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Old 06-10-2014, 21:03   #61
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Re: Dumbest thing you ever did?

Well let's say I'm lucky the bridge tender saw it coming.. Probably belongs in the anchor thread..
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Old 06-10-2014, 23:16   #62
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Re: Dumbest thing you ever did?

On a fast attack sub, the crew's head consists of 3 toilet stalls in a row, with a urinal at the end and one shower for about 80 enlisted guys. The officers have their own head and the chiefs have their own, there is also one toilet and urinal in lower level and one toilet back aft in engineering. They try to only secure one head at a time to allow members to use the other heads when one or another is being blown overboard. On older nuke boats, they used air at 100 psi over sea pressure (supposed to be 20-30 psi over, but who wants to wait that long?) to empty the (IIRC) 10,000 gal black water tank. When they're "blowing sanitaries" they hang red signs warning you that the heads are secured and tanks are pressurized.

Of course there is always one guy...

ours was a little snot nosed punk from "Nawlins" who arrived about when I did. He was 18 and I was 24, the difference being about 3 GPA points and 5 yrs of college. He figured out his exaggerated accent drove me apeshit, and I quickly learned he went batshit crazy whenever I was right, which was pretty much always.

One day the head was secured, and of course my "buddy" had to use the can something fierce. Being my usual helpful self, I said, "Don't Speedy, they're blowing sanitaries!" He said, "Eff off! They're done blowing overboard, they're venting inboard now!" He promptly sat on the throne and did his bidness.

When they blow the sanitaries overboard, the tanks could be pressurized to 200 or 300 psi or more (sea pressure plus 100 psi) but they never blow the tank dry, they leave 50 gal or so in the bottom to ensure no bubbles escape. Once they secure the hull valve and backup valve, they now have a 10,000 gal tank pressurized to 200 or 300 psi that must be equalized with internal atmospheric pressure before they can reopen the head. They release the air into the boat through activated charcoal filters, but since the pressure is so high, the air forces channels through the carbon and the inside of the sub smells like 10,000 gal of skunk farts are getting released - if they're venting inboard.

I took one sniff and knew the sanitary tanks were not being vented inboard, so they must still be pressurized. I shut the door to the head, and waited for Speedy to do the inevitable. As soon as he opened that 2-1/2" ball valve, a solid stream of what was in the toilet erupted straight up into his face with 200-300 psi of force behind it, followed by a very thick stream of what was left in the tank, blowing into his eye sockets, up his nostrils, into his open mouth as he struggled to gasp for air, comprehend what was happening and shut the 2-1/2" ball valve, not necessarily in that order. I knew what was happening, and several other crew members recognized that unmistakable sound of air and chunky liquid getting vaporized as it shot into the overhead and splattered everywhere!

"Oh ****!! Get the Doc, get the Doc!! I can't see, I got **** in my eyes!!" He's yelling and sputtering and gagging and trying to spit toilet paper and you know what out of his mouth... I was dying laughing, but finally ran to get Doc!

I told him what happened and he just shook his head and muttered "Effing Speedy! That guy is 80% of my workload!" (Speedy had recently gotten a tattoo in Hong Kong, causing the Doc to quarantine him for 30 days or so, until his test results confirmed he wasn't positive for Hep C.)

Doc grabbed a water hose, a bottle of Wescodine and some rags and we headed back to the head. It took poor Speedy about 8 solid hrs of scrubbing before the head was sanitized to Doc's satisfaction. Poor Speedy! That happened in 1986, but I remember it like yesterday!
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Old 07-10-2014, 08:48   #63
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Re: Dumbest thing you ever did?

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Originally Posted by sv-highhopes View Post
Well let's say I'm lucky the bridge tender saw it coming.. Probably belongs in the anchor thread..
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Old 07-10-2014, 19:44   #64
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Re: Dumbest thing you ever did?

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I actually visited the tender when I found out who was on shift and brought him a gift.. Should of heard him tell the story I don't like to think of it.
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Old 08-10-2014, 08:49   #65
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Re: Dumbest thing you ever did?

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I actually visited the tender when I found out who was on shift and brought him a gift.. Should of heard him tell the story I don't like to think of it.
More of us have probably had that type of experience that will admit it.
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Old 08-10-2014, 09:01   #66
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Re: Dumbest thing you ever did?

Adjusted the shaft seal after installing a new wick while on the first leg of a trip in the Chesapeake. Went aground on a hump but back off it easily. Anchored a half hour later and when sitting in the cockpit noticed the bilge pump going continuously. Pulled up a floorboard to find the water 1/2" under it. I had forgotten to tighten the locknut down after the final adjustment and putting the boat in reverse to back off the hump (and then set the anchor) had spun the nut right off the shaft. O.O.

Leaving the dock forgot to take off the electric and heard a loud crack and a splash. Looked back as I stopped the boat to see that the fire extinguisher box, which the cable had been wrapped around a few times, was mysteriously gone.
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Old 08-10-2014, 09:09   #67
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Re: Dumbest thing you ever did?

Don't know if this qualifies but I was on a boat recently where one of the fire extinguishers was mounted vertically under the seat at the nav station. Apparently someone (or something) had pulled the pin and not replaced it so the first time someone sat down the extinguisher went off and filled the cabin with white soot. No harm done but what a mess.
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Old 08-10-2014, 09:34   #68
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Re: Dumbest thing you ever did?

guess I could add a few but I wil approach from a different angle, whether you call them dumb things or experiances, what you learn is the important part. Pause and reflect on what you did and understand why you did it so you avoid a repeat. In the aviation industry we call it the Swiss Cheese effect!!
The only ones who don't do dumb things on the water are the ones who dont venture out, this is a quote from a sailor I know with 70 plus years.
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Old 08-10-2014, 10:19   #69
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Re: Dumbest thing you ever did?

