My son is on the verge of joining his first ship, unfortunately for him, this ship is scheduled to be in dry dock until October 2009.
If he wanted to try to get a sea-going draft, what are his options, or is he just stuck with his lot?
I would suggest he has a word with his department coordinator once he gets onboard, and if he can be spared see the waterfront manning officer and see if he can get loaned to another ship to allow him to complete his task books.
The only reason I ask if he is an M.E is because that (refit) is probably the best time to join a ship for an M.E. You will know the ship like the back of your hand when you come out, having learned it with no pressure on you.
I joined my first ship in refit. I remember draining down about it at the time! Remind him he will do plenty of time on the green wavy stuff over the next few years, so make the most of it. That is f course, in the unlikely event that he does not get loaned to another ship anyway.
My first draft was painted entirely in a fetching coat of red lead as she was in the final stages of a refit. As others have mentioned, it is no bad thing as you get the chance to find your feet before you venture into the bouncy wet stuff.
We had just finished painting her the proper shade of pusser's gray when a certain POWEA decided to test the circuits for the aft lifebouy releases. He did remember to lash the starboard one in its cradle, but forgot the port one, and guess which release he triggered..... Well, the gunner's yeo had just attached the smoke marker floats, and the one now in the water worked very well indeed. The orange smoke was very pretty. Unfortunately the entire port quarter was stained orange and had to be repainted, by guess who? Us of course! No way was a greeny PO going to fix the paintwork he had ruined.
Frankly, it's a little disappointing to see that anyone should think that their offspring should have a God-given right to be drafted to a first option West indies Guard-Ship billet rather than have a realistic training draft to a ship in refit.