Wellington September Meeting

There were nineteen at today’s meeting including Captain Dave McEwan RNZN who took away an application for membership form.

After lunch, a presentation on oil tankers and their development since the 1950’s was given by Mike Pryce. Growth both in terms of size, 12,000 tons average in the 1950’s to the 500,000 + ton monsters of the 1990’s and increased sophistication. The latter seeing hand operated wheel valves replaced with complete control systems managed from one location.

Aided by a selection from what must be a very comprehensive library of pictures, Mike gave a very interesting account of explosions, groundings, collisions and other disasters experienced in the world of tankers. Of note was a Russian designed vessel for use in the ice fields in the Arctic whereby it was operated in ice by going astern (ahead?) in ice but ahead with the pointed end (bow) in front in the usual manner, when out of the ice.

We all left the meeting with a greater understanding of the differences that came with the introduction of LNG (Liquid Natural Gas) carriers which was, for me anyway, much longer ago than I thought to be the case. Natural gas is bought to a liquid state by cooling to -160 degrees C. which reduces its volume by 600 times. No tank cleaning necessary and elimination of the inherent dangers that accompany this operation.

Thank you Mike for sharing much of your 23 year sea-going life experience with us. I am totally overawed  by your dedication to recording every ship you sailed on, every ton of cargo you carried, every port you visited and every mile you traveled.

Next month our guest speaker will by Derek Nind, Chief Executive of CentrePort who will bring us up to date with progress in returning Wellington’s port to it’s former self after the devastation of the Kaikoura Earthquake.

I shall be away in the week before this meeting but you will be contacted and reminded of the date so you can respond allowing the Hotel to be advised, for their catering purposes, of the numbers expected to attend.

November Meeting – Please put on your calendar Wednesday 20th as the date we shall be having our Christmas Lunch when wives, partners and any other guests are cordially invited to attend.

Ken Watt


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