SeaWays Global were delighted to have been successful in a recent tender by the Port of Papeete to deliver on water training to 5 Tug Masters on board their new Damen 2810 ASD, Aito Nui II. Papette is the capital and largest city in French Polynesia and has the main passenger cruise ship terminal. The port is located on the island of Tahiti and it welcomes approximately two million tourists each year.
Nearly 250 years ago Capt. James Cook was commissioned by the Royal Society and on orders from the Admiralty to observe the transit of Venus across the sun, a phenomenon that would be visible from Tahiti on 3 June 1769. The place that he landed on board the HMS Endeavour was subsequently named Point Venus, now a local beauty spot with golden sands and calm waters.
The Port of Autonome De Papeete are rightfully very proud of their new acquisition but the new technology combined with the high performance necessitated a training programme to be put in place for the resident Tug Masters and crews.
The destination really couldn’t have been much further from UK shores and the journey required crossing the International dateline via Dubai and Auckland before finally arriving on Tahitian shores.
I had 1 week to deliver various elements of our SeaWays Module 1 training programme to a total of 5 Tug Masters as well as undertake a series of vessel handling and winch trials to ensure that the end users felt more confident in handling their prized new asset. I couldn’t have been made to feel more welcome by the Harbour Master and Management team as well as the tug crews that I spent the week with.
Everyone on board the Aito Nui II including Engineers and deckhands were so eager to learn and came into the experience with open eyes, ears and minds with a determination to find out as much as possible about the Damen 2810 and its operational capabilities.
The experience of the Tug Masters undertaking the training ranged from 15 years and very experienced to never having operated an ASD before and therefore no experience; Well, we all like a challenge don’t we?
Our days were split between theoretical lessons first thing in the morning and discussing what we would be undertaking during the day and then stepping onboard and executing what we had already discussed. Something that we at SeaWays always maintain is ‘never assume anything’. We take all of our trainees through the same lessons and learning experience, regardless of previous knowledge to ensure that no stone remains unturned and that the necessary base skills become embedded. It was heartening to see the progress of everyone throughout the week and watch the confidence and competence grow.
There was enough confidence within the team to utilise the tug in an operational capacity on several container vessels and cruise ships entering and exiting the port during the later days of the training.
It must be said that the Port Management team have chosen well and the Aito Nui II will have the capability to meet the needs of the port for many years to come. The Aito Nui I, which is an earlier generation ASD tug currently operating alongside Aito Nui II will likely be replaced in the not too distant future and the Tug Masters and crews will be better equipped with more knowledge to make the necessary transition.
Very many thanks to all at Papeete for your support and fantastic hospitality.