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Ocean Liner History and Stories from the Sea, Past and Present. With an In Depth focus on Holland America Line

08 November 2019; At Sea (day 3)

Another nice day at sea with plenty of sunshine but still very breezy although with following winds. But there is no strength in the waves, and as was also the case yesterday, the ship is nice and steady. We are still nicely on our Rhumb Line to Fort Lauderdale, or better said to South East Providence channel in the Bahamas, as there we will change course to sail around the Bahama Bank and into the Straits of Florida. As you can see below, something is happening, something that I was already afraid about, Cape Hatteras is cooking up a new storm. It does that about every three days in the winter time and now we have to see where this storm is going. If it veers directly to the NNE in the Atlantic Ocean then even the swell might not reach us. But if it goes a little more NE or ENE then the swell might reach us. We have to keep an eye on that one for our last sea day before we get in the shelter of the various Bahamian Islands, its sandbanks and its cays.

The predicted weather for noon time tomorrow. The arrow indicates our position today. So for the coming days very nice and flat seas. But there is green stuff developing off Cape Hatteras and what will it do ?

Although the crew is busier with service during a sea day as all the guests are on board, there is still the option to have the crew involved in a number of things as they are all there. They cannot get away so to speak but with events they would not do so anyway. But we try to do special things at sea so it does not cut into their spare time for going ashore. The impact of the mandatory drills is already more than enough. So what is going on?  Well we have a whole (Carnival Corporation) fleet wide drive going on about environmental awareness. The crew has always been environmentally aware and trained but the Corporation has now brought some standardization in the system and is also more focusing on the why’s. The thoughts behind what we do and the when and how we do it.  All the activities we employ take place under the banner of: OCEANS ALIVE and the activities spread out over a large area. From mandatory to Voluntary, to Training, to Focus on ethical behavior and participation in activities.

The program we run on all the ships and during one week a year there is a extra focus when the results are announced.

Part of this drive is a Fleet wide Ethics and Compliance day, where it will be celebrated that the Koningsdam was the recipient of the company’s (HAL) Environmental Commitment Award. We did that the day before yesterday. Meaning that on average the Koningsdam was the best of the HAL ships with reducing the impact on the environment. Key components in the competition are; fuel consumption, water consumption, recycling, reduction of non –recyclables, etc.etc. So the Koningsdam won this year and when a ship wins something there is a party. Because all the crew is so busy and sleeps at different times it is not always easy to communicate with them what is going to happen. But if you mention money then everybody wakes up. Thus the company had also devised an Ethics and Compliance quiz which could bring the two lucky winners in the competition $ 50, — Because we have 900+ crew that is not so much so the ship had added a few extra prizes towards it. And there was cake of course. There is never a Holland America party without food. At 10 am. In the morning, those who could assembled in the Crew mess where Captain Timmers handed out the prizes.

If you talk about un-sung heroes on the ship there are a lot of them. But these gentlemen are truly special. They run the recycling area on the ship and ensure that everything is correctly separated and processed. Not the most glamours of jobs but if we take our environmental focus seriously certainly one of the most important jobs on board. They fall under the Engine department and hence the Chief engineer to the left. The Captain in the middle and the Environmental Officer to the right. The papers hanging from the table and in the background, highlight various focus points of what they try to achieve and adhere to, (Photo courtesy: Ships photographer via Human Resources Manager Alexandra Capel)

It is a pity that we do not have a glass bottom and that the sea is not shallower otherwise we would have been able to see the mid-atlantic ridge

How about this !. Left leg in the American continent, the right leg in the European continent and the abbiss in the middle.

as today we were right on top of it. We are in deep deep water but the ridge which runs – clearly defined- from Iceland all the way down to Tristan da Cunha comes above surface in Iceland. So in the shallows you can swim over it and clearly see it. Then, where the dry part of Iceland is located the ridge becomes a Gorge and you can walk through it.

The ridge is a gap or crack with elevations on either side caused by the North American Plate and the Eurasian plate. It is called a “constructive plate boundary” where the Eurasian plate goes back into the earth and where the North American plate rises from the earth. These tectonic plates move, or better said slide over the molten core of the earth. They do that with the warp speed of 2.5. Centimeters a year which is just under an inch. So the walkers on the ridge in Iceland do not need to be afraid that suddenly a gaping hole appears.

There are areas where the meeting of these plates is less benign and a good example is the St. Andreas fault where one plate is pushed over the other and that does not go smoothly. Pressure builds up and suddenly the plate moves. When it moves there is an Earth Quake and scientists say that the San Francisco area is due for a shake up as the pressure is building. If it shakes under water and we would be above it, then we should not notice it as the pressure generated by the Earth Quake will cause a vertical pressure wave in the water. It will only be noticed when this pressure wave comes up in shallower water and then builds up into a tsunami. And we all know what that can do.

The Mid-Atlantic Ridge all  the way from North to South.

Tomorrow will be another sea day and the weather should not be much different than today. But we are watching Cape Hatteras carefully.


1 Comment

  1. Jeannette Seale

    November 9, 2019 at 1:15 am

    Hello Albert,
    As we have crossed the Atlantic twice already, your daily comments are very welcome and bring back wonderful memories!

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