Going up to Mystic Seaport in Connecticut was like a Schooner Reunion for me. We started off at the train where Captain John and Captain Pat from the Mystic Whaler picked us up. This summer I had the pleasure of sailing with them for a week. Along with Captain John and Pat was Nelson the mate from Schooner Pioneer. Captain Syed was also there. After we all said our hellos we got into the cars and headed towards Mystic Seaport. We got out and started walking to Schooner Amistad. Mystic Seaport at night, during the weekend before Halloween, is the scariest place in the world. People in scary suits everywhere you turn. We finally arrived at the boat and the reunion continued. Captain Rose greeted us and the crew did as well. Charlie was so happy to see us. The first thing that came out my mouth was “you still can’t tie a granny knot” the crew laughed.
The next day was time to get to work. We started by taking the fore sail off followed by the main sail. A little bit later in the day we took down the four top mast. That is when the work really started for me. We took down the fore top mast but there was still things to be taken down. That’s when I came into play. They sent me up aloft to send things down with Captain Syed. I have been up before but I have never done work up there. They are two different things. It is so much harder and you have to think ten steps ahead because if you don’t don’t something can go wrong in an instant. My heart was beating out of my chest but I got the job done.
It was an amazing opportunity being able to attend the first ever Maritime Career Awareness Fair over at Brooklyn Cruise Ship Terminal. Having an interest in maritime based colleges and career options was more than important for my participation in the fair. With such limited time in the fair I was only able to speak with two stands that really captured my attention. When I walked over to Hornblower Cruises and with SUNY Maritime Colleges’ stand I asked helpful questions that clarified my choices with internships and future choices as a senior in Harbor School. Speaking to Mark Phillips (Director of Maritime Relationships for Hornblower Cruises NYC) we briefly discussed application process, entry level jobs, and future career opportunities with the company while mentioning past alumni who were once in my shoes. I was also fortunate enough to meet with the Dean of Admissions from SUNY Maritime college, Rohan Howell, for a second time since attending the STEM Academy this previous summer at their campus. As I spoke with him and four regiment enrolled students, they were able to answer questions about majors, career opportunities, and other persuasive aspects of what SUNY Maritime has to offer. This was an experience that I will take into account more and more everyday as my time as a senior approaches graduation.
Being a high school student from one of the most unique schools in the world, the work I participate in and out of school should relate to the opportunities that Harbor School has had to offer. Working along the industry in the past, I have experienced serving food and drinks to customers and taking on the role of a deckhand. Having friends and former classmates working with Hornblower Cruises NYC; it is no surprise that I am interested. Rowing on the south side of Pier 40 and frequently spending time on the water, I have had time to observe the vessels from afar and admire their business. Being given multiple tours of the different vessels and asking different workers questions about their experiences I should definitely consider applying in the warmer season if not soon. In mu current position of thinking about my future education and lifestyle SUNY Maritime seems like a perfect fit for me. Being close to home, working in the Maritime Industry, having students and faculty I have had past experiences and partnerships, gives no negatives correlations to attending, let alone applying, to SUNY Maritime. The Maritime Career Awareness fair helped push me a step further into my life and notified me of options for entering adulthood.
When the Vessel Ops class took a trip to Greenpeace, which is one of 3 vessels in an environmental activist fleet, one name stood out to me most. Pete Wilcox ,captain on the activist vessels, he’s been through a lot while trying to save the Earth from people and companies trying to harm it. He was on board when the boat, Rainbow Warrior, was blown up by French military members in New Zealand in 1985. Pete was also on the Arctic Sunrise when it was taken over by the Russian military in 2013, and he spent two months in Russian jail.
Mr. Wilcox supported many campaigns :
1981- Offshore oil drilling on Georges bank
1993 – Exposed Russian dumping of nuclear waste in the Sea of Japan
2007- Research trip to Greenland to document global warming
In April of 2016 , he released his book Greenpeace : My Adventures In Protecting The Of Our Planet.
Today in Vessel Operations class we went to Atlantic Basin in Red hook Brooklyn to go to a Maritime areer fair. We were the only high school that arrived by boat and it showed that we have a leg up on other schools trying to expose their students to the Maritime Field. A plethora of companies were in attendance ranging from Hornblower Cruises & Events to the NYPD Dive team. It was amazing to get to talk to all of these companies and get an idea of the endless possibilities given to me by the NYHS. One of the companies even gave our school a shout-out when he introduced his company because he knew that our school produced hard working mariners. I was mainly interested in the New York Waterway/DockNYC because they talked to me about how they train their deckhands to eventually become captains that make a hefty salary. They also offered jobs both on and off the water something most other companies couldn’t. Overall the career fair was extremely enlightening and really gave a snapshot of the Maritime Industry in NYC today.
