Saturday, August 18, 2012

Trouble in the Engine Room

At about 1900 two days ago, one of New Horizon's two generators blew a piston and the engine room got quite hot.  Everyone is unharmed and life on board continues as usual (both generators were only needed when the MOCNESS trawl winch was running and so we can get by with just one).  Unfortunately though we don't have the parts to repair it at sea. Given that we now don't have a backup generator Coast Guard regulations state that we must return to port, so we are now bound for Newport OR.  Such prudence is wise because of the ship's dependence on electricity for such systems as steering and navigation.  The amenities that we often take for granted back on land are only available thanks to the diligence of our engineers, and even then there are problems beyond their control.  C'est la vie. Here are some pictures of the engine room from before we lost the generator.

1 of 2 Caterpillar Engines, 850 horsepower each, still operating just fine, and we're making 9 knots
230 kW Diesel Generator
Port steering, a signal from the bridge to contraption controls the rudder
Evaporator, in a vacuum it produces our freshwater from salt water at 160F
Tom Schuller the chief engineer pointing out the hydraulics that run the winch, A-frame, and J-frame
Ballast pumps keep the ship balanced 
What is next for our expedition?  Well, it is a 4 day steam back to Newport, and repairs may take up to 4 days.  We are waiting to learn if our cruise can be extended once the ship is well again.

(photos: A. Bergan)

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