190219 Kazachen reis

19 februari tot 19 maart 2019
Sint Maarten
Ponta Delgada, Azoren, São Miguel

Blauwe Wacht

Unique experience for Kazakh sailing cadets

09 Maart 2019
Blauwe Wacht

The sea life is a unique experience for Kazakh sailing cadets. From ancient times nomadic tribes on territory of modern Kazakhstan were accustomed only to the wide great Steppe with only few of them aware about the sea. And even those who lived near rarely came into contact with it.

As a country that seeks constant growth we aim to expand our development possibilities. One of the ways to do so is by building up our potential in the Caspian sea. With that in mind, Kazakhstan Maritime Academy was created.

Even in present times there aren’t many people that are involved with sea and have related experience. Development in the Caspian region requires professional improvement of our seafarers. That can be achieved by learning from the experience of a great maritime nation with the help in the form of the STC which planned and organized our study process and the apprenticeship we’re currently going through.

For most of us this is the first time we’ve been on a ship and this apprenticeship is a mix of excitement, exploration and also periods of fighting with seasickness. The study onboard the Eendracht provides us with hands-on experience of seagoing practice and ship’s layout. This is a great opportunity to solidify theoretical knowledge from the first semester at the academy and learn even more.

Life onboard for a cadet consists of various tasks starting from keeping accommodations clean, keeping watch on the bridge and engine room, having navigational duties and engine room rounds and undergoing training in safety, firefighting, communication and first aid.

Watch keeping stands at the center of our apprenticeship. By diving duties between people the ship can be handled with 24-hour care and constant lookout.

If there’s one thing where cadets’ attitude differs – that’s cleaning. Some people find it tediously boring, for others it’s just a task they’re accustomed to. Our team is a great example of this: while Alikhan, if you ask him, thinks it’s easy, Daryn hates the task and would much rather stand on the wheel for the whole hour than go down to the messroom at 5 am, while waves are rolling the ship from side to side.

Saying more about bridge duties – keeping the course of the ship in right direction can be a hard job sometimes, especially with a strong wind. In calm waters, everybody (except Usoroh, he is a shitty helmsman) can manage it even without much of experience, but when the wind speed is around 35 knots, there are only few of us that can stand comfortably while keeping the course straight. Here we should mention Viktor – he is a great example of enthusiastic approach. He likes steering as if it was a date with a fine girl. While the usual time for a wheel is half an hour, this time could triple up for him and especially in a strong wind.  


Accompanying us on the bridge are watch officers: Mr. Hein, Mr. Kees and Mr. Tsjerk. In between steering and lookout duties, they grab some of us to acquaint with duties of navigational officer. During one watch of 4 hours you can learn about wind scale of force, types of clouds, azimuth bearings with compass corrections, chart work and waypoint indications and usage of navigational aids. Most of the guys in our watch like these lessons, and not only because they are naturally curious and eagerly ask questions whenever the opportunity arises, but also because often it is a way to escape the cold and wind of the outer bridge.

Though some people find keeping watches boring, it’s not like that in our case. Mr. Fred and Rutger, our watch leaders, try to make the process as engaging and entertaining as possible by coming up with various tasks, challenges, questions and exams which keep us involved even if we are not on duty. Mr. Fred provides clear and detailed demonstration of our tasks and duties by doing them himself along with us. Rutger supports it with thorough explanation of many aspects of sailing and shipknowledge while managing to throw in some humor along the way.

Stepping onboard we collided with a GREAT confusion about sails, masts, stays and ropes. Remembering all of their names, functions and positions seemed like an impossible task. Even merely FINDING them was a really tough one! But (there’s always a but after all), the transition from land monkeys and “what the heck is this” to cadets with adequate grasp of the topic and “I know how this works” was seamless and smooth. And as the time passed on it became really interesting to work with the sails and our boys started to playfully recognize the sails and their parts.

There’s the ship, and there’re people who keep her running. The boatswains. People who you can meet on almost every ship and on whose shoulders lays the titanic weight of proper maintenance of ship. In our case, we have two very optimistic, cheerful and intelligent lads who never cease to amaze (and amuse) us with their professionalism and knowledge of the seaman’s craft, and thanks to them the messroom is always full of jokes, stories and even music.

Each day we have trainings and lessons which bring us into contact with other crewmembers. These interactions taught us that the seaman’s profession involves skills across various fields and topics. While on shore you see people of different occupations working separately from each other, on a ship each sailor can perform a multitude of tasks ranging from cooking to medical treatment, firefighting or doing laundry. Last but not least, the skipper, a man who despite having a huge amount of responsibility is always ready to help us in our learning journey. With all those wonderful people onboard, our apprenticeship is bound to be full of rich and satisfying experience.

From Blauwe Wacht with love: Mr. Fred, Rutger, Alikhan, Aman, Daryn, Dastan, Tamerlan, Viktor, Usoroh and Yerzhan!


Dit blogbericht delen
Zhannat Biketova

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08 Maart 2019
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Dulat, (red watch)

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06 Maart 2019
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Eendracht - Postbus 51290 - 3007 GG Rotterdam - Tel.: 010 - 290 50 00 - - Website: Bitfactory