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  #26  
Old 27th July 2020, 06:26
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One sound I have a nostalgia for is the sound of steam-powered winches, seeing all that steam escaping made me wonder how they kept the pressure up.
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  #27  
Old 27th July 2020, 06:34
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By far, one of the best moments I ever had on the docks was New Year's Eve 1969/1970. The Port of Astoria had a full harbor, 9 ships on its 3 piers, and there was a party on each ship. I decided to stand at the foot of the center pier (Pier 2) about 23:40, which turned out to be just in time, as most ships were not going to wait until the stroke of midnight to sound their horns. The first blares began at 23:45, some seeming to answer the other, but the directional nature of each one, plus the ensuing echo from the hillside behind me, and the far shore ahead of me, was a surround sound experience that no cinema has ever come near duplicating. It was mostly over at 00:15, but a couple of ships popped off a few over the next couple of hours.
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  #28  
Old 27th July 2020, 10:21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Jarman View Post
........
In my time I managed to see/hear the steam blows on 4 units at Ferry C, 2 blows at Ironbridge, 2 blows at Grain and 2 blows at Ince PS. If I wasn't on shift I'd go in anyway.

JJ.
John, that sounds like an addiction
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  #29  
Old 27th July 2020, 10:49
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Yes Tim and sometimes, at full load, I was tempted to 'poop-off' the Safeties but never did......intentionally!!

Just an anecdote from PS life - not as interesting as being at sea but we had our moments. I could write a few but too much off thread I reckon.

JJ.
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  #30  
Old 27th July 2020, 13:06
John Gowers John Gowers is offline
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The eeriest noise I remember, in an engine room, was the sound of the the bilge water as a blacked out steam tanker rolled, very slightly, while blacked out. It was as if I was standing on a beach listening to the tide coming in.
It was 1973, ship was the the Burmah Zircon a Denholm Steam tanker. We were blacked out for two weeks as the as one of the steam generators wiped its bearings, causing the blackout and the emergency diesel generator almost destroyed itself when we went to use it. It had to be rebuilt virtually in the dark lucky for us it was at the top of the engine room so we got daylight through the skylights during the day.
To fire up the boilers eventually we had to gather up any wood we could find and build a bonfire in the boiler to warm it up, sounds a bit like the Monty Python sketch, 'You were lucky' but it happened.
It was my first trip as J/E and the trip was 6 months had two runs ashore, no idea why I stayed at sea after that but I made chief eventually and stayed on ships and rigs until I retired a few years ago.
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  #31  
Old 27th July 2020, 14:02
geoffu geoffu is offline
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The sound of the engine room in drydock.
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  #32  
Old 27th July 2020, 15:49
R904444 R904444 is offline  
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Hi John,

I sailed on Burmah Cameo in 1974 and had the same eerie experience for about 3 days. We blacked out and the fuel for the on deck Cummins diesel was contaminated and blocked the fuel filters. We managed to flash up again on Diesel. I heard about the Zircon incident from Colin Ross who was 3/E at the time, the Zircon sounded like a real nightmare.

Andy McArthur
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  #33  
Old 28th July 2020, 03:19
Tony Foot Tony Foot is offline
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Similar one for you Makko,
safety /hold off tug somewhere in the Indian Ocean,(To protect the innocent.)
Tug approaches stern of tanker with West African crew and British Officers.
Heaving line down from tanker with monkey fist, not sandbag as weight.
A.B. picks up line and signals to British Mate and Cadet that monkey fist not acceptable (OH&S). Brit. mate shouts down " What frightened of a piece of string"?
A.B. quick as, out with knife, cuts off monkey fist and throws it back straight and true at Mate. Mate and Cadet drop flat on deck and monkey fist hits rail directly above mate with resounding "BOING". AB shouts up "What frightened of a bit of string"?
Mate tries to restore lost face by yelling at his crew who promptly walk off the deck. many hours later finally get tanker secured to buoy.

