The shipboard cadet

The shipboard cadet

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When I was first starting out on this professional journey, I had little understanding of what lie ahead. My imagination ran wild with horror stories and aloft with unreal expectations. Some mystery of course is fun, but if your are like me, you like to reduce the level of anxiety by becoming familiar with a procedure. 

While on the CCGS Tanu, I had the opportunity to work with some of the up and coming engineering types. The schools, BCIT's PMTI and the Coast Guard college, had assigned us with the training of four engineering cadets. One of the unique aspect of this six month aboard the ship, is the requirement of the cadets to document their experience aboard. I ask one of the cadets if she would mind sharing her diary with us, she has agreed to, and I am very pleased to posted it on Martin's Marine Engineering Page. 

I hope for two things from this evolution:

  1. Older engineers involved in the training, which is almost all engineering officers, appreciate the expectations and views from the younger cadets.

  2. That persons, aspiring to become engineers, appreciate the task they wish to take on. And that they appreciate some of the challenges that the people training them have already gone through. 

One additional perspective, which I had not anticipated, was the point of view from a female onboard a ship. A ship has traditionally been a male dominated environment, so it was interesting to read a female's view.

Praise and comments for the cadet, which is welcomed, may be sent by email, or by using the comment form. These comments will be forwarded to her.  

Martin Leduc


On with it . . .


Sunday, 10 September 2000

I did a lot of schoolwork today, worked on signing off for my cadet book and used the computer to type up some of my assignments. Earlier this afternoon JL and I exchanged a grease nipple and took a scheduled oil sample from the hydraulics on the anchor windless. Were in a pretty neat area right now, thereís this mountain, and the top of it is very pointy unlike any other tops Iíve seen on the coast. On our way here we half filled the ballast tank it took about an hour because it is gravity fed. Thatís about all.


Monday, 11 September 2000

Today was a short day, we tied up in Tahsis, of which I had never heard of, and was surprised when I phoned home and my Dad told me that he worked there for a couple years. Itís amazing every time I call my Dad he has a story for the place Iím at, Bella Bella was another place. We were relieved of our duties shortly after dinner and went ashore for a little while. My homework is coming along, bit by bit. I have done about 5 versions of my bunkering essay.


Tuesday, 12 September 2000

The first part of the afternoon we were sailing so I organized my workbook and discussed a bit of my cadet book with the Engineer. Once we shut down the engine I went up and cleaned No 1 stores, as part of our end of trip cleaning. That took me till after dinner, and then as soon as I was done we started on the stand-by sewage plant. The over flow alarm kept going off. We disconnected the supply and discharge pipes and unbolted the cover of the tank, then came the fun part we had to lift the lid with attaching submergible pump out of the tank and into the bucket. We then proceeded with carrying the pump to the aft hold emergency exit hatch so we could lift the pump out onto the aft deck with the crane so we could test the pump by lowering it into the water to see if it pumped. We eventually concluded that the pump impeller would not turn unless it was given a nudge. After cleaning out the tank we then returned it. That was the end of a productive day! Who knew you could have fun with sewage?


Thursday 14th September 2000

Well I replaced the gasket on the inspection window for the vertical drive, on the port engine. I had previously inspected the drive however when we ran the engine oil was leaking a huge mess from the cover. Now itís all fixed up. I also took a break after lunch and went to the beach itís beautiful. After running around like a little kid exploring a foreign place, I proceeded in my childish endeavors by chasing the waves. Before I knew it I was up to my waist in water, loving every second. Of course except the two other crewmembers, I was the only one on the beach. After that I felt a bit better. As much as I love being on the water and love what Iím doing, sometimes it can seem to get a bit repetitive. Work, sleep so you can get up for work again, then you have a day off, but what are you getting up for? Well itís all a part of having those times on a deserted beach, watching the surf. And being out in rocky seas sitting on the aft deck just breathing the air and looking at a horizon of nothing. Itís the greatest feeling I know. Thatís why I drag my self out of bed on my day off.


Friday 15th September 2000

 Today wasnít a very busy day, however there was a problem with the sewage plant, must be the special this month. The float switch in the discharge tank wasnít working and we blew about three fuses. I spent most of the time receiving the alarm in the control room. However a couple times I got a chance to check out what was going on. Well they managed to rewire it so that we could use our heads. It just so happens that it was all the engineers heads that were down and being a girl and not having your own heads can some times be a pain. So in the middle of the night traipsing all over the ship in my flannels and hair like Cindy Lauper in the 80ís, I find a the heads in the crews quarters, usually occupied by men with magazines with beautiful women we all wish we could look like, which I really donít mind, but why is it that when ever you go to use a bachelors washroom they never have soap? And if they do they donít have toilet paper? Donít they believe these items to be necessities?


Saturday 16th September 2000

           Day off! I slowly crawled out of my bunk after sleeping in for an hour, though it took a bit longer to leave my cabin I was so comfy in my PJís I didnít want to get dressed. When I finally finished reading Star magazine and made myself presentable, I sauntered down to the crewís mess for a little social time all by my self so I decided to watch a girl movie! ďA Smile Like YoursĒ a way cute movie. Well soon the stewardess joined me and we ended up rewinding it after supper because she misses half of it. Of course the guys come in and have a chuckle over the sappy movie, but hey they were all watching ďEver AfterĒ the Cinderella story. Other than Movie Day I did some homework and worked on my sketches. Oh and shaved my legs, you donít get a lot of chances to do that out here.


