Ocean College

From the Blog

Pelican Generator

Date: 17.02.2023
Author: Caro
Position: West of Bermuda
Nautical Position: 32 27, 8 N/ 072 52 7 W
Etmal: 9793 nm
Ship: Pelican of London

Well, actually I wanted to write something a bit more sentimental, considering that we are slowly but steadily heading towards the end of our voyage…and because the material which I could write about at sea isn’t particularly different to the day before.

But who would have thought that our Generator DG1 had pity with me and decided to give me some more or less exiting writing material.

waiting for the natural light to come…

Pelican Generator

As pelican sails gently through the night,
One of her generators died,
At two hours past 12, so loud and clear,
The general alarm sounded in my ear,

Oh not again thou spare me please,
We have no power on high seas,
Then I was woken up at four,
And all my bones were stiff and sore.

While on watch the alarms went off,
Every time when power was lost,
And then for all our navigational instruments,
The last of the battery power went.

My washing day, oh I do mourn,
Has been delayed,
For we can’t turn the water maker on.

But all at last, we should not complain,
Although the engineer and bosuns are trying in vain,
We can hear the ocean breathing clear,
The slight rise and fall of waves as we steer.

Generator

Imagine sleeping nice and soundly, to make it a bit more dramatic, imagine sleeping nice and soundly for the first time in days and then being ripped out of your vivid dreams by a vey shrill sound. A sound we are trained to immediately recognize and act upon hearing it.

At approximately 02:00 in the morning our general alarm went off, to my dismay, as I was fast asleep, but as soon as this highly annoying and discomforting sound echoed through the green mile it perished in silence again…as did the ever existent humming of our generator followed by the loss of power…

More tired than anything else I fell back to sleep again, just to be woken up one and half an hour later to my watch, not with the typical “Caro, aufwachen, du hast jetzt watch!” but with “Caro Aufwachen, der Generator ist kaputt und wieder überhitzt. Wir haben keinen Strom mehr!” …

only hearing the sound of the waves…

I think by now we are all kind of used to adapt to these circumstances, so I got up, gathered all my stuff in the darkness (except for the weak emergency light in the green mile), having not charged my torch, and went out on deck.

Everybody could feel how tense the crew was about the situation, although they handled it marvelously. They have been working for ages on the generators, trying to get them fixed, but in vain.

After arriving on the bridge, we were told that generator DG1, the generator for nocturnal use, didn’t get enough cooling water pumped through its system and began overheating, after an essential pipe had broken.

We do have a second generator for daytime use which creates more power, but also this one, DG2, is suffering an electrical failure.

Of course, we have emergency batteries charged for this scenario, so our navigational instruments are still functioning, leading to several alarms going off during our watch, beeping every now and then.

Watch and navigational instruments

Halfway through our watch, our emergency power supplies went out, so we had only a torch for our compass by which we sailed. Just like the good old times. No radar, no navigational equipment, just a chart, a pen and a compass, nothing else except the skills of our crew.

That reminded me of what my mother would say and I could nearly hear her voice loud and clear in my ears. Had she been there, she would have definitely said “Das ist wie früher, da sind wir auch ohne Technik ausgekommen, da gab es nur einen Zettel und Stift.”

The watch itself was rather chilly, due to the rush of icy wind chasing across the wide extent of the ocean.


Generator watch

As you may have already noticed our teachers are not just teachers, but are also used in a wide field of force. Reaching from areas such us our notorious “Propaganda Minister” teacher Simon, to “guardian of the generator”.

Our teachers are keeping constant rotating 1-hour watches on our generators, to immediately act in case when there should be a new issue reoccurring.

The sound of silence

We are constantly exposed to a certain sound level, such as the deep humming of our engine and the low sound of our generator, so when they are both off, all we hear is the constant rhythm of waves beating against the ship’s side, the occasional splash of a wave crashing on deck and the breathing of our cabin mates.

When then suddenly every source of noise simply falls away, the sound of silence hangs heavily in the air. A lot of us just simply sit in the mess room, enjoying the silence, while others are vacated out on deck and listening to the everlasting resonance of the salty mountains gaining height before they collapse in on themselves again before this cycle, doomed for eternity, starts all over again.

Bermuda Triangle

Well, I honestly don’t know if we are still in the Bermuda Triangle (yes we are, according to teacher Simon), but I will just assume so… because everything in the universe is logical and happens for a reason, there must also be a reason for the failure of our generators.

Assuming now the cause of this failure is due to the fact that we are sailing through triangle, we have a new conspiracy theory…but it could also simply be bad luck.


Lea: Liebe Grüße an Cheyenne. Alles alles Gute, wir feiern nach. Ich freu mich auf Italien.

Caro: Lovely greetings to my beloved Mama, Papa and Gesine. I miss you all and hope you are doing fine. Lol gesine Grüße mal die Juuuulia und Dörte ganz lieb von mir.

Teacher Simon: “Liebe Grüße an Omi Günther…und meine Frau…natürlich.”

Franzi: Mamiiiii, noch acht Tage. Ich vermiss’ dich unendlich!

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