Thursday, 24 October 2019

up the funnel

Today’s Inktober picture prompt is ‘dizzy’. This is back when I worked on Havelet, the BCIF ferry operating between Weymouth and the Channel Islands. We were in Falmouth dry dock for the annual refit, and the Chiefy, Jim Nelson, was binding about how the Irish Ferries boats alongside had beautifully painted funnel exhausts. So eventually I volunteered to paint ours to shut him up.

I took a tin of aluminium paint up the ladder that went from the engine room all the way to the top of the funnel, and lifted the hatch. The top was flat with a rim of a couple of inches. The floor of the dry dock seemed a very long way below. Well, tbf it was a long way below.

I hastily slapped on a coat of shiny silver paint on the rusty, sooty exhausts, and went back down, trying not to think of that drop...

Moments after the engines fired up, the exhausts were black and sooty again.

But at least I’d shut Jim up. For five minutes, anyway.

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