Sailing as 2M

It’s looking like I might be getting my first 2M job when I head back to work in a little bit. Any tips on things to bring (i.e. colored sharpies, whiteout, etc.) or any good references about voyage planning that anybody knows of?

Coloring pencils, crayons, coloring books, fart pillow, silly putty, silly string, that should be enough to keep you entertained for some time, other than that bring a good attitude and willingness to do the job and you will be fine,

2M job is not bad, most ships you are on the bridge for docking and undocking so you will see lots of shiphandling. Keeping your charts and pubs up to date is the most critical. Hopefully your counterpart has everything in good order, if not then you can organize as you want. The bridge is your domain - everything from ordering charts, filling wet bulb reservoir, checking gyro error to changing nav light bulbs. Take personal responsibility for keeping everything squared away and you will shine. I made sure the windows were clean prior to getting underway or entering port, the coffee mess was ready, flags out and bell book filled out properly. If you have time, read the manuals on the GPS and AIS. You will be very involved with both. Good luck and congrats on your new position.

[B]“any good references about voyage planning that anybody knows of?”[/B]

[B][U]IMHO[/U][/B]…if voyage planning is a “concern”…that should be contained in the vessel’s SMS…if not PM me and I will dig “something” out of my “archive”…I believe there is at least a form of sorts??

as far as chart correction…all that should be aboard as well…but spare chart card(s) chart correction kit, gel pen assortment (magenta is important), glue pen and correction fluid might be a good idea…have known mates that carried a tackle box full of “stuff”…“make your chart work art work”…it is all in how far you want to take it??

Here’s my take, based on my experience: unless this is an absolutely brand new ship, all the chart correction supplies you need will probably be aboard (as previously mentioned). In addition to what’s been mentioned, here’s some more stuff you should make sure you have on hand: extra pair (or two) of triangles, extra dividers (you’d be surprised how often they snap!), and the “rub-on” chart correction symbols. You really shouldn’t need to bring any of these items–if the company refuses to purchase these supplies that’s probably a company you don’t want to work for!

Also make sure there’s plenty of tape. Not all companies permit taping the chart, but if they do, it’s very handy to have the route taped over–makes it easier to erase. I have also used a product called “repro-film”–it’s basically a clear film that you can write (or print) on. Also, taping the edges of charts with filament tape will do wonders for making them last longer.

If you’re relieving someone who’s a regular with the company, you’ll probably be fine. Unless you’re in the tramp trade, there are probably plenty of voyage plans aboard for the various routes you may take. In the end, most of the heavy work has probably already been done for you.

The best advice I ever got when sailing 2nd mate was get up early and be available before noon. Typicality the second mate is on the midwatch and often sleep till their call for the noon watch and then work on voyage planning late in the afternoon. Better to get up at 9 am or so, this is when routes and schedules get changed and problems arise with documentation etc. If you are up then you will be more engaged with ship operations.

Thanks guys - good tips. Now it’s looking like it may not happen. Oh well - that’s what I get for putting the cart before the horse I suppose. Next time.