Officer’s Log: Getting promoted is good, but…

Enjoy your position, quote Passengers, learn, focus, autopilot mode once you know your staff

We have always been taught to need to advance, to improve our lives but, since the industrial revolution, the meaning of this improving has become the rank you have on a company or the money you made on it.

People has forgotten that the work you are doing or the money you are making ALWAYS can be better so, what is the point of worrying about your position or your salary (on a rational level, mates).

When I joined the merchant navy, I joined for becoming captain but, while I was studying, my classmates and I discovered the figure of the Harbor pilot. This figure has usually been described as “someone who has more power on the bridge and make more money than the Captain” (please, don’t consider this description as true).

Once we knew that, automatically we wanted to become pilots.

Now that I have spent some time at sea, I can’t stop thinking that none of us thought about the cadet position, or the 3rd officer position, or the 2nd officer position, neither the chief officer position.

It is good to put your aspiration up with the stars, but you shouldn’t forget to put your feet on each step, slowly, firmly.

The way I think now is that, after more than a year as 2nd officer, I know how to carry out my job so know I can focus on learning deeply about the procedures regarding my position, the rest of the things that are related to my vessel and, also, the job of the higher and inferior workers on my vessel. Summarizing, know that I know how to do my job, I can enjoy learning many things so, what’s the point on hurrying up to reach the next position?

I am writing this words because I found many colleagues that, as soon as they get theirs Chief Officers CoC they want to get the position, and most even think that they deserve it as if they know already everything…

For me, I like to live according to one quote I heard on the film “Passengers”:

You can’t get so hung up on where you’d rather be that you forget to make the most of where you are

Officer’s Log: Vessel on anchorage with poor visibility

While I was on anchorage, in a situation with strong rain, the visibility was less than a mile. For this reason, I decided to inform captain about the situation and I called him to his Office.

Captain came to the bridge and evaluated the situation. Then, testing me, he asked me which was the signal for a vessel on anchorage on a poor visibility situation. That question was a tramp in case you haven’t realized it yet.

I answered without hesitation that we should put a signal that, on intervals on not more than 2 minutes, will sound with one short blast, one long blast and another short blast, but, if we go to the COLREG’s rule 35 (g), we can read:

A vessel at anchor shall at intervals of not more than one minute ring the bell rapidly for about 5 seconds. In a vessel of 100 m or more in length the bell shall be sounded in the forepart of the vessel and immediately after the ringing of the bell the gong shall be sounded rapidly for about 5 seconds in the after part of the vessel. A vessel at anchor may in addition sound three blasts in succession, namely one short, one prolonged and one short blast, to give warning of her position and of the possibility of collision to an approaching vessel.

Lesson learned: Blasts is only if a vessel is approaching, it is not necessary to put them if you are alone, you will only get yourself killed by your crew mates because they cannot sleep. Keep the bell ringing sounding and a sharp lookout on AIS, RADAR and by eyesight and only put blasts when needed.