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Yunlin Blog - The Captain

04 Dec 2020 – Loading safely for maximum load and draught – a precise task

Dmitrii Kobelev, Captain of Jumbo’s HLV Fairpartner, recalls some of his memorable moments of the transport of monopiles and TPs for the Yunlin offshore wind farm project.

What part did you play in the Yunlin offshore wind farm?
I was Captain of the Jumbo Fairpartner on voyage #7, sailing out of Nordenham, Germany, with 4 segmented monopiles to Mai Liao in Taiwan. And voyage #19, from Vlissingen in the Netherlands, to Kaohsiung, Taiwan – open-top sailing with 10 TPs. For both trips, we were at maximum load and maximum draught: right up to the Plimsoll line.

What were the memorable aspects of this project for you?
In order to optimise the loading sequence during the nominated high water time slots, we carried out a number of recalculations. For example, when you’re loading an 800-tonne monopile by shore crane, the ship will react very quickly by changing of list and trim. And because there was only half a metre of water under the keel, I had to monitor the vessel trim and list very precisely and compensate by ballast water or by the next loaded monopile. The smaller the draught, the bigger the time window I can use for loading. After all, you don't want it to touch the bottom. I carried out more than 40 stability calculations for that first Yunlin voyage.

Did you feel any time pressure?
I cannot say that it is stressful – but because of the time-consuming recalculations and unexpected various loading scenarios, the main challenge is to take your rest. Time itself never gives the pressure; the pressure is created by the people.

What’s it like being a Jumbo Captain?
As Captain, I am responsible for the daily management of the vessel, responsible for the preparation and execution of the contract by the most economical and efficient port operations, and the voyage of the vessel, creating a climate of safety and quality awareness, and representing Jumbo. Everything that happens on the vessel – it doesn't matter what it is – is always the captain's responsibility. The work is never the same, it’s always different and it keeps me busy. That is what I like.

Speaking to you now, it’s November 2020. How long have you been on board?
I have been on board for close to 5 months because of coronavirus restrictions. For me, the most difficult thing is not being allowed to go on shore. We stay on this small 140-metre long island of a ship. Our whole life is on this island. For everyone it is difficult, though. For instance, what you could do two years ago is very different to what you can do now. The world is changing, and we have to cope with that. If all goes to plan and restrictions allow, I will be signing off at the end of the week. It’ll be nice to see my family again.

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