Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Old sea stories

Was following a thread on one of the boating forums. Silly questions you get from newbies etc. This was one that came to mind from my sailing days.


Was departing Thunder Bay, ON aboard CCG Icebreaker/buoytender. Giving newbie galley steward walk around the ship. Ship sailed at 08:00 on 4 week construction project. 

Me: This is the bridge. Just hang back and watch.
Newbie: What time do I get off tonight?
Me: 18:30 hrs
Newbie: I have to work 18 and a half hours today?
Me: Yes
Newbie: Can I go home when we're done?
Me: Sure, if you can swim that far.
Newbie: Swim? You mean we're not going back to the dock?
Me: Not for 28 days
Newbie: I only brought one pair of underwear.
Me: We have laundry facilities on board
Newbie: But my Mom always did my laundry.
Me: Well your Mom isn't here is she?

Dead silence for about 3 minutes

Newbie: Where are we going?
Me: Michipicoten Island for 4 week construction project.
Newbie: So I can go home every night?
Me: Sure
Newbie: Cool, can't wait to tell my buddies. 

Dead silence for about 2 minutes

Newbie: How far do we drop down to get to Michipicoten Island? 
Me: (after a brief pause) You mean like through locks?
Newbie: Yeah
Me: About 750 feet and 65 locks.
Newbie: Cool! Can't wait to tell my buddies.

Dead silence for about a minute

Newbie: How high is the tide on Lake Superior?
Me: Tide?
Newbie: Like I see on TV you know the water coming in and going out
Me: (not knowing the real answer) oh about 75 feet. (it's actually 1 ft)
Newbie: Oh wow! That's amazing. I can't wait to tell my buddies. Can I call them now? (age before wireless Internet)
Me: Like on the phone?
Newbie: Yeah, I see them all over the bridge.
Me: See that fella over there in the big chair with the 4 stripes on his shoulder?
Newbie: Yeah
Me: Go ask him if you can call your buddies on the phone?

Newbie walks over to Captain.

Newbie: Hi!
Captain: Hello, you must be the new steward.
Newbie: Yessir!
Captain: How are you liking the ship so far?
Newbie: I don't like it too much, I have to do my own laundry.
Captain: Oh don't worry, you'll get used to it. You do my laundry too you know?
Newbie: (stunned) I have to do your laundry too?
Captain: Yes and I like a very light starch in my white shirts.
Newbie: (Stunned silence)
Newbie: Can I call my buddies to tell them how cool this is?
Captain: Like on the phone?
Newbie: Yessir, I think there's some cool stuff here they need to know about.
Captain: Do you know that ship/shore radiotelephone costs about $6.00 per minute?
Newbie: I didn't know that but that's ok this is a Government Ship they can afford it.
Captain: (shoots me a look that could kill) Yeah, sure, you can use the pay phone in the laundry room.

The kid spent three days looking for the pay phone in the laundry room but had clean under shorts for the whole trip! 

Monday, April 14, 2014

Found some things, lost some things

Temps have risen to the 20 C mark today so back out to the shed for some puttering & cleaning up. Ground is still soaked! I lost a box of Raptor Nails and found them then figured out I've lost the slide thingy for the Raptor nailer! *sigh* Found my air chuck to fill my bicycle tires and then immediately lost it! *sigh*

The Project Manager was there barking orders to 'Get To It Pronto!" So I had to lure him away with the offer of treats. He left me alone after that!

Last year I had a problem with moisture in the air feed from the compressor. I bought two of those small moisture trap thingies, one from Canadian Tire for $30 and it failed first time I tried to drain it. Took it back and bought another one at Lowes for $9. It was identical to the first. It failed first time I tried to drain it. So I figure I got nothing to loose and drilled out the drain and tapped it with a 1/4" NPT thread to which I added a small ball valve. It now works perfectly!

I bought a Mastercraft oscillating tool last year. It works pretty good. Made the mistake of leaving it on the charger all winter in the shed. Battery's pooched so off to Canadian Tire to try to get a replacement. I have a feeling it'll likely be cheaper to buy a whole new unit than just a replacement battery.

Still waiting on my Flexi-cat tools to be shipped. Been in touch with the distributor and they still haven't received any from the factory in Europe. It's been almost 6 months now. I'd hate to be relying on the supply of this one product for my living. The distributor wanted to refund my money but I've hung in this long might as well ride it out.


Monday, April 7, 2014

Double digit temps

Thermometer hit 12 Dec C today. That's pretty nice and long overdue. I've been able to get into the boat shed via the front door but not the side. This is what I was faced with today.

