I’ll be shipping out of Toledo on Thursday at 1500. I’m all packed and ready to go. I’ll be an OS. What’s the best advice you can give someone going out their first time?
If you have questions, don’t assume. Ask.
Maintain a positive attitude, work hard.
Don’t be late for your watch.
Be a team player.
Have thick skin. It sucks being the new guy so just remind yourself it won’t be forever. Doing tasks without being told to do so first and a good attitude go a long way.
Everything @ctony said and I would add. Act like you know what the job of a seaman is but don’t act like you know everything about being a seaman. Be open to learning and let them know if you haven’t done something before. Once you are taught the process, master it quick. No one likes to do repetitive training when it comes to seamanship skills. Good luck
Make friends with an experienced AB and learn what you can. Dont be afraid to ask questions.
Just be willing to do anything, learn anything, and don’t get into any drama. That’s the quickest way to get run off. Bring appropriate clothing/ gear, be where you should be before you need to be there. Stay motivated and seek advancement. The worst deckhand is the one with no ambition.
Where I work it boils down to this:
Be the first man on deck and the last man off.
Work your ass off.
Keep your mouth shut. If you think you have a better way of doing things, keep it to yourself.
Don’t listen to the guy who is always whining. Negativity destroys the spirit and cripples the intellect.
Win at cribbage, lose at poker (if money is involved).
Don’t carry your cell phone on watch.
This looks like solid gold advice, top to bottom.
Don’t run with scissors and don’t believe everything everyone tells you.
Don’t be afraid to put in some time off the clock learning some basic skills. Make sure you can tie a bowline, a clove hitch, and can coil a heaving line. Keep those eyes on a constant swivel and take in everything that’s going on. Great Lakes shipping is fast paced for the most part. Learn your job as fast as you can, do it well and you’ll be fine. Drag your feet or show little ambition and the deck crew will leave you in the dust and await the next greenhorn to show up to replace you.
Hell, I used to play cribbage for money, too. Dollar a game, penny a point. . . .