Bridge Tour-MS Amsterdam

Hi Everybody … Today we are in the country of New Caledonia, in the capital, Noumea, but that is not the adventure I am writing about just now.  Today, my friend Helen, has arranged for me to go on a tour of the MS Amsterdam’s Bridge.  View From the BridgeFor those of you who don’t know, the bridge is like the cockpit – it is where they drive the ship and where the captains live. Yes, we have two of them, just in case something happens to my friend Captain Jonathan.  We have a Staff Captain called Frieso (he’s Dutch, so his name is funny), but that is his first name.  He is much younger than Captain Jonathan and very nice.  He said he lives in New Jersey and he has a little girl just my age – seven.  He is getting off in Sydney, so he won’t be on the ship much longer and we will have a new Staff Captain.  Captain Jonathan will stay for the whole trip, though.  He says Mrs Captain Jonathan, whose name is Karen, is getting on the ship in Hong Kong.  I can’t wait to meet her!  Anyway, back to my adventure.  A nice lady from the front desk took us to the bridge and introduced us to Jack, who is from Australia and who is a second officer.  If you are a second officer, you get to give bridge tours as part of the stuff you have to do.  Jack took us from one side of the bridge to the other.  Flat Stanley at Bridge ConsoleFlat Stanley on the BridgeHe said you can drive the ship (and park it) from either side.  They have the same controls on both sides and even a window in the floor so you can see just how close you are getting to the dock. 

Steering Hole in the FloorThe captain has a joy stick, like on a video game, to steer the ship with and he has controls for both engines, the bow thruster (the engine in the front of the ship) and the stern thruster (same but in the back).  The thrusters make the ship go sideways.  GD says she would like to have them in her car to make parking it easier.  She says she thinks it is easier to park the ship, than her car! Above each side of the bridge (these are called Wings) they have screens hanging from the ceiling so they can see all the stuff they need to know.  You can also drive the ship straight ahead at sea from the middle.  There are two big chairs on poles (so you can see over the console) for the captains to sit in.  Flat Stanley in the Captain's ChairI got to sit in one, but Captain Jonathan won’t let me drive the ship.  He says I am too little!  Over on the side of the console, they have a bunch of radios plugged in, so if they need to talk to each other and they are not on the bridge, they take one of the radios and it is already charged.  Next to the radios is a big white thing called an EPRB – if we sink, this floats in the ocean where we are and someone can find us.  I think this is good to know!  Finally, Jack has told us everything about the bridge and he says we have to leave. Flat Stanley with Radios and EPRB They are going to turn off all the power and there will be lots of alarms ringing.  He doesn’t want me to be scared, but he does not know how brave I am.  On our way out, we pass by Captain Jonathan’s cabin and office.  He is sitting at his desk,  I have to stop and say Hi.  He lets just me come and look at all his computer screens, which is really cool. Captain Jonathan This has been just the most fun day ever … I am such a lucky boy!

Now GD, GW and I will go and explore the city of Noumea.  GD says we can go to the Aquarium and I am super excited because my friend Con – from Black Tie – says it is really cool.Loads of Love … Flat Stanley