Decision

It was a totally difficult decision to make. But finally i came to it thinking about it  unemotionally. So  here we are drifting West of Gibraltar. Tomorrow i need to make another decision whether it’s too soon to resume sailing towards the destination.
The evening before last I was trying to convince the  Chief Engineer to drop speed so that we might reach drifting point late and continue moving heading in the right direction relative to the swell for i was afraid we would roll badly one we stopped and were lying with sea to beam but he said he was at the minimum he could. We were doing 9 kts when i wanted about 3 at max. I tried to convince him again after dinner explaining the gravity of the situation once we stop and have no control over violent rolling. He was stubborn as a bull. His argument was that we will have to run two blowers continuously and  one of them is not good and might stopand then we’ll be in real trouble. I had meanwhile been told by chief officer that 2nd engineer had tried to convince chief engineer that since we already ran the engine with two blowers on continuously for 7 days when engine had broken down before Mauritius, he still had not budged putting the blame on 2nd engineer instead saying that “you had told me that it will be trouble if we stop”. When i told the old man the same thing without quoting the 2nd he said he can not run like that at all. I then told him to keep the engine room manned so that they can at least keep reducing continuously as much as possible. He then let his real thing slip out that he can’t ask 2nd engineer to work since he has been working whole day. I said why will 2/E work whole night, he will do only his watch which has only 1 hour remaining. You have other engineers to keep watch too. He said it is useless, he would ask 2/E to check around 9 and that will be it. Now my fuse really blew. I said that he was  the most uncooperative person i had ever sailed with. He can keep sitting in his cabin without any responsibility. I then stormed out of his cabin after shouting all this at the top of my voice. I then went to the bridge to discuss further plan  of  action with the chief officer. In the mean time the old man came up as is usual for him after receiving shouting from me. He said he’ll try to reduce as much as possible and keep monitoring. I suddenly had an idea. I said in that case keep the engine room manned even if you are not reducing. That is the worst thing for him. He doesn’t like to work after 3. And after 5 it is too much for him. He only agreed to let the motormen keep watch and report to him if it was possible to reduce anymore. I did gnashed my teeth but ended the discussion there. Later I went to the Engine Control Room and explained the whole problem to 2/E with weather maps and all. I told him to instruct the motormen to keep a close tab. 2nd confessed that he had tried to convince Chief to slow down but he wouldn’t agree. “Anyways,” I told him “do your best.”
Next morning at 7.20 I called him and 2/E to the bridge and told them we would stop after breakfast at 8. We had done 9kts through the night and were much further than I desired. I also told him to give me all the details in writing about the trouble with the blowers as I was going to report to head office that the condition was absolutely unsafe. The chief flinched a bit and asked 2/E for reassurance “we have trouble with the blowers right?” 2nd only nodded his head in affirmative.
This morning at breakfast when Chief enquired if there was any news from Super (he hadn’t sent any message for past week). I said “No, but I’m going to call him today.”
He paused uneasily for some time, “For some particular business?”
“Yes” was all i offered him.
I was secretly enjoying that this guy was afraid that I’m going to report about his whole non cooperation thing to office but i didn’t offer any more explanation and left it at that .

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