Help Build A Guide For Cadets


#1

Still a student at CMA, and just dubbed Company Chief Mate, I’ve
been working on a more advanced training program for the cadets to
cover the stuff that doesn’t get covered all that well in class. I
shipped for 70 days with Maersk Lines last summer and I never touched a
needle gun. My Mate was a hardass, he always had me plotting contacts,
positions, celestial fixes, making radio calls, etc. and I feel better
prepared as a result. Of course, one of my roommates sailed mainly as
an AB and hardly ever saw the bridge on his cadet cruise. Like it’s
been said before, the greatest deficiency cadets seem to have is real
time experience on the bridge performing all of the duties of
the standard mate. On the training ships, we have a Licensed Watch
Officer looking over us, and there are 3-4 seniors on watch acting
jointly as the Watch Officer. What does this mean? The only experience
we have at sea as the acting mate is segmented, some of the standard
duties are split among the seniors on watch, and, depending on how well
the watchbill was put together, some seniors may not serve in every
position, meaning that they’ll never get hands-on experience in certain
disciplines.

My question to all of you real mates out there is
this: where are most cadets lacking the most? Simply the fact that
we’re inexperienced seems to be a familiar trait, but despite our lack
of correct action, what tasks do we tend to outright not know? Like I
said, I’ll be developing a training program and any input would help.
Additionally, I’ve been putting together a website with lessons and
tutorials for mariners at [http://deckskills.com](http://deckskills.com" title="Fantail Freddy’s Guide to Seamen)
I would absolutely love to have part of the site open for commentary,
suggestions, and lessons posted by real mariners. If you’d like to
help, email me at deckskills@gmail.com.

Thanks, and I know
we’re not perfect right when we come out, (believe me, I live with
these people), but knowing that, don’t leave us alone on the bridge. If
you know we’re absolutely fresh, help us out, leave detailed night
orders, build a manual to help us get better accustomed to handling the
ship, tell us the little particulars that make this ship unique, and
physically stamp the captain’s phone number on our hands.