a container ship of about 23,000 d.w.t., capable of carrying 1600 containers, will burn about 40 tons of fuel a day?

the fuel burned by freighters is called bunker 380; it has the consistency of asphalt (tar) and must be kept heated at all times least it turn into a solid lump in the fuel tank; that it must be pre-heated to a high temperature prior to its injection into the ships engine?

the diesel engines of freighters are low speed, two cycle, turning around 90-120 RPM at cruising speed?a container ship traveling at 20 knots will cover 420 nautical miles (484 miles, or 778 km) in a 24 hour period?

many writers seek the solitude of container ship to write? Alex Haley,author of "Roots", wrote much of this book at sea 

most container ships do not have elevators?

container ships are now being built and are in service that carry over 6,500 containers?

a container ship capable of carrying 4,500 containers is common these days? A ship with this capacity is longer and wider than the Titanic?

the maximum beam (width) of a ship passing through the Panama Canal is 32.2 meters? Such vessels are referred to as "panmax".

the water you drink and bath with is made on board the vessel?

the possibility of fire is about the worst thing that can happen to a vessel of any type? Read about the recent history of fires on cruise ships. Ever hear about the death or injury of a passenger on a freighter?

no passengers are allowed to travel on oil tankers?

there are no physicians on freighters unless they carry more than 12 passengers?

all items bought aboard ship (while on the high sea) are tax free?This makes a big difference in the cost of beer, liquor and cigarettes!

as you sail from the Northern Hemisphere to the Southern that the position of the sun will change relative to your position? This means that in theNorthern Hemisphere the sun is always in the southern sky and in the Southern Hemisphere it will be in the Northern sky.while sailing east or west your ship will adjust it's time every couple of days forward or back? Of course you did, however, there is no such thing as jet lag on a ship. The only reason that ship board time is important to a passenger is you could be early or late for breakfast, though in reality the ships I have been on had a 1 1/2 hour window for meals. Or, you could miss your chance to get to the "slop chest". The last ship I was on only had the slop chest opened for about 15 minutes, twice a week; thus, if I had the incorrect time, or forgot the time, I would have to borrow a few packs of cigarettes from the cook to hold me over. No doubt that captain would have made an exception for passengers, but I wasn't about to ask. Most people find it easier sailing east than west; for some reason, gaining an hour is easier than loosing and hour. From the passenger's standpoint it matters little, but from that of the crew, loosing an hours sleep sailing east bound is an annoyance.

at the equator, one degree of longitude is equal to 66.6 miles, or 111 Km? Since the earth is divided into 360 meridians its diameter is about 66.66 x 360, or roughly 24,000 miles.

time on a ship is based on a 24 hour clock? Thus 6 AM is 0600 and 11:30 PM is 23:30. Accordingly, breakfast would be at 0700, lunch 1200 and dinner at 1700.

deck officers are on the bridge in four hour hours shifts? Usually the third mate stands from 0800 to 1200, the second mate from 1200 to 1400 and the first mate or chief officer, from 1400 to 1800, at which time the third mate again comes on the bridge. The captain is on the bridge as his duties require. He is always on the bridge during the time a pilot is aboard and most of the time the ship is in a high traffic area, such as the English Channel, or when visibility is less than three miles.

the chief mate or first officer may be a qualified "master", but has signed on as chief, as no master slots were available at the time of the voyage? He is the person responsible for seeing that cargo is properly loaded according to a computer generated loading plan, in addition to his bridge duties.

on German ships, though the language of the ship is English, if the senior officers were sailing on a former East German vessel (prior to 1989) their English is generally poorer than West German officers? This is due to the fact that during the period of their training they learned Russian rather than English.

the officers and crew sign on for a period of about nine months? This of course varies a bit, depending on the company and the vessels route. On the LA to Hamburg route the officers would make two round trip voyages, about 24 weeks, at which time totally new officers would take over the ship. The crew would change in thirds, usually at Singapore or Hong Kong. This provided for a degree of continuity; the new crew members would learn the ships' routine from the "old" crew.

the most important person on the ship is the cook, at least from the passengers perspective? The captain commands the ship, bit the cook commands your attention at meal time. For my tastes, Filipino cooks under cook vegetables and over cook meat. If I like a steak cooked medium, I tell steward or cook, I want it rare. An exception is bacon, which always seems to be under cooked. Remember, if you think you will need a snack around 2300 hrs., ask the steward to save you a dish of ice cream or cake, or what ever, from lunch or diner. Other wise you take pot luck from what ever is in the refrigerator. Of course, your between meal snacks are made by you; you don't ring for the steward and request a sandwich be brought to your cabin on a container ship. The only room service you will get is when your sheets and towels are changed weekly (trash can daily). You probably will have a small refrigerator in your cabin, so if you think you will be hungry between meals, take what ever you want at meals and save it there. This will save a trip to the galley, which may be four or five decks below your cabin.

