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13 July, 2003

A Brief Tour

Aboard the Sir Wilfrid Laurier

With several hours before the next station I had a little spare time to explore the ship and talk to a few of the crew about what its like to work aboard a ship and what they do to fight off boredom.

Being aboard ship is like being on a floating city. Almost every imaginable or conceivable situation or minor problem has to be planned for. Materials for repairs, supplies, fuel, water and enough food to last the entire crew beyond the intended voyage schedule must be planned for and carried aboard. And though the Laurier carries enough potable water the ship is capable of creating its own water, using the heat from the engines. The Laurier also treats its own sewage.

In addition to its three Alco, 16 cylinder diesel engines, tucked below the main deck there is a well-equipped machine shop and welding shop. Also housed below deck is the large cargo storage area.

The deck above houses a large food freezer and dry goods storage area, crew mess, kitchen, crew cabins, crew lounge, gymnasium, ships store and laundry. Another deck above finds the officer’s mess, copier room, and infirmary, more cabins and ship offices. Still another deck up is the science labs, officer’s lounge, crane operator room, flight deck and helicopter hanger. The lifeboats and fire stations are also located on his deck.

This crew is scheduled for a 28-day work assignment before another crew replaces them. One might think that 28 days aboard a working vessel could get very monotonous and boring, not so aboard the Laurier. The hard working, professional crew aboard the ship has a variety of options for activities after their work shift is over. Daily bingo is a ship favorite with awesome prizes for the winners. Ping-pong tournaments, dart tourneys, card tourneys and a well-stocked DVD library are available. Weights and exercise equipment can be used in the small gym. Boredom is not in this ships vocabulary.

Join me on a brief pictorial tour of the ship.

1.My cabin. (Bunkbeds not shown in photo)

2. View from the crane room.

3. Crew mess hall. Home of five star dining!

4. One of the three engines that power the Laurier.

5. Narrow hallways on the Laurier. Note the extremely handy handrails useful during rough weather.

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