22nd January 2009

The heart of any longliner is in the hook room. Antarctic Chieftain has 45,000 hooks stowed on 40 magazines. The hooks hang on the mags and the lead-impregnated backbone (the lead helps the line sink faster) is connected to the snooded hooks every 1.4m.

When the line is hauled it comes aboard through the hauling room at the front of the ship and is then pulled all the way to the hook room in the stern by the Combi hauler where the bent hooks are reshaped and the lost ones replaced. The line is then stowed and made ready for setting again. This area of the ship is a hive of activity 24hrs a day, seven days a week, with either hauling or setting the lines. The baiting machine is located on the port side of the hook room and the Combi hauler is on the starboard side.

The Combi is a cunning machine that pulls the main line, with hooks still attached, from the hauling room to the hook room and automatically stows the hooks on the magazines.  On a perfect day all runs well, but down here, with the conditions we work – deep water, foul ground and sea ice – it can take up to six crew on the Combi rail to keep up with the hooks coming aboard. On a bad line with lots of tangles the crew could replace 1000 hooks on an eight-hour shift as well as splicing, stowing and stacking the lines.

The Combi operator controls the machine and untangles the snoods that bind tight on the main line and the Combi doesn’t pick up. He can also see the crew in the hauling room on the closed circuit TV at the other end of the ship. Lots of coordination and skill is required for this job and everyone is required to do it.

Frodo on the Combi with the closed circuit TV showing hauling room on the bulkhead in front.

Frodo on the Combi with the closed circuit TV showing hauling room on the bulkhead in front.

Shand, Aaron, Nole and Ren in the hook room. Shand is working the combi and watching the screen, see the hooks behind him.

Shand, Aaron, Nole and Ren in the hook room. Shand is working the combi and watching the screen, see the hooks behind him.

Nole, Aaron and Shand at the combi.

Nole, Aaron and Shand working the hooks.

Rgds. John B


3 Responses to “22nd January 2009”

  1. Renee Tamihana-Kuka Says:

    Hello all………

    I always find it nice to read up on the situations you hav to encounter on a day by day basis.
    Having a better understanding of what you’s hav to overcome while down in the deep, deep south, paints a better picture in my mind.
    I also find it alot more easier to understand and comprehend what Paerau( a.k.a- Bull) finds hard to explan to me sometimes.
    Im wishing you all the best of luck and hope that you do well while down thea.
    2 bull- very_important_playerz@hotmail.com
    Thats the email address, for you to send your email there.

    best of luck once again, and can’t wait till the next blog.


  2. Gregg & Debs Says:

    Hey Grover,

    We had a problem and couldnt use email from France but we really tried, anyways Debs and I got engaged on top of the Eifell tower in Paris a couple of nights ago so you,re bloody stuck with me now! haha, in Brussels now for a few days and have my cell number active now so you can text me on my normal number, cheers mate, stay safe,

    Hope the fishing is good and everyone stays safe, your room is there when you get home bro,

    Gregg & Debs

  3. teenoie Says:

    Though it lacks complex gameplay or a detailed plot, Icy Tower is a carefree way to kill some time. Your goal is simple, but trickier than it sounds: to advance your character as far up the icy tower as possible without falling or being knocked offscreen. You ll be able to jump higher if you run faster, but you must take care not to slip off the platforms into the abyss. The game takes a rather humorous approach, with cartoon-style graphics that let you play as a hip-hop kid or a disco dude in a leisure suit. Although the demo version appears to disable a few of the game s more advanced features, you can still adjust the volume and reconfigure the controls to suit your taste. Icy Tower won t keep many folks on the edge of their seat, but it s likely to provide a few laughs.

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