A blog from Sabine, assistant cook onboard the Arctic Sunrise in the Med (click here to read her last post).
With 28 people on board the Arctic Sunrise, with up to 19 different nationalities at various times during the campaign this has been a really international experience. Let me give you a small snapshot of the scene here:
There is Chris, the videographer and diver from Australia, who now lives in Cyprus. Paul, the photographer and also one of the divers, was born in the UK, raised in Australia and now lives in Hong Kong. Jon the chief outboard mechanic from New Zealand, now lives in Tonga where he takes people whale watching (I’m so jealous!); Another Kiwi Sofia, the youngest on board, is a deckhand. Dave, the Actions Coordinator and the oldest on board is a Brit, but hasn’t lived there for over two decades. He prefers warmer weather, and his latest residence has been the South of France.
Joel, the captain, is from the US, but when he is not on the ships he lives in Costa Rica. We’ve got Canada covered, too, with Paul, the first mate, from the “Midwest” of the country and Po Paul, deckhand, from the East coast. Then there is Ian, Jon’s assistant, who is a Brit and still lives there – on a little boat! And our current comms officer, Jo, is a Londoner, but has been living in Amsterdam for the last few years. We also had Willie with us for a couple of weeks at the beginning, one of the lead campaigners. He is Scottish but, much to his chagrin has to live in London since the GPUK office is based there.
OK, now let’s go across the world and have a look at the Central and South Americans: Marcello, our on-board medic, is from Argentina. He also helps out as a deckhand. Another Argentinian is Jorge, the Bosun. I am told he is the second oldest on board and he most definitely looks like a longtime sailor. He could also be described as a great sun-worshipper, for if anyone makes sure to catch every possible ray it is him – come strong winds or super hot temperatures. No longer with us now, but on the ship for the first three weeks was Felipe from Ecuador, one of the divers, who travels up and down that South America for his work.
In terms of Europe (outside of the UK), our crew has ranged from up North to down South. Marta and Celia, press officer and campaigner from Spain, were with us for two weeks. France has also been well represented, with (at different times) Isabelle, a comms officer, Francois - a campaigner, followed by Emmanuel, another campaigner. Moving further North, both Stefan, the helicopter mechanic and Robin, second engineer, are Dutch. Jan, our heli pilot was born in South Africa, but also raised in the Netherlands. Then there are a few Germans: Tom, Connie and Holger, part of the diving team, and me, the Assistant Cook.
My boss, the chief cook, is Filipino, and the only South Asian on board. Ronnie is a total comedian and a great cook. Apparently he is one of the most important people on board – for if the crew is not fed well – there would be serious trouble! Back to Europe - last but not least, going way up North, for the first part of our journey the crew was complemented by a Finnish gal, Sari – normally an oceans campaigner - but this time on board she was part of the diving team.
The only other two women on board -- representing the Middle East: Lovely Rita, deckhand, born and raised and still living in Lebanon, when not sailing the seas, and Banu, campaigner and diver from Turkey.
From Eastern Europe, the Balkans, we’ve got a whole bunch of people, too: The second mate Ivo is Croatian. He is also a musician, and ever so often one can hear the sounds of his electric guitar coming from his cabin. It sounds especially interesting when mixed together with our tunes from the stero in the galley (the ship's kitchen). Yordan, who is our Bulgarian Radio Operator is joined by another Bulgarian: Dian, chief engineer. Yordan started out as a volunteer with Greenpeace International in the ships department when I was also there, about two years ago, and he is very happy to be here in his new role. And then we’ve also got a Romanian: Gabriel, fitter / welder. Further East Juri, the electrician, is from the Ukraine. Juri is always smiling and it looks like he is having the time of his life working for Greenpeace!
It’s like a little mini one-world scenario here on board of the Arctic Sunrise. A mixture of different nationalities - living all over the place. And it all works out wonderfully! Whether or not we all live together so well simply because we could not afford NOT to get along, given the fact that we are sharing a rather small space in the middle of the sea and that there is nowhere to escape to if one wanted to - one thing is for sure: This is a prime example of a working one-world scenario at its best. A beautiful experience!
© Images: Greenpeace/Paul Hilton
Left to right from the top down: Ivo, Marta, Jorge, Isabelle, Tom, Celia, Gabriel, Yordan, Sofia, Iain, Dian, Sari, Marcelo, Ronnie, Robin, Joes, Yuriy, Rita, Dave, Holger.