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RE: The little ship that could.

 
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RE: The little ship that could. - 8/1/2012 11:35:24 AM   
Smoky Stoker


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quote:

ORIGINAL: pws1225


quote:

ORIGINAL: 1275psi

gawd i wish i could spell............


Yea, you spell worse than I do, but you sure can write!



+1

If you took time to correct the spelling, we would go weeks between updates, and it would still be, oh, say, June 42 in the story. I am just fine with things as they are.


_____________________________

"Leveling large cities has a tendency to alienate the affections of the inhabitants and does not create an atmosphere of international good will after the war." -Rear Admiral Daniel V. Gallery

(in reply to pws1225)
Post #: 1351
RE: The little ship that could. - 8/2/2012 10:09:19 AM   
1275psi

 

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Thanks for understanding guys.

I literally have less than an hour most nights, its sit down, and go for it............


10/10/43

The weather worsens.
A heavy high grey overcast, back drop to forming rain storms and scattered showers. A gloomy, evil sky.
The fleet stretches over nearly 80 square miles now, each task force operating almost independently, the carriers carving their own erractic courses as they launch and recover, turning into the stiffening breeze.

Midday, and this activity ceases, the birds go below, for final checks and preparations.
To a man, the fleet anticipates striking at last.
But the manner of the strike...................





Three man crowd around the chart table on Akagi.
Three men who matter, that is. The other men here must pretend to be statues, must disapear. Must attempt to avoid the storm exploding over the table

Genda almost spits the words.
"You have to be crazy sir...........this, this is madness.!"
Yamaguchi stiffens, if that is possible. Already his portly frame seems to have swelled, shoulders coming forward. Two hands, white with the grip , tighten even further on the edge of the table.
"Oh yes, air commander................madness you say!. But isn't madness repeating the same mistake many times hoping for a better result!"
Captain Hara, yet again wishing this could be played out some where, any where else but here, attemptes to intervene...
"gentlemen.........gentlemen!.let us look at this cooly. Like commanders ney?., not , not like hot headed boys at their first bath house visit!"

Both men coldly view him.
And then (because they did once share that first bath house experience), visibly retreat.
'Good" Hara siezes the chance. "Admiral, why don't you, I know you need not to, explain your thinking?"

Yamaguchi eyes him, coldly. But then, much to his relief, speaks.
"Genda, I know it is standard doctrine. We will rush in, and launch a heavy strike. But consider this. They know we are coming. The ships are gone. Only fighters remain.
To send fighters as escort.will just see them, and precious bombers lost. For what? damage they can fix in a week.
The whole idea of this mission is to confirm Darwin, the indian ocean is not going to be a launching pad.
It is obvious now, it won't be,"
"Are you proposing to cancel the strike..after all this?. The men will not stand it!'
"No, nor would I!. No, we will strike. But fighters only. Let your eagles sweep Darwin in strength, rack up kills.
Important to maintain moral yes?
"And the bombers?"
"leave them below. The enemy carriers are not here. I am certain of it now."


Hara must ask. His Admiral seems so certain. "How Admiral?"

Yamaguchi pulls out the signals from his pocket. Not three now,
but five:
"Heavy radio traffic pearl harbour"
And the fifth: "radio intelligence counts 270 ships Pearl harbour, including one replenishment task force of 8 AO's

Genda whistles. That low whistle of amazement that usually is only seen in the movies...............
"270 ships.............270 ships will need a lot of torpedos......alright Admiral, we strike. Fighters only. Then I think.........."
"Yamaguchi finishes it for him....."we high tail out of here......."

(in reply to Smoky Stoker)
Post #: 1352
RE: The little ship that could. - 8/2/2012 10:13:59 AM   
1275psi

 

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Takeji gives that single word expletive

#$@%^!

"Sir?"

"Hidaka , you won't believe this. orders from Akagi : strike as planned, 0500 hours, Darwin. Zuiho to provide CAP over fleet. Bombers to remain below"
"No bombers?"
"No truking bombers............, how in the hell can you win if you won't fight!"

Assuming of course...........that there are no carriers waiting somewhere, spoiling for just that..........

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 1353
RE: The little ship that could. - 8/2/2012 10:21:38 AM   
1275psi

 

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Minobes gripes about the fuel are justified.

Shortly after 1800 hours, they shft to the first tank of the "donkey poo"
Oh, it burns alright, after a fashion..............
It sparks as well, it smokes, and both steamers of the watch see pressures noticably fall back.........

Japanese kampong boilers do not have air pressure guages, just a chart--------so many revs on the blowers for so much fuel.
But if pressure drops, then what is wrong.
The first instinct...........more fuel.

