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Pierre Vallee - Trois Rivieres, Quebec, Canada - French (Global Lives Project, 2013) -22:30:00 - 22:59:59

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Is that i-Phone also a navigation instrument? Yes, to check the maritime traffic. With the Klein system, we can see which ships we are going to meet – a practical observation. It is not for surfing the Internet or for checking text messages, but it is very good for professional use. Is it different to a laptop? It is not for the same use. The laptop is used for navigation, it is really a navigation instrument. We can see the ships which are near to us, whereas the i-Phone is used to access the Internet portal. We can check traffic outside this harbor. We can also check the number of people on-board, so that we know before we start to work on the next ship. Personal calls... are discouraged, I imagine? — Yes, especially calls from home. If Evelyn rings, I do not answer. If it is not urgent and I do not need to call back, then I do not. She sends me a text and then I can read it when I am able to, but if the ship is going to hit the Valencia Express, I do not have time for a telephone call. I do not answer because I am too busy, and I cannot answer. — Of course. — Zero, four, six. — Zero, four, six. I soon learned how to manage my time so that I could arrive in Quebec, so that the next pilots could be assigned, because sometimes we cannot see outside, and there is no confirmation until they call us. You have to board a ship. You go down there... — Zero, four, six. — There are no interruptions. Each... each pilot receives his posting instructions. You get up, you take a shower, you get dressed, and you board the ship. You spend about three years in Quebec, but no longer than three years. It must be difficult to reduce your personal life. Ah... I always say that this job has a few disadvantages. As you can see, there is no set routine. You change ships, you change teams, you change naval bases. The boarding routine changes. There is no 'same style' routine. However, the main disadvantage is that the lack of routine shows that... it is difficult to be a pilot these days. It is difficult to work from 20:40 until about 2:00 a.m.. Then, when you leave the ship, you do not have much time to rest – only four hours after disembarking, after 14 hours on two boats. I cannot get back on-board until 16:00, but in Quebec, I get back on-board at about 16:15. I leave home at about and I have to be in Quebec at 16:00. At 14:00, the kids are not home from school, and Evelyn is at work. Zero, five, seven. — Zero, five, seven. Effectively, it is a very very very big adaptation of the family. It is also an adaptation of my marriage, which bothers me. Disembarking from a ship at about 1:30 a.m. bothers me. I get to Trois Rivieres at about 3:30 a.m. 3:30 is not my only concern, because that means that I... have to stay awake, because I want to stay alert for five hours on the ship, and after an hour and a half to two hours on the road. And at home I do not have... an 'off' button. I have to think in 'night mode' so I can fall asleep immediately. I watch TV or read for a while, to help me to fall asleep. I get to sleep at about 4:00 or 4:30 a.m. — Zero, five, seven. — Ok, thank you! In our house, the day begins at 6:00 a.m., so it is not a very long sleep. But when the kids have gone to school and Evelyn has gone to work, it is peaceful again, and I am able to go back to sleep from 7:30 or 8:00 a.m., until noon. That is a good five hours of sleep. Plus the hour and a half I've already slept, I can be sure that I have had enough sleep. But later on the road, when I am waiting to find out if I will be in charge of a ship in the afternoon, there is also a cycle. It is a sleep cycle which allows a tired pilot to re-establish a normal sleep pattern and to gain ten additional rest hours. It is useful and available for those who need it. — It is for those who... — Zero, six, five. — Zero, six, five. — are not used to this kind of schedule. Is it obligatory? I would say that... not all pilots are used to this kind of schedule. Zero, six, seven. — Zero, six, seven. But sometimes it can help with family pressure. My wife teaches an art class on Tuesday evenings, but it is not just down to me to look after the kids because I do not know if I will be at home. Until a few hours before embarking, I do not know, because sometimes there are not enough pilots at the other station, so I have to be transferred. There are vessels which have been expected to depart but the departure time has been changed twice. Zero, six, nine. — Zero, six, nine. So... it is all very last-minute. "We're doing something on Friday night. Do you want to come?" The reply is "maybe". Maybe I will go, may I won't, maybe I will be there, maybe I will