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A seascape

Today is a sea day, as we head east-north-east from Tenerife to Lisbon. It’s still quite warm – the air temperature is in the low 20s – but there isn’t as much sunshine so it feels quite a bit cooler than it did yesterday. There’s also the knowledge that it’s inevitably going to carry on getting cooler and that it won’t be long before we’re back in a late-autumn UK. However, these sad thoughts aren’t stopping us from taking advantage of our balcony, as both yesterday and today we’ve been able to sit out and enjoy the fresh air.

This morning we went to a very interesting talk entitled “A Virtual Bridge Tour” given by 3rd officer Rebecca Morgan. It took the form of a PowerPoint presentation, with images of the bridge equipment on the slides, and explanations from Rebecca as to what each piece of equipment was for and how it worked. There was a question & answer session at the end in which I learned that the various electronic systems on the bridge have multiple redundant power supplies, and ultimately have a UPS that will keep them going for a while if all else failed. We were also told that although Arcadia does have a sextant, and that Rebecca and all the older officers know how to use it – or at least knew how to use it once upon a time – the latest generation of cadets are no longer being trained in older technologies such as this or morse code. My first reaction was to regret this, but on reflection that’s surely right – today’s ships depend so much on technology that a better use of their training is to install in the cadets and junior officers an absolute and total familiarity with the new technology. I can think of a least one incident on a Princess ship a few years ago which happened (in part) because officers didn’t fully understand some new equipment.

Paper charts are no longer used, either – instead, electronic charts of the relevant ports are rented , for a limited period, from the software companies that produce them and are used with with the electronic equipment. What paper charts they still have are small-scale and are used purely to give an overview of the cruise and are not for navigation. Indeed, small-scale charts generally have the words “Not to be used for navigation” printed on them, as they’re not detailed enough.

Tonight is the third formal night. We’re having a quiet day today in preparation for it.

One Response to “Cruising on Arcadia – turning for home”

  1. […] then we turned for home towards the […]

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