April 17th, VOYAGE 44
Here comes KWAI!

We are on the 4th day, 12.00 hours, of a new trip to Kiritibati and Cook Islands and 721 NM away from our first destination: Christmas Island. Today we report: all well on board. Kwai is loaded with a 540 m3 of general cargo, very neatly stowed and secured by the experienced crew. The biggest novelty we have  to mention is: Kwai is equipped with a new built-in freezer. Thanks to hard work of, among others, Captain Evy. Who celebrates his birthday today in Hawaii.

Happy birthday to you, Cpte. Evy!

The freezer got installed in the lazarette, the aft part under de main deck. This area, accessible from the aft deck only, used to be the place for the ship’s stores. Since our shippers have shown more and more interest in shipping frozen goods, it became worthwhile enough to replace the five (sometimes jumping and dancing) freezers from the foc’s’l with a more sustainable freezing capacity. This new space provides more volume to store cargo and ship’s provisions.

We all had our beginning-of-voyage problems. Everybody was still tired from the hard and multiple work on shore to prepare the cargo, ship and business for departure. However happy to be underway, it takes some days to restore energy and get in the rhythm of ocean life. The Engineer and Mate boarded the ship only a couple of days before departure, so getting prepared was a rush and a hurry. Also, the new freezer barely was given time to show its abilities before departure. It was ready for its job the night before our shippers brought the cargo for it, two days before departure. Technical failures tend not to show themselves in calm harbor conditions…. As it must be: at sea the freezer kept us very busy the first three days and nights. With aid of shore-support by radio communication, a lot of engineering and trials, we managed to solve the problems. Those five cubic meters of frozen chickens, sausages and ice-cream are lucky! They can keep enjoying their cold climate.

During the freezer fuss, water was repeatedly reported in the cargo hold bilge. The captain and mate investigated the possible cause and origin until late at night. The conclusion was that it must have been water from the forward part of the cargo hold bilge, that, by the rolling of the ship, gradually accumulated in the sump. The pumps did their work and finally some rest seeped into daily board life.

Now, with fair winds from the east-north-east we are sailing all the way down by wind alone. Kwai is happy taking the seas wave by wave. Sometimes meeting a small shower and a squall to speed her up, but she is doing very well. So is the crew. On board are: Captain Brad; A super new Supercargo: Wayne; our Engineer Charles; Inna, known as Supercargo V40, now joining as Mate in training; Teruia, Cook; Bosun, Teitera; Teibitoa; Banuera; Toki; Kabiriera; Burangke, and last but not least: one-armed Jack, ex-crewmember and part-owner of the ship.

Monday (Sunday US day) Kwai will be expected to arrive at Christmas Island.

Tiabo Moa, Inna