On board Discovery

I have been on MV Discovery for roughly a month now, she is a small to medium sized cruise ship carrying roughly 600/700 passengers and 300 crew, mainly cruising around Norway and the Baltics. At the minute we are sat alongside Arkhangelsk, in Northern Russia, where the sun never sets! It has now not been dark for 5 days and will not be, for at least another 8, this is due to being at such high latitude, an amazing experience!

So far we have visited Germany, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Russia, Poland, Iceland and Norway so have been racking up my countries I have been to!

I have been practicing my celestial navigation as well as passage planning helping the 2nd officer on board. Due to the type of ship safety is a lot higher in priority so have been improving on many of those aspects.

I have another 3 months on-board as my disembarkation date is the end of September, hopefully they will be just as good as the first one.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Fri 22/03/2013 17:01

Joining Honourable Company of Master Mariners

Today I travelled to London to visit HQS Wellington, which is permanently moored alongside on the river Thames, I was attending a ceremony to join 'The Honourable Company of Master Mariners' as an Associate Member. This means I am a member of an organisation, made up of current and ex Captains, therefore giving me new opportunities and access to a vast amount of knowledge, I have been assigned a mentor, who is an ex-captain and is now  MD of Geest Line. There was a short ceremony where approx. 10 associate members were sworn in, followed by a curry lunch on board, which was really nice!

Joiners

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Mon 15/04/2013 13:20

College phase 3

I have now been back at Warsash maritime academy for around 6 and half months, studying a range of topics, from advanced stability to electronic navigation equipment like ECDIS. As expected this phase has been harder than phase one, as you now have sea going knowledge, however it has been going well. Had exams in January and passed them all except one which I am retaking soon. The time has been going very quickly, so soon I will be back at sea again! I can't wait!

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Michael Grey

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Wed 05/12/2012 21:00

This evening I attended a reception for maritime London which is 20 years old, which the I.C.S sponsors me through. About 8 cadets all sponsored via Maritime London travelled up to Lloyds building in central London. We met several of the founding members and most of the sponsor companies of Maritime London were there. A photo of all the cadets was taken and is in the Nautilus telegraph monthly paper. After a few hours of socialising and having a couple of glasses of wine we started leaving and all the cadets got back onto the minibus which brought us up, to travel back to Warsash after an enjoyable evening.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Wed 10/11/2012 09:05

Today I went to up to London to be in the Lord Mayors Parade on the Maritime London's float, I arrived at the float about 10am and was standing talking to other people who either work for companies in maritime London or maritime London its self. A few other cadets were there another one from Warsash and two other from Fleetwood which is a college near Blackpool. After a while we all boarded the float and started off in the precession. This lasted for about an hour or so through the street of London, after which we stopped and had lunch before we started the trip back to the start. The float in front of us was 'Visit Yorkshire' they had four people dressed up as granny's driving around in mini trolleys which keep us entertained for most of the parade! We arrived back at the start roughly 3pm at which time we all packed up the float and I started travelling back down to Warsash. I had good time and had a laugh with everyone on board, it was great to meet other cadets from a different college to see how things differ.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Mon 03/09/2012 16:31

After another month or so on leave, I made my way across again to Ireland where I picked up my next ship the MV Hebridean Princess. This is the world's smallest luxury cruise ship at only 70m long, can carry a max of 50 passengers. The ship has been chartered by the Queen twice plus has a very high class of passenger. On board I was assisting the officers on bridge watches while at sea and when alongside there other duties which needed carrying out. I did a total of 3 cruises, spending the first one traveling back up the coast of Ireland stopping at the Isle of Man to their normal cruising area, which is the west coast Scottish isles. When the ship anchored off the coast of the island I would help the deck crew launch the tenders and crew/drive them, these were used to transport the passengers to the shore for tours. The ship rarely stayed alongside overnight so the crew hardly ever got ashore for longer than an hour or so, but when we did it was good to socialise with everyone when not on ship. I was on board for roughly a month and I had to leave due to starting back at Warsash nine days after getting home. I disembarked in Oban which is Hebridean Princess's home port, then travelled back to Sheffield via Glasgow.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Mon 02/07/2012 11:20

After about a month leave at home I joined my second ship in Galway, Ireland. I left home 24 hours before arriving on board, spending a night in Dublin. This ship ILV Granuaile was a 79m Lighthouse tender which operates all the way round the coast of Ireland maintaining all lighthouses and Navigational aids. The day I joined the commissioner of the Irish Lights commission was on board as they had just put a new type of buoy in the water. We spent the next month serving different types of buoys, and one lighthouse refuelling.  I was on deck helping with serving the buoys, but also on the bridge when sailing around the coast. I learnt a lot of the seamanship required to pass some of my exams when back at college, due to the boson being very experienced. I had to leave the ship early however as they had a contract doing some surveying work in Liverpool bay, and had 17 Italians joining the ship so didn't have a berth for me. So I left the ship about a month after joining in Dublin before flying home.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Fri 01/06/2012 15:24

Today I came down to visit the trustees of Maritime London at the Lloyds Building and had a tour around the building. We went in a room that has been transformed from the old building to the new one. It was like walking through time. The building looked like an old posh house.

We talked about what Lloyds do and what the roles of brokers and underwriters involve. Then I went across to Steamship Mutual, a member of International Group of P & I clubs where I had a presentation about what they do. I then went for lunch with the other Maritime London Cadets and the new CEO Maritime London.

