For now, I thought I'd write a bit about what's been routine since last September, when I started my maritime studies in Aboa Mare. Some may recall how I wrote about my aim to continue in Estonian Maritime Academy multiple times a few years ago, but eventually the prospect of getting my education in English with a broad and international approach made me change my mind about that, as well as my lifelong dream to move abroad, even if not so far.
I'm now in my 2nd year and I can say that the decision has had its pros and cons, but I certainly haven't had to regret it. The system fits me very well, as we usually do only one or two subjects per week, and those subjects change every week. The main downside is that one can't really afford getting sick or being away at sea during some mandatory attendance courses, but in my eyes, the variety such a system allows for is great and definitely makes up for everything.
|An "old style simulator"; A fully functioning frigate model "Ascension", built in 1842 and used for training back in the day.|
|In the online ISPS I learned that I myself and most of my friends are very suspicious people.|
|Colregs notes regarding ships under sail.|
|Fog signal notes|
|Fun behind the scenes|
|Nice to meet you!|
|Video killed the radio star. Except that we're all still alive and well! Maybe that's because we were just having fun, not actually broadcasting?|
Speaking of simulators, my school has quite an impressive collection, and each and every one of them is a copy of the bridge of some real ship. And I can tell you, I was very excited when I found out on my first day of school that one of the simulators matches my favourite Viking Grace.
It was also during the radar course where quite many of us made our first more and less serious navigating mistakes, such as running over the same buoy numerous times or managing to stay off the rocks in a situation where such a feat was as unlikely as winning the jackpot. But the best thing about a simulator is that such incidents usually end with a good laugh in the classroom after the exercise.
|In the simulator, filming a commercial clip for the school.|
|Simulator control room - the half of it that fit in the picture, that is.|
|Components cut out|
|First day's work|
|2nd day's work|
|Polished and ready! Now, to build a boat to go with it...|
The first two involved a lot of swimming, survival and evacuation exercises, climbing up a pilot ladder and jumping back down from 4 and a half meters, trying to survive in a freezing pool, using various survival equipment, turning over an upside down liferaft, getting winched up from the "sea" into a "helicopter", and even a ride in a freefall lifeboat, where I really hoped we would do a flip, but it was a rather nice and smooth fall, resembling a very short rollercoaster ride. And the firefighting course speaks for itself, I guess; we were taught to put out various fires with various equipment; the weather was quite hot and our firefighter suits dark and heavy, which meant that the general feeling during the two days resembled hell, quite literally. Towards the end of the course we had to navigate in a dark, smoky and burning "ship", as well as put out an engine room fire and pull out a victim dummy.
|Meriturva premises in Lohja|
|Christ is rising|
|Swimwear, spring 2016|
|Swimwear, spring 2016 vol 2|
|Using the equipment provided by Meriturva (as well as in a few other occasions when I've had to use provided gear), I've been positively surprised by the availability of smaller sizes. But not always...|
|Amazone (right) in Kasnäs, in October 2015|
|Attaching the jib sails in April 2016|