277 – Life and Work on HMS Enterprise
Guests: Philip Harper, Kyle O’Regan, Oliver Jessop, Graham Blenkinsop, Ian Sutton, Lee Williams
Shownoter: Jochen Spalding, Fabian Zeisberger, Andy Joiner, Bastian Hundt, Stefaan Rillaert
Host: Markus Voelter
In December 2017 I had the opportunity to spend a few days on board the Royal Navy’s HMS Enterprise on her trip from Limassol, Cyprus to Valetta, Malta. HMS Enterprise is a survey ship, her primary task is to map the sea floor using sonar and feed the data into civilian and military maps. In this detailed episode, we chat about the ship, its mission, the survey equipment, the technical aspects of the propulsion and systems, plus about life on board a ship and nautical issues in general.
Commander Philip Harper Commanding Officer of HMS Enterprise | HMS Enterprise | Hydrography | "She is short and fat" | HMS Echo (H87) | Minehunter | Azipod | Executive officer | Commanding officer | Rank Insignia of Navy Commissioned and Warrant Officers | Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group 2 | HMS Enterprise tweet
Sailing from Cyprus01:28:48
Maritime pilot | Devonport, Plymouth | Advanced Airborne Sensor | Vessel traffic service | Gyrocompass
Navigator | Concept of Innocent Passage | Clearing Lines | International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea | Operation Sea Guardian
Working and Living on the Ship02:45:14
Officer of the deck | Officer of the day | Engineer Officer | Logistics Officer
Man Overboard Exercise03:01:28
Man Overboard | Life Jacket | Hypothermia (Saltwater Spray - Osmosis) | Wake | Lee Side | Pacific 24 | Jet Powered | Jasons Cradle | Sick Bay | Command by Veto | Swimmer of the Watch | Dry Suit | Muscle Memory
Bathymetric | Oceanographic | Temperature | Salinity | Tide | Ground Truthing | Sonar | Multibeam Echosounder | Single-Beam Echosounder | Attenuation/Scattering | Lead Line | Transducer | Side-Scan Sonar | Undulating Oceanographic Recorder | Sub-Bottom Profiler | Hydrophone | Magnetometer | Scour | Seanav | Ephemeris (Inertial Motion Unit -) | POS MV | Caris HIPS and SIPS | Sand Waves | Fledermaus | Acoustic Doppler Profiler | Bioluminescence | Expendable bathythermograph
Bridge | Electronic Chart Display and Information System | Gyro | Radar | GPS | Echo sounding | Navigation Radar | Automatic Radar Plotting Aid | Bearing | Magnetic Compass | Automatic Identification System | Azipod / Azimuth Thrusters | Quartermaster | Bowthruster | Engine Order Telegraph | Ship Wheel | Kill Cord / Dead Man Switch | Dynamic Positioning | Bilge | Damage Control
Engineering & Systems05:46:43
Diesel-Electric Propulsion | Electric Bus | Electric Switchboard | Electric Generator | Ballast Tank | Venturi Effect | Eductor | Compartmentalization | Antiroll Tanks | HVAC | Intercom | Speaking Tube | Citadel | Quarterdeck
Malta | HMS Gleaner | HMS Protector ice patrol ship | HMS Scott | USS Enterprise (CVN-65) | Starship Enterprise
Markus' Thanks to Everybody06:44:38
Space Flight Dynamics with Rainer Kresken | Tweets Bettina Wurche about Enterprise | Twitter account HMS Enterprise
Epilogue: Driving into Valetta06:47:19
Port of Valletta | Breakwater | Dynamic positioning | Bow thruster | Ship motions | Maritime pilot | Automatic identification system (AIS) | Dynamic positioning (DP)
I have not listened to a podcast before but I have really enjoyed this introduction to HMS Enterprise and look forward to listening to the next part. The level of discussion was just right, not too much detail but sufficient to get a good understanding. Excellent.
Really enjoyed it as my son has now joined Enterprise so good to hear about his new ship in detail.
Superb episode! I do enjoy this kind of podcasts very much. It is a good mixture of “story”, insight and technical detail. I would normally have never had the chance to get a climbs into the workings of the royal navy, or any other navy for that matter.
Personally I liked the leadership philosophy of Philip Harper.
Maybe leadership/structure in bigger/complex organisations is something to explore in an episode of its own.
I love your podcast. It would be easier, though, if you could split a massive episode like this into two or three parts. This takes too much space, and is difficult to navigate around.
Done that with previous ones, but that makes it harder to share it through social media. I get the “space” argument, but not the “navigate” one — there are chapters that let you move around seamlessly.
What a fantastic episode. Honestly, couldn’t believe I would be hooked for > 8 hours. Exciting from beginning to end – including the last paragraph.
Brought back memories of my time many moons ago on the MV Doulos (6600 BRT) – as a helmsman at sea under pilotage; the adrenaline of sailing in and out of the ports – including Valetta -; the master declaring “we’re underway” after clearing the harbour.
Well done, Markus and well done crew of HMS Enterprise!
Thank you Matthew :-)
Now that was both a very long journey down memory lane and a reminder that after spending over eight years in the Navy I still have absolutely now idea how to sail a ship.
