Thursday, September 30, 2010


So, last night saw my first opportunity to burn the cobwebs out of my head-case and figure out how to plan our next cargo load.

I've been asked to stuff a blivet- to stuff 10 lbs of shit into a 5lb bag. In terms of heavy liquid cargo, I have to carry a draft load- fill us to 98% capacity, which is the most we can legally stuff into our cargo tanks... in doing so, I have several concurrent issues to deal with:

1) We are discharging two products into each of three ships over the next few days, in another city- I have to segregate some products, which means that some of my cargo tanks can only be used for one ship's cargo, while others can be loaded on top- putting cargo destined for multiple ships in the same tanks.
2) I have to pray that the oil we load won't be too warm. Warm oil is less dense than cool oil. If the oil is too warm, we won't have the capacity to carry the required volume. If the oil is too cool, however, it won't flow very well, which means that it will take forever to get out of our tanks.
3). At the end of each job, we will need to have zero list (meaning that the port and starboard tanks have to match volumes) and zero to modest stern drag ( the difference in draft between the bow and stern. We're very low on fuel, so if I allow for too much stern drag, we'll suck air and kiss the generators and mains goodbye.
4). The volume in each tank at the start and finish of each job must be exactly as predicted and as it appears on the loading manifest- that is, after or between jobs, I can't gravitate cargo from a full to an empty tank in order to improve the stability profile of the vessel without voiding the cargo survey that will be performed before we sail. Further, getting a surveyor to sign off on an intermingled cargo will require an act of faith on his part if his employer doesn't own the entire contents of the tanks in question. So, I have to stuff oil into every available space, and pray that the first two ships we discharge into won't cut us off early.

Anyhow, planning the job took longer than it should have, but at the end, I felt somewhat more focused than I have of late. A good feeling.

No comments: