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  #1  
Old 5th June 2020, 04:39
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Odours

ODOURS

A recent comment was that the worst job in the travel industry is being the person on the airport air bridge who opens the door of a Jumbo jet on its arrival after a 26 hour almost nonstop flight from Europe.
Apparently the fetid odours are an overpowering mix of stale air impregnated with humanity, food and human waste that can dissolve the resolve of anyone standing in fresh air but is not perceptible to the passengers and crew who have spent a long time in flight “acclimatizing”
.
This snippet reminds me of the time that I worked on a submarine that had crossed the Tasman Sea in the 1950’s submerged and using its snorkel, the first submarine to do so. As I recall it was the Royal Navy Submarine HMS “Tactician” then based on the Australian Station and she submerged off Sydney Heads and did not resurface until she reached Auckland’s inner Hauraki Gulf.

The morning after she docked a leading hand Dockyard fitter and I, his apprentice, were asked to go on board to work on an engine problem and as with many other memories, triggers the Aircraft odour above, brought the recall off boarding that Submarine flooding back.

Many of the crew had been transferred to the comforts of the Naval Shore Barracks for the stay in port and ventilation was being pumped into the hull but the stench of humanity that hit us as we disappeared down that conning tower hatch was enough to make one gag and dry retch and offer a thanks that I had not eaten breakfast.
I mean no offence to the crew and it was understandable that 65 men locked in that skinny pressure vessel hull for 6 or 7 days with only a couple of heads (toilets) and, I imagine very limited access , if any, to a hot shower would build up a bit of BO that even lifebuoy soap could not dispel.
.
The engine problem was a damaged bottom end bearing on the port engine and after opening up the crankcase and lifting the piston the exposed crank pin journal was found to be scoured due to a blockage in an oil way and a lack of lubrication.
After many wise men from a Commander (E), Dockyard Inspectors, to the ships engineer had inspected the damage and uttered their pearls of wisdom it was decided that only an “in-situ” repair was possible and that the marked crank pin should be dressed up by hand honing. Of course, it was decided that such a job was ideal training for a senior apprentice so there I was confined to crouching in the crankcase for the next few days slowly working my way toward a creditable result. Meanwhile the bearing had gone ashore for re-metalling and machining and in due course the engine was boxed up and after basin trials and a further check they decided to go to sea for a few hours of further engine and dive trials.
Of course the fitter and I were invited to go along but being claustrophobic at the best of times and having spent the previous few days in a confined space within the already confined atmosphere of the submarine hull and the continuing odour in my nostrils I declined the opportunity and a mate gladly went in my place.
Trials went OK and the submarine duly departed for Singapore as I recall.

After working in that atmosphere all day, I would go home and have a hot shower but my mother was still able to detect the odd smell and suggested that I was not washing properly!

I sure will have pity for the airline ground staff at the aircraft door next time I take a long flight.

Bob.
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Old 5th June 2020, 06:05
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ODOURS

A recent comment was that the worst job in the travel industry is being the person on the airport air bridge who opens the door of a Jumbo jet on its arrival after a 26 hour almost nonstop flight from Europe.

Bob.
Heathrow tells us that they pay a bonus for staff to be present for the opening of a Qantas door.
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Old 5th June 2020, 09:30
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Unless they have some visitors, people in cold countries get "acclimatized" to a non-aired inside atmosphere that can be pretty awful. I remember while on a military winter manouver knocking at a door far north to ask if I could have some water filled in a bucket I was carrying. A lady opened the door, and the stench was so immediately horrid that I had to take several steps backwards and after asking for the water, change my mind and tell her I actually did not need any. The house and what little I saw of the inside looked clean and neat.

In general I would say that every house lived in has its specific smell that if intensified could be found revolting to others, and everybody who would like visitors should air it with several windows and doors open every week or so, even if they have the air cleamers going all the time. This is perhaps more true where temperatures forces people to try to isolate the house and to keep the heat generated inside. "We do not heat for the benefit of the crows" is a common Norwegian saying directed at someone opening a window in midwinter.

