Posted by: Craig | April 26, 2008

Departure and the tug hook

Loading the cargo went really well, and as I was wandering around looking at the ship, Johan gives me a call to let me know that he’s finished and heading home, the ship will be able to leave at 6pm rather than 7pm.

So as soon as he’s got everything done and accounted for, he shot off home as it’s his daughters third birthday.

I meet up with Ellinor, she’s had an hours rest, ready for the next 4-8 shift and after a chat with the mate, heads off to raise the massive ramp.

This is some ramp. It’s more of a bridge but as I watch it begin to be raised it is a straight forward operation. The second mate uses two joysticks to operate two hydraulic pumps on the two halves of the ramp, effectively folding it in two against the rear of the ship. As it finishes its closure, hooks engage the ramp to prevent it opening accidentally and as a final touch, Ellinor puts two pins through the hooks. In all it took twenty minutes.

However I did feel sorry for the Macgregor man on the quay who was filming the operation for a promo video as he ran to get the best shots of a slow moving ramp.

When we went to mooring stations, I go aft with Ellinor where two crew members are waiting. A tug appears and the tug line comes on board. But rather than put the line onto the bollard, it goes onto a yellow hook on the deck. This is a tug hook and frankly could only have been invented by a seafarer. It’s a simple, safe and efficient way to attach a tug to a vessel and when it came to let the tug go, appeared to be just as safe. No more wrapping lines around the bollard, fearing the tug might put tension on the line.

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