Whats a safety line? unheard of in the mid seventies (health and safety did not apply) We also used to carry a brief case with us customs had a strap to go over the shoulder me I had a hand stuck through the handlebenjidog said:I used to climb down something very similar when I did potholing when too stupid to know better. Technique was the same - you climbed down the side of it. If you tried to climb down with the rungs face on to you the damn things swung away from you.
Whilst doing this we were also attached to a safety line held by another member of the party in case you lost your grip on the ladder.
Did you guys have a safety line or just hold on to the ladder with your hands? Without one, especially in that location, it sounds ten times more dangerous than potholing and frankly just plain crazy.
Nice one Lookout, I can just visualise all that taking place, would have been damned funny to watch mate. (Thumb)Lookout said:Little story about a jacobs ladder!
My mate and I joined one of Denholm's bulk carriers in Port Talbot, where she had been laid up for a few months. The bosun and one or two others had joined before us, but the rest of the crew turned up later. She was well out of the water, tied up at buoys and the bosun asked my mate and I if we would kindly paint the draught numbers on the bow on Sunday morning.
Sunday dawned after a heavy night ashore and it was with throbbing heads and swollen tongues that we rigged our bosuns chairs on either side of the bow and lowered ourselves down. It was a lovely morning however and we soon began to feel better and debate which fleshpots we would grace with our company that evening. An Ordinary Seaman had been assigned to keep us supplied with paint and otherwise tend to our needs; thirst being the most pressing.
By noon we had painted the lowest numbers and were sitting facing each other with our feet in the water under the flare of the bow. We called to our tender to lower the jacobs ladder, which he did - but it only reached halfway down the bow. After much swearing and hurling of threats and imprecations at the unfortunate OS, we finally took his word for it that he wasn't holding back part of the ladder. We concluded that there was nothing for it but to haul ourselves up the gantlines and transfer to the ladder.
I thought my mate was going to die laughing as I accepted his challenge to go first. I could hear him chortling away below me as I laboriously clawed my way hand over hand up the gantline, last night's drink oozing from every pore in my body. I finally reached the jacobs ladder and with a supreme effort dragged myself onto it, climbing (as prescribed) up one side of it. With my last ounce of strength I heaved myself over the gunwale and lay in a gasping heap beside the windlass.
When I got sufficient strength back to stand up, I looked over the bow; my mate was still sitting with his feet in the water and he wasn't laughing any more. "Right you b*****d" I croaked, "your turn". I watched as he repeated my own performance up the gantline and reached the jacobs ladder. However, every time he reached out for the ladder, the other hand would start to slide down the gantline. He got to the ladder three times and each time the same thing happened. Finally, with a despairing look upwards at my grinning face, he said "f**k it", flung his arms wide and plummeted into the harbour.
He came up gasping and spluttering, swam over to the nearest buoy, pulled out his **** and tried to light one.
The moral of this story is - ALWAYS CHECK THE LENGTH OF YOUR JACOBS LADDER- or carry waterproof cigarettes.