Years ago I had an Irwin 25 with a centerboard. I loved that boat so much. The mast had been shortened and sail added so it would still go well, and pass under the local bridges in the Cocoa Beach, Fl. area. I could sail anywhere around.

I hauled the boat and found the reason she was healing so much was THERE WAS NO CENTERBOARD. In my great wisdom at my sailing experience infancy I was going to remedy that. I would combine all of my surfboard fiberglass skills, my ability to melt lead, and my mechanical skills to make and install a new centerboard, and it would be one much better than the original...of course.

Well I did just that. I sailed the boat to the keys and on my way back I attempted to pull up the new, and much heavier center board (it really did sail well) and everything broke loose. It was taking on water at an amazing rate so I grounded her on the beach...in five foot surf.

Needless to say, even though I called Sea Tow (who I will never, ever use again...I still say they sunk her on purpose, dove her and stole all my scuba gear) Sweet Talker did not make it and now rests comfortably on the bottom just off Sebastian Inlet.

A naval architect I am not.

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Old 13-10-2014, 07:30   #70
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Re: Dumbest thing you ever did?

At sea..... calm but rolling.... Needed a spare main halyard end to temporarily pass through the triangle of (spreader, shroud and mast) to free another halyard that fouled... (single handing)

Do not use a 2 liter soda (for weight to retrieve) attached to the free halyard for this task... Just one teeny tiny little hole will spray pressurized soda in a foggy mist all over the boat from 50' up...

For anyone interested... The duration of a 2 liter soda rain is about 5 minutes ...
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Old 13-10-2014, 15:14   #71
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Re: Dumbest thing you ever did?

Hot off the press...

We were at the dock today in the process of filling the forward fresh water tank - second of two tanks. My daughter was dutifully watching for the overflow or other evidence that the forward tank was full. I happened to be below in the cabin where the forward tank is located. Earlier, while the aft tank was filling, I had flushed out some skanky water from this forward tank. I have 3ft length of plastic pipe attached to some 3/4" hose that fits nicely in the nearby shower sump. It is very handy for getting that last bit of water out though the inspection port.

So, the tank is filling nicely, though I notice that I no longer hear the gurgling of the water as it runs through the hose attached to the deck plate. Then I notice water coming out from the base of the hanging locker that is directly below the deck fitting. I holler for my daughter to turn off the water. Then I grab a flashlight to see what has happened.

Maybe the fitting to the overflow hose has let go? Nope, that all looks good. Maybe it hasn't been happening that long? Nope! The bilge has a nice amount of water, though not up to the float switch.

This is very odd because from what I can tell by feeling and looking from below at the deck plate and overflow, everything is dry.

Ok. Sponge up what's in the bilge, and try it again to see if I can see it happening. So, my daughter turns on the water. Deck fitting and overflow are fine. No water coming yet, but then again the water appears at my feet from behind the cockpit locker.

Hmm. Maybe something has come loose at the tank. Oh crap! Remember that inspection port I had taken off to get the last bits of skanky water? I had forgotten to put it back in place. The water had gurgled out the top of the tank and run along behind some cabinetry until it found a convenient exit point under the hanging locker.
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Old 13-10-2014, 15:28   #72
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Re: Dumbest thing you ever did?

Nobody has filled the water tank with Diesel?
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Old 13-10-2014, 15:49   #73
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Re: Dumbest thing you ever did?

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Nobody has filled the water tank with Diesel?
I did see a gas dock girl fill a cabin cruisers black water tank with diesel once. That was an entertaining encounter.
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Old 13-10-2014, 15:51   #74
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Re: Dumbest thing you ever did?

I just did it, I read the entire guns on a boat thread!
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Old 13-10-2014, 17:40   #75
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Re: Dumbest thing you ever did?

Long ago, they did a main lube oil change on the sub. They pumped out hundreds of gallons of lube oil (for the main reduction gears that are 20' tall) and pumped in hundreds of gallons of fresh lube oil.

The problem is, near the end of the evolution, the machinist mate who was pumping the oil from olive green 55 gal drums on the pier noticed that one of the drums was marked varnish, not lube oil. The drum was the same green color, and the markings were very similar, with just a slight variation in NSN and nomenclature, but the end result was there was about 50 gal of varnish now in the MLO tanks. They isolated all plumbing to/from the tanks and hired a civilian oil polishing company to come down and filter it, that was the first time I'd ever heard of polishing.

I talked to the guy for a while, he owned the company and had a couple of helpers. He would select the proper filter for the task based on oil or fuel polishing and what contaminants they were trying to remove. It took 4 or 5 days to get it all polished up, I imagine they did an oil analysis to determine how clean the oil was. The reduction gears were leased from Westinghouse at a huge cost per month, so they didn't want to destroy the gears with varnish.

The command was all hot to fry the poor MM who pumped the varnish, even though all of us had been sleep deprived for months, especially the MMs. IMHO, the storekeeper who mixed in a drum of varnish with drums of lube oil was to blame, but since nobody could track down who did it at the warehouse, they decided to nail the guy who was half asleep as he stuck the suction hose into the barrel without reading the label on the side.
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