Last edited by Tony Foot; 28th July 2020 at 03:24..
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  #34  
Old 28th July 2020, 06:05
John Gowers John Gowers is offline
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Hi Andy,
Good to hear for from someone from those days. The Burmah Zircon was a bit of a nightmare at times, AC broke down, many times, in the aft accommodation and we carried our mattress out on deck to sleep.
I was J/E on the 12/4 watch and it was my job to sootblow in the afternoon. The procedure was to inform the bridge before the operation started, the Zircon had a midships accommodation, and they would change course and head into the wind, of course as a first tripper with my head in the clouds I forgot to do this and covered the bridge in soot. I was not the the mates favourite person for a while.
I do have fond memories of the movie nights when, once a week, we would all gather in a lounge in the midships accommodation watch reel to reel movies and get pissed on Tenants Thistle.
John Gowers
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  #35  
Old 28th July 2020, 10:13
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Not stricktly a below deck noise but leaving Devonpoirt harbour, Auckland late '60s. All the off watch stokers lined up on the Stb'd waste for leaving harbour. Wire hawser being used to swing of the end of the pier, when the eye of the hawser caught on an eye bold on the iron deck (HMS Carysfort, WWII destroyer). For those who don't know (and you never want to) as they go taught they start to hum and then they sing just prior to parting. This hawser is only inches from the feet of the stokers. Luckily it parted on the outside of the fairlead and opened up into a wall of wire towards the jetty. Inboard it just went slack.
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  #36  
Old 28th July 2020, 15:51
R904444 R904444 is offline  
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Hi Again John,

I used to do the soot blowing on the Cameo on the 12-4 afternoon as well. Same arrangement of informing bridge. By the time I finished at the top of the boilers it was out the funnel door to get my breath back & cool down. We also had bridge & bar midships with movies as you described. The A/C was ok but we also slept on deck during the 3 day blackout. She actually ran quite smoothly after the T/A governors were fitted with new springs.

Regards
Andy McArthur
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  #37  
Old 28th July 2020, 17:58
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John,
Was that.

I was tempted to 'poop-off' the Safeties but never did......intentionally!!
or
Pop-Off the safeties. Poop would be a little messy.
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  #38  
Old 29th July 2020, 14:17
ted harrison ted harrison is offline  
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Ref' Tim Gibbs post No 20. Common Bros Iron Ore (4 cyl NEM Doxford) had the Nemstop fitted and the 2eng (Billy Newton from Sunderland) was curious to know if it worked against the day it might be needed. He arranged to test it on the homeward leg from Vitoria. As I remember it, it worked a treat with the engine coming to rest very quickly. All very impressive.
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  #39  
Old 29th July 2020, 14:25
ted harrison ted harrison is offline  
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Heart stopping noise. Iron Horse, Glasgow to Sept Isles, Sept 1962. Main engine crankshaft split asunder accompanied by explosion in No 3. Very scary.
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  #40  
Old 29th July 2020, 18:29
henry1 henry1 is offline
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In 2001 I was on a 22 year old VLCC original name World Scholar built by Lithgows with a Kincaid B&W 11 cylinder GF 37500 BHP. Moved the filing cabinets in my office one day and found some old papers about the main timing chain snapping with the engine on full speed near Singapore.
Would have hated to be in the ER when that happened, can't imagine what it would have sounded like.
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  #41  
Old 1st August 2020, 02:52
Chris Wordsworth Chris Wordsworth is offline  
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Here is the extract from my diary as the RO on the mv Lord Codrington
Friday 17 July 1964
After two weeks finally sailed from Chinwangtao bound for Vancouver.

Sunday 19 July 1964
At 5.45am the ship started jumping up and down, quite frightening, I thought we had run aground. Engineers spent all morning trying to find out what was wrong, it turned out that the main engine crankshaft had broken. The crank web had cracked right through.

We got towed to Sasebo, where we spent three weeks enjoying the hospitality of Japan. We then got towed to Hong Kong where we spent three months. What a life being a sparks, not allowed to work in port!!

Hong Kong proved to be an adventure - more extracts from my diary below. The ship was like an empty tank, the engine had beet taken out and we were very vulnerable to the winds.

Friday 4 September 1964
We got towed out to the typhoon anchorage off Kai Tak Airport. Saw the plane carrying the Olympic Flame land. Woke up in the night with huge cockroach (2” x 1”) running up and down my back, had to go into the officer’s lounge to sleep.

Saturday 5 September 1964

Terrible typhoon Ruby passed within 30 miles. While secured to the typhoon buoy using our anchor chain the chain broke and the ship got washed ashore in Kowloon. Sent telegram. 17 people killed and two ships sank in Hong Kong harbour.

See http://www.weather.gov.hk/informtc/no10/ruby.htm

Ten ships ran aground and nineteen sailors missing. 120 knot winds. We all had our lifejackets on during this ordeal. Our ship drifted onto a tiny beach next to the power station and was held fast, really lucky. The seas were so high hitting our side that they pushed the lifeboat upwards so hard that it bend the davits upwards.


