Wednesday, 8 February 2012


Those few of you who have been reading my blog every day (weirdos) will have noticed a sudden lapse in the last week. Well, time for a bit of honesty. I've only told a few people about this so far and the reactions have been varied and in some cases, surprising - I'm not having those conversations again. So please don't be offended if you ask me a question about it and I don't answer, I'm just not going to get dragged into an argument about it.

I have decided to end my cadetship, as of now. The people who know me really well know that there are two sides to my personality - the studious nerdy half who enjoys working things out and concentrating on maths and being smart, and the hippy wanderer half who likes writing poems and drinking cups of tea and dying her hair and staring into space. I would be perfectly happy to diminish the latter half if I found a job I truly loved which required it. I really would. But, it turns out, I don't truly love this. In fact, I find it kind of... boring. The premise is exciting, and I enjoy the theory. I like the rules and the maths and the history and all the different places. But they aren't the job; they are what you need to know to do the job. The job itself is sort of half playing a big videogame with ten different monitors (I don't really get the appeal, although I know millions of people would jump at the chance) and half admin, with a smattering of walking around the deck with a radio (also hate radios. I don't really even like phones). To be honest - and that is what I intend - I think there are probably jobs that suit me better. So I'm going home to find one.

We were warned at college before we came to sea that there would be bits we didn't like, and we shouldn't dismiss it straight away because we wouldn't always be doing those bits. The bits they thought we might not like were the manual things, working with the bosun and ABs, long hot work with sweat dripping down your back, that kind of thing. Er... I quite liked that. I have always found practical work enjoyable and rewarding. Turns out I am quite good at splicing, too. It's the actual officer work (and I know I haven't done much of it, but I've watched what each of them does, while steering, at anchor, in port and everything in between) that I find a bit dull, and we *will* always be doing those bits. Maybe dull isn't the word; maybe just not a good fit. The way the cadetship works is that the studying lasts three years, and then my particular company has a two year return of service if they have a job for you. That's five years. I'll be 31 at the end of that, and I don't think I'm willing to spend five years in a job that I'm not even excited about a few weeks in. Seems daft, doesn't it?

So, that's me. I'll be heading home from Cape Town whenever we get there - sometime in the next week - and will try to work out what to do next! Maybe a proofreading course. I hear proofreaders drink a lot of tea.


  1. Sorry to hear that Kat,
    Keep in touch and best of luck in the future.
    (Does the fact I've done this for 16 years make me boring?)
    Pete Dixon..

  2. Hello Kat.I don't understand what you expected from ship? My opinion - you don't see all situation & you don't consider the consequences of your step. And in last "...hung-up running from one falling star to another till i drop..."-maybe you spending not five years only,you can spend all your life.

  3. It's the actual officer work (and I know I haven't done much of it, but I've watched what each of them does, while steering, at anchor, in port and everything in between) that I find a bit dull..

    Not half as dull as proofreading even if you do get to drink tea all day. Have you ever tried reading something that doesn't interest you at all just to check the spelling/grammar? It's absolutely soul detroying. Stay with the cadetship for goodness sake!

  4. If you think it's the right decision then it's the right decision. Good luck lovely

    Briggy xx

  5. Don't listen to anyone. Take and hear advice, but its your life.

    You have to live it, not others and if you truly believe this is the best course of action. Then do it. Get out and be who you really are. Enjoy the finer things in life.

    All the best in life, keep in touch :) xxx

  6. Oh Kat, thanks so much for the blog, I've been trying to get into the M.N. and I saw your blog; it's been a wonderful(well-written!)aide. I like the *idea* of the thing, too, and am certain I'll enjoy the painting and chipping more than the paperwork...(I'm still saving up for that proofreading course just in case!)
    Best of luck,

  7. Thats a shame - but as you say, if you felt it wasn't for you then probably the best decision to make (even if it was a bit quick)! I'm a bit like you - I dislike watch keeping (sure it was exciting for the first couple of months), but loved being a cadet and getting to do all the practical stuff as well! Having spent almost 3 years as an officer i'm bored of watch keeping - currently deciding whether to go for chief mates (which means no more watch keeping - but mountains of paperwork), or head ashore either back to IT or shore side based...

    Good luck in the future though!