Engine Room Tour
Have you ever seen a deer in headlights? After yesterday, I know that 3/C Holly Brzykcy has. Yesterday I was working with her on a project and she asked me to run to the DC Heater in the engine room to grab something. Bring on the deer in headlights face. I realized that I have been on the ship for several weeks and didn’t actually know my way around the engine room.
Once I snapped back to reality, I grabbed 4/C Grace Theriault and 2/C Joseph Naron and did an impromptu engine room tour. We hit all the main parts of the engine room with a few side stops to check out what cadets were working on.
Our first stop was one of the hottest places in the entire 5-floor engine room, the DC Heater. The DC Heater or deaerating feed tank is used for heating, storing, and deaerating feed water. Feed water is water that is fed to the boiler to create steam.
Next we stopped at the Refrigeration and Air conditioning systems where we ran into 3/C Joe Heath doing his rounds. He was in charge of collecting numbers of all the refrigeration equipment to make sure it was working right.
We went to the main fuel oil system after and found two of the 1/C Fuel Oil Rates Alex Ruddy and Tom Pelletier. They were getting ready to switch over the fuel tanks so after they explained what they were doing, we moved on.
Joseph pointed out the main condenser that condenses the steam. The main condenser uses sea water to cool the steam, creating condensate not water. Condensate is a state of liquid that isn’t water or steam, but a mixture of both.
Right next to the main condenser is the oily-water separator. This equipment is responsible for breaking down and removing oil particles in the bilge water so that it can be pumped overboard. The oily water separator discharges bilge water that contains less than 15 ppm (parts per million), any more than that and it is discharged back to the bilge and recycled again.
The Auxiliary Machinery Room or AMR, was next on the list. We stopped at one of the biggest pieces of machinery in there, the Wärtsillä. This is the main diesel generator that is not always used because the ship relies on steam propulsion.
With all the cadets onboard, we need a lot of drinking water, so the reverse osmosis system was next. This takes the seawater and turns it into fresh water that can be used as drinking water. This is done by using the two reverse osmosis settling tanks.
All the settlement, settles out and the sea water is pumped to another set of filters that rids the water of the salt. The Marine Sanitation Device or MSD is a three-compartment device that uses aerobic bacteria and microorganisms to break down human waste.
The last stop in the AMR was the AMR Control room, where all the magic happens. The controls for potable water, sanitation systems, air conditioning and much more are in here.
After we left the AMR, we headed to the turbo generators. 2/C Will O’Rourke and 4/C Samudio were completing their rounds here. The turbo generators are used to supply power and electricity to the ship.
On our way out of the engine room, we stopped by two more places. Cadet Naron showed us the air compressors where we saw 2/C Christina Fallovita and 3/C Bryan Osorio.
The last stop was the boiler water chemistry cabinet. All of the chemicals used to test the water in the boilers are kept in here.
Our first stop outside of the engine room was to the machine shop. This is where majority of the projects happen. All of the welding equipment, grinder wheels, tools, and much more are located in here. This shop was where I got to fabricate the hangers!
The last stop on our tour was to the emergency diesel generator. This is used in case we lose electricity to the ship. After my tour, I know that I feel way more comfortable knowing my way around the engine room and I could probably point out some of the big pieces of machinery!
In-Port Fire Party Training
Most cadets, crew, and instructors take advantage of the 12 days we have in port so usually the ship is a ghost town while we’re in port. So what happens if there is a fire while everyone is out? We can’t just call the local firefighters and say our 540 foot ship is on fire. Instead, we’d call our firefighters -the in-port fire party.
The in-port fire party is made up of all classes. These cadets are responsible for taking care of any issues should they arise. These trainings are held almost every night for different divisions and cadets.
Last night, 3 d Mate Arthur Levine ran the in-port fire party training for Division 2. He had cadets don firefighting gear and SCBA equipment. SCBA stands for Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus. This allows firefighters to have a supply of oxygen because the mask they use has a regulator that connects to an oxygen bottle. They went over the classes of fire and what kind of fire extinguisher to use for certain classes. There are five classes of fire, A, B, C, D, and K. Each class of fire represents a different type of fire. That means that you wouldn’t treat a kitchen fire which is oil or grease in the manner that you’d treat an electrical fire. It is important that the in-port fire party reviews these types of fires and how to put them out so that they are well prepared to protect the ship.