Our travelling summer intern Ingvild Tveit Ulstein has returned from her time on board MV Barcarena
While the other summer interns in Klaveness were settling in at the office in Oslo, we were on our way to the USA and Port of Burnside. William, a second-year high school student, and me, a fourth-year student in Marine technology, were going to spend the next five weeks onboard the MV Barcarena. In the early morning of June 6th, we walked up the gangway for the first time.
The first couple of days were spent unloading bauxite in Burnside, before heading to Plaquemine and then Corpus Christi to load caustic soda. William joined the work on deck, while I was assigned to the engine room. It only took a couple of days to get into the everyday routines, where I got to follow the engine room guys in their daily work. Maintenance, overhauls and functional testing proved to be a lot more interesting than university lectures. Getting to see how everything works and fits together in a bigger picture is exciting.
After 11 days in the USA, we departed for Brazil. Coming from the crowded Mississippi river and Corpus Christi filled with offshore vessels, it was something else entirely to be almost all alone in the open ocean. Two weeks of sunshine and sunsets later, we arrived in Vila do Conde. Unloading the cargo took three days, enough time to visit the nearby small city of Barcarena from which the vessel is named.
The everchanging nature of the shipping proved true once again, and instead of going up the Amazon river for more bauxite we headed back to the USA on ballast. The winds and currents were on our side all the way from Brazil, through the Caribbean Sea, and the Gulf of Mexico. Two days in anchorage were followed by the narrow approach to Lake Charles. After clearance from immigrations, it was time to say our sad goodbyes to the crew and vessel.
Working on MV Barcarena with the crew has been an amazing experience. Thank you!
Text: Ingvild Tveit Ulstein