Engineer and ship hand-over

The second ship hand-over is the special hand-over: Because of the Bermuda-Triangle the electronic navigation doesn’t work – that’s the story. If you want to say it clearly, we must navigate astronomically. That’s why the mate position is very popular this time. I was struggling to choose a position to apply for. But a few days ago, I had my engineer’s-apprenticeship. I had a lot of fun there, that’s why I applied as the engineer. Nobody else wanted this position.

And then the crew publishes the positions – I’m the engineer, but I’m nevertheless pleased about that. Then they announce the captain – it is Felix. Now we have 1,5 hours, where we have to work on a lot of exercises. For example, Felix our new student-captain and the mates have to plan the route from Bermuda to the Azores. For me as an engineer, I only have to look for the midday values of oil and water.

The 1,5 hours are over, and the student-captain presents the results. The crew isn’t completely convinced, but we have to leave, because the pilot is coming. I have to ready the engine. I haven’t done this before. I only spoke about that with Willi in my engineer’s-apprenticeship. But with a bit of help I can tell Felix, my new captain, that the engine is ready, and we can leave the harbour.

The next and second day starts as the apprenticeship did: I have to get up at 6 o’clock in the morning. Then I have to start the generator and the osmosis-machine, so the kitchen can start making coffee, hot water and some other things for breakfast. Later in the morning, I look into the Marad with Willi, that’s a Program where you can see when the next maintenance work needs to be done. In my apprenticeship I learned a lot, but the Marad gives so many different tasks, that I haven’t any idea what I have to do. That’s why for me the ship-hand-over is more like an add-on apprenticeship.

At 11 o’clock the crew-ship-leader and the student-ship-leader have a meeting. The engineer is also part of these meetings. There we speak about the next plans of the student-captain and student-mates, and the crew-captain gives feedback to the student-ship-leader. I’m not so involved. The only important part for me is the timetable for the generator and the engine.

In the afternoon we start to prepare for a coming storm. For example, we reef some sails. On one sail we make a mistake, so it takes us twice as long as normal. Aside from those little mistakes, the ship-hand-over went very well in general.

The third and last day is starting. The student captain stops the engine. This is my first time doing this work, but I like it. We prepare the last things for the storm. And then we give the ship back. First, we look to our astronomical position and compare it with the GPS-position. We are only 2 miles off from the real position. We all applaud loudly. Then, with coffee and cake, Felix gives the ship back over to the hands of the crew.

The first command of the crew-captain was to start the engine again. I think to myself: But we are a „sailing“ ship!