Week 4: All done

Friday, October 6th, 2006 at 14:03 | by Alistair Baillie

Well, this has been the first week of proper classes, and so far has been fairly interesting. Tuesday started off with Tides, which as the name suggests deals with the tides, and calculating under keel clearance, clearance under bridges, tide tables and how to actually read them, and how to work out the various calculations and calculate the predicted depth anywhere on a chart at any time of the day.

This lecture was followed by Wet Cargo which deals with any type of liquid cargo, such as oil and LNG. For a cruise ship person, its not very interesting or relevant but is a requirement of the MCA, and if you ever move from cruise ships its very important as loading cargo incorrectly can have disastrous consequences.

Then we had Celestial Positioning which deals with navigating using the planetary bodies. It looks like its possibly going to be the most difficult as it requires lots of calculations to work out where you are, but so far we have just had a quick summary of the course.

That was followed by the dumbest class ever, “Spiral Induction”, I can see the point if you had never been to university before, but even then, its crap, and since a large number have degrees already it’s a bit pointless putting it in our syllabus – they could at least make it optional instead of boring us all to death learning how to use Google, and how to take effective lecture notes.

Then came Wednesday, we started the day with Navigation Aids which deals with the different electronic systems on the bridge such as radar, GPS, DGPS, etc. This was followed by Terrestrial Positioning which is about how to chart your position, and calculate distances based on longitude and latitude. Then it was a lovely afternoon off, or so we all thought, but they stuck a surprise lecture on Buoyage in after realising that none of us knew anything about them, and it’s kind of vital for chart work. It was interesting and I know at least know what all the buoys and there various flashing lights mean. Its also quite good that the entire world is standardised under region A – except those damn Americans being difficult and wanting to colour their’s the opposite way from the rest of the world, so we now have Region B (USA and areas with US connections), and Region A (The rest of the world, including parts of the Caribbean and Canada).

Thursday started off with Law which was alright, it wasn’t the best subject but it wasn’t particularly boring, and was followed by “Dry Cargo and Passengers” where we just watched a video for 40 minutes then went for lunch and finished up for the day.

Today the extremely lucky group 2 had the day off and group 3 only had 1 class first thing in the morning! I, being in group 1 had Stability at 1040 where the lecturer went over what we would be doing – basically learning how to do stability calculations and centres of gravity. We did learn that cruise ships have high centres of gravity and are therefore unstable when compared with an oil tanker which has a low centre of gravity and rights itself a lot quicker. This is intentionally by design so that cruise ships have a gentle sway, as opposed to sharp rocking.

Stability was followed by a reasonably useless class called Study Skills, although it wasn’t all that bad – basically it’s all about team working and is not what you want to be doing last thing on a Friday afternoon when everyone else has gone home!

Unless anything particularly interesting happens I might not update daily for the next few weeks, but I will aim to update on a Friday afternoon at least, since there’s no point in creating loads of entries saying “Today I did this…”

Ohh, and if you haven’t already, please sign my guest book in the “Me” section of the web site.

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