Sunday 17th September 2000 

Okay well so far I have done tones of homework perfecting once again my Bunkering essay, and elaborating on the exciting explanation of the fire and boat drills. This afternoon we worked on the new and improved FLOAT SWITCH itís one of a kind Iím telling you! There is only two switches and they extend horizontal then we have to have some sort of protection for them so that no junk or toilet paper can get stuck and create a malfunction. So we made containers of plastic pipe and plexy glass stuff and drilled holes into it so the water could fill it. It actually is pretty cool, just kind of looks big.

Monday 18th September 2000 

Well today we had to install the float switch, which turned out to be quite the experience! I was christened to the world of dirty work with a nice spray of sewage from the strainer I was draining. I was relieved immediately for a shower. The process turned out however to be a success. 

Tuesday 19th September 2000

One day till crew change everyoneís ready to go home Iím just excited to go to port hardy. I canít wait to talk to my family and friends. We didnít get a lot of chances. I also want to go shopping; I havenít been shopping for two months ahhh! I packed in the summer so now I donít really have a lot of warm cloths.

Wednesday 20th September 2000 

Today is crew change day so the last crew is back on board. It was good to see everyone only three new faces. We have the day off so all weíve really done is help with groceries.

Thursday 21st September 2000 

Yet another lovely day of sewage 101. It wasnít that bad because we had already cleaned out the tank. What we had to do was fit a new pipe on the new submersible pump to go into the tank and still fit the same fittings as the old one. It worked out pretty good with a little modification because my measurement was too long. But you can always make something smaller but you canít make it bigger. I banged my thumb now itís swollen and painful, however itís all part of it. I also checked all the overboard discharge valves. I checked the No 1 generator engine mounts. I canít wait to get back to my old shift cause Iím supper tired of not sleeping!

Friday 22nd September 2000 

Well tomorrow I have the day off and I go back onto nights, canít hardly wait! Today was a busy day. I worked on a broken vanity light. I had to change the ballast; it was my first real electrical job. However I did get the engineer to cut the live wires for me, I was a little nervous. Later on in the day we worked on number 1 generator, because it was waving in frequency amperage and kilowatts, so we pulled off the covers and checked all the wires, everything seems to be okay.

Sunday 24th September 2000 

Yesterday was my day off so all I did was sleep so I could change over watches. Tonight was a bit hard because I was a bit tired about breakfast time. We didnít do much cause we were steaming. But in the morning I entered the numbers in the log and I did the steering tests from up on the bridge, it was a little different then from the engine room a lot quieter.

Monday 25th September 2000 

Well today I was super tired I got up at 1900 and couldnít get to sleep. We cleaned the cooler on number two generators. I did some work with the deck department on the inspection of safety equipment and pyrotechnics. Later on we just did a little work dismantling the boiler and then I finally get to go to bed. Zzzz

Tuesday 26th September 2000 

Well we cleaned up the huge mess left after the cleaning of the exhaust ports. I participated in a first aid drill, and this morning we did inventory on fuses.


Wednesday 27th September 2000

Today was a pretty good day we cleaned the intake ports and checked the piston rings. After breakfast we were sailing so there wasnít a lot to do. We left Tahsis.


Thursday 28th September 2000 

Well this morning consisted of doing a lot of homework and after that I typed up an inventory sheet for the chief. Other than that I fished for the first time today! It was fun, but I didnít catch any fish. Hopefully Iíll get another chance and have better luck. As for the no sleep situation itís still ongoing I thought it would be better on the evening shift but so far no luck, I had to resort to gravol last night.


Friday 29th September 2000 

Today is the last day till my day off not much happened just the routine stuff worked a little on the exhaust ports and got really dirty.

Saturday 30th 2000

Day off went into port hardy and made some phone calls.


Sunday 1st October 2000 

Today we did some first aid roll over and spent the rest of the day on the bridge observing what went on during the running hours. I plotted positions and talked over the radio.

Monday 2nd October 2000 

Well first up today we had a SAR call for a broken down 20í Aluminium boat, were going to pick it up and bring it in. So far I have observed a valuable lesson not to check the tonne dish whilst youíre clutched in, we had to clutch out to put the lid back on, we almost had to start up the starboard side.

Tuesday 3rd October 2000 

Today we traced the gauges for the coupling cooler and aux coup cooler and labelled them correctly. The morning pretty much consisted of doing pipe inventory.


Wednesday 4th October 2000 

This morning I reconstructed the readings board. Then in the morning we sailed to the goose Islands.


Thursday 5th October 2000 

Well today I worked on the deck side. I did a little bit of helms men, painting, first aid and navigation. 


Friday 6th October 2000 

A continuation of yesterday we did some seamanship and first aid I also helped with the line handling when we came alongside in port hardy. All together it was a good experience but I am looking forward to going back to the engine room.