Typhoon Ruby 1 - 6 September 1964
Typhoon 'Ruby' developed much further to the north than any other typhoon that is known to have caused gales in Hong Kong in September. It was first located on September 1st as a tropical storm centred 600 miles east of Basco. It moved slightly south of west at 15 knots and although reconnaissance aircraft reported winds of 55 knots on September 2nd, ships close to the centre were still reporting winds of only 22-25 knots. On September 3rd, when it was centred off North Luzon, 'Ruby' intensified to a severe tropical storm and soon afterwards to a typhoon. No. 1 Local Storm Signal was hoisted in Hong Kong at 6.15 a.m. on September 4th when the centre was about 370 miles away. September 4th was fine and hot with scattered thunderstorms during the evening. Moderate northerly winds set in during the night. By this time there were practically no ships left in the northern part of the China Sea, and the exact track of the storm is uncertain. However, it appears to have changed direction and started moving northwestwards at about 6 p.m. on September 4th. In Hong Kong No. 3 signal was hoisted at 2.35 a.m. on September 5th when the centre was about 135 miles away, and No. 7 signal warning gales from the northeast quadrant followed at 7 a.m. The first strong northerly winds occurred in the Harbour at 8 a.m. and increased rapidly. No. 9 signal was hoisted at 10.30 a.m. followed by No. 10 at 11.40 a.m. to indicate that the 'eye' would pass close to the Colony and that sudden changes of wind direction could be expected.

The first northerly gales were recorded in the Harbour just before noon, while northeasterly winds reached hurricane force at Cape Collinson soon afterwards. At about 2 p.m. the winds almost everywhere in the Colony suddenly changed direction from northeast to south-southeast. At Cape Collinson an hourly mean wind of 86 knots was recorded between 2 p.m. and 3 p.m., and winds did not fall below hurricane force until about 3.30 p.m. At the Royal Observatory winds averaged 60 knots between 1.50 p.m. and 2.00 p.m. with a solitary gust of 122 knots. The lowest pressure occurred as a very sharp minimum of 968.2 millibars at 1.50 p.m. when the centre of the storm was about 15 miles southwest of the Observatory. Radar reports indicated that the eye of the storm was about 20 miles in diameter. Winds at the Observatory decreased slightly at 1.55 p.m., but changed direction and increased again from the south-southeast almost immediately.
Typhoon Ruby, which hit Hong Kong as a powerful 140 mph Category 4 storm, killing over 700 and becoming Hong Kong's worst named typhoon in history.
Typhoon Ruby, which formed on September 1 to the northeast of Luzon, rapidly intensified on September 5 to a peak of 140 mph (230 km/h) winds. It hit near Hong Kong, causing sustained hurricane winds there just hours later, and dissipated on September 6 over China. Ruby caused over 730 fatalities and catastrophic damage.
Hong Kong Smashed By Killer Typhoon Vast Toll of Dead, Injured In Pacific City

https://cdnc.ucr.edu/cgi-bin/cdnc?a=d&d=DS19640905.2.9
HONG KONG (UPD—Typhoon Ruby smashed into Hong Kong with killer winds up to 120 miles an hour today, leaving behind a vast toll of dead and injured and extensive property damage. At least 16 persons were killed, 303 were injured and 25 were missing in the storm which dumped at least seven inches of rain on the city in 24 hours and caused considerable flooding. Casualty figures mounted hourly. Ships in tie harbor were ripped from their moorings and set adrift. At least two sank from the battering winds and another 10 ran aground. One of the sunken ships was described as a “large vessel.” An additional 120 junks, yachts and “pleasure craft” also were reported to have gone down. Most of those missing were from the sunken ships. Weather bureau officials said the center of Typhoon Ruby passed 20 miles south of Hong Kong and was roaring off to wards the coast of Communist China in the area around the Pearl River. Officials said Ruby was the worst storm to hit this British crown colony off the South China coast since Typhoon Wanda took 138 lives and caused vast damage on Sept. 1, 1962. Weathermen said the nearly Portuguese island of Macao undoubtdly also suffered svcde damage from Ruby, but the extent was not immediately known. Winds ranging from 110 to 120 miles an hour ripped signs from buildings and uprooted trees. Numerous persons were hurt by flying objct\ propelled by the driving winds. The city was drenched with torrential rains. Hundreds of residents of low lying areas were moved from homes inundated by several feet of flood water. City transportation, including cross harbor ferry service to Kowloon and the new territories on the China mainland snde. was paralyzed. The Olympic torch, on a nation - by nation airplane trip from Greece to Tokyo, burned through the storm outside the Hong Kong city hall. The special Japanese airliner carrying the torch was grounded at Hong Kong's Kai Tak Airport along with all other j flights. Originally scheduled to depart for Taipei today, the torch plane was sitting out a 24-hour delay. Landslides blocked roads in outlying areas. The Hong Kong stock market, closed because of the storm. I The typhoon was moving towards the Red China coast and W'as due to hit the area west of the Pearl River later in the day. probably with diminished force.

