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I came to Durban expecting the least. To complete a sailing course in search of a career which I had low hopes in finding, but it was so much more.

I came to S.A. Maritime knowing only the raw basics in sailing, and before I had even finished the course I had already done one delivery from Cape Town to Durban and I had been picked to be part of a crew on a racing yacht, racing every Wednesday and weekends. I have learnt everything from skippering a yacht offshore in rough conditions to things like bleeding an engine.

I had been lucky enough to have been able to stay on the student training yacht “Sovereign” as I have learnt so much- how to live in a small space with strangers, sharing duties and responsibilities, respecting each other, working together, maintenance and so much more. All of which will benefit me in a future career. Staying on the yacht wouldn’t have been possible without the Royal Natal Yacht Club affiliation membership. This includes the use of all their facilities, and of course I have learnt so much and been offered great opportunities just by mingling with the “yachties” at the club.

To begin with I did think the course was too long but I came to realize that you cannot get a decent sailing job just with your certificate, you need adequate sailing experience as well. At the end of my course I did not only have my Coastal Skippers but the confidence to skipper a yacht out to sea.

This course has opened a variety of doors for me. I am so excited to get out there and sail around the world, which has always been my dream, but I will always look back with gratitude to S.A. Maritime and the instructors that work there, I would not be here if it wasn’t for your knowledge, patience and support.

Thank you

Daniella Austin (2012)

My first day at S.A. Maritime School and Transport College was a nervous and unexpected one. I had previous sailing experience and did not come unprepared but I would come to realize this was nothing in comparison to what I would achieve here.

The length of the course was a daunting aspect, although I admit I underestimated it, something that I learnt would be a test of my strength of will and character. Living aboard our student training yacht ‘Sovereign’ for this time has taught me many lessons but none as important as humility, patience and preparation. The course included an affiliation membership at the Royal Natal Yacht Club, the local yacht club which was very accommodating and has more than the adequate facilities available. This was also where our S.A.S. exams were held.

Our college’s instructors are well equipped with relevant and often irrelevant knowledge of sailing and life aboard in general. The educational aspect could be considered as repetitive, practical and consistent. “There is no short-cut to competency” “I also feel very much part of the family.”

My over-all experience with S.A. Maritime has been welcoming, competent and more than anything a true life-lesson learnt.

Etienne Munday (2012)