Saturday 7th October 2000 

Today was my day off, I found out I was doing two more days of deck stuff and that I wouldnít be changing shifts until next trip, I was a bit relieved. I did a lot of fishing and caught a rock cod. I gave up after that because I couldnít bring myself to touch it, I had to get someone else to do it.


Sunday 8th October 2000 

Well another day on deck. We did a first aid scenario in the shaft tunnel in the engine room. It was pretty tough. We also went over to the fisheries dock to see if anyone could pick up his or her stuff.. I worked the crane when we put the boat out of the water, and helped launch it in the morning. Not a whole lot else is going on. Oh ya I also observed the procedures when anchoring or bringing it back up.

Monday 9th October 2000 

Last Day on deck, I spent the first part of the night on watch up on the bridge and then did an inventory of the SAR locker. We sailed at 8:00am and I washed down the anchor. Then I relieved the helmsmen for a little while. After we anchored we started up painting the waist.


Tuesday 10th October 2000 

Finally back to the engine room, itís like going home; I didnít realize how much I had missed it. We replaced the copper drain tube on the Winslow filter with a flexible fuel line. In the morning we steamed till about 11, the bracket on the #3ssg was broken and was temporarily fixed with large washers. We received water in Klemtu, which was of concern so we chlorinated the tanks with 312ml of bleach just before we filled them. I suggieed the starboard main it was pretty dirty from blowing through the port main.


Wednesday 11th October 2000 

We didnít do a lot of other stuff today we sailed at 7:00am and the night was spent working with the engineer on my cadet book. We found out today that were probably moving to the Tully. I guess well know for sure tomorrow.


Thursday 12th October

Did a lot of homework today preparing to go a different vessel.


Friday 13th October

Well I found out we are staying for refit. We worked on the stern gland and started making brackets for the switches in the generators.


Saturday 14th October 2000 

Today was my day off and I slept all day, the night before I went and played pool on shore and had a lot of fun.


Sunday 15th October 2000 

Today was a cleaning day. We started out on the steering flats and then cleaned the generator flats. Quite exciting! The stern gland was the last of our adventures. There were also loose ends for my cadet book to tie up and I observed the seamen going over emergency steering procedures. Over all a productive day.


October 16th ,17th 2000     

Today we started sailing down to pat bay we didnít do a lot just maintained rounds.


October 18th 2000

Crew change day itís always a little hard to keep up the turmoil and say goodbye to everyone.


October 19th 2000

Well today we started working on refit stuff I helped the engineer do the clearances on the blower they didnít all come into specs however this may be okay considering the age of the engines.


October 20th 2000

I get to go home today!!! Well before I go home, I worked on cleaning up the gasket surfaces on the parts on the cat, and I also packed up the fuel pump to be sent off. see ya in 2 days.


October 23rd 2000

Well today I worked on pulling out the CPP pump and removing the mechanical seal, we are now waiting for parts. I also covered the exhausts for the mains and search for a tool for the blower backlash test. However of course I could not find it and after an hour of looking for it we discovered it wasnít even stored on the ship.


October 24th 2000

First thing this morning we started doing measurements on the liners for the cat, and then moved onto the connecting rod, pin and piston. It was hard work but we got it all sorted out, so far the only part that is out of specs is the #1 cyl, piston bore for the pin. The last thing I did today was the backlash on the blower for both main engines, they were both within specification.


October 25th 2000

Well it turned out that we didnít have the right measurements for the blower so we had to do it all again, this time we clamped a different gear and it all turned out okay. We also measured the crankshaft and camshaft.


October 26th 2000

Today was a wonderful day. After sorting gaskets in the morning, we went shopping! Yes it was for parts and stuff none the less, it was fun. Sometimes itís nice to get away for a break. We also got to see a bit of Victoria, that was really neat. As we were going by the other Coast guard base we noticed the Laurier was there so we had the chance to have a bit of a tour. We made it back just in time for dinner.


October 27th 2000

I did a bit of work this morning removing the Fresh water preheat pump for the Stbd engine. The shaft was crocked and the impeller was wearing on the housing. During this operation I injured my hand and the rest of the day was icing filling out papers and watching from the fiddly because I wasnít allowed down the stairs.


October 28th 2000

Well my hand is a lot better now. We went to the museum today it was really neat; we spent about three hours there. We did a little shopping and took the bus back to Sydney and walked the rest of the way back to the ship. About an hour and 15min walk. We were beat when we got back.


October 29th 2000

Today I did a lot of homework. Some laundry and cleaned my cabin, other than that it was just another Sunday.


October 30th 2000

Captain Kitching came to visit us today we gave him a tour of the ship and he took us out for lunch, it was very nice of him. It was pretty neat to have someone interested in how we were doing. After we got back Brian and I worked on the removing the front cover on the main engine.


October 31st 2000

Happy Halloween, today we continued to try to remove the front cover. John and I went to the doctors and stopped in at finning for the trust bearing. When I returned brain had managed to remove the cover, and it was time to put it back on. Once we found the gaskets we were able to proceed successfully. The nurse also came to the ship and gave everyone TB tests


November 1st 2000

Today we checked and adjusted the chain gears, and put the cover back on. We finally finished with all that. In the afternoon, I made up some signs and laminated them for hearing protection in the engine room. It seems simple however it took me a while I had to go through three computers and reload the lamination machine with $44 cartridge that I did not want to screw up.


