Joe Douglass, the cadet sponsored by JLT Specialty under the Maritime London Officer Cadet Scholarship (MLOCS) scheme gives us an update on his progress.
I have just completed phase four of training as part of my cadetship to qualify as an officer of the watch. I have spent this time on two Carnival UK cruise ships, Ventura and Aurora, of the P&O Cruises fleet.
I joined Ventura (116,017 GRT) in December 2016 in Southampton. The Canary Islands is a frequent cruise for this ship, taking over 3,000 passengers there all year round. I started by working with the Deck Coxswains during the day to get to know the ship, and then on the eight to twelve and four to eight watches on the bridge, driving under supervision of the officers.
Early last year the ship embarked on a long cruise to the Caribbean, which gave me the opportunity to work on a celestial navigation project crossing the Atlantic.
In June 2017 I joined Aurora (76,152 GRT) for four months. I started with hands-on deck work with the sailors and then spent the remainder of the trip working on the four to eight watch which is great for arrivals and departures. I had the opportunity to co-navigate the ship under supervision in and out of a variety of ports which was a brilliant experience.
The work has been incredibly varied. I took part in all kinds of emergency drills, fast rescue boat driving, hosting guest lunches, navigation planning, mooring operations and anchoring as well as learning how to drive the ship. My sea time is now complete and I am back at Warsash Maritime Academy in Southampton. I have a further six months to complete my studies, culminating in an oral examination and written exams with the MCA.
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