At the beginning of February 2016, two Grade 12 Lawhill Maritime Centre students, Archie Leeu and Saluse Tsengiwe, were given the opportunity to sail aboard the SMIT Amandla Marine tug, Peridot. They joined the tug, which is built to specialise in anchor handling operations around the South African coast, in Cape Town for a voyage to Mossel Bay.
The two aspirant navigation officers say the trip was an opportunity to learn from the knowledge and experience of the officers on board and experience life at sea first hand.
“We had the opportunity to learn from some of South Africa’s best seafarers and definitely felt the benefit of their experience when we encountered the rough seas off Agulhas!”
The boys were given cadet duties while onboard for the few days and could put much of what they learnt in classroom, into practice. They enjoyed standing watches, plotting the vessel’s position on the chart, identifying vessels, applying the rules of the road, as well as identifying the movement of other ships simply by looking at their lights.
A highlight of the trip was watching the tug, Smit Amandla towing the Zenith Explorer into Cape Town at the conclusion of a successful towing operation. The boys say the voyage was an experience they “will not forget anytime soon.”
Archie Leeu’s studies at Lawhill are generously sponsored by the General Botha Old Boys Association and those of Saluse Tsengiwe, by the Transnet National Ports Authority.