Page 8 - Wonder Book Of Ships - Life Of An Officer On A Liner
P. 8
TIIE SHIP'S OFFICERS whatever repairs may bo necessary at sea. They have their regular " watches " on and ofi duty, night and day, for a ship's engines must' bo attended to and watched all the time. When this is done tho engines hardly ever go w-rong, but if there be the least relaxation of care, something is sure to happen, sooner or later. You might think the engineer is standing about half the time, doing nothing. Really, ho is listening to the hum and rhythm of the engines, and you would hardly believo how fond of the engines some of the men &re. The 'engineers are such careful listenert that thoy can detect the smallest variation in sound a.s they movo from one place to another, oiling e joint or connection hore, or tightening a nut there. The engineer understands, better than most people, what big results c&rr spring from little causes, and the safety of the ship, her passengers, crew and cargo, depends in no slight degroe upon his alertness, ca,re and skill. In the engineering department'are the coal trimmers and stoker-s, or firemen, who labour stripped to the waist in the stokehold by night and day in the great heat. It is not uncommon for a man to faint, and then a bucket, of cold water is thrown over him, or he is brought up to the fresh air, and soon recovers, and before long is at work again. Tho large steamers carry a greab number of trimmers and firemeg, and they need them when furnaces burning several hundreds oftons of coal a day have to be fed without intermission from the beginning of the voya,ge until it is over. Ships employed in the trade to the X'ar East find that lascars and coolies mako excellent fi.remen, and you may bften soe groups of themontheseships'at any of onr seaports orinthestreete in tle neighbourhood of the docks On steamers which make long soa voyagos, such as to Australia and tho X'ar East, the proportion of provisions carried per head has to bo much greater than on t}lLe Mauretania, which takes lebs than six days to get to New York. Very little fresh water is taken on board, as all that is wanted can be supplied by the condensers from sea water. At the end of each voyage the captain makes a formal report upon the cond.uct of himself and everybody else employed on the ship. Every one of the crew is given a discharge note, on which the captain'a report is endorsed, and according to this does he stand a chance of re- employment. Some captains are disposed to make the reports as favourable as they can, and even if a man has not been a brilliant suc- cess, his report may still bear the words " good " or " very goodr" though his interview with the captain may have been the reverse oI
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