A Scholar Engineer’s Expertise on the RV Celtic Explorer – Mark Quinn, Marine Engineering Graduate


A Scholar Engineer’s Expertise on the RV Celtic Explorer
Interview with Mark Quinn, Marine Engineering Graduate

There are various tales to share from those that have stepped onboard the RV Celtic Explorer. From scientists heading out on a analysis expedition investigating cold-water coral reefs, to a baby sitting within the Captain’s chair throughout SeaFest, or a well-seasoned Marine Institute scientist catching up with the crew within the bosun retailer as they begin a three-week fisheries survey. The Marine Institute vessels are a particular place for a lot of as they’ve introduced a dream to actuality, a longing of working at sea to precise lengthy days and even months spent at sea.

A type of tales is from Mark Quinn, who lately graduated from the Nationwide Maritime Faculty of Eire (NMCI) with a level in Marine Engineering. As a part of his diploma, Mark spent seven months in complete, over two years, onboard the RV Celtic Explorer, the place he gained expertise working alongside the engineering crew. Mark shares why he selected to check Marine Engineering and his expertise onboard the RV Celtic Explorer.

1.         The place did you develop up?

I grew simply outdoors of Donegal city, on the shores of Donegal Bay. Each morning once I awakened the ocean was the primary sight that greeted me. Together with dwelling beside the ocean, I spent a whole lot of time on Arranmore Island and touring to and from the island on the automotive ferry. Throughout winter, the crossing was usually very tough and that is one thing that I beloved! I’ve a background in building equipment and have been working as a part of my household’s firm for a few years now. I believe this has helped me get to the place I’m right this moment. I used to be at all times taught that it you need one thing, it’s important to work laborious for it and willpower is the important thing to success.


2.         What did you examine in school?

I studied Marine Engineering on the Nationwide Maritime Faculty of Eire in Ringaskiddy, Co Cork. The course concerned so much a idea primarily based topics which are maths and physics oriented however all of them have a marine twist that make them difficult however attention-grabbing. Together with lectures there’s additionally a substantial quantity of sensible work concerned. This contains machine workshops, welding, electrical workshops, engine room simulator and dealing within the school’s reproduction of a ship’s engine room.


3.         Why did you select to check Marine Engineering?

Like most boys rising up I beloved to tear issues aside and see what made them work but it surely was at all times the placing them again collectively was the tough half! I at all times knew I needed to have a profession that concerned fingers on work, however for a very long time I didn’t know precisely what that may be. When researching school programs, I found the Marine Engineering course in NMCI and this instantly took my curiosity. There’s a historical past of seafaring and dealing offshore in my household. I usually heard tales of what life at sea is like once I was youthful and was at all times fascinated by these tales. Nevertheless, I by no means actually thought I might pursue a profession at sea.

4.         Any there any particular experiences that led you to a level in Marine Engineering?

Earlier than I completed faculty, I used to be fortunate sufficient to have a day tour on a pipe-laying vessel that was working off the coast. This was the foremost turning level in deciding my profession. I bear in mind being in pure awe on the dimension of the vessel as we approached on a smaller boat and that didn’t change as soon as I used to be onboard. I used to be fully gob smacked to see all of the tools and the workings on the vessel. For me, it actually was the equal of being a baby in a candy store – large equipment, soiled fingers on work and naturally, the ice cream machine within the mess room was a bonus. Because of security causes, we weren’t allowed into the engine room, however simply seeing the size of the tools and workings onboard was sufficient. I bear in mind sitting within the Captain’s chair and searching round in any respect the machine monitoring tools that was positioned on the consoles. After that day, I made a decision {that a} profession at sea is what I needed to pursue. I additionally knew I needed to be as fingers on as potential, that means engineering was for me, moderately than navigation.


5.         When and the place did you perform your placements?

After second yr in school, it’s a requirement to finish 9 months sensible sea time earlier than returning to school for the ultimate yr. This sensible expertise is accomplished over fourteen months. Various my classmates received sponsored cadetships with transport firms within the cruise business or on oil and fuel tankers. On the time, I used to be moderately envious however trying again now, I might not have modified something about my sea time. I spent two months onboard a ship working within the Kinsale fuel subject off Cork. I loved my time onboard however I felt slightly underwhelmed by the expertise because it was not as fingers on and sensible as I assumed. It was my first time working onboard a ship and there was a whole lot of idea and time studying how the tools labored. Nevertheless, my expectations had been fulfilled as soon as I joined the Marine Institute’s RV Celtic Explorer.