depending upon where the vessel takes on supplies, the cost of a case of Cokes may be more than a case of beer. BTW: soft drinks and beer are bought by the case, tax free of course. Don't expect them to be delivered to your cabin. You buy 'em and you carry them to your cabin, usually up several decks. Though on one ship, the third mate would bring what ever you wanted to your cabin. I think he was too young to know any better; third mates don't get tips. Should this task be a problem, any crew member will be glad to assist you with your burden. I said crew member, not officer. No doubt any officer would assist you, but to ask one is, in my opinion, bad ship board etiquette.

the cost of transiting the Suez Canal is expensive? The captain of the Cho Yang Atlas told me the cost for her transit was $200,000. Cost is based on the size of the vessel. I assume this included the cost of the pilot. The cost of transit is paid by the ships' manager prior to passage. You just don't sail to the canal approach and give the canal authorities your Visa or Master Card. Transit took about ten hours. Ships travel in a convoy, with the fastest ships first in line, the slowest last. It's one-way for ten hours and then traffic reverses. Ships are required to have a "Suez Crew", which, for all practical purposes, does nothing but set up a souvenir stand. They even have their own quarters. Here is some more information about the canal.

it is critical how a container ship is loaded? Generally cargo is stowed in 20' or 40' foot containers. Each container has a different gross weight. At any given time there may be many empty containers aboard. Cargo such as gas, is carried in tanks on flat, open pallets. If you look closely on the page comparing large and small freighters, you will see a tank of propane stowed two thirds of the way forward in the center of the ship. Notice the empty areas on each side. Hazardous material must be stowed in specific places aboard ship. The ship can adjust for weight differentials to a certain extent by shifting ballast. The first two or three rows of containers on deck are secured to the deck to prevent any movement by means of crossing lashing rods. Below deck containers fit into slots in the hatches. Large ships stow containers eight deep below deck and five on the main deck, fore and aft of the super structure. There is a max. loading weight on each point on the hatch covers. Improperly stowed cargo will make a ship unseaworthy and unstable, especially in rough seas.

a "scupper" is a small hole in the deck and walk ways that allows rain and sea water to drain off?

a nautical mile is 1,852 meters, or 6,076 feet? It is one minute of arc of a great circle.

a knot is one nautical mile, or 1.15 statute miles? So, if a ship has a cruising speed of 18 knots, she is traveling at 20.7 miles per hour. She will therefore cover about 496 statute miles per day. Of course the distance covered will be less if the weather gets rough or she is sailing against prevailing winds or tides.

there is a right and wrong way to abandon ship? Let's suppose you can't get to the life boat and you just have to get off the ship in a hurry. Let's also assume that you were smart enough to grab your life jacket and have insured that it was tightly fastened. Look first to make sure there is nothing between you and the water. Jump clear, feet first. Put both hands, one on each side of the top of the life jacket and pull down. If you don't, impact will jerk your head/neck back when you hit the water and could cause injury. After going down a few feet you will bounce back up like a cork. If the water is cold, don't try to swim unless it is necessary; keep hands and feet still, especially in cold water, to reduce the rate of the body's heat loss. Cold water is a real problem. At 15 degrees C., the average temperature of the Atlantic in summer, the body looses heat 25 times faster than in air of the same temperature. I'll spare you the details of what happens to the body during exposure to cold water, it isn't nice. If you bailed out in warm water (a relative term) your chance of survival improves considerably.

a ship can be arrested? If a vessel has incurred a liability, such as unpaid crew wages, damage to a maritime structure, or a personal injury or death, or for any number of other reasons, legal action is brought against the vessel. This is called an action In Rem. Under U.S. maritime law a U. S. Marshall arrests the vessel. That is, it is detained in port until the incurred liability is settled, or until the vessel's owners post a bond sufficient to satisfy the alleged liability. The other type of legal action involving a vessel that has incurred an alleged liability, is to bring suit against the owners of a vessel. This type of action is In Personam. This type of action is often used in personal injury or property actions, after the vessel has left port.

containers come in various shapes and sizes? For those of you who may want more information about containers take a peek here.

there are over 350 freighters currently carrying passengers. This is more than the number of operational cruise ships.

having read the above you just learned a bit more about the sea and containerships?