Last edited by stein; 5th June 2020 at 09:49..
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Old 5th June 2020, 10:24
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I think Gweneth Paltrow should be consulted as to a remedy for this problem
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Old 5th June 2020, 21:02
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I think Gweneth Paltrow should be consulted as to a remedy for this problem
She couldn't light my candle, I've lost the wick
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Old 6th June 2020, 00:06
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Didn't they have a name for Subs Pig Boats because of the smell.
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Old 6th June 2020, 00:09
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When living in Germany the windows were opened in the morning and the bed clothes hung out the window.

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Old 6th June 2020, 00:59
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They also have got constantly clean Autobahn toilets, a lovely country to drive right through? (-No, the Germans clean up everywhere. It is fun watching the telly every morning after New Year's celebrations. All the European capitals looks like garbage dumps, but Berlin has been cleaned during the night, and is spotless as usual.)

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Old 6th June 2020, 04:49
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I once went into a confectionary factory where they were boiling up vats of licorise. Now there's an overpowering stench for you. I was gasping.
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Old 6th June 2020, 05:54
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They also have got constantly clean Autobahn toilets, a lovely country to drive right through? (-No, the Germans clean up everywhere. It is fun watching the telly every morning after New Year's celebrations. All the European capitals looks like garbage dumps, but Berlin has been cleaned during the night, and is spotless as usual.)
I found Norwegian ships to be at least as clean as German ships. There comes a point where it's hard to tell what is the cleanest possible, but I'd say the Nordic ships were the standard of cleanliness.
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Old 6th June 2020, 07:34
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Where are the ex whaler factory ship crews with their views of odours

Bob
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Old 6th June 2020, 09:59
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In the Kingdom of the nose-blind the whaler boys are well throne-distanced.

Mind you, a colleague recounted how the carriage of puer was not exactly inoffensive.
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Old 6th June 2020, 11:23
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My father as a young boy carried timber and ice with horse drawn carriages. He said that people knew at long distance what work he was doing. The same they said of the people operating the engines in early steam ships, and people in Scandinavia named them "tallow-cookers".
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Old 6th June 2020, 15:19
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They also have got constantly clean Autobahn toilets, a lovely country to drive right through? (-No, the Germans clean up everywhere. It is fun watching the telly every morning after New Year's celebrations. All the European capitals looks like garbage dumps, but Berlin has been cleaned during the night, and is spotless as usual.)
A friend, living in Germany, decided to wash his car one Sunday morning. Slowly, the neighbours appeared, staring at him. After a while, one came up to him and said,"We don't wash our cars on Sunday!" and walked off. That was the last Sunday wash for his car.
Rgds.
Dave
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Old 6th June 2020, 15:20
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I found Norwegian ships to be at least as clean as German ships. There comes a point where it's hard to tell what is the cleanest possible, but I'd say the Nordic ships were the standard of cleanliness.
And the Dutch Blue Funnels. Very clean, tidy and freshly painted, even bettwr than the AH Brits.
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Old 6th June 2020, 15:42
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The smell of the land as you ended an ocean passage! Everything smells, you just get used to it.
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Old 6th June 2020, 17:15
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Trident Tankers/P&O Bulk had four "Ard" class tankers, I sailed on the Ardsheil twice, the Ardtaraig and Ardvar once. Those ships had a very distinctive smell which was different from any of the others I sailed on. A few times since I came ashore, which is a long time ago now, I've smelt a very similar odour and immediately been taken back to sailing on them.
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Old 6th June 2020, 17:56
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In the Persian Gulf tied up behind a few sheep carriers, now that was a smell........
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Old 6th June 2020, 18:32
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A friend, living in Germany, decided to wash his car one Sunday morning. Slowly, the neighbours appeared, staring at him. After a while, one came up to him and said,"We don't wash our cars on Sunday!" and walked off. That was the last Sunday wash for his car.
Rgds.
Dave
That is religion. I remember findig a nail a stone and a bit of wood when I was around 5 years of age. I had not gotten the nail halfway in when my grandmother came running out and hit me with a swing that had me doing several rotations. "I will teach you to work on a Sunday" she screamed. "Keeping the Sunday peace" they call it here, and though I have got several neighbours that do not care, I can never bring me to mow the grass on a Sunday - and I actually would like to have a day of quiet a day every week. Though I believe the southern part of Germany are more strict than the northern part of Germany, as well as the Scandinavians north of that again.
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Old 6th June 2020, 19:37
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I was sent by the Pool to sign on a whaler and as I got to the gangway I backed of as the smell was so bad. Another bad smell is a Tanning factory.
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Old 6th June 2020, 21:27
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I was sent by the Pool to sign on a whaler and as I got to the gangway I backed of as the smell was so bad. Another bad smell is a Tanning factory.
My Nan used to tell me that on the site of the Black Horse in Wallasey Village, they had tanning pits and the smell was awful. They also had "lime pits". When the area was developed, every one breathed (literally) a sigh of relief.

