Sal headed out to New Zealand on our IEP visa and was lucky enough to bag the job of dreams - working on board a Super Yacht in Auckland's boatyards. Have a read of her adventure here...
I arrived in Auckland on the IEP 18-35 visa to spend a year working my way around New Zealand. At 32, I had done an Australian Working Holiday Visa for 2 years previously and felt this was my last chance to spend a year working abroad. Getting granted the limited working holiday visa in New Zealand, I felt I should make the most of the opportunity and try my hand at doing a job or delve into a working environment that I couldn't pursue or had not done before at home in England. I'd always wanted to learn more about boats and experience life working on one so I thought Auckland, 'the city of sails' as its known would be a perfect opportunity to visit the harbours and surrounding docks and marina's near the Auckland Fish Market in search of a job as a 'dayworker', someone to valey and help clean or assist maintenance of the boats in preparation for the charter season at Christmas and coming summer months.
I felt the old-fashioned 'walk in and ask' method would be best to find work on boats and after a lot patience and tenacity; pounding the nearby docks and wharfs, asking around boat to boat 'dock walking', giving phone numbers to Skippers and showing my keenness, I secured a 2 week job working on a 135ft DuBois super yacht called 'Destination' which was undergoing a major maintenance and refit operation in preparation for New Year Charters and the owners private sailing holiday. I found that in New Zealand, employers are more impressed by your attitude and willingness to give it a go and work hard rather than having a full platter of experience behind you.
Initially the boat was held on a scaffolding in the boat yard where I was helping to polish the deck of the boat, meaning alot of cotton buds, toothbrushes, dirty rags and a perfectionist attitude! but on days that the weather was bad or the crew needed me to help with other jobs that had priority on the boat at the time - I found myself being like a school girl learning from scratch doing a mixture of tasks and making every mistake in the boat book ha!. I had had experience sanding and painting previously, or if not I was willing to give it a go and learn something new and found myself donned in overalls and a respirator mask, helping to sand down a new gear box, clean and assist with paint work in the engine room or helping to do a full scrub on deck with all weather proof sailing gear!
I learnt that working on a boat is not easy work, you are on deck early for a physical day of polishing, wiping, scraping, scrubbing or whatever needs doing to assist the crew in preparing the boat. One interesting task I had to undertake was assisting the crew on deck whilst the yacht was being moved from the scaffolding on land into the water on the marina, holding 'fenders' which are basically huge inflatable buoys over board to protect the boat whilst we were towed out - had to learn a sailing knot or two there! But on the plus, I got to have a fascinating insight into the inside and operation of a Super Yacht and when the Auckland weather was fantastic, I got to sit on deck all day on this beautiful yacht with sand coloured decks, admiring the view of Auckland Harbour Bridge, watch the shifting turquoise tide of the Hauraki Gulf gently rock the surrounding boats and muse at the sunset slowly descend behind the Auckland City skyline - plus drink lots of Milo!
One of the best jobs I could have had in my first month in New Zealand.