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Boatswain (BOSN)

Occam

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FDO said:
That being said I will retire at the end of February to pursue other interests that are directly related to the skills I learned in Navy as a Bos'n. Don't look for me I'll be driving boats over flat, clear blue water in warm temps.

They're hiring sub drivers at West Edmonton Mall?    ;)

Sorry, couldn't resist.
 

FDO

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Close. I'm going to operate the Swan ride at Toronto's Centre Island

Right back at ya ;D
 

FSTO

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I was the Deck Officer for my last two tours at sea.  I then went to Seamanship division at CFFSE and I can tell you without a doubt that the Boatswains are very well respected by the naval community at large. They can be counted on to get the job done (no matter what type of job it is) in the most seamanlike manner. By the time they are killicks the good ones are displaying leadership skills of PO2's, mainly because they are thrust into so many leadership/supervisory roles early in their career. If you like the outdoors, hands on, and job variety then the deck ape (I say this with all sincerity) trade is the way to go. 
 

Sailorwest

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Personally, I've always has a lot of respect for the Bosun's. They work hard and although some of them play a bit too hard, they are always willing to take on tough tasks in tough conditions. As mentioned earlier, there a lots of jokes cycling around out there about different trades but for the most people realize that it's all in fun. Just because we call them deck apes, doesnt mean we don't love them. Ask someone what NACOP stands for.
 

Pat in Halifax

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I don't know where you were reading about Bos'ns being the brunt of jokes on this site. I think you could pick any naval trade and there is a lot of ribbing but that is all it is. The segregation of trades ended in the 80s. There is a very tight working relationship across the trades now and this is evidenced in everything that a crew does whether it is bringing garbage ashore or conducting a 3-point RAS.
The 'getting your hands dirty' trades encompass almost all in your first few years but continue to the ranks up to and including PO1/CPO2 for HT, ET, Bos'n and Stoker only (possibly into the old NWT trade to a degeree as well).  Though some may disagree, there is a very tight knit comaraderee amongst these 4 trades that did not exist 20 years ago. 
I wish you the best of luck in wahatever you do and leave you with the guarantee that in about 10-12 years, you, personally, will have the absolute BEST JOB IN THE WORLD.
 

Mactonite

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Thanks everyone......I have been  talking to a few people I know, getting a lot of opinions and can't wait to get started! :cdn:
 

CallOfDuty

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I know this is an old thread, but just a quick question.  Is the Cox'n on a ship usually always a Bosn?
 

Neill McKay

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CallOfDuty said:
I know this is an old thread, but just a quick question.  Is the Cox'n on a ship usually always a Bosn?

Not always, and probably not usually, but definitely not both!

I think the majority of Cox'ns are hard-sea tradesmen but I don't believe it's still a requirement to be one.
 

Vimy_gunner

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One question I'd have about the Bosn is more specific details about how the watch on deck is conducted. If I'm on watch for the next 7 hours, do I just stare out into the mist until my shift is up. From what I understand the head Bosn is in charge of the throttle, but have no idea what the other Bosns do during this time, assuming that there's no husbandry or seamanship duties to perform.

Clearly your watch depends on whether you're in port or not, so what responsibilities might I be required to do during those 7 hours on duty while in port or at sea?

Anouther question I had was in regards to people who perhaps are new to the sea. Things like what's it like trying to sleep in your bunk while out at sea, what kind of access might you have to say catch CBC when the Oilers are playing and are you permitted to bring your own laptop computers and go online whenever you choose during your off-duty hours?
The reason I ask this is because I know from recruiting vids that you have access to sat. phones, so do you have access to internet services while relaxing in your bunk?
Also curious what it's like when you arrive at a port in say Somalia. Are you granted leave away from the ship to play tourist for any of your time while on deployment?  If so, how does that work? 

In one of the videos on the recruiting site, I noticed some mtn bikes hanging on the wall. I love to go biking, so I'm interested in hearing if one is permitted to bring along a bike on  the ship and take it out while on leave.
If you're in the middle of the baltic sea and it's freezing outside, are the ships living quarters kept warm for the crew or are you sleeping in your parka?
Are all ships equipped with basketball courts or just the big ones that are on the recruiting video, lol.  And this has a bit to do with the Oilers again, but do they have a boat tv hooked up to satellite where everyone can go and catch the game together?

So, some of my questions are on trade topic and some are just navy in general, but hopefully someone can take the time to answer these navy lifestyle questions for me.
 

