For the past 2 months I have been working on the night shift as 3rd Officer on a passenger/freight ferry in New Zealand. Night shift usually means that you get to see to sun set in the evenings as you start watch but because it is currently winter we don’t get to see the sun anymore. As well as that I have to mention the rapid decrease in temperature outside on deck.
The night shifts are 12 hour shifts which start at 1800 in the evening and finish up at 0600 the next morning. A typical night shift roster would be:
1800-1845: Cargo planning for the departure from Wellington-Picton.
1845-2000: Loading the ship in Wellington then mooring stations for departure.
2000-2330: One Officer drives and the other Officer prepares the next cargo load and conducts safety rounds of the cargo decks.
2330-0050: Mooring stations for berthing in Picton and then discharge and loading.
0050-0415: One Officer drives and the other Officer completes safety checks and safety rounds of the cargo decks.
0415-0600: Mooring stations for berthing in Wellington and then discharge before finishing your shift.
That is the structure of the night shift watch system. As for the day shift it is pretty similar work hours, all divided between two Deck Officers. The only difference is the day time sailing is for passengers and their cars and the night sailings are for Trucks and dangerous good cargo.