Thursday, November 11, 2010

Tour of a Great Lakes Freighter -- Post 3

When I was unloading my car yesterday with the lapidary equipment that was generously donated by Vicki and Ethyl from Lansing, I searched for my notes from the freighter tour. Sure enough -- I found them. The Calumet is actually 630 feet long. The boom is 275 feet long. The Calumet was launched in 1977. When I met with the Captain, I asked him how fast the freighter travels. He said their average speed is 13 to 14 mph. But because they travel 24/7, they can still go from Saginaw, MI to Duluth, MI in three days!

Today's photos include a variety. First, a picture of part of their exercise room. Because of the way the rooms were laid out on the ship, it was difficult to take pictures that encompassed the entire room. There were 6-8 different pieces of exercise equipment for the crew to use while out at sea.

While the freighter was loading, which takes around 8 hours, the three engineers were closely monitoring the ballast controls, among other equipment. The engineers are Paul, Chris, and Dave. And by the way, the cook's name is Debbie (her picture was in a previous post).

Living and working on a freighter is certainly a different lifestyle. They work a lot of hours, sometimes 80 and up per week. Each crew member has their own contract, but most work 28 days on and 14 days off.

To safeguard the ship and its crew in the case of an engine fire, there is a very sophisticated CO2 system. If the system detects fire, the entire engine room is filled with CO2 -- which would put out the fire. You certainly would not want to be caught in the engine room if the CO2 cylinders release. Tour guide, Daryl, says that they have never had an engine room fire -- thankfully!

I didn't include it in my notes, but I believe there were 16 different engines to power the freighter while out at sea.

While loading and unloading, power is supplied by huge generators.

1 comment:

  1. There's not 16 engines, there's usually 4-6. On a ship that size there's usually 2 Main diesel engines for turning (those are V-16 ALCOs on the Calumet) the propeller and 2-4 diesel generator sets for providing electrical power.