All good things come to an end and my time on MF Stavangerfjord has just ended. I got to spend 14 months there, together with the great team onboard. If you had asked me when I went to school if I was interested in working on a ferry, I would have told you to “#%&§ yourself”. When I finished school I had to find a place to work as a cadet, because I needed 14 months of sea time, before I could apply for my deck officer license. I contacted every company I could think of, but the response was slow at best, except for Fjord1. I was invited to an interview onboard Stavangerfjord, conducted by Kiwi (Captain) and Dan (CO). It could obviously have gone worse, because I was hired the same day.
Working as a cadet can be a mixed bag, depending on where you work. On some ships, you only get to work as an AB and get little time on the bridge, while on other ships, you spend all your time on the bridge correcting maps and keeping look-out. Not so on Stavangerfjord. I was thrown into the chair on day two and had to steer in and out of port from that day on. I also got to work on deck as an AB from time to time, but most of the time was spent on the bridge, either steering or keeping look-out next to the CO. It was excellent, because I got to do what most cadets dream of: Drive the boat, day in and day out, learning how to manoeuvre a ship properly. In addition they trained me to do all the necessary paperwork, so that when I got my deck officer license, the step up to a 2nd or 1st officer would be small. Working on deck was also good, because I got a proper view of everything that’s done onboard.
It was with a mixture of happiness and sadness I received my license, because I knew my time onboard Stavangerfjord was over, but at the same time I was able to step out into a larger World, having already gotten a job with Knutsen OAS. I now have a very different view of ferries (especially of the ones that operate on the Boknafjord) and look forward to visiting and maybe even working onboard in my free time.