But that leads to shuddering of boiler fronts.........a not very pleasant experience, believe me.
So, we give her more air .........crank those blowers up a bit.

But, we are almost at full revs already............

They will get the balance quickly. but the damage is being done, will continue to be done.
She has lost nearly 2 knots. And already the carbon build ups around the burner throats inside the furnace have begun to form.
Slowly, insidiously, Zuihos boilers are going to choke to death.

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 1354
RE: The little ship that could. - 8/2/2012 10:24:18 AM   
1275psi

 

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54th division now faces the Indiaan 19th.
At midday, the 2nd British joins the fray.

katha army, marches to the 11 mile post.
29 to go.

Hoshos train rattles through the night.
It should, gods willing, arrive shwebo tomorrow...

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 1355
RE: The little ship that could. - 8/2/2012 10:26:54 AM   
1275psi

 

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It is the 10 th of the 10th, 1943

Japan still controls a massive empire.
The illusion of power continues..


At dusk, flags long not seen, rise and flutter from Akagis mast


"battle speed one. Strike at dawn"

We have made our plans

What curve ball will the war throw at us this time?

< Message edited by 1275psi -- 8/2/2012 10:27:19 AM >

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 1356
RE: The little ship that could. - 8/2/2012 10:30:21 AM   
hosho


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very nice writing mate...
loved the "first bath house visit" part especially


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the first ones are remembered

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Post #: 1357
RE: The little ship that could. - 8/2/2012 7:31:31 PM   
kaleun

 

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Sorry Double post.

< Message edited by kaleun -- 8/2/2012 7:32:52 PM >


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Appear at places to which he must hasten; move swiftly where he does not expect you.
Sun Tzu

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Post #: 1358
RE: The little ship that could. - 8/2/2012 7:32:19 PM   
kaleun

 

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Status: online
quote:

A gun shoots the dildo across



_____________________________

Appear at places to which he must hasten; move swiftly where he does not expect you.
Sun Tzu

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Post #: 1359
RE: The little ship that could. - 8/2/2012 7:38:31 PM   
BBfanboy


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quote:

ORIGINAL: kaleun

quote:

A gun shoots the dildo across



Makes you wonder what the aiming point is ...

_____________________________

I have not yet begun to fight! OTOH I have not yet begun to flee. Hmmmmm - choices, choices -always with the choices.

(in reply to kaleun)
Post #: 1360
RE: The little ship that could. - 8/4/2012 2:08:21 PM   
Smoky Stoker


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quote:

ORIGINAL: 1275psi

gawd i wish i could spell............


During my service time, my mother would correct the spelling and grammar in my letters and return them with hers. I kid you not.


_____________________________

"Leveling large cities has a tendency to alienate the affections of the inhabitants and does not create an atmosphere of international good will after the war." -Rear Admiral Daniel V. Gallery

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Post #: 1361
RE: The little ship that could. - 8/4/2012 2:46:18 PM   
NCSUforest


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Over the last week or so, I have read this entire AAR. I could not put it down. your spelling may suck but your writing is fantastic. Keep up the good work.

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Post #: 1362
RE: The little ship that could. - 8/4/2012 11:33:39 PM   
1275psi

 

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11/10/43

The day begins for the majority of Zuihos crews at 0200 hours
They are roused from their hammocks, tumbling into the narrow areas between them, feet landing onto trembling decks. Minds will automatically register that Zuiho is pressing on at full speed, that the attack then, is still "on'.
It is a strange time this, this hour between midnight and dawn, the body and mind seems to dissocciate themselves from each other.
The body, almost automatically, will struggle through the motions of dressing in this crowd of bodies, of making its way to breakfast, wolfing down the seafood rolls, the sweet buns, the tea, then joining the straggle of others to the hanger decks, or the gun pits, damage control centres, or any one of the 700 odd places that must soon be manned for battle.

The mind, the mind does its own thing. It contemplates mortality, life, death, but above all the one thing that all Japanese carry as an impossible crushing invisible load.
Their duty. Their obedience.
They will not let Zuiho, her captain, japan, her emperor down.
They will not.
By 0230, the hanger deck is alive with work.
The 12 Jills today are parked in the lower hanger deck. The work today then, will be a lot easier.
In turn, each zero is fuelled, hoses snaking through out the hanger, the sickly smell of aviation gas , despite the blast of the great ventilation fans, permeates the air.
Fuelled, the snakes of cannon shells and machine gun bullets loaded, each in turn is pushed to the forward elevator.

