The fuel we take on is heavy fuel; very black and as thick as molasses. In order to pump it up into our tank, it has to be heated up to 110 degrees; this way it flows more easily. If the heaters in the barge weren't working, it could take a very long time to get the fuel to move. So, if a situation like that happened in cooler water, the fuel might not have been able to flow at the necessary rate to get our voyage back on the move. The marine engineering cadets had a big part in the bunkering process.
They would take tank soundings by dropping a measuring tape into the tank in order to determine how much liquid is in the tank. The other measurement they use is to determine how much air is in the tank (instead of checking the amount of liquid) where they drop a little cone attached to a string into the sounding (pipe that leads to the fuel tank). Taking both of these measurements allows them to ensure that we take on the right amount of fuel and prevent overflow. The engineers have to keep "sounding" the tank every so often. They also take fuel samples to make sure that the fuel we take on is good quality fuel. They are also constantly checking for leaks, just in case. When we are bunkering, there is absolutely no "hot works" (smoking, welding, etc.) allowed! The process went very well. It took approximately nine hours for the fueling to be complete.
After taking on our pilot at 1800. We are now on our way to our next port! Exams are coming up, and then liberty in Montego Bay!
Try these activities
Comparing the viscosity of oils
Behavoir of fluids
Is it a liquid or a solid?