Sunday, 7 July 2019

July 3, 2019. Still working through the ice.

All photos courtesy of and © Environnement et Changement climatique Canada

To see an enlarged photo, Click on it.

Escorting ships in fog through ice is a difficult task.  Finding the easiest and safest route through the ice is challenging.  Yes, radar helps, but it's not as good as the Mark I Eyeball.  It's also hard to find the ridges (Windrows on the Great Lakes).  In the Arctic these can be significant size and hardness and can stop an icebreaker dead in its track.  That means the cargo ship following must do all in its power to stop or avoid a collision with the icebreaker.
 Several views of the Kivalliq W in the ice.

Fairly close escort.  The icebreakers will frequently work within 20 metres of a ship to free it from the ice.  Both the Captain and the Quartermaster (wheelsman) must be good.

Above:  The road ahead.
Below:  CCGS Terry Fox.  Canada's 2nd most powerful icebreaker.  
As Canadians will know, Terry Fox the person, was an heroic figure.  With an artificial leg he ran a marathon a day, aiming to cross the country (Canada), to raise money for cancer research.  That's a 5,300 mile run.  Sadly, he only got halfway across before succumbing to his cancer.  More on Terry Fox and the Marathon of Hope, Click Here.
 Below:  This geological feature is called the President's Chair.
I have no idea why or what president it refers to.

Friday, 5 July 2019

April 14 to 23 - Transatlantic Crossing on cruise ship Star Breeze

Cruise ship companies move their ships about to best appeal to travellers.  In this case, Windstar moved the Star Breeze from the Caribbean to Europe.  These repositioning cruises are excellent ways to cross the ocean and avoid being crammed into an aluminum tube.  Being on a ship allows unfettered movement and provides food such as airlines have not offered in cattle-class for many decades.
Above:  Leaving the Caribbean behind.
Below:  Heading for Portugal.
To enlarge a photo, click on it.
 Above:  Central staircase.
 Above & Below:  Veranda Cafe.  Both breakfast and lunch were served here.  In the afternoon it was empty so it became a lovely place of solitude to read and relax.


We saw the same thing, day after day after day.
Below:  Some views around the ship.
 Our space.


This part of the cafe was farther forward and a bit more sheltered.

Lifeboat stuff.  The wires that are noted as having been changed are the ones that lower the lifeboat.  You don't want those breaking!

Above:  Run-about used as Man-Overboard boat.
Below:  Some of the liferafts.
Below:  Safety information.  In the vertical tube should be copies of the ship's fire plan that can be used by the crew and shore-based firefighters.

A few views outside.

On board ships painting never stops.

One of the bars.

Above:  The smoking area.

The Captain.  He had daily meetings with passengers to answer any questions and to explain the meaning of life.

The bridge.
The amount of paper that must be carried nowadays is astounding.  This is just the tip of the iceberg, not that we saw icebergs on this trip, but you can see them in some of the other posts on this blog.

Above:  Active Loading Condition.  Part of the Stability program.
Below:  Radar with lots of information for the navigators.  The Star Breeze is portrayed in the centre of the circle on the lower left.  To the right of that is a green spot and yellow triangle.  This marks another ship.

Above:  Steering position.  No, the Captain does not steer.  That is done by a designated crew member or the auto-pilot.  Note the sign "Fins Out";  stabilizer fins to reduce the motion caused by waves and swells.  Also on this console are the engine telegraphs.  Two of them because the ship has two propellors.
Below:  Panel showing the status of all watertight doors and side doors.

Above:  Second and Third mate.
Above:  Found on the bed.
Below:  main staircase.

Above:  The Polar Lounge, as I called it.  It was always far too air conditioned for me.
Below:  The view from our stateroom.  I'd call it a cabin, but...