Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Extreme Dentistry

Whilst the ship was being pulled apart our Dental team (led by our good friend Dag Tvedt) was out pulling teeth! They visited a number of different clinics to work alongside local dental teams, as well as sending training teams to schools etc to teach oral hygiene.

One of the teams 'specialties' has been termed 'extreme dentistry' in which the team takes a few chairs and basic equipment with them to places where dentists normally don't go (prisons, refugee camps etc).

In Durban the extreme dentistry was aimed at helping some of the cities homeless at a care centre, providing them with free dental care that they may struggle to normally get.

So even without a ship Mercy Ships conmtinues to help the poorest of the poor.

In with the New

Once the old genny's were out the new ones were installed. We've replaced four small Frichs and two large B&W generators with four newer machines that run on heavy fuel oil (HFO), which is a LOT cheaper than the light diesel fuel we used to use (and is still used for the main engines).

So not only do we have four new machines with all the pipework and wiring to sort out, but a whole new fuel system with associated tanks, valves, pipes etc to install as well. The pipework has been one of the hardest and most time consuming aspects of the project so far - and the bottom picture gives you a good idea why it is so hard to sort out. Every pipe has to be shaped to fit around the other systems already in place. For those of you who've worked in engine rooms on ships (or submarines) the challenges will be very familiar!! I have many vivid memories of crawling around pipework on boats and ships trying to get pipes in and out during maintenance periods whilst in the Royal Navy.

Makes me glad to be a desk jockey!

Ship shape - or not

It's been a long time since I blogged, and a lot has been happening. It's always hard to know where to start when there's a lot to tell, so I thought I'd start near the beginning and show a few pictures of what is happening onboard the AFM whilst we're here in Durban.

Our reason for being here is to get the generators onboard changed to new, quieter more fuel efficient ones. How do you get such a large machine out of a ship? Take it out of the water, cut a big hole in the side and drag it out!

Below are pictures of one of teh big Harbour Generators and one of the smaller Frichs generators being removed back in September / October.