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Diving and Seamanship

Discussion in 'Basic Scuba Discussions' started by Akimbo, Jun 12, 2014.

  1. OtherHalf

    OtherHalf Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Virginia
    Starboard is old offhand for the stearing board, and I always steer with my right hand. This doesn't work for those wrong handed folks, or those not obsessed with weird history facts...
  2. Hickdive

    Hickdive Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Glasgow, UK
    I don't think port is ever sold in cans but the link port/wine/alcoholic drinks is a useful aide memoire for "can".
  3. captain

    captain Captain

    The real significance of the red and green, port and starboard light comes in situations when one boat is crossing in front of another. Just as on land with cars the car to the right has the right of way, the boat crossing from right to left presents it port side and red light to the boat being crossed and the red light acts as a red traffic light telling the boat being crossed to yield. By the same token the crossing vessel sees the green light of the vessel being crossed which tells it it has the right of way.
    CT-Rich and Eric Sedletzky like this.
  4. Akimbo

    Akimbo Just a diver Staff Member ScubaBoard Supporter

    I have also heard: "I drink my port with my left hand"

    But that always seemed a little confusing being I am right-handed. Besides, it would never work for two-fisted drinkers, which are pretty common on the waterfront.

    Can you explain IALA regions? Please tell me it has nothing to do with driving on the left side! :wink:

    True, but it didn't work out so well for the Doria though. :wink:
  5. dmoore19

    dmoore19 Denizen of the PUB ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Frozen He**, Stay Away!
    The ship left port.
    Schwob likes this.
  6. Bob DBF

    Bob DBF Solo Diver

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: NorCal
    It always struck me as amusing that the US Navy insisted on using port and starboard, but gives orders to the Helmsman to steer right or left to the new heading.

    I may be old, but I'm not dead yet.
  7. Akimbo

    Akimbo Just a diver Staff Member ScubaBoard Supporter

    You have to wonder how much longer before the watch commander just walks up to the console and punches the numbers into the GPS-enabled autopilot like a lot of commercial vessels. I can see announcing the change to keep everyone on the bridge in the loop but it sure eliminates time lags and potential human errors.

    I was never on a ship that was underway in a group, in the Navy or offshore. How does the leading vessel get the word out to others to change course?
  8. Eric Sedletzky

    Eric Sedletzky Great White

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Santa Rosa, CA
    A few more terms:

    Scuttlebutt - Gossip, rumors, so called because sailors used to gather around the scuttlebutt, a cask on the ship for drinking water.

    Sea cock - A through-hull fitting with a valve that can shut off the flow of water between the boat's interior and exterior (usually below the water line).

    Right-hand lay - The twist of stranded rope commonly used, with the strands twisting to the right: Z-twist.

    Dead reckoning - The navigation means used to determine position, calculated from the course steered and the speed through the water, without obtaining a fix; a dead reckoning position is indicated on a chart by marking a half circle with a dot on the track line; the time is placed at an angle to the horizontal and to the track line.

    Stuffing box - A through hull fitting for the drive shaft or rudder shaft usually packed with several circles of waxed
    line or rope to create a seal for rotating parts. Also known as a packing gland.

    Schooner - A fore-and-aft rigged sailing vessel with two or more masts, with the foremost shorter than the mainmast.
  9. Akimbo

    Akimbo Just a diver Staff Member ScubaBoard Supporter

    OMG! That one deserves being in the "need to know" list. Not so much the name but where they are and how to close them!

    To expand a little, there are lots of pipes and tubes that penetrate the hull below the waterline. As Eric said, a "seacock" or valve is attached directly to each through-hull fitting. The other side of the valve is most often connected to where it is needed with a flexible hose -- engine cooling water (supply and returns), sewage discharge, bilge pumps, etc.

    Hoses eventually fail, which causes the boat to take on water -- as in sinking! Several people onboard need to know where the seacocks are and how to close them when the bilge alarm starts going off. Oh yeah, you also need to learn what a bilge alarm(s) sounds like so you don't assume the reefer (refrigerator) door has been open too long.

    Also on the "need to know" list is how to deal with a fire. Find the fire extinguishers and learn how to use them -- unless of course you feel like swimming home. :wink:

    There's a lot more to know about boat diving than a giant stride and a back roll.
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2014
  10. Eric Sedletzky

    Eric Sedletzky Great White

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Santa Rosa, CA
    Funny story (or not so funny if you were they guy this happened to or the captain).
    While I was working on a 55' Trimaran sailing vessel, the owner told me a story about when they were all loaded up and ready to set sail to Hawaii as a maiden run doing a major sea crossing. Just before they cast off one of the mates needed to use the head. He was actually a guest and didn't really know much about sailing but insisted that he was a quick learner and would learn-on-the-job. So he's down in one of the ama's doing his business and yells up to somebody up top on how to get the water to run so he could flush. Mel, the captain, told him to turn the sea cock handle 90 degrees so it was in line with the direction of flow (on). So everybody's gathered topside waiting for this guy to finish and suddenly they hear a faint "help! help! help! coming from down below.
    This guy had torqued on the sea cock to open it, and it was made of plastic. It had been years since it was used so it was frozen up and the plastic was old and brittle. He snapped off the whole works holding the sea cock in his hand as the outside ocean water is rushing in spraying him with a 1" garden hose force of water and flooding the whole bilge!
    So the captain jumped down there and grabbed a rag and shoved it in the hole to slow it down while the others bailed water out (on top of the bilge pumps).
    They ended up hauling out (again!) and replacing every plastic through hull in the boat, and there are many, with silicon bronze. Apparently the original builder got cheap towards the end and didn't want to spend the hundreds in took to buy the best.
    Can you imagine if they were 300 miles out already and had that happen!

    Lesson: Absolutely don't skimp on critical hardware. Even more than a regulator or other dive gear, your life actually does depend on it and it would be a slow torturous ordeal out in open ocean with no dry land to step on if any of that stuff gives at the worst possible time. This includes checking all your safety gear like life rafts. Just because a life raft sits in a sealed case and is never used does not mean it doesn't get checked annually.

    I also found out that even the best marine plywood will still rot under the water line right around a bronze fitting that hasn't been properly zinced. I had no idea this could happen until such a problem was pointed out by a marine surveyor. We found many of these and had to fix them with West System epoxy and added backing pads.
    Good thing we found them too, because instead of another busted off sea cock, there could have been a huge gaping hole about 4" in diameter!
    infinita29, LeadTurn_SD and Akimbo like this.

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