Photo Of The Day
Cadets always have their eye on the weather. That's why we have chosen this as our Photo Of The Day. Coming soon - Sara will take fill you in on everything weather-related aboard the TS Kennedy.
Although watertight doors are one of the best safety measures, they are also one of the most dangerous things we have on the Kennedy. A watertight door is exactly what it sounds like, a door that prevents water from breaking through. These doors are located all around the ship in different areas. We have six watertight doors, including two in the engine room.
How does a WTD work?
When an alarm goes off, the watertight doors become activated and starts to close by a hydraulic system. The speed at which they close is slower than one would think. As a result, people will actually try to run through the doors while they close. This is a huge mistake on the ship. It is one sure way to be yelled at by anyone and everyone.
The doors can be closed from the bridge or manually by hand. There is a panel located onthe bridge that shows where the doors are, as well as where they can be automatically closed.
When we had our boat drills with the United States Coast Guard, they told us to act as if the watertight doors had closed. We needed to find a different route to our boats.
If a cadet walked through a watertight door, we would fail because in a real emergency, they would be shut. When the doors close, there is a pipe over the loudspeaker to alert people to find alternative routes.
Mate Kelley mentioned that on merchant ships, the doors are tested frequently. They would rather have the doors checked.
Mate Perron explained the panel to me. When the lights on the panel are red, the doors are open, flashing red means in process of closing, and green means closed. He showed me how to open and close the doors and how to manually override the system.
Want to learn more about watertight doors? This instructional video was filmed aboard a cruise ship called Golden Princess.
When it comes to navigating on a ship, it isn’t as easy as “X marks the spot”. These charts are not even close to pirate maps or anything you’d think a ship would use. The charts are very hard to read, so 4/C MTRA cadets take Costal Navigation. This class introduces the freshman to charting and how to recognize the components of a chart.
Not only are they hard to read, there are special instruments you need to use with them. To plot on the charts themselves, you would need dividers and triangles. The dividers are used to measure distance and the triangles are for course angles.
Look closely! These charts have been marked by the cadets working on the Bridge.
The 3/C MTRA Cadets are responsible for creating a Voyage Plan as their sea term project meaning that they have to create legs of the voyage we have taken. This includes things like when and where to pick up the pilot, how long it should take, the water depths, and possible dangers.
On the Bridge there is always a Navigator in charge of maintaining the charts. They are responsible for plotting bearings off of land or GPS fixes. The fixes are taken every half hour so the charts are filled with plots and course directions. Charting seems difficult but I’m sure once you’ve had enough practice, it becomes second nature.
This is a plotting triangle. Look closely, and you may notice similarities between a plotting triangle and a protractor.
Middle School & High School Followers: Learn how to use a plotting triangle.
The tool above is called a divider. It is used to measure distance. It may remind you of the compass that you use to draw circles.
This video will introduce you to measure miles on a nautical chart.
The Kennedy is a big steel ship that is in salt water pretty much 24/7. This causes rust to build everywhere from the bow to the stern. Rust is bad for ships because it deteriorates the metals and starts to break down the metal’s strength.
To combat this problem, we have a system in place. Starting the week we left Buzzards Bay, there has been ongoing work to remove rust. This four step process is rather simple but takes time.
You probably recall the first two steps from my blog earlier in the week. If you’ve forgotten, I’ll do a quick review. The first part is to needle-gun the entire area. The needle-gun was the tool that made my entire body shake while the vibrations chipped away paint. Remember? Second, we used the wire wheel that smoothed out the surface as it sounded like a dentist drill.
Now I’ll fill you in on the two final steps. Third, you use a red primer paint that does not come off of boiler suits! I learned that the hard way. Are you wondering why you haven’t seen a lot of red paint on the deck of the Kennedy? That’s because of the fourth and final step. To finish things off, you paint over any red, with the gray paint. An interesting fact I learned is that sometimes when they’re painting the deck, ground up walnut shells are added to the paint to increase traction.
Are you on of the many people that are allergic to nuts? Don’t worry! The shells are ground up and painted over so there is no concern about allergies. You could still join us on the TS Kennedy!
You won't find cadets eating walnuts on the TS Kennedy and then crushing their shells!
Walnut Shell Grit is available for purchase. Who knew? Click on this link to learn more about it.
Has your class conducted an experiment involving rust? Have you done research on rust? From kindergarten to high school, we'd love to see your work! Please email it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I talked with 1/C Greg Hollstein (Raynham, MA), a recreational fisherman. He told me that he has yet to catch anything.
Until he makes his first catch for Sea Term 2018, he will continue to tell stories about the Mahi-Mahi and small sailfish in previous years. He’s not the only cadet with an empty hook. So far, no one has had any luck. Since we are approaching shallower water, their luck may change.
We added red arrows so that you can see the fishing lines coming off the back of the ship.
I am told that the ideal time to fish off the coast of Cartagena, Columbia is September to November. We missed that by a few months, but the cadets who love to fish aren’t discouraged. They have dreams of reeling in a blue marlin, a white marlin, a sailfish, a dorado, or a tuna.
Sous Chef, Johnny Norcross, is standing by, ready to do the cooking providing the fish is cleaned. I can’t wait to try the first fish caught. I am sure that Cadet Hollstein will be open to sharing.