I got to work on my boat. It was great. I don’t get out on my own boat that often because school takes up all my time. I have a 29ft Shamrock with a twin screw––a great boat. Today, I took the shrink wrap off and started a full cleaning, and getting it ready to be put in the water. I really like running my boat. It’s a great experience. I did also some work on my dad’s boat which is a 42ft. Hopefully today I can put both boats back in the water and go out for a sea trail.
Our school went to Maine Maritime Academy to visit the college and their different programs. I was truly impressed once I had arrived to the Academy: it’s a beautiful campus with friendly people . But their simulator was speechless, they have 4 simulator rooms and one master control station. One room was for large ships. Another room was set up for a pod system tug (this room is the room in the picture). The other two rooms are for small vessels. The pod system truly stood out to me, it was incredible. The way that the controls worked so perfectly and the way the room was set up was an exact replica of the inside of one of these vessels. I have worked with this type of simulator by TRANSAS, but I have never worked with one of the z-drive simulators and I was very impressed. I’m very thankful for this trip up to Maine and I can’t wait to come back. I’m definitely looking into this school as a college. The programs are incredible, definitely looking into this school as a future for me.
This past week I’ve been working with the techs at TRANSAS and I was able to get my personal simulator from TRANSAS up and running again. This is a great tool. TRANSAS is a marine simulation company all over the world. Their prime headquarters are based in California where they create and build these simulators. They not only have simulators in just boat steering but also have cargo ship engine room training, including specialized cargo ship crane simulators. This is great for understanding how boats operate without running the risk of actually hurting anyone. However, we still don’t approach the simulator as a game. It’s a training vehicle that happens to be fun.
TRANSAS and the crew are great to talk to and work with. They have helped me out whenever I have issues wight he simulators at school. My experiences on the simulator have taught me a lot about juggling information. You don’t want to forget about the draft of the boat in a shallow area when you’re concentrated on keeping the speed up and the course steady.
Our first objective on the simulator was to run a steady course using the plots we drew on our chart. We got a chart and the Capt asked us to plot a course from point A to point B. During the past week we were learning all the skills we would need to complete this task. We learned how to calculate ETA, distance, and speed. Once we had our chart drawn up we were up to the true task and that was to stay on that waypoint line. Every 10 minutes we did a position fix and my crew and I stayed on track. After about a hour we came to the correct point without any problems. We were one minute of our ETA. This was a really good start for just starting on chart plotting.
This summer I was out working on tugs in New York Harbor, including up the East River and Hudson River. Sea Wolf Marine is the name of the tug boat company I worked with, I have been working for this company all summer for 3 years to get me seatime. Seatime is how many hours I have spent aboard the tug; I currently have around 275 hours. I’m building up sea time and credentials so I can be eligible to be Coast Guard approved in the future. This was a great summer because I spent about 4 weeks on the boat non-stop working on the tugs and it was a great time. This summer I’m joining the Union to get more experience and I will be able to get new connections that will help me in my future.