January 28, 2009
Leg Two Begins
Andy (Leading Deckhand)
On Wednesday, January 21st at 1630 hours, the lines were off and leg two of Operation Musashi began. But it was not long until we went to anchor for a couple of hours off the Hobart suburb of Lower Sandy Bay. With so much work to do in port, such as: modifications to our rigid-inflatable boats (RIBs), repairs and modification to the ship's running gear and associated equipment, the taking on board of fuel and oil, restocking of food and water, etc... We haven't had enough time and opportunity to ensure that everything was securely tied down. So we did that on anchor and took our time about it to ensure it was done properly, because according to the weather bureau, as soon as we were to go out of the Bay we were going to be hit by big seas (up to 14 meters swells) and strong winds (up to 60 knots). So we needed everything on and in the ship to be so secured that you could hang it upside-down, shake it about and not a thing would move or rattle.
Since then, rough seas have persisted for most of the week here out at sea, if not increased, as have the winds. There is now a sign on the exit hatches that states that no one is allowed out on deck without permission (i.e. notifying the Bridge - and having a good reason to be out there) or by themselves. The storm has become so strong that doing any deskwork is both a challenge and quiet risky in terms of ones personal safety. Despite this, I had to go out on the aft deck and wrestle with a bunch of 200L AvGas drums that have come loose from their cradles and bindings to re-secure them back into place.
Other work this week included:
1. The deck crew went over the new crew induction book prepared by Chris (Helicopter Pilot) and Dan (Bosun)
2. The deck crew had a meeting to discuss what worked, what didn't work and what can be improved and/or rectified from the first leg of this campaign.
3. The deck crew had practice and training with the RIBs to ensure a quick and successful execution of our inflatables in confrontation times.
In our free-time, we were treated with the Animal Planet crew preparing a Mexican feast for the ship's dinner Friday. Our Japanese translator and Galley assistant lead a Japanese feast for Saturday's dinner including veggie sushi and dumplings. The food has been delicious.
The deck department is getting ready for anything to happen in the next couple of days. Everyone is working hard in every department, and we are all poised for our second round with the whalers.
The whales are counting on us for protection . . .
We are counting on you to keep us fighting for them.