have just disembarked from a ship... I do take part in social activities. However, if I am soon to board a ship, then I prefer to rest. Zero, seven, zero. — Zero, seven, zero. — Seven, five. — Seven, five. It is not an ideal job for someone who likes to have a set daily routine. It is not... it does not fit in with the... this kind of work. Pilots have to navigate everything, either as a crew member, or as a captain or as an officer. They were aware of the working conditions before they applied to become pilots. Half ahead, please. — Half ahead, Sir. — So... [Klaxon] — Zero, seven, five. — Thank you. I did not hear the question. — Are there physical requirement for this job? Yes, I think so. However I think... over time – I have been doing this for 13 years... I think as you get older your sleep requirements change, as does your adaptability to sleep. Slow ahead. — Slow ahead, Sir. — I am sure because... — [Klaxon] ... at the moment, when I disembark from a ship I need to sleep or go to bed. I do not have any problems with going to sleep too early. I can recover quite well and quite quickly. I can accumulate a sleep debt. That can have an effect in my... on me. I can accumulate sleep if I have slept well. Even if I have an afternoon nap because I have to work that night, I do not have much trouble nodding off at moments like that. Because I do not have a sleep deficiency, I can have a siesta because when I am on vacation and I am resting, having an afternoon nap is not something I am able to do. It is difficult to do that when I am on the rota. But when I feel that I have not had enough sleep, I go to bed and sleep. We have decelerated the ship here, because the Marina is very close to us. If we do not slow down, the waves could cause problems for boarding. We do not always bother to slow down in such a way to minimize damage. To avoid damage, not to limit it. — Zero, eight, five. — Zero, eight, five. — Half ahead. — Half ahead, Sir. [Klaxon] — Zero, nine, two. — Zero, nine, two. — And we will go full ahead. — Full ahead. [Klaxon] — One, zero, zero rpm, Captain. What kind of speed can we get? — For one, zero, zero? — For one, zero, zero. — And 15 minutes' notice? — One, zero... one, zero, seven. — One, zero, seven. — Speed 10 knots. — 10 knots. — So we will go with a 15 minute notice. — Give me the maximum rpm possible for a 15 minute notice. — Steady until nine, two. — Ok, make it zero, nine, four. — Zero, nine, four. — One, zero, seven. — One, zero, seven. — Good. Zero, nine, two. — Ok, thank you. [Klaxon] [Voices on the radio] [The conversation on the radio continues] — Zero, eight, five. — Zero, eight, five. [The conversation on the radio continues] [The conversation on the radio continues] [The conversation on the radio continues] [Inaudible] [Inaudible] [Inaudible] [Inaudible] [Inaudible] — Zero, seven, five. — Zero, seven, five. — What kind of boat did you used to own? — Personally? — Yes. — Oh, I used to have a pleasure yacht. It was 22 feet long, and I co-owned it with a fellow pilot in Montreal. Because there were two of us, we had two small boats which we used for embarking. We had an 18-foot one, but then changed it for a 22-foot one. It was fun for 3 years but during the last year, we hardly ever used the yacht. This year, we decided to sell it. We charged it to the bank, in case the response was not good. There were 2 or 3 visitors, and the second one took it and the third wanted it as well so it turned out well. Zero, six, five. — Zero, six, five. It was a great boat, made by Mariah – a well-known company that makes high-quality boats. It was a boat which was value for money. It was very roomy, and very stable even in the waves of the river. It was stable and comfortable... mechanically robust... except for this one time when we went to Luc-Saint sur Ville... Zero, six, zero. — Zero, six, zero. That was the only time when we could not use it. Following an accident, there were holes and a mechanical malfunction. After sailing a few kilometers, it was full of water. It was a terrible experience but we did not stay in the water. Zero, five, eight. — Zero, five... eight? — Eight, yes. [Voice on the radio] — Are you from a... [The conversation on the radio continues] [The conversation on the radio continues] — ... a family of sailors? — No, not at all. [The conversation on the radio continues] — No, there were no sailors in our family. When I told my parents that I wanted to go to the Maritime Institute, because there is only one navigation school in Quebec. It is in Rimouski – the Quebec Maritime Institute in Rimouski... — Zero, five, eight. — Thank you. It was a bit of a surprise at home, but my parents always supported my choice. They always told me, "Do what you want to, but do it well." So I left for Rimouski when I was 17, straight after completing the Eleventh Grade. In my