Typhoon Wanda shares with some of the most devastating storms in living memory including Hurricane Katrina which flattened New Orleans in 2005.
According to the observatory, only four other tropical cyclones having hit Hong Kong have earned the title of super typhoon since 1950. The others which qualify are Faye in 1963, Ruby in 1964, Roses in 1971 and Hope in 1979.
Typhoon Ruby, which hit Hong Kong as a powerful 140 mph Category 4 storm, killing over 700 and becoming Hong Kong's worst named typhoon in history.


Sunday 6 September 1964
The typhoon has gone and the weather is fine. Got towed off the shore and taken out to anchor again.

What a difference a sunny day makes.
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  #42  
Old 1st August 2020, 05:30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Wordsworth View Post
Here is the extract from my diary as the RO on the mv Lord Codrington
Friday 17 July 1964
After two weeks finally sailed from Chinwangtao bound for Vancouver.

Sunday 19 July 1964
At 5.45am the ship started jumping up and down, quite frightening, I thought we had run aground. Engineers spent all morning trying to find out what was wrong, it turned out that the main engine crankshaft had broken. The crank web had cracked right through.

We got towed to Sasebo, where we spent three weeks enjoying the hospitality of Japan. We then got towed to Hong Kong where we spent three months. What a life being a sparks, not allowed to work in port!!

Hong Kong proved to be an adventure - more extracts from my diary below. The ship was like an empty tank, the engine had beet taken out and we were very vulnerable to the winds.

Friday 4 September 1964
We got towed out to the typhoon anchorage off Kai Tak Airport. Saw the plane carrying the Olympic Flame land. Woke up in the night with huge cockroach (2” x 1”) running up and down my back, had to go into the officer’s lounge to sleep.

Saturday 5 September 1964

Terrible typhoon Ruby passed within 30 miles. While secured to the typhoon buoy using our anchor chain the chain broke and the ship got washed ashore in Kowloon. Sent telegram. 17 people killed and two ships sank in Hong Kong harbour.

See http://www.weather.gov.hk/informtc/no10/ruby.htm

Ten ships ran aground and nineteen sailors missing. 120 knot winds. We all had our lifejackets on during this ordeal. Our ship drifted onto a tiny beach next to the power station and was held fast, really lucky. The seas were so high hitting our side that they pushed the lifeboat upwards so hard that it bend the davits upwards.


Typhoon Ruby 1 - 6 September 1964
Typhoon 'Ruby' developed much further to the north than any other typhoon that is known to have caused gales in Hong Kong in September. It was first located on September 1st as a tropical storm centred 600 miles east of Basco. It moved slightly south of west at 15 knots and although reconnaissance aircraft reported winds of 55 knots on September 2nd, ships close to the centre were still reporting winds of only 22-25 knots. On September 3rd, when it was centred off North Luzon, 'Ruby' intensified to a severe tropical storm and soon afterwards to a typhoon. No. 1 Local Storm Signal was hoisted in Hong Kong at 6.15 a.m. on September 4th when the centre was about 370 miles away. September 4th was fine and hot with scattered thunderstorms during the evening. Moderate northerly winds set in during the night. By this time there were practically no ships left in the northern part of the China Sea, and the exact track of the storm is uncertain. However, it appears to have changed direction and started moving northwestwards at about 6 p.m. on September 4th. In Hong Kong No. 3 signal was hoisted at 2.35 a.m. on September 5th when the centre was about 135 miles away, and No. 7 signal warning gales from the northeast quadrant followed at 7 a.m. The first strong northerly winds occurred in the Harbour at 8 a.m. and increased rapidly. No. 9 signal was hoisted at 10.30 a.m. followed by No. 10 at 11.40 a.m. to indicate that the 'eye' would pass close to the Colony and that sudden changes of wind direction could be expected.