By 0300, the bells are tinkling, and it lowers, and a blast of cold, and wet, very wet air sweeps through the deck
It is raining.
Heavily, but not consistantly. Scattered showers of heavily blown rain, cold for the tropics, are scuddering across the ocean, obscuring many of the carriers.
It does not matter though, no messages are being sent, nor are they expected. The fleet is going to strike , on time.
Full stop.
Each fighter, gleaming, the water beading on polished canopies, are manhandled aft, chocked.
By 0400, they are ready

It is now that Zuiho's life again takes purpose. Her pilots are called from their beds.

(in reply to NCSUforest)
Post #: 1363
RE: The little ship that could. - 8/4/2012 11:42:56 PM   
1275psi

 

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It is no coincidence that these men gather together, eat together
Uto, Ogawa, Hidaka, Diogawa.
Zuihos best, almost Japans very best .
They gather at the breakfast table together, silent, eating the special meal prepared for them.

Such a casual gathering of men.
Uniforms, flight kit hanging of 3 skinny and one pouchy frames, as if these bodies have worn this leather and fur and steel since birth.
What seperates them from Zuiho's crew, from us?
What binds them so invisibly to each other in a way we can never comprehend?

They are different. We must admit it. We sail on zuiho, and if the enemy comes, we will fight to live.
These men, they sail on Zuiho.
But they fight to kill.........
And these 4, they are very, very good at it.
They barely speak these men, their is little to speak about.
You cannot , when bodies are wound as tight as clock springs.

Finally, Hidaka speaks to the men here, these 18 men, this team of his.
"0430 men. Good hunting. Let none get through"

And that is that. They know the mission. Constant CAP over this mighty fleet.
Heads tilted into the rain, they move across the slick deck to the eagles, propellers now spinning, engines warming.
0415, we attack at 0500.

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 1364
RE: The little ship that could. - 8/4/2012 11:47:54 PM   
1275psi

 

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Takeji peers through the rain swept bridge screen

This is no good. I cannot see. Bloody rain. Where is the dawn?
The sky groes brighter, but............
damanation!
Why, why this weather now!


I cannot see.
He moves to the starboard wing, out into the open. The rain, seems to be lightening. Yes. yes, we are moving into the clear. Another shower 2 miles ahead.............
Akagi is turning into the wind........
We go!

Swiftly, back into this cave of a bridge.
"OOW!, bring us into the wind!, Full ahead all!. Commence launching!"

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 1365
RE: The little ship that could. - 8/4/2012 11:55:35 PM   
1275psi

 

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Shwebo.

55ths train arrives.
Well, the trains arrive.

The division, Hosho's company at the front, disgorges in a flood.
A road runs parrallel to the rail, it fills with men, guns, trucks, the vast collection of kit that a division must carry

It is no battle formation this. But it will sort itself out on the march, the guns will be positioned, the support units will be placed, the combat regiments will take the point.
Eventually.............

But now, now there is only one word.

March!
March north. March day, and night. The whip, the boot, the curse, the glare, the beating, will drive them all.
They must, simply must get north, regain the road, and beat the british.
Individual lives mean nothing now, not when the life of entire armies are at stake.
55 th division, 20000 human bullets, race north.

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 1366
RE: The little ship that could. - 8/5/2012 12:03:22 AM   
1275psi

 

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Hidaka's left hand rests easily on the throttle, fore finger and thumb of the right rest easily on the stick.
Water beats on his face, mist beating from the great blade bellowing ahead.
He is not even aware of it.
All attention on the little bridge, on his Bomber Commander standing stiffly at its peak.

For a brief moment, he feels that mans disapointment.
Far better to be here, about to fly.
The man raises a small flag.
A light on the bridge turns green.

'launch!'

swiftly, eager to go, he looks ahead.
grey sky, grey angry sea. Steam trailing straight down the deck, a stiff breeze.
It takes no effort at all. Throttle forward, brakes off............rolling, tail up so swiftly, and away.
Slamming shut the canopy, heeling her over...........strange, the body is not quiet timing it, rusty my friend, rusty.

Ceiling at 2000 feet, or 15000, depending on this bloody strom front.
It is going to be a tricky day.

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 1367
RE: The little ship that could. - 8/5/2012 12:11:32 AM   
1275psi

 

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Genda salutes

'Our strike is away sir. 120 fighters. All ships report Combat air patrol is away. "
Yamaguchi nods
"Another two signals this morning Genda"
"Sir?"

