February 13, 2017

Hey guys, After we last left St. Theodore Greece, we headed for Rota Spain, where we discharged our load and continued on to Gibraltar to take on more cargo. Gibraltar is at the gateway to the Mediterranean and is a British Colony, although it is small it has a population of around 30,000. The 3 A/E, Sam the wiper, and myself made it ashore while there and took a tour up to the top of the Rock. There are famous monkeys that live on the rock, but unfortunately we got out of work too late in the day to see them. the views from the top where worth the trip though. after loading in Gibraltar, we sailed to Augusta Sicily to discharge a partial load of jet fuel. we took on Bunkers this morning. this time we only bunkered diesel fuel. emission laws in European ports require us to burn diesel fuel while in port. at sea we can burn HFO, or heavy fuel oil which is cheaper, but does not meet the strict emissions standards. changing over from diesel to heavy fuel or vise versa takes a few hours for each fuel change over. the main reason is that in order to burn heavy fuel it must be heated in order to get the desired viscosity. at room temperature HFO is similar to molasses. we heat it to 125 degrees C to achieve a viscosity around 15 centistokes. Diesel on the other hand has a very low viscosity, around 3-5 centistokes at around 40 degrees C. to prevent thermal shock to the engines and fuel system, the change over must take place at slow rate. we have been changing over alot this trip, as we are in and out of port considerably more often than previous trips.After loading our diesel we departed Augusta and are currently underway to discharge our remaining cargo in Souda Bay Crete. we are expected to arrive in Souda Bay tomorrow afternoon. hope all is well with the snow storm back home. -Cameron Murphy, 2 A/E Overseas Santorini