November 2nd 2000

Well this morning I re checked the clearances on the fire pump and made up a chart for the results. Most of the people on board went to a first aid course. So I did some work for JL. First I worked on testing the air receivers for there capacity before the safety went, then the stand-by air receiver for which I had to rig so that the air would not blow through a tube, that it self took a good 45min. Once I completed that, I had to make a chart on the computer with the results for the chief. After that I took a nice little walk up to stores and received a parcel we have been waiting for. The parcel was a mechanical seal for the OD pump, so once I got back I started making gaskets so we could reassemble the pump.


November 3rd 2000

First thing this morning we worked on the OD pump and once everyone went to first aid I pretty much got to do it by my self, with the help of JL. After several times of putting the pulley on and taking it off again it was ready to go. The fun part was getting the pump from the workshop to the steering flats. But I managed itís kind of like walking a dog. Attach a leash and have some one on the other end guiding it. Sometimes these are the best learning experiences, because thereís no manual to explain how to do it. Well we got it in place then I lined her up and bolted her down. At the end of the day they started up #3 SSG, and it ran well. So over all a successful day.


November 4th 2000

My best friend and her boyfriend came over from the main land yesterday so today we went to the wax museum and went shopping in Victoria. It was nice to get out I havenít been shopping like that for so long, but Iíll tell you something I had sore feet! After words we went to the keg for dinner it was delicious, however if I had eaten on the ship I would be $25 richer. I died my hair back to my natural light brown so Iím not a blonde anymore; I also gave it a trim it was getting pretty hairy! Haha. Anyway that night we went to the sharks club for a bit, it was pretty fun but its nothing like the one in Langley.


November 5th 2000

Today I did a bit of homework. Then Lisa picked me up and we went shopping I got 2 new pairs of pants for only$49.99 at smart set. After that we went to see Charlieís Angels, it was awesome, I came out of the theatre and I couldnít stop smiling.


November 6th 2000

Back to work today. This morning we cleaned up the hold, the mess left by the guys who rebuilt the cat. Then after that we had to put the cat on a load but every time we put it on the fake load the shore power would cut out and we would black out the ship. So we ran the generator on the ships load and a bit of the fake jobby. We ran in the generator for 4 hrs as close to 150kw as we could get, my job was to monitor the KW gauge and tell them to add or take away load. No it wasnít that slack, your eyes get tire and you miss coffee!


November 7th 2000

Today I worked on my wrench project. I have to make a handle for the sea chest. Itís all cut out after fighting over and over with the ban saw because the blade kept slipping off; I ended up finishing it with a hacksaw! Well now Iím filing it up nice and pretty to be destroyed in the bilge.


November 8th and 9th 2000

The last two days I spent completing my wrench. The greatest frustration was finding the right tools. I managed with what we had and have built a successful pulling device that is also decorated on the handle to prevent sore hands.


November 10th 2000

Today I filed around with the new lockout station, making a note board and sign. After I went shopping with John, looking for brushes hydrometer and coveralls. Then we went in this one store and I ran into an old friend that I hadnít seen in about two years, we knew each other from cadets it was really weird talking to him.


November 11th 2000

Remembrance Day, probably the first time I havenít been to a remembrance parade for a long time. This morning I wired the junction box in the CO2 room even though itís my day off. This afternoon my parents are coming so Iím pretty excited.


November 12th 2000

Today was back to work. I worked on changing the oil on #3ssg and then after that I did the end of trip soundings and made sure all the appropriate extended spindles were open. Then I made up a computer sheet for the soundings.


November 13th 2000

Well what a day! Started this morning working on cleaning the steering flats and the aft hold. Then after completing the emergency generator room, I did piping on the flush side of the sanitary system for the officerís heads. It doesnít sound like much, but I didnít even take all my breaks. Busy!


November 14th 2000

Last day with white crew another busy day cleaning up and getting ready!


November 15th 2000

Crew change today this morning we went out for a trail run and the cpp pump wasnít working the pulley was right up on the shaft so we pulled it out again. The rest of the day I had off.


November 16th 2000

Well today Iím supper sick and I had the day off because I have to start at midnight! Again.


November 17th 2000

First day back at work with red crew, it was pretty slow at night I fixed a toilet and sanded the rag box. During the day I replaced a crane flush mechanism with a zurn, now it works and doesnít leak, yah!!


November 18th 2000

Saturday itís my day off, but I did go down and check out the engine room this morning when they were testing the pitch, it seems that it I only the port engine that is having the problem.


November 19th 2000

I saw Richard today he came over to say hi and then he showed me the tour of the Tully; it was nice to see someone familiar. Just one of those days you know? We set sail at 10:00am and were headed for open bight, were going up the inside.


November 20th 2000

Weíre still heading toward open bight, so most of our routines today were monitoring and readings. We did little assignments that the engineer gave us learning this that we may not be exposed to everyday. Like finding all the safety devices and mechanisms on the machinery.


