Wednesday 13th December 2017 was surely a day to remember! Instead of being in the office at SMSA, we switched it up a bit and moved to the New Port at the Seychelles Port Authority (SPA) for a day. Our guide for the day was Mr. Vincent Didon who is the Business Development Manager at SPA.
The plan for the day was to visit and gather as much information as possible from the Commercial Port, Fishing Port and Ile du Port Handling Services. The Commercial Port, basically is where the cruise ships and cargo/container ships dock (keep reading to find out exciting stuff we got to do, involving these ships!) I was surprised to learn that Seychelles was the first country to use fish loaders! This started in 2008 where this new machinery revolutionised the loading of fish into containers. There are currently 14 of these. Done manually before 2008, only 1-2 containers were filled per day. Now? We’re talking 2-3 per hour! This obviously boosted the rate at which work is done to export raw or canned tuna, which is 99.5% export of Seychelles. Due to a now limited space, the Commercial Port is expected to soon extend another 600m in length, almost twice its current length.
Moving on to the Fishing Port, we had the chance to board the fishing vessels and see the operators with a front and center view! The fish caught had to be kept ultra frozen in temperatures varying from -35°C to -60°C. I was most impressed at the workers having to descend into the extremely cold freezers in order to load the fish onto the conveyor belt, which moves them to a net which is then loaded onto the fish loaders and finally into containers! They had to wear really thick clothing to protect them from the very sharp and freezing temperature.
The highlight of the day was the fact that we had the amazing opportunity to board the Costa neoRiviera, a cruise ship who docked in the Port the very morning! I was amazed by the facilities the ship had to offer. For most of us, it was our first time on a cruise ship and it was surely an experience one would not easily forget!
After a hearty meal on the ship, we got to board CMA CGM LA TOUR, a container ship on which we took a general tour of the vessel and discovered the different functions of the ship and machinery. I was glad to see that this huge ship takes great care in preventing marine pollution based on their equipment and precautions they take.
I had quite a pleasant time at the port where I learnt a number of interesting things, ready to be shared with others whenever possible!
Until my next adventure,