On the Boat: Life on the BNS Lobelia (part 2)

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Other Photos: On the Boat (part 1) | Brussels | Bruges | Oslo | London | Isle of Man

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washer with secret button Luke's Guide to Design: Part One
So after a week or so I went to go do my laundry. Inside, I found a spiffy German washer, complete with instructions in five languages (not Dutch, though!). Unfortunately, I couldn't open the washer's door. I asked someone how, and they pointed out the "secret button" underneath the washer (where my left hand is in the picture). Usually the Germans have good design, but this particular German washer is not winning high marks in the "good visual affordance cues" department! color-coded eductor

Luke's Guide to Design: Part Two
While the Germans let me down, the Belgians seem to have their act together in the design department. Here I'm leaning against a color-coded eductor. For you non-military or firefighting types, an eductor is a fancy hunk of metal that allows one to pump water out of somewhere (such as, for example, your rapidly sinking ship) using a fire main and Bernoulli's principle. By color coding all the fittings, the Belgians have made it easy to set up the eductor, especially in the middle of a "casualty" (i.e. lots of stuff going wrong at once).

Ontbijt in de Wardroom
Ontbijt (breakfast) in the wardroom. From left to right are Dean, Vince, and Morgan. Dean, the wardroom steward, was very tolerant of my slow eating, especially when seasick. By contrast, Morgan would always woof everything down in een ogenblik, regardless of how heavy the seas were. I don't know how he did it.

sign in the lunch
A fun sign in the "Lunch" (Petty Officer's Mess).

De Koken
Two of our excellent cooks: Jean, a cook from Brussels (which he hates to admit because everybody makes fun of Brussels) and his boss, the Chef Kok (Head Cook). We had really good food on board. Every now and then, Chef Kok would bust out his CD of crazy Flemish songs, such as the Plopdans. (It has really funny lyrics.)

Montagne de bière
...meanwhile, in the Cafeteria (Enlisted Mess), Bruno, one of the francophone engineering cadets, helps stack up a mountain of Jupiler.

Christophe (a brevnav who grew up in Flanders but spoke French at home) and Pieter (a social promotion). These two guys were walking around London, and everyone asked them "are you two brothers?" They eventually started saying: "Well, we have the same father..." and then started making up a big story. Quite funny, I thought.

Dirk with GP pistol
Social promotion Dirk shows the right way to aim a GP pistol during small-arms training. Dirk has a gun collection at home with over 100 guns!

Me and my roommate
Me and my roommate, Frits. Frits, the HTD (Head of the Techical Department...like the Chief Engineer), is wearing a wig, in case you were wondering.

Coxswain bébé
The coxswain once again. Just before we took this photo, he concocted a plan to play a prank on his wife by writing postcards which I'd postmark from America...I hope it worked...

Fun in the CO
Eddie tries to interrupt Fernand from his work on the charts in the CO ("Centre Operations"...a bit like the Combat Information Center on US ships).

The Yellow Man and Frits
Frits (sans wig) and Oscar. Right before I left the ship, everyone told me to "Beware the Yellow Man." Sure enough, the night before I left, some anonymous group of people put Oscar, the 80-kg dummy, in my rack. Ha ha ha.

Sunset on signal deck
A sunset on the signal deck.

Luke's FOREX Home Page
Other Photos: On the Boat (part 1) | Brussels | Bruges | Oslo | London | Isle of Man