Masters of Mime

21st March 2011, 21:48
Engineroom noise levels created basic means of communication.
Arrive on the tops and spot the 4th. lurking in the distant recesses of the
gennie flat.
A quick rhythmic ratatat with the shifter on the handrail to establish eye contact.
Start transmission.
Index finger - two jabs towards 4th.
Two fingers to eyes.
Right hand palm down - move up and down over top of head.
Both hands - fold over belly and extend in large arc.
Grinding motion of pelvis.
Right hand -four fingers in parallel across left wrist.
Extend both hands palm up out to each side.
Transmission ends.
4th. replies.
Huge grin.
Rotates index finger.
A disconcerting hot breath in my ear.
"Ah'm right behind ye! Sec.!"

Ron Dean
22nd March 2011, 10:03
peterlee, that's very interesting.
I've never worked in the engine room but I spent some time working on engine testing in the 50's.
With several engines running in the test bay at the same time, we had a very basic code.
Point the index finger to the eye or the ear, to look or listen - then point to the problem area.
Flat hand, palm downwards to cut engine or shut down, (also used in RAF later), I think is universal.
I know there were many others which I can't remember.
Thumbs up of course meant that everything was OK, and there was no mistaking -Do you fancy (or I'm going for) a brew which is common language in today's noisy pubs. (Wave)

22nd March 2011, 10:28
1 tap stop,
2 taps up,
3 taps down.

So we refitted many a Doxford J Type bottom piston crouching in the crankcase with no line of sight to the overhead crane.

22nd March 2011, 16:05
And several originating from diving:
- Arms in X across chest making fists: All tight, closed, etc.
- Index finger across throat: Allpumped out, finished, etc.
- Universal phone sign then four fingers to shoulder or wrist:C/E, 3=2/E, 2=3/E, 1=4/E.

22nd March 2011, 16:50
Following an engineers alarm due to loss of water level in both boilers on a steam turbine ship:

Arrive in boiler room. Bailey meter gauges off the scale. Point to the 3/E and then upward to the gauge glass platform. 3/E takes off at a run. Point to each gauge glass, then at one's loins. Pat top of head and with right hand mimic closing a valve by a clockwise motion, meaning "close the top steam cock on the gauge glass".

Water rises in gauge glasses. Signal to 3/E by making the reverse of the original signal, meaning "open the cocks". Point to the donkeyman and to each boiler front. Each index finger raised, then with hands turned palm towards body, clench fists and move them rapidly towards chest. Donkeyman withdraws one oil burner on each boiler.

Now run to boiler room door and signal to J2/E on the main engine throttles which the unknowing had closed. Point to the ahead throttle and make an anti-clockwise circular motion with arm, indicating "open the ahead throttle". J2/E slowly opens ahead throttle.

Make the anti-clockwise signal again but much more rapidly, meaning "open the f****g ahead throttle". Boiler water level returns to normal. Reverse the original signal to the donkeyman, meaning "put the two burners back in".

Problem over. Thumb up to J2/E on the throttle and with right arm extended and hand palm upwards raise arm towards the deckhead, meaning "full away". Wave to C/E on the control flat, point a finger to one's chest and then point index finger upward, with a cupped hand make a drinking motion. Meaning "Job's OK. I'm going for a beer".

Thumb up signal from C/E followed by an index finger pointed at his chest and then mine. Meaning "Beer's on me!" Finally, point to 4/E upon who's watch the incident happened, and having gained his attention, make a slicing motion with index finger across throat. Meaning "Do that again and I'll have yer bloody life!"

david m leadbetter
21st May 2011, 15:25
1 tap stop,
2 taps up,
3 taps down.

So we refitted many a Doxford J Type bottom piston crouching in the crankcase with no line of sight to the overhead crane.
We did this in similar style when we did propellor jobs, as I recall.
sometimes I was inside and we had to pull the prop shaft in/ out.
sometimes on the outside. The prop was of course on chain blocks but often the rudder got in the way. So the only way to talk was with a hammer on the hull.

David L.