Stuck in the hatch

If I was going to design a submarine based on my experiences, I would design one with an extra hatch between each compartment. Logically, a real bubble head might question the wisdom of such a hatch since it might impede our ability to maintain watertight integrity under normal circumstances. If you have ever seen a submarine movie where they were under attack by an enemy above, you would have a real appreciation for the need to minimize watertight integrity.


In a shipyard or pier-side availability however, those considerations seem less important to the planners and workers who invade your happy little domain. Almost as quickly as the off going crew leaves the pitiful duty section to their fate, invaders start showing up in the boat. They bring with them hoses, wiring, temporary lighting, air ducts and any number of necessary but annoying items which clog an otherwise suitable hatch between compartments.

These things appear so quickly you almost have no chance to react. The results for the poor roving watches, below decks watches and other helpless victims are that passage becomes a real pain in the backside. It also means that your fear factor is increased. During normal operations, sub sailors are trained time after time to close those very hatches and now they are being asked to accept that the hatches are no longer able to be closed.

You instinctively know its wrong, but you try and ignore the danger. You fill out your log sheets and say “All conditions normal” knowing perfectly well they aren’t. The worst thing of all is at the heighth of the chaos, it is entirely possible that a sailor might become stuck in the hatch.

I am involved in a thing called "turnaround" at the chemical plant I am working at as a lean engineer. The local folks keep saying how chaotic and crazy it is with hoses and wires and scaffolding all over the place. There are red and yellow tags attached to a hundred valves and work permits are flying like snow. I am actually the only one who seems like its no big deal. My plant manager asked me how I could be so calm… I answered him "Listen, I have been in fifteen shipyards doing everything from new construction to a complete overhaul of a twenty five year old boat. this ain’t nothing". He looked at me and said "How can you say that?" I answered, "Look at all the freaking space you have man… I haven’t had to climb through one watertight hatch all day today that was clogged with ventilation lines, air lines, added lighting, and fire hoses. This is a walk in the park"

I hope you had one good memory from the post today. I am grateful for the fact that in all those years, a whole lot of professional people kept the boats I sailed in safe and working. Its funny how you take that for granted so much.

Mister Mac


Question: What the hell does No Ka oi really mean????????

(Hey, I’m just kiddin brah… I know it means no poi today)

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