Friday, November 14, 2008

You can't buy training like this

Hey, I'll cut them some slack as these things happen and this is a ship of great Sailors figuring it out as they go along .... but I hope everyone including Phil are taking good notes - especially about the fuel thingy ...
"Nothing on a ship's maiden voyage goes exactly as planned. After our fish-terrorizing run up Lake Michigan yesterday, and our transit through the Straits of Mackinaw, the Freedom came to a stop and launched a small boat to pick up a part it missed in Milwaukee," Ewing wrote Tuesday. "After a sleepless night of strange ship noises and the clanking of out-of-sight machinery, I woke up to learn the part we'd brought aboard -- something to do with our Inmarsat satellite antenna -- didn't work. What's more, the ship had used up much more of its fuel than expected during our full-CODAG run. What's more than that, a valve on the port diesel engine was cracked; the Freedom could still run both its diesels, but the engineers recommended babying the port engine until we could get a replacement valve.

... But the hiccups were just getting started. After another stroll through the multi-mission area with the XO, Cmdr. Kris Doyle, a voice came over the 1MC announcing that three of the ship's generators were offline. A lube oil leak meant the ship could only run one of its four diesel motors that deliver the 'hotel load' powering our lights, the sensors, the networks, everything. The Freedom secured electricity in all 'non-essential spaces,' meaning we're using flashlights in our cabins and there were no soft drinks for lunch today in the mess.
Gee, glad no one was shooting at 'ya Shipmate.
UPDATE:In comments, Sid points the way to a report in FerryCabinNews from August about LCS making friends and influencing people, with an observation that should help us understand the fuel thingy.
Several Washington Island Ferry crew witnessed the wake of USS FREEDOM through the Door during sea trials, and the consensus was that a large swell followed close astern, nearly even with the afterdeck, fanning outward with substantial wake as the ship sped on. Not unusual for a high speed monohull with tremendous horsepower, and a sign of inefficiency as well. The ship is called an LCS, for littoral (shallow water, close to shore) combat support. Could be the ultimate, subtle weapon, actually, against sailors of pesky dhows, sampans or fishing smacks daring to coast the shoreline in the presence of the United States Navy's newest class vessel.

Hat tip Mike.

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