Rgds.
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Old 6th June 2020, 22:07
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This one could beat most stink stories.
The Taranaki Bye products works , one that boiled down all manner of deceased animals for fertiliser, called for a new boiler .
I flew down to deliver and present the tender and when I called at the office the receptionist motioned that the manager was down in the yard so , nice day, i ambled down to meet him .
We got chatting and he took the bid envelope from me and started walking back to the office .
He paused as he thumbed through to the price page ,as they all do , and just as we were passing a dead cow that was about to be hauled up the process chute
He raised his right leg and rested it on the cow's swollen belly to form a 'thigh desk' to rest the document on and at that moment the cavadar decided to let go all the built up wind in its system in one big fart .
It was too much for me as I Retched and retched and hurried off to the toilet.
The man saw it as a huge joke and I did go home with an order for a 10,000 lbs per hour Steambloc boiler .

Bob
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Old 7th June 2020, 19:19
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I was sent by the Pool to sign on a whaler and as I got to the gangway I backed of as the smell was so bad. Another bad smell is a Tanning factory.
I ended up as a tannery engineer for twenty years after leaving the sea. You are not wrong about the smell, but you do get used to it....eventually!
But the tannery smell was surpassed while I was actually at sea - 40,000 tons of Qatari crude oil carried from the Gulf to Europe. There was so much hydrogen sulphide in it that the samples bubbled like lemonade, it carried on gassing off day after day, week after week as we plodded round Africa. The whole ship and everyone and everything on it stank of rotten eggs - horrible stuff.
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Old 7th June 2020, 19:31
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I ended up as a tannery engineer for twenty years after leaving the sea. You are not wrong about the smell, but you do get used to it....eventually!
But the tannery smell was surpassed while I was actually at sea - 40,000 tons of Qatari crude oil carried from the Gulf to Europe. There was so much hydrogen sulphide in it that the samples bubbled like lemonade, it carried on gassing off day after day, week after week as we plodded round Africa. The whole ship and everyone and everything on it stank of rotten eggs - horrible stuff.
And what a lot of people don't realize is that it is toxic and explosive!
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Old 7th June 2020, 19:39
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That is religion. I remember findig a nail a stone and a bit of wood when I was around 5 years of age. I had not gotten the nail halfway in when my grandmother came running out and hit me with a swing that had me doing several rotations. "I will teach you to work on a Sunday" she screamed. "Keeping the Sunday peace" they call it here, and though I have got several neighbours that do not care, I can never bring me to mow the grass on a Sunday - and I actually would like to have a day of quiet a day every week. Though I believe the southern part of Germany are more strict than the northern part of Germany, as well as the Scandinavians north of that again.
Here in Tonga it is forbidden to work on a Sunday, It's written in the constitution and the law. For the most part it is upheld and expats will often go to nearby offshore island resorts for a swim. I have no problem as it gives workers at the bottom of the economic heap a day off,
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