We are busy assisting with cargo work on some large bulk carriers that are loading pipes that are to be transported to Italy. We have to layout each of the cargo holds with “Dunnage” before the cargo loading can be started. Dunnage is timber that protects the cargo and allows for some settling on the uneven surface.
As the cargo is loaded we have to place timbers in any large gaps, and on completion of all the cargo, finally we secure the top pieces in place with timber and wedges to the satisfaction of the Captain and the cargo surveyors, this is called the tomming off and is to prevent the cargo shifting in heavy weather which could capsize the ship.
The hold bottom is 15m below deck level and is accessed via ladders. Keeps you fit, but its a long day going up and down in all weathers.