Singapore Expats Forum

Astronauts

Discuss about the latest news & interesting topics, real life experience or other out of topic discussions with locals & expatriates in Singapore.

User avatar
ksl
Governor
Governor
Posts: 6005
Joined: Mon, 19 Jul 2004
Location: Singapore
Contact:

Astronauts

Postby ksl » Mon, 18 Sep 2006 2:42 am

3 of the crew have been up there since March, Now that's were my guts fail me, I could never do it! One as got to admire those guys.

I could never understand how one could be locked in such a small area for so long. Just the thought of it makes me quiver these days.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/5354150.stm

I guess the older we get, the sense of danger, becomes more un appealing, or our sub-concious comes back to haunt us, I have difficulty flying these days, after a chopper crash on a night navex back in 74, strange it never effected me at the time, yet now, I feel a sense of anxiety and claustrophobia getting on these long haul fllights. Give me a chopper any day, at least i know i may walk away.

User avatar
sundaymorningstaple
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 34785
Joined: Thu, 11 Nov 2004
Location: Still Fishing!
Contact:

Re: Astronauts

Postby sundaymorningstaple » Mon, 18 Sep 2006 11:28 am

ksl wrote:3 of the crew have been up there since March, Now that's were my guts fail me, I could never do it! One as got to admire those guys.

I could never understand how one could be locked in such a small area for so long. Just the thought of it makes me quiver these days.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/5354150.stm

I guess the older we get, the sense of danger, becomes more un appealing, or our sub-concious comes back to haunt us, I have difficulty flying these days, after a chopper crash on a night navex back in 74, strange it never effected me at the time, yet now, I feel a sense of anxiety and claustrophobia getting on these long haul fllights. Give me a chopper any day, at least i know i may walk away.


I sorta know what it's like. Having been a commercial diver for quite some time. When you spend a month in Saturation your whole life is spent in a diving bell and recompression/decompression chamber and getting suited up (similarily to a space suit if you think about it - that how they train astronuats) to go out in an alien environment to do some work. Did that up till my mid forties when I decided to get a land based job in Singapore in order to get PR. It does take a special breed I have to admit. Here's the movable half of one of the systems I've spent a lot of time in:
Image
As I'm at work I don't have access to my home PC where the photo of the diving bell connected to the topside portion is located.

User avatar
ksl
Governor
Governor
Posts: 6005
Joined: Mon, 19 Jul 2004
Location: Singapore
Contact:

Postby ksl » Mon, 18 Sep 2006 3:53 pm

In my younger day, I was also put through the ringing machine, part of my training, which i never found quite enjoyable, I lasted about 10 minutes in a closed coffin, before my mind, got the better of me! and I wanted out! I didn't volunteer for that experience it was kind of forced upon me in training, with a hood over my head.

Ever since that experience, i have noticed my anxiety, I have tried to over come this feeling, by going pot holing in UK, but after being 3km underground, with only enough room to swing a cat, I decided, that at my age, it doesn't really matter! So I did a U turn to get out!

I'd rather sit on the skid of a chopper and do a few torque turns any day of the week, I like my freedom too much!

But I can see why it takes a special breed of person, to stay under water for very long periods, they deserve the money they get! I believe it is very high risk diving off the rigs.

The longest I have done is 1hr on a submarine and that was 1 hr to long.

User avatar
sundaymorningstaple
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 34785
Joined: Thu, 11 Nov 2004
Location: Still Fishing!
Contact:

Postby sundaymorningstaple » Mon, 18 Sep 2006 6:13 pm

ksl wrote:In my younger day, I was also put through the ringing machine, part of my training, which i never found quite enjoyable, I lasted about 10 minutes in a closed coffin, before my mind, got the better of me! and I wanted out! I didn't volunteer for that experience it was kind of forced upon me in training, with a hood over my head.

Ever since that experience, i have noticed my anxiety, I have tried to over come this feeling, by going pot holing in UK, but after being 3km underground, with only enough room to swing a cat, I decided, that at my age, it doesn't really matter! So I did a U turn to get out!

I'd rather sit on the skid of a chopper and do a few torque turns any day of the week, I like my freedom too much!

But I can see why it takes a special breed of person, to stay under water for very long periods, they deserve the money they get! I believe it is very high risk diving off the rigs.

The longest I have done is 1hr on a submarine and that was 1 hr to long.


What can I say. It completely paid for my waterfront farm back on the east coast of the US where I'll be retiring to in a couple of years. It's only as hazardous as you make it. As I was older than most by a long shot, there was an old saying "There are old divers and there are bold divers. But, there are damn few old, bold divers!" I'm still here, never had a case of the bends in 17 years and am alive to talk about it. 'Insurance companies, however, claim it's the 3rd most hazardous occupation in the world (outside of military/mercenary activities that is).
nb: the two that beats diving? A steeplejack and a professional bull rider!

