The electrician, Dmytro, astounded me with his fact. The sleeve or cylinder liner for the engine cylinder weighs 2 tons. I thought, “Two tons… how can that be?” “I show you tomorrow,” he said. The next day when we arrived for our chaplain visit at break time on his ship, there was the old cylinder liner on the deck and it certainly had enough metal to weigh a lot. Cargo ships are big and the size is more astounding the closer you get.
Dmytro was also kind enough to show me around with a smile. That day I got a tour of the engine room, the electro- hydraulic steering control room, the 3 generators as well as the incinerator and laundry room. I was lost after the first stairway.
What a privilege to be shown around a crew’s workplace. As a non-seafarer it gives me a greater respect for these crews. A ship goes to sea. They are big and complicated. You can’t just stop them and call AAA if something stops functioning properly. These guys have to know how to repair and maintain an amazing vessel. Because of size you must also deal with serious weight and bulk as well. Because of my tour I must salute the knowledge, training and teamwork of a cargo crew.
Fortunately, the crew of this ship was able to come aboard Anchor House several evenings while in port for repairs. We became more acquainted and I was so happy they were able to get off the ship and relax. A few days later Dmytro told me I needed to come onboard the next day and see our friend Nino. Nino was down with a leg problem and had been to the Emergency Room. I was able to do so. I prayed for Nino’s leg and for his rest and recovery. These guys have been onboard and not relieved for too long. I also pray they will be relieved and sent home for their well-deserved breaks from hard and hot work.
I know Nino reads his Bible and has faith in the Lord. I remember asking him what he needed during a previous Anchor House visit and I was able to give him a new larger print NIV Bible. His eyes are like mine, we both cannot read the little print any more without the help of our glasses. Chaplain Trish and I are so happy when these seafarers can get off their ships. It means longer hours for us, but the benefits of sharing more than a few minutes break time are worth it. We can know and minister to them and share our faith in Christ from relationship and not just a ‘hit and run’ type of encounter.