2 December 2012 –
|The travel diary of the journey through Africa on board the former SA Agulhas 1 is seen through the eyes of 62 young marine cadets who tell the story of steely determination and a passion for the sea.
On December 2, cadets Dumisa Mpogoza, Mhlonipheni Mtambo, Shuneen Van Niekerk, and Portia Miga left South Africa on an epic journey through Africa and reached the hub of the world’s maritime capital, London, with a total of 62 cadets on board.
The vessel has also been chartered by TAWT to undertake the “Coldest Journey on Earth” in 2013, as part of mainstreaming scientific research in the Commonwealth nations. The vessel loaded equipment for the expedition this weekend.
On board there is no rest for the cadets as they are focussed on learning and gaining experience from their peers. They are excited – they have learnt about each other as they come from different countries in Africa including Namibia, South Africa , Côte d’Ivoire, and Ghana. They have built “friendships on a ship”, they say happily.
The vessel now a Dedicated Training Vessel for the South African Maritime Safety Authority is an eye catcher for the Londoners as it stands proudly next to the famous 02 Arena in Canary Wharf. Tomorrow, December 3, international shipping lines will board the vessel and meet the cadets, an engagement SAMSA has arranged for networking potential employers with the cadets.
The ship will be docked beside the HMS Belfast. The event will also alert the international companies about the availability of expertly trained African cadets. The shipping lines can also assist SAMSA in providing opportunities for further training and experience of marine cadets.
The cadets are the backbone of the vessel, successfully and almost independently operating the ship and coordinated the different tasks. Their daily activities include maintaining the watch offices, engaging in cargo work; getting greasy in the engine room, providing medical care where necessary, and cooking up a variety of foods and providing catering services.
In London the cadets visited the renowned Greenwich village which houses some of the world’s best maritime museums, touched the Greenwich line; and have had the experience of living the maritime reality from an international kaleidoscope.
“This ship is an excellent training ground for us. This is a sailing ship and where better would be able to get better hands on experience. The fact that the ship is not to computerized is crucial to the authentic sailing experience. We execute all the major tasks manually in a way that allows us to understand, assimilate and accommodate the techniques and manipulation of the Ship without any extra computer assistance,” a proud Mpogoza says.
Continues Van Niekerk: “Teamwork is a key. On board discipline, co-operation, support and coordination are applied key-terms. We have got harmony because we are in a vibrant and enthusiastic environment. We meet people from different cultures and we are ready to be integrated.” All eyes are peeled on South Africa’s vessel, which has the words “Seeing is Believing” written boldly across it.
Pictures can be accessed here:
Pictures feature the four cadets named, loading of the equipment for the Antarctic expedition and the ship berthed next to the O2 Arena. Pictures are courtesy of SAMSA
Issued by FBI Communications in collaboration with Blue Leaf Communications on behalf of SAMSA
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