We were preparing to get underway for WESTPAC 2005, everyone was finishing stowing all that they wanted/could bring with them on deployment. There is pretty limited space on the ship, if you’re lucky like I was you’d have a locker in your shop to stow stuff you couldn’t fit in your rack or locker in berthing(sleeping quarters). Some weren’t as fortunate and had to get creative, it’s amazing where you can find space, even if it’s frowned upon.
Such was the case with a computer terminal in OPS. We had been underway for a while(weeks/months, can’t remember exactly) when we got a call about a terminal that wasn’t working in OPS and was a critical piece of gear. So I take a junior tech with me and we go to investigate. Won’t power on or give any beep codes but also didn’t smell like electronic smoke, weird. So we take it back to the shop to open it up and see if we happen to have any spare PC parts around, and this is where it gets interesting.
After setting the terminal/PC on the bench we crack the case and what we saw explained a lot, but left us with more questions that were probably best left unanswered. Inside was a full-size bottle of Jergens lotion, it barely fit in the case! I’m not sure why it was stuffed in the case and I don’t want to know, what I do know is that it’s not great for computer parts.
After some confused looks and a few good laughs, we were able to scrounge some parts from the IT department(as we didn’t carry standard PC parts, just comm’s parts) and got things back up and running. This wasn’t the only thing we’d found, or would find, in the terminals and consoles but it was definitely one of the strangest.
I hope you found this sea story entertaining and maybe got a few laughs. Let me know if you’d like to see more by sending me a Twitter message at @saltyoldgeek. Fair winds and following seas.