Sure I do know how to find the rear end of one from both one-hundred miles and three and a half thousand feet away; but even then the only dammage control party I can remember being posted to was known in Jackspeak as ‘Get that damn helicopter the hell off my boat!’.
Oh, and they taught me how to blow-up submarines too… and that skill is somewhat suprizingly still usefull, especially when you’re stuck in traffic and in need of a bit of stress relief.
Thanks Markus it was indeed a great podcast to occupy three whole commutes.
Great learning about something that had interested me for a while. Very informative, felt like I was getting to know the crew and quite sad when it ended.
An excellent podcast. I listened to the entire episode and found every part very interesting. I was very impressed by the professionalism of the Officers and crew of the Enterprise. Thank you Markus for putting together such a brilliant podcast and thank you to Phil and his crew for allowing such a wonderful insight. At least some of my taxes are being well spent!
Thank you :-)
I’m only half through, but I really like it! I could listen to the captain’s British Englisch for days ;-)
Thanks for another “traveling while interviewing” episode. What’s next? The ISS? :-)
8 hour long – The longest episode so far of a podcast I listen to. But it was interesting all the time.
I’m nearly done. Of course, I like ships, so I’m biased, but it is a great (not just long) episode. It is too late to fix now, of course, but all ships sail, they don’t drive (nor are they driven, though a captain may drive the crew). No sails are required for sailing ;-).
Actually, the crew talked about “the guy who is driving the ship” relative to the person who operated the controls.
Interesting Podcast – thanks. One point that was not covered during the briefing for the fire exercise or the other exercises is what happens if there is a real incident either of the same type or another one during the exercise. ?
It may be unlikely but I know of an incident during a train crash exercise where one of the casualties who had been given fake wounds suddenly collapsed with real appendicitis. The paramedics attending just thought her pain was part of the exercise and she was a good actor. It took a lot for her to convince them she was really ill and they were then faced with taking a casualty with false makeup wounds to the hospital for treatment for something invisible.
As a result we now give all the casualties and others involved a ‘keyword’ that if used means I am no longer acting but need real help. In a crash scenario this then has to be reflected through the whole command chain so that the hospital know they are expecting a real patient in parallel with the exercise casualties.
Do the RN have something similar in their plans? If so I would have thought it would be in the brief though it may have been edited out.
That is a really good point (and an interesting story!). It is quite possible that I have edited this out. In the briefings, there were many things like “bla bla bla as usual” without any explanation of what “bla bla bla” was. It’s quite possible I didn’t catch it and then edited it out.
I have heard them use the phrase ‘This is not an exercise’ on a couple of occasions when there have been real emergencies during ‘Fly on the wall’ documentaries on the Navy. Not sure if that would cover the transition to a real emergency or parallel real and training emergencies.
During I think the Fire Exercise the Captain mentioned that someone had a broken arm and had been stabilised and needed evacuation in 24 hours. It is not clear if this was a practice broken arm or a real one !
You mentioned about ‘Sound Powered Telephones’ in the Engineering Segment but no one was sure how they worked. As far as I can remember from repairing some in the early 1970’s the microphone is a moving coil device that generates sufficient power to operate the ear piece at the other end. Rotating the handle on the side generates the rining current that rings the bell at the far end. The ones I worked on where like these http://www.britishtelephones.com/tmc/tmcsound.htm they were used on Navy Ships as a communications system that would still work with no power and where the old fashioned voice pipes were not suitable. I last saw a TMC manufactured on at The Secret Nuclear Bunker at http://www.hackgreen.co.uk/ where it appeared to be used as a door entry phone – presumably it was still meant to work after a nuclear bomb had been dropped !
In answer to your perceptive question about real emergencies during training, the Royal Navy has a policy which covers this: When the “safeguard rule” is on force, all exercise incidents are run as if they were real; if a genuine emergency occurs, the main broadcast pipe is preceded with the words “safeguard, safeguard. safeguard”. There is never any doubt, yet the training is realistic too.
Ah, right, now that you mention the Safeguard Rule pipes, I remember them of course.
Recently the BBC have broadcast a programme on the commissioning of the new Navy Aircraft Carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth. They seemed to use ‘For Exercise’ in front of the exercise ‘pipes’. There is one interesting part where they were interviewing one of the senior training staff about the response to an exercise involving an aircraft fire on the flight deck. While they were doing this there was a pipe ‘Flood, Flood, Flood, Flood in compartment…..’ . From the look on the trainers face it is apparent he knew nothing of this ‘exercise’. According to the programme, bearing in mind one never knows how it was edited this was a real flood with a Salt Water main bursting above the 11kV electrics from the generators to the electric motors ! Not a single use of Safeguard in the edited version at least.
A recent long-distance flight helped to finally start and finish listening to this extra-long episode. It was fantastic! A great ship with a great crew! Apart from the interesting technical discussions I also liked how this episode showed the social interaction on such a vessel. Very professional atmosphere that does include a good portion of humor.
I complained about other on-location episodes, but here everything was so well described that I never felt the need for any visuals to understand the discussions. Still nice to see some photos.
Many thanks, to Markus and the Enterprise crew!