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Pierre Vallee - Trois Rivieres, Quebec, Canada - French (Global Lives Project, 2013) -00:00:00 - 00:29:59

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-- Copy that. Nothing to say. ??? off Bécancour. -- I copy that.-- When we were at the pilot station, I was explaining that with the new electronic cards, we need to check the information. So this is what I am going to do now. Can you wrote me the captain's name please. -- Yeah.-- Asif Ali?-- Yeah.--No problem. ??? -- Yes, Sir. -- I am gonna need ship's email also. -- Need ship's email also?-- Yeah. -- Victor. Romeo. Yankee. Lima. Corp. -- Victor Romeo Yankee Lima... Lima, Corp.-- @ -- Skyfly? -- Skyfi.--Skyfi? Victor. Romeo. Yankee. Lima. [email protected] skyfi. Perfect.-- I have now checked the information. Hi! -- Hi!-- -- ???Yes?--Changing ???-- Very good. --Zero, seven, two?-- Zero, seven, two. -- Taking over, Sir. Zero, seven, two.-- --Zero, Seven, Two. Thank you. Good job, thanks! Zero. Five. Eight. -- Zero, five, eight.-- ---??? Zero. Five. Eight. --Okay, thank you.-- As you can see, it is not always bustling with activity. There are long periods of time when we are just following the ship's advance. Sometimes, it looks like... it looks easy to ... Each job has its own characteristics, you know... For a plumber that knows his job, it looks easy for him. For you, you may have to fight against the elements. But for him, it's obvious. A cook that ... that is preparing a dish, it always seems easy. That's often what... what... people that we carry as passengers tell us. All this... Yes, all this... It looks easy, you know... As you can see, it is not ... it is not physically demanding. Well... Today, everything went fine when we came on board. We used a big accommodation ladder. It looks like... ...a set of stairs that comes up and down. Sometimes, we use a real pilot ladder. It's a rope ladder with wooden steps. hum... That can be more demanding. But, it's also about... keeping our...our... quick-wittedness even in times when there is no traffic, the weather is good, there is no fog... It would be easy to... to...let our attention wander, then to... sometimes even, to fall asleep. In this case, it's not bad. The trip is only going to last five hours. We boarded the ship at 8:40pm. These are the best hours, you know. Those are not hours where you normally tend to fall asleep. I had a short nap just before boarding... ... a one-hour nap. It was more a rest than a nap... But, it... It always helps recharge the batteries before boarding. Some trips can be much longer. Boarding in Quebec around 10pm, then, reaching Becancour's dock at... At 7am, the next morning.... So, you've just been navigating for nine hours, on ships that are often very very hollow. So, we constantly need to adjust our speed in order not to hit the bottom. Because...You need to understand, the faster it goes, the deeper it will go. It's not like a sailing boat or a long boat which, because of the ratio power-weight, it pushes down at the beginning, but after, it comes to... it hydroplanes. So it looks like... it sort of looks like it is flying on the water. It... The hull and the engine's power mean that the hull does not need to touch the water entirely to move. Obviously, on a commercial ship, we are never able to get the same ratio power - engine - weight. So the faster it goes, the more it pushes down in the water. So sometimes, with ships with great draft, or very low water levels, hum... for example at the end of the summer. When we have had hot summers, towards the end of the summer, the water levels have gone down a lot, but shipowners still want to maximize their trips. Therefore, they come up with ships with the maximum draft for available water levels... Zero, Seven, Zero. -- Zero, Seven, Zero.-- So therefore, we need to adjust our speed in such transits, or even reduce the speed, which ends up making these trips even longer. So, sometimes, at the end... of a really long trip like that, we are going to have to maneuver the ship. It means that we are going to have to berth the ship. Sometimes with the help of tugboats, sometimes without their assistance. And so, we need maximum reflexes during the maneuver even though, because of the tiredness from the trip, our reflexes are not necessarily at their best. So... the length of the trips have.... have to be revised. The security duration of the trips will be revised because tiredness is not a negligeable part of our work. Then, we...we... at least, we are able to question ourselves regarding the security duration. So, today, we are lucky. It is a good ship, we are going at a nice speed, and the tide level is good. We should arrive in Quebec... It is going to be 40 minutes after low tide. So, there won't be any current coming up yet. --On course. Zero, Seven, Zero. -- Okay, thank you.