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A SEA ANCHOR OR DROG SAIL.
TO LESSEN A STEAMER'S DRIFT AND KEEP HER OUT OF
THE TROUGH OF THE SEA.
This sea anchor should be carried by all steamers, and be ready at a moment's warning. Have two spars cut in lengths of half the beam of your vessel, say if she is thirtysix feet beam, the length of the spars should be seventeen feet and about nine to ten inches diameter ; a strong iron bolt should be driven through the middle of these spars and secured by a nut and washer, making them like a pair of scissors, so that they could be shut up when not in use and stowed snugly away. When wanted open them out till they form a cross; take a runner of žths chain and swifter them in that position by hitching the chain round each leg of the cross (see Diagram A); make a double chain bridle fast to where the four dots are placed, (this must be good chain), and you then have the skeleton of a kite. lash a double canvas sail to the chain by eyelet holes worked on the edge of the double sail to the chain you passed from leg to leg of the spars (see Diagram B); you then have
On these spars
what is termed a sea kite, or drog sail. Pass a hawser through the double bridle and hitch it the same way as you would make a kite string fast. Take a small kedge anchor with about five fathoms of rope and make it fast to one of the spar ends, and call this, for the purpose of explanation, the bottom of the kite ; then to the other end of the same spar make fast a long line, which is to trip the kite to get it alongside easily. Having all things now in readiness, drop overboard the kite and the kedge-anchor before named ; the kite will then assume a vertical position; pay away the havser and keep the line attached to the upper end of the kite well slack; veer out the hawser to about sixty fathoms, and when this becomes taut it will set the kite to the sea the same as a common kite sets to the wind by its string ; the vessel will ride easily by it, and it will stop her drift considerably, as she has a surface of one hundred and fortyfour square feet to draw through the scal, because the kedge keeps it well immersed.
When you are done with it take the small line you made fast to the top of the kite to the wivch and haul in, when the kite will immediately capsize to a horizontal position in the water, and can easily be brought alongside ; hook a tackle on the sea anchor and pull it in with the fish davit.
HOW TO TAKE A CAST OF THE LEAD IN
Presuming you want a cast of the lead in deep water, say from 90 to 100 fathoms, and it is blowing hard, with a heavy sen running, is a difficulty sometimes not easily got over, especially with a steamer in ballast. Thus, say the leadline is passed well forward, the lead primed, and everything l'eady for a cast ; you ease the engines and stop hier way through the water, the lead is then hove, down it goes, but you find before 100 fathoms of line is all run out your vessel's bow has blown off the wind, and the lead-line trends broad out to windward, consequently no true cast can be got; the best way to get an approximation to the water is by passing the line from right aft of the taffrail to about midships, then heave the lead overboard amidships just before she has lost the last of her way; her bow may blow off then, but her stern remains as it were on a pivot, consequently the line does not trend out to windward, but care must be taken that the line does not foul the propeller. All seamen, however, know that to get a true deep water cast of the lead, with a ship in ballast or high out of the water, is one of the most difficult things that can be accomplished with certainty on a dirty night.
With a deep-loaded vessel it is a very different affair, and comparatively an easy matter; pass the line forward to about the fore rigging, ease the engines to dead slow, and when she loses her way stop her propeller and heave the lead, and in nine cases out of ten a true cast is thus obtainable.
It must be borne in mind in all cases that to get a true cast of the lead, a steamer must be brought head to wind and sea; in stormy weather it is also an important matter that the lead should be primed (eren supposin' that the nature of the bottom is not required) for by examining the lead when it is brought on board you can at once see if it has touched the bottom ; supposing there is a doubt on the matter.
Also let the seaman remember that one cast of the lead may mislead, by its falling at times into fissures at the bottom, so that at least two casts are always indispensable, and a course should never be altered for a single cast till verified by a second.
