Sunday, 24 March 2013

All aboard!

I decided to open a blog dedicated to ships, seas, ports and everything to do with it. I can't remember when exactly did ships become interesting - I guess it was somewhere in the 2nd half of 2012. But what I do remember is how it happened - I was surfing on wikipedia, as I do sometimes, and I was somehow carried to pages about the ships on the Baltic Sea. That day I ended up reading a lot about different ships, old and new, their stories, maritime disasters, traditions, and so on. I spent the whole day like that. During that day, I found my favourites and ever since I've been very interested in the topic.

I'm interested in all kinds of ships, but currently my favourites are the passenger ships on the Baltic Sea - I guess I can say they're kind of.. in my reach, in my comfort zone. My favourite is Silja Europa. She was launched in 1993, and for those times, she looks very pretty. She also has a nice history, for example, her captain Esa Mäkelä lead the rescue operation of the sunken Estonia in 1994.
She was initially built for Viking Line, but eventually ended up in Silja Line's fleet when Viking Line was  facing financial difficulties.
Silja Europa has always been my favourite. When I first read about her, she served the Stockholm - Mariehamn - Turku route, but a few months later I was very happy when Tallink announced that she would be swapped with Baltic Princess and moved to Tallinn - Helsinki route. Now I get to see her almost whenever I want, and I'm planning a trip to Helsinki on her.

The beautiful Silja Europa leaving Tallinn
 Recently my little craze has gone so far that I've been considering a career on the sea. Recently I went to the Estonian Maritime Academy for open doors day. I still have three years to change my mind, but if I graduated this year, I would go there to study.

At the open doors day we were given a lecture about what awaits us in the Academy and on the sea, the good and the bad. We were introduced to the different choices and although the lecture lasted over two hours, it was fun. But after that it got really exciting - we were shown the facilities, along with machine room and bridge simulators. I found it quite difficult to contain my excitement as we entered the first bridge simulator - it was very realistic and really, really cool. At first the sea was calm and I could see that we were "driving" a ship similar to  Regina Baltica near Tallinn.

"Our ship"
Regina Baltica

The crowd demanded storm though, and soon the thunder and high waves were turned on. For a while we thought the room was actually rocking, but then we realized it was an illusion.

During that day I also met several interesting people - some sterotypical Old Captains, and most impressively, a young woman who had become a captain at the age of 28. 

Along with the Baltic Sea ships, I also like to track some large and beautiful cruise and cargo ships, and well.. whatever catches my eye, really.

Allure of the Seas just skipping through.

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