Well this my final week at the SMSA as a #BEintern. However, this did not prevent me from being excited for the week ahead. So bright and early on Tuesday morning I made my way to the office to the New Port which has been a daily routine for the past week as an intern. Luckily, my boss Captain Valmont saw me walking along the road towards the office and he offered me a ride. So I got to relax a bit before reaching office. Upon entering the New Port’s gate I was greeted by a very loud and Creole like ambiance. Traditional songs and dances were being performed by a local band and their dancers to welcome the massive Costa neoRomantica in port (a cruise ship). The Port was engulfed by colors and smells from different stalls selling souvenirs and creole snacks, which was an offset from the daily hustle and bustle of cargoes being loaded and unloaded. Not forgetting the tour operators who were waiting for their guests to disembark, to whisk them away on excursions and sightseeing.
When I said the ship is massive, it is MASSIVE. Words can’t describe how big it is. neoRomantica has an overall length of 220m, with beam length of 30.8m and daft of 8.2m. She can accommodate 596 crew members and with 789 passenger cabins she has the capacity to take up to 1800 passengers (so you can imagine for yourself how big that ship is). As per usual Nathanielle and I were up to our habit of checking out massive ships in port. After that we left and went on with our task for the day, which was to accompany Terry to carry out for surveys vessels (one of our favorite things to do at SMSA).
Time for lunch slowly came and we were impatiently waiting to board the mother ship. Brigitte and some other SMSA employees accompanied us to have lunch aboard neoRomantica. Ralph from the Port Authority guided us to the entrance and security screenings were conducted then we began an 11 storey climb to the very top of the ship (thank goodness we took the elevator). As we stepped out of the elevator we didn’t realise how high we were until we made our way out to the deck, from there we had a bird’s eye view of everything from St Anne Island, the Old Port till up to the Trois Frères Mountain. By then we were all famished so we made our way to Il Giardino (a buffet restaurant on Deck 10) to indulge in an array of international dishes. Of course I went only for the Italian dishes, which makes sense as I was on an Italian Cruise Ship and being fresh out of Italy for holiday, so it was time to reminisce. All full and groggy we all took time to explore the upper deck of this massive beast. Surely, I’m going to miss the perks of being an intern at the SMSA.
I can firmly say that I have learned more than I could have ever known about the ocean and vessels from the #BEinternship. Well it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity so I had to seize it. I have fallen in love with the ballast system on the large vessels, this fascinates and intrigues me. This is the system that keeps those big and heavy vessels (tankers, cargo ships, cruise ships etc…) from sinking. What can you say? I’m a ballast freak! Moreover, I have been so fortunate to board Seychelles Paradise, Seypec’s smallest tanker. Impressed I am, by the effort of the company to keep their operation as “blue” as possible by using fuels in their tankers with the least amount of sulfur which does not pollute the sea environment as much as those with high sulfur content. Furthermore, the level of safety on Paradise is outstanding, especially in the engine and main engine room. Mechanisms in place ensure that the least amount of lives will be compromised in the event of an emergency on board.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone behind the success of the blue economy internship program. The British High Commission, Commonwealth Youth Council and also the hard workers behind the scene – Kalsey Belle, Angelique Pouponneau and anyone else involved. It has been a privilege to write for you and I hope you have enjoyed my blogs.
Sign off: Ryan Dewea