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At breakfast, everyone is in a good mood. The expected spare parts have finally arrived. The engineer says that he and his team can install them this morning. It would be tested this afternoon. Tonight we shall start.
At lunch, Pierre and I discuss the pictures in the officers’ mess. In the office and in the other rooms that are accessible to all, the usual meaningless “art” is displayed, as it is usually found in doctors’ surgeries and office buildings. But here are photographs of birds. One can see that they were photographed from a ship. Especially one picture fascinates me. It shows a flying pelican from above. From this perspective, the birds are not familiar. Pierre says it is a puffin. It is by no means a puffin! We consult Google. Puffins look completely different. But I notice that Pierre is calling almost all seabirds puffins. The bird on this picture is definitely a pelican. I often look at it when I wait for Robert to serve our meals.
At noon the Chief Electrician visits me and sets up the satellite phone network on my phone. No, the smartphone is not suddenly able to receive signals from the satellite. The whole system runs via VoIP and Wi-Fi. Now I can use my smartphone to talk to the entire world via satellites. The cost is calculated to be 0.05 U$ per minute.
There is a plan of the ship hanging in the corridor of the C deck – all decks and holds are marked on it. Sometimes I stand in front of it and orient myself. The Bright Sky is built as follows:
The Bright Sky has seven top decks. When you enter the ship via the gangway, you arrive on the upper deck. If you go up a flight of stairs, you reach the Poop Deck. From there you can enter the ship’s building. The offices, lounges, dining rooms and kitchen are located in the building on the Poop Deck.
The decks A, B, C, and D are situated on top of it. The crew is accommodated here. I have my cabin on the C deck. The Chief Engineer, the electrician and the cook also stay with me in the same passage. On the other side of the C deck, the captain has his rooms and office.
On the D deck, there is the officers’ lounge, the Owner’s Cabin and a cabin for the pilot. Since the owner of the ship never travels with it, a passenger is accommodated in the Owner’s Cabin. It is a suite with a living room and bedroom and more spacious than my cabin, which is “only” intended for the 4th engineer, who is not part of the crew. Pierre lodges there.
At the top, above the D-deck, is the bridge. From its large windows, you have the best view of the whole ship. On both sides, there are balconies which the crew call “wings”. The balconies not only serve as a viewing platform for photographers but are also used to steer the ship in narrow passages and when mooring and casting off.
That means there are six storeys above the upper deck. You don’t have to imagine the storeys quite as high as the room height of an average house. I estimate the ceiling height in my cabin to be 2.20 m.
The upper deck is 16.4 m above the lowest point of the ship. When the Bright Sky is fully loaded, the waterline is 11.8 m above the keel. In other words, the upper deck is at least 4.6 m above sea level.
The various decks are accessed via stairs. There is an internal staircase in the ship’s building itself, but you can also walk upstairs from the outside to the bridge from the rear deck. There are no elevators, and therefore a journey on such a cargo ship is not doable for people with walking disabilities.
You can also go down from the Poop Deck into the hull itself. One floor lower than the Poop Deck and even lower than the Upper Deck is another area accessible for passengers. Here is the laundry room with washing machines and dryers and the fitness room, which is equipped with some sporting equipment and a sauna.
Below this level, there are still a lot of tanks and of course, at least 10 m high, the engine room. Yesterday I talked to the Chief Engineer. As soon as we are at sea and the situation has calmed down, Pierre and I can have a look at the beast down there.
But this building is only the smallest part of the ship. Just 18 of the 199 m length are occupied by it. To the front, there are five large cargo holds. During the journey, they are closed and when they are open and loaded, we passengers are not allowed to walk there. It is too dangerous to pass under the suspended load. We are only allowed to go to the gangway and back again.
In the afternoon, I go outside to photograph the Köhlbrand bridge. But the sunset is not spectacular. It is cold but dry. At one spot, there is still ice, and I have to be careful not to slip.
At dinner, the captain says that we will not leave before midnight. In the afternoon and evening, the machine had been tested.
Would you like to see an overview of all articles about my journey on the cargo ship Bright Sky? Click here for a table of contents.