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Old Jan 26, 2013, 07:25 AM
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Deckie's Avatar
Australia, WA, Garden Island
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Haha surprised I only just thought of this, while checking cargolaw.com and the British Maritime Investigation Bureau site.

Picture 300+ton South Australian Brigantine "One and All" back in little old 2007, coming in to the Royal South Australian Yacht Squadron to berth for their annual celebrations. We've got nothing to manoeuvre with except our own single screw fixed pitch prop on the end of a Caterpillar 3406B, and a small Zodiac with a 30 horsepower outboard. As we're coming alongside our berth, our female first-mate and our female bosun, both on the bow forward spring bits, notice the ships bow is coming in to fast, and ahead of the stern, when we're just a meter or so off the pier. They reach out, full arm extension and brace up on the pylon (we were berthing against piers that are constantly at the water's surface depending on tide, and ride up and down on their pylons) adjacent to them. Old school male yachtie standing by on the pier to handle his lines is shitting himself and yelling out loud "they're gonna hit". Maam' and the bosun brace up, pushing hard with effort. Low and behold, the bow stops and holds off the pier and yachtie is just standing their mumbling "no way, no way in hell" just staring at the two women. Then realises he has lines to attend to.

I piss myself laughing, remembering how many people are ignorant of Physics, particularly of Newton and his laws, and that more often than not, a woman can do a job just as well as a male can, with maybe a few exceptions, and only a few. The look on his face, LOL "They're women, what can they possibly do!".
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Old Jan 26, 2013, 09:21 PM
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Bozeman, Montana, United States
Joined Aug 2003
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I don't doubt that it happened, I do doubt it happened the way you said. 300 tons moving at any speed produces a Lot of momentum. The idea that 2 humans, either sex, could produce enough counter-momentum to stop a boat of this size seems unlikely. Did they perhaps deflect the hull, rather than stop it? I've done that when a small boat approaches the pier too fast. This converts a crash into a scrape, which probably reduces damage.

On a related note, I don't think much of a captain that encourages his crew to place themselves between a hull and a piling or pier. Besides the breaking arms danger, there is the squishing danger if the human slips and ends up between the hull and the immovable object. When we worked aloft on tall ships, we were always told to climb the ratlines on the seaward side. That way, if we fell, we'd not get trapped in the squishing zone..
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Old Jan 26, 2013, 09:24 PM
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Australia, WA, Garden Island
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I just re-read how I wrote it and I can see how you'd think that. Deflection of the bow would be far more appropriate they did this from the foredeck, leaning over the capping rail. Still chuckling at the look on that guys face

We were told the same too, and there were quite the penalties, even for those of us who were volunteering. Also severe penalties for not climbing the ratlines on the windward side when at sea. Our main mission was Sail- Training for disadvantaged teenagers, and you'd always have that single kid on every trip who would be a ratbag and refuse to follow safety guidelines properly, and sometimes instructions. They'd be the ones heading back to the nearest jetty/marina on board the Zodiac, where their parents would be picking them up.....
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Old Jan 27, 2013, 10:48 PM
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United States, ID, Rexburg
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First big boat I learned to sail on was an old Naval Accademy, Luders 44ft yawl (one of the wooden ones). She had a massive deep full keel and was thus a dog in light air but when the North Bay in San Fran got going she could scream. Just after I learned to sail the diesel motor in her died (it was of the same age as the boat, just after WWII). Now the berths for the sailboats at the Alameda Marina were all dead into the wind and the very very small area of it did not allow for the 44 to be able to tack into the berth. If the wind was strong and you had a sharp crew you could come in on a beam reach, cut everything loose (and dump the headsails) and coast into the berth. I had to help PUSH her in off the far side one night when the skipper was a little tipsy, it was not an experience I ever want to repeat. As a half measure they assigned a small (15 foot aluminum dingy) with the only 10 horse motor in the marina (to act as both tender and tug getting her in) to the yawl. Now being a barely a teenager this was pretty cool to run the boat and try and get the big boat where you wanted her to go. The real problem was, as in steam plants, the delay between the orders being given and something being done, and then the delay for something happen in response. Man were we glad when they finally got the money in the budget for a new Volvo/Penta motor for that beast!

Funny (ironic) thing was that they had to put her in the boatyard and get her hauled out. While she was there they redid the standing rigging and they found out that sitting in a canvas boatswains chair for hours at a time didn't bother me. It took nearly five weeks to do all the work on her. During that time I got to know that old boat even better than before, literally from keel to masthead. When they finally put her back in the water, the yard offered me a job as a summer apprentice working in the rigging shop. When they would stand the new masts (or rebuilds) I would go up in my chair and untangle all the rigging and halyards. Did that for the whole summer by Sophomore year of high school. Kind of a neat job to fall into!
Foo
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Old Jan 28, 2013, 12:43 AM
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Deckie, I sailed with Australians and New Zeelanders on HMBark Endeavour. Fine seamen and fine people, it was a privilege to sail with them. Our Aussie cook was superb too, great food, and good for you (not greasy).

