Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Engineers and Navigators

Two weekends ago the Golden Bear ship docked in Montego Bay. The Captain came by for a drink at the Yacht Club and generously offered to give tours of the ship to any member of the club who were interested.  So off I went - you already know how I feel about boats, big or small!

The Golden Bear is a training ship for the California Maritime Academy.  It was chock full (and so was the yacht club that weekend) of student cadets who are learning to be ship's engineers or navigators.  There is fully accredited staff that supervise the ship, but other than the kitchen, the cadets do all the work of running the ship.  They had recently been to Haiti to drop off some aid supplies and they were on their way down to Panama to go through the canal.
The student cadets led the tours for us. They were looking very smart in their naval dress.

The view from up top on the ship.  We climbed up to the bridge, then down to the engine room, then back up to the main deck.

The bridge - there are no chairs, except for the Captain's chair.  They used to have chairs, apparently, but then someone fell asleep in a chair while on watch, and that was the end of that!

The ship hold 300 students and there are another 75 staff on board.  Apparently there are less then 30 women students! 

Definitely a working ship.
The engine room - it was sooo hot down here.  They have two huge engines called 'bambi' and 'thumper' because one used to thump when it was first in use. Our lovely student engineer told us lots of other details while we were down there, but we were all wearing earplugs because of the noise, so not a lot got through.

The engine control room - look at all the pretty lights!
This wall had all the breakers for the electricity on the ship - we were asked not to lean on it...

It's hard to tell from the picture, but these were three feet tall!

Later on that day some of the students came out sailing with us on Diva.  I think they had just as much fun on our boat as we had on theirs!

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