So here I am now a 3rd Officer on the Aratere. Some say this is where the fun stops and real life starts. From what I have seen so far apart from spending each day protecting your ticket this is where it all begins. I have spent the last week or so familiarising another 3rd officer and carrying out Fire Drills for training the C/A. After the first drill that I did with them I learnt how to do the next one and keep <50% of them dry. Good Practical training = Competent crew you can rely on in an emergency. It’s quite amazing really how things change once you get your ticket. I have observed that I am looked at and treated differently now by the crew on board. One reason for this is that they have seen the hard work and studying that I put into getting this ticket and they know now that yes I really am serious about my career. So it has been such a blessing to have taken that step up to where we all look at each other on the same level now. People still ask me though: "don’t you get lonely at sea being the only female?" "What about marriage and kids? Don’t you know when that all happens your career will end?" and so on and so on. My reply to everyone is that: I have a Passion and a Dream. I am living to live my Dream out. I am committed and dedicated to serving the Lord in the Maritime Industry and I have a Dream to be a Captain one day. I have priorities and a family and kids isn’t one on my list at the moment. I love where I am and wouldn’t want to anything to change that. I have my 21st birthday coming up next week. I have a few days off to catch up with friends in Auckland for a birthday dinner. I get to spend Christmas working on board the Aratere; this is going to be such a blessing to me as I have considered the crew as family since I have spent most of my cadetship with them. 2nd Mates down Mates and Masters to go. Merry Christmas everyone. Word from Megs: "If you have a Dream and Goals and are passionate about reaching them then for what its worth don’t let anything stop you from achieving them. You will reach them if you set your heart to it!"