Saturday, January 25, 2014

FTV January 25

Today spirits were high among the cadets as we pulled into Curacao. All students not on mooring stations manned the rails at 0900 as we made our way to the pier. Mooring stations consist of a designated group of cadets positioned on the bow and stern of the vessel when a ship wishes to either come alongside or depart from a port. Those crewmembers assigned to
mooring stations are responsible for handling the lines, utilizing an electric winch and good ol’ fashioned manpower to move the ship’s numerous 6” hawser lines into their correct position for stowage.  Once tied up along the pier the gang way was put into place and liberty began to be granted around 1300. At this same point the ship hosted a lunch for around 20 high profile islanders, including people from the embassy and highly involved with education. Cadets were more than excited about getting into port and enjoyed their day at the beach.

Watching the Kennedy maneuver to its berth in Curacao, makes us appreciate the efforts put in behind it. It looks like a very easy job done by ship’s staff, but in reality berthing of vessel or ship on a wharf is quite a specialized job involving the use of several equipment, lines etc. The access way (gangway) is placed safely on the dock.

While at their mooring stations the cadets are learning the various factors that must be taken into account for a successful mooring.

Size: A large vessel will be sluggish to turn. Her stopping distance will be considerably large as well as time taken to pick up speed.

Displacement of vessel: Displacement means total weight of the vessel. It is the total volume occupied by underwater part of vessel multiplied by the density of water. Larger the displacement greater will be the force required to move or stop it.

Wind speeds and direction: Exposed part of vessel acts like a sail. Off shore wind with a speed of 10 knots creates strong adverse wind force which needs to be controlled by using more tugs or bow/stern thrusters. On shore wind though will assist in berthing but strong on shore wind may push the vessel hard to berth causing damage.

Current: Current affects the maneuverability of the vessel. In tidal port with currents, berths are designed in such a way that current will be flowing at 15 to 30 degree to the berth. Design berthing velocity for ship is normally 0.2 m/second.

Fenders:  Fenders are used to avoid the damage and designed to absorb the energy of the berthing impact

Berthing can be done in many ways. The exact method depends on various factors, some of which are alluded above. However like a car driver each pilot has his own method of berthing. And someone very truly said, “it is more of art than science.”

Securing a huge ship at the port is not about simply bringing it alongside, but is a complicated procedure known as berthing. Learn more about this procedure and its details here.

No comments:

Post a Comment