Today was the most event-filled day I’ve had since I’ve been here. We got underway from the dock this morning at 7 to do an ice report for the next inbound tanker. Once we called in the ice report to the VTS and turned around at Bligh reef to head back to Valdez, the captain decided we should practice man-overboard maneuvers, using a small white buoy thrown in the water as the “man” and trying to get alongside for a rescue without running him over. I’m loving the chance to learn how to run a Z-drive (more on that to come) and getting better at it.
When we returned to port just ahead of the inbound tanker Alaskan Legend, I went on one of the line boats (we have two here; they are little conventional tugs used for running lines from the ship to the dolphins at the dock, as well as other odd jobs, from barge assists to mail deliveries) to run lines on the bow and stern of the ship. The weather was calm and the sun was out for the first time in a week, so it was a perfect day for training.
After dinner, during which the captain commended our CMA cadet for 90 days of good work aboard the Aware (he’s been here all summer so he was teaching me the new routine of this boat when I got here a month ago), the chief engineer allowed me to service one of the auxiliary generators, something I’ve never done but always wanted to learn. There were four different filters to change out, two for oil and two for fuel, plus he showed me the process of pumping out the used oil and replacing it with new oil, repressurizing the system and checking that everything is buttoned up before running it to check that there are no leaks. It was fun and different, a great way to end the day.
I’m out of here and headed home in just one day and a wake-up! Six weeks has gone so fast!