November 21st 2000

We sailed to mahatta river today, this morning we checked the sewage blower drained the fuel tanks for water, and checked the cranes and windless for there hydraulic lines. Then did a bit of homework research.


November 22nd 2000

Were still in mahatta river I did a lot of piping diagrams today. Last night I did some conquesting and oil inventory.


November 23rd 2000

Well today I did a lot of piping diagrams. I painted the red gear cooler. Then in the afternoon we went for a hike up to the waterfall it was beautiful and a lot of fun because there was no real trail. We were taking pictures at the waterfall and I got distracted and half fell in. by the time we were picked up by the boat we looked a mess.


November 24th 2000

Well today I did my homework for the first half of my shift. In the morning I cleaned the emergency air compress including the brass. Also the fire pump. I wire wheeled some of the dirty deck plates, and did some more painting.


November 25th 2000

Today was my day off I went for another hike, this time it was much farther, and a lot of fun. I also helped out in the galley, made some fruit and veggie platters and also made devilled eggs.           


November 26th 2000

Sunday today we went to jeune landing, walked into port Alice and made some phone calls.


November 27th 2000

Today was my first day on noon to midnight; all I really worked on was cleaning the sea bay strainers and then continuing to polish the railings.


November 28th 2000

Well today started out with as another exciting day photocopying. But later on I got to remove explosion lights and put in new RABS. Remember what 3301ís are.


November 29th 2000

Today we pretty much just sailed so not a lot went on.


November 30th 2000

We sailed around for a while then decided to anchor in port hardy the engineer let us go ashore. I talked to my best friend on the phone, and met up with a bunch of people from the boat.


December 1st 2000

Today is Friday thank god! All I did today was finish up receiving lube oil. And painting the valves on the steering gear.


December 2nd and 3rd 2000

Well its finally the weekend, were in Keith anchorage today and I got to go to the beach it was beautiful! The sand was beautiful and white just like the beaches in Australia, there was small surf and the cook and I went for a walk through to the other beaches. They were quite rocky but the view was amazing. I helped the cook serve today for the barbeque and thus come to the end of my weekend!


December 4th 2000

Today wasnít too busy, we sailed most of the shift, the day was beautiful and I got a few nice pictures.


December 5th 2000

Well today Iím feeling much better then I did yesterday, I had a little bout of homesickness. Today I changed one of those little tiny lights in the wheelhouse and checked all the rest. Later in the day we tried to adjust the relief valve on the Stbd lube oil pump because it was making an awful racket.


December 6th 2000

First thing first this morning I am sick and tired of flushing my toilet with a screwdriver, so I fixed my toilet, successfully I might add. After that we switched the relief valves on the lube oil pumps to see if the noise would go away however it didnít, so we changed it back the good news is it does work. The rest of the time before supper I spent cleaning the control room. Later today we set sail, and I changes a halogen light and learnt not to touch the bulb, what a nerve-racking experience.


December 7th 2000

Well today I started a project making a wire splicing hand, However before that #2 generator was playing up, so we took off the covers and found a broken wire. Once we had fixed the wire the lobe oil pressure shut down light wouldnít go off.


December 8th 2000

Today we continued to work on #2 and found the wires were loose once we fixed it about an hour later a funny noise started coming from it so yet again we have shut it down. I also worked on my project; I started doing some milling.


December 9th 2000

Today were tied up in klemtu again, itís Christmas dinner! We helped serve and made up some candy trays. Later on in the evening we got a call to go out and fix a repeater up north at about one oíclock in the morning.


December 10th 2000

Well this morning I woke up and started my Sunday morning cleaning. I threw in two loads of laundry, cleaned and vacuumed my cabin, and cleaned the heads.


December 11th 2000

Back to work this morning, I continued my project. I finished milling and then did some electrode welding, of which I hadnít done much of, so it was a little harry. However the final out come seemed to work well, and wasnít too sorry to look at.


December 12th 2000

Last shift till crew change, consisted basically of cleaning. The galley crew were loading groceries and so on, so the steward called down and asked my to help. I set the tables and served dinner, there wasnít a lot going on in the engine room. After that I was sitting with the captain and he asked if I had the rest of the night off, I told him that I had this that and another thing to do, so he summons the chief and gets him to give me the rest of the night off, I still stick to the fact that it was not my idea, and I have witnesses. Oh well I had a nice night, some of the crew and I went out for a bit in port hardy, sometimes itís just nice to get off the ship and recall that there is still life going on out there.


December 13th 2000

As you well know by now I hate crew change day, however this one is even worse because I will never see them again. It was great to sail with them it was my very first crew and Iíll always remember them, but with some nice goodbyes, good lucks and big hugs, itís on to a new crew. This crews well too, but it takes a while to get used to a whole new group of people in the same place youíve been with totally different people for the last 28 days.


December 14th 2000

Started the same noon to midnight watch today, and one of my classmates came from another ship and is working the same shift with me. We started out the day and I showed him how we usually do the round and the readings. We did some PMís; we tested the sewage blower and purged the kamewa header tank. Along with a little sailing and filling oil and such that was about our day. Oh wait except the Lube oil circ pump started making noise again, and the temperature started going up. We switched it over to pre lube to check the pressure and it went up, but then after a second it started going down. So we took off the relief valve and switched it with the port one and tried it out but it didnít do anything. We switched them back and the really bad noise was gone, but it still noisy.