heart, it was a good thing. My father was part of the school management and the influence was not really from him, but more from the teachers, technicians and friends at school, who used to say, "Ah yes, it is good to be a manager." That had advantages for my friends, but for me, it only presented disadvantages. My parents had 3 children and I was the eldest. I was a little bit pig-headed, as I still am indeed, so the remarks and comments of others did not really bother me. My sister is younger than me and she was the top of her class, so it was difficult to criticize her. Zero, five, six. — Zero, five, six. My little brother was more sensitive. He was... more careful than me, apart from he chose a less professional job. He became a welder in the Tenth Grade, and he is still doing that. It is a good job without too much pressure, but... — Ok, thank you! This pressure is perhaps sometimes indirect, because my father never said, "You carry pressure on your shoulders". But indirect pressure does bother him, and that bothers me. For me, leaving the family home aged 17 to go and study... hundreds of kilometers away from home in Rimousiki... there was nobody who did things the Vallée way. I was on my own even when living in a student residence at the school. If you leave home to go to navigation school, it's pleasant. There is no more parental supervision or control and back then there were no text messages. I phoned home once a week – twice a week, sometimes. It was... My time in Rimouski was a great experience. Zero, five, eight. — Zero, five, eight. If I were 17 again and I had to do it all again, I would make the same choices: the same choice of career, the same choice of school... — But I don't understand, why did you choose navigation? I didn't understand either! I... When I was young, it... — Zero, five, eight. — Ok, thank you. I thought every morning of the navy in World War Two, and the exploits of the sailors who were immortalized in movies, and I thought about ships every morning. That always appealed to me, and then in the Tenth Grade, I had a choice: education or a career. So... That seemed ridiculous, because if you think about it, you are 17 or 18 years old and choosing a career path that you will follow for the next... for the next... 40- 45 years. 17-year-olds feel grown-up, but they do not have enough life experience to choose a job that they will have to do for a long time. Zero, five, nine. — Zero, five, nine. I will report to base. — Zero, five, nine. — Ok, thank you. Quebec, the Federal Kumano. [Response on the radio] We are on the graph at zero, zero, zero, zero. [Response on the radio] [Response on the radio] Roger. About my career choice, I felt a sense of pride... an inexplicable feeling towards the Maritime Institution. Boarding a ship really interested me. So, I read the prospectus for the Maritime Institute and there was a... also a video which offered careers advice to boys. I asked for a copy. I asked the careers advisor to obtain videos about my career path. I can still remember there being... we saw lots of videos about buses or cargo boats like this one. He seemed to sigh. It is a career which involves taking on many responsibilities relatively early, but that is what really attracted me. Then when I asked if I could apply to the Maritime Institute, my grades were not terrible in the Eleventh Grade. The Tenth Grade was quite a difficult year for me. I struggled in class. At the beginning of the Eleventh Grade, I discovered the Maritime Institute and it really interested me because the course was... it was limited to a certain number of places. The students had already been selected, but I did not think that it was too late to apply. I was accepted on the condition that I would retake Eleventh Grade math, because I did not pass Tenth Grade math. So when I was in the Eleventh Grade, I retook Tenth Grade math. I was accepted on the condition that I would do Eleventh Grade math at Rimouski, because passing is a requirement of the Maritime Institute. My two schools were in agreement. So I received my timetable for the Maritime Institute and there was some confusion. It was not possible to do my math class. The school was maritime-based. The counselor, Mr Claude Paget, told me: The first math course that we teach to everyone ensures that everyone is on the same level, because the Maritime Institute has already had a meeting in Quebec, where there is a navigation school. There are people from Montreal, Quebec...

Video Details

Duration: 30 minutes and 1 second
Country: Canada
Language: French (Canada)
Producer: Karen Vanderborght
Views: 73
Posted by: globallives on Sep 30, 2013

Night. Guiding cargo ship on St Lawrence River from the navigation bridge. Giving instructions to helmsman. Talking about family with cameraman.

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