name is Johannes Fleischer and I am 21 years old. I work since
two years as a trainee with the Hartmann-Shipping Company.
During those years I spent 29 weeks at school and two 4 month
contracts on container vessels, one on MV Frisia Rotterdam
and one on MV Ital Ordine.
Just now I began my third contract as SM Trainee on board
of one of Hartmannīs Gas Tankers, MT Danubegas. In this time
I learned quite a lot. At school I was primarily taught the
theoretical and basic knowledge, which was put into practice
during my training time on board.
I was asked to write an article about what does training mean
to me? Training means to me, that I can learn something from
the experienced onboard personal of the various professions.
Those experiences are ideally fundamental, guiding me into
the direction of my future profession after the SM qualification,
which would give me three options: the deck-, the engine department
or the decision not to pursue an ongoing career at sea.
The frame conditions for an optimum of training on board is
the basic understanding of all trainers that everybody needs
further training all his professional life long. Essential
for that is also the understanding that everybody once joined
a vessel as a training cadet. With this essential understanding
in the background it is completely normal that no trainee
as a novice on board is able to know everything right from
the start as another long serving seaman. But therefore I
am willing to learn and the step by step improvement each
day gives me the motivation to keep on going.
The German dual training system is in my opinion the best
way to learn a profession as detailed as possible. It gives
me the possibility to observe several jobs which are done,
understand them, address my questions if necessary directly
to an expert and doing the job all by myself the next time.
It is the perfect mix of gaining practical and theoretical
knowledge from people who are willing to share their broad
experience with me on the one hand and the well proved "learning
by doing" principle on the other.
Concerning the leisure life on board I can say that the evenings
together with the crew every time are quite an event. Especially
the visit of some places in countries which I would not normally
visit like New York and Charleston, United States or Athens
in Greece are the highlights of each training contract on
On the other Hand am I experiencing of course also the negative
points of this profession like missing home and family events
as every other seaman does.