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Thursday, 1 October 2009

Marine Engineering 101

You may or may not have read a previous post, where I jokingly described part of my day as a marine engineer.

I'll now tell you the true tale

Glossary:


FE.......................Filthy Engineer (Me)
Bow....................Pointy bit at the front end of the ship.
Stern..................Blunt bit at the back of the ship.
Poop Deck.........At the back, and the only place to have a fag.
MCR...................Machinery Control Room.
HQ1....................Part of the MCR where firefighting and DC incidents are controlled from
DC.......................Damage control.
R.O. Plant..........Magical fresh water making equipment.
Down below.......Nautical term for Downstairs.
Up Top...............Nautical term for upstairs.
Smokoe..............Strange name meaning Tea break.
Bilge....................A sort of drain trap for fluids.
UMS....................Unmanned space.

0645. Alarm goes of and theFilthy Engineer leaps out of bed. (That bit was utter twaddle).

0700. Make a cup of tea.

0715. Down to the poop deck for a fag or two.

All true so far

0745. Down below to the MCR to get ahead by accessing the planned maintenance programme.

0800. Bugger, I'm duty Engineer today.

0815. Handover from yesterday's duty Engineer complete.
a) One of my diesel generators had to be shut down during the night as the intercooler was about to fall off.
b) The running RO plant also stopped mysteriously.

0830. Off for a fag

0832. Start of a set of rounds. This consists of going to all spaces on the ship that contains machinery, and believe you me, that is a lot of distance to cover. I'll just give you a small sample of typical spaces.



Steering gear compartment.
Main machinery space.
Port generator room. (Port is left when looking towards the bow)
Starboard generator room.
Shaft tunnel.
Refrigeration machinery room.
Air conditioning machinery room.
cargo pump room.
Forward pumproom.
Forward stabiliser compartment

etc, etc.

When you consider the vessel is 350 ft long and ten stories high, then you may appreciate how long this can take. About an hour and a half if you don't find anything wrong.

1000. Smokoe at last. Time for a cuppa and a fag.

1005. Pager goes off. Dash to the MCR, look at the alarm panel and note that the fuel pressure to the Port main engine is low.

1015 Finished changing over the fuel filter, old cartridge in the ultra sonic cleaning plant.

1030. Down to the RO plant to see why it stopped. Ah Ha, the SW supply pump has seized up. However we have no spare, so will have to remove the one off the other RO plant, ( That plant doesn't work as a pipe has split and we are awaiting a new one.) and fit it.


1300. Finished changing pumps over and the RO plant is at last making water. What no lunch you say? An engineer's life. At least it keeps me slim.

1310. Commence paperwork that should have been done before lunch. (Yes even marine engineers have paperwork)

1400. Pump out the bilges.(See glossary if you haven't already done so)

1430. commence afternoon rounds. Quick cuppa and a fag first.

1630. Completed afternoon rounds.


video

End of part one.

Next episode: "What went bump in the night"

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