When I first entered the maritime security industry I, like most of us would, decided to ask a friend what the score was. All I could get out of him was the job was great the places where hot and the nights out different, in a good way. Not exactly what I was looking for but admired his honesty and pushed further for more information. After hours of chatting I came away with nothing of any use and when I asked about what to take, “field kit” was the reply.
Take your shades!
Now it sounds quite simple, I had been in the security industry for 8 years and thought along those lines really and for the most part what I took worked. It was not what I would consider comfortable but the job was not compromised. To date I still see people on their first (sometimes second) transit with a bag full of things they will not use and borrowing from others the things they do. Now I would think that many people out there have been through the same situation or are even about to deploy for the first time and would like to know what works well.
For me by far the best investment was one of those straps that lash your sunglasses to your head. Quite an expensive lesson really, the rest of the afternoon all I could think of was it would take two more shifts to pay for what was now with the fish. I only confess this because I know I’m actually in the majority and have witnessed many an operator carry an empty sunglass case from the bridge with burnt out eyes. Nevertheless, in my and their defense, standing on a bridge wing in 30-40kts of wind when the temperature is 40 C was not at the top of my worries, it soon was however!
I think we can all get the basics right but it would be nice to know what other use and to what effect it made their lives easier on-board, something that really should be covered in professional development courses within the maritime sector.