11 July 2012

Marine acrobatics

The funny thing about my professional seafaring career is that no two days are ever the same. Like I've said before, in a previous post, a routine day aboard is hardly that. When we are sailing between ports there are always paperwork to be made, either internal or commercial. Safety drills are also, most of the times, performed during the sailing periods, since it's the only time when we can reunite all the crew together without compromising the commercial operations of the vessel.
However, there are some jobs that, by its innate specificity, can only be achieved in port. Alongside. Crane works are one of those. The maintenance of these electrohydraulic systems is one of the most important jobs performed by the Engine and Deck crew members, since all the cargo operations of the vessel (and therefore her sole purpose in life) depends of its readiness.
As much as a car cannot run out of oil, also a marine crane without the proper lubrication and regular maintenance can only lead to a catastrophic failure in the future.
The maintenance schedules for these particular equipments is vast and complex. However one of the simplest of those operations is also the most vital and important: the lubrication of the main cargo wire.
A Merchant Marine Bosun, suspended on the cargo hook of a container ship-based marine crane greases the cargo wire under the watchful eye of a fellow seaman who is operating the equipment from the control cabin, fifteen meters above deck.
Picture taken with Pentax P30-T and Pentax SMC 50mm f:1.7 AF lens.
Fujichrome Velvia ASA 50 scanned on Nikon Coolscan V ED.
Post-processing in Adobe Photoshop CS3.


  1. Wow! The person looks soo tiny and appears like a small doll in front of that huge marine crane:) These cranes are very huge and its hook only will very big in size and weighs a lot. Proper maintenance of these machines is the crucial and the most important task. Persons working on it, should have a good experience.

  2. Indeed Robert. In this case the hook itself weighted nearly four tons. Thanks for reading.Brgs.