Thursday, April 15, 2010

pictures from the hard drive.

Can anyone tell me what this is? It's found on the deck of old ships, and is very important at the start and end of a voyage...

Photo taken with a disposable (non-flash) camera using chemical film to comply
with safety practices aboard.
You might not guess it, but it was about 15 degrees and windy that day. I was freezing my nuts off. That's a bumblebee in my hand. I was buzzing rust and rotten steel off of the frames that support cargo pipelines. The scary thing is that I can name every pipe, valve and bracket in this picture.

I am overweight, but this picture shows me with a Homer Simpson body. I think most of that is the sweatshirts under my boilersuit. Mostly.

Lightering. We were transferring about 150,000 barrels of cargo into the barge 'Massachusetts' in NY harbor. Again, I can name every valve, piece of piping and protrusion on both vessels... because I worked on both of them.

The Tug 'Paul T. Moran' is massive and powerful. I rode her from NY to the Bahamas, then round FL to the Gulf of Mexico, and up the Mississippi river. Awesome voyage, great people.

Some days it's just better to stay inside.
(Photo courtesy of the World Wide Web. I am not badass enough to be in THAT)


Anonymous said...

Steam driven anchor winch?

I like the pink pipes. Was this a case of red mixed with leftover white paint?

Paul, Dammit! said...

Very close, joe, but no cigar... Wrong end of the ship (and no it's not a stern anchor!). The pink is just a sun-faded red. The whole thing was repainted deck red after the chipping was done.

Davy Jones said...

It's a mooring winch for tightening up mooring lines

Paul, Dammit! said...

Davy Jones got it!

Unknown said...

do you have an "intrinsically safe" camera for use on a tanker?

Paul, Dammit! said...

Daniel, Kodak Co. disposable cameras contain only chemical film. The only metal in them is a spring used to restrict movement of the advance wheel. The spring is chemically coated with a non-conducting film to prevent the metal from being magnetized, and thereby exposing the film.

Since this camera isn't an electrical device, it isn't required to be intrinsically safe. This works in the same way that one could use an abacus or mechanical watch on deck, should one choose.
As it happens, Kodak does make an intrinsically safe camera used in crime scenes and HAZMAT areas.

AND, today's lesson: "Intrinsically safe" is not actually indicative of the safety of an item. It indicates only that the manufacturer has posted a massive bond in the event that the device actually does cause an event. Think about it. Batteries break, so does plastic. A $100,000,000 bond, however, is indicative that someone tried REALLY REALLY hard to make their item safe.

About the only truly 100% nonexplosive safety device I know of is the Mark 1 canary. Drop one of those in a tank, and you'll know if there's air, and it positively won't blow up.