This morning I joined Division 4 MTRA cadets as they organized the port side storage cage in 2 hold. The “cage” is where supplies like wood, paint, respirators, and firefighting equipment. I was with 3/C Gabe Marks, 3/C Henry Wells, 1/C Jeff Toomey, and 1/C David Coughlin. Jeff and David had us move everything out of the locker and then try to organize it the best we could.
Cadets moved wood out of the port side locker
The cadets were shown what needed to be cleaned out
Think of a jigsaw puzzle, you take the pieces out of the box and then slowly but surely, everything comes together and looks great at the end. While this definitely wasn’t the most glamorous job, it was necessary and we had some fun doing it. One piece of wood was shaped as an ‘L’ and Jeff told one of us to give it to the Chiefs due to their performance in last night’s game!
Just when I thought my day couldn’t get any more glorious, Bosun Tom Tucker found a way to make that happen. We were told to grind up the food waste that had been collecting since Friday. Since we were anchored off the coast of Puerto Rico, we were not able to discharge any food whatsoever per regulations, so these buckets had been sitting outside for a while. The Kennedy didn’t come equipped with a garbage disposal much to the dismay of cadets onboard.
Thirty-two buckets of wasted needed to be ground.
Due to federal regulations, food waste cannot just be thrown over the side of the ship, it has to be ground down to 1-inch pieces. The Kennedy has a set process for how they dispose of food and a few lucky cadets get the job done.
To start, everyone suited up in Tyvek suits to protect their clothes from the nasty leftovers.
Then we called up to the Bridge and let them know we needed water to Fire Station 29 which happens to be placed right next to the grinder. We need the water on so we can use a hose to wash out the buckets after they have been emptied.
Once the water was on, we dumped the first bucket onto the sorting table. In the Cadet Mess Deck there are two types of trash buckets – a white one to hold food waste and a grey one for all other trash. More often than not, cadets overlook what they throw into the white buckets and a plastic fork or coffee stir rod will wind up in the bottom.
The sorting table is where cadets dig through the food waste and take out those items so they won’t get mixed in the grinder. This is an important step because regardless of where we are discharging the food waste, we don’t want to dump any plastic into the ocean.
When cadets finished sorting out the material that did not belong, they placed the food waste back in the bucket and dumped it into the grinder. There is a constant flow of water running through the blades of the grinder so the processed food waste will flow out of a tube.
When we started grinding up the food and disposing it overboard, 3/C Justin Dutari told us a shark had been following for a little while to figure out what the food source was.
When a bucket was empty, it was brought over to the side of the ship and rinsed out with the hose. It was then sprayed with bleach to kill any bacteria that had started to culture in the bucket. We went through thirty-two buckets in two hours which was a lot of work.
I liked my job because I was in charge of deciding if the bucket was clean enough or needed to be redone. I left the hard work to the other cadets but they enjoyed every part of it except the smell. I can’t say I blame them!
One of my goals for this Sea Term was to learn the Freshmen Detex Rounds.
Detex rounds are completed while on Quarterdeck watch and there are exactly twenty-two spots that need to be hit. Each spot is marked with a little magnetic circle that matches up to the other end of the tool taken by 4/C cadets on rounds.
It is important that these rounds are completed in order because it can mess up the system if done incorrectly. There is a well laid out route in the Chafing Gear carried by Freshmen all year long, but it can still be confusing.
In the Chafing Gear (a book of information given to cadets, it says:
Cadet Security Rovers Of The Watch (CSRW) will complete the ship's Detex Security Route (TS Kennedy Standing orders 5.8.3: CRSW shall make hourly Detex/Safety rounds with a watch partner) and report shipboard abnormalities to the COWS. Abnormalities may include, but are not limited to: flooding water on deck, drips from overhead, visible smoke, smoke or acrid odors, spilled liquids, slip hazards, tripping hazards, darkened areas, or damaged ladder treads or handrails.
If you were to create a Detex Security Route at your school, you might check the cafeteria, the gymnasium, the nurse's office, doors, closets, and cabinets.
I want to be able to learn this route without the Chafing Gear. For the past few days I’ve been walking the route with a chafing gear in my hand and today I tried for the first time without it. I was able to find the first marker at the gym and then hit the second one by some holds. I was proud of myself for finding the first 2 but number 3 seemed to move from where I thought it would be. Eventually I gave up and had to ask for help but tomorrow I am determined to find it on my own!