School Email Exchange

Any storms yet?  If so, how do you deal with them?

Posted on October 13 2012

Question submitted by King Philip Regional High School

We’ve been lucky so far with fair weather except for a few squalls.  This has been helpful for all the science that requires deploying instruments over the side of the ship.  Most likely this science would have to stop in a severe storm.

During a storm normal ship operations change in ways to keep everyone safe.  Sails are taken down to lessen the effects of the wind.  The largest sail, the mainsail, can be reefed (made smaller) and there is a smaller, stronger try sail aboard that can be put up in place of the main in very strong winds so we still have sail to help us steer, but not enough for the wind to heel us over too far. If waves are large, jack lines (ropes) are strung from the bow to the aft deck (front to back of the boat) along the decks on both sides for people who need to handle sails to clip on from their harness so they won’t fall overboard.  Hatches and doors are closed to keep water from washing below decks and only people who are needed would be allowed on deck.

Our steward, Shelby, stands in front of shelves of spices and food that are built especially to hold them in place as the boat moves.

Shelby, our steward (cook) said she doesn’t cook “sloshy” things during storms.  Will, the assistant engineer says anything that can move in the engine room is tied down.  That goes for everything in the lab and living spaces including each person’s bunk or cabin.

One saying I keep in mind while on the Seamans is to keep one hand for the ship, and one hand for yourself.  That is even more important when moving around on a ship in a storm.