Blog

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Thu 28/05/2012 17:24


This month has seen 3 new people joining the ship: a new Captain, an Engine Cadet and a student, but unfortunately this means some people have left, one being the other deck cadet Max. Capt. Van Der Hoek who has sailed this route several times became our new boss but luckily I got on very well with him and even went scuba diving in Barbados with him, which was a great experience and really nice to get diving again after a few months not able to.

The student Peter, who is part of a team studying the amount of CO2 in oceans today from the University of East Anglia was on board as some equipment they have on board was giving inconsistent data, so he was making sure it all was working ok. Kevin the Engine cadet who took Max's place, Peter, John and I were off exploring the islands a lot more with a tour around St. Georges, Grenada ending with us sat on a pier chilling in the beautiful weather! When back in Vieuxfort, St Lucia we had a few hours of fun jumping off the back of the ship and jetty into the warm Caribbean Sea (wish I was back there now!). One evening while loading a group of us decided to go into Roseau, Dominica which ended up with me being asked if I was Australian by a girl in Subway. That is the first time that's happened to me!

On the crossing back to the UK we had another BBQ with another spit roast pig, however this time we filled the swimming pool at the back of the ship which made it more fun. After that night though the reality set in that I was getting off when next in port so I spent the last couple of days packing and getting all my paper work signed. I had been Helmsman for most of this trip around the Caribbean and also back into Portsmouth, however it wasn't all smooth sailing… As I was steering the ship into Portsmouth we lost the main engine meaning we were drifting near the entrance to the harbour for 15/20 minutes before the engineers got the engine going again, getting quite close to a couple of buoys. The rest of the pilotage went fine after that thankfully. I got off the ship on the Monday after 2 months and 26 days of great experiences and a lot of fun. I hope my next ship will not disappoint!

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Tue 10/04/2012 01:18

 

My second month at sea has been just as exciting as the first month. This voyage follows the exact same route as the previous month however I was more involved in the cargo operations which was a lot more interesting.

When we arriving back in Portsmouth after the first voyage I got time to go ashore which was nice to relax away from the ship, but the crew had found a good use for me being English as it was easier for them to get me to go and find what they all want so I had a big shopping list! Also in port the Chief Officer changed so I had a new Pilipino Chief to be on watch with.
On the crossing to the Caribbean I started applying what I had learnt at college for example I was working out the compass error using the sun, planets, stars and moon. I was also still helping on deck preparing the holds for the cargo.

While in the Caribbean now I was getting more involved in the cargo operations assist the officer of the watch with making sure all cargo and containers were loaded correctly and also taking pulp temperatures of the bananas to check the quality, as if they are too cold this can destroy them. On this trip I had some time to go ashore, so myself and a couple of other cadets went to the beach in St Lucia then had a couple of drinks and some food in a really nice beach bar it was a fab afternoon. In the Dominican Republic we decided to go ashore with some crew to a couple of bars, I find this great to socialise with the crew outside of the ship.

cadet st luciaThe trip back started off with really nice weather, I actually got burnt… oops! But then it turned and we had winds blowing up to 40 knots with big swell and waves. This made the ship roll a lot sometimes up to 20°, which made it hard for the other cadet to sleep, however I liked it as it reminded me that I was at sea and could easily sleep. This did not please the others at all! However after a couple days the weather passed and then we arrived in Portsmouth, now only 1 month left.

I have really enjoyed my first 2 months and find it an exciting and challenging life. I hope this is a good snap shot of the rest of my sea time and then the rest of my career at sea!

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Tue 13/03/2012 19:25

 

Phase 1 - College

I started my cadetship by attending Warsash Maritime Academy (WMA) in Southampton at the beginning of September 2011. I am the first member of my family to go to join the merchant navy so I was nervous but also very excited and couldn't wait to start.

I was at the Academy for roughly 4 months, leaving to start phase 2 which is my first sea phase in January 2012. In my time at WMA we covered quite a wide selection of topics including Celestial and Terrestrial Navigation, Ship Operations, Chart work and Stability.

This gave me a general over view of what I will have to do as an officer when I qualify in 2014. There have been challenging times at WMA but always enjoyable while learning important skills for a career at sea. Just before leaving I completed some mandatory short courses which included fire fighting, first aid.
Now off to sea for 4 months!

 

Phase 2 - First month at sea

I joined my first ship MV Benguela Stream on Monday 13th February 2012 in Portsmouth. She is a reefer cargo ship traveling between Europe and the Caribbean every month. Her main cargo is bananas which is brought to the UK. I Arrived on board at approximately 1230hr after about four and half hours traveling down from Sheffield. I was taken into the crew mess, in there was another Maritime London cadet who had already been on the vessel a month. The Seaman's Mission were also on board chatting with crew and giving out hats and scarfs.

I spent Monday settling in then started work on Tuesday. Departing from Portsmouth at roughly 2000hr laden with containers, cars and palleted cargo, this was a strange feeling leaving on my first ship for the first time. We headed across to the Le Havre, France to load more cargo before setting off to the Caribbean. The crossing takes about 7/8 days, in that time I was half on deck and half on bridge watch. On deck I was helping to prepare the holds for the cargo, tiding up the mast houses and carrying out maintenance around the ship. When we arrived in the Caribbean out first port of call was Fort de France, Martinique were we unloaded but also loaded cargo to take to other islands. Which include: St Lucia, Trinidad, Barbados, Grenada, St Vincent, Dominica. With our final call being Manzanillo, Dominican Republic, this is where nearly all the decks in the holds were loaded with bananas for the UK. Leaving at 0500hr on 03/03/12 and arriving back in Portsmouth roughly 2230hr on 11th March 2012.

cadet 2