Sun, sails, and super service were on the menu at the graduation of 10 Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology students completing their certificate in super yacht crewing.
The students finished their 12-week intensive course by putting their training into action hosting guests on two trips on a 65ft yacht while cruising in Tasman Bay yesterday.
The trips went off without hitch with students planning everything from health and safety plans, to keeping guests warm while topping up their glasses, and serving canapes of fine salmon delight, blue cheese on polenta cakes and marinated mussels in white wine.
Head steward Eilish Forward kept everything ticking along nicely with the support of her classmates.
Encouraging words flowed between the students as they carried out their tasks.
Toilet aide Toby Gray had the important job of instructing those needing the loo how to flush their business.
Gray is leaving in nine days to do an internship at a sailing school in Cornwall, England.
He said he loved the course as he had learnt and experienced so much.
Gray said the students had gelled together after spending sessions out at sea for a three-day trip and a five-day trip.
His father, NMIT chief executive Tony Gray, was there as a parent and representative of the school.
He was proud of Toby and his classmates and said it was great to see Toby doing something with passion.
"It makes you feel good as a dad," he said.
He was impressed by the wide range of skills the students had on display and how they worked together to keep everything running smoothly.
NMIT super yacht programme co-ordinator Milo Coldren said it was a fantastic day and a great opportunity for the students to see what they were capable of and to "realise they can do anything now".
He said the students had not known each other at first, but were now working together and supporting each other.
"They are looking out for each other not for themselves; I'm really proud of that," he said.
Hospitality tutor Phil Reay said the day was a great chance for the students to practise their new hospitality and boat handling skills.
"I wish I had done that course when I was young," he said.
It is the only super yacht crewing course in the South Island and visiting Auckland recruiter Rachel Harrison from Integrated Marine Group was impressed with the course and its graduates and said the course prepared the students well for the industry.
The trip also allowed NMIT chef students to put their skills to the test by designing and making a first-class mouthwatering menu.
Programme Area Leader for NMIT's Maritime School Captain Katherine Walker said former graduates from the course were now working around the world.
- The Nelson Mail
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