Whatever monster has gathered at Pearl has gone quiet............which my friend seems to say more than heavy radio traffic. Also another piece in the puzzle. Heavy traffic Suva, New Zealand."
"Your thoughts sir?'
The Admirals face breaks into a smile. 'Ahh no, Genda, what are your?'

The little man does not hesitate. This man who invented this mighty weapon, who blazed the way for the development of carrier war fare, has already formed his opinion.
"Truk, Siapan. One or the other sir."

Yamaguichi's smile expands. "I agree. We will deal with today. Its good training. After that, lets try and hide an entire Navy yes?'

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 1368
RE: The little ship that could. - 8/5/2012 12:18:12 AM   
1275psi

 

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The fighters sweep into Darwin.
It is as predicted. despite the heavy rain, the scattered storms, enough of the harbour, of the city surrounds can be seen.
The port is empty. The fields too.

No invasion, it would seem, will be coming from here............


24 P 40e's are up for defence.
The sweeping fighters have been scattered coming in, the weather breaking the raids into packets.
Today it does not matter.

Compared to the furnace of fighting over Burma, this is a little affair.
2 zeros are lost, 12 P40e's are taken down

2 more zeros crash landing on return


A damp sqwib.
But that is war, yes?.
A massive club has been deployed. But the enemy has ducked..........

Zuiho recovers her planes, Hidaka, the rest at midday. The weather deterioates to impossible.
The fleet turns north, and vanishes into the mist.

A new mission.
Hide.

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 1369
RE: The little ship that could. - 8/5/2012 12:21:40 AM   
1275psi

 

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12/10/43

38th division moves 9 miles through the jungles towards lashio, lost and seperated

The Bulk of the Katha army has marched 33.
The 8th div lags at 22

15th Army covers 11

And the target of all this marching, 54th division, hold, and report yet more enemy troops emerging from the jungles, deploying against them.


(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 1370
RE: The little ship that could. - 8/5/2012 12:23:50 AM   
1275psi

 

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13/10/43


Hoshos men have covered 23 miles.
The division has shaken itself into shape.


They march on, ignoring the pain.
Ahead, the distant thunder, the rumble.


B17's, in clouds, bombing that damn road...............

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 1371
RE: The little ship that could. - 8/5/2012 12:29:08 AM   
1275psi

 

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Minobe enters Zuiho's bridge
"refuelling complete sir. we are at 103 percent"

Takeji raises an eyebrow '103 percent?"
"charge has a few hidy holes ..........."

"I am sure. How are things below Engines?"
Minobe pauses.
A year ago..............all is fine sir, all is good. But what did that buy him....?
"The fuel is no good sir. We are going to slowly choke to death, or cook a tube. I am very worried about the pre heaters"

Takeji looks surprised.
It is not usual, in his experience, to be told such blunt news.
He too, pauses.

A moment, to face reality
Or revert to Japanese form..............

"I don't give a S&^%t about fuel Engines, only that they go. That is all"


(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 1372
RE: The little ship that could. - 8/5/2012 12:31:32 AM   
1275psi

 

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A man enters a prison cell of a cabin
Closes a door, sits on a hard chair, contemplates in silence a locker.
Contemplates it for a long, long time.

Then savagedly, he opens it, with draws a golden bottle.
Snaps the cap, and drinks deep of the contents

It will be many hours befor Minobe emerges.

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Post #: 1373
RE: The little ship that could. - 8/5/2012 12:38:10 AM   
1275psi

 

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extract from 'Falling cherry blossoms' ............


The weather, it seemed, would always be cruel to us.
But if it prevented us flying, it prevented them as well.

Undetected, we slipped from the banda sea, refuelled, and headed towards our new area of operations, the waters near Siapan.

We were acting on a guess. On a hunch. But what else could we do.
Our greatest weapon remained surprise. An ambush.............

But, I know now, many great problems faced us.
The first, the overiding one, was fuel
We emptied the tankers this day, they would have to return all the way to Soerabaya, or even further for more.
Only 4 tankers awaited us North, with another new carrier, the Katsaguri.

The plan, yet another one. Hover north east of Siapan.
And wait.
For as long as the fuel lasted.


(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 1374
RE: The little ship that could. - 8/5/2012 12:43:08 AM   
1275psi

 

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14/10/43

The bulk of the Katha army arrives to reinforce the 54th div

8th division does not.
Again the road is cut.

The battle gound contains now the African division, the british, and Indian, and a few gun regiments.

15th Army, 33rd div, 55th div, reinfoced with 2nd guard and another division from Burma command, will arrive in two days.

High command hopes are rising.
The road will be held
Thoughts, especially those of the Tigers, are even thinking counter attack.

