20 down, 1 to go

Saturday, December 15th, 2007 at 13:59 | by Alistair Baillie

We’ll that’s me just finished the second Meteorology coursework assignment and my passage plan assessment for Voyage Planning all ready to be handed in on Monday with 24 hours to spare :).

That leaves only 4 assignments remaining, all of which are due the first week back in January. Two of them are cargo loading exercises – one is loading a bulk carrier the other a tanker, both of which are all finished, printed and waiting to be handed in. Of the remaining two, 1 is Stability and is “in progress” the other is a group exercise where we are loading a dry cargo ship, which has at least been looked at, but was put aside by all of us until the earlier assignments where finished.

On Thursday I will be flying home to Scotland for the Christmas break which is just over 2 weeks long.

Continuing on from the last entry today’s question and answer is;

What is the accommodation like onboard (and at college)?

During you’re first phase at college you are required to stay on campus (with some exceptions if your company and college agree otherwise). The college accommodation for most phase 1 cadets is shared with 1 other person. Most of the rooms have bunk beds but some have separate beds.

They also contain two cupboards and a large desk with room for both of you. There is also plenty of plugs and 2 network sockets so that you can connect your laptop (or computer) to the college network and the internet.

In later phases there is no requirement to remain on site. In fact I and the majority of my fellow phase are living in Southampton at one of the Unite Student accommodations. We travel in either by car or on the free campus bus service which runs between Solent University and Warsash Monday to Friday.

Living in Southampton for us has some advantages in that you’re in the city, you have your own room, it’s cheaper than the cost of living at Warsash, you can choose who your flatmates will be and you have a kitchen!

Disadvantages are that you have to commute to college. Although on the foundation degree route you only do around 12 hours of lectures per week.

At sea the accommodation will vary depending upon the ship and company you are with. It even varies within the company on different ships.

Crew Cabin onboard Island Star

Some cadets will have their own cabins with large double beds; others will be sharing a room with another cadet depending upon the ship. I think its safe to say that those on cruise ships will be sharing with another cadet (if there is one onboard) in a relatively small cabin – unless you’re on one of the new ships with larger cabins. Those on cargo ships are probably more likely to find themselves with there own cabins. If sharing a cabin will bother you, you may want to try and locate some cadets with the company you are applying too and ask them what its like.

My cabin on Island Star was an inside cabin on deck 5 right at the front of the ship. It was a twin cabin (bunk beds) although I was very lucky as 3 cadets joined originally and ended up with my own cabin for around 3 months. I did have to share with an engine cadet when he joined for around a month before he was moved to his own and then the last couple of weeks I had to move in with the other deck cadet as there weren’t enough spare cabins onboard.

The cabin was basic with a TV, air conditioning, bunk beds with curtains around them so you could have privacy an en suite bathroom with shower, 2 wardrobes and storage drawers under the bed. I also had a cabin steward who cleaned it, got my uniform laundered and changed the towels.

So until next time – when I will probably be home, Merry Christmas.

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