The first northerly gales were recorded in the Harbour just before noon, while northeasterly winds reached hurricane force at Cape Collinson soon afterwards. At about 2 p.m. the winds almost everywhere in the Colony suddenly changed direction from northeast to south-southeast. At Cape Collinson an hourly mean wind of 86 knots was recorded between 2 p.m. and 3 p.m., and winds did not fall below hurricane force until about 3.30 p.m. At the Royal Observatory winds averaged 60 knots between 1.50 p.m. and 2.00 p.m. with a solitary gust of 122 knots. The lowest pressure occurred as a very sharp minimum of 968.2 millibars at 1.50 p.m. when the centre of the storm was about 15 miles southwest of the Observatory. Radar reports indicated that the eye of the storm was about 20 miles in diameter. Winds at the Observatory decreased slightly at 1.55 p.m., but changed direction and increased again from the south-southeast almost immediately.
Typhoon Ruby, which hit Hong Kong as a powerful 140 mph Category 4 storm, killing over 700 and becoming Hong Kong's worst named typhoon in history.
Typhoon Ruby, which formed on September 1 to the northeast of Luzon, rapidly intensified on September 5 to a peak of 140 mph (230 km/h) winds. It hit near Hong Kong, causing sustained hurricane winds there just hours later, and dissipated on September 6 over China. Ruby caused over 730 fatalities and catastrophic damage.
Hong Kong Smashed By Killer Typhoon Vast Toll of Dead, Injured In Pacific City

https://cdnc.ucr.edu/cgi-bin/cdnc?a=d&d=DS19640905.2.9
HONG KONG (UPD—Typhoon Ruby smashed into Hong Kong with killer winds up to 120 miles an hour today, leaving behind a vast toll of dead and injured and extensive property damage. At least 16 persons were killed, 303 were injured and 25 were missing in the storm which dumped at least seven inches of rain on the city in 24 hours and caused considerable flooding. Casualty figures mounted hourly. Ships in tie harbor were ripped from their moorings and set adrift. At least two sank from the battering winds and another 10 ran aground. One of the sunken ships was described as a “large vessel.” An additional 120 junks, yachts and “pleasure craft” also were reported to have gone down. Most of those missing were from the sunken ships. Weather bureau officials said the center of Typhoon Ruby passed 20 miles south of Hong Kong and was roaring off to wards the coast of Communist China in the area around the Pearl River. Officials said Ruby was the worst storm to hit this British crown colony off the South China coast since Typhoon Wanda took 138 lives and caused vast damage on Sept. 1, 1962. Weathermen said the nearly Portuguese island of Macao undoubtdly also suffered svcde damage from Ruby, but the extent was not immediately known. Winds ranging from 110 to 120 miles an hour ripped signs from buildings and uprooted trees. Numerous persons were hurt by flying objct\ propelled by the driving winds. The city was drenched with torrential rains. Hundreds of residents of low lying areas were moved from homes inundated by several feet of flood water. City transportation, including cross harbor ferry service to Kowloon and the new territories on the China mainland snde. was paralyzed. The Olympic torch, on a nation - by nation airplane trip from Greece to Tokyo, burned through the storm outside the Hong Kong city hall. The special Japanese airliner carrying the torch was grounded at Hong Kong's Kai Tak Airport along with all other j flights. Originally scheduled to depart for Taipei today, the torch plane was sitting out a 24-hour delay. Landslides blocked roads in outlying areas. The Hong Kong stock market, closed because of the storm. I The typhoon was moving towards the Red China coast and W'as due to hit the area west of the Pearl River later in the day. probably with diminished force.

Typhoon Wanda shares with some of the most devastating storms in living memory including Hurricane Katrina which flattened New Orleans in 2005.
According to the observatory, only four other tropical cyclones having hit Hong Kong have earned the title of super typhoon since 1950. The others which qualify are Faye in 1963, Ruby in 1964, Roses in 1971 and Hope in 1979.
Typhoon Ruby, which hit Hong Kong as a powerful 140 mph Category 4 storm, killing over 700 and becoming Hong Kong's worst named typhoon in history.


Sunday 6 September 1964
The typhoon has gone and the weather is fine. Got towed off the shore and taken out to anchor again.

What a difference a sunny day makes.
Great reading, thank you.
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  #43  
Old 1st August 2020, 10:28
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Chris, I hope you have grandchildren. What a waste of a great but horrifying history without (otherwise perhaps you could borrow some?)
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  #44  
Old 1st August 2020, 16:07
sparks69 sparks69 is online now  
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The lip-smacking noise of a Pielstick Emergency Geny diesel starting up on whatever those gas canisters had in them !
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  #45  
Old 2nd August 2020, 11:48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Rogers View Post
John,
Was that.

I was tempted to 'poop-off' the Safeties but never did......intentionally!!
or
Pop-Off the safeties. Poop would be a little messy.
Ha Ha....Just a saying we had, John. Saying, "I say old chap, I just 'floated' those darned safety valves", wouldn't have had the same 'ring' to it - pun intended. If you did lift the safeties, you were probably in the shyte anyway!

Sorry to be late in replying - not on here as regularly these days.

JJ.
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