Attitude up from down below, yacht engineer keeps humor

Mar 31, 2020 by To the Triton

Editor’s note: Life is different for many yacht crew since the COVID-19 pandemic began to affect the industry in March. Engr. Pearson Adams now works to maintain the yacht with fewer crew members, yacht parts shortages, and service challenges. With nearly 14 years in the industry, he has weathered changes. During the 2008 economic recession, “it was a triumph for crew able to stay in the industry.” Now COVID-19 is another topic for the dock talk, he said. With so many parts on backorder, some projects are delayed and the burden on crew and contractors is different than in 2008.

But Adams aims to keep a smile. Here are several reports from his engine room onboard the yacht at Lauderdale Marine Center in Fort Lauderdale.

By Engr. Pearson Adams

March 20 at 10:03 a.m. Engineer’s log  

Day 24 of isolation.

Food, water, and toilet paper inventory are still in good shape.

Little to no crew on board. Still hearing noises. Could be a ghost.

Engr. Pearson Adams during a yacht hop in the Bahamas in 2008. Photo provided.

I met a girl on board today who said she was the stew. She seems nice. Hope to see her again.

Made a new friend. He hangs out in the control room on my workbench. Told me he was in a movie once. Weird hair but his name is Wilson. Doesn’t do much, just sits there. Seems a little new to yachting. Also told me we met in 2008 on a yacht and took a picture together.

March 24: Engineer’s log

Day five of isolation on board.

  • No contractors showing up to interrupt workflow. 
  • Cleaned the bilges twice this week. Probably didn’t need to the first time but they shine now.
  • Service intervals being completed on schedule. 
  • Most of the crew have taken vacation time. No complaints from any stew. I haven’t seen her. I think she is on board, I hear noises.
  • Created a whole database for all engineering spares with pictures. Put it in the cloud. 
  • I haven’t really had to fill freshwater tanks. Topping off fresh water once a week.
  • Black and grey pumps aren’t really running that often. I think they still work.
  • No leaks in the bilge.
  • I have read all the manuals, again. 
  • No one here to steal my tools.
  • No chef to yell at me for using the galley fridge
  • I can’t even tell a deckhand to “Go get a bucket of steam!”

The most exciting thing this week is power going out at 4 a.m. I got to start the generator.

Probably going to order some paint for touch-ups in the engine room. Following all safety protocols with a paint suit and respirator, my appearance will portray anti-coronavirus protection or an episode of Breaking Bad. Looking forward to the odd looks.

March 28: Engineer’s log

Saturday night quarantine rager.

Started trying to find the party last night. Bar hopped to the galley. No checkpoints on port or starboard side.

Munchies set in. Bar hopped back to the galley for food.

Crew mess party was pretty dead last night. No bouncers toward the engine room, got in just fine. A little boring down there with no views. Went to the fly bridge. Good music up there, but no one was there either.

Tried swiping on Tinder for the ladies. Seems everyone is in quarantine. Guess the pickup line “coronavirus and chill” is a turn-off. With no luck on finding a decent party, I called it a night.

Thoughts from Engineer’s log

  • With all the new personal protection equipment being worn by visiting contractors, it is difficult to tell the dayworkers apart from the contractors. Everyone looks the same in a respirator and Tyvek suit.
  • New COVID-19 regulations have some chief stews policing hygiene. No more nose-picking on deck for the deck crew. 
  • We are in this together. Stay safe by continuing to wash your hands to protect fellow crew on board, as well as the contractors with families at home. Show support to fellow yachts practicing social distancing. We will beat this within the industry.