RESCUING THE CREW OF A DISABLED SHIP
The best position to place a steamer near a disabled ship is to windward of her, for two reasons, viz., communication is easier effected, and secondly, her wreckage is generally floating away from her, and might foul your propeller if you were to leeward of her. Steam your vessel into a position about half a mile dead to windward of the wreck, then put her head to wind, and let her drive down towards the wreck, tending her with the engines to keep her head to wind ; when in a good safe berth off her, keep your ship in that position with the engines. Now we will presume that the sea is too heavy to launch a boat, there still remain two ways of effecting a communication ; first, pay a line with a life buoy attached over the stern, which will drive down to the wreck; the disabled ship's crew should make another line fast to this buoy, and the crew can be pulled on board in the life buoy one at a time, care being taken that each man is lashed in the buoy. Another plan for getting communication between two ships in heavy weather, is to take one of the ship's rockets, and make fast to its stick the end of a ball of marline; then flake the marline loose on the deck, and point and fire the rocket, which will carry ordinary marline 230 feet, if a good ship's rocket, with a moderate gale, fired before the wind ; but if you have a small fishing line, it will carry it 300 feet. This has been tried by experiments ou shore, and is of great utility.
If you can with safety put out a boat, give your steamer a broad sheer, drop your boat to leeward, and slack her down with a line to the wreck; if this precaution be used, two men in the boat is plenty to man her, and these two men should have cork life belts on; one man should tend the line in the boat's bow, and the other tend her with a long steering oar over her stern; and allow no luggage to be placed in the boat till all the lives are sared. Great care is necessary in veering away this boat line ; watch the sea well and veer away as circumstances will permit, for if the line is veered away too fast, the boat may turn athwart the sea and capsize; and if such an accident occurs at that time, men are apt to lose heart, and the poor crew of the disabled ship are left to their fate. These remarks are liable to criticism, but they are given solely for the purpose of trying to save life at sea.
It must be borne in mind, that if the sea is very heavy a large cauvas bag, full of small holes and filled with oil, put over your vessel's stern during these operations, will smooth the broken sea immensely on the weather side of the wreck.
If you have a heavy tow, with strong sea running, take the cable chain of your tow out of one hawse pipe and put it into the other, leaving a bight of about twenty fathoms. In the uniddle of this bight, after it is well parcelled, make fast your towing hawsers, and veer them out to the bare end ; try to keep your vessel with as little way as possible, if blowing hard and a strong sea against you, bearing in mind that
you had better tow a vessel to a port five hundred miles before the wind, than one hundred miles against the sea and wind, for in the latter case it is ten chances to one you will carry away all
hawsers and not succeed at last. Care must be taken in boarding a derelict ship, for just as you get on board she might be in the act of foundering.
HOW TO USE STEAM APPLIANCES IN CASE
If at sea and the ship takes fire, immediately stop her; if the fire is aft try and keep her head to wind, but do not give her any more way than you can help, as it increases the draft; if the fire is forward, keep her right before the wind and stop the engines ; if any of the hatches are off, batten them down immediately, and block up the mouths of the ventilators. While this is being done, if the seat of the fire cannot be reached, screw on the deck hose, cut a small hole in either the deck or in the hatchway large enough to admit the nozzle of the hose, and keep playing upon the place where you surmise the fire is situated ; open the sluices so that the water will find its way into the engineroom and be discharged overboard.
If the fire decreases bo very careful in taking the hatches off, as the least air might fan a smouldering fire into a blaze, try to find where the fire originated, and throw any smouldering cargo overboard, if it can be got at.
If tlie fire still gains when all the deck hoses are on, get the boats provisioned, and see all clear for saving life. If the vessel is in a position to be run on shore, and the fire is gaining rapidly, then run her on shore. Open all sluices and sea cocks to scuttle her, which perhaps will save the ship; this of course is a last resource.
THE EFFECTS PRODUCED BY GOING ASTERN
AND TURNING SHORT ROUND
Right-handed propellers (and this means those which turn the same way as the hands of a clock, the observer being placed abaft of a clock whose face is turned aft), always fling their head to starboard when going astern, and the opposite with left-handed propellers, which fling their head to port. Great care shonld be taken in narrow waters in not giving a ship with a right-handed propeller too much port helm, because if she will not clear the object by going ahead, full speed astern will cause her to fly to starboard and make worse of it; so a ship with a left-handed propeller