Foo, you lucky summer job guy, I always wished I'd been a rigger. I love knots, working aloft, splicing, etc. Kind of hard to do that job much when you grow up in Okla., Wyo., and Mont, *rueful smile*. You'd have appreciated the small outboard-powered skiff "tug" work on Harvey Gammage (2 masted schooner). We came into Bermuda, and needed some fancy ship handling to get to our berth. The skipper and his "tug"crew (I was along as a celestial nav. student) docked her with no shouting, no cussing.... just hand signals, whistle codes, and seamanship. It was a joy to behold :-) And all done with knowlegable sailors and skippers on the pier watching (Tall ship race destination), so no pressure *grin*.
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Old Jan 30, 2013, 02:33 AM
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The yawl (then known by the name Nasala (Naval Air Station ALAmeda)), was usually entered into the series of Saturday races sponsored by the Navy, (the presidio yacht club) and several other Bay Area yacht clubs and had a number of different classes (some by type/design, some by age, and our class building material, wooden boats). The picture post card mass of sailboats in all that series. Now we were old and very very heavy (stiff), so the morning starts were not our forte. So while we would try our best for an on time start with every shred of sail she could put up, even with a perfect start we would lose ground steadily. But come about noon on a nice warm summer day, and things would change. About the time that the normal (for a summer in San Francisco Bay) small craft warnings would go up, we would finally have to start to reef down and put up smaller headsails. Then the yawl would get going, lay over at her 45 deg heel and just fly, trimmed out (use the mizzen to ease the helm a little) she would steer with two fingers and start run down newer, lighter, boats because we could carry all that sail and they couldn't. Our normal crew was 9, I was the crazy guy that would work the foredeck (heads'le changes, walking the jenny around tacking, stuff like that), I was 14 and it was great!
Foo
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Old Feb 14, 2013, 01:51 PM
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Foo,

It has been a while since we have spoken but I just wanted to thank you, at my annual review today my knowledge of the “conch republic” made me appear more informed and knowledgeable on all things worldly. Your experiences and resulting stories gave me the information required so thank you sir, much appreciated.

Regards,
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Old Mar 07, 2013, 02:00 AM
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United States, VA, Alexandria
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Hi Fooman, how are you doing? Any more stories?
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Old Mar 07, 2013, 08:15 PM
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Here is a slight ly raunchy joke.....
Three guys; a sailor, a marine, and an airman go into the restroom to urinate.
As they finish and go to leave the airman goes the sink and washes his hands, "my momma taught me to wash my hands after I pee."

The marine steps to the sink and says, "my drill sergeant taught us to wash our hands after we pee."

The sailor buttons his 13 button trousers and walks to the door. The marine and the airman look at him and say "aren't u going to wash your hands?" The sailor responds "my chief petty officer taught us not to pee on our hands in the first place!?
Foo
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Old Mar 07, 2013, 08:32 PM
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Interesting but when I heard it the Navy was the one with the pee issues, ships roll or something they called it, always being wet? Good to have you back Foo.
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Old Mar 08, 2013, 02:25 AM
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Adelaide,Australia
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Nice one Foo!!
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Old Mar 09, 2013, 12:23 PM
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Last time I popped my shoulder out the of the socket was in the head on the ship. (there is a 'crash bar' in the showers to prevent slips and falls when the ship rolls) As the ship rolled (and I was in the shower without the brace they had given me to immobilize my right shoulder), I had the soap in my left hand and grabbed for the bar with my right. my rotator cuff was stretched enough that just the torque or twisting the shoulder about 15 degrees made it come out of the socket (6th time). That was enough for the doctors to realize that it was not healing and I was going to be accused of malingering if I stayed on the ship (malingering is defined as faking for prolonging an injury in order to avoid duty by the navy), so they transferred me to the naval hospital pending getting the shoulder worked on. Four months later I had an operation and reefed in the rotator cuff and put a steel staple in the front of it. Now a days they would do it orthoscopically, with about 8 stitches (it took over 60 for mine), they cut me from my collar bone to arm pit to do mine.
Foo
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Old Mar 10, 2013, 06:21 PM
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One of the things you will have to get used to is the different terminology for things aboard ship and in the Navy in general. Even the food has different terms than in civilian life.

One of the things that you learned in boot camp was that the fried chicken was referred to as grinder bird. The grinders were the huge asphalt parade grounds that were all over the base. The grinders were worn by the thousands of boots marching across them and had started to shed gravel in some areas, this in turn attracted flocks of pigeons which infested the grinders.

Since the chicken is not exactly the most prime commercially available (a little thin on meat), it was universally ascribed to that the pigeons were what we were eating! In Orlando (Florida) they reasoned that the grinder bird was not in fact bird but the state bird of Florida due to the fact that for every two breasts it had 6 legs and four wings, therefore it was Mosquito!

For breakfast there was the nearly universal military choice about once a week of chipped beef on toast, known as SOS (sh*t on a shingle), for its resemblance to what it looked like.

The drink (supposedly fruit punch), was mostly citric acid, sugar, with some food coloring, and was known as bug juice (I have seen people leave a quart of it in a quart can and it will attract pests and kill them via drowning). I have seen gas turbine mechanics use it in lieu of the very expensive chemicals ($10 a gallon in 80's) to clean engines of corrosion. So you can imagine what that does to you insides!

Coffee of course is the lifeblood of the Navy and always will be. It also referred to as lifer juice (lifers are usually long serving people, or having attitudes like it). Depending on where the pot you got it from it can have different names. Wardroom coffee, goat locker (chief's mess) coffee, combat (combat information center, CIC) coffee, some people can be real snobs about where the coffee comes from (or the strength of it, CPO coffee can be lethal strength sometime).
Foo
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Old Mar 10, 2013, 11:08 PM
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United States, VA, Alexandria
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I miss midrats! and omelets, sliders, SOS......................................
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Old Mar 11, 2013, 12:09 PM
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Yo Foo, you haven't lived until your coffee is in a canteen cup made with instant coffe made by coca cola.
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