Wind chill

Genevieve
8th October 2011, 18:21
Hello,
I am currently reading a book about Ernest Shackleton, and I was curious to know how crew on the bridge or the open look outs platform coped with wind chill. Shackletons ship was slow, about 6 knots I think. Do any of you nice people have experience with wind chill on a 10 or 20 knot ship with freezing air temperature?
Love
Gen x

Donald McGhee
8th October 2011, 21:24
Hi,

I have experience of being on ice watch right on the foc'sle head of a small merchant ship, that is right as far forward as you can be on a ship.
As apprentices we were often allocated lookout duties, either on the bridge wing or forr'd on the ship, especially on the Western Ocean run in winter.
We looked out for growlers, semi submerged ice bergs and were subjected to wind chill big time. So cold it would just about take your face off! If it was a moderate breeze and we were travelling at say 12 knots into a head wind the wind chill was far in excess of the actual temp, not sure how they work it out, but if it was 0 degrees the temp dropped to well below 0. Decidedly unpleasant, but we were only subjected to it for an hour, as that is all we could take.

Genevieve
8th October 2011, 23:22
Wow, I am surprised you didn't get frostbite. Thanks for your useful information; were you ever stationed in the crows nest?

Keltic Star
9th October 2011, 07:29
I second everything that Donald has said and agree the an hour is about the maximum the healthy body shoud be subjected to such low temperatures. Without a survival suit, you would only last 4 minutes in the water before hypothermia sets in.

Having done the North Atlantic in winter more times that I care to remember I then emigrated to Canada where the wind chill factor is a way of life for about 5 months a year. Winter temperatures are forecast with and without the wind chill factor. Here in Halifax we can go as low minus 35C with a north easter but we dress appropriately and if you are smart, you start the car with the remote and let it warm up before getting behind the wheel. On the whole, our houses are well insulated and have efficient heating systems.

Most Canadian kids have learned the hard way not to stick one's toungue on steel railings and definitely don't eat yellow snow. Frostbite is not uncommon and you have to be careful not to leave the dog outside too long in extream temperatures and make sure it doesn't freeze to the ground while having a pee!

But we muddle through and everything such as road, rail, air or sea transportation works 97% of the time, ,we have the equipment to clear the roads within a few hours of a snow storm and we use proper tires to drive in ice & snow. We can lose power in an ice storm so we use back up wood stoves while some hook an emergency genny up to the house system.

I got frostbite in the middle fingers on both hands changing a car tire without gloves on 20 years ago, and boy, does it hurt and still does whenever I go out without gloves in the winter.

All in all, it's not a big deal but at 69 I'm seriously thinking of becoming a snowbird and live south during the winter.

Keltic Star
9th October 2011, 07:36
Wow, I am surprised you didn't get frostbite. Thanks for your useful information; were you ever stationed in the crows nest?

For the odd ship fitted with a crows nest, it was probably the best place to keep a lookout. I believe that the original "Queens" had heated crows nests as do most ice breakers.

Donald McGhee
9th October 2011, 22:33
Crows nests were a thing of the past on most of the merchant fleets, but the odd one was still to be seen in the mid sixties when I first went to sea. It would not have been a warm place, I think, to stand a lookout.

There was something romantic about them, but I guess the realitiy was somewhat different eh?

crellintk
13th October 2011, 20:43
Wind chill table available here: /www.weather.org.uk/resource/wind_chill.htm

I, too, can remember ducking down behind the dodger to avoid flying lumps of frozen spray. Happy days....

John Rogers
13th October 2011, 21:07
I spent 31/2 years in Fairbanks Alaska where at times it got to minus 73 below, and like Keltic Star mentioned frost bite is very nippy on the exposed areas of ones body, my right year was exposed one time and I still have a problem with it and its been over 45 years ago, Did I mention that it was so cold that when making yellow snow we ended up snapping the ice stream off when finished.


John

lakercapt
14th October 2011, 04:18
A trick I showed my grand kids when it was -20C.
Go outside with a mug of boiling water and throw it into the air.
It vaporizes immediately and disappears

spongebob
14th October 2011, 05:09
I had a friend that lived somewhat north of Toronto and he claimed that you dare not put your head outside the door in the winter after you have had a shower unless your hair has been blown totally dry other wise it will feel like it is coming out by the roots as the moisture freezes.

Bob

teb
14th October 2011, 05:45
On the Arctic convoy that I was on we were issued with special cold weather gear which included a hood made of sheepskin with slits for eyes and mouth, the" Long Johns " provided felt as if they were made of rug wool !!!!(EEK)

Klaatu83
14th October 2011, 14:28
Wear lots of layers of clothing (as opposed to a single heavy coat). We also used to war several knit caps on our heads, one over the other, pulled well down over the ears (always a vulnerable spot in extreme cold, as noted above). Sometimes there weren't enough winter clothes to go around. I have seen the man being releaved on watch turn his heavy outer garments over to the man who was releaving him. Also, keep your back to the wind whenever possible and, when that is not possible, try to find a place to stand where the full force of the wind is deflected by the ship's structure.

Genevieve
15th October 2011, 14:54
Hi friends,
Thank-you for your insights. It doesn't sound like the sort of thing I'd want to do even if it did involve an inordinate amount of time hiding behind bulwarks or diving into companionways rather than face frostbite. I did a little search after posting the above and found an interesting page on Wikipedia. It seems that at relatively high speed and low temps, frostbite can set in in half an hour or less.

Keltic Star
16th October 2011, 05:32
Hi friends,
Thank-you for your insights. It doesn't sound like the sort of thing I'd want to do even if it did involve an inordinate amount of time hiding behind bulwarks or diving into companionways rather than face frostbite. I did a little search after posting the above and found an interesting page on Wikipedia. It seems that at relatively high speed and low temps, frostbite can set in in half an hour or less.

Much less!