Meet my fellow passengers:  Karin, Gabi, Edith and Daniel.  We are required to go through an abandon ship routine and survival suit orientation.

The safety raft is the orange boat at a 45 degree angle above–everyone climbs on board and it is literally jettisoned from the ship at a distance of about 40′ or 50′ like a submarine which then bobs and uprights itself.

A selfie strapped in.  We sit backwards to absorb the impact–fortunately they don’t actually launch it however, they do start the engines.

This is the loading ramp–a real climb aboard is required.  There is also a secret hiding compartment for the entire crew should pirates take over the ship.  Like a bank vault.  Yikes…..this sailing stuff is serious!

This is the engine–a Wartsilla 8RTflex68D–tier II.  And this is only the top level which extends four floors downward.  The stroke on each piston is almost 9′ turning at 92rpm with a capacity of 95rpm which swings an almost 25′ propeller!  Here’s the fact sheet for more info:

This the second level–essentially the piston & cylinders.

This is the third level–that of the crankshaft and rods; the fourth level is the oil pan which lies below our feet.  These engines are built (and rebuilt) in place.

I presume these are air equalizing breathers.  While the volume is essentially conserved within these chambers, there is still a bit of air pressure moving about.

This engine is one of four generators to provide power to the ship and keep all the containers at the correct temperatures.  This dwarfs my main engine on Katahdin.

The main cargo hold is nearly empty–perhaps because of the Brexit issues or our our robust economy in the US.  The last two ports-of-call were New York City and Halifax, NS where I got on.  There are several cargo levels like this which can collapse and accept containers.

So…..the containers.  This ship can haul 3800 and each container can max out at 80,000 lbs which equals 152000 tons  of cargo.  The Atlantic Sun was built in 2014 (keel) delivered in 2017–all fabricated in China and sports this innovative loading design which needs no locking of ‘cans’ together–they simply slide down into these slots–like a Pez dispenser and each load or unload is under a minute.  When the ship is in port, it’s a quick turnaround–no wasting time.  Next…..a bridge tour and landing in Liverpool negotiating a clever lock-system….  Stay tuned!

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