Monday, February 16, 2015


16 February 2015

We departed Fort Lauderdale this morning right on time – and bid farewell to a few of our crew – especially Father Jim Houston, the Academy Chaplin; and Fritz from Chartwell’s. But when someone departs another joins, as we welcome Jeff Brown from the Maritime Administration (the Kennedy’s owner).

Our voyage north looks complicated as we will now have to cope with the winter weather that so many of our readers have endured this past month. The Eastern seaboard looks to have some low pressure centers coming of the coast both Wednesday and Sunday – but we'll have to continue to watch them and try to keep the ship riding as well as possible.

This morning we began an engine performance evaluation for Marad. Right now we've got the engine operating at 27-nozzles, which produces as much power out of the ahead turbine as is possible. This will give us an engine RPM of 82, which should give us 20 knots. This test will last eight hours, and then we'll do astern turbine tests that should only last about 30 minutes. There will be further testing of other equipment such as steering systems and turbo-generators. But the engineer in all of us should be excited by the speed run –like your automobile, you very rarely get to put “the pedal to the metal”. The ship is wiggling and vibrating in places. She hasn't felt like that since the last test five years ago! Down in the engine room, the excitement of seeing the plant operating at 100% is exciting, as well as knowing any concept of fuel conservation is out the port hole – as we’ll suck down as many as 60 barrels per mile during this test!

We'll keep an eye on the weather and touch upon that topic daily over the next five days.

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