-- We are still making almost 16 knots. So... The elements are in our favour today. But, the same ship at the same time, instead of making 16 knots... At the moment, we are going 13 knots but the water mass is moving at a speed of 3 knots. So, we are making 16 knots. However, if we were going in the other direction, the ship would still go 13 knots but the water mass would be moving 3 knots in the other direction. So if we look at the bottom, we would only be making 10 knots. So... it's... our speed is 60% faster this evening, because of the tide level. -- Some would say that this job is Taoist.-- Taoist? Oh, I don't think it is that bad, for example. --Zen. -- Yes. But... Zen is often associated with a state of rest. You cannot be in a resting state. You just keep the... the speed of... execution and quick-wittedness. Even in the middle of the night. Even after ten or twelve hours on board a ship. It's when we stop paying attention that incidents or accidents happen. -- I meant in a sense of harmony, to be able to keep everything...-- For that, yes, for example. -- Balanced. -- Yeah, yeah, yeah, For that, yeah. -- Which shows the path...-- Yes. -- It's very important in Taoism. -- Okay. -- When are we arriving? In about an hour at the port of Quebec?-- An hour and a half. -- An hour and an half? -- Yeah. Are your colleagues there yet? -- That's what I am checking. -- Yeah, Allo, Bridge. Yeah. Good Morning. Hum? No. Hum, not sure. --Zero-Five-Zero.-- Zero. Five. Zero.-- Four. Twenty. -- Four. Twenty. Zero. Four. Twenty.-- Easy to ten. -- Easy to ten. Zero. Four. Ten. -- ??Chip??-- ??? Main ships ???.-- Starboard ten. -- Starboard ten. Zero. Starboard ten. -- Okay. ??? Merchip.??? -- ??? Merchips. ??? Zero. ???Merchips.??? -- Starboard ten. -- Starboard ten. Zero. Starboard ten.-- Starboard twenty.-- Starboard twenty. Zero. Starboard twenty.-- Easy to ten.-- Easy to ten.-- ??Merchip.??--??Merchips.??-- Steady zero, four, eight.-- Steady. Zero, four, eight.-- Like I explained earlier on, that's what we do. We take control of the helm when we think the ship is not turning to our liking. -- Steady Sir. Zero, four, eight. -- Thank you. In this case, it wasn't turning fast enough. So, we take control of the helm. We give orders so that they turn the helm at the angle that we determine, and not... The helmsman doesn't get to decide which angle should be applied. We give him a new course to follow. We stabilize it. And then, we give the helm back to him. Here, we are stabilized on a zero-forty-eight-course. Zero. Four. Six. -- Zero. Four. Six.-- With a forty-eight-course, and the water mass that is moving, we are still at a fifty-three course at the bottom. So, I had to correct it a little more. -- Zero. Four. Six. --Okay, thank you. Zero. Six. Five. -- Zero, six, five. --Trafic Québec. Arctic.-- Zero. Six. Five, Sir.-- Okay, thank you.-- Arctic, this is Trafic Québec.-- Good evening Sir. We are at ???-- Copy that. There is no traffic in sight. ??? at the level of section 3. --Thank you.-- Valencia Express. This is Trafic Québec. OK, copy that. On the way down, we will disembark there, after. That's good. Zero. Six. Three. -- Zero, six, three. Zero, six, two. -- Six. Three.-- Three. Six, three.-- Now we are going to listen to see if we are getting a ship tomorrow. Or later on in the day, most likely. -- Zero, six, three. -- Thank you. -- Still the same ??? or? -- Ah, yes. One forty.

Video Details

Duration: 30 minutes and 1 second
Year: 2013
Country: Canada
Language: French (Canada)
Producer: Karen Vanderborght
Views: 55
Posted by: globallives on Sep 30, 2013

Pierre guides the cargo ship Federal Kumano from the navigation bridge.

This is part of a 24-hour recording of a day in the life of Pierre Vallée, who works as a commercial ship pilot on the St. Lawrence River in Canada. This forms part of the Global Lives Project, a video library of life experience.

This video was produced by Karen Vanderborght, Catherine Genest, Rébecca Lavoie, Ariane Lorrain, Marianne Ploska, Patrick Pearce and Yanie Dupont-Hébert. 

For more information please visit

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