Tuesday, January 15, 2013



My 0600 routine wake-up call included a routine description of our location in reference to land. When the 1/C cadet told me we were 120 miles east of Daytona, I was surprised. I knew we were moving along pretty well but was happy to see the overnight speed was maintained despite the northerly current of the Gulf Stream. 
As a result of our current position I knew we had passed into the Wider Caribbean Region of the international maritime pollution regulations (MARPOL). The wider Caribbean Region is located at 30 degrees North latitude. For nearly 20 years this region has had very restrictive garbage and trash dumping regulations which became even more stringent as of 1 January 2013. The old rule still stands that we still may not throw any trash over the side, but the rule about throwing wet food waste has changed.
Effective January 1, the regulation requires that we grind our wet food into small pieces before we can through it overboard. Before this trip, the Kennedy was installed with a new pretty rugged garbage grinder that allows us to throw our wet food waste into the ocean as long as we are 3 miles away for land. The new grinder was installed on the main deck aft.
Operating this new grinder involves multiple steps and all of its operators have to be well trained to operate it. The cadets and crew are being taught how to activate the water flow and discard hoses, and to open the lid when a vacuum has developed. This task is made unpleasant because of the wet garbage that has been sitting in a trash can since the middle of the night!

With this new grinder operating all the ships programs are running as planned, fortunately we have seen no surprises yet!

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