By the sea, chilled breeze to wisp my curly locks about, inhaling that lightly salted air to ease one’s nostrils and relieve symptoms of sinus… ‘’HONNNKKKK’’ shipping vessels, dragging me back from Atlantis to reality, both leisure and commercial. Indeed, it wasn’t the ‘Spa’ you were thinking of.
The Seychelles Port of Authority is most often abbreviated to SPA, and that is where I, Melissa Jumaye have and will be spending my sejours for the next two weeks. Under the talented wings of Mr. Vincent Didon (Business development Manager) and his Director Mr. David Bianchi, as well as a vast labor force which in my view were perfectly recruited for their job, any information, data, statistic, views and even opinions are made readily accessible for my use, always at the top of their games and shooting down each of my questions with great precision and aim (keeping in mind that I’ve got questions at the tip of my tongue at almost all phrases #QUEASINESS).
My team, at the SPA is very energetic and active. During my time here I’ve been given the opportunity to travel to Praslin and La Digue Island to further understand the operations of the SPA #EnforcingAuthority, and managing the fine flow of vessels in and out of our ports smoothly. I was given the golden opportunity to meet the strong and well capable work force of which I made a few friends, Ms. Freda (The CEO’s personal secretary) and Mr. Ralph (Senior research officer) are just two. My colleague Marianna Naya and I, also got the chance to visit the Ports found at Perseverance Island, #Zone14 being one of them. We also visited the Fishing port found at Mahe’s Old port. We got the chance to board the #Alakrana, a fishing vessel which the Somalian pirates managed to capture a few years ago as well as a cargo ship #Jakarta_Tower. On board we viewed the processes associated with unloading the catch, went into the wheelhouse and up top to the crow’s nest #OnTopOfTheWorld. I’ve been into the port’s tower, mind you, although it is a very small unit at the very top of the building it is considered to be ‘the Heart of the port’ as Mr. Bianchi said. The men in the tower, are those key figures behind smooth communication between incoming and outgoing vessels, the ease of communications between the captains on board vessels being tugged and the captains of the tug boats themselves. It is because of them that any life threatening collisions between vessels have not been observed in the Seychelles seas. I also got the chance to come to a distance of about 2 metres away from #Nautica, the amazingly huge cruise ship.
During my time I also got the chance to learn on how exactly a port makes capital through boats, this is through a series of fees which any vessels mooring or berthing the Seychelles port pays: pilotage fees and tugging fees, refueling fees, taking on water for “ballast” (that water that keeps the vessel cooled and buoyant as well as balanced) are some examples. The SPA currently has 3 tug boats; Ascension, Rose-Mary and Alouette, which are equipped with projectors, hydrants and foam tanks for firefighting, and three Pilotage; Marianne, Merle and Riga.
I was also lucky enough to witness the aweing manner of receiving tourists adapted by the Seychelles port. Red carpets, live bands playing traditional songs accompanied by them oh so talented dancers, kiosks offering local goods and the array of travel agents ready to receive their customers, #Masons Travels, #7DegreesSouth...You know the drill! Now, that (acqueille) I’m sure you weren’t aware of.
What does the SPA have to do with the Blue Economy?
A question asked by many who aren’t aware. And my answer would always be, mind you, quoting the Blue Economy Roadmap, “the Blue Economy’s scope includes activities which use oceans and coastal spaces as well as ocean products as main inputs. The SPA comes in, in the sense of allowing entrance of shipping vessels into our ports for loading and unloading, deliver a berthing or mooring space for these vessels and enables quick and easy communication with these vast vessels to avoid collisions of any sort”.
See you next time, till then keep being environmentally friendly and loving the Earth, after all it is our only home!