The Vessel Ops class had the amazing opportunity to board the Mein Schiff 6 cruise ship. We got a tour around the ship from the bridge apprentice, Tabia. She’s actually studying what all of us seniors are doing right now. She’s currently enrolled in a maritime college in Germany. A fun fact is that after two weeks of being on the massive ship, she knew her way around. When she took us to the bridge, I was speechless. The view was incredible and the navigation stations were fascinating. We met Captain Todd, we were well aware that he used to work on tall ships. He talked about his love for tall ships and he had recently been in a race in Florida on a German ship. He was an interesting person to learn about. When he was in graduate school he had accidentally checked that he spoke German fluently on a job application and he ended up on a German line. So he was forced to learn German. He remained on that line and his line is going great. I think that would’ve been a challenge for me, I admire his bravery. Every morning he has to make an announcement in German and it’s his biggest fear. Captain Todd taught me a lot in just an hour. In the Maritime Industry, it’s really all about building. You do what you have to do, so you can do what you want to do. You may start out one way but anything can happen and if you keep trying you can make it anywhere. You can really do anything you set your mind to. The biggest thing is to just not give up. You’ll get where you need to be it just takes time and dedication.
This summer I wanted to focus on getting ready for college. I was getting ready to start college classes in July and was determined to do exceptionally well in math. I wanted to better myself into becoming a successful student. The day had come for me to walk into class and I had mentally prepared myself on the train. I was ready. However, as I approached the door my hands started to tremble and I realized I was nervous. What if the other students didn’t struggle in math the way I did? What if I couldn’t answer the questions because it was too challenging? Would my teacher be nice enough to help me out? I then realized I would never know if I didn’t open the door. So I walked in with confidence and sat at computer number 10. I took a deep breath and waited for the professor to speak. She had a welcoming smile and greeted everyone. She asked many questions and I raised my hand for each one. By the end of the day I was surprised that, Kimiko, the student who didn’t understand math and who struggled was ahead by 14 pages. I came in there doubting myself but I understood that once you put your mind to something you can do it. You just have to have an open mind!
This time we were pretty early for a boat ride. The usual was us running and panting to the Seaport and having to make sure everyone was there. However, this time was different this time we were early! We were walking and chatting talking about school stuff. We made it to the Seaport and we got the usual pep talk from Aaron. We’re representing our school and ourselves as people. Also, people who may go into the Maritime Industry. We knew the whole spiel. We got on the Hornblower Serenity and met the captain who we’ve met many times before. Captain Jose was great and asked how our day was and how we were doing. He talked to us about how his job is daily and it seemed pretty tiring having to be up so early and because we were on a tour ferry. I could only assume there was a lot of repetition involved. After the boat moved from the dock, we walked around the boat to see what were some interesting things to do. I usually take it upon myself to take pictures of everyone and the setting. I took lots of pictures and the amazing scenery behind us; the statue of liberty, the bmb, Staten island ferry, Seaport and Governors Island. We all got snacks and just enjoyed the rest of the ride. It definitely was a great way to end our day.
pain settles in
when my feet have rested on the land too long
my mind wonders
when my true love and I
will meet again
when will I be able to
see the glistening beauty of its waves
beneath my feet
to hear its calming voice
would be a blessing
for now I must admire her from afar
for now I
long to be with…..
“take in the stern line!”
pull the line
make it off
push the boat
tie up the boat
shut down the boat
A rush of excitement
As that boat approaches
A warm breeze
Brushes my face
As we pass the line
Hoist the gib
Pull up the main
That I’ll be the human spinnaker pole
“Whoosh” as the breeze fills the sail
Happiness fills my eyes
The water rushes onto the gunnel
What a lovely sailing day
As a warm breeze
Brushes my face
“Keep up, keep up” I hear Luis telling students in the back of the group. Swoosh, Swoosh. Students walked swiftly towards the seaport.
“Let’s not miss this boat” Aaron yells to all students. Zephyr would be leaving the pier in 5 minutes. We all rushed to keep up with each other. Some were trying to pass others. Once in awhile students would turn back to see where the others were. I wanted to see if I was falling behind. I needed to make sure I wasn’t the reason we missed this boat. Finally, the last person scurried to the end of the pier. We had finally made it.
A breath of relief came from everyone. Some out of breath and some eager to see what adventure lay ahead of us. A shriek came from the gangway as a deckhand lowered it, making sure it was stable enough for passengers to walk on. We managed to get this picture in because you can’t just walk onto Zephyr without a picture to document the moment. We entered Zephyr and the interior was so modern. I’m use to seeing old wood and tar. There was a bar and arranged seating for guest. Aaron explained to us that we were going to the pilot house to see how the boat was run. Thud thud. We walked up the stairs to see the captain not at a wheel but at a joystick and the quarter master. The quarter master is the captains second set of eyes. I learned so much interesting things about this boat. This boat has FOUR engines!!! Indy only has one. Zephyr has a jet engine which allows it to shoot water out so the boat to propel in any direction. When Zephyr can moves sideways using its engines which is a technique called walking. Looking at this whole experience its helped me realize how old or “basic” our boat here at Harbor School are. Our boats are more difficult to maneuver because most are old and easily affected by prop walk. I mean if our engine stops working we can call another boat to come get us so we are safe, but Zephyr’s way is still pretty cool. However because Zephyr is so large it needs to have more than one engine because its reaction time needs to be on point. Overall this experience opened my eyes to the variety of boats that are in the maritime industry and that every boat has its own special twist!!
Today were practicing plotting charts and following the our plotted course on the simulators. Our biggest job is to stay on course. We worked in pairs and one us kept track of the charts while the other was in charge of the controls. It was a challenge figuring out how to find our course but we got through it. All of over the classroom, students were running around, scrambling to look at both their charts and screen. Minds all twisted and heads being filled with confusion trying to balance both tasks.
IMG_1222 <—click on link!
Today we were under a lot of pressure. We were coming into the school year as juniors. More responsibility, less excuses. We were excited and nervous and our skills were still fresh. We started practicing man overboard drills with Oscar (our school dummy). We got into groups and put our minds to work. There was shouting of distances, heads being turned and hair blowing in the wind. At the end, we talked about what could’ve been improved in the process and took the constructive criticism. We all got through successfully and worked as the vessel team and family we worked up to be.