Sat 20 Aug 2011
The Golden Bear is heading west towards Southern California. And after this last long leg of our voyage, I think a lot of the crew and cadets are ready for San Diego. It’ll be nice to set foot on land again.
I’ve written before, our ship has many ballast tanks . The tanks are filled with sea water to balance and counter balance the ships weight changes. As the tanks are filled with corrosive sea water, it is necessary to look at the inside of them every so often. Our mates and Engineers check out the basic coating on the steel ( the paint job ) to see how it is protecting the interior structure. Every tank on the ship goes through this sort of inspection. The other day I got a rare opportunity to see some of the “real” insides of our ship.
This past Thursday I received a phone call from Cadet Ty Nausid. He invited me to join Dan Weinstock’s class entering a ballast tank up forward. I was told to bring a flashlight, but they forgot to tell me to put on boots. I showed up in my “deck” shoes. So even though my feet were not in the right work attire, my footing on the ladders and steps wasn’t that bad down there. As expected, things were dark down there. I missed stepping in the big pool of “ooky” water by swinging to the back of the ladder to dry deck.
We gathered in the “green” deck where Instructor Dan Weinstock and Chief Mate Bill Schmid discussed what to expect going down into the ballast tank. The Bridge was called to report that 17 plus an instructor were going down into the forward ballast tank. Instructor Weinstock is the first to go down.
A list is kept of those entering the tank.
Quite a line-up.
Not a real big hole to go down.
Then it is my turn to “enter the hole”. There are two metal ladders to go all the way down to where we will meet.
The first ladder brought me down to this level, where I could see the first group of students waiting for the rest of us to join them.
This two pictures are the second ladder you take to come down.
After coming down the second ladder you enter into the drier area of the ballast tank through this hole.
The pictures shot down in the ballast area are “point and shoot”. It is so dark that you really are not sure what you are taking the picture of. Just point the camera in the general direction of the students.
Instructor Weinstock gives his lecture about the ballast tank and the structure of the ship.
This particular ballast tank we are in does not get filled. It is too far forward and would affect the stability of the vessel.
It would in essence “hog” or bend the ship length wise.
The Golden Bear was built with a double bottom and where we are, we are sitting on the tank top or inner bottom.
These holes in the structure are called “air holes” or “lightening holes”. By putting holes in the structure it allows the vessel to be built lighter without compromising its strength.
Above us is a crew “sounding the tank”. The picture below show the actual tube the crew sends its weighted tape down as it reaches the tank bottom.
Ballasting crew: Cadets Alexander Markle, Wesley Larue, Nick Mogensen, and Tyler Warshauer. Soundings are taken every twelve hours.
The white tube called a “sounding tube” in the center of this picture is where the soundings travel down. At the bottom of this tube is a “striker plate”which helps protect the steel from the slam of the sounding instrument. Hitting steel twice a day every day can eventually rust out that area. That is why a “striker plate” is installed.
This type of framing on this is transverse (up and down). The numbers that desigate spacing between the frames decreases as you go forward (30—27—24). The floors are vertical framing to tie the ship together. When the ship is pitching through the seas some of this structure allows the “panting” (in and out motion) of the plates. Back in the engine room the framing is similar to allow for the vibration of the engines.
Like all ships, our ship has a “collision bulkhead” located 1/20th the length of the ship. It is in the forward part of our ship, just aft of the stem. This is why it’s best to hit something “head on” if you know you are going to crash. If you “glance off” the side of the ship you are more apt to do damage to it, putting a hole in the side and possibly sinking her. No, we are NOT going to hit anything.
The air is thick down here. Closed up it can get dangerous. So before entering the Mate makes sure it’s safe by checking oxygen levels. To make certain that a good supply of “good air is down in the space, a portable blower sends down more to displace the old stale air.
The “walls” are just plain steel. There is nothing to absorb or dampen any sounds. So our voices ring with echoes.
The lighting down there is also limited and temporary. These are places not meant for cargo or people. In some spots around the ship we call the empty spaces what they truly are…voids..
It was a unique experience all right, and our instructor Mr. Weinstock was great pointing out all the different frames and how they relate to the entire structure and handling of our ship. After a while down there however, it was nice to return to real light and real air…..
Climbing back up and looking through one of the lightening holes to see the cadets below.
Cadet Coleman Rosenberg is one of the first ones out of the tank.
Everyone is checked off for coming back out of the tank.
Cadet Kate Fossati
Waiting for everyone to get topside.
Cadet Ty Nausid—“Mission accomplished”.
First one in, last one out—Instructor Weinstock.
Watching everyone come up through the hatch in the deck reminded me of moles coming out of their holes in the ground, especially with the deck painted green. So you could say we were the “Mole Crew” going into the depths of the ballast tank.
Putting the hatch cover back on the deck.
SENIORS CHECK-IN CADETS AT MEALS
Senior Engineering Cadet Anthony Zogheib tests for his 3rd Engineer’s License in September. He may be shipping out with Edison Chouest soon after.
Senior Deck Cadet David Mitchell will be taking his 3rd Mate’s License in January. He plans on working on ships as soon as possible.
THE “STACHE” CONTEST
The “Stache” (mustache) Contest was held last night 2030 in Pirate’s Cove. There were four categories: 1. The Old-Fashioned 2. The Epic Fail 3. The Gentleman and 4. The Creeper.
The judges were :Cadet Ryan Carden, Cadet Kate Fossati and Anna Thompson (Pirate’s Cove).
The MC or announcer was: Cadet Will Akers
TWO CONTESTANTS FOR THE “OLD-FASHIONED”
Cadets Andrew Staley and Andrew Scribner
Cadet Andrew Staley I have been working on my “stache” for awhile and I use wax to keep it in place.
Cadet Andrew Scribner I have been working on my “stache” for two months and prefer to keep it natural (no wax).
THREE CONTESTANTS FOR THE ‘EPIC FAIL’
Cadets Daniel Murphy, Benjamin Skeffington and James Dailey
Also putting her “stache” into the mix is Cadet Brittany Truss. She was a “little” upset that women weren’t being considered. It’s a “man’s” sport.
FIVE CONTESTANTS FOR THE ‘GENTLEMAN’S ‘
Cadet Kevin Meehan The pipe may be putting him at an advantage—very gentlemanly.
Cadet Michael Allison
Cadet Craig Newton
Cadet Ethan McHenry
THREE CONTESTANTS FOR THE ‘CREEPER’
Cadets Coleman Rosenberg, Justin Lynch and Michael Alario
AND THE WINNERS ARE:
Cadet Staley: The Old-Fashioned
Cadet Dailey: The Epic Fail
Cadet Meehan: The Gentleman
Cadet Rosenberg: The Creeper
Cadet Truss: Most Honorable Mention
All Freshman, you have two years before you go on Cruise again. That gives you plenty of time to “grow out” your “stache” if you want to enter the competition. And should we allow women in the contest?
DIVISION THREE SENIOR ENGINEERS
Cadets Logan Zandbergen, Scott Puckett, Liam Fisher
Cadet Christopher Shannon, Ryan Zandbergen, Chris Semmler, Dean Prodon, Bernard Bove, and Brandon Stewart.
Double Right Click