Occam

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Vimy_gunner said:
One question I'd have about the Bosn is more specific details about how the watch on deck is conducted. If I'm on watch for the next 7 hours, do I just stare out into the mist until my shift is up. From what I understand the head Bosn is in charge of the throttle, but have no idea what the other Bosns do during this time, assuming that there's no husbandry or seamanship duties to perform.

Clearly your watch depends on whether you're in port or not, so what responsibilities might I be required to do during those 7 hours on duty while in port or at sea?

7 hours assumes a 1 in 2 rotation, which bosuns almost never stand.  Regardless, the watch supervisor will determine the watch rotation within the watch.  You might stand one hour helm, one hour spare, one hour lifebuoy sentry, one hour port lookout.

Anouther question I had was in regards to people who perhaps are new to the sea. Things like what's it like trying to sleep in your bunk while out at sea, what kind of access might you have to say catch CBC when the Oilers are playing and are you permitted to bring your own laptop computers and go online whenever you choose during your off-duty hours?
The reason I ask this is because I know from recruiting vids that you have access to sat. phones, so do you have access to internet services while relaxing in your bunk?

You can read up on sleeping conditions elsewhere on the forum.  You don't get internet in your bunk, this isn't the Pacific Princess.  Satellite TV is available when it's working and you're not too tired to watch it.

Also curious what it's like when you arrive at a port in say Somalia. Are you granted leave away from the ship to play tourist for any of your time while on deployment?  If so, how does that work? 

Somalia?  Sure, you can have leave.  Pick up your bulletproof vest as you cross the brow.

In one of the videos on the recruiting site, I noticed some mtn bikes hanging on the wall. I love to go biking, so I'm interested in hearing if one is permitted to bring along a bike on  the ship and take it out while on leave.

If there's space, and you have permission, and you store it properly, you may be able to bring a bike.

If you're in the middle of the baltic sea and it's freezing outside, are the ships living quarters kept warm for the crew or are you sleeping in your parka?

No, we let the ship cool down to sea water temperature to reduce A/C and refrigeration costs.  It also makes for quick showers.

Seriously, do you really think we wouldn't heat the living spaces?

Are all ships equipped with basketball courts or just the big ones that are on the recruiting video, lol.

Just our nuclear carriers, and frigates with a Lido deck.  ::)

And this has a bit to do with the Oilers again, but do they have a boat tv hooked up to satellite where everyone can go and catch the game together?

Again....sure, we have satellite TV, but if we find out people are Oilers fans, we make them get out and row.

So, some of my questions are on trade topic and some are just navy in general, but hopefully someone can take the time to answer these navy lifestyle questions for me.

You may want to read the forums a little more.  Most of this stuff can be found elsewhere. 
 

hold_fast

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I couldn't stop laughing for a good 5-10 minutes after reading that bit about getting leave in Somalia.
 

Halifax Tar

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Occam - Seriously, hes probably a kid that is looking to join the Navy, lord know we need them so why not reach out and give less sarcastic answers. Here watch:

"Also curious what it's like when you arrive at a port in say Somalia. Are you granted leave away from the ship to play tourist for any of your time while on deployment?  If so, how does that work? "

Generally from my 9 years at sea I have found the average port visit to be about 3-4 days in length. As well generally during that 3-4 days you will have 1 day in which you are part of the "foreign Port Duty Watch". So for that 24 hour period you are required to stay aboard the ship and the preform the duties laid down to you by the Cox'n or Duty Cox'n. For the days you are not required to be on duty you may generally come and go from the ship as you please, making sure you peg out (We have a peg board that denotes if one is on board or ashore) and that you are on board again but the stated time, usually 6-7am.

Having said this, on my last ship (HMCS Toronto 06-09) we were able to stay over night in a hotel or some other residence as long as you contacted the ship and/or filled out a form that would enable the ship to contact you should the need arise.

_____

"If you're in the middle of the Baltic sea and it's freezing outside, are the ships living quarters kept warm for the crew or are you sleeping in your parka?"

Yes the mess decks are heated and air conditioned of course depending on the climate you happen to be in at that moment. From my personal experience I found that an extra blanket was always good to have as living with 21 people all with different temperature likes can lead to allot of up and down temps.

____

"Are all ships equipped with basketball courts or just the big ones that are on the recruiting video, lol."

Well I have sailed on HMC Ships Preserver (x2) St Johns (x2) Ville De Quebec and Toronto. None of those ships has a basket ball court on board, which leaves me to be quite certain that none of our ships come equipped with a basket ball court. I do seem to remember Preserver having one of those move able basketball nets secured in the hanger some where though, I could be wrong too though.

As for other PT equipment all ships (HFX, 280 and Pre class) have some sort of gear spread out through the ship in most cases.
___

Hope this helps. I cannot speak on the watch system or the Bos'n trade, as I am a Naval Storesman, but I will say Bos'n looks like a fun job from the outside and that the Navy is a great life and I hope you enjoy it as much as I have!
 

Occam

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Halifax Tar said:
Occam - Seriously, hes probably a kid that is looking to join the Navy, lord know we need them so why not reach out and give less sarcastic answers.

The humorous replies were, I thought, clearly so.  Most of the questions have been asked before and the OP needs to read more of the Naval threads.

Perhaps if people didn't have the impression that we have basketball courts, in-rack internet and guided tours of Mogadishu, the Navy wouldn't be losing people who find out we don't offer those perks.  ;)
 

Halifax Tar

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Occam said:
The humorous replies were, I thought, clearly so.  Most of the questions have been asked before and the OP needs to read more of the Naval threads.

Perhaps if people didn't have the impression that we have basketball courts, in-rack internet and guided tours of Mogadishu, the Navy wouldn't be losing people who find out we don't offer those perks.  ;)

Point taken Occam. I just read it perhaps a bit deeper, to the real issue he/she was asking. For instance I would surmise that the fact he asked about Mogadishu was more about what happens in a random foreign port and less about the actual port in question.

I know I had some far out thoughts before I joined my first ship...Bloddy hell I was told Preserver had swimming pools!
 

Occam

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Halifax Tar said:
I know I had some far out thoughts before I joined my first ship...Bloddy hell I was told Preserver had swimming pools!

She does....I even have photographic evidence.  >:D
 

Oldgateboatdriver

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Halifax Tar said:
[...] was more about what happens in a random foreign port and less about the actual port in question.

Sorry Halifax Tar, in all my years in the Navy I never had a port visit in a random foreign port: Under our talented navigators, we always ended up at the very port we planned to visit.

(This facetious comment brought to you courtesy of my  "War on the Abuse of the Word Random by Younger Gen." ;) )
 

Vimy_gunner

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Occam said:
7 hours assumes a 1 in 2 rotation, which bosuns almost never stand.  Regardless, the watch supervisor will determine the watch rotation within the watch.  You might stand one hour helm, one hour spare, one hour lifebuoy sentry, one hour port lookout.

You can read up on sleeping conditions elsewhere on the forum.  You don't get internet in your bunk, this isn't the Pacific Princess.  Satellite TV is available when it's working and you're not too tired to watch it.

From what I've 'read' there's plenty of spare time to do your own thing while at sea. In fact, I read the exact opposite, that some people get so BORED out at sea.

Somalia?  Sure, you can have leave.  Pick up your bulletproof vest as you cross the brow.

Life is for the adventurous isn't it. One could just as accurately say that the same risks are taken by those soldiers who get off the boat and arrive in the middle east. I would hope someone in the Canadian navy would be intelligent enough to understand that it was a 'general' statement as to what the policy on 'shore leave' is.

If there's space, and you have permission, and you store it properly, you may be able to bring a bike.

In the Navy advertisement for the occupation it shows a few bikes on hooks inside the PT area where others were riding stationary bikes. Perhaps anouther case of the navy portraying something it's not.

No, we let the ship cool down to sea water temperature to reduce A/C and refrigeration costs.  It also makes for quick showers.

Seriously, do you really think we wouldn't heat the living spaces? 

Many people have varying definitions of what's warm and what's cold. Some of us don't leave the window open at night :p 


Just our nuclear carriers, and frigates with a Lido deck.  ::)

Again....sure, we have satellite TV, but if we find out people are Oilers fans, we make them get out and row.
I believe the flames lost the other night ... what was the score? 4-0 :p

You may want to read the forums a little more.  Most of this stuff can be found elsewhere.

If I were to psychologicaly analyze the tone of your response I might discover that you're suffering from some serious narcissistic personality traits combined with a load of cynicism and are generally unhappy with your own working life. Classic symptoms.
Just when I was thinking the Navy is filled with good guys, one bad apple comes along.

The Navy sells the civ on many of the things you were complaining about as being the reason why sailors leave the trade. Perhaps it's the dishonest advertisements that give those signing up the wrong idea about those Navy perks.

 
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