THOUGHTS AND COMMENTS FROM AN AMERICAN Merchant Mariner
Saturday, October 24, 2009
fun n' games
All those valves make perfect sense to me. Block valves, double block valves, isolation valves, suction valves, discharge valves, stripping valves...
A Pure Car/Truck Carrier (PCTC) is about as ugly as a ship can get. They're built for function, not form. Thousands of cars and trucks get stuffed into these things for delivery. Under the 'E' of 'Line" is the hose manifold, where fuel and lube oils are loaded. The slightly larger opening is an accommodation ladder for taking on pilots and crew and such.
Here we are sending a small diesel transfer hose to a bulk carrier. Large ships use heavy black oil for their engines, for the most part, but diesel is used to start the engine and while the ship is maneuvering in and out of port. For that reason, while we deliver anywhere from 300 to 2,000 tons of oil to fuel up a ship, we often deliver only 30-200 tons of diesel, which is much more expensive.
Here a heavy fuel oil hose is being sent over to a reefer ship. The hose itself weighs in at about 3/4 of a ton. Maneuvering and positioning the hose is done with the aid of a boom, but there's still a lot of brute strength involved. You can see all our various hoses laid out on deck. We're ready for any occasion.
This is a brand-spanking new small bulk carrier. She was carrying cocoa beans from Brazil to Philadelphia. Cocoa beans smell like hot garbage. The bugs enjoyed this immensely. The crew did not.
In other news, my dad came home from the hospital late last night. This is the first time of his many, many hospital visits where I feel that he was sent home too early. Considering that he had a tube stuck through his chest that ran into the pleura of his lungs, and said tube was removed only 8 hours before he was sent home, I have a suspicion that this may have been an insurance-influenced decision. My folks have top-notch insurance, so this is a disturbing thought. Anyhow, he's happy as can be to be back home, so that makes me happy for him.
I am Paul B, and I spend most of my life at sea. Ships, Science, the life of a mariner, biology and (mostly) true stories of life among the best and the worst people in the world, the United States Merchant Marines. You'll find it here, maybe. You'll definitely find rants, raves and discussion on life aboard a merchant ship. Come back and see the Brazilian girls, too, who show up fairly regularly.