Onboard the Admiral Jack

Mara MersaiAll, Maritime High School

By Mara Mersai, Maritime High School Student Blogger

Hello! Mara Mersai here. Sometime after the beginning of this quarter, we were introduced to voyage planning, where we learned about the different roles within voyage planning and then went on trips on our boat—the Admiral Jack—that was placed in the docks in Des Moines. We would usually go out on voyages with our crew, which was divided into two groups, on Wednesdays and Thursdays. Once we finished checking everything from our inside and outside checklist to prepare ourselves and the boat, we would head out and start our watches.

When we do our watches onboard Admiral Jack, the two groups would each be doing two different things. One crew would be either steering the boat or plotting and making another voyage plan, while the other crew would be learning more about laws or the outside work that we do on the boat or do outside watch. Outside watch is when you observe your surroundings and watch out for any other hazards that may put the boat in danger—or it can simply be just enjoying the view outside. During lunch, our groups would only have a few crew members eating at a time on the boat so that people are still on watch. We would rotate into the other watches so everyone is able to experience everything. 

In my experience, I have never known anything about boats or even driven one before being on Admiral Jack. ⚓️  It was so cool because I don’t always see large bodies of water every day, nor have I ever driven any kind of vessel/vehicle. It is such a fun experience, and you also get to be out on the water. I like to do something new every once in a while. 😄