Sea Year Partner question

Discussion in 'Merchant Marine Academy - USMMA' started by shutterbugC, Jun 15, 2011.

  1. shutterbugC

    shutterbugC Member

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    My DS has found himself partnerless because of the partner's grades. The partner failed a class. Will they (KP) re-assign my DS with another partner? Will the partner that is not going now, do summer school and then meet my DS at sea? Will my DS just be alone for the whole 4 months.

    Just wondering since my DS didn't have any answers.
     
  2. OldAirForce

    OldAirForce Member

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    Son went at least once without a sea partner.
     
  3. kpmom2013

    kpmom2013 Member

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    The answer is it depends. As you might imagine, your DS is not the only one in this situation. Failing a class is not uncommon. Sometimes they match mids up with other mids who have lost their partner in the same situation. Sometimes they send them out solo. Having the summer school mid catch up to the ship is iffy because of cost to get to wherever the ship is. If it is nearby, that might happen. Do not worry about your DS if they send him solo. The mids do no spend much time together anyway because one is in the engine room and one is on the bridge. He will be well cared for. Your DS's ATR is the one to ask. Semper gumby is of highest importance during sea year.
     
  4. nmlcfp

    nmlcfp Member

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    Summer school sea partners

    My DS went to Summer school after plebe year and went to sea right after with another Mid who was also at Summer school. It wasn't a big deal and he got all of his sea days.
     
  5. KPEngineer

    KPEngineer Eternal Father ...

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    I was that sea partner who ended up in summer school and missed my first ship. I ended up with a different sea partner on my first ship, and sailed alone on my second. I found pros and cons to each, and actually chose to go it alone my second sea year. As KPmom said, I barely noticed since I was always so busy either working or studying. The only time I missed having a sea partner was going ashore in port. The reality though is that in a 150 sea days there could only be a dozen or so port days.

    The thing I liked about flying solo was that I felt like I was mbetter integrated with the rest of the crew. I felt like an actual crew member instead of just the cadet. I think it gave me a truer sense of life at sea.
     
  6. wacom

    wacom Member

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    I think ShutterbugC was wondering what the protocol was or if there was a protocol for single M/N's and sea year.
     
  7. shutterbugC

    shutterbugC Member

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    Yes, Wacom is correct.
    KPMOM2013, I did ask my DS to ask his ATR and he already had asked. The ATR said, "You will have a ship when you have a ship". So much for answers. Now he was suppose to be home for 2.5 weeks and we were going to go camping. Now my DS is saying no to camping cause he has to wait on call for the ATR to tell him when he is leaving. Bummer. A little heads up would be nice. That is all.
     
  8. kp2001

    kp2001 USMMA Alumnus

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    Unfortunately shipping schedules can change by the hour at times. The ATR is looking to get the m/n the most days at sea as possible, so it may mean that a ship that was going to come into port tomorrow now gets diverted to a completely different port or maybe gets delayed a bit.

    I had this happen to me when joining a ship in Houston. Tug sank in the middle of the channel effectively closing it to all traffic for about two days. My ship wasn't able to come in and caused a few problems for me.

    Anyway, it definitely would be nice to know in advance, unfortunately it's not always possible.
     
  9. cmakin

    cmakin Member

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    I sailed solo on 1/3 of my cadet voyages. Like you, I kind of liked going it alone for that very same reason. I didn't mind going ashore without another cadet, either. I often did that even when I had a partner. Of course, times were a bit different and I was on a couple of break bulk ships. There was a bit more time in port on those than, say, the RO/ROs I also sailed on.
     
  10. KPEngineer

    KPEngineer Eternal Father ...

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    shutterbug ... so did your DS already have an assignment and now doesn't because his sea partner can't go on schedule? That's a little surprising. I suppose he could have had the option to do so, but your DS's training shouldn't be affected by someone else's academics. Myself, I would be calling my ATR daily trying to get out to sea as early as possible. The sooner you get out, the sooner you get back and the more time you have to finish sea projects.

    CMakin ... not many break bulks left, but the one I got on was the best ship I sailed on. This ship wasn't much for creature comforts, but you can't beat two days in Maui or Kauai. I would have felt bad for my deck sea partner if I had one since he would have had to work cargo while all us Engineers went ashore ... he he he, not really.
     
