Tuesday, February 17, 2015


17 February 2015

We woke up to a much rougher ocean than when we went to bed. It’s blowing a force 8 out of the south-southwest, kicking up 8-12 seas. Since it is right on the quarter, Kennedy is wallowing around a bit as we get caught in the trough. Not too bad really, most everyone seems to be acclimated to the motion by now.

Yesterday I mentioned the engine performance test. We ran at 90 RPM for eight hours, averaging about 22 knots. The fuel consumption was actually better than we anticipated, coming in at about one-barrel per mile, or 42 gallons. That is good, but reflective of our operating the diesel generator and not making any reserve feed water during the test. The engine (boilers, super- heater, turbines, reduction gears, etc.) all ran very well. One engineer aboard, Gene Ennesser (MMA’81), sailed on a sister ship in the early eighties, and was proud to be able to reminisce about the fast trips to the far east via Cape Hope, all at 20 knots!

The end of the test included a steering gear test, where we had to time the rudder’s movement from hard right to hard left (hard rudder is about 33 degrees off centerline) while going full speed. There really wasn't any concern over this test, and it proved to be true, as we completed right to left in 23
seconds, and left to right in 24.9 seconds. Then we went to the crash stop test. In this test we operate at full speed, then call from full astern. It takes the engineers some time to close the ahead throttle and open the astern throttle, and that was done in about 45 seconds, then another two minutes to get
the propeller churning 50 RPM astern. Once that was completed it is just a matter of time before the ship comes dead in the water – which occurred at 4 minutes and 38 seconds! Pretty good, and while the engineers don't care about the distance, we measured an advance of 0.32 nautical miles.

The weather is still not too definitive for the weekend. We know we have a large low pressure area coming off the Virginia Capes tomorrow, but do not know how that will influence a cold air mass in the Canadian Maritimes moving east. Time will tell.

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