Letter of Gratitude from a Newly Qualified Cadet

Letter of Gratitude from a Newly Qualified Cadet / 05.29.2020

We were pleased to receive the below letter of thanks from Abbie, a newly qualified Cadet, who spent her Cadetship with Trinity House  . . . .

I am writing this letter to say thank you for the opportunity Trinity House has provided me over the past three years. Having now completed my studies for Marine Operations and obtaining my Deck Officer of the Watch unlimited certificate of competency, I would like to share with you what the cadetship has allowed me to achieve and some of the memorable moments that will stay with me forever.

I am very proud and fortunate to have been a Trinity House cadet and represent an organisation with such profound history and that play a vital role in keeping the UK coastline safe for seafarers from across the World. Comparing my cadetship experience to my peers who were sponsored by other companies, I can easily say I have gained so much more than just a COC and that is all thanks to Trinity House.

I have been fortunate to travel to 30 new countries that I would never have otherwise had to the chance to visit; Seychelles, Australia and India to name a few. During these port of calls I was able to get ashore and fully embrace the local culture and life. Experiencing such opportunities I believe is a vital life skill in being able to understand and appreciate how every country is unique and their different beliefs. This links to sailing onboard vessels that at times had 30 different nationalities onboard. Before embarking on the cadetship, I would never have imagined the friendships that would develop across the globe. This provided insight into different aspects of what working at sea is really about and particularly being able to challenge the perception of woman working at sea.

Through out my cadetship I sailed onboard the Jubilee Sailing Trust tall ship ‘Tenacious’, Windstar Cruise Ship ‘Star Legend’, Trinity House Buoy tender ‘Galatea’, a 110m private superyacht ‘Jubilee’ and Fred. Olsen Cruise Ship ‘Boudicca’. Each ship was a completely new experience and the most valuable insight into different sectors within the Merchant Navy. Having such diversity proved to be so valuable to my learning and future progression.

Representing the Merchant Navy at the Festival of Remembrance at the Royal Albert Hall and mustering as part of the colour party for the Merchant Navy medal ceremony at Tower Hill with Her Royal Highness the Princess Royal in attendance, had to be some of the proudest moments over the past 3 years.

In this ever changing and dependant World it is important that people are aware of the important work seafarers carry out and for this reason I am enthused that I was involved with the filming of a trinity house training video. Being able to share my enthusiasm and passion for working at sea is something I feel strongly about and since qualifying I have signed up to volunteer my time as a careers at sea ambassador, Sea Cadet instructor and a Hoylake RNLI lifeboat volunteer. I hope that I can be a  role model and inspire others looking at pursue a career at sea.

After qualifying in August this year, I managed to secure my first trip onboard THV Galatea for 6 weeks. As you can imagine this could have been a nerve-racking experience joining my first vessel as a newly qualified officer and being responsible for a solo watch. However, being able to return to a familiar environment with an extremely helpful and supportive crew made this step up manageable and allowed me to gain confidence in preparation for my next trip. I would never have imagined my first few watches would be navigating the Dover straits and Thames outer estuary narrow channels.

Following this first trip I was offered a permanent job with Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines. I am writing this letter having completed my first contract with the company. The experience I have gained during the last 4 months holding a solo watch on a world cruise has been invaluable and I am proud of the progress I have made, and I look forward to watch the future holds when the world returns to some form of normality.

Again, I am so appreciative that Trinity House and Chiltern Maritime provided me these opportunities to sail onboard these vessels during my cadetship, as I wouldn’t be where I am today without this experience.

Looking to the future I hope to maintain my link with Trinity House through the Yeoman Scheme as I work towards eventually gaining my Masters ticket. I also aim to top up my FdSc to a BSc in Marine Operations to help move shoreside in the future.

I would like to conclude this letter by saying thank you to Trinity House and to yourself and Glyn Barker when you interviewed me and me gave me a chance back in 2016.

Kind Regards,

Abbie Sanders.

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