December 15th 2000

This morning we started up the emergency generator and let it run for a while. After that we went around checking all the fire dampers and familiarizing my classmate with the fire zones and procedures. We also checked the crane hydraulics and had a little bit of a snow fight. After dinner the oiler and I drained the fire main and pumped it over board, after we closed the suction valve the process went by quite fast.


December 16th 2000

Well today was the start of yet another exciting weekend. However it was nice to get some time to catch up on my assignments. I spent a bit of time down in the engine room polishing off my switchboard sketch, and listening to the promising words of the engineers on the politics of the Canadian government.


December 17th 2000

I tried to sleep in a little today however I was unsuccessful, we were in a bit of weather today, and however I didnít get sick, I was just attacked by my novel flying at me. Most of the afternoon I spent hiding in the engine room, the best place to be in that kind of situation. Yet again listening to encouraging words, this time of all the horror stories in the industry that I am embarking. Donít get me wrong they do talk about nice things to they just donít seem to stick in my head as long.


December 18th 2000

Back to work today were in mahatta river, but set sail at 1400. The first part of the day I spent doing rounds, changing light bulbs and securing for sea. I had the privilege of starting up the main propulsion, and trying to show the other cadet what I was doing at the same time. After we shut down at about 2100, we had to tighten up the belts for the shaft driven CPP pump, because they were slapping around. After that we once again had to fish out the broken zincs from the Jacket water cooler and replaced them with zincs screwed in with non removable lock tight, Take that! After observing my brilliant colleagues check the valve lash on SSG#2, and putting 3L of oil in #3, we were off!


December 19th 2000

Today we started out the shift already heading for Nootka; along our journey we recorded the firing pressures on the port main engine. After shutting down, we swept the engine room deck plates and mopped the main walkways. After being forced to go for coffee, I completed the preventative maintenance check of draining the fuel tanks of water. Later the engineers went to a safety meeting, while my much more brilliant classmate watched over the engine room.


December 20th 2000

Well today I started work on the galley hot plate, it hadnít been started in 5 years! So I checked all the wires and tried to see if it held water, however of course at 2345 it did leak!


December 21st 2000

Today were off to Tahsis to pick up some groceries. First up today we found out that the hot plate was actually a dry plate and didnít hold water, so that was kind of a bonus! After trying it out, I realized it worked all along but it was a good experience. Well I also cleaned the sight glass in the shaft tunnel and checked out the wiring on the deep fryer. I got to call home today which was kind of sad because my friend from Australia that I havenít seen in 12 years is there and heís leaving the day after I thought I was going home. But now Iím not going home till later so I probably wont see him. Besides the fact that itís Christmas new years and both my best friends birthdays, lets just say this Christmas isnít exactly the cheeriest.


December 23rd, 2000

Well itís Saturday so we have the day off. However I decided to do a little work on my breaker box assignment. Though Matthias and I went for a hike in mahatta river. We went up too the water fall it was beautiful. It was a good chance for us both to get away for a bit.


December 24th, 2000

Christmas Eve, I worked in the galley today acting kinda as steward, and the steward was the cook, the cook was ill. Everything went smoothly. I called home and talked to my family, but Iím trying not to think about it too much. It was nice this evening we all sat around joking and listening to music.


December 25th, 2000

Merry Christmas what can I say Iím away from home, Iíve been away for 5 months and I have another to go. We had a nice dinner, lots of treats, and watched a movie with pretty much the whole crew. Guess what the movie was? The perfect storm, appropriate donít you think?


December 26th 2000

Well lots of stuff is going on right now, and the sum of it has me working on my own from 0600-1800, pretty much doing computer work updating our ISM book. Today I worked on the breaker database Iím setting up.


December 27th 2000

I continued to work on the breaker database today. I went through and re did all the breaker panel cards, laminated them and placed them appropriately.


December 28th 2000

Today I got Matthias to help me go through all the breakers in the engine room to make sure that the breakers were labeled correctly. After that I continued on the computer creating reports from the database.


December 29th 2000

Today I went around and cleaned all the diaphragms in all the heads. After that I started the main propulsion, and away we went off toward coal harbour. When we got there I went along on the rubber boat to coal harbour to pick up a pipe we had fabricated in port Hardy. On the way back we checked some prawn traps, that were suspect. After lunch, Richard and I measured a pipe in the lower heads, then put the deck head back together. Were sailing to Kyuquot.


December 30th 2000

Toady is a day off, Matthias and I went for a hike on one of the islands it was cool we saw this whale carved out of stone. The rest of the night was the usual crib and movies.  


December 31st 2000

Well this is the last time Iíll write this year. We went for another hike today; this time there was no trail. I start work at midnight 2001. I worked on some assignments and hope to Finnish them tonight!


January 1st 2001

Well we didnít do much today being it is new years day. I went right to bed after my shift I was beat!


January 2nd 2000

Today I caught up on all the PMís that had to be done. I checked over the washing machine, checked the blower on the sewage system and added oil, drained all the fuel tanks of water, and helped do the soundings.


