A young officer might feel quite
helpless in the new surroundings. He might have grasped all the minute details
about a ship and even the disasters it might encounter during navigation.
Knowledge is of course essential but experience is not just knowledge.
Familiarity of a subject, say, shipping, does not make one necessarily familiar
with the surrounding situation. He does need a mentor to see him through the
unknown faces of professional life, rather unknown dimensions of the
professional life with confidence without fear. A mentor at the right moment is
a blessing for a novice, for a baffled beginner. And gCaptain has brought out
excellent tips for a deck officer to get started on a right note. Behind each
tip offered there is rich practical experience, abstracted from the very
living. In fact the experience that help frame the tip can be described but
then, all put together will grow into a very good book of useful Guideline for
the deck officer. Of course, tips are as they should be, simple, direct and
forceful. Sometime there is very faint humour but a factual statement. For
example, the very first tip directs the deck officer to find a great mentor
aboard the ship, and if ‘you can’t, find a new ship’. Refined humour but at the
same time deep pragmatism. Let us see other refreshing tips offered to the
young deck officer.
A great mentor may be a bosun, engineer and sometimes a cook.
does not increase when you are promoted.
time in the engine-room.
everything you learned on your last ship.
everything your last ship taught you.
the 3 B’s:
-The Bosun-The Baker -The Best Engineer
a sunrise or sunset.
pen, paper, and extra flashlight everywhere.
If you say
you will do something, write it down and cross it off when finished.
screw-up but stay silent when you are exceptionally proud of your work.
fresh air, fresh breath and fresh ideas you find at sea.
your own bed every morning
Chief Mate’s job easier.
job, thy ship and thyself.
is not your best friend or worst enemy. Sleep is!
toward your waypoint even when you make no way.
chronometer wound, your sextant corrected and the magnetic compass tuned
because you might never need them.
captain more often than necessary. The good ones will appreciate it and the bad
ones will be annoyed.
things most likely to end your career are ignoring the COLREGS, ignoring the
Captain’s orders and ignoring the warning signs that you are about to marry the
item is in reverse order.
telling a sea-story ask yourself three questions:
-Is it a great story?
-Are you sure?
Find new sea stories.