Well, it's been about a year since I started the Workboat Academy Program at PMI, and I'm safely beyond the halfway point as far as schooling goes. We have 7 academic sessions and I just finished number 4. It's a good feeling to look back upon what I've learned within the past year and how things have progressed. I'm now a fairly regular employee with my company, working a legitimate amount of trips and getting good sea time, and the best part is that I'm no longer "the new guy"! It's a good feeling.
I just returned home from a long stint of work and school. I'll be home for about 3 weeks and then I have two back-to-back trips where we will be moving a few retired nuclear reactors for the Navy. Being an ex-Navy guy, I'm a little more jazzed about trips like this, especially since we get to go up the Columbia River. The eastern Alaska run and the inside passage is beautiful, but once you've seen it in it's various seasons, it starts to become less intriguing. Going someplace new is always more preferred... It stimulates and satisfies my need to explore.
Session 4 at PMI was pretty cool. We studied the Rules of Navigation, Bridge Resource Management, and ECDIS. After all the formal classes were done, we spent 2 days running scenarios in the simulator. It was a blast and we all learned a great deal about ship handling, radio comms, teamwork and various other duties. All in all, it was just a great learning experience that we all benefited from greatly. I've posted some random photos from session 4 below.