4 March, 2000
Finally we are off today. After two hours of sea trials with the Chilean Port Authority aboard to be sure the engines ran properly, we departed at 1100. With a 20 knot wind off our stern and following seas we are having a comfortable ride through the Straits of Magellan at 12-13 knots. The sun is still shining and the days will begin to get longer as we head south. The seasons are opposite in the
southern hemisphere so fall is just beginning here. The students in Punto Arenos will begin school on March 6th. The Straits are beautiful with islands of Chile and Argentina passing to either side. We have been treated to dolphins swimming off our bow and penguins floating by on patches of kelp. The penguins usually dive under
water as we approach.
Captain Warren is in charge of the vessel. He, along with two other crew members with Masters licences and three with Mate licences take care of the helm watch (steering the boat). The watches are 4 hours long and covered all 24 hours of the day. It is also the job of the helmsman to navigate and stand bow watch to be sure that our vessel does not collide with any other vessels or objects in the water.
Radar helps with this. Captain Warren explained to us that it takes approximately 6 years to get a 160 TON licence which is the minimum required to captain a vessel this size.
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