Monday, June 30, 2008

Hammar H2O HRU Review

HRU stands for Hydrosatic Release Unit. This is a important and mandatory equipment for a liferaft in a commercial and passenger vessel. The main purpose of this equipment is to launch the liferaft automatically when a ship sank and the liferaft unable to be launched manually. HRU is also used in launching the EPIRB automatically.

One of the leaders in HRU manufacturer is Hammar, a Swedish company based in Gotenburg. The HRU the company manufactured is called H2O. The packaging is compact and the box is of good quality, something you expect from a Swedish company. The box had multiple languages on it.

Inisde the box is 1 unit of HRU unit itself and a simple installation manual. The installation manual had self adhensive features on it and can be posted anywhere onboard the ship. Nice feature.

The Hammar H20 is a hydrostatic release unit that fits liferafts of all shapes and sizes. It's made of glassfibre reinforced nylon, which means that it won't rust. The Hammar H20 needs no annual service, maintenance or spare parts (virtually maintenance free). Simply install a new one every two years and dispose of the old one. Keeping the environment in mind, the old unit is 97% recyclable ( I wonder where to recycle it).

Simple handling procedures mean that storage costs are also kept down to a minimum. With the H20, installation is both easier and quicker, greatly reducing customers downtime ashore.

Compared with conventional release units, the Hammar H20 offers savings of up to 50% over a 10 year period. The Hammar H20 is now the biggest selling hydrostatic release unit in the world. Its safe, reliable and simple design has earned it more world-wide approvals than any other unit. In fact, it's a small wonder!

Fitting of the HRU on the liferaft.

The expiry date of the HRU should be marked. Basically just carved off the sticker on it. The expiry date should be 2 years after you install it. I personally think the lifespan is too short. It would be better if it can last up to 3 years or so.

The HRU had a useful feature as it has a weak link connector, which is coloured red (which is an improvement from its previous HRU product). The liferaft painter must be secured to the weak link or else the liferaft won't able to launch when the ship sank. Many ship crew did not realize this or connect the liferaft painter wrongly.

So, how the HRU unit works?

White strong rope of Hammar H20 secured to deck or liferaft cradle and attached to liferaft lashing with a sliphook. Liferaft painterline shackled to weak-link and around strong white rope.

If the ship sinks, the water pressure will, within 4 metres, activate the sharp knife which cuts the strong rope and the liferaft will float free.

As the ship sinks, the liferaft painterline will be stretched and the liferaft starts to inflate.

Red weak link breaks and survivors can board the inflated liferaft.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Wine in a Can

Ever see a wine packaged in a can? I somehow came across such thing when in a cabin of one of my crew. At first glance, it looks like a carton of beer. On closer inspection, I got the shock of my life. It's a wine in a can! It has a tagline of "Wine in a can. The perfect size"

It is Barokes Bridge brand wine. The can size is 250ml with 13% alcohol content. It's Australian made with minimal additives and preservative. Note that it mentioned minimal and not "No preservative and additives". I never get what it is meant by "220 added". Hope someone can enlighten me regarding this issue.

The cans have 2 colour. Green and gold. I not sure whether there is a difference between those two. From the ingredients, it doesn't look like there is any difference. Maybe one is a red and the other is a white wine.

Here are the side views of the can, highlighting the manufacturer's address. Apparently you get 5 cents refund when you recycle this can in the US. Good incentive.
This is the base of the carton packaging. Basically repeating all the information available at the can and the front carton packaging.

I never got the chance to taste it as the wine is not mine. But here is my predict, wine in a can should be inferior in term of taste than those in the bottle. But still the compact packaging in the can means the wine can be enjoyed anytime at a moderate volume without getting drunk.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Peaceful Demostration by DAP

I read in a local newspaper few days ago there will be a demonstration by the opposition party, DAP (Democratic Action Party) on Friday, 27th June at town square starting at 0930. I also understood that T-Shirt will also be on sale for RM10. The demonstration is basically to protest against the recent fuel price hike and the toll collection at the Lanang Bridge (one no need to pay any toll by road from Kuching to Miri, except when using the Lanag bridge).

This was the scenario around 0915. Some people/supporters had gathered around at town square, along the Chuan Corridor.

This is the flag and the shirt barrier. He was standing by the road side to catch the motorists attention.

