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Grant Wilkinson

Position: Cook

A highlight experience was definitely seeing three humpback whales breaching in succession in Antarctica right outside the galley window.  There ended up being about eight whales but those three were so close!

I’ve been working at NIWA for 5 years in April. Before that I was a cook in Strait shipping (ferries). I cook all the food! I find the job satisfying. It can be challenging because of the weather but you get to meet cool people – that’s why I like it.

My favourite things about the job are the money, the ocean and the people. I’ve grown up in boats as a child right up until now, but never worked on one until around eight or nine years ago. My favourite voyage was my first time in the Antarctic. I’ve been twice but just going for the first time was a great experience. We had the biggest seas ever on the way back.

For those who are interested in a career at sea, get all the experience you can. It is a better job in the later years definitely. If you love the ocean it’s a great, unique job.

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