19 down, 2 to go

Thursday, December 6th, 2007 at 18:47 | by Alistair Baillie

Not quite yet, but 2 weeks today I shall be back home in Scotland for the Christmas holidays.

Anyway this week, and last week was pretty much the same as all the others except I handed in the first of two meteorology assignments on Monday. The second is due a week on Monday along with my voyage planning passage plan.

With the exception of Stability and Meteorology (and Cargo since that’s just 4 assignments with no lectures) the other two classes have been pretty pointless, not teaching us anything new, since they taught us all the stuff they cover last year! I know it’s a new course but you would think somebody might have noticed that the content of these 2 classes was already covered last year and in some cases we were examined on it at the end of last year! Not entirely a moan though, since at least its hopefully easy marks :).

I got my “Directed Learning” stuff returned to me this week, Directed Learning covers the stuff that the college requires you to complete while you are onboard ship, in the form of reports, as well as looking at your Operations & Navigation workbook which is submitted to the MCA prior to your Orals examination.

Unlike the HND course we don’t have set reports to complete as part of our MNTB Record Book but we really end up doing them anyway as part of the Operations workbook since it’s the easiest way to prove you at least know the theory of why and how a task is done.

I have a small selection of questions that some people asked, so I am going to go over them over the next few entries (it gives me something to write about), starting off with one of the questions James asked in a comment;

1) At Warsash/onboard your ship, is it useful to have a laptop? Are you able to get internet access at Warsash and at sea (presumably all for a fee)? Oooh, and is it helpful to bring a small printer, to print assignments etc out – or don’t people really do that?

I found it useful to have a laptop at college and onboard ship. There are computers in the library at college which are available when there’s space while the library is open but there’s not much room and I find it a lot easier to work in peace and quiet on my own anyway.

Onboard ship I suppose it depends upon the ship and how good your handwriting is. My writing is terrible and I chose to type my operations and navigation workbook, while we had computers on the bridge, deck office and admin offices these tended to be used by the other officers and it would have been a bit of a hassle to keep using them.

Internet access is free throughout the accommodation blocks at Warsash (you need a cable) and is free in the library (wireless if you happen to have your own laptop). You can also use the computers and wireless networks at the Solent University main campus in Southampton.

Onboard ship internet access will depend upon the ship and company you are with; A few of my fellow cadets only had company email access onboard the ship – as in they could only send and receive email from a specific account. Having said that if it’s a cruise ship chances are it will have wireless and wired internet access for the passengers and it’s usually available to crew for a fee. Some of the ports also have wireless networks you can use (such as Barcelona’s World Trade Centre berth) for free. If it’s just checking email most don’t mind you using the computers on the bridge to check your email for free.

Printers, I wouldn’t haul one out to the ship though as the ship will have at least one onboard and you’re as well just to use that. Make sure you take a USB flash stick with you though.

At college since you live locally it might be worthwhile but you can always just print your assignments in the library.

I’ll answer the other questions in no particular order over the next few entries, so far I have these questions;

  • What’s the accommodation like onboard?
  • What is the Operations and Navigation workbook?
  • Is there a list of things you need to do onboard?
  • What’s an average day at college like?
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