Friday, 4 December 2009

BIS visit to Kalizma

Earlier in November I was approached by Mr. Alistair Lawson from the British International School (BIS) if they could do a study visit onboard Kalizma. I was positively inclined for the visit and ran it past the office eventually receiving the OK, so I let BIS know that the visit was on.

The visit was to consist of abt 50 students 8-9yrs old and abt 10 accompanying adults. As the visit was 3rd, early morning at 0900hrs, we decided not to make a big deal abt refreshments as we assumed the kids had had their breakfast, but still we prepared some softdrinks and nibbles for them.

Finally, on the 4th morning all interior was setup and exterior as much we could without disturbing ongoing maintenance the first group arrived as expected with their teacher, Mr. Alistair Lawson. I greeted Alistair by the gangway and the kids lined up their shoes on the jetty. Once all were done I helped the kids onto the gangway to climb onboard.

Jyothi and Kalpana guided the kids down to the saloon where I wished them welcome onboard and explained how they were going to be divided into 2 groups and showed around the yacht and after that I would tell them a bit of thehistory of Kalizma and answer any questions. Off the kids went with accompanied exclamations "ooh", "aah", "Oh my God", "so nice", "cool", etc.

Children were shown guest rooms, tour of the outer deck, galley, crew messroom, bridge and the dining room. On the bridge Saini was explaing and demonstrating the navigation equipment. Once finished the tour, the groups ended up at the dining table, which was laden with cookies, softdrinks and chips. I admire how well disciplined they were as they kept their fingers to themselves until I gave them the "go ahead" for the goodies. Before this I told them about when and where Kalizma was built, her participation in both WW's, how Richard Burton gave her to Elizabeth Taylor and finally how she ended up with the current Owner and his measures in preserving this Classic yacht.

I also ended up teaching them marine vocabulary for galley, bulkhead, deck, porthole, capstan and windlass as well as how much is nautical mile (1.852km). Finally there were not so many questions, one recurring question was how much Kalizma was worth. I reckoned one had to give my Boss an offer he could not refuse but assured that their weekly allowance would not cover it. One girl asked "Why is she so nice?". Oh well, because the Owner likes nice and we're paid to keep her nice. Another wanted to know from where I was, Finland that is. One boy wanted to know how fast she is, well she is not fast at all, only 10 knots compared to todays modern container behemoths that race over the Oceans with 25kts speeds. One wanted to know if I been in bad weather with Kalizma, not really, I try avoiding bad weather.

Afterwards Saini told me that he had been heavily bombarded with questions so I guess the technical gadgets always win over dry facts and stories.

In the end all kids said a big "Thank you" and marched off to the jetty where they donned their shoes and marched off while waving goodbye to Kalizma. I hope they all enjoyed their visit, I know we did.

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