A 23-metre, square-rigged, wooden tall ship became a floating classroom as TAFE NSW Port Macquarie maritime operations students honed their practical skills.
Monday (April 12) marked the first of two days onboard the Coral Trekker for the Certificate I in Maritime Operations students.
The Coral Trekker is in Port Macquarie as part of the area's bicentenary celebrations.
In collaboration with Port Macquarie-Hastings Council, the students are gaining practical experience on the tall ship as they learn to work as part of a crew, on deck and in the engine room.
TAFE NSW teacher Natalie Welsh spoke about the opportunity provided to the students.
"It's such a rare experience to be able to come on board and do this type of training on such a unique old vessel," she said.
Students, on completion of the TAFE course, can find work in the maritime industry or follow a pathway to further study.
The course can also be about learning a new life skill.
A boating accident sparked Max Hillier's desire to be better equipped when out on the water.
He enrolled in the TAFE course and is a now a Marine Rescue volunteer.
Mr Hillier said he was excited about being onboard the Coral Trekker.
"Anything that will underline the theoretical with practical is totally important," he said.
Mr Hillier said maritime was a really exciting industry to be learning about and the TAFE NSW teachers were very knowledgeable because they all had maritime industry experience.
"TAFE NSW is offering us the epitome of hands-on learning, it is a great opportunity to be able to learn onboard the Coral Trekker," he said.
The tall ship will be moored at Lady Nelson Wharf until Sunday (April 18).
People can experience a lunch or dinner cruise, or enjoy a one hour sail trip on the Hastings River.
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