Today we got to visit the engine room!
This had been promised for a while, and for the last 2 days its been rumoured it was about to happen.
Yesterday one of the crew handed out earplugs at breakfast, with no explanation, and we all assumed it was because they were drilling on deck, but now it seems it was for the engine room trip. Of course, when the announcement came that passengers should meet at the elevator, they didn’t mention the earplugs… or the helmets that they sent us back to get…. But eventually we were kitted out and we descended to the lowest accessible deck (deck 3 – the two below contain water and fuel and are below the water level).
We entered through a non-descript door, into an incredibly hot (avg 43 degrees) and very noisy room, with metal walkways around the edge and the enormous 8-cylinder engine down below. After gawping at the engine, we were taken to the engine control room where the chief engineer gave us some information about the engine. To be honest between his heavily accented English, translating for the French and making sure neither Lauren no myself accidentally leaned back and pushed a critical button, I didn’t retain much.
One thing that did surprise me is that they fill up with fuel only once on the whole 90-odd day journey – in Hamburg. There was other stuff about revs per minute and gallons per whatsit but I was distracted by the large pile of kit kats and hob nobs… someone went shopping in London i think..…
It was definitely cool to see, though I can’t imagine working in that environment every day – hot, airless, only artificial light. I’d need more than a pile of kit kats!