That's nearly 5+ feet of snow and ice piled up on the north side of the shed. Being on the north side it doesn't get any direct sunlight so it's a slow melt.

The snow was about 2 feet higher a week ago. Here it is piled up between the garden shed and the boat shed.

The view from inside the shed. I prayed to Gawd that I didn't drop my keys while I was fumbling with the padlock! :-)

Didn't want to try to run water on it to help speed up the melting, the shed floor is soaked already so I turned to the big fan to keep air moving over it. It actually worked really well. The lower 3 feet or so is solid ice.

After three hours or so of fan and chopping I got a couple of feet cleared from the shed door. Tomorrow I should be able to clear the rest and get the garden shed open so I can hook up the air compressor etc. then we'll be back in action.

The Project Manager even showed up to put his paw of approval on the workings! Here he is putting on a tremendous burst of speed!

Standby and stay warm.....

Thursday, April 3, 2014

First good look around

Back to the boat shed today for a better look around. Ground was frozen so I could get in without sinking in mud.

I think the first order of business will be to get some stuff straightened around. I have to find a solution for all the off-cuts that are laying on the ground. Some are garbage now from having been soaked. Really wish I had more space to work with but that's not a possibility so I'll have to tough it out!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Some warmer weather finally

+7 C today so enough snow melted to let me in the shed. Just had to see how everything faired out over the winter.

There's a couple inches of standing water pretty much everywhere and a lot more snow left to melt. Will likely be a week or two before I can actually get in there to do any work.


Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Bilge pump or bucket?

Getting back to a bit of a nautical theme I submitted a 'Myth' to the famous Mythbusters yesterday. So, for the record, here it is. I hope they test this one out.

On a sinking boat is a bucket better than a bilge pump?

There's an old sailor's axiom that states: 'On a sinking boat there's no better bilge pump than a frightened sailor with a bucket.'

I think it would be a fair test with a hand powered bilge pump (Whale type/bicycle type) and a 2 quart (2 litre) milk jug cut into a bucket (common). Some of the major variables would be:

1. The size of the boat
2. The size of the hole in the boat
3. The depth below waterline of the hole in the boat
4. The physical capability (fitness) of the sailors

Reference:  Boat flooding rate in gpm

Secondary question would be 'how long can you keep your boat afloat? For instance if you were flooding at the maximum capacity of your particular bilge pump. Would you have enough time to get to shore if you were say 1 NM from shore?

Reference: Different types of bilge pumps that could be used.

A Whale manual bilge pump. Capacity: 89 L/m (19.5 g/m) @ 60 strokes per minute

A typical 'bicycle type' bilge pump. 0.5l per stroke and 673mm in length, approx. 30 - 40 lt per minute.

A milk jug bailer. Unknown capacity.

I retired in November of 2012 after almost 33 years in the Canadian Coast Guard. My time is now spent building a 31' diesel trawler and that's the reason I thought this would make a great myth to test (or bust). Wouldn't it be great if you could enlist the help of some US vs Canadian Coast Guard Cadets making it into a bit of a competition?  :-)

Thanks for producing the best shows on TV. I've been a fan since episode #1 and will be until the bitter end! I would give my eye teeth to be there to see this myth tested! (hint hint)

Yours Aye!

Monday, March 17, 2014

Lil' too chilly to be playing outside today

So back into the indoor range with the air rifle. I moved the shooters box all the way back to the 25 yd mark this time. I was reasonably sighted in at about 17.5 yds before. Here's the shooters box we have to use.

It's on wheels so you use a pallet jack and move it fwd/bkwd to the desired distance. There's only two shooting lanes. The rest of the facility is for archery. This is a new facility only opened after the new year. Doesn't get used much by shooters because of the requirement for non-toxic ammo. The pellets I've been using are lead free Stoeger's. They cost 2.5 times as much as .22's. *scratching head*

The view from inside the shooters box. At 25 yds I can't see where the pellets hit the paper so that's why there's binoc's there! ;-)  The black foam thingies are something I found in the basement out of a laptop box and use them as a gun rest. They work ok and were the right price! :-)

Here's the results. Five shots at each target.

I shot them in order. A&B were pretty decent with one dropping way down on target B. Shots at C went a lot to the left for some reason. I think the scope is moving around quite a bit. I tightened it up and made a few adjustments and got back on track with D. If I can stay that consistent with this cheap air rifle & scope at this range I'll be happy.