For those of you not lucky enough to have shared the wonderful weather this past week (as in hotter than blazes), here is some of what has been completed by the Black Gang.
We managed to roll the ship over and and block the sea chests so that we could get the valving working to the main engine room. As some of you know two of the valve inlets had been welded shut previously while the inlet valves were removed for repairs. This resulted in us having issues with getting sufficient cooling water for the main engines. This was a big issue for us on last years trip. Thanks to the skilled assistance of our Navy (and Coast Guard) vets who learned their damage control lessons well we were able to block off water flow into the sea chests, using two mattresses and some frame work we fabricated. Once more Jerry Howell was there with his extensive Navy knowledge when we needed him. Brian Kolb also recalled his damage control training in doing this.
For those who work in the wheel house we did some work there. That weird noise you were getting from the starboard throttle is now gone. There was an o-ring missing on the one control and it was allowing air to leak out of the control system causing the diaphragm inside to flutter producing the noise. We may have to do some minor adjustments to that when we are next under way.
We did piping for our oil supply system and installed a new filling fixture in the tank deck. This means we will not have to store those barrels of engine oil on the tank deck any longer. Dee and Dan and crew got the water piping fixed on the starboard engine so its ready for our trip. Brian and Bill did a super job down in the tanks working on the sea chests and repairing some leaks in the bow of the ship. They seem to be our most knowledgeable sources of information on the voids. They are now affectionately known as the kings of the "Bilge Rats".
There were many other important jobs completed by our engineering staff, it would be hard to list them all. I am proud to serve with such a dedicated and hard working crew. 100 degree heat, no problem. Impossible job, no sweat! These guys don't let any challenge or condition prevent them from getting their mission of keeping the ship running accomplished! We did all get a bit too much sun and I think we drank many gallons of water! Thanks to John E. for the ice cream. After hour of hard work in the devastating heat it was a reprieve that kept the crew going.