Sub Lieutenant Kris Bruton was recently selected for a 117 day embed with the Chilean Navy, set to sail over 15,000 nautical miles from September in Training Ship Esmeralda.
After being awarded dux in the Introduction to Navy Engineering Practice Course, Sub Lieutenant Bruton was offered one of the few places in the five country voyage from China to Chile. He will join other international junior officers and experience life in a Chilean ship while undertaking classes and navigation and seamanship exercises.
“From time to time the Chilean Navy asks for officers from around the world to take part in their training cruises and I accepted the offer knowing it would be a once in a lifetime opportunity,” Sub Lieutenant Bruton said.
“I’m looking forward to meeting great people and building relationships with officers and sailors from other nations. The travel will also be an exciting and unique way to visit South America and experience all the Chilean culture has to offer.”
Armed with phrase books and some key words, Sub Lieutenant Bruton will forge international bonds while learning new skills.
“The first challenge will be integrating with the ship’s company since I don’t speak the language. I’m told all the officers will speak English, but the routines will be in Spanish. After getting up to speed, I will be a fully fledged member of the ship’s company and am eager to learn how other countries operate and manage their ships and people.
“It’s a privilege to represent the Royal Australian Navy overseas, but I know that I’m going to miss my wife and two boys. Being at sea on Christmas will be tough, but Gemma has been so supportive of my career and agreed I couldn’t pass up this opportunity.”
Training Ship Esmeralda, also known as ‘The White Lady’, is a four mast tall ship. Sub Lieutenant Bruton’s voyage begins in Shanghai in September and finishes in Chile in mid-January.