January 3rd 2000

0800 this morning we set sail for mahatta river, it was to be a rough ride! I took a travel tab, then Marty told me itís better to take two, needless to say I was a bit absent minded for the rest of the day. However I did manage to fit in the afternoon movie, though I couldnít tell you what it was about. I kind of fell asleep. The captain came in and both of us were sleeping, he said ďsleeping or watchingĒ I woke up a little startled.


January 4th 2000

What a day, a good day though! This morning Marty and I finally did the hydraulic coupling leak check, all was well. After that I made some brackets for the rubber seal on the MCR door. In the morning we tested some CAT injectors which didnít work at all. The last project of the morning was the 300hr service on #1SSG. We changed the oil, drained water from the fuel filter, and checked the air filter and turbo, changed the zincs and blew out the alternator.


January 5th, 2001

I stayed up until 0300 tonight doing homework! Iím so going crazy getting everything together for leaving. I donít have enough room to pack all the stuff Iíve accumulated during the last 6 months. I keep redoing my assignments, and I canít sleep!


January 6th 2001

Well needless to say I slept in today. However I did get a lot of packing done!


January 7th 2001

I had absolutely no energy today. I got up at a decent hour and wondered around thinking about all the things I should be doing. Then I watched a movie and went to bed early. What an exhausting day!


January 8th 2001

Today we worked on finishing up homework and cleaning the steering flats, just getting ready for crew change.


January 9th 2001

Tomorrow is crew change day. Weíre heading down to Port Hardy and itís a bit rough, but nothing graval canít handle. I just put the final touches on the breaker reports and printed them up today. Other than that I was just getting ready to go.


January 10th 2001

Crew change day. I finished packing and cleaning. It seems a little weird cause we are actually leaving this time. It was even weirder when we watched as the red crew went on board with out us. Well I get to go home for the evening to see my friend from Australia before we go onto the Bartlett. One of the deck hands and I got the whole plane to our selves on the way to Vancouver.


January 11th 2001

Well we are working 0700-1900. We pretty much just walked around and placed things today. We have TVís in our cabins, but I didnít get through half a show before I fell asleep.


January 12th 2001

Today we helped put new dump valves in the fluid couplings and I fixed the heads in the crews quarters. This ship is a bit different then the Tanu. We have to eat in the officerís mess and itís all proper and uncomfortable. I donít really no where I fit, cause I donít fit in either crew or officer category. So I end up stuck in my cabin.


January 13th 2001

We were given the given the day off so we walked into Sydney, it was a nice break.


January 14th 2001

Today we found out which shifts we were working. Iím on noon to mid-night. So I watched a bit of TV and went to bed.


January 15th 2001

First day on watch. This ship does soundings every night @ midnight. After that we greased the rocker arms. The rest of the day I went with the engineer to try figure out why the doghouses werenít heating.


January 16th 2001

Today after sounding, I started working on zincs, itís pretty much all I did. Except for the readings. We went up the Fraser River and replaced the red buoy right under the Patella Bridge.


January 17th 2001

Today was pretty much the same as yesterday. Zincís and readings, however we are sailing out to get an ODAS buoy that has gone a drift. There is a storm coming. The 2nd Mate explained it as the high pressure is swirling inward and the low is inward as itís mirror so the wind is coming between causing southeasterly winds.


January 18th 2001

Today we started to install the zincs. We also did the PMís on the refrigeration compressor up in the galley. This morning I watched a helicopter use a longline to retrieve an incinerator from the well deck. It was quite interesting. One of the guys in the FRC got a shock when the fire extinguisher went off & was all over him, his eyes are okay now. There was one person a shore; a fire party on the focsle and the first mate was on the well deck, in communication with the helicopter.


January 19th 2001

Well today wasnít as exciting as yesterday. I continued making zincs and installed them into the CPP coolers. Later we checked the emergency steering, which is easier than on the Tanu because there is a wheel instead of come alongs. In the morning we were on the outside so we did some pumping of bilges through the OWS. I was the look out on the overboard discharge. I also stated the Main engines in the morning.


January 20th 2001

We had the day off today. There wasnít a lot to do. I stayed up late and actually socialized for a little bit.


 January 21st 2001

Getting up at 0100 in the morning on a Sunday doesnít seem that unusual anymore. Well first thing I went up to visit the 2nd mate to get some specs for my book. After that I made my way down to the engine room and chatted with the engineer and got him to sign a few checks. Later on in the day I also went to see the chief for the fuel specs. Other than that we were at this spot open bight at a lighthouse, I had been there before but not in that spot. The day was beautiful and the view was gorges. To top it all off we had a slight roll. I spent some time on the aft deck, then that was a day.


January 22nd 2001

Back to work! I had a great sleep! This morning I pumped the bilgeís to the holding tank. After that we went up and did PMís on the workboat, which has a little Duetz in it. We pretty much checked all the fluid levels, mounting bolts and belts/pulleys. Then ran it up to check. We set sail at 0700 and again I helped start up. Then at 0900 we arrived in Port Hardy for fuelling, so the rest of the day was 3 hrs of sounding tanks. After hitting one more lighthouse we rendezvoused with the Laurier to trade cargo and we were there for the night.


