Sea Year Partners

Discussion in 'Merchant Marine Academy - USMMA' started by KingsPtDad, Sep 30, 2010.

  1. KingsPtDad

    KingsPtDad Member

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    Most of DS's friends are deck and so is he. His engine friends are either on the other split or they've been snatched up. He feels like a fifth wheel because he can't find a partner. Is this an unusual situation? What are his options? Thanks for any insight.
     
  2. Sea Faring Moose Mom

    Sea Faring Moose Mom Member

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    Sea Partner

    My DD had that problem her 3/C year. She was then assigned a 2/C male engineer to be a Sea Partner with. It worked out wonderfully and they have remained friends.

    Not only was he a great guy, but he also knew 'the ropes' since he had all ready been to sea. He assisted her with Sea Project questions and gave her good advise. He accompied her on Port calls. They even had meals together. He was even from the same state and I knew his parents through the Parents Association. On the night before they boarded ship, he called me and introduced himself. "Ma'm, I will look after her. Don't worry about anything!"
    Well, what more could I say????? When she was 'kidded' about going to sea with an upperclassmen stranger....she just replied, "No, My Mom knows his Mom and I feel safe."

    If your DS can not find someone, the Officer will help in the assignments. Have him go in to talk with them.
     
  3. KPEngineer

    KPEngineer Eternal Father ...

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    I just told my ATR that I had no preference in a sea partner. Sometimes I sailed with other cadets and sometimes I didnt. I found that I integrated better with the crew when I was by myself because I was forced to socialize with them in my off time instead of just just hanging out with my sea partner. The only downside was that I didnt always have someone to go ashore with.

    I also found it beneficial in that I was occasionally was borrowed by the 1st Mate for jobs which were traditionally done by the deck cadet. I got to see how things work topside and it convinced me that engine was the right choice for me.

    I would not recommend choosing a sea partner of the same major. I thought we ended up competing for the 1st Eng`s time and attention at times and we had to share learning opportunities. It might be different for deckies or engineers on steam ships who can be assigned to different watches. Tthis was a diesel ship so we were all dayworkers.
     
  4. jasperdog

    jasperdog Member

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    I believe my DS's approach and experience has been very much similar to KPEngineer's and he's just finishing up his second sailing period now.

    Thirty years ago I picked my sailing partner 3rd Class year, he was engine, I was deck and that was great. Second Class year I wanted a particular ship type for my first ship of that sailing period so I indicated I had no preference for a sailing partner, I was assigned one that I really didn't know that well, a classmate engineer and that worked fine. On my final sea year assignments I didn't have a sailing partner and my experience was likewise positive and similar to what KPEngineer notes.

    My thought is that the Chief Mate and or 1st A/E as well as the other crew members are far more important to determining whether your sea year experience on a particular vessel is positive or otherwise. The only thing a sailing partner makes better or worse, especially your first time out is if you have a sailing partner it's a lot easier and usually more fun to have someone to go ashore with. If you don't have a sailing partner it's not uncommon that the cadet will be the youngest member of the ship's crew by 5 years or so.. That said as KPEngineer notes, you'll probably find it easier to stay more focused on completing your sea project and learning how to be better integrated with the rest of the crew since just like them when you report aboard you'll be an individual and not one of a pair or group like when four cadets get assigned to an MSC ship at the beginning of a sea year period...
     
  5. wolfe834

    wolfe834 Member

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    My D/S spent his entire second sea term on the same ship with no sea partner. He was apprehensive, at first, but like KP said my D/S formed a better bond with the crews. In fact, several of the crew members, including both Masters, helped him get a job with their company...worked out great

    It's good to have someone from the academy with you, however, not necessary. Your Mid will make the best of any situation....:wink:
     
  6. Fraidy Cat

    Fraidy Cat New Member

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    On my son's first tour at sea, he was matched with a student from another university. No biggie. They are too busy to socialize anyway.
     

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