16th January 2009

As well as retaining all our domestic rubbish aboard for disposal ashore, and burning whatever we can in the incinerator, we must also keep aboard all offal from the factory after the fish are processed. Even the little bits that fall on the factory deck, and any bait that comes back on the hooks, or is left over after the lines are set, must be kept aboard and only discarded once we are on the way home, outside CCAMLR waters and, preferably, before we re-enter New Zealand waters.

To do this we pass the offal through an industrial mincer, a machine which grinds the offal into a paste – like porridge. It’s then pumped into one of four huge refrigerated holds aboard the ship. These holds have been specially modified to store the offal and even though the chief tries to maintain the offal temperature at between -2 and +2 degrees centigrade it still gets pretty smelly after three months.

As this is only the Antarctic Chieftain’s second voyage after her total refit in Nelson between June and August 2008, it was necessary to carry two chief engineers. Beginning next voyage, Pete and Karl will rotate between trips.

Karl is a bit camera-shy, but I managed to get a shot while he was test-running the emergency fire pump the other day.

Karl is a bit camera-shy, but I managed to get a shot while he was test-running the emergency fire pump the other day.

Rgds: John B.

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