Any suggestions for a Texas Cadet going commercial shipping for the first time

Hi I am a Texas Cadet and we recently had shipping call for commercial shipping. I have never been on a a ship besides a training cruise with California maritime and I am going to be sailing with Alaskan Marine HighWay. I was hoping that some more experienced mariners would give me some advice. Maybe some tips on what it will be like or what to brush up on before I go this summer. <br>If anyone knows anything they would want to tell me about the company I would appreciate that also.<br>I have learned that this company is Ferries and such and that supposedly they give there cadets a lot of bridge time, but I do not know if this is entirely true so if you have anything to suggest give me a post.<br>Thank you, <br>Texas Cadet

Yep,<br><div>As my father told me:</div><br><div>Alaska, are you nuts? Go back to school and become a dentist. Otherwise you’ll turn 30 have a kid who’ll start missing you, bills that ain’t getting paid, BS that consumes your entire off hitch and you’ll be sitting a thousand miles in the middle of nowhere saying “Fuck, I should have been a dentist.”</div><br><div>Smart man!</div>

Get a steno pad and take lots of notes. One can stand watch for days and be completely bored and learn little, so go on the bridge even when you’re off watch if something worthwhile will be happening so you can learn it first hand. Look ahead at the nav plan and be there for turns and speed adjustment and in areas where traffic might be expected. Same holds true for the engine room watches, be there for all and any evolution regardless if it’s on your watch or not.

You should ask around and see who shipped with them before…<div>Are you Deck or Engine?</div><br><div>Tim</div><div>A&M '06</div>

Being from Alaska I have a couple of family members who worked for and retired from the Alaska Marine Highway ferry system and they always spoke pretty highly of it for what it’s worth.<br>Doc

I am deck.<br>Kelly <br>A&M '10

I live in Alaska and I’m actually on call with the marine highway as a summer gig although I haven’t been deployed yet. In the summer there are lots of tourists on these ferries. You will either be sailing in the Southeast/Inside passage(cruise ship route) or in the Southwest/Aleutian Islands. I’m sure you will get a decent amount of time in port, should be an awesome sea project. <br><br><br><br>So if you are a cadet going for an unlimited license can you do your sea projects on near coastal waters?

yes we can do our sea projects on coastal waters. We still have cadets going deep sea vessels it just all depends there are a variety of choices.

<P>At the Great Lakes Maritime Academy only 1 of their cruises (to qualify for their unlimited -deck) need be on the oceans. The other 2 cruises are on the Lakes.</P>

I see that Great Lakes Maritime Academy does all 3 cruises on commercial ships. It seems like a cadet would get more out of commercial time rather than a training ship.<br>Did you go to GLMA? I would like to hear what people have to think about the academy. Is it the red headed step child of the academies or do they have a good program?

<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt]<span style="font-family: Times New Roman;]<span style="FONT-SIZE: 12pt]You should be stoked you got with AMH. I have some classmates that are sailing for them and last I heard they seem to love it. It’s a great way to get </span><?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = “urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags” /><st1:State><st1:place><span style="FONT-SIZE: 12pt]Alaska</span></st1:place></st1:State><span style="FONT-SIZE: 12pt] pilotage. As far as what to brush up on. Rules of the Road. Captains love to quiz cadets on this. It should be really good for you. Being in inland waters around lots of traffic teaches you a lot about ship handling and collision avoidance.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes] </span>They have a history of hiring their cadets after they graduate, so get on there and show ‘em what you got. More than anything just have an open mind to learn anything you can. I would also talk to your advisor about what they want you to do for celestial since you will mostly be in pilotage waters. I did my cadet time on a dredge and almost failed my commercial cruise because they said I didn’t make an effort to learn any celestial. The ship only had one gyro repeater that was on top of the bridge that didn’t even work. Not to mention I was in Oregon/Washington and hardly saw a horizon. <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = “urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office” /><o:p></o:p></span></span></P>
<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt]<span style="FONT-SIZE: 12pt]<o:p><span style="font-family: Times New Roman;] </span></o:p></span></P>
<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt]<span style="FONT-SIZE: 12pt]<span style="font-family: Times New Roman;]Have a good one!!! <span style="mso-spacerun: yes] </span><span style="mso-spacerun: yes] </span><span style="mso-spacerun: yes] </span><span style="mso-spacerun: yes] </span><span style="mso-spacerun: yes] </span><span style="mso-spacerun: yes] </span></span><o:p></o:p></span></P>

I heard that Hornbeck has been accepting academy students for their summer cruises. They even pay for your transport to/from work and, of course, you get paid while at work. This is all, obviously, in the hopes that you will come back and work for them when you graduate. Doesn’t sound like a bad gig, but OSV’s may not be your thing. In the end, it’s up to you.

As a GLMA cadet I can attest that yes, some people consider us the “redheaded stepchild” of the Academies. Im not too sure why. In May I begin to write for my unlimited Third’s, first class pilotage for 5 lakes and 3 rivers, I have my D/L PIC, GMDSS, and any other STCW you can get from any other school. In addition I had the advantage of spending all of my 276 days of Cadet time aboard commercial vessels. <div> </div><div> Unfortunately a lot of companies don’t even recognize we exists. Yet, the ones that do (Seabulk, Alaska Marine Highway, ARC, Matson, Liberty, and Crowley) tend to be impressed. I got to spend 93 days aboard a Seabulk Tanker and found most of the officers liked to joke around about the lakes but would always finish with: “actually you guys seem to be some of the best cadets we get.” It’s not that we’re smarter or know the trade any better, but once you spend 90 days on a Laker piloting three rivers and making up to 3 docks a day you tend to learn how to work hard and deal with little sleep. </div><br><div> I’ve served aboard 3 Lakes vessels and the one Seabulk Tanker, I’ve never had a negative review. The best advice I can give you is; work hard, be early, ask questions (at appropriate times), and always be willing to learn. I’ve also heard a few officers comment that some of the other cadets aren’t willing to learn from the unlicensed guys or work beside them. It’s a fine line, but I can tell you the Chief Mate had me work with the QMED pumpman the first few weeks I was aboard the Tanker because he knew I could learn more form him than anyone else on the ship, and I did.</div><br><div>Happy Sailing </div>