sailing the NorSea


WEEK 21 2013

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Picture of the Week


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Saturday 25 May 2013
Saturday - Back in town, running various errands and doing various chores.

According to his CV my grandfather enlisted in the USN on the day war broke out in 1917. In 1918 he was appointed an officer, ensign, aboard the USS Radnor, a just launched transport ship.

Is he in one of these pictures, I wonder? It wouldn't be unusual for an ensign to be assigned to oversee a painting crew, or involved in the process of casting off lines amongst a  herd of army landlubbers...

uss radnor


Friday 24 May 2013
Friday - OTR. Met with the VRSD folk in the morning, and got a better idea of what the EDR updates need to be, and of what the database looks like, and what sort of reports they need out of it. Right now they are apparently just creating an Excel file by typing in data, so anything would be an improvement....

At noon I headed home to Lancaster. Traffic was already building up - actually it was already heavy going down to Ventura yesterday - and I was glad to beat the bulk of the Memorial Day traffic out of town.

friday cat photo

Thursday 23 May 2013

Thursday - OTR. Down in Saticoy, talking to the VCWPD and their GIS guy. I think we are on track to make a fairly decent historical imagery thing - it's much the same as their Roads department uses, which should be OK.

After that I went by VRSD, and discussed some updates to the EDR stuff I wrote a couple of years ago, and some newer database work. Since the VCWPD meeting ran long I need to go by VRSD tomorrow and get some downloaded data from their IT guy, who, while a part timer, does work on Fridays....

Out to dinner with Dave and family at Joe's, in Santa Barbara. Nice food - I had the meatloaf - but deafeningly loud.

The boat looks OK. I was a bit concerned that it'd be an all night party session, being just before the Memorial Day weekend, but it was quiet. There was a bit of a wind blowing - maybe 15kts, and I secured the roller jib of the boat in the slip next to me, which was coming loose.

Book #23 was Titans of Chaos, by John C. Wright. This is the third and final book in the Children of Chaos series. Not deep stuff, but easy escapist reading. I'd say it was a bit cluttered and hurried, compared to book #1.

Wednesday 22 May 2013

Wednesday  - A nice day. Working away on this and that. I'll be heading down to Ventura tomorrow for a demonstration by VCWPD on their historical imagery and GIS tool they've added. Oddly the email I sent to confirm never arrived and my inviter called me to see if I was coming. Late in the evening I finally received a "bounce" message from my server.

I had sent my brother a CV of my grandfather a while back, and it's interesting to look at. The USN was experimenting with destroyers in the early part of the century, and he served on a number of them, upon transfer to the USCG. The first six classes were limited production vessels, the "Thousand Tonners", and were considered large, for their day.

Cassin Class

Aylwin Class
O'Brien Class
Tucker Class
Sampson Class

Caldwell Class

Wickes Class

111 Vessels

DD-75 - DD-185
Clemson Class

156 Vessels

DD186  -  DD347

  • USS Herndon (DD-198), USCGD Herndon (CG-17)

It's interesting to see that the Herndon, shown in British livery, ended up in Russian service and was sunk by a U-boat in 1945.

Tuesday  21 May 2013
Tuesday - It's interesting to note that it was the USCGD Conyngham, not the USCGC Conyngham. The "D" was for destroyer (the ship was originally a USN destroyer), the "C" is for cutter, and is what all the Coast Guard's ships all use now-a-days. For example, the Coast Guard recently took possession of the USCGC Margaret Norvell, a "Fast Response Cutter".


From a Coast Guard web site:

A "Cutter" is basically any CG vessel 65 feet in length or greater, having adequate accommodations for crew to live on board. Larger cutters (over 179 feet in length) are under control of Area Commands (Atlantic Area or Pacific Area). Cutters at or under 175 feet in length come under control of District Commands. Cutters, usually have a motor surf boat and/or a rigid hull inflatable boat on board. Polar Class icebreakers also carry an Arctic Survey Boat (ASB) and Landing Craft.

Book #22 would be Fugitives of Chaos, by John C. Wright, successor to last week's #21,  Children of Chaos.

Monday  20 May 2012
Monday - I'm a bit sunburned from the pool in San Diego :-(

Sunday 19 May 2012
Sunday - It's nice down here in San Diego, and having spent time sitting by the pool reading I felt it incumbent upon me to take the opportunity to investigate the pump and filter system. At one time it was well documented, but after a number of fairly major repairs and pipe replacements - and the passing of its maintainer, it's become a bit of a problem and mystery.

The biggest problem seemed to be reports of a major leak in the rooftop solar heating panels, but looking at things it seemed like there were actually two rooftop solar hot water systems - a solar hot water pre-heating system for household tap water, and the pool heating system. The leak was probably in the tap water pre-heater loop as we could see a giant crack in the roof holding tank from ground level.

The mystery part involved the function of the three multi-position valves, so I started turning them, ringing the changes. I knew I hit the roof bypass when the pipe I was leaning on suddenly turned too hot to touch - an initial slug of probably 200F water passing through on it's way to the pool. So the valves were (1) intake to pump from spa/pool, (2)outlet from pump to spa/pool and (3) root solar heating loop on/off. Which all makes sense.

Happily there was no leak in the rooftop pool heating system, so I left the pool set to heat each afternoon when the pump/filter/crawler goes on.

I also "fixed" the shear pin for the pool cover by inserting a 1/4-20 brass bolt and nut. It should be small enough to shear when the cover hits the stops, but strong enough to hold under normal use, I think.

We went out for belated Mother's Day lunch with my friends mother, at La Bastide. I had a nice quiche, but my friend got one from an over that had tripped it's circuit breaker apparently - cold and inedible, so it had to be sent back :-(

After a few other chores we headed home to Lancaster - nasty traffic in the southland, so it took over four hours. Oh well, so it goes.

Hot and windy here in Lancaster...

So, this week's Picture of the Week is of a family heirloom of sorts: an ash tray made out of a piston (I use it for spare change, not being a smoker).

The family story (from my Dad) is that it’s the piston head from the engine of a Florida rum runner that was captured by the USCGD Conyngham, CG-2, (nee USS Conygham,DD-58 ) during Prohibition, while my grandfather was serving aboard as exec.

uscgd conyngham
Wikipedia, USCGD Conyngham, CG-2

Originally the captured vessels were being sold at auction, but they were just bought by the gangs and returned to service, so the Coast Guard started destroying them and their engines.

The Wikipedia picture of the Conyngham below is pretty blurry, I should see if I’ve a better picture of her in Coast Guard livery, somewhere in granddad’s stuff.

Picture of the Week
USCGD Conyngham CG-2 ashtray 
Photo Notes: Via my Grandfather: an ash tray made out of a piston (I use it for spare change, not being a smoker).

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