Posted by: Craig | May 6, 2008

Meeting the Queen Mary II in the middle of the Atlantic

2nd Entry from Ellinor, 2nd officer, MV Fidelio (Mon 5th May, North Atlantic, West bound)

Almost a week at sea now and life continues at an even pace onboard the Fidelio. Compared to the coastal voyage with constant port calls, lock transits, service people and cargo operations the sea voyages are peaceful and well needed. This does not, however, mean that there is nothing to do. This is the time when we can catch up with things that has been neglected during the coast, like preparing orders, chart corrections, drills, cleaning and maintenance and much more. The preparation for the next coastal voyage did also start right away after leaving Southampton. There are a numerous pre-arrival reports to send to agents and different authorities, ballast water to be changed, passage planning to be made etc. It keeps all of us onboard as busy as usual.  

At this voyage there is also a new chore for us deck officers on watch. Four times a day we send weather reports to SMHI (Swedish Metrological and Hydrological Institute). The information we send them, as well as information from other ships, are a part of what they base their weather forecasts on. It’s therefore important to send as accurate information as possible. Most important is the sea surface pressure and wind force and direction but we also provide them with information about air temperature, water temperature, waves and swell etc.

 

We have now altered course to NW, sneaking around the ice limit, and will arrive to Halifax tomorrow morning. Pilot is set for 0630. The weather has been fair although we’ve experienced some swell. The traffic has been to a minimum and we have seen very few ships the past few days. It’s funny though how a meeting can raise such excitement onboard. After all, we are on a world wide trade and used to all kinds of traffic situations. Since we just departed from Europe one should think that another ship is no reason for anyone to raise their eyebrows. But that is what happened the other day when we out at the middle of the Atlantic had a meeting with a CPA (Closest Point of Approach) of 2 nautical miles. Four nautical officers including the Captain plus Chief Engineer assembled on the bridge to have a look. Well, this was not just any ordinary cargo ship but the cruise ship Queen Mary II bound for Southampton. It’s quite fascinating to meet a ship that close out in the middle of nowhere. Well, we had a look, took some pictures and had a little chat about cruise ships in general, that was the excitement that day.

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