After several years working in hardware stores, Virgil Légaré was looking for a new challenge. After discussing with a friend working onboard an oil tanker, Virgil began to consider a career at sea. Having always had an interest in boats and an ease on the water, he decided, in June 2018, to embark on a new adventure and become a seafarer.
As a deckhand, Virgil assumes the role of a real handyman and ensures the proper maintenance of the ship. He truly loves working as a deckhand and finds it very rewarding. “This job brings me a lot of self-validation. For example, when I manage to dock the boat correctly, I know that I did some great work and it makes me proud”.
Virgil also loves that every day on the ship is different and brings new challenges. There is no routine, and you never know what tomorrow will bring. This is what excites him the most as a seafarer. Each new challenge represents an opportunity to learn and develop his skills. Virgil says that learning is an integral part of everyday life aboard the ship, as everyone is encouraged to try new things and improve their skills.
Although he has only been a seafarer for a few months, Virgil has acquired many skills and wants to continue to perfect them. He enjoys working with more experienced colleagues who are happy to share their know-how.
According to Virgil, this exchange of knowledge is essential to the success of the crew. It is by using the strengths of each member that everyone can progress and push their limits. “Some people start their career thinking they know everything. However, the key to success is to remain open to what others can teach to you. This is something that is strongly encouraged on board”.
Speaking of new recruits, Virgil believes that a career as a seafarer is a great option that many young people should consider. “Since they may not have a family or ties yet, they can afford to go on long sea trips. This is a unique chance to see the world while gaining valuable skills that will be useful to them for the rest of their lives”.
Virgil is proud to be a seafarer and SIU member. He is always enthusiastic about his work and intends to develop his career as a sailor for many years. Like many others, he aspires to become a captain or SVMO one day, and continue to grow his skills. His best advice for anyone considering a career at sea is to not be afraid to make mistakes. “Learning from mistakes makes is possible for workers to improve”.