Yet again, I’m preparing to drive that arduous forty minutes to our airport to pick up an arriving tugboat man.
This is the life of a tugboat captain’s wife. They’re always going or coming.
Here’s a snippet of our conversation last night:
Me: “I had to put gas in the car.” (Imagine that I said it in a reproachful manner, kinda whiny, cos it’s a chore I HATE and tugboat man usually does it for me.)
Him: “Well, I hope you at least filled it, ‘cos I’m sure the only reason why you fueled up is because you were on empty.” (In a slightly know-it-all voice.)
Me: ” You are so funny. NOT. I did NOT fill it up. I only put in about twenty dollars, ‘cos I got bored standing there and plus it’s not my job. It’s stinky and dirty. And yes, Mr. Smarty Pants, it was on empty and I would’ve run out on the way to the airport to pick you up so you can see it’s all your fault.”
Him: “I just don’t get you. If you’re there with the pump in the tank, would it kill you to stand there for an extra couple of minutes? It’s only logical, right? Makes sense, right?”
Me: “Logical? Me? Who do you think you’re talking to?”
Although he was gone the entire week, continually bemoaning the fact that he missed the giant surf, this time he wasn’t out to sea.
Did you know that professional mariners need to attend lots of continuing education classes?
That involves everything from keeping up with USCG (United States Coast Guard) licensing requirements, enhanced security procedures, managing a crew, practicing medical lifesaving techniques (because captains are the medical officers onboard tugboats), fire safety and prevention, and radar.
There’s lots more but I can’t remember it all right now.
This time he was learning and being certified in something called Dynamic Positioning.
US Navy 110603-N-EC642-170 The New Breed offshore supply vessel HOS Shooting Star uses dynamic positioning to maintain its position while performin (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
He often trains with simulators; probably this time, too. I forgot to ask, ‘cos our conversations mainly consisted of his whining and moaning about missing out on surfing epic waves.
Here’s a bunch of random words strung together in sentences that makes absolutely NO SENSE to me whatsoever, but is a detailed explanation that I hope y’all comprehend. (‘Cos I surely do not.)
Dynamic positioning (DP) is a computer-controlled system to automatically maintain a vessel’s position and heading by using its own propellers and thrusters.
Position reference sensors, combined with wind sensors, motion sensors and gyro compasses, provide information to the computer pertaining to the vessel’s position and the magnitude and direction of environmental forces affecting its position.
The computer program contains a mathematical model of the vessel that includes information pertaining to the wind and current drag of the vessel and the location of the thrusters.
This knowledge, combined with the sensor information, allows the computer to calculate the required steering angle and thruster output for each thruster.
This allows operations at sea where mooring or anchoring is not feasible due to deep water, congestion on the sea bottom (pipelines, templates) or other problems.
Dynamic positioning may either be absolute in that the position is locked to a fixed point over the bottom, or relative to a moving object like another ship or an underwater vehicle.
One may also position the ship at a favorable angle towards wind, waves and current, called weathervaning. [Source: Wikipedia]
Confused? So am I…
This is a simpler explanation that even I can understand:
Sometimes when a tug is working on a project rather than simply being underway from point A to point B, it needs to stay in one specific location and not float around. DP is an advanced method to hold a tug stationary.
That was your lesson for today. There will be a quiz at the end of the day. 🙂
Have a lovely Friday!