Exploring the Mariana Trench

So, you want to go to sea – Part Two

SOI/ Linda Tatreau
Nov. 29 2014

Everyone loves a good sea story.  Part One, So You Want to go to Sea, was about the people who make them.  Part Two continues.

Sergiusz Bachniak – Cadet

Deckhand Sergio operates the winch used to deploy and recover the landers.
Deckhand Sergio operates the winch used to deploy and recover the landers.SOI/ Linda Tatreau

Sergiusz, at 23, is the youngest member of the crew.  He is truly Living the Dream.  After high school in Poland, he began a four-year program of marine studies.  During his first year, he visited the gCaptain website and discovered Falkor. Working on Research Vessel Falkor became his dream, but he didn’t think he had a chance. Now, in his last year of study, and with six ocean voyages as a cadet, Sergiusz got a call from a friend who encouraged him to apply. Dreams do come true and Sergiusz’s smile never stops.

Dante Sarzuelo – Fitter

Engine room fitter Dante with the "jaws" he manufactured for the Rock Grabber lander.
Engine room fitter Dante with the “jaws” he manufactured for the Rock Grabber lander.SOI/ Linda Tatreau

On 21 November, Dante celebrated his one-year anniversary on the Falkor.  He is from the Philippines and after 13 years working on ships, Dante hopes to be a permanent member of the Falkor family. Family is exactly how he describes the crew of this ship.  I must agree; the camaraderie and unity within this crew is magnificent.  Every crew member has welcomed me wholeheartedly.  Dante has a degree in marine transportation and also studied welding. He started as a deck fitter for the Star cruise ships and later moved into the engine room as a fitter for the Princess cruise line. Dante is an engine room fitter here on Falkor, and this is where he hopes to stay.

 

Sandra Faryna – Deck-Hand

Sandra and Sergio, deckhands on the RV Falkor.
Sandra and Sergio, deckhands on the RV Falkor.SOI/ Linda Tatreau

Sandra’s father was not thrilled when she told him, at age 16, that she was going to study marine science and work on ships.  Adventure called and his doubt made her even more determined.  Sandra’s education in Poland focused on navigation and hydrographic surveys. Her first work experience was on a small tuna fishing trawler in the Baltic Sea. She has also worked on a passenger sailing ship that required climbing the rigging to set the sails. Sandra will soon have her Officer on the Watch license.  Her dad?—he is thrilled and now brags about his daughter, the seafarer.  “Sea sick?” I asked her thinking of the small fishing boat.  “Never,” she replied.  Not all of us are so fortunate.

Adriana Zamudio – Purser

Adriana is Falkor's Purser. The background photo of the Falkor was taken by Adriana during rough seas on a previous expedition.
Adriana is Falkor’s Purser. The background photo of the Falkor was taken by Adriana during rough seas on a previous expedition.SOI/ Linda Tatreau

Adriana is from Colombia, and like Sandra, also craved adventure. As a child Adriana dreamed of being an astronaut or a pilot.  She earned a degree and spent 10 years working as a computer engineer; however, adventure still called.  With no money, Adriana still found a way to move to Australia on a student visa to work part time with the goal of learning English. Adriana worked in Melbourne as a Business Analyst for ANZ Bank.  Her landlord’s daughter worked on a super yacht and got her thinking about boats. After a year of thinking, Adriana went to sea.  First she worked as a steward, then as the IT officer, and now is the purser on Falkor.  Adventure found!

Arkadiusz Ochocki – Chef

Chef Arkadiusz in the ship bakery with fresh bread hot from the oven.
Chef Arkadiusz in the ship bakery with fresh bread hot from the oven.SOI/ Linda Tatreau

Arkadiusz is from a resort town in Northern Poland, and became a chef on Falkor serendipitously. Arkadiusz chose an education in culinary arts not because he loved to cook, but it was the best option near his home.  Delightfully, he discovered that he loved to cook.  After graduation, he was assigned the duty of chef on a tall sailing ship for his mandatory military service.  Hooray—he discovered he loved being at sea as much as cooking.  He is continuing his studies in Tourism and Hospitality via the internet, and in the classroom when he is not at sea.  I was told I would gain weight on this voyage… Chef Arkadiusz and Chef Carlos are making that prediction a reality.


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