Thursday, 22 May 2014


Port Cai Lan, Vietnam.
29 Apr 2014

Hello everyone…Well its been a while since I have penned down something other than the log books, lol.Today I am before you as a completely different man, not a helpless fresher any longer you know what I mean.Today I am a full fledged seaman having overcome 30 degrees of rolling and temperatures upto -5 deg C.I have completed 200 days onboard including the same tenure of bridge watchkeeping.Once you get used to the trade, it’s a piece of cake.Believe me all freshers, its not as difficult as you think.I couldn’t restrain from stating the facts that my ship is brand new, gearless and fully automated. Must not well be the situation on board an old ship. Atleast for me, the case of the poor cadet run along the deck helter skelter while the ship is ballasting/deballasting remain a myth.All my controls are on the Ships office ballast panel.Love you dear Fleet Personnel Manager, I owe you one for this. Guess you all have had enough of my bullshitting, so lets better come back to the point.Today we are gonna discuss what all is actually needed onboard apart from what we all have been taught in the training academies.So here we go…
·         For bridge watch keeping:-
1.Have a basic idea about the radars(X & S bands).The limitations, the display(PPI), the controls, the various parts, terms like CPA, TCPA, BCR, BCT, EBL, VRM, how to do radar fixing and parallel indexing,running fix, how to distinguish a steady paint from sea and rain clutters, how to monitor approaching vessels on the PPI and the effectiveness of an avoiding action.No clue folks?  Better refer Shipborne radar and  ARPA by H.subramaniam.There is an important point while talking about two bands.Subbu prefers X band for short range scan while practically mariners have the habit of following the S band for the same.Well it’s a controversial topic, so when you get onboard, follow your instincts.
2.Have a basic idea about the GPS.Modern vessels use GPS fixes as primary means to plot the position followed by land fixes.The differential GPS onboard extract data from some 12 odd satellites and provides the latitude, longitude, the waypoint details, the distance to go to the same, SMG etc for the specific UTC.If you can feed in the waypoint co-ordinates , well you are second mate already dude, cheers.
3.Some idea about the magnetic and Gyro compasses, variation,deviation and C.E, azimuth circles, heading monitor.You must be aware of the standard course at all times.On a simplified tone, there will be a master gyro compass ,some 2-3 analog and digital repeaters showing the gyro heading and a telescopic view of the magnetic compass displaying the standard heading.Compare the two and you will get the error(the same thumb rule- Best error West/Least error East).The variation will be given on the paper charts, if you have any or from whatever alternate arrangement you have onboard.Thus you could find the deviation for the heading as well.
                                                                                               (to be continued)

Wednesday, 10 July 2013


Hope everyone one of you is aware of the new regulation related to security training for seafarers as per STCW-10.As per the circular issued by DG shipping any level of ships crew from trainee seaman to master should have proficiency in security training meant for seafarers with designated security duties and have certification to the same.Those who are currently on board have a deadline till December 2014 while those who newly join wouldnt be given any relaxation. There is a rumble going on in Mumbai as most of the mariners were informed of it only in the eleventh hour and almost all the centers are booked for a month at least.Some companies do provide it to their crew while some prominent players have kept away from it.
          Here are some of the DG approved institutes in Mumbai who has seats available:-

  1. International Marine Academy - 19 Papa Estate, Behind Eagles Flight Near L & T Health Centre, Suren Road, Andheri East, Mumbai - 400093. Tel-(022)26832597,26845333.
  2. Mumbai Maritime training institute- Victor House, 1st Floor, Veera Desai Road, Next to Chitrlekha House, Andheri(W), Mumbai-400 053. Tel- 022-6313884
  3. Tolani Maritime institute- 149-151 , Sher-e-Punjab society, Guru gobind singh road, Mumbai-400093. 
  4. B.P Marine Academy -  7th Floor, SAI Pooja Chambers, Sector No 11, Cbd Belapur, Navi Mumbai - 400614.Tel-(022) 49179846.
  5. Massa Maritime Academy - Great Eastern Submit A Wing,1st Floor,Plot No 56, Sector 15 Cbd Belapur, Navi Mumbai. Tel-(022) 27562755, 27574320, 27574279
  6. Pentagon Maritime - Plot No 60, Pentagon House, Cidco Service Industries, Sector 1, Nerul, Navi Mumbai - 400706. Tel-(022) 27711012, 27708711.
  7. YAK institute - 301-Gauri Complex, Sector-11, CBD Belapur, Navi Mumbai-400614. Tel-+91-22-27580009 / 65162288.
  8. Setrac institute- Sector 15, CBD Belapur, Navi Mumbai, India.Tel- 022 27564299.

Thursday, 4 July 2013


Yesterday someone I know went to a reputed maritime training /DG approved coaching center in Belapur CBD to enquire about the proficiency in security training course and came back with rather gloomy news.He saw cadets both deck and engine who passed out from the institute,standing outside the office and abusing the principal and the director in all the languages they knew while all those who came there for various purposes stood n watched.They alleged that the academy cheated them and didnt give them placement charging lakhs of rupees as course fee.They were left to roam along the streets of andheri looking for a job in vain.Here is the crazy yet cruel part.The person in charge of the institute came outside and told the boys in a calm voice, 

"Dears, you should keep calm, its not our fault that you guys didnt get a job.You people must have given a thought about the present market scenario while enrolling for a merchant navy course.You guys are dismissed."The helpless guys showered abuses and left.
          When I joined such an institute five years ago I wasnt much aware too.But my college did give me a chance in the name of Fleet management Ltd but unfortunately I couldnt succeed.Meanwhile 30 guys didnt even get a chance at all.When the same guy who related this tale to me told that everyone of his batchmates in Tolani got placed, when a senior said everyone in Great eastern get placed well isnt the fact clear like crystal? Its all but our own mistake isnt it? Shouldnt we all be a little more aware n equipped? Samudra institute and AMET( to an extend) keep their word.None of their cadets remain jobless, not even the lesser genre. The company sponsored programmes are the best go.The same applies to GME and electrical officer courses as well.
         We could avoid years of agony if we give this a thought up front. Raise your voice against colleges without placement.They should all be closed down.Warn your friends and kins.May this cursed field of Indian merchant navy run by politicians and agents have a better future...