Teaching Tankerman Tomorrow

It’s late Sunday night. As usual, I’ve been busy and so put off getting ready for class til this evening. I’ve got to get up around 0430 so I can leave the house by 0530, in order to be sure to make it to class on time at 0730.

I have to drive all the way up to La Porte. I’m teaching at San Jacinto Maritime college. I never know what the traffic will be like in Houston, so I always try to leave early. Hopefully, I’ll arrive in time to have a cup of coffee, go over my notes and chill out for a few minutes.

I’ve been going over the materials tonight and there is a lot to go over. I used to be a tanker man. I worked on tankers for about 13 years. I haven’t been doing much of that sort of thing lately tho, so it’s taking a little effort to remember a lot of that stuff. Most of what we’ll go over in class is stuff we’ll probably never use on the job anyway. It’s mostly rules and regulations and how to find the information you need if/when you need it.

A lot of it’s really good information if you’re new to the industry. Not so much if you’ve been doing it for a while. I have no idea what kind of experience my students have, or even how many of them there will be in class tomorrow. I haven’t been able to figure out how to log on to my email there yet. I’m hoping I can get some help with that tomorrow. 🙂

This class lasts for a week. I don’t have anything else lined up after that. I’m hoping either SanJac or Maersk will come up with something by the end of the week. Even better, C-Mar will send me offshore again!

Another Week of Re-Certs

I spent most of last week in Houston, re-certifying myself in rigging and crane operating. Apparently these certs are all only good for 2-4 years now- 5 tops. This particular one will be good for 4 years (that is, IF the company I go to work for doesn’t have their own required ‘training’ course on top).

This time I was at Maersk Training. The same place I’ve been working (a few days/month) as a ‘role player’ in the MEM and PIC courses they teach there. They have an excellent facility.

I really enjoyed using the simulator to practice working with the cranes. They could set it up for different kinds of cranes and different scenarios. I got to use a knuckle-boom crane (which I never had before) as well as the usual lattice-boom crane, which I was familiar with from previous ships I’ve worked on.

Check this link for a picture of me on the crane.

I have to say this course was one of the very few I’ve taken where I’ve actually learned something new. In most of the courses we’re now required to re-take every couple of years, they don’t actually have anything new to teach. It’s always just the same old stuff we learned the first time we took the course and practice every time we go offshore to work.

This one was different. There were actual changes to the material taught and in how things are being done in reality. I haven’t really worked as a ‘crane operator’, or done much rigging, in the last few years. I’ve spent most of my time on the bridge. Dealing with JSA’s and work permits is the closest I’ve been to those jobs in a while.

I’m hoping now that I have a ‘valid’ certificate in my hands again, that I’ll be able to find a job. Something better than Domino’s Pizza delivery? In a year of serious job hunting, they’re the only ones interested. 😦