Hydrographic Surveying

Hydrographic Surveying


I’m [INAUDIBLE]. I’m a hydrographic systems
operator, and buffer onboard HMS Mermaid. The hydrographic role is quite
different from the majority of every other branch
in the Navy. We will generally be surveying
every day. We’ll get an order to say,
OK, this area needs to be surveyed, and then we’ll get the
ship ready, off we go, and we’ll generally be about
three months at sea on a normal trip. We utilise multibeam echo
sounders to get pictures of the bottom. I guess people describe it
as knowing the graphs. I mean, you’re just
going up and down. Generally, areas that have never
been surveyed before, so you’re finding reefs that
haven’t been charted, sometimes wrecks and things
like that, so it can be quite exciting. Not everybody has this type of
job where we just go and work in remote parts of the country
that no one will ever go to. You just find yourself on these
random little islands in the middle of, say, the Torres
Strait, and just camping there a couple nights. Overseas-wise, I’ve been to
Singapore, to [? Numea ?] in French Polynesia, the Solomon
Islands, all around Australia. There’s currently a team down in
Antarctica doing some work at the moment, so you get to
go some pretty cool places. When you come back, you get a
fair bit of downtime to take holidays and go see
family and stuff. I guess I see myself in the
future just progressing through the ranks. There’s always that opportunity
to do something different in the Navy. You’re not really going to get
tied down into one spot. Once you’ve done your basic
training, you’re pretty much [INAUDIBLE]. going out at sea, and living
the good life.