  11. cmakin

    cmakin Member

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    Yeah, I was fortunate to have sailed on two of them. The MONTANA and the LESLIE LYKES. The MONTANA was newer and had all of the latest creature comforts; individual cadet cabins with a common head (although I was solo on that one). Not the best riding ship, but since I don't get seasick, adhering to the "gear adrift" principles from indoc and later prevented any real problems. Two days or more in most ports. Had a great time in Bugo. We were there almost a week. Lots more in Manila when the company went bankrupt.

    A year later I was on the LESLIE. Shared a cabin with the deck cadet, but he was a real good shipmate. Still plenty of time in port. I think that the shortest stay was either in Pusan or Keelung, and they were both two solid days.

    I am still involved in the business, but shoreside. It has changed so much from those days. I am glad I was a part of it back then, though.

    Sea Year was the time where I could really see what going to sea was all about. It also made the rest of the time at school go by, since I knew then that it was a price to pay for something that I enjoyed. I really don't remember stressing too much over the sea project, but I did get it done.

    Yeah, an exciting time, to be sure.
     
  12. shutterbugC

    shutterbugC Member

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    You are correct. He had a partner that failed a class and was told about 2 or 3 days ago that he was now partnerless. He asked his ATR about his ship and was told he would have a ship when he has a ship.

    Now we wait for news. He is not one to bug someone for answers so should he call his ATR everyday like it was suggested? Or just wait until they call him.:confused:

    Thanks
     
  13. deepdraft1

    deepdraft1 Master, Ocean Steam or Motor Vessels, unlimited

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    [FONT=&quot]It's not at all unusual to be the lone cadet onboard.. I've even seen cadets come aboard in a pair but leave singly. Now with the 60 day commercial sea time requirement for state academies, a lone KP cadet might even find that he's sailing with a cadet from a state school. Both my sons had that happen to them. My older KP son twice sailed with state maritime cadets and my younger CMA son sailed a voyage with a Kings Point cadet.
    [/FONT]
    I agree 100% and I don't think it can be stressed enough..
    [FONT=&quot]
    Two great ports where you could go ashore and have fun..:shake::eek:.. Did you pay off in 'rope yarns'?
    Was the LESLIE LYKES a Gulf Pacer or Gulf Pride class? I'm pretty sure she wasn't a Far East Clipper. I think she may have been a Pacer. One of those weird configured C-5's with number 5 hatch right in the middle of the house. I never sailed on a Pacer, but I remember ‘night mating’ a couple of them.
    You got that right! Sadly, the maritime industry I started in 36 years ago is in a lot of ways unrecognizable to me now..[/FONT]
     
  14. Lynpar

    Lynpar Member

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    Deep draft, in laymen's terms, what is so different about the industry now? What do you miss? What if anything has improved as you see it? In 20 or 30 years do you foresee today's M/N missing their "good ol' days"? Thanks for the information. It is very interesting to hear the opinions of this who have gone before.
     
  15. deepdraft1

    deepdraft1 Master, Ocean Steam or Motor Vessels, unlimited

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    [FONT=&quot]
    Here are a few of the BIGGEST differences since I started going to sea:[/FONT]

    • [FONT=&quot]Reduced crew complement and increased workload. Ships use to have larger crews. Crew size on the average freighter when I started out was around 40. Now crew size is 20 to 22. What the ‘bean counters’ in company management refers to as ‘effective manning’. While the type of work the crew does has shifted in many respects, it has never really been reduced. Ships keep getting larger and there's more work that needs to be done. Back in the 80’s after I went from being a ‘dayworking’ to a ‘watchstanding’ Chief Mate on APL’s demanding West Asia shuttle service I used to work from 4 in the morning to 8 at night for 84 days straight (three 28 day trips). The pace was unrelenting. I had a lot to contend with. There was the heat in the Middle East, IO, South China Sea, and Malacca-Singapore, short sea runs with much of the time spent navigating in very congested waters, almost continuous cargo ops when in port, mooring and unmooring at god awful hours, supervising the unlicensed deck gang and dealing with vessel deck M&R issues. The long flights to and from the US west coast to Singapore, where we changed over, was no picnic either. At the end of my rotation I was pretty well burned out. It's definitely a young mans game. Over 20 years later nothing has really changed except the ‘Mate’ is expected to do even more. I think the issue of crew fatigue will become a much bigger problem in the very near future given normal vessel's operational tempo coupled with an ever increasing work load.[/FONT]

    • [FONT=&quot]Ship power plants. Ships used to be mostly steam powered. Now the vast majority are diesel powered, generally faster and more highly automated. [/FONT]

