A Travellerspoint blog

Finally in Guam

We are now tied up to the dock in Guam. Took longer to get here than expected due to headwinds and engine problems. That is the thing about a shakedown trip, you never know quite what is going to happen. Turned out whenever they attempted to use the engines at more than about 60% power, it blew a breaker. They did not have a larger breaker on board, so 60% is the best we got.

The engines are the same as those used on locomotives, big electric monsters to turn the prop. Fuel is to generate electricity.

Harder to get to sleep last night than usual. We were NOT moving. Woke up this morning though with no trace of land sickness so things are good. No Dramamine today.

We have a big meeting at noon and then I am off for 24 hours. Hopefully will have some pictures of Guam when I get back.

Posted by pafrag 13:08 Archived in Guam Comments (0)

Rockin and rollin in the Pacific


Never knew a ship could move so many different directions at the same time. Yesterday was bad. I didn't start on my Dramamine soon enough and was very nauseous by dinner time. Finally got to sleep and I am feeling much better today.

We are traveling through rain squalls. Grey and dismal outside, even the horizon is usually shrouded in mist / clouds. 8-10 foot heave seems the norm now, with occasional bigger waves. Sometimes the timing gets right and we are going down as one is coming in. Hits the hull with a bang you can hear throughout the ship. First time I heard it I thought they had dropped a drill pipe or something. Takes a random combination of waves and timing but manages to happen every couple of hours or so.

Running late for our arrival in Guam. Headwinds and rougher seas are slowing us down so we may not arrive when we expected to.

However the project manager has declared that the first 24 hours that we can set foot in Guam are shore leave. We get to skip a whole shift while we are in port. Good thing, I want to hit a Walmart or something and pick up some luxury items. Like Diet Pepsi and some nuts to eat, maybe some chocolates. Also plan to enjoy the great luxury of sleeping in. Been a long time since I have not been awaked by an alarm before 5 AM.

Have to move out of my cabin on the 4th (two days from now) and share a cabin with another guy. The crowd coming on in Guam means our cabins are full up so no more singles. Should be interesting, he snores.

But he has volunteered to take the top bunk. This is a good thing as I have not been able to get into a top bunk in any reasonable manner. One step up the ladder and my head hits the ceiling before my chest has cleared the bunk. Only one rail, and it is positioned next to the ladder so you can't use it to pull yourself up while climbing into the bunk. I managed to throw myself in once. Then almost fell onto the floor trying to come down again.

One guy (in Transocean) apparently threw himself into the bunk like I did, and the bunk broke, dropping him through to the lower bunk. Fortunately nobody was in it at the time and he escaped with scratches. He however used the desk top as a boost into the bed. In our room to be that is not an option, though I have seen my soon-to-be roomie using a chair the same way.

Think I shall try to go to bed after he does.

Posted by pafrag 23:50 Comments (0)

Moving out of the Philippines


I didn't see much land today. We were approaching the narrow spot in these waters as night fell so no good pictures. I did get one of one the smaller islands in passing. There is a town on the left side though it doesn't show in the picture very well. One of the Philippinos on board said the last eruption on this island (yes it is a volcano) was about five years ago. Mostly gases and ash and it killed a lot of people. Quickly repopulated as it is apparently a popular island.


This is also a great view of how still the water is. There are almost no waves at all. Been like that for two days.

This evening some time we will cross out of the Philippines and head out into the Pacific towards Guam. Still scheduled for arrival either later on February 5 or early the 6th. We are all hoping for the 5th, since apparently ships only enter and leave the harbor in early morning or late afternoon. If we get there too late, we will have to sit out on the ship all day before putting into port the evening of the sixth. Since we are scheduled to leave the morning of the 7th, we were hoping for more time in port.

Posted by pafrag 02:56 Archived in Philippines Comments (1)

Passing through the Phillipines


Been some time since my last entry. Very busy time as we have moved into high gear trying to get everything completed before we reach Guam.

I remember from way back in my career when we had a major deadline and worked almost 90 hours a week for four weeks. It seemed very difficult to me at the time. We have been doing close to or more than that now for over six weeks. I will exceed 100 hours of work this week easily. This is not as hard as it sounds since a "normal" work week for us is 84 hours. Five weeks to go and counting.

We passed into what I think is Sulu Bay. Its the large open water area in the middle of the Philippines. It is taking us almost two days to cross at our now improved speed of just over 10 knots. We should be going by Panglao and Lapinin Island in the morning on our way out to the Pacific and Guam. I tried to get some pictures of islands we were passing on the way in but the haze made the pictures quite....blue. I am hoping for some better shots tomorrow morning.

Stopped taking Dramamine two days ago. The ocean here is really smooth (2-3 meter swells) and the winds are down. I may need to start it again when we reach the Pacific, but we shall see. I no longer bounce off walls when I walk the corridors. The ship is still rolling, though gently. You just stop noticing after a while. Several people were awakened last night by the wind stopping because the ships roll slowed way down. Not me. Slept right through it.

Posted by pafrag 02:59 Archived in Philippines Comments (0)

Underway at last

Singapore in my rear view mirror


Well, it finally happened. As I write, we are sailing out of Singapore harbor. We are rounding the island heading east from our dock in the NE corner. With Malaysia on one side and Singapore on the other we head out into the straits.

The last few days have been very busy, not only continuing to work with all the things that have to get ready, but also ensuring that once again, everything is tied down and ready for sea. This time a bit longer than our 2 day sea trial.

The current goal is to sail into Guam on the night of 5 February. Captain is not positive on the actual arrival; we will be updated as we go. During the sea trials we managed to maintain 11 knots at only about 75% power. This by the way is slightly faster than the JR used to go at full power. So the captain is optimistic that we may arrive in Guam a bit earlier than planned.

This is of course barring any problems.

Most of our group is out admiring us leaving. I will rejoin them in a bit. Thought I would get this out while we still have internet. Just in case, like last time, it goes away.

Posted by pafrag 16:56 Archived in Singapore Comments (1)

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