As we continue our journey towards Catalina we continue to be met with clouds and higher winds. A lot of the work out on deck has slowed because of this. Early this morning we changed time zones again, we are now 1 hour behind California. It is planned to do this one more time prior to our arrival in Catalina.
Cadets are busy throughout the ship, some are in the classrooms preparing for their license exams, others are learning about firefighting, and others are learning about the intricacies of engines in the power lab. Everyone is trying to learn as much as possible in the remaining days at sea. Some of the cadets learning about firefighting donned the SCBAs to see how difficult it is to move with them on while on air. They came up from the classroom deck and back aft to the fantail. They then went down to the SCBA fill area below deck, once there they began to refill their bottles.
This afternoon we had a fire and boat drill. There was a simulated fire in the engine room on the fuel oil pumps. This kind of fire would be very difficult to put out and it is only exacerbated by the high heats in the space. Due to the “difficulty” the firefighters evacuated the space, made sure all persons were evacuated, all doors, vents, and hatches were closed, and requested a simulation for the Halon system to be used. Halon needs to be set up properly and the area closed from open air. This type of fixed fire fighting gear can only be used once, and then you are out of extinguishing material. It’s important that you search and get everyone out of the area, because Halon when mixed with heat and water vapors can become toxic.
Cadet Dru in the engine
Down in the warm engine room the cadets were diligently at work. While working on the main engine, one cadet had to climb into the inside of the engine to gain access to internal parts. The tight space and having to work with limited mobility would make a lot of people claustrophobic, we had a lot of people making sure he was safe and at any sign he was starting to panic they would help drag him out. Some deck cadets were seen learning about the ballasting system on the ship and how it works.
As we start to plow our way through some high winds and heavy seas, the majority of those on the ship choose to stay within the relative comforts of the house. Everyone is looking forward to a few days outside Catalina, even though we can’t get off the ship the views alone will be great.
ABOUT CAL MARITIME
Established in 1929, California State University Maritime Academy is the only degree-granting maritime academy on the West Coast. Located in Vallejo, California, the campus serves nearly 1,000 students and offers undergraduate degrees preparing students for careers in engineering, transportation, international relations, business, and global logistics. The new oceanography degree program launched in the fall of 2020. Cal Maritime also offers a master’s degree in Transportation and Engineering Management, as well as a number of extended learning programs and courses.