Abandon ship!

09.27.10 | Comment?

Nah, not really. But you have to be prepared for worst case scenarios. Safety first. To that effect, the Cap Cleveland crew performs a drill every Saturday. This past Saturday, we got to practice the “abandon ship” drill. Sounded pretty awful (or awesome?)… and we knew what we needed to do:
– (not mandatory) wear ear plugs so the alarm doesn’t pierce your ears because it’s so loud. We hear you, alarm! We really do.
– put on sturdy shoes
– grab and wear our life vests and hard hats (both stored in our cabin)
– go down to the Muster Station (on Deck A, starboard (right) side)
– wait for instructions

When we got to the Muster Station, we were greeted with a happy bright orange bunch. Drills are serious, but not “that” serious… let’s gather around and take a group shot – yay drills!

As part of the “abandon ship” practice, we needed to get acquainted with our life boat. I thought to myself: “wait… we’re going in the life boat?! For real? Yikes!” Apparently, that was the plan. We did not lower it to the water, but we did take a tour.

To give you guys a better idea of what it looks like, here’s a shot Justin snapped in a port (shh, we’re not allowed). See that red and white boat or submarine looking thing hanging on the side of the ship? That’s our life boat.

The ship has two of them, one on each side. They also have 5 rafts (2 on each side and 1 at the bow). Getting into the life boat, you had to duck and wiggle yourself in to find what I thought was a simple submarine-like interior.

In the picture below, you can see on the left, the pilot’s seat (right near the entrance) which enables the pilot to look out small windows (with hand cranked windshield wipers!) to navigate. Slightly down and in front of him, there’s the main space with seats and seat-belts all around. In the center, there are yet more seats with boxes underneath carrying survival supplies.

A life boat can carry 26 people, which seems like a lot of bodies to cram in there. Luckily, there are currently only 23 people on the ship, which means one life boat would carry a max of 12 people. Phew! That sounds better.

Each seat had a foam cushion for the back and the head, as well as dual seat-belts to really latch you in. Indeed, if you needed to use that boat and the weather was bad… it could toss you around like a washing machine until it stabilizes. You definitely want those seat-belts.

The cool thing we learned about the life boat, is that it actually has an engine (already filled with fuel) which can take you places, rather than just drift and hope to get saved by someone. Personally, I find that very reassuring. So guess what? We got to turn on the engine and learn how to operate the levers (forward, backward, neutral).

Justin quite enjoyed playing life boat captain!

I got to try too and it worked! It saved my life, but apparently I lost a hand in the process… can someone find it for me please?

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