6.         How did you safe a placement on the RV Celtic Explorer?

NMCI made the primary contact with P&O and the Marine Institute about sea time onboard the RV Celtic Explorer. I joined the RV Celtic Explorer on the finish of November 2017 in Cork. Like something new, I used to be very apprehensive about it however this didn’t final lengthy as soon as I received onboard and settled in. At first, I used to be solely presupposed to be onboard for 3 weeks and log off earlier than Christmas, however I ended up staying onboard for nearly three months! In complete, I spent over seven months onboard the RV Celtic Explorer. I knew after my first journey that, if potential, I wish to spend the remainder of my sea time onboard. I loved it that a lot and the crew actually made me really feel at house and a part of the crew. It was the straightforward issues, like supplying you with your individual little job to do or asking your opinion on a matter they had been discussing, that meant probably the most to me. There have been journeys onboard the place I had misplaced depend of the times I used to be onboard or the times I had remaining as a result of I used to be simply having fun with it a lot. Any seafarer will inform you that the variety of days left earlier than they get house, is continually at the back of their minds!


7.         Do you could have any favorite reminiscences out of your time on the RV Celtic Explorer?

It could be virtually not possible to choose one favorite reminiscence from my time onboard the RV Celtic Explorer, however I can slender it down to a couple. Specifically, the expertise I had throughout dry dock, Christmas onboard and SeaFest in Galway. I used to be solely onboard 10 days when the ship went into dry dock in Falmouth and I actually didn’t know what to anticipate from it. At this stage, I used to be nonetheless getting use to life onboard and the overall workings of the ship, however I’ll always remember waking up on the primary morning within the dry dock to simply the sheer quantity of those who had been onboard the ship and the quantity of labor that was being achieved. In the course of the time in dry dock, there have been some lengthy laborious days of labor, however I actually did love each second of it. It was probably one of the best studying expertise I’ve needed to date.

Throughout dry dock I came upon I might be staying onboard for the Christmas interval. As this is able to be my first Christmas away from house and first Christmas on a ship, I didn’t know what to anticipate, but it surely was truly a good time onboard! Some folks say onboard a ship for Christmas day is simply one other day, however I didn’t assume this was the case. Christmas day got here round and everybody was in one of the best of spirits, it was a really relaxed day. The meals that the chef had ready was like a 5-star restaurant! It was a big day amongst the crew as everybody was understandably lacking their households at house, however this didn’t dampen the spirits onboard one bit! Like each Christmas, the day ended and the subsequent morning it was again to our regular routine.


I additionally had the chance to be onboard for SeaFest in Galway. At this stage, I had been on board the vessel for about 5 or 6 months. The crew labored laborious to make sure the ship was in high notch, much more than its regular pristine situation for the general public excursions. It wasn’t till I noticed the general public and younger households coming onboard and seeing their response to the ship that I realised that the vessel was not only a workplace and studying for me, however how a lot of a powerful piece of engineering the ship or any ship actually is. I bear in mind standing on the deck with the solar beating down. There was such an upbeat ambiance and I assumed to myself that the crew and I had been a part of one thing very particular. This actually did give me a way of pleasure to be a part of the RV Celtic Explorer crew and to be pleased with my work.


8.         What recommendation would you give to somebody wanting to check Marine Engineering?

I can think about that most individuals will probably be anticipating that the course is generally fingers on mechanical work, however this isn’t at all times the case. There may be a whole lot of sensible expertise concerned, however it’s principally a theoretical course. It’s a difficult course and at occasions I did wrestle academically and felt like giving up, however with laborious work, willpower, and steerage I managed to drag via and get there in the long run. Anybody that’s inquisitive about finding out Marine Engineering must be ready to work laborious, put in lengthy hours of examine. I discovered when you get caught into it and begin to get an understanding of the speculation it truly is pleasing and all the pieces you cowl in school is relevant to the job though it might not seem to be it’s on the time, however belief me, it’s! One factor for certain is Marine Engineering just isn’t your common school course, however neither is a profession at sea, but it surely actually is price it.


9.       What’s your plan for the long run?

Now that I’ve graduated from the NMCI with my diploma in Marine Engineering and obtained my Engineering Officer of the Watch Ticket from the Division of Transport, I plan to pursue my profession at sea. I hope to begin crusing as a Junior or Fourth Engineer and progress to sail as a Third Engineer. I hope that after gaining 12-18 months expertise at sea I’ll return to the NMCI to do the second engineer course after which receive my second engineers’ ticket. I hope the long run is vivid and affluent for a profession at sea!


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