Wednesday, February 1, 2012

FTV 2/1/12 Managing all that Trash

After visiting Guayaquil, Ecuador conservation areas, it makes you want to protect these precious ecosystems even more. While onboard the T.S. Kennedy we do the best we can to help the environment. Every day our trash is sorted into different categories for plastics, paper, rags, metals, glass, food waste, and bio hazard waste. In the mess deck we have three barrels for plastics, paper, and food waste. Obviously, we want to protect our oceans so when we are 3 nautical miles from the nearest point of land we are allowed to throw the food waste overboard. At 12 nautical miles we can throw paper overboard.

At sea, all ships abide by MARPOL (Maritime Pollution) which are the regulations regarding dumping waste over board. Everything that cannot be dumped is offloaded while we are in port. Chief Mate Ford is assisted by the Marine Safety and Environmental Protection Cadets and supervises discharge into the sea. He also keeps a Waste Management Log to document everything that is dumped overboard.

In addition to managing our trash waste we also must manage our sewage. It is very important that our ships sewage waster does not hurt the ecosystems in the ocean environment. Before dumping the sewage from our toilets, it must be processed in our MSD systems to kill bacteria before it is returned to the sea, when we are in port the treated wasted is pumped out into waste containers.

If everyone onboard does their part in contributing to waste management, our impact on the environment will be greatly reduced. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle!

Try this trash math challenge

Graphing Trash- Are We a Throw-Away Society? 

Captain's Blog 2/1/12

TIME 0700LT (ZD +5), 1200 GMT
LAT 4-14N
LON 80-04W
C 012
S 12.2 K
RPM 53
SKY 6/8
PRES 1010
AIR 77/74
SEA 79

We crossed the Equator yesterday morning to little fanfare - only a toot of the whistle. Such is melodrama - but we did have a pollywog aboard - our ship's doctor that joined in Ecuador. I had to hold back a few of the new Shellbacks that wanted to have their way with him - but suffice to say - he is none the less for wear.

I'm getting ready for Panama arrival. The past four or five sea terms there were only three ports - but since we converted over to a three division rotation, we now do four ports (one-less day in each port - a total of 12 port days). That in itself adds to the workload of the poor captain as we prepare for port entry - but the Panama Canal is a defacto port as well.

So, at this juncture in the sea term, I am preparing for our fourth port visit - and I've one more to do in St. Thomas - and then the dreaded US entry. The weather was cloudy almost the whole time we were in the southern hemisphere, but when we crossed the line yesterday it cleared up. It was a beautiful afternoon - we had an abandon ship drill and a demonstration of all sorts of pyrotechnic safety equipment - so much fun blasting off parachute flares and the line throwing appliance. But this morning it is cloudy again -and even looks ominously like rain!

More tomorrow...