Since my last entry I have predominantly been at Warsash completing my phase 3 studying; stability, cargo operations, maritime law, ship operations, and manoeuvring. This took from mid-September to just after Easter. I found this phase very interesting as it reinforced and expanded the knowledge that I picked up whilst at sea. Phase 3 was hard work, with some long days studying. However, it does mean that all of my written exams are out of the way for the rest of my cadet ship.
During this phase I was invited to be a member of the Colour Party for the Merchant Navy Medal Awards at Trinity House in London. This is a fantastic event to celebrate people’s dedication and success within the Merchant Navy. People received medals for lifelong service, and a few people for rescue efforts for refugees in the Mediterranean. The Merchant Navy Medal Award Association day was a very important as it is the first time the medal has been awarded as a nationally recognised. Because of this the Master of Trinity House Her Royal Highness Princess Anne attended the ceremony. After the ceremony there was a small reception which gave a fantastic opportunity to meet the medal recipients and other members of all areas of the Merchant Navy. During this time I had the honour of being introduced to HRH Princess Anne, for a short conversation about my cadet ship.
After finishing this phase, I had a few weeks off before joining ship. I spent some of this time in London being sworn into the Honourable Company of Master Mariners (HCMM). HCMM is a livery company which takes on cadets as apprentices and designates a Master Mariner to be a mentor who offers career support and advice. The event took place on board HQS Wellington on the river Thames. The day consisted of a short ceremony, lunch aboard and a tour of the vessel, which is steeped in history, and finally a few drinks in the wardroom, which was a great opportunity to network with other seafarers. It was a wonderful afternoon in an amazing location with some great weather for the occasion too. I now have a mentor from HCMM whom I keep in contact with during my training and discuss my career or anything maritime related, drawing on his knowledge and experience from his career. I will be paired with my mentor until I gain my Masters ticket myself, at this point I can take apprentices on myself.
I am currently serving on board B-Gas Superior, which is an LPG ship of 3720t (deadweight). The vessel operates in the Mediterranean and North Sea. I joined in Pembroke, Wales then sailed to Portugal, Sicily and Morocco. The operation on board is vastly different compared to my first two ships as I have never worked with cargo before. Our cargo is liquefied butane and I am really enjoying learning how to handle this cargo safely.
I will probably be spending three to four months on board this ship in total, before a couple of weeks of leave and will then be assigned to another ship.