I hope that everyones summer is going well. Life here has been full of interesting things!
Conning the ship: Every arrival and departure we have a briefing on the bridge; for departures we cover the expected weather over the next leg, the distance and the required speed, engine configuration (as we’ve got 6), the current, tide, and present weather, and lastly who’s doing each of the jobs on the bridge. This includes who is going to do the maneuver. Departing St Maarten a couple weeks ago, the captain let me take the ship off the pier! With the Staff Captain and Chief officer giving advice I took the controls. Using just a fraction of the 80 000 horsepower on tap I gently lifted her off the pier and navigated the ship out to sea!
Void Space Inspection: Between decks 14 and 15 of this ship there is a void space that runs the length of the entire decks. There’s not much except for a few pipes and cables for some security cameras. But unfortunately once a year they’ve got to be inspected for rust or any other issues. It’s a mostly clean place, but deck 15 bakes in the
sun and it’s an unbelievably hot place. Coupled with the fact that it’s full of metal frames with very small access holes and crawling for 300 meters. You end up sweatier than you thought possible, and your knees bleed… Not the funnest of ship jobs, but that’s life.
Medical Facility: So we did an oil spill and man over board drill in Haiti, it was nearly 35 degrees and over 95% humidity. I spent a couple hours in the rescue boat, and was working hard attaching lines and our oil boom to the ship. After bringing the boat back onboard we all went to something called the emergency closing room. The chief engineer junior was teaching us about some of the fire suppression systems. Next thing I know I’m on the ground… Turns out I passed out, even though I was all hydrated and had eaten the heat had gotten to me. Luckily this was across the hall from the medical facility. Seeing as we have a top knotch medical staff onboard, they did a few tests, got me on an iv, and decided that I was all healthy and would be fit for duty in the morning. So
I got an afternoon off! An observation I made while in the bed: The best part about this happening on a cruise ship is the fact that the nurse was a cute girl. If I had worked on a freighter or something, I could imagine the treatment being more like some other guy just giving me a glass of water and telling me get back to work.
Cuban Refugees: Last Friday while enroute to Fort Lauderdale we saw a small raft with 7 people in it flagging us down. 25 miles from land, we contacted the Coast Guard as we turned around to pick them up. They had no food, very little water, and next to no supplies asides from their 70 liters of gasoline for the engine that fell off it’s mount. Our medical staff ensured that everyone was healthy, we gave them some food and water. A few hours later then Coast Guard picked them up and we were on our way again.
St Thomas: Got a phone call telling me that we were going on a rescue boat mission, and to wear swim shorts. Next thing I know a couple officers and myself are headed
to some super cool beach a mile or so from the ship. Completely alone except for a few locals we basically had the whole place to ourselves. When we swam back to our boat we saw a Barracuda that was nearly 2 meters long!
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