Today was mainly about getting to know our way around the bridge, and all the equipment. We have lots of checklists to fill in, lots of buttons to push to test things out - my favourite is the RADAR, where you can look at the rain, the sea swells and other vessels nearby. You can also get loads of information about the nearby ships, such as if/when you're likely to collide! Loads of fun.
We also used the binoculars a lot, pointed at ships and pretended we knew what we were talking about. We've been plotting our position on charts and comparing it to the planned route, watching the officers make alterations in the course when we're overtaking or in the way of another vessel, and updating the weather systems. And drinking coffee. Lots of coffee.
It's quiet sometimes, giving us time to study regulations etc, but can get hectic and you need to get used to the various alarms and procedures. Last night there was an alarm going off loads, which kind of freaked me out a bit. Should I have been doing something?! But I figured it wasn't loud enough to have woken me if I'd been asleep so I should ignore it, and it turned out to be something for the engineers anyway. All of the officers are great - really helpful and fun and they know their stuff.
Tomorrow, I do the 8-12 watch and then work with the bosun on deck for a few hours. Hope it isn't raining - it's incredibly windy up on the bridge and we aren't even in deep ocean yet!
I'm going to have some dinner (we get very nice food. Although I miss not being able to sort my own food out, it's good knowing that what we have to have is really tasty. Unlike college!). More tomorrow!