I woke early as we picked up our first pilot. In the
next couple of hours there were several whales quite
close to the ship. The pilots promised a chance of whales
an hour or so upstream so I left waking Fi - but they
were on a break when we got there so she missed out.
Later in the day, as we passsed Cap Charles, a building
on the shore played a hymn at very high volume - starting
it as we approached and turning it off after we passed.
It could have been coincidence but....
Days run 400 miles
At about 0430 this morning we entered the St. Lawrence
River proper and took on a Canadian pilot (plus his
trainee). We will have a local pilot on board from here
right through to Cleveland and so we will drop off one
and pick up another at intervals all the way through.
Ian woke and got up, as they arrived, and he saw whales!
By the time he had woken me they were gone and we have
been looking out all day but no more have appeared sadly.
Apart from that disappointment it has been a lovely
day, calm and sunny with plenty to see Quebec
looked beautiful as we steamed slowly past. This, of
course, is French speaking Canada so all the pilots
speak French to each other and on their radio transmitters.
I find this quite disorientating I thought we
had crossed the Atlantic not the Channel!
Arthur and I and George had our tour of the engine room
today. It is awe inspiring. The machinery that keeps
this 35,000 tonnes of metal moving through the water
day and night, without respite, for weeks on end, occupies
5 floors. There are 5 cylinders, each half a metre in
diameter and two meters long and these keep the prop
shaft revolving at a pretty constant 120 rpm. There
is no reverse gear (ie the prop shaft always rotates
in the same direction) so to go astern it is the angle
or pitchof the propellar blades that is
altered, to reverse their direction of thrust. Ian will
no doubt give you a load more facts and figures but
it was all quite mind boggling, especially the fuel
consumption which is astronomical! There are 8 crew
members manning the engine room during the day, which
explains why half the crew seem to just vanish completely
after breakfast like house elves, the hidden
It feels like we're getting close to a sad ending
and a happy start at the same time. The crew are all
busy because were in the river now and we change course
every few minutes whereas, in the Atlantic, we changed
course every few days.
Standing on top of the bridge watching as we passed
Quebec and civilization disappeared there is so much
free space here and so little history if feels fresh.
The land here is so cheap, if we sold our house we could
buy enough land to build my whole town on and still
have enough to build a house twice as big. (THIS IS
A SLIGHT EXAGERATION - MUM!)
I went to see the engine room with the chief engineer.
It is huge, at least twelve meters tall spreading over
3 enormous floors.
The injectors (diesel version of a spark plug and about
the size of a finger, in a car) are as big as my brother
George, weigh 100kg and require a two man lift and then
a roof crane to put in. The engine takes 2 hours to
start from cold, I could keep going with these numbers
but think were done.
The Harry Report
I'm not sure why this day feels so perfect as I sit
here in a comfy chair with music playing. It seems nothing
could dampen my mood right now but my big brother still
has plenty of time to prove me wrong.
mum woke me up at 11.20 I'm quite a heavy sleeper so
I just had time to grab a coke before lunch we had pork
cutlets with rice I had salt of course I cant stand
rice without salt. Arg no dinner was rice with fruit
and custard and sprinkled cinnamon urg you may like
it it but I just did my best to get the custard