Sunday, September 4, 2016

That's an expensive way to get to pole position

We're all watching to see what tropical storm Hermine will do over the next 24 hours.

 We had a bit of a rough week here on HAWSEPIPER's Afloat Global HQ/hole into which one pours money. One of our elderly and unreliable generators had a moment, and threw a connecting rod ah, energetically, punching a hole through the engine block. 

Rest in Pieces

 Well, with one generator down, and oil pretty much everywhere in the gen house, we got pulled out of service so that the gen could get replaced. To do that, a hatch in the overhead of the generator room was opened, and the dead generator was lifted out and a new one put in place. 

Out with the old

in with the new 
    our generators are so old that they can't be replaced with a drop-in replacement. A reemie generator attached to a new engine required that some welding and fitting be done to accomodate a new model block and the exhaust lining up differently.

     What with Tropical Storm Hermine's behavior being something of a head-scratcher, and the setting of Condition Yankee for this area coming today sometime, the decision was made to leave us at the dock while the fleet seeks out sheltered berths. So our gen is roughed into position, the hatch bolted back down, we got sandwiched in here at the dock, and put out enough mooring lines to secure a battleship.

 Some of our smaller tugs are standing by at the foot of the dock. Tonight there will be a storm surge, and I assume that two of the tugs will moor to the outboard barge (we're 3 deep. I've got pole position what with the wonky gen) and idle in reverse to hold us off the dock if there's danger of us ending all up in the neighbor's bidness.

 So yesterday and today the rest of our fleet will head for storm berths up the rivers and into the estuaries and other protected docks. I've got a great spot- I'm sheltered by our pier, and if things do go sideways, I'm conveniently located to everything.

   I'd like to give a VERY big shoutout and attaboy to the manager of our local Home Depot. Last storm surge, most of us lost our vehicles. This time, working with local waterfront companies, the manager of the nearby Home Depot allowed the tug and barge company employees in this area to park on the roof of his parking garage until the storm passes. That's some good looking out.

 So yesterday was pretty busy, anyhow, here at my company's main office. Everyone topped off their water tanks, ran to the stores to get food and medications, and made their vessels ready for heavy weather.

        Me being something of a traditionalist, the HQ needed minimal preparation. I don't keep a pristine deck- I grew up on a commercial fishing vessel, which means you keep the tools to hand and not in the way, but don't sweat the small stuff. We do keep the deck such that it can be made ready for sea by one man in under 15 minutes. We did a FOD walk, checked lashings and clasps and such, and since we were already at the home dock, we had already taken out the trash and swapped out some older mooring lines for new and had taken on stores.
   Then we went out for pizza. God help me, I've been eating healthy for a few months now and I ate an entire pepperoni, red pepper and bacon pizza. The results this morning have been predictable. Not so much gastric distress as fostering a hostile work environment. I'm suffering and the conditions are so bad inside the house that I actually drove the flies away. 

   Also, pizza without beer is just not the same. As much as it was delicious, it was incomplete, like eating pate without crackers. Still tasty, but you need the pairing.
 At any rate, it'll be a while before I have pizza again.  I've gotten used to eating rabbit food.


Jill said...

I bet that gennie made some mess! Glad you've got it all sorted out for the storm. Stay safe.

PS- I know what you mean about the pizza- just not the same.

Anonymous said...

Good luck! Looks like y'all have made everything as secure as can be.
I served in the USN. We always bitched that maybe we shouldn't have rebelled after all, considering that Her Majesty's sailors enjoyed an alcohol ration. We generally decide that liberty (as a concept, not just going ashore) was worth it, but just barely. We had to be out without a port call 60 days, IIRC, to get a 2-beer allotment.
Hope you ride things out with relative equanimity. The new generator is pretty! That won't last, but you know that.
--Tennessee Budd