January 23rd 2001

Today I started my shift with pumping bilges. Later in the morning we did the 250 hr on #1 SSG, which pretty much consisted of cleaning the spinner, and checking fluids. We also checked the Main engine mounting bolts with torqueís at approx. 310-810 lbs. We were still tied up to the Laurier. At about 0300 a connecting rod blew out the side of the block and bits of the piston across the engine room, on their harbour generator. It looked a real mess the piston and rod were in pieces and the whole on the block was pretty big. The rest of the days I did some cleaning and helped change the water filter in the crewís mess. We also had a fire drill after my shift.


January 24th 2001

This morning I did the boiler water tests again, for hardness, pH level, conductivity etc. After that I did some cleaning and the engineer asked me some questions, he was studying for his competition. I also read up on the Reverse Osmosis, helped start it up and took notes.


January 25th 2001

Today I helped with the RO; we switched the membranes around and took the bottom one out. Then when that didnít work we switched them around two more times.


January 26th 2001

Well today weíre on day shift from 0700-1900. In the morning I stay in watch and in the afternoon I work with the senior engineer. First thing we did was go with the bosín and watch them launch the FRC from a davit. Later I just carried on with rounds and readings. Around 1100 we were at the Bonilla lighthouse, it reminded me of a picture in a fairy tale. In the afternoon the senior set me up with making a bracket for the captains shower. That pretty much consumed the remainder of the day.


January 27th 2001

Saturday, I woke up in a bustle to get down to the e/r on time, I made it. But the engineer was tapping his watch after we started the engine O learnt that he was tapping his watch because I didnít have to work today. Well since I was here I decided to stay and worked on my bracket. By the end of the day I was finished. We tied up in Sandspit so I decided to go ashore.


January 28th 2001

Sunday, just like home! I slept in and watched Sunday morning cartoons. Did some cleaning and catching up.


January 29th 2001

Wow today was crazy! We went on to Deck today. We got all suited up in rain gear and hard hats. Then I went down to the hold to help hook up bonnets full of gravel to be lifted to the barge. After everything was loaded we all hopped on and went to a bar where they were setting the structure for a beacon. We started unloading lumber. Then we hauled buckets of cement. We stopped about 2 at a time to bite into lunch and went right back to work. The tide was coming up so we had to stand in the water to pass buckets. After a while I relieved someone on the barge. I had to move gravel, cut the wires off, bag the empty bags and help with getting water or turning the mixer. After a while there was no more land left so I was a human fender off the structure. After approx. 1630 we came back and had showers and dinner. After dinner was a bit of a cleanup and put away.


 January 30th 2001

Today was just one of those days where you pretty much had to fend for yourself. Later however I got to start up the OWS and transferred some fuel.


January 31st 2001

This morning I studied up on how to change out a RO membrane. Later I started working on a brass cube on the lathe. This afternoon we were tied up in Prince Rupert and so did the Laurier. There we installed the new membrane.


February 1st 2001

Well today I finished my cube. I didnít have the heart to punch holes in it though to make it into a die. Later we were tied up in Rupert again. We pulled apart the sea suction pipe for the refrigeration. There were about 5 inches of mussels blocking ĺ the diameter of the pipe.


February 2nd 2001

This morning we cleaned all the condensers on the fridgeís in the cabins, we also changed the water filter in the crews quarters. Then we assisted with changing out a front seal in SSG #1.


February 3rd 2001

Well today we were given the day off. Though I did go down to the engine room and it stunk. The bottom of the sewage tank had fallen out and the content was swishing around and flowing into the bilges. Which we couldnít pump because the pump was plugged. So we went into Port Hardy and had a sanitary truck come and pump us out.


February 4th 2001

Today I pretty much just did some homework and wondered around getting my book up to date.


February 05th 2001

Today was a bit of a crazy day. Weíre getting so excited about going home. This morning I did a crankcase inspection on the #2 generator for itís 750hr service. After adding 100L of oil I finished buttoning it all up. Then Kam and I went around and did the weekly routines. It was a beautiful day and we ended up taking pictures and enjoying checking oil levels.


February 6th 2001

Yuck! What a horrible day! I woke up this morning feeling like crap! Iím not sure why but it must have been a different roll to the ship. I was used to it but not today. I spent the first hour on the aft deck, and then I took 2 travel tabs, which sent me into lala land. I ended up being sent to my cabin for a while, I refused several times but was then tired of fighting. I woke up an hour later feeling a bit better, I went down stairs and they told me to disappear there is nothing really to do anyway. So I decided to fix my sink and change the light bulb in my cabin, that I had been saving for just a time like this. My sink seems to bee working now; I think the valve was leaking so I tightened it and then loosened it again and surprise it worked. Other than that it brings me to right here and now, Iím going home in 2 days!


February 7th 2001

Well yet another surprise, I walk into my cabin and my deck is flooded! My valve adjustment didnít work! We managed to fix it by the end of the day. The rest of the day was getting ready for crew change.


February 8th 2001

Iím home!
This completes this cadet's six months work experience, spent aboard Canadian Coast Guard Ships in the Pacific Region. Please join me in wishing her all the best in the future.