Sunday, January 17, 2016

FTV Anchoring Drills Mayaguez, Puerto Rico

Hello from Mayaguez, Puerto Rico

We have been doing anchoring drills with our senior Deckies and Engineers since Thursday, and we will be doing them until we depart Mayaquez later this morning. One might think why, do we have to practice how to anchor, don’t you just release it and back up a little bit? Well the answer is no. 

Anchoring for a larger ship like the Kennedy takes a lot of communication and different maneuvers in a specific time frame. Today I was able to go up in the bridge and on the bow to watch and listen to what an anchoring process is like. Up in the bridge there is quite a bit going on. 

You have cadets at the navigation tables taking visual fixes (locations) while the whole procedure is taking place. 

You have 1 or 2 cadets at the radars and ECDIS making sure we are going in the correct direction and relaying information back to the Cadet Officer of the Watch (COOW). He needs to know how much 
farther until we get to the anchoring site, and how fast the ship is currently moving. 


You also have a helmsman who is listening to the COOWs orders in which direction to steer the ship and relaying all of the headings back to him when they are achieved. 


There is also the quartermaster who is adjusting the speed of the ship and entering information in to a log book so that we have record of our movements. 

Captain Bushy, the watch officer and some Instructors are on the bridge at the same time monitoring the drill. Along with the COOW is responsible for communicating to everyone on the bridge and the are communicating with the bow orders to lower the anchor and hoist the anchor.

On the bow there is a team of cadets who are controlling the anchor and the anchor speed. As well as a team watching the anchor movement. 

Once the anchor is dropped and they are ready to hoist the anchor and the cadets have to wash the anchor off with a fire hose, to get all of the mud and debris off the anchor and chain before it goes back in to the chain locker.

With anchor drills and real life anchoring situations, I have learned that the key to success is definitely communication with your team. While observing on both the bridge and the bow I could see that all of the cadets were learning this and they all did a terrific job while participating in this drill.  

Anchors Away! We are headed to Haiti to drop off some humanitarian aid supplies.


Proper and efficient communication between the bridge and the anchor station is the most important aspect of anchoring operations. The deck officer in charge should be thoroughly familiarized with the reporting procedures. While anchoring, it is as significant as to give clear commands to the crew members as it is to receive the same from the Master. It is also essential to update the status of the operation to the bridge, from time to time. 

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