Born and raised in Szczecin, Poland, Chief Officer Krzysztof Sochacki was fascinated by the seafaring profession from an early age. His father, a seafarer as well, took every opportunity to bring young Krzysztof on board the ships he worked on, and exposed him to the ins and out of life at sea.
Krzysztof eventually followed his father’s footsteps and realised his childhood ambition. He started as a Deck Cadet in 1995 and joined BSM in 2000 as Deck Assistant on board LPG tanker Gaz Coral. He became a Master on board LPG tanker Navigator Pluto in 2012.
Recalling his early years as a seafarer, Krzysztof reminisced about his visits to many ancient historical sites such as the Great Pyramid of Giza, the Acropolis of Athens and the Thermopylae. He also looks forward to visiting old cities such as Cartagena in Colombia and large cities such as Jakarta in Indonesia, when the opportunity arises.
After almost 18 years of illustrious service on board LPG carriers, Krzysztof was offered the opportunity to transition to LNG carriers. Driven by his penchant for lifelong learning, Krzysztof stepped out of his comfort zone and embraced the challenge.
When asked if he made any sacrifices during the transition, Krzysztof mentions, “While LPG and LNG carriers are equally challenging to work on, there are several challenging aspects of LNG shipment that differ and need to be considered from LPG, such as calculations on how much cargo (heel) needs to remain in an LNG vessel’s tanks for the next passage. Another challenging aspect is the LNG cargo specifications, which need great care during the typical cargo cycle to eliminate the risk of explosion or damage to the tanks and pump columns.”
Krzysztof will return to the rank of Captain upon contract renewal, and he offers the following advice to fellow seafarers who are preparing for a transition from LPG to LNG: “Study cargo specifications and carriage publications. Once on board, pay attention to operations manuals and learn how to use automation systems fluently. Listen to the advice of more experienced colleagues.”