Starr’s Sixth Crew Member

Starr’s Sixth Crew Member

This is Noodle’s daily blog on 4 June.

1200 position 44N 162W, 594 miles south of Kodiak, Alaska

This morning at 430AM I was jarred awake from a deep sleep by the sound of a smoke alarm. It was coming from Clay’s stateroom, which is next to mine. Clay was on watch at the time, and we all converged on his quarters at the same time where we smelled something electrical burning. It turned out to be the heating system fan for that room, which had burned out. It took a while to get the alarm turned off, the problem identified, and the fan replaced, but the heating system, which Don had turned on early this morning, was back up and running by noon. Good thing, because it is getting cold out here. The outside air temperature got down to 46 degrees last night.

Fire aboard ship is one of our biggest concerns. You can’t just run outside to escape like you can in a house. We are glad it wasn’t worse and grateful to have a robust fire alarm and suppression system aboard Starr.

It looks like we may be crossing a major shipping lane. This morning on my watch the Charlotte Maersk, a 1,138 foot container ship, crossed our bow seven miles away. It looked like an island out there with containers stacked higher than the bridge. She was doing 21 knots and headed for the US. That was a big ship, longer than the U.S. Navy’s largest aircraft carriers. I tried calling them on the VHF radio and got a response, but they weren’t interested in chatting.

Sometime last night our stabilizer system stopped chattering. It is now running as smooth as silk. We didn’t change anything to make this happen, and have no idea why it is suddenly working perfectly. Perhaps the gremlin that was living in he stabilizer has relocated to Clay’s cabin fan after a quick stop in the sink drain? I wonder where he’ll turn up next?

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