The Stills

Talking to John Savory about these plants, I knew what was required and should be accomplished immediately, was a good cleaning. To start from square one was to determine any other problems and maintenance that would also