Grooming of deck Cadets – 11
Typically a Deck Cadet is introduced to the principles of Navigation during his/her pre-sea training academically. This is complemented by the ‘practical navigation’ as a separate subject. Once the cadets go on ships they have to fill in a “cadets’ record book” for the practical work they do on board under the supervision of the senior officers. Upon completion of their cadet time on board they appear for the examinations for their ‘license’ which is based on the syllabi contained in the STCW code. This STCW code is set by the IMO which is a body of the UNO. Ideally this should bring a uniform way of navigation at sea – but it doesn’t happen that way – practices in certain countries are based on only taking a single position line and estimating a position – while the British Admiralty oriented Navigational tradition involves a complete day’s work using all the means of celestial navigational techniques.
During the coastal navigation a combination of the Celestial Navigational instruments and the visual bearings and usage of the electronic instruments can produce position fixing opportunities.
Whilst practicing the traditional celestial and terrestrial navigational methods – or the ‘manual’ methods, one is also continuously availed of the electronic navigational systems at hand that are based on the Doppler shift (GPS) or the radio navigational systems based on the ‘parabolic’ navigation principles. While at these Navigational works the art of Dead reckoning, using the ‘sounding’ line and so on cannot be ignored.
As such a cadet must have a daily ‘navigational’ plan ahead of the day or rather ahead of a voyage and go on executing it under supervision.
In today’s world many seniors too discourage the cadets from practicing this so that they are available as administrative assistants for the mountain of paperwork on board at the cost of their training – and there are too many cadets willing to skip this practice at sea ….