Ocean College

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Are there normal days on the Atlantic?

Date: 2. December 2022
Author: Manuel
Position: Atlantic Ocean
Nautical Position: 22°50.4’ N 21°45.8’W
Etmal: 2948 NM
It’s the fifth day of our Atlantic crossing. The sun is getting warmer and warmer, but each day the wind is slowing and sloooowwwwing down. During today’s ship’s company meeting, Captain Chris told us that we had to use the engine for a couple of days starting tomorrow to get through a hole in the Atlantic where there is next to no wind because of a weather system in the north stealing it all.

Tour with Patrik

To use the last evening of silence in the engine room for the next few days, our Chief Engineer Patrik decided to give us tours in smalls group of four so that we can get familiar with it. First, we got an overview of where each part of the engine room is located.
So, when you enter it, you first get in touch with a big and a small white box on your right. These are the generators which produce all the electricity for the ship. During day time we run the bigger one with a capacity of 60 kWh and at night time the smaller generator works with 40 kWh. To make that switch, we learned which buttons we have to press in which order and how we could turn off both generators at the correct time. Right next to the generators you can find a very small ladder which you have to climb down to get to the lower area, where the main engine is located. Down there it is very tight and you have to squeeze all the time, but surprisingly it wasn’t uncomfortable. The main engine is a 6-cylinder John Deer motor with 333 HP which works on a 4-stroke cycle (intake, compression, power, exhaust). To start the engine, you have to make some very important pre-start checks we got an introduction for. We learned how to check the oil levels of the engine and the gear box, the importance of the engine coolant and how to make sure that the exhaust valves are open.
Last but not least, we got an overview how the fresh-water-system operates. We’ve got a strong pump which presses the salt water from the ocean with a very high pressure of 60bar through some very thin filters. Afterwards we instantly checked the quality of the freshly made water. It was surprisingly very good because it was cold and without the taste of chlorine unlike the tap water in the messroom.

Goings-on after dinner

In the evening, after an amazing presentation about the pollution of the oceans by humans, held by Elizabeth, we had an impromptu-dance session to practice for the Midatlantic Ball. Even though it started raining a little bit, we had loads of fun and learned a lot! Lennox is the master of rock and roll and Carlina proved herself to be a Friesenrock specialist. We tried Tango too, becoming one with wind and rain. In the background we were embraced by the warm sound of Hanna’s Clarinet and Kaija’s Accordion.
To finalize the evening Caro joined in with the band by performing her extraordinary talent of playing two flutes at once and also blowing into one with her nose. In addition to Hanna’s classical pieces and Kaija’s Christmas music, Caro decided on shanties. A lovely mix!

Time to calm down

I can tell you one thing: If you ever have the option to get to see a sunset on the Atlantic, go for it! Every day the golden hour, during which you can see the gentle orange light from the sun turning rosé in contrast with the shining blue of the ocean. This process transfers the whole ship in to an atmosphere from which you simply don’t want to be cut off. It’s just unbelievable!
We are all looking forward to get to Antigua with the most possible sailing we can get. But anyways, we enjoy the crazy time during our Atlantic crossing and have a shit lot of fun.
Stay Tuned!

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