04 April 2008

The Long, Slow Transit

The Pacific is a Big Ocean. Crossing it takes quite a while, even when you don't have things to do on the way and and have to be economical with the taxpayers' resources. As we enter our twelfth day at sea, the ship is settling into a routine nicely. We've distilled our daily and weekly schedule of meetings down to a minimum, and still find time for the unplanned requirements that seem to pop up every few days.

One such unplanned requirement was the discovery of a stowaway on Tuesday. Deep in the dark recesses of one of the cleaning gear lockers off the messdecks, Doc discovered a cockroach. Just one, this time, but they are rarely solitary creatures. This was a Big Deal. On my first ship, cockroaches were left to their own devices and soon got into the insulation on the pipes around the mess, and the ship had to shut down its main galley and mess for a week to tear out the insulation, clean and fumigate. That's bad.

No, that's bad.

So the food service division had to labor late into the night emptying out all their cabinets and lockers on the messdecks and tearing down all the mess gear for cleaning. They even had to clean out the dreaded pulper and plastic waste processor room. They did a fine job of it, though, and none of the little bugger's pals have been spotted about the decks.


Anonymous said...

Nothing worse than pests aboard a ship. And I feel REALLY sorry for the guys in PWP..I had to insert the deck in one of those once.


cat said...

What a mess! Oh, and did you know cockroaches can live up to a year, produce around 300-400 offspring in a year, can go for about a month without food, a couple weeks without a head, 45 minutes without air, and can live on really meager rations, like the glue off a postage stamp? Just thought I might share some useless knowledge that everybody just loves hearing. I hope that the bugger you got was the only one. >:\

Jim S. said...

Back when I was on the USS Stonewall Jackson we would occasionally load a batch of fruit flies on with the bananas. If we noticed them, once we were underway we would warn the crew, use fan 1 to push up the atmospheric pressure and then use the diesel to pull it way down real quickly. Theory was the little fellers exoskeleton's couldn't take the change and it would kill them. I don't know for sure if it worked but it sure made my ears hurt.