Back in the water

written by OM International

Logos Hope is moving closer to receiving her Passenger Ship Safety Certificate for another year, having reached the mid-way point in her maintenance phase. A hundred and thirty people have been working on more than 400 planned jobs on the vessel while she is closed to the public.

The ship was re-floated and moved from her dry dock to a maintenance berth after having her hull scraped, pressure-washed and re-coated. Above the waterline, rust spots have been grit-blasted and much of the exterior has been repainted. Preparation work was laborious, covering up more than 300 of the vessel’s windows, and 3,300 litres of paint amounts to a significant cost – but Logos Hope’s Technical Project Manager, Matt Blair (Australia), explains, “The work is necessary to protect the steel, because this vessel is 44 years old. After her new coat of paint, she looks beautiful!”

Welding, pipe work and valve fixes have now been completed, and the ship’s three cranes are being serviced, as is her forward mast. Inside, the five-yearly survey of the sprinkler system is being carried out and some bathrooms are being re-tiled. Checking the fire-fighting and life-saving equipment is next on the task list.

The team experienced a night of total blackout for the annual maintenance of the electrical switchboard. While the lights are back on, those who are less acclimatised to the Caribbean humidity are looking forward to the air conditioning being reconnected, once some further jobs are completed.

Contributing in no small way to the effort are volunteers from the catering and cleaning department. Morale among dry dock crewmembers is high as they serve together for a common purpose. They’ve even found time to play a football match against shipyard workers, which the side representing Logos Hope won 3-1.

The project is allowing others to see first-hand the faith which motivates each member of Logos Hope’s community. The team trusts God to supply what the ship needs to operate. A subcontractor assessing the ship’s stabilisers (which balance the vessel during rough crossings) was pessimistic on seeing they were a model which went out of production two decades ago. He was astonished to discover that the exact spare parts needed, which are now very rare, were in fact on board – amongst leftover equipment from Smyril Line, the company which previously owned the vessel. The subcontractor told Matt Blair, “The miracles have to stop somewhere.” A day later he declared, “The Lord must be on your lucky side!”