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P.J. Adams

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A sparse wheelhouse! I was on a few ships with a separate chartroom like this.Very interesting to me though-- after 21 years away from the sea, I'd completely forgotten about tall pilots' chairs-- but seeing this, I could immediately FEEL sitting in one whilst watchkeeping.

As an aside-- I hope you don't mind?-this site really is NOSTALGIA, as exemplified by this pic. Stuff recessed in the nooks and crannies of memory-- things taken for granted back then in the all-encompassing life onboard at sea-- can suddenly be unlocked by an apparently insignificant thing-- I read on here about Norwegian foghorns and cleaning wheelhouse brass on Sunday morning whilst a cadet,and I was suddenly back there and 18 again!

Keep 'em coming. Regards.
 

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John,
Sitting in the pilot's chair while watchkeeping? Tut tut! LOL. We all did it of course but the minute you heard the Old Man's footsteps in the chartroom or coming up the ladder you were out of it in a flash.
This one looks quite comfortable with cushions. BP's were just plain wood & not very comfortable. No sign of brass in this wheelhouse.
Kind regards,
John F.
 

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Yes mate-- I found that I needed to take the weight off occasionally, from all those hours walking up and down the bridgewing bronzying whilst on watch! (oops, did I admit another misdemeanour there?)
 

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Sparse is absolutely correct! The big leap forward here was to have a chinagraph pencil so that we could plot radar targets directly on the reflector plotter. The table in the distance was installed later to accommodate the Decca Navigator but I still shake my head about the Captain who refused to accept the Navigator positions while we were drifting in the English Channel-\"we were not going the way were heading, so that thing can not be correct!\".
All this before traffic separations schemes: the west Varne buoy still brings back traffic nightmares!.
Now that I am a Pilot the chairs are usually rubbish! and worn out by watchkeepers that do exactly what I did as a watchkeeper!
 

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Ah, Decca Navigator-- great stuff-- except in the Gulf of Bothnia where the needles spun madly! But I hated Loran when I first came to it, after using Decca Navigator.

And Sat Nav just before I packed it all in-- unreliable positioning once or twice a day if you were lucky!!-- now I can use my £200 satnav to walk around any unknown city with dead accuracy!!
 

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Satnav is pretty good but we are looking at a whole generation who are not crash hot at DR navigation. Just plot the lat long as per the readout but hardly bother to see if the distance and time from the last position validate the recently plotted position. Its also been a long while since I've seen a transferred position line!
Sounds like I'm getting to be one of the whingeing old watchkeepers I knew when I was young---nothing changes!
 

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I have also spent many hours in that chair as well,Over 40 years ago now.
 

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In the BI I never sailed on a single vessel that had any kind of navigational accoutrements apart from a compass, radar, (usually tres dodgy) chronometer and a DF. The DF was a joke, as were most of the radars. Naturally navigators had to provide their own sextants. However I found that my star sights, taken in conjunction with the US air navigation tables, were extremely accurate and very fast.

I remember that a Decca Navigator was put on board occasionally when coasting in the UK, but noone seemed to understand it or put any faith in it.

Talking the late 50'searly 60's here.
 

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And we thought the overhead console for the read-outs such as RPM, Clock, rudder Indicator and Gyro were pretty flash! There was this constant battle going on to get the back-lighting level to just the right level!
 

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I remember sitting on the Pilot/Master chair during my first trip as Master. Of course we all used to sit in it from time time time - except when the Master was on the bridge. Both the OOW and Seaman on watch had a laugh when I leapt out of the chair on hearing the chartroom fire door clang. Of course I thought it might be the OM but I was the OM! Happy days..............
 

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