Phase 3, Semester 2, Week 3

Wednesday, February 20th, 2008 at 15:03 | by Alistair Baillie

Well I think it’s now the end of week 3 of this semester (the college has a weird week numbering system where apparently this is week 30??).

Last week was relatively normal; we ended up having Tuesday off so a group of us went Ice Skating down in Gosport.

Leading on from the last entry, the engineering lectures that we are getting are a brief introduction to ships engines, steering and other pretty important systems onboard. Nothing too detailed, but just enough so that we know the basic limitations and whether the engineers are lying to us or not 🙂

Everything else has been pretty much the usual so I think I’ll answer one of the questions from the list I have.

How do you know what you have to do onboard the ship?

In simple terms you pretty much do whatever you are told to do. We do have a book which contains tasks which we have to get signed off called the “MNTB Training Record Book” (TRB). The tasks within it are split into sections; Safety, Maintenance, Bridge Watch keeping & Navigation, Ship Operations, Mooring and Anchoring, Operational Management. You are required to have every task within the TRB signed off as both “Progressing” and “Proficient” by the end of your cadetship. In most cases this means you’ll have just over 14 months to complete it.

The tasks within it are vague and have to be applied to work you carry out onboard the ship, so by simply doing day to day work onboard the ship you can get a large majority of them signed off (I have some examples of the types of tasks below). At the moment I have all my maintenance ones signed off as proficient and one or two of the navigation tasks as well, so I still have plenty to do when I return to sea!

So, examples of some of the tasks are;

  • Demonstrate an ability to undertake the role of any emergency team member in an accommodation drill.
  • Undertake routine or non-routine inspection and maintenance of fittings, equipment and machinery in relation to; survival craft and equipment, davits and launching equipment.
  • Relieve and hand over the watch in accordance with laid down practices and procedures.
  • Steer the ship for at least 10 hours, excluding periods of instruction…
  • Demonstrate an ability to compare compasses and check errors by amplitudes and azimuths of the sun, moon, planet and stars.
  • Assist in taking on fresh water.
  • Demonstrate an ability to take charge of anchoring operations.

These are just a random selection of the tasks from the various sections, but to sum it up, the tasks cover pretty much everything you need to know and be capable of doing onboard the ship.

On the foundation degree route (the new version of the HND course basically), we do not have a list of essays or reports to complete. We have to complete an Operations and Navigations Workbook where we decide what to write about and what format we wish to use.

I chose to do the navigation workbook kind of like a diary but in report format. The Operations workbook is similar although it’s mainly just reports about particular tasks that have been done, although you could end up writing reports for every task in your TRB as it’s the easiest way to show that you are proficient at the tasks, or at least have a full theoretical understanding of how it should be done.

We also have “directed learning” reports which are issued by the college to be completed while you are onboard the ship. This is a series of 4 reports and 1 final reflective report on your sea time which you have to complete while onboard the ship and submit to the college for assessment once you return from each sea phase. Everyone gets different reports but mine were on; the weather and watertight arrangements onboard the ship; the procedures used during passage planning; the use of GPS and other electronic navigation aids and the loading of ships stores and how the ISPS and ISM code affects it.

On re-reading this it is kind of random but makes sense to me, so I apologise if it doesn’t make sense to you.

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