Phase 4

I finished phase 3 of my Cadetship a little over a month ago; and I’ve been waiting patiently for a birth on a ship. I now have a shiny HNC in Nautical Science; oh the joys! Towards the end; I’d counted something like 50 exams; that I’d done in phase 3; what with all the off shore stuff, and GMDSS.  A specific group of people in my class were starting to get on my nerves; constantly bickering and chirping on about their own, and other people’s performance in examinations. I witnessed a lot of sly remarks, and put downs, all behind people’s backs, of course!

I got speaking to a lecturer; about the consequences of how you perform in your ‘graded paper’ – the paper that gets you your HNC; you know? If companies see your marks, or they ask to see your results when you’re qualified. He told me that it’s completely irrelevant; and that “a pass is a pass” – with this knowledge in mind; I just downed tools if you like, with revision- I was happy that I knew enough to “pass” – and I was mentally exhausted with previous exams, and the aforementioned nonsense.

It’s quite sad really; that the group of people I mentioned, actually cheated in one of the important exams. A lecturer had left the room; and left his computer logged on; and the person who I’d least expect this from went on his computer; and found our exam. I subsequently found out from one of the group what had happened; and what was said. There was talk of them giving me a heads up; but one of the ringleaders deemed me untrustworthy…apparently  “he’ll go and tell the rest of the class”.  I’m glad that they did not involve me. My patience with this lot was already wearing thin anyway; and this was the icing on the cake. “Fuck the lot of you” Those five words, which have regularly popped up during my life. I guess you can rely on one thing . . .people will let you down.  At least I can go into my Orals with the MCA with my head held high; knowing that I didn’t cheat. I made sure that the rest of the class knew about this little “group” as well. What’s satisfying though; is that, even with the exam answers; some of them still got average marks! Exam results do not mean anything in the real world.

My company had 8 ships in it’s fleet; but now has just 6; so there’s a shortage of births. I have 9 months of sea time to get; in little under 12 months; so there is a very good chance; I may have to do a prolonged stint; something which I  want to avoid- four and a half months with a break, and another four and a half months is my plan.  You’d think that with just six ships in a fleet; that a company would be able to take stock of what cadets are on board; and when they are likely to be leaving the vessel; but my training manager told me that I was “not the only trainee” – So I’m left to fester, unable to plan things . .

I very nearly made the jump, and bought my self a little yacht. But common sense prevailed in the end. I can’t keep an yacht going on Cadets wages. I really need to just wait until I qualify- that can’t come soon enough!

I bought myself a new bike, and I’ve been slowly building up the miles! Being back at college; I’d essentially been off the bike for 6 months (and put about 2 stone in weight on!) – but last week, I did an 82 mile ride; averaging 17.5mph! Very pleased with that.

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This is my BMC “Timemachine” – A complete joy to ride!

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West Kirby

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