Category Archives: Student Essay

Journal at Sea: Day 1

Day 1: Saturday

Day one on the Saga Andorinha, and what a day it was. First off, I probably had the best sleep of my life. I enjoyed the slow rolling of the ship while at sea. I woke up to my alarm at 0600 hrs anticipating that I would have a long day of hard work. I was wrong! I took the lift up to the bridge only to find the morning watchman. Today was a gentle introduction day with a briefing on safety and I was given the Mariner’s handbook to read.

Later in the day, I had the opportunity to go down with Captain Samyal into one of the cargo holds which was being painted. I didn’t expect the cargo holds to be so enormous and it surprised me that this was only one out of the 10 holds.

I quickly realized that there was only one cuisine on the menu for breakfast, lunch and dinner—Indian. I had skipped breakfast as I was still recovering from the previous night’s dinner. Having lived in Singapore for 10 years, I was used to Indian food (which normally I like, but not every day for all meals of the day!). I think the cook realized I was in need of something different and he very kindly offered me carrot cake, which looked somewhat different and resembled more the shape and color of an orange bar of soap.

Anyway, I planned to wake up early the next day to take pictures as we were to sail underneath the Golden Gate Bridge.


Journal at Sea: Wilder Denholm on the M.V. Saga Andorinha

Editor’s Note: In July 2012, Wilder Denholm ’14 had the unique experience of being invited aboard the Saga Andorinha, a container ship that is part of the J. & J. Denholm shipping fleet, for a three-week journey along the Pacific Coast.

During the voyage, Denholm wrote daily accounts about his experience at sea. Over the next 14 days, we’ll be publishing an entry from Denholm’s journal on In Their Own Words, following along as he recounts his trip. As Capt. Anil Samyal of the Saga Andorinha later noted, “I do hope that Wilder will cherish these memories for the rest of his life, and so will I.”

Dad’s Wakeup call

As I woke up to the sound of my grandmother telling me that my father was on the phone, the first thought that came to mind was wondering what I had done wrong! It was 0630hrs San Diego time, I was spending the summer in California with my grandparents. I answered the phone dreading what he might say, as I am known for being the troublemaker.

He, however, surprised my by asking me if I was ready to join a ship in Los Angeles later that day. Dad had previously shown me extracts from his log at sea on board the MV Glenpark when he was 16, and I had expressed an interest to experience life at sea as well. However, I did not expect the early morning wake-up call with this news. Next thing I knew, I was on my way to Los Angeles, all I could think about was what I would be doing on board the ship.

The ship’s agent met me and assisted me on board the Saga Andorinha which was berthed alongside in Long Beach. The ship had just completed discharging part of her steel products cargo and was preparing to sail.

The Chief Mate met me at the top of the gangway and showed me to my cabin which turned out to be the owner’s cabin. The crew made me feel welcome—showering me with biscuits and sodas. Captain Samyal later welcomed me on board.

The ship set sail later that afternoon for San Francisco. I remained in my cabin until the Captain was clear from his maneuvers out of Long Beach. Once clear of Long Beach, I was then allowed on the bridge, where I spent the better part of the night taking everything in. They also issued me the standard SAGA boiler suit which gave me a hint of what was to come.