PHOTO OF THE DAY
This is today's Photo Of The Day for so many reasons. Why?
First, the beautiful weather and sapphire-blue ocean created the perfect work environment today.
Second, we like 1/C Chris Dawson’s (Mashpee, MA) patriotic bandana.
Third, you can see 100% effort and concentration to his job of wire-wheeling. What a great example for all of our follower!
Today, when your teacher gives you an assignment or your parent asks you to complete a chore, remember Cadet Dawson and do your absolute best work.
Needle-Gunning & Wire-Wheeling
If you’re on the Kennedy while we’re at sea, chances are you’ve heard the sound of cadets using both a needle-gun and a wire wheel. The sounds of both are distinct and I’ve come to learn that a needle-gun sounds like a tattoo gun while a wire-wheel is more like a dentist drill. Needle-guns are used to chip away rust on steel. The Kennedy is made of mostly steel so there is a ton of rust to get rid of.
Even though the name would make you suspect that there were a bunch of little needles on the end of a gun, that’s not the case. The needle-gun itself is made up of thick, dull-ended steel needles. They really look more like rods. The ends are dull enough that if you pushed the tip on your leg, it wouldn’t hurt.
You couldn't prick your finger with these needles...or sew on a button! Can you believe that a needle-gun forces the needles against a work surface at variable speeds up to around 5,000 times per minute. 5,000 times in 60 a minute? That's about 83 revolutions per second!
You need to connect the needle-gun to air in order for it to work. Once the air is connected and the lever pulled back, the gun starts to vibrate. The vibration of the steel needles on the steel deck, chips away the paint.
The group I was working with today was led by 1/C Steven Filler (Forestdale, MA). It consisted of 1/C Chris Dawson (Mashpee, MA), 3/C Rory Cicciu (Boynton Beach, FL), 4/C Nathan Boudart (Elkton, MD) and 4/C Kenneth Baertlein (Jamestown, RI). Our job was to take care of the deck on the port side of the bow.
Blogger Sara received her first lesson in needle-gunning from 3/C Rory Cicciu (Boynton Beach, FL)
In no time, Sara was needle-gunning on her own! The latest rust super hero on the TS Kennedy!
4/C Nathan Boudart (Elkton, MD) and 4/C Kenneth Baertlein (Jamestown, RI) also showed skill for needle-gunning. In fact, people wondered if there would be any rust left on the ship at the end of their shift.
1/C Steven Filler (Forestdale, MA) supervised, impressed with the skills of his team - and feeling thankful to be working out on deck on such a beautiful day.
Needle-gunning is a weird feeling because your whole body shakes all over with the vibrations. I had to get used to it but I felt like I was on a rollercoaster. After all the rust spots were chipped off, we began to use the wire-wheels. The way I would describe a wire-wheel would be like a hand-held scrubber. It reminded me of the steel-wool dish sponge that my family has in our kitchen.
Here is a close-up of the wire-wheel. Have you ever seen this tool?
The wire-wheel is used to smooth out the surface that you needle-gunned. It uses the same air-pressure set up but this was much smoother. I preferred the wire-wheel because it didn’t make my entire body shake!
Give Blogger Sara A Grade On Her Needle-Gunning
How do you think that she did? What grade will you give her?
Should Sara give up her computer and her camera and become a professional needle-gunner?
Should she stick to being Sea Term’s amazing blogger and occasionally do needle-gunning as a hobby?
Are you wondering why the TS Kennedy has so much rust? So are we!
These videos will help you gain a better understanding of rust.
Grades K - 4: Discover rust!
Grades 3 - 6: Check this out!
Grades 7 - 12: This video is for you!
Changing the Air Filters in the Berthing Holds
Because the ship goes to many tropical places, each berthing unit has an air conditioning unit installed. 1/C Shannon Turley (Marshfield, MA) was leading around a team of 4 people who were responsible for changing all of the filters in the units. This job is extremely important because the filters are what catch things like dirt and bacteria from entering the holds. With the amount of people we have on board, it is critical to be changing the filters as often as possible. I learned that each hold has a different AC unit with different numbers of filters and sizes. The larger holds obviously have larger units because they need to cool down a larger space. The first step in changing the filters was to go to each unit and count the number of filters needed and the size of them. Shannon said that was the worst part of the job because she had to keep running up and down the stairs if she forgot to write down a number. The team had to remember to shut off the unit when they opened the filter door. If the door is open when they are checking the filter, they would get a face full of dirt, bacteria, and anything else the filter had caught. Once the numbers were noted, they traveled to the forward fan room on the port side of the boat deck to grab what they needed. With the filters and ladder in hand, they went back to each hold. When they got back to the holds, they noticed puddles of water had formed underneath the AC unit. Due to them always being in use, they had a lot of water built up that caused condensation. They wiped that up then started changing the filters. When placing the new filter, they have to make sure that the arrow on the bottom of the filter is pointing in the direction of the air flow. If this is wrong, then the new filter is essentially useless because it won’t catch anything. Even though the units have only been running for a short period of time, some of the filters were very dirty. All 10 filters were changed and you could tell there was an immediate difference within the air. Without these filters, we would have been breathing in dirt, so I am very thankful that they were changed today.
3/C Deck Training
Captain Timothy C. Brady (Plymouth, MA) took his class of 3/C Marine Transportation majors on an adventure today. They went to the bow thruster located at the very bottom of the ship.
Watch this short video showing the repair and replacement of a tanker's bow thruster.
They were looking at the cement ballast in the bottom of 2-hold.
Grade 4-12 Followers: Checkout this video that explains regulations concerning a ship's ballast water.
They also looked at the chain locker but weren’t able to enter it because it is a confined space. A confined space is an area that is not suitable to sustain life meaning that there is not enough oxygen for a person to survive down there without additional material.
Middle & High School Followers: Checkout this video that explains in simple terms the construction of the bilge well inside a chain locker and explain the methods involved in pumping out chain locker bilges.
2/C McKenna Jarvis (Dedham, MA) said that they were allowed to participate in a new tradition where they sign their names on bilge. Some cadets choose to be a little more daring and sign it on the ballast. 2/C Sarah Cummings (Beverly, MA) did just that. This tradition has been in place since 2013 and I’m sure it will continue on.
And now, it's time for a few shout outs from the cadets...
4/C Nathan Boudart (Elkton, MD) is happy to have three schools from Maryland following his first Sea Term. He sends a high-five to the students participating at Our Lady Of Mount Caramel School and St. Peter & Paul School in Baltimore and Norrisville Elementary School in Harford County. 4/C Kenneth Baertlein (Jamestown, RI) sends some Caribbean sunshine back to the four schools following from his home state of Rhode Island. 1/C Chris Dawson (Mashpee, MA) sends a high-five to all of the Follow The Voyage – Share The Experience participants who will be cheering on the Patriots in the Super Bowl. 2/C McKenna Jarvis (Dedham, MA) and 2/C Sarah Cummings (Beverly, MA) encourage their female followers to pursue a career in science. 3/C Rory Cicciu (Boynton Beach, FL) sends his best to followers from the Sunshine State and challenges middle school students to email a photo of a Sea Term related activity completed in their class or at home to firstname.lastname@example.org.
A big shout out to Chris Dawson from Ms Kruse's 2nd grade class at Mullen Hall School in Falmouth, MA. Ms. Kruse is cadet Dawson's mom and we were so happy to see him hard at work. Good job cadets!