Pat, You speak of not knowing what was supposed to happen.
On my first trip to sea, I was ordered to go to the docking-bridge on the poop for stand-by on sailing from Liverpool at midnight. From the berth in Gladstone 1 and out through Gladstone Lock, all passed without incident, with the Second Mate supervising all. Unfortunately he was a vey quietly spoken man. We cleared the lock, swung for sea and picked up speed. The Second Mate said something to me which I thought was "You stay here", which I did, as he disappeared down the ladder with no further explanation. I remember passing Crosby light, and reading the name thereon. I also began to think that I was expected to remain on the poop for ever, perhaps until we reached Australia, as no further explanation had been given. I knew of no reason at all why I should be on the poop (and to the present day am unsure why I had been told to stay there). That thought, of course, was absurd. I began to think that I must, surely, have misheard or misunderstood the Second Mate. And so I left the poop and turned in.
A glowing start to a career - as you might imagine!