Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Its a She

Output of engine - 55,980 BHP @ 94 RPM
Length - 300 mts
Fuel capacity - 6645.7 Metric Tons
Speed - 24 knots

She needed to switch off her engines and wait quietly for the Tug boats to pull her in. She needed them to help her park at the port. Her engine being too powerful to be used inside a dock.

This was a huge cargo ship I was on at Felixstowe. She had all of 12 floors. She was quite old but she was beyond my expectations. I thought Titanic, boats, ships etc..same thing. I expected some amount of movement of the ship as it rested on water. But instead I went inside and it did not rock. At all. The captain's floor which was just below the bridge (cockpit equivalent) was like a rather large apartment, complete with a bar, pots of coriander growing on the windowsills, a laptop with music playing.

I was shown maps, radars, ship paths, sea depths, routes to avoid, maps in different languages, sat nav systems, auto pilot controls, the engine room..the list went on.

I was taken aback by the sheer size of the thing. Having grown up miles away from any water body I am not familiar with ships of any sort. What struck me though was the fact that the engineers, the captain and pretty much everyone on board called it a 'She' very affectionately, but definitely a she. When questioned I was given the amused but will-not-tell-look by one and all. The captain later said its on old debate..aircrafts, ships etc..they are all female for some reason. The tug boats however..were not female..they were coming to get her, and help her park, they were strong and she needed them. hmmm.

I sat there thinking, if the ship could tell stories of its travel, it would last forever..and if 'it' was a 'she' indeed..I would love to hear them. What would it be like to be on sea, for 3-4 months at a stretch, no land, no docking, just sea, wind, sky and the sound of the massive engines!


Soulmate said...

Ask a merchant navy officer or a Naval officer.. They should be able to answer that!! :-)

Upasna said...

I'd love to experience this!

Morpheus said...

@soulmate - I guess thats true
@upasna - it was really worth a visit to see yet another dimension of an unknown alternate life that exists in great detail

Deepak said...

Interesting! Post a few pics of the ship naa!