Well, today was our 5-year renewal inspection for our Certificate of Inspection, the master document that the Coast Guard issues to say what we can do, who we can do it with, and what we need to do it. This is the big certificate, and the big exam, too.
We actually did really well. Always, always always the Coast Guard finds ONE THING if they can't find anything important as a material deficiency, something that we need to fix but that isn't a big deal. It's an unwritten rule. Usually I put a box in front of the emergency escape hatch in the generator room to block the hatch. This gives the inspector an out, and presumably a warm feeling, knowing that he issued a correction.
Seriously, I've been doing the box trick for the past 10 years. I actually forgot it today, in the rush. And we didn't get ANY corrections and of course, no deficiencies were noted, because we don't play that shit around here. So that's a first.
The rush I'm speaking about is the rechecks and detailed examination of absolutely everything that happens before an inspection, because they can and do look at everything. Today, for example, the inspector took a moment to look at our little air compressor, a model you'd find in any amateur handyman's garage, and had us test the pressure relief valve on it, to see the PSI range where it would open from overpressure. Dude had us overpressurize the tank by shutting down the shutoff, and watched when the valve popped out. Took like 5 minutes. I didn't even know that was a criterion.
We actually have a good preventative maintenance and safety inspection program companywide, and I do my best to keep us in compliance, so little stuff like the condition of our survival suit emergency lights, a verbal quiz about the communication chain for oil spills, stuff like that all went down as part of the inspection. Now, at 6am today, little maintenance items that had popped up on the pre-inspection prep got sorted out, and I spent breakfast splicing a line rather than reading a book, but all is well.
We even have shore access tomorrow. I mean, we have it today, too, but it's raining, and I hate being rained on. Good thing I always chose outdoor jobs, I guess.