The English gentleman Phileas Fogg once bet that he and his manservant Passepartout could go around the world in 80 days (115,000 minutes) – and won. The tugboat Cyathea is undertaking a similarly bold adventure, traveling from the yard that built it in Istanbul, and arriving 55 days (and around 1,000 operating hours) later in its new South Pacific home in Nouméa, New Caledonia. The more than 10,000 nautical miles are taking it through the Suez Canal, across the Indian Ocean and finally past Australia to New Caledonia.
It may have no servants aboard, but there is a crew of five: two skippers, two engineers and a cook. This is anything but a South Sea cruise, indeed it's a tough test of seamanship, with each skipper-and-engineer team taking alternate watches night and day while the other duo rests. They plan to make landfall only once in Singapor to replenish supplies of diesel and food.
But the five are not entirely on their own, with service staff from Rolls-Royce Power Systems keeping an eye on the vessel via our digital mtu Remote Services platform, and staying fully informed of the operating status at all times via the data logger.
Normally, terminal-harbor tugs like Cyathea move around in limited spaces, maneuvering large ships to the right terminals in harbor basins and out again. Two mtu 12V4000M63 engines, teamed with azimuth propellers, give it the power and agility needed for this task. They each have an output of 1,500 kW at 1,800 rpm, giving a cruising speed of 13 knots in open waters. But the mtu engines are currently performing an exceptional task, giving the 650-ton ship the wherewithal to fight the adversities of the world's oceans on the high seas.
“This long passage is really putting the tug to the test. Once it has mastered this, it will be fit for its tough job in port”