On Tuesday in our Vessel Operations class, we went on a research vessel called the Artic Sunrise. The Artic Sunrise belongs to an organization dedicated to saving the Earth from pollution called Greenpeace. When we were on board the vessel we got to tour it and heard a little bit of about where Greenpeace got the ship from and the whole story behind it. We learned some really cool and interesting things.
When we were on board the vessel a thought occurred to me. Greenpeace and the Billion Oyster Project have basically the same goal in mind. We want to end pollution and make our water bodies back to its natural state. They do a lot of the things that we do just on a bigger scale. They travel around the world. We travel around the Harbor. They take water samples. So do we. It is good to know that their are other people who have the same goal as us and that is to end pollution and restore the world back to its original state.
The Waterfront Club had the honor of being invited to the Heroes of the Harbor event at Chelsea Piers, Tuesday night. This event is very exciting for the New York Harbor School because we are the only high school students in attendance. While at the event, several of my peers and I got the chance to speak with a man named Steve who has been enlisted in the Coast Guard for 5 years. As some of my past blog post have shown, I plan to pursue a career in the United States Coast Guard. Hearing about the course that Steve has taken to be where he is today intrigued me. Steve attended a 4-year college in Wisconsin before enlisting in the Coast Guard. He is currently part of the Public Relations Division and he seems pretty satisfied with his job. Steve told us that their is only about 15 Public Relations positions and he had to wait for someone to give up their position in order for him to receive his. He told us that his job was to go to events around the Tribeca area to take pictures and essentially deal with the media aspect of the events. Steve also informed us that enlisted personal can not become a captain in the Coast Guard unless they move up to an officer position. Talking to a member of the Coast Guard was helpful and expanded my knowledge of my future career path.
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.
When our class met Captain Todd on his brand new cruise ship, he began to tell us of his extrodinary life. He told us about how he came to be the successful captain he is today with an unlimited ton masters liscense. When he began to explain his education to us, he told us that he didn’t go to a maritime college; he was a hospiper. He originally went to college to become an economics professor. Captain Todd would come to the South Street Seaport on the weekends to be the Captain aboard the Pioneer and slowly upgraded his liscense. He continued to sail for fun and eventually worked his way up an unlimited ton masters liscense. He had to recertify his liscenses when he began to work for the cruise line; Royal Carribean. Overall, his introduction to the Maritime Industry was extremely interesting to me because I’m considering going to a non-maritime college but I still wanna keep being involved in the Maritime community.
On September 25, the senior Vessel Operations class visited a German cruise ship named Mein Schiff 6. But before we were able to board we had to go through security. It was exactly like walking into an airport, there were security stations and cameras everywhere. Our every move was being watched, every station doubled back and checked what the station before did. For me, this was a nightmare! Earlier that day I was running late and had left my wallet at the house. That wallet contained my ID and money, so I essentially walked out the door as a nameless person. Getting through security without an ID alone was hell. Unfortunately, my luck didn’t end there. Whoever wrote the visitor list had forgotten to put my name. So I was an unidentifiable person who wasn’t invited. Eventually, after many radio calls we got through to the head security who cleared me but the whole situation was quite embarrassing. SoLesson Learned : Never Forget Your ID, because without it your nobody.
The Vessel Operations seniors had the honor of touring TUI’s cruise ship the Mein Schiff 6. Mein Schiff is a brand new cruise ship that had its first voyage in May. We received an extensive tour of the vessel which included the bridge and the massive engine room. Both the Captain and Chief Engineer had many years in the Maritime Industry under their belts. They each gave us a run down of their background and it made me further curious about the difference in responsibilities of a chief engineer and captain on a cruise ship. Both hold large, respected, titles and seem worth the while. The chief engineer takes most of the command in the engine room while the captain takes full command of the bridge. Captain Todd and the Chief Engineer both were passionate about their jobs and were eager to answer our questions. Captain Todd is one of few American cruise ship captains while the Chief Engineer was from Germany. Although their backgrounds were different, the worked together to run a massive cruise ship with over 2,000 passengers and over 1,000 other crew members. This by far has been one of my favorite experiences in Vessel Operations. It was a great eye opener for my classmates and myself. We all walked away with so many great new ideas for our future and even more great memories to add to our list.