    • [FONT=&quot]Ship size. Ships have gotten much bigger and they're lifting [/FONT][FONT=&quot]ENORMOUS[/FONT][FONT=&quot] amounts of cargo. Many containerships now are post-Panamax size well over 1000 feet in length and over 130 feet in the beam. The new Maersk ‘Triple E’ class ‘box boats’, scheduled for delivery between 2013 and 2015, are over 1,300 feet in length with a beam of nearly 200 feet and will draw around 48 feet when loaded. They will have a container capacity of 18,000 TEU (twenty foot equivalent unit). In comparison the first containership I sailed on was 500 feet in length and had a capacity of 270 TEU. My last ship before I retired was just over 700 feet in length with a beam of 104 feet with a container capacity of 2,600 TEU and she was considered smaller than average. [/FONT]

    • [FONT=&quot]Computers and automation. Computers are everywhere and do almost everything. We do payroll, purchasing and inventory, weather routing, maintenance tracking, etc. all on the computer. The computer is now allowing ships officers to do three times the paper work twice as fast! Automation is also everywhere from the engineroom to the bridge and with the smaller crew sizes most of it is essential for the vessels daily operation.[/FONT]

    • [FONT=&quot]Living conditions have vastly improved. Crew accommodations on almost all ships now are fairly spacious and comfortable. On my last ship everyone had a flat screen TV in their stateroom and you could select from several thousand movies on the ship’s entertainment system. We also had XM satellite radio on the bridge.[/FONT]

    • [FONT=&quot]Communications. Used to be that we would get messages by Telex or CW from the home office maybe once every couple of days and the bulk of communications from the company headquarters came by courier. Now with satellite communications we get email twice or three times a day. It’s not unusual to have 30 or more emails in the queue when we do our download. The upside to that is crew can use the email system to stay in touch with friends and family. [/FONT]

    • [FONT=&quot]Port Time. Ships used to stay in port for more than just a few hours. Sometimes port stays went on for days or even weeks. With the advent of containerization, ships could be loaded and unload faster. More efficient cargo handling meant faster ‘turnaround’ times. Nowadays on containerships you’re lucky to get 20 hours in port.[/FONT]

    • [FONT=&quot]Size of the deepwater U.S. Merchant Marine. The number of ships under U.S. flag has shrunk significantly in the last 35 years. Many of the companies that were in business when I first started sailing are now no longer operating or are operating under foreign flag. I can name 5 right off the top of my head that ran a 20+ ship fleet that have gone away. That’s a whole lot of jobs lost. [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]Hopefully things will eventually start turning around and 30 years from now there will be 'good ol’ days’ in the Merchant Marine that current cadet/midshipmen can remember back to.. You ask '[/FONT]What do you miss?[FONT=&quot]' Well, what I miss the most is the 'work' and the many truly GREAT people I had the privilege of sailing with..:thumb:
    [/FONT]
     
  16. cmakin

    cmakin Member

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    Yeah, fond memories of those places. Uh, er; lots of museums and parks and so forth.

    The Leslie was a Gulf Pacer. I believe that she was initially a Gulf Pride class ship, but the addition of the "container" hold forward of the midships house made her a Pacer. For the voyage that I was on board, we hauled bulk grain to Hong Kong in the hold. The split house profile is sure a throwback to the old British break bulk design.

    As far as the "good old days", I am very much aware that today is someone else's "good old days".
     
  17. Lynpar

    Lynpar Member

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    Cmakin, care to share some pics and stories from your uh,er, parks and museums? :shake:
     
  18. cmakin

    cmakin Member

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    I have to tell you, if I have one regret about my time at sea, it is that I never took my camera ashore. Of course back then, "pocket" cameras were far from being either convenient or any good. For me, it was one less thing to have stolen/lose or whatever. I have a few shots of the waterfront, or of the ships I was on, but none from ashore.

    As far as stories, well, there is a saying about the difference between a sea story and a fairy tale. . . . .
     
  19. Lynpar

    Lynpar Member

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    Hoping DS will have the kind of port excursions that demand a camera and not a vaccine.
     
  20. deepdraft1

    deepdraft1 Master, Ocean Steam or Motor Vessels, unlimited

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    cmakin, as we seaman know.. a fairy tale begins 'once upon a time' and a sea story begins 'this ain't no bull$***', but can you tell me what the next line is?:wink:
     

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