I spoke to this old man and don't let his age and appearance fool you. This guy is full of energy. The T- Shirt reads, translated into English "Protest. Government Hike Fuel Price"

Around 0925, the group seems to be walking away. I thought the demostration was over!

Nope! The demonstration was far from over. They just moved to another spot at the town square, facing the Jalan Bujang Suntong.

They started to unveil their banners

The banners are fully unveil and they were chanting "Hancur BN"(crumble BN), "Minyak Turun" (Lower the fuel price), "Orang Susah, Minta Tolong" (Please help, people are suffering), "Minyak Tinggi, BN Turun" (Fuel Price up, BN goes down). They chant with great spirit and energy but unfortunately lacking in numbers of supporters.

In the middle of the demostration, I manange to spot a hot chick reporter. She is the one in black clothes at the centre of this photo (probably appear a bit blurr in this photo)

The DAP state leader talking to the policemen and thanked him for the co-operation. The demonstration ended at 0945

I would say I am fairly disappointed with the demonstration. The purpose was good but the implementation was poor. First, the leader was not around to lead the people and supporters at the beginning. He should have arrive earlier at the scene. Would be more meaningful if he was the flag or shirt carrier. That should motivate the people around him. The leader also do not lead the chanting.

The exact location of the demonstration was unclear at the beginning. See how they shift from one spot to another. A sign of lack of flow of information and proper planning.

Not as many people showed up for the demonstration. Maybe bad timing as most people were working and unable to join force with them. Also the advertised sell of T-Shirt was nowhere to be seen.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Borneo Cultural Festival is set to go!

This year edition of Borneo Culture Festival (BCF) is ready. Most of the preparations were completed by this morning with some ongoing last minute preparation.

I don't understand why they don't put the BCF programmes in a website or something. The programmes for the 2 weeks event is well displayed only at the town square. If they plan to promote this event on a larger scale, it is time they promote it in a website. I am sure my blog will able to help some others out there to figure out what will be going on here in the next 2 weeks.

This is the layout of the booths at Town Square phase 2 and the programme for the next 2 weeks at the site.

The view of the booths at town square phase 2 from across the Jalan Bujang Suntong

I believe there will be some celebrities to cheer up the festival as shown in this banner at the entrance of town square phase 2

There is an information notice board at the main town square, facing Jalan Bujang Suntong

Here is the layout of the stage and booths at the main square. The events to be held in the main square is also available at the information notice board

This is the main stage at the main town square.

This is the malay/melanau cultural stage at the main square and the food stalls/booths

This is the dayak or Iban cultural stage at the main square

Chinese cultural stages as well as chinese food stalls/booth at main square (along Chuan corridor)

There will be also photography exhibition at the town square.

Another new feature for this year BCF is the information booth at the main square. There are 4 similiar structure like this at tha main square. One must look for the structure near the Chuan Corridor to locate the information booth (Tower T1 from the plan layout for the main square).

To ease traffic congestion, public can use the car park at the adjacent RPA (Rejang Port Authority) from 5pm to midnight. Also the container storage area at town square phase 2, behind the Low King Howe Museum is available for public parking

There are these make shift portable toilets available. Should be free. For more comfort, visitors (at main squate) can opt for toilets at adjacent Wisma Sanyan (RM 0.20 for admission) or Paramount Hotel if visitors are around Town Square Phase 2.

For the opening ceremony tonight, I just found out from newspaper this morning, there will be car parade from Delta Mall to the town square at 1745. From the town square, the car parade will go round the town at certain main roads. They will depart from the main square tonight at 1900.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Cherry Blossom

One might find it strange that cherry blossom can thrived here in tropical climate area like where I am living in. Along Brooke Drive here in Sibu, there is a row of cherry blossom trees (there are also row of cherry blossom along other main roads). Such a scenic drive along this road when I am on my way to work. How the trees get there is unknown to me. Probably someone planted them there long time ago.

In fact I start to pay more attention to cherry blossom during my university time when an exchange student from Japan called Taka told me that Japanese loves cherry blossom and will seat below the tree when the tree started to bloom. That was when I follow his foot step and start to appreciate the beauty of this tree.

Pink cherry blossom

White cherry blossom. Which is prettier? Pink or white? My preference is the pink

Up close and personal with the cherry blossom

Unfortunately when these photos were taken, the trees started to shed some of its flowers. What a shame there is no place to sit under the tree and enjoying the view. The trees are basically beside the main road.

Looks like I will have to next until next June to see the trees to bloom again.