In the lowest decks of the Shackleton - 2 February 2008
On Saturday morning at 9 am prompt, we were kindly given a guided tour of the engine rooms and main plant on board the Shackleton, by the Chief Engineer Peter Brigden.
In our party was Andy, Vanessa (Third Officer) and myself. The tour was very thorough and it was obvious that Peter took great pride in his work. We saw the control terminals, the electrical switch boards, the workshops and stores, the rudder control mechanism, the fire suppression system, the gearing for the propeller, the vertical azimuth, the other retractable azimuth, remote safety switches (for use in emergency situations) the engine room, the generators, the generator controls, the auxiliary generators, the heat recovery systems and colorifiers, the fuel tanks, and the sewage treatment plant. We even came across the leg cladding that was required on site. Peter obviously shared a strong connectivity with his machinery as he often would stroke or pat various parts. This must be as a result of knowing the functions and functioning of every plant and service component on the ship inside out (and possibly from spending too many hours down there). The descriptions he gave were incredibly detailed and complicated.
Although I believe I understood it all, I unfortunately forgot most of it very quickly. I have always believed in the idea that there are two types of knowledge – knowledge known to you, and knowing where to find the knowledge. I am confident that any questions asked of me about the plant and services on board the Shackleton can be quickly and successfully answered by referring them to Peter Brigden.