Round The World 2008
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Whales
Day 13
Monday Jun 02 2008
400 Miles

Ian Rambles
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

Fiona's Journal
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 “pitch”of 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 workers.

Arthur's Log:
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.

George's Musings
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



Whale over there


Whale more over here

Cap Charles


Harry searching for music on the computer.


Back to: Visit to the Engine Room Next: A Tight Squeeze