October 23

Hey kids!

I was happy to hear from you and glad to see all of your questions.

Sorry for the delay, but we’ve had a busy week aboard.

The Chief Engineer is the head of the Engineering department. The position of the chief is the highest license you can receive from the Coast Guard. (The Coast Guard issues the licenses. The lowest licensed position is a 3rd engineer (That’s what I currently am). After enough sea time you can progress to 2nd engineer, then to first, and then to chief, with the allotted sea time completed before advancing. I currently do not have enough sea time for my 2nd’s license so I am still the 3rd engineer onboard.

We are going to take Bunkers (Fuel) in Gibraltar around the 25th, and
we are also supposed to be picking up a 2nd engineer as well while there.

There are no girls aboard the Mykonos at this time, although there are girls
that work in the Industry.

We have three meals a day onboard.  There is an officer’s mess hall and a crew mess hall because the officers and crew do not eat together. We have a full stewards department with a chief cook, steward, and stewards assistant(SA).  The meals vary and there is a menu posted each day, usually a meat option and a fish option. There is also cold cuts, bread, snacks, etc. that you can make your own sandwich any time during the day or night. So far this trip the food has been pretty good.

There is more than enough food onboard, with three refrigerated boxes (walk in coolers) and a dry store room for non refrigerated items.

During meals we have water pitchers and a flavored juice or Gatorade beverage, as well as milk and juice in the fridge and soda.  We do not have to pay for the soda.

We make our own potable water onboard, using an evaporator. The evaporator
is under a vacuum, sea water enters the evaporator and due to the vaccuum can be boiled at a relatively low temperature.  The distillate is boiled off and collected in tanks for use as either potable or technical water. Potable water is used for drinking or showers, sinks, washers, etc. the distillate produced is so pure less than 0.5 parts per million of minerals, we need this low mineral water for our boilers and this is kept as technical water. Potable water goes through a UV sterilization and re-hardening process to purify and re-add minerals for taste to the water.

There are no civilians, just workers onboard.  There are 20 of us onboard at the moment between the engineers, stewards, and deck departments.

There are no stowaways because security at our terminals is pretty high and we have procedures in place for a stow away search should the issue arise. We check for stow aways because they have the potential to cost the company a lot of money in legal fees and fines.

We are full right now (referring to the amount of jet fuel carrying), though I’m not sure on the exact quantity of product we are
Carrying.  I can find out and get back to you.

Right now the main engine is pretty loaded up (working hard) as we are deep in the water and are fighting heavy seas and a strong wind. On the way back we will be empty and there will be less load on the engine.

We work 12 hours a day, 6 days a week and a 10 hour day on Sunday.

This is a normal day: I start work at 0600, break for breakfast from 0730-0800, work 0800 to 1000, coffee 1000-1030, work 1030-1200, lunch 1200-1300, work 1300-1500, coffee 1500-1530, work 1530-1700, Dinner 1700-1730, work 1730-1900.

The engine room is unmanned at night.  There is one engineer on duty each night in the event of an issue or alarm.

As an engineer I do not spend much time above deck to see sea creatures. The
only time I get to see sea creatures is when we pull out our sea strainers and there are fish and other creatures caught incidentally.  This happens especially close to shore.  The animals can plug our strainers and reduce our cooling capacity. We use salt water as a cooling medium for a lot of our equipment, such as the main engine. The sea water cools the coolant in heat exchangers, in this way no salt water ever enters the machinery that is being cooled, and reduces corrosion.

There are no pets onboard the ship.

We usually move around 14 knots on a good calm day, though recently we have been averaging in the high 9’s to low 10’s due to weather.  We go roughly a little over 240 miles a day at the moment, due to the weather.

We do have a captain. His name is Oliver.

We each have our own “Stateroom” which includes a bed, couch, desk, closet and head.  This is what we call the bathroom, consisting of toilet, shower and sink.

We are currently feeling the effects of a storm to the north of us. We have been rolling a lot the last few days. This makes work difficult sometimes and sleeping very difficult as well.

I am not sure exactly why the ship is referred to as “she.” Everyone has their own reasons for doing so, but most mechanical machinery is referred to as “she” as well since they can and often do take on female traits both good and bad depending on how they are running.

Nobody recently has fallen of the ship, although it does happen from time to
time throughout the fleet.

On my last trip to Israel, we were allowed to get off the ship. When we unload we do not go into a dock but are about a mile offshore at a buoy that has a pipeline running ashore. If I will be able to get off or not on this trip depends on our work schedule and the situation in Israel at the time.

I will do my best to get a picture of it for you.

We do have a gym onboard, but no arcade. There is a crew lounge and an
Officer’s lounge with a TV in each one for movies.  There are some movies. For my off time I prefer to read or draw, sometimes watch a movie, but usually nothing too crazy before climbing into bed for the night.

Thank you guys for writing, I hope these answers help with your questions and
look forward to more. Given it is getting close to Halloween, you all must be
getting excited! I know it is one of my favorite holidays; I’ll be at sea for
this one, but oh well. What is everyone planning on be this year?

Look forward to hearing back.
-Cameron Murphy
M.T. Overseas Mykonos