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Captains' Log: Harbour Acceptance Trials

The port side of the vessel with water bags on the forward davit and lifeboat on aft davit. (Photo: Scott Laughlin)

20 November 2019

The Nuyina’s Harbour Acceptance Trials (HATs) are in full swing, providing us with an excellent opportunity to understand and witness the onboard systems. From this, we are developing procedures for the upcoming operational phase at sea. 

Most of the HATs take between several days to weeks to complete, and we work closely with the Australian Antarctic Division, Lloyds Register and the Serco team to complete them. 

The HAT protocols for all equipment and systems on the vessel are required to verify and establish that they operate correctly and meet design parameters. Where applicable, the tests ensure the equipment interacts with associated systems and conforms to the performance, design and functional requirements set by the Antarctic Division.

The Electrical Technical Officers have spent the past couple of weeks attending the Elevator HATs for the five elevators onboard, supplied by Holland Marine Lifts. 

The Chief Engineer has been involved with the HATs for the two 55 tonne cranes. These cranes will be the mainstay of the Australian Antarctic station re-supply operation, significantly improving capability for Antarctic Division operations in the future, and providing 100% redundancy.   

I have been involved with the Lifeboat and Rescue Boat HATs and testing of the boat davits (small, dedicated cranes). The Nuyina has four lifeboats, two of which act as rescue boats. The lifeboats are rated for 95 and 55 persons and accommodate ten days of supplies for polar operations.

During the HATs the four davits have been load tested with water bags, have undergone full load brake tests, and all the ancillary equipment has been verified as operational. For the four boats themselves, there have been operational tests of the standard and specialised polar equipment fitted, and operational tests for each boat on the Danube. 

The internal seating arrangement for the lifeboat.  (Photo: Scott Laughlin)

Cazare Galati

Our team is staying nearby to the shipyards at ApartHotel Galati on the Danube River. The apartment block is one of the oldest remaining original buildings in Galati, having survived WW2 artillery bombardment. According to locals, the building was used as a military headquarters by occupying forces, due to it being relatively new at the time.  

A quick walk across the road has you standing on the Danube River foreshore, with restaurants, play/exercise equipment and sculptures. Morning strolls along the Danube before commencing work, or on weekends to visit the markets or watch the locals fishing, provides a pleasant change of scenery.  

ApartHotel Galati on the River Danube, where the ‘Galati Four’ are staying. (Photo: Scott Laughlin)

The team recently visited Bran Castle, also known as Dracula’s Castle, in Romania, along the border of Transylvania and Wallachia. (Photo: Scott Laughlin)

The 'Galati Four': L-R Cameron Grant, John Wicks, Mat Wright and Scott Laughlin overlooking the old town of Brasov.