Getting Arctic Sea time

Hey all, a 25 year old Canadian Deck Cadet here.

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Have a 2nd sea phase(10 months) starting this June where I will be transiting up into the Canadian Arctic until November on a general cargo vessel and then be on a chemical/oil Tanker next Winter into the spring based on the eastern seaboard.

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Aside from the obvious learning outcomes of a cadet ship; I am seeking advice on how I should best utilize my time on these vessel types to make my experience the most employable at the end of my schooling.

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Would pursuing either one of the arctic time or tanker be more advantageous going forward?



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6 thoughts on “Getting Arctic Sea time

  • April 24, 2020 at 6:37 am
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    In à nutshell, more people’s working around ships and less working on the ships.

    For example some operator (the good ones at least) have département dedicated to thing that used to be the sole domain of the ships Captain 10-15 years ago (like preparing stowplan for example). More maintenance that used to be done by the ships crew is now done by outside company, etc.

    The maritime industry can be very good to you. Especially if you have significant seagoing experiences (peoples preparing stowplans in the office do so because they have done it on ships before). Now because of what I mentioned I also think that seagoing experiences will be harder to come by. Both because jobs are moved from the ship to the shore, but also because the job on ships are getting offshores. I replied to to OP in the Canadian context where the Requirements to use Canadian flagged (and so Canadian crews) for coastal shipping (basically all that’s left of the registery) is getting eroded away. If you are in the US then the Jones Act look more secured (and is a much stronger protection to the US Crew) but législation do change and the larger historical tendency is to do away with theses regulations.

    So to wrap up, if my son (or daughter, because that’s another trend, even though that’s still very much a boys club) was to get in the industry, I would advise him to think abt the 2nd part of his career, which is when you transition to shore based employment.

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  • April 24, 2020 at 6:37 am
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    Ice navigation is very unusual in the wider deck officer community, so a bit niche, but potentially very useful to have.

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    Tankers are tankers and you need to learn the ropes somehow if you want to sail on any of the thousands of them currently afloat worldwide. A DG qualification opens many doors.

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  • April 24, 2020 at 6:37 am
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    I first want to preface this by saying that I have had a (maritime) office job for the past 10 years so I am a bit out of this kind of loop. I have done a couple of Arctic Sealift (Desgagnés) and these where really interesting voyage. I’d recommend it on touristic value alone.

    I think you have to ask what kind of career you are looking at. It’s hard to know what are your strengths and weaknesses since you don’t have all that much experience under your belt, but are you looking to get a pilotage job ($$$$$$, but basically bid farewell to the next 10 years of your life) or you are comfortable doing sea rotation for your whole life (Lakers or Supply ships)? Do you think you could Segway into a office job (operator, government?).

    That will probably shead light on this decision.

    Now beside what you want out of your career, I cannot not mention the downward trend in the Registery. Where getting waivers for foreign ships to do coastal trading was relatively rare 15-20 years ago, it’s very common theses days. I only mention because I don’t think it would be very wise to bet on Canadian shipping to provide you with ship based employment for the rest of your life. Now there are a ton of other opportunities in the maritime industry and having bananas and sea time is a great door opener so I am definitely not trying to discourage you.

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  • April 24, 2020 at 6:37 am
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    Were you working with NEAS? I’m third year cadet and considering contacting them myself. Only thing is, I’m only 68 days shy of finishing my sea time and I hear they generally like people to stay on for the entire shipping season.

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  • April 24, 2020 at 6:37 am
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    Can ask transport canada what it takes to apply for a Polar COP ( most country’s have those and they are rare).

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