Thursday, January 6, 2011

Captain's Blog 1/6/11

It has been a few days since I last posted – and there are about a million reasons why – well, actually about 697. On Monday we registered the remaining 520 cadets, and brought our full crew together. We now number 697 people – all needing paperwork signed, check on passports, issue billet cards, and feed them three times per day. To do this, we unloaded seven tractor-trailer trucks on Tuesday and Wednesday, then hoisted the provisions aboard and lowered them down into the lower decks for storage.  This effort is the focus the first few days, but today we enter into our most important aspect of the alongside period for the sea term – safety management!

                The ship’s safety management system begins with all cadets and crew being trained and involved in safety related equipment and procedures. All our cadets and licensed crew are trained in the elements of basic safety as a matter of curriculum or documentation. But the unlicensed crews are not, so we must get them involved.  After that, everyone is briefed in the goals of the safety management for the sea term, and how we will bring them into compliance over the next five days. Today’s time will be divided as we provide class specific briefings on programs, but also conducting fire and security drills, as well as abandon ship drills.

                Today will be a long one – where we will drill into the late afternoon, testing everyone’s understanding of what to do in an emergency, and then how to fulfill the proper firefighting requirements, security actions, and finally the steps to effectively abandon ship.

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