Onload/Life at Sea

Discussion in 'Publicly and Privately Funded Military Colleges' started by Fuji, Jan 18, 2010.

  1. Fuji

    Fuji 5-Year Member

    Jul 19, 2009
    Likes Received:
    Onload/Life at Sea

    AHOY all you lads and lassies. It’s my turn to share with you the happenings of our little trip here. How fortunate for you...

    There is one reason I am going on sea term: to go to fun ports of course! A secondary but almost as fun reason is to learn hands on how to work on a ship. I have known I wanted to work at sea since I was a little kid. What better way to learn how to run a ship then to run a ship? Its one thing to sit in a classroom and look at a PowerPoint tracing out a fuel system, It’s another experience completely to be walking through the engine room, checking the pumps at the tank top, feeling the heaters to make sure they are flowing, and ultimately walk past the boiler and feel the heat from the inferno within. For the next 50 days this ship is more than means to get to island paradise or a place for me to eat and sleep, it is the best classroom I have been in and ever will be in my life.

    Now lets talk about the first week. The first week, or Onload in the sailor vernacular, is full of chores akin to you brushing your teeth and getting ready for school in the morning: they aren’t exactly the most fun or interesting things that you will ever do in your life, but they are things that have to be done or else you can’t sail. It would be like trying to go to school without putting your pants on in the morning; it just doesn’t work (well I suppose it could work, but you will probably get a few stern lectures from various adults in high places telling you appropriate behavior and that’s even less fun then not putting on your pants.)

    Activities included taking on provisions and dry stores, Fire & Emergency and abandonment drills, securing the various lockers and storage spaces for sea, more drills, warming the boilers and auxiliary systems, moving millions upon millions of potatoes, and an occasional nap.

    After all the supplies are loaded and the boilers are nice and happy, and the coast guard gives us our test of all our DC teams and lifeboats and medical facilities it’s time to make ready to be underway. It’s a strange experience, seeing this massive steel box that has been moored along the school for 5 months come to life and move. It’s at that moment that you realize this isn’t another tour or lab, you are a sailor on a ship, and beyond the edge of the Cape Cod canal is the open ocean and you will be a little dot therein. It’s a little surreal.

    Now off we go into the southern seas. Grab your jackknife and flashlight, get your sea legs on you, and come with me!

    -4/C Rob Meyer


    To see more blog posts from Cadet Rob Meyer from Sacramento CA - go to this website;

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