Having first sailed on an Ardmore vessel in January 2014, we are delighted that Chief Mate Yu Miao has agreed to share his seafaring experience.
Why did you choose a career in seafaring?
I was always very curious about sailing such a giant thing, and the opportunity to visit different countries.
What can you remember from your first trip as a deck cadet?
Everything! I joined the MT Maribel as a deck cadet on 30th July 2007 at Euro Port, Rotterdam.
I still clearly remember as it was my first time travelling on an airplane, my first time visiting a foreign country, and the first time I ever tasted cheese and olives!
After a year on board I had learned so many skills from the officers and crew, who also helped me to improve my English.
Describe how your career progressed up to Chief Mate.
I think interest and attitude are very important. In my experience, if you want to become a chief mate you have to be prepared to work hard and to never give up. I still remember when I was a 2nd officer, every day after I finished my duties I would read books and go to the cargo control / Deck to shadow the chief officer and master, asking a lot of questions. I quickly learned that I could learn so much from having general conversations with them. When I felt I had enough knowledge and skill I tried to do tank cleaning, stowage planning / cargo planning under the supervision of the chief officer or master. This really helped me to gain more practise and experience before becoming a chief officer.
How was your first trip as Chief Mate?
It is always very hard at the beginning when you get a new position. For me personally, every day was a challenge and learning experience in the first month. But after month 1, I felt much more confident in my abilities to take care of everything on deck, including the crew. It was definitely a big step for me.
What is the biggest change you have seen on board since you first went to sea?
Responsibility, as my position and role become more and more important for the ship, my responsibility has gotten more and more crucial. As a chief mate I need to take really good care of the ship and its crew.
What is your favourite part of the world to sail in?
I think every country has its own wonders which I have enjoyed discovering and learning more about. But of course the best place for me is still my hometown where I grew up.
How do you see the future for seafaring engineers?
Looking ahead, I think there’s a bright future for seafaring engineers who are willing to utilise new technology and new regulations to improve/enhance their roles.
How was your experience as the first Chinese deck senior officer in the Ardmore fleet?
I felt very proud when I became a deck senior officer and had a very good team of officers and crew supporting me.
How does sailing with Ardmore Shipping differ from other shipping companies?
Ardmore is the first company that I’ve worked for that values experience and tries as much as possible to retain experienced crews on board its fleet.
Share something interesting about yourself that we mightn’t know.
I was born and still live in the same town – ‘Long Kou’ in the Northern part of China – which is located near the entrance of Bo Hai Bay. My grandfather was a fisherman and my father is a truck driver, and I took after my grandfather by becoming a seaman – just one of the few seamen in my small town .
Disclaimer: This article was originally published in issue 17 of the Ardmore Standard. Not to be reproduced without permission from Ardmore Shipping.