Sunday 17 November 2013 – Captain Anton Andrado
Where we come from: Where we are going
Captain Andrado joined the sea over 33 years ago as an Officer Cadet and since then has gained extensive experience in maritime work throughout the world in shipping and on-shore duty.
Captain Anton recalled his travels around Cape Horn in high sea, with swells coming from different directions that sometimes forced the vessel to divert to the safe passage of the ‘Strait of Magellan’. (This Strait was the one the Prince of Wales took on her return voyage to England).
In a volunteer capacity, Captain Anton drives the Mission to Seafarers bus from the Mission to the Port of Melbourne, meeting and interacting with seamen. Skilled in many languages, the Captain is able to converse with the multicultural crews aboard, whose tours of duty can be for three to four months – a long time to be away from home.
Wearing his other ‘cap’ as an employed Port of Melbourne Ship’s Inspector, Captain Anton gives on board training to seamen and carries out detail checks of a vessel in consultation with the ship’s Captain.
He spoke at length on container vessels that can be up to a maximum height of ten stories. Heavy container boxes are placed on the bottom with the lighter one on top. Container vessels eliminate the individual hatches, holds and dividers of the traditional general cargo vessels. The hull of a typical container ship is a huge warehouse divided into cells by vertical guide rails. These cells are designed to hold cargo in pre-packed units – containers. Shipping containers are usually made of steel, but other materials like aluminium, fibreglass or plywood are also used. They are designed to be entirely transferred to and from trains, trucks or trailers.
Did you know that 90% of the world trade arrives by sea and at the present time there are over 80,000 ships plying the sea lanes of the world? Many ships built today have a short sea life. Once decommissioned, and sold off for scrap, they could end up in the ship breaking yards of India, Pakistan or Bangladesh.
Did you know that Australia has 30 commercial ports that handle the fully loaded container vessels? These ships have a maximum 48 hour turn around – many departing from our shores with lighter loads.