They can be observed along the dock. Walking around grouped into trios, in dull outfits in an attempt to blend in with the grey worn out cement colour of the ground; carrying and pulling heavy ropes, sporting thick combat look-a-like boots. They’re only seen when vessels border the port for berthing or mooring however, with the aid of their walkie-talkies to facilitate communication they can disperse quite rapidly. No one dares go near them, not even the solid men and women in our security crew (we have about 60 personnel at our Mahe Ports). ***
Day seven, 05:30 was my wakeup call… an eventful day awaited Mariana and I, and we thus had to be at the port by 06:30 – Costa NeoRomantica would be entering the pilot station(near Saint Anne Island) at 07:00 sharp, and our silver-tongued Director Mr. Bianchi got us the golden opportunity to witness first-hand the operations done offshore by one of SPA’s Captains and officials from the NDEA, HEALTH and IMMIGRATION(all to ensure that the people entering our ports pose no threat to Seychellois lives, property and livelihood). All of the above mentioned, including Mariana and I were on board Pilotage Vessel, MERLE. Due to being simply interns, we weren’t given clearance to board the vessel, at least not at the pilot station (stay tuned for an overview of my ‘inoubiable’ moment on board). Back at the port, accompanied by Mr. David we watched in awe as the monstrosity of a floating beauty docked safely. With our talented team of men on the tug boat remaining on standby.
Sooner than later, traditional music, played by the talented band that the port personally seeks and hires, was being echoed off the new metallic wall of the vessel, and on the “SA KART NWEL” part, tourists on board the Costa disembarked. [SA KART NWEL, means “This Christmas Card” it’s a very popular local song, sang and played especially at Christmas time]
What an amazing way to be welcomed into paradise? An array of travel agents aligned and patiently awaiting their day’s clients. And had you been a more adventurous person wanting to explore Mahe Island like a local, walking around or by public vehicles all would be made readily available at your disposal. If by chance a client hadn’t gotten the time to contact a travel agent, upon walking out of the SPA’s gate a group of hungry and competitive small scale business owners were present with their display boards, their accents well-honed and their demeanor calm and inviting… all the tricks and trades of being in competitive market.
*** Back to the gang, yeah sorry kind of tricked you into reading my whole blog before an explanation. Well the thing is, although these men wear dull clothing #Overalls, they always rock neon colored helmets and reflective vests. They’re seen in trios, not to beat up anyone, but to share the tasks of pulling the heavy ropes and hooking them to the bollards. They’re only seen when vessels are berthing or mooring the port because they are needed then, #DrumRoll, Ladies and Gentlemen allow me to present the #MOORING_GANG. P.S I believe whoever came up with the name was a genius… the mooring gang are these responsible people behind the securing of a vessel by ropes to the port.
Hope this one wasn’t too long and I managed to keep you lot awake. Stay tuned for my day on board Costa and my trip on Rose-Mary the lady.
Written by Melissa Jumaye