User avatar
micknlea
Reporter
Reporter
Posts: 572
Joined: Fri, 09 Sep 2005
Location: Singapore

Postby micknlea » Mon, 18 Sep 2006 6:19 pm

sundaymorningstaple wrote: 'Insurance companies, however, claim it's the 3rd most hazardous occupation in the world (outside of military/mercenary activities that is).
nb: the two that beats diving? A steeplejack and a professional bull rider!


Perhaps that is because not all are as careful, nor perhaps as lucky, as you SMS...those figures aren't just made up for no reason! :)
"My husband said it was him or the cat...I miss him sometimes." - Unknown

User avatar
sundaymorningstaple
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 34785
Joined: Thu, 11 Nov 2004
Location: Still Fishing!
Contact:

Postby sundaymorningstaple » Mon, 18 Sep 2006 8:51 pm

micknlea wrote:
sundaymorningstaple wrote: 'Insurance companies, however, claim it's the 3rd most hazardous occupation in the world (outside of military/mercenary activities that is).
nb: the two that beats diving? A steeplejack and a professional bull rider!


Perhaps that is because not all are as careful, nor perhaps as lucky, as you SMS...those figures aren't just made up for no reason! :)


Believe me I know the hazards, just because I never got bent doesn't mean I haven't seen my share of diving accidents around the world. Especially when using 3rd world and developing nation divers in your crews as we do. Also, among my other talents, I was a licensed Health & Life ins agent in the US so I know that it is based on facts as well. I often wondered, however, where I'd be today had I stayed in the Military or Converted my military pilots rating to a civilian rating after I was released from active duty back in '68. ksl talking about torque turns (what we called pedal turns I believe - difference between the yanks & brits) brought back a lot of memories as I was a loach pilot flying the old Hiller OH-23's in the early days of the war '66-68. Hugging the bends of the river hell bent for election just below treetop level. We could probably bend each other's ears for quite a while...... :wink:

Here's the whole system put together:

Image

User avatar
Wind In My Hair
Manager
Manager
Posts: 2306
Joined: Tue, 19 Jul 2005

Postby Wind In My Hair » Mon, 18 Sep 2006 10:26 pm

Wow, ksl and SMS. You adventurous types make me feel like a babe in a pram.

The deepest I ever dove / dived (which is the right word? the correct past tense of 'dive' has been bugging me for years) was 45m chasing a hammerhead, and I once was slow and careful enough to touch a leopard shark resting on the seabed before it swam away. And here I was thinking I was such an accomplished diver.

User avatar
sundaymorningstaple
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 34785
Joined: Thu, 11 Nov 2004
Location: Still Fishing!
Contact:

Postby sundaymorningstaple » Mon, 18 Sep 2006 10:44 pm

It's dove. And if you had the courage to touch a leopard shark (basically harmless I know) but if it was more than a metre long and you did not half empty your bottle hyperventilating to do it, I'd say you were reasonably accomlished. :wink:

This is the one that will get you hyperventilating though.....I've posted it before:

Me in the Gulf of Thailand (Off Sonkla) in around 1982-83 diving from the ill-fated Seacrest:

Image

sms

User avatar
ksl
Governor
Governor
Posts: 6005
Joined: Mon, 19 Jul 2004
Location: Singapore
Contact:

Postby ksl » Mon, 18 Sep 2006 11:06 pm

SMS: ksl talking about torque turns (what we called pedal turns I believe - difference between the yanks & brits) brought back a lot of memories


In 69 we had the Bell 47, used for Forward air control, and other tasks, it was a great little toy, on a few occassions, the odd pilot lost a crate of beer, when they dared me to sit on the skid, and actually flew straight up to a 1000ft, until the engine stalled, as the chopper was falling backwards, it would go into the torque turn, yes pedal turns, into a dive and the engine would be restarted.

It was against all rules and regulations, of course, but great fun.

It must be a very strange life living in that pressure chamber, how many does it hold? I can imagine astronauts having to go through, all that! You certainly deserve an early retirement, after that kind of work! It's quite strange actually that we have so many things in common.

I also worked for the Danish Refugee Council for 3 years, they came mostly from Iran, and Vietnam at that time.

User avatar
Wind In My Hair
Manager
Manager
Posts: 2306
Joined: Tue, 19 Jul 2005

Postby Wind In My Hair » Mon, 18 Sep 2006 11:27 pm

sundaymorningstaple wrote:It's dove. And if you had the courage to touch a leopard shark (basically harmless I know) but if it was more than a metre long and you did not half empty your bottle hyperventilating to do it, I'd say you were reasonably accomlished. :wink:

Thanks for 'dove'.

I was always good with air. Would have half a tank left when everyone else ran out and would feel annoyed that we had to surface just because they couldn't get their breathing down. And the approach to the leopard shark was very slow as I didn't want to startle it, I had to remind myself to breathe. Think it was a baby though, it's nowhere as big as the one in your pic. That is some shark! Mine was maybe one metre including tail.

