A banal story question

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Finley
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A banal story question

Post by Finley » Thu May 24, 2018 9:45 pm

Hi. As I write my story, I encounter the following question:

So before sunrise, you arrive at an island, where you will meet your dubious buyers. Or, you want them to come to you. So you anchor some distance from the jetty. What routine and minor maintenance tasks would you do at the end of a long trip while you wait?

Thanks!
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Re: A banal story question

Post by Lopez Mike » Fri May 25, 2018 12:53 am

For starters I would do everything I needed to do to be ready to bug out in a hurry. Leave the boiler with a reasonably high glass (water level) and keep a spot fire going so that the boiler pressure isn't high enough to threaten the safety valve poping off but high enough so that it won't take long to hightail it.

Then go over the power plant checking things and dealing with lubrication. Fill the lubricators and do any needed spot oiling.

Maybe anchor on a relatively short scope and a light anchor (lunch hook) so that getting going won't take long.

Eat?

Oh. Make sure you are really familiar with the area so that you have alternate routes to escape. Maybe your boat can handle shallower water than possible pursuers.

What have I missed, guys?
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Re: A banal story question

Post by lostintime » Fri May 25, 2018 3:01 am

Shift your ballast/ fuel/ cargo to trim out to a knatts ass of your ideal water line. ?check your "scalding" pipe nozzles that line your deck?
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Re: A banal story question

Post by lostintime » Fri May 25, 2018 3:08 am

Or piece together a scalding pipe...in the event you need them to want to get off in a quick fashion...
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Re: A banal story question

Post by barts » Fri May 25, 2018 6:48 am

That steam lance that cleans the tubes will definitely repel boarders...

- Bart
-------
Bart Smaalders http://smaalders.net/barts Menlo Park, CA
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Re: A banal story question

Post by Lopez Mike » Fri May 25, 2018 12:30 pm

I once had a job firing a full sized geared steam locomotive at a logging museum. The track ran over a low trestle and kids would get under there and stick tree limbs up through the ties, a sure recipe for a busted neck. The first defense was to pour some fairly hot cylinder oil down between the engine and tender. Some complaints from the parents about oily clothing. If that didn't work then I would open the water valve to the injector without the steam valve and dump a lot of water down on them. The final and all too effective maneuver would be to open the injector steam valve only and blow a lot of damp steam out through the overflow pipe. Very impressive imitation of a boiler explosion from close range. Kids running in all directions out through the bushes.
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Re: A banal story question

Post by Finley » Fri May 25, 2018 10:08 pm

Thanks very much! I'm wondering too:
1. What's the key to keeping a spot fire going? Do you have any thoughts in terms of fuel generally? Coal is probably a rare commodity.
2. And maybe you can help me with this. ... You've glassed the area. You clean your side iron. You've still probably got a long wait ahead. What do you do?
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Re: A banal story question

Post by fredrosse » Fri May 25, 2018 10:46 pm

Whipping the end of boat ropes is a task that is often done while waiting. A simple task that fixes the end of a rope from coming undone.
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Re: A banal story question

Post by lostintime » Sat May 26, 2018 3:27 am

If its a desolate area,(preferably a narrow channel) and you got a strong feeling you will have a reason to flee with a pursuit to follow.. tie ropes to rocks with floats on the other end that stay just under the surface. Run ropes,cables, a few pieces of wood if you have them, anything you got between the floats. Make a couple lines perpendicular to your planned escape route with offset gaps that you know exactly were they are at. When you change course to hit the next gap they would probably turn to keep coming straight at you and with any luck you foul their prop
ps. Keep your spare ropes coiled up on the stern with "otter boards" tied to each end of them. If they get close you feed out the line letting the boards pull them out wide and let loose your next "tangle." Depending on the nature of your characters lifestyle he might just have a couple chains with floats on them for just this purpose stored in the chain locker
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Re: A banal story question

Post by DetroiTug » Sat May 26, 2018 1:40 pm

Quote: "So before sunrise, you arrive at an island, where you will meet your dubious buyers. Or, you want them to come to you. So you anchor some distance from the jetty."

This is a bit of an illogical scenario.

In the dark, it's not logical he is going to wait a distance off shore and risk his silhouette being detected on the horizon. Risk being ran up on and overtaken by a much faster patrol boat. And how would he meet anyone a distance off shore unless they had some sort of radio or signalling set up? Open water in a reasonable range of the speed/time/distance capabilities of a small steamer would be close proximity to other boat traffic.

In this scenario, I would find a secluded cove or inlet - some prearranged rendezvous point to drop my "buyer" and after he or she has disembarked, I would spend my time firstly camouflaging the boat with boughs from small leafy trees or camouflage net that I keep stowed aboard, the rest of my time would be mostly spent in keeping a lookout to avoid detection, remaining vigilant and quiet. Also planning my next move should the buyer not arrive or return in the allotted time. All the while tending a small smokeless fire with very dry kindling found along the shore to make a fast getaway.

-Ron
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