So you all know about my ranting and raving as to how I could not wait to set my foot on the gangway of the Rainbow Warrior and be part of the crew.

Well I was not disappointed, I tell you!  I thoroughly enjoyed my duty working in the ships galley aka kitchen.  My incredible experience started on me boarding the Rainbow Warrior in Port Elizabeth on the 21st February 2015 and ended on 1st March 2015, disembarking in Durban. 

I was told by many, that working in the galley, as assistant chef was going to be intense, and yes intense it was.  But I am quite fortunate, I would say, to have been a hard worker most of my life so I found this challenge quite manageable.  My morning shift started at 9am for lunch preparations and lunch was served at 12 noon. Lunch clean-up followed at 1pm till 1:30pm. Then it was my chill out time.  At 4pm it was back to the galley for round 2 of the day, dinner preps.  That was till 6pm when dinner was served and then clean-up was from 7pm till 7:30pm. 

Chef Walter Rodrigues from Goa in India was quite welcoming in the kitchen and showed me the way he preferred things to be done.  I was not going to disappoint and was quite eager to learn.  I also discovered that every galley sets pars for their inventory and no chef likes it when they fall short.  Because unlike the shore side chefs who can run out to any market or place a phone call for immediate doorstep delivery, the onboard chefs have to wait until their next large scale, at port delivery.

Overall it was an incredible experience – hearing sailing stories from Captain Mike Fincken, and the adventures and home stories of the global crew and bonding with our very own South African team mates.  We all received a wonderfully unexpected surprise, of Greenpeace Executive Director Kumi Naidoo, joining us on a dinner out at Pub 501 in Croftdene- Chatsworth.  He was our very own tour guide, explaining the sights and sounds of  his (and my) home town ,Durban - Chatsworth.  Imagine that!

What had actually embedded itself within my heart was the very personal tour Kumi Naidoo shared with us, the tales of the apartheid struggle as a young man, joyous successes, and the sad loss of his friend Lenny Naidoo. We paid our respects at Lenny’s final resting place, and continued on to see the places he hung out at, and we even met his childhood friends and ex neighbours.  Indeed, an extremely rare tour that money cannot buy.

Another highlight of my trip was the tremendous turnout of people that came out to the Rainbow Warrior Open Boat tours.  It was unbelievable that, there was so much of support, enthusiasm and excitement of wanting to learn more about our Renewable energy campaigns.  I must add that upon speaking to a few people, after the boat tour, I found them somewhat transfixed, then just gushing   about their boat tour, Captain Mike’s autobiography, interacting with the crew and the invaluable knowledge gained from our Greenpeace campaigners.

I personally, want to salute the crew of Rainbow Warrior, all of them, selfless, humble souls that sacrifice so much for environmental justice.  They are the epitome of what my Quran says about us humans being the viceroys of the earth.  I am thankful for these individuals whom I look towards, for continuous inspiration.

There are numerous ocean vessels which are actually quite luxurious and accommodates hundreds  but…The Rainbow Warrior with its crew had displayed so much positive energy, that had there been a display of arts on the ocean, the energy of the pastels on the canvas would have made it a master piece and a winner!