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Day By Day© by Chris Muir.


Monday, June 20, 2005

when do you know you are qualified a watchstation?

every nuke out there knows this answer. and some coners like VA Beach Herb.
it's not when the engineer signs off your qual card, and you get put on the watchbill for that station. it's not after your first drill set as a qualified watchstander. it's not after spending 3 weeks standing port and starboard, 6 on and 6 off.
it's when you hear "FIRE FIRE FIRE IN THE REACTOR COMPARTMENT UPPER LEVEL" from our lady friend the bitch in the box. full scram, because they isolated all control power, since the "smoke was coming from under a key transformer. full scram on the battery, at cruising depth. up goes the boat to periscope depth, you've got the generator feed reg valves in manual, and you hear "PREPARE TO SNORKEL". guess what's on your watchstation? the damned diesels. so you feed the generators up, run over and open the port cylinder petcocks, hit the voice tube and tell the upper level watch, who is now a diesel operator, check generator levels, run back to the forward end of the diesel, check the fuel lineup, and start cranking the lube oil pump until it develops enough pressure for the D.O. to roll the engine, then rush back and shut all the petcocks, yell up to upper level, and start cranking the lube oil pump again until the D.O. rolls it with air for an air start. then check generator levels, adjust as necessary, and run over to the other diesel and repeat the performance. then get generator levels under control again, and prepare to maintain the generator levels while running back and forth between the diesels to check lube oil levels and open the exhaust line drain valves "just to be sure" there's no water, and then back to the generator levels until the reactor is up, and you are high enough in power to shift back to automatic.
and you didn't screw anything up. no level alarms, diesels running fine.

then you know you are qualified that watchstation.

and if you really have your act together, start shaking like a dog trying to pass razor blades once it's all over and done with, because YOU know just how close you came to screwing it all up, and the ramifications to the plant and the boat if you had.


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