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Saturday, September 16, 2006

Tests & Trials

It is strange how the rumble of long silent engines and the hum of long quiet machinery can change your feelings when you work on a project that has run far longer than anyone thought it might. Since last spring, various tests have been run on critical controls, systems and of course the main and auxiliary engines. Tim has been very involved in much of this work and is encouraged at each step. In late spring the main engines came to life and a while later the bow thrusters (propellers in the forward end of the ship that push the ship sideways). Steel became warm, pipes no longer empty, wires now energized. Wash swirled around the bow and stern of the ship, control lights glowed and the decks had that purposeful throb of the engines that will one day carry much hope, much relief, much healing to West Africa.

Since that time, tests, surveys, more tests and trials have continued. It is amazing to see what has been accomplished. In the coming weeks, the crew will now be preparing, finally, for the final stability tests and then long awaited Sea Trials where the entire ship will be put through its paces, all systems working for the first time as a coordinated whole. To achieve this next hurdle, many long hours of work are expected, but it is work that now seems to have more tangible or visible results in terms of completing the project and putting the ship finally into direct service for the Lord and His Kingdom.

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