Thursday, 19 May 2011

This way, that way, forwards and backwards.....

...over the Irish Sea. But there's no rum, nor is there cider. This makes me a little bit sad.

I'm on a ferry now, twice a day we go Dublin to Holyhead and back, it's not the most exciting run I must admit, but it's something different, and it's only for 6 weeks so I've a lot to learn in a short time. Technically, this is a ro-pax, i.e. we take cars, vans, lorries and anything else on wheels, and passengers back and forth to Ireland. What this means for me is a chance to get some of the cargo work stuff in my record book signed off and short watches :) I'm on day shifts at the moment, so I'm waking up at 0630, crawling out of my pit at 0645 and having breakfast at 0700. Loading starts at 0720 and we're letting go by 0820, after that there's time for a quick cuppa and then I head to the bridge for watch. By 1200 we're all tied up in Dublin and it's time for lunch, after that it all starts again, going in the opposite direction.

It will get a bit more interesting, in a few weeks we're going into dry dock, so I'll have a lot of chances to go crawling around in spaces that you wouldn't normally see, (and do lots of reports on everything too... deep, deep joy...). There are other benefits too, all British crew, satellite TV that works, my own cabin with TV, and.... free internet!!!! If only I had more to write about.....


  1. Hiya, I have been reading your blog and it is so interesting and your photos are just lovely. My daughter is very interested in becoming a deck cadet and has joined the forum to learn more. By coincidence we live in North Wales and were thinking of taking a day trip to Dublin while she is home on study leave from college at the end of May. If we do would it be possible to meet up and chat over ferry coffee? It would be invaluable for her to learn about what you do.

  2. Thank you, I'm glad it's useful! I'm sure I could find some time :) Email me at size4riggerboots at gmail dot com

  3. Brilliant, have emailed you :~) thanks

  4. So pleased you sound a bit happier than on the last ship.
    Wish I had had a chance to get a go on the ferries in my days - I might even have liked it.
    Deep sea for me only I'm afraid. General cargo for the first 10 years then into the real big ships for the next 20 or so after that.
    Ferries are probably a good bet for lassies,- all things considered.


  5. I loved that ship in the end, as I said in my last post, it's all about who you have on board.

    There are good bits and bad bits to being on a ferry, it's repetitive (although life on any ship gets repetitive) and the scenery doesn't change much, but I'm enjoying being a cadet on my own, rather than being one half of a cadet unit. I do really want to get some cargo experience in on my next trip though, many people reckon cruise ships and ferries aren't 'real ships' and before I decide which sector I want to work in when I'm qualified I would like to try it on for size.

    I'm most intrigued by your last comment Retired, would you care to elaborate?


  6. Ah now that comment was made because one day no doubt (but maybe not) you will end up with children - who really will need their mother reasonably close, reasonably near to them, and not in far off places for long periods of time.
    The same could be said for their fathers, but somehow when it comes to kids - they can't do without their mothers reasonably close - maybe where they can see them briefly every day, or every 2nd day perhaps, - that sort of thing.
    That's what I meant, in the main.
    You may not agree, but it's what an old fashioned guy like me believes.
    Ferries are real ships - we can't do without them - they serve us well - be sure to keep it that way.
    Cruise ships are real ships too, I suppose, - you can quickly turn them into troop ships, passenger liners, and hospital ships too, when required. Not what I'd call productive or essential when in the cruise mode - although they serve a purpose no doubt - just not the best purpose - perhaps.
    Some cargo time will be fine for you, and will no doubt occur in due course, but busses, cars, trucks, caravans - well they are cargo for sure.
    You say you start loading about 1 hour before sailing -tell us how you secure them, what the vehicle decks are like, - and what about the "Bow Visor" - if you have one - do you monitor it closely, - and how ?
    Sounds like you are kept pretty busy - which is always a good thing.

    Retired (Shipmaster)

  7. Children may or may not happen, but until such time as then, I fully intend to have a career a little further afield.

  8. O.K. - very good.
    It is also therefore very good to have a ferry for your C.V. - just in case.
    Make the best impression you can - yoa may wish to return one day - and I rather suspect that eventuality will likely materialise.
    With a Ferry on your C.V. at least it gives you a chance.
    Go for it lassie !!!
    I'm not teaching you to suck eggs, just commenting on facts which sometimes get lost in the rush - being run off your feet, - that sort of thing.
    None of my business of course - just a few comments, that's all.

    Retired :)