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April 30, 2018

Here’s the last blog from our cadet, Matt, on board Tenacious.

My last trip at sea before my final exams is on Tenacious, sailing from the Falkland Islands to South Africa, via South Georgia.

We initially spent some time in the Falklands whilst carrying out some maintenance on the ship. We were alongside on the outskirts of Port Stanley which was only a twenty minute walk into town and to some of the local bays for seal and penguin spotting. For our first night at sea we went to anchor in Berkley Sound, to avoid a passing storm. At this anchorage we were circled for most of the evening by fur seals and fin whales. It was a great way to start the voyage.

On route we encountered some icebergs which we calculated to be around half a kilometre long. They were incredible to see, as they are likely to have come from the continental ice of Antarctica and drifted north to South Georgia. Shortly after we had a great couple of sightings of a group of three killer whales around 100m off the ship.

It took us roughly five days to sail to King Edward Point in South Georgia. Upon our arrival we were greeted by the local government officer to clear the ship in, as well as many of the people working and researching on the island. I was given a half day to explore the island. I walked to a bay just over the headland called Maiviken to see some of the fur and elephant seals.

As amazing as the trip has been so far for wildlife, it has also been invaluable for my final training. As I am so close to my final exams, I have been closely shadowing the ships Navigation Officers with shipboard operations and on the watch system. The voyage started off with some strong winds and fairly big seas which was great for sailing experience. However, later on the winds became lighter, which has given me the opportunity to run operations such as sail handling, anchoring and mooring. This had been really helpful as final preparation because I have been hands on, doing the jobs, and
performing duties of a qualified officer.

As I am writing this, I have about two weeks left on board, which gives good time to get involved in every operation I can and pick the brains of the officers on board, before returning to Warsash for my final college phase.

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