But first, we must rescue 8th




and the 38th



and the stuation in the air.................

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Post #: 1375
RE: The little ship that could. - 8/5/2012 12:44:05 AM   
1275psi

 

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and no more turns in in tray,.................poo

I ask every one to PM cantona, and say, hurry up!

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Post #: 1376
RE: The little ship that could. - 8/6/2012 9:41:45 AM   
1275psi

 

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15/10/43

It is inevitable I suppose.
Too many ships manouvering, in too tight of waters

CVL Ryuho and DD Yagure strike each other.
A glancing blow, the CVl suffers surprisingly litle damage. The destroyer loses a funnel, and other sundry embarrasments.
As Ryuho is scheduled to recieve a new air group shortly, both ships are detached to manilla.

They have reached the phillipine sea now. Still (as best can tell), unsighted.
A good sign.

Japan swings air assetts, sallies mainly, to Siapan, they wil hunt for SS. If they find many west of there, then this surely is a sign of intent.
Cantona always covers his operations with the buka's -why not now?

North by north east. A long way to go yet. But how sweet the freedom of open waters again.

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 1377
RE: The little ship that could. - 8/6/2012 9:53:11 AM   
1275psi

 

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The battle for the Katha / Shwebo road takes a pause.

On both sides, the lines are thickening, the front forming.
It runs now about 5 miles west of the road, the Katha army having deployed its length, swinging in regiments and in turn off it, facing west.
But to the North, it is now well and firmly cut.
8th division faces the 254th armoured brigade, the 268th motorised brigade.

And the aussies are coming along behind fast.

The commander of the eigth orders his men to disperse, to form small companies, and to try to infiltrate home. 45 miles is a wide front. there has to be gaps.
His men need no urging to hurry. If they cannot make it to the relief army quickly, they know what will happne.
They will be abandoned.

55 division reaches the front late on this day, peeling in turn to the southern most part of the front.
Hoshos company is given 500 yards of front............a 4 foot high embankment marking a wagon /oxen track winding its way across the paddie fields.
there is no time for anything else other than to deploy before darkness swallows them.
The enemy facing them..........unknown..........
The terrain ahead.............unknown........
The situation on the flanks, to the rear............unknown
The supply dumps................are you kidding me?............of course, unknown

What to do now.
Instinctive.
They dig.



(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 1378
RE: The little ship that could. - 8/6/2012 9:58:55 AM   
1275psi

 

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"Bridge port engine room!"
Bridge!'
'Reporting flame out, fwd port boiler!, cross connecting, revolutions restricted to 166 revolutions!"

Damnation..............what has happened?
'Revolutions 166!"
"revolutions 166, rung down and repeated sir!"

Check your 6 Takeji, check your 6, do not want to get run down now do I?..................too many bloody elephants about out here...........

Zuihos bridge carries on in silence...........whatever is happening below will be reported soon enough............
"Bridge port engine room!"

The Captain himself takes the voice pipe.
""Bridge!"
"Problem located sir!, approximate time to repair unknown!'

Unknown?.............double damnation!
"When you can engine room!, when you can.............."

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 1379
RE: The little ship that could. - 8/6/2012 10:11:01 AM   
1275psi

 

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Charge, of course, is there already.
No pipes needed to be made, no announcements, no messengers.

from somewhere he has heard those fans un naturally climb in revs, followed by that mournful sound of them beginning to wind down, felt the boiler shudder through his feet.

Already he is in deep conversation with the Steamer of the watch, as seamen, panting, sweat stained and soaked sailors complete the task of isolating the boiler.

charge catches one.........."Pull the burners!, and be quick about it!"
"Thoughts leading seaman?"

Although, I think, I fear that I know what the problem is already............but we will see, we will see...................

"We came down in revs chief!, I wound the fuel back, , pulled two burners.............
"And when we came back up again................"
'Yes chief!, when we came back up again.............she just sort of snuffed on me.............never seen the like before!"

A panting seaman brings the first burner over. he holds it in leather gloved hands, the 3 foot long heavy tube smaking at one end, black evil fuel dripping from the other.

The end is a black , solid lump of carbon, the fuel channel a crazy river etched into this lump of coal like material...........

Buka!...........the end cap is stuck solid..............this fuel. This bloody fuel is killing me,..........
"What is your fuel heater temperature Leading seaman!'
"Nominal chief!'

Not enough. Not nearly enough.............but this rubbish is gumming up everything, including the relief valves. But I must thin it, thin it if I can........
"crank it up to 180!. lets see if that helps. Get some new burners in, and lets get this bitch re lit"

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 1380
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