Working as a hydrographic survey recorder in the SANDF (SA NAVY) has been the experience i never thought i will gain when i first joined the Navy. I have learned the importance of our work, mapping out South African waters(sea floor) in order to make charts that will ensure safe navigation to all vessels sailing in our water our waters.
The military also taught us a lot about discipline,which plays a big part in our environment. The other important thing taught in the SANDF is team work, productive work comes from knowing each other's strengths as well as weakness in this type of environment and knowing how to capitalize on your collective abilities.
The hardest part of the job is, when I have to Coxswain (drive) the Survey Motor Boats for ± 10 hours/day, 6 or 7 days a week during survey operations. Also the Scarcity of time available to spend with loved ones as we are based away from home.
Flexibility is mostly important in our environment, we have learned not to make long term plans as that may change at short notice, which happens a lot of time.
The most enjoyable part of the job, is being out at sea doing what we love (Surveying), also being afforded a chance to enjoy and participate in different sporting codes.
Our supervisors play a big part in guiding us to being better surveyors on daily basis.