Meet Able ship's assistant
Michel de la Motte Nørfjand
School: Svendborg Søfartsskole
Started in ESVAGT: 14-01-2019
I chose a career at sea because I wanted something different. I have worked as a dishwasher and waiter in the past. It was work – and then home. It was the same every day.
That’s why I wanted to do something that made sense to me. I’ve always thought it would be fun to sail, but never knew the way to get there.
Today, I sail as an able ship’s assistant in ESVAGT and started my career in ESVAGT as an ordinary ship’s assistant in the shipping company.
On this page I will tell you about life in ESVAGT and the transition from ordinary to able ship’s assistant.
how i became an able ship's assistant in esvagt
Having earned my sailing time at ESVAGT as an ordinary ship’s assistant, I decided to study to become a navigator, but a few months later I found out that this was not what I wanted. It simply became too sedentary for me.
Therefore, I called Christina in ESVAGT’s recruitment department and told her that I would rather study to become an able ship’s assistant – and then she made sure there was a plan for the coming process.
I knew I was welcome back. There was really nothing secret about that, and it’s a good feeling to know that you’re wanted.
Since then, I have also received some courses for SOV, and you just generally feel welcome. I always had the feeling that I wanted to stay in the shipping company.
ESVAGT is positive about you continuing as an able ship’s assistant – which is good to know if you also want to go down that road. Well, that was a little about how I went from an ordinary ship’s assistant to able ship’s assistant.
Let’s move on.
Interaction with the other assistants
As an able ship’s assistant, you are given more responsibility, and you also get freer rein to organize your own working day and plan the tasks to be done during that week.
There is also a close cooperation with the ordinary ship’s assistants as part of our job is to train the ordinary ship’s assistants and make sure that they are prepared for their work.
It is also important to me that the ordinary ship’s assistants feel that they can come to me as an able ship’s assistant, because I feel that no questions are wrong.
At ESVAGT CORNELIA we do not have our own cook, and therefore the ship’s assistant takes turns for one week with galley service, where we must cook for the rest of the crew. If I just turn the time back a few years, I remember it was very overwhelming. And not exactly in the positive way. You were completely starting from zero and I wasn’t very talented at cooking.
But today it is completely different. You quickly learn that the crew does not expect Michelin food, and then we are good at helping each other. There is no busier than there always being time to lend a hand. And the favorite. Pizza.
Three tips for you as an ordinary ship's assistant from michel
Life on board an esvagt vessel
Social life is a big part of everyday life at ESVAGT, so if you want to, you can build a good social life, because there are many good people on board the vessels.
On ESVAGT CORNELIA we have a good community about football, where we have fans of Liverpool, Manchester United and Arsenal, so it is a lot of fun and there is a lot of good teasing.
Part of life at sea is also that you get to spend some holidays on at sea, and I have spent New Year on board twice. The first time we got Goulash with mashed potatoes. It was a rather dull New Year’s menu, so a couple of years later my colleague Frederik and I went to the galley and made some great food.
We made two dishes and had, among other things, a delicious roast with potatoes and gravy, while one of the ordinary ship’s assistants was kind enough to make dessert for the whole crew.
And yes, we just had a great time and watched the TV-programs that you watch on such an evening. I just threw in a picture from the evening, which you can see here.
What are my job tasks like?
Well, now that I am employed to do a job, I could just finish off by telling a bit about what tasks I have as an able ship’s assistant in ESVAGT.
As I mentioned, we work closely with our ordinary ship’s assistants, and we therefore spend some time making sure that they feel safe in their tasks. This means a lot of explaining, toolbox talks and planning of the day.
Able ship’s assistants also have tasks such as general maintenance, exercises, and FRB sailing, while there is also some cleaning.
Because yes, even if you are far away from home, household chores still need to be done. And I’m fine with that because you’re not interested in living in a messy place.
In general, I have a positive approach to the various tasks, because they are there for a reason, but if I still had to mention one task that is not always the most fun, it is probably engine checks in bad weather.
But that doesn’t make it any less important because no matter the weather, job must be done.