User avatar
sundaymorningstaple
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 34785
Joined: Thu, 11 Nov 2004
Location: Still Fishing!
Contact:

Postby sundaymorningstaple » Mon, 18 Sep 2006 11:59 pm

ksl,

The system in the photo was on the DS (drillship) Chancellorsville and was taken in early '84. That system held 4 men. When on a dive the bell would be launched with 2 men. One acting as a tender inside while one went out and worked and then after a period of time we would switch for the second half. Then button up everything, haul us back to the surface, mate the bell to the deck chamber equalize pressures and open her up and crawl through. It was tight, damp and you didn't ever have a hot meal or hot drink for the duration of the sat.

Were you working from the receiving end in Holland or from the refugee camp side like I was doing here in SE Asia? Either way, not sure how you felt, but for me, a NAM vet, it was like performing a sort of Penance I guess. Personally fullfilling would be the best way I could describe it.

User avatar
ksl
Governor
Governor
Posts: 6005
Joined: Mon, 19 Jul 2004
Location: Singapore
Contact:

Postby ksl » Tue, 19 Sep 2006 11:32 am

sundaymorningstaple wrote:ksl,

The system in the photo was on the DS (drillship) Chancellorsville and was taken in early '84. That system held 4 men. When on a dive the bell would be launched with 2 men. One acting as a tender inside while one went out and worked and then after a period of time we would switch for the second half. Then button up everything, haul us back to the surface, mate the bell to the deck chamber equalize pressures and open her up and crawl through. It was tight, damp and you didn't ever have a hot meal or hot drink for the duration of the sat.

Were you working from the receiving end in Holland or from the refugee camp side like I was doing here in SE Asia? Either way, not sure how you felt, but for me, a NAM vet, it was like performing a sort of Penance I guess. Personally fullfilling would be the best way I could describe it.


I was engaged in the establishment of the first camp, in our area in Denmark, dis-used school, for 200 + , I worked both sides of the fence, infiltrating the radicals, that was responsible for rioting in the camp, I got on very well with them, they could relate to my position has a foreigner in Denmark evading the the IRA sympathisers from my own City in UK, basically I was also a refugee forced out of my own City of Lancaster, its historically labeled as a violent area where all the Irish end up, when they get off the ferry from Northern Ireland, and where all the Scotish end up, when they cross the border looking for employment, more pubs than houses, and quite a famouse University now.

I'm a catholic with close family in Ireland, that are sympathisers, however i am not, a believer in one religion, I learn from them all, and keep my self to myself!

Iranians soon learnt how to manipulate the social advisors, through, threats and fear, it was an education, working with refugees.

It only took one family to start the ball rolling, although I was aware of what was going on from the inside, and had the means to control the situation, without blowing my own cover, it was quite stressful but rewarding work.

Basically I was there to keep the peace and make sure everything went smoothly, rehousing them and introducing them to Danish culture.

After 3 years the stress was catching up with me, and I was asked to leave, after an incident, where by I was attacked with a bread knife on several occassions.

The police could do nothing, no one could, because the guy was a drug addict and mentally unstable, unable to recieve the help he needed because he could not understand English or Danish, he literally terrorised everyone blackmailing the refugees for drug money, there was no doubt he was an informer, and the authorities didn't know how to handle him, i had disarmed the guy several times, yet the police said the knife had to go in me, before they could do anything.

In the end I had to settle the matter once and for all, and there was only one way to do it, I confronted him, with a translator in front of my superiors, and threatend him, it was at this stage, they decided to lock him up in the mental facility, but he burned it down, and threatend patients, Denmark had never had the experience of working with torture victims, before.

Some of these guys were in fact a danger to society, and a couple of them ended up on murder charges, within the camp and had murdered also outside the camp, it was a disturbing experience. Eventually I found him an adoptive family, who looked after him quite well, until he could be rehoused.

Yes rewarding work! but 3 years was enough for me.

The vietnamese, where never so demanding,

Conker
Member
Member
Posts: 31
Joined: Wed, 09 Nov 2005

Postby Conker » Tue, 19 Sep 2006 11:56 am

Image

...and then there is underwater caving. Probably the most scary and dangerous sport in the world.

User avatar
sundaymorningstaple
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 34785
Joined: Thu, 11 Nov 2004
Location: Still Fishing!
Contact:

Postby sundaymorningstaple » Tue, 19 Sep 2006 12:20 pm

Conker wrote:...and then there is underwater caving. Probably the most scary and dangerous sport in the world.


Agreed, that's why I kept it to professions and not hobbies. Otherwise I would have listed a doorgunner on a huey in Vietnam. 27 seconds in combat. Although crawling up inside a 24" sewage outfall line almost a half a klick with the only way back being in reverse to clear an obstruction has to be just about as bad except we get paid penetration pay. (sound pretty neat "penetration pay - 'cept it's by foot not inch" :cool: )

User avatar
ksl
Governor
Governor
Posts: 6005
Joined: Mon, 19 Jul 2004
Location: Singapore
Contact:

Postby ksl » Tue, 19 Sep 2006 5:24 pm

Conker wrote:Image

...and then there is underwater caving. Probably the most scary and dangerous sport in the world.
:shock: No thanks!


Return to “General Discussions”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests