Thursday, January 12, 2012

Captain's Blog 1/12/12

We have come and gone from Charleston, SC, and I missed a day of the log. I was called yesterday afternoon by my administrative assistant in Buzzards Bay, she asking Where is the Captain's Log. Well I responded, I've been busy, but I don't think anyone will miss it because at least 97% of the ship's complement are out on deck talking on the cell phone! It is really amazing how the human being in us wants to get in touch with loved ones and friends so quickly, even after just three days at sea, but it is nature, and not too much anyone can do about it. But we do impose regulations about telephone use รข€“ you may not use the phone while on watch, nor when on maintenance duty. Otherwise, it's progress! So, we arrived in Charleston yesterday at 0630, and anchored at 0936. The bunker barge was alongside shortly after 1100, and the bunkering began at Noon. The Chief Engineer and the First Assistant Engineer, along with their assistant engineers and cadets, successfully loaded 9,100 barrels of fuel, finishing up at 1836.

During the day we also accepted a launch delivery of some stores we needed, and sent three technicians and our Maritime Administration Marine Surveyor Jeff Brown home. The installation and tuning of the new boiler combustion control was successful, so it was time for them to depart. We thank them for the hard work, and look forward to smokeless stacks and significant fuel savings.
We left anchorage last evening, vying for position before two post-Panamax containerships. And with all their size, 1000 feet long and 150 beam, they were pushing this little steamer. We had to swing out of the channel to let the pilot off due to pretty strong winds, but getting back into it was problematic because of one of the big box boats. Finally they inched ahead of us and we were able to get back in line, all of us honoring the mandatory right whale speed reduction zone. This environmental protection initiative extends out 20 miles from the port's entrance, thusly requiring our outboard transit time to take nearly two times than otherwise. But we finally cleared it at 2230, and were at sea speed and on our way to Panama at 2236
This morning we have a force six Southwesterly wind which is creating some jerky motion of the KENNEDY. Not a large roll, nor deep pitching, just quick little motions between the two. But the skies are clear and the temperature is up as we steam against the Gulf Stream. Speaking of environmental protection, in about thirty minutes we will cross into the Special Area for Trash Dumping- Caribbean Sea. In this area absolutely nothing but food waste is discharged into the sea. That is when our trash compactor starts earning its keep. More tomorrow, I promise!

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