The sea is the best school for me. You have to be responsible for yourself

Learned it from scratch

Boats have been present my entire life. I was born in June and in the same summer, my parents took me on board for sailing– our summer vacation. I made my very first steps on board. When we haven’t been sailing, my father, brother and I took out for fishing with a 3m fishing craft. Since this 3m fishing craft, the ships where I’ve been on got a little bit bigger in size.Back in 2014, I’ve been on the board of the world’s largest vessel – the Triple-E. Although I have been in touch with sailing from the beginning of my life I didn’t really like it back then.The reason is obvious; sea sickness. I always got seasick. 2/3 of sailed miles on board as a child I’ve been sitting in the cockpit with a bucket between my legs.

26932252562_47b81829cd_h-min-minFrom the money of my confirmation, I bought my very first small sailing boat. Although I always got seasick, I loved the principal idea of sailing – as you all now it: The feeling of freedom and the phenomenon that the horizon has no limits, while the sun rises and disappears behind it.

My small sailing boat, around 6m, was a mess and in very bad condition. That’s why I could offer it. I refitted it on my own. It’s not like that I knew how to do it or that I had the money to let mechanics do it. I learned it by trial and error. Sometimes it worked out and sometimes, if not mostly, I did a shitty job and had to do it again and again.

At that time, I learned a lot about my sailing boat and about boats and ships in general. Together with my friends in middle and high school, I discovered the coastal waters around northern Germany and southern Denmark. Weekend trips became my favorite and suddenly I didn’t get seasick anymore because of one simple reason: I had no time for it. Since I became responsible for my own little boat, I needed to be concentrated and stayed on focus. That’s why I simply had no time to be seasick.

After finishing high school, I hadn’t any idea what I wanted to do for my living. How should I know that?I took three jobs at the same time and saved money for upgrading my sailing boat. After one year I started my biggest adventure, I sailed around the Baltic Sea – 3.500 nm with my best friend.

At this time I saw all these big ships sailing and in my opinion, they just looked amazing. I simply thought they were great. For others, they may look like a floating scrap of rusty steel, but for me, they looked like spaceships on water. Finally, I fell in love with these big ships in Trollhättan Canal in Sweden, where the big ships were entering locks and got lifted up and down.

26992917896_49247ccaca_h-min-minI started researching about how to come on board these ships and I ended up with studying in Denmark and a contract as Deck Cadet with a bigger light blue Danish company.Until yet I’ve been on the board of three merchant navy ships: two containers and one tanker. In the end of August, I’ll come on board my last ship as Deck Cadet and finish my 12 months required sea time in January. In the end of 2017, I’ll finish my study and hopefully pass all exams to be then called an Officer.

The sea is the best school for me. You have to be responsible for yourself, the ship and the crew. Not to mention the ships performance, owner, charterer, cargo, international law and last but not least the environment.

To begin to sail and handle small boats is a theright way. I learned it from the scratch and this helpsmetounderstandthe big ships because big ships involve more complex technic than any airplane.

Although I love this job and I find these big shipsawesomeand I love it to sail on endlessoceans, I always miss my home and sometimes it ishard to be awayfromhomefor such a long time. That’s why I try tomake the best of my time on board. I prefer to talk and have fun with people on board, rather than to lock myself in my cabin after work. In Germany we’ve one saying: “We all stay in the same boat”. On board we need to stay together. There is no room for drama or only one way thinking in hierarchy. That wasmystory so farand how I came on board, so if you want to hear more about my stories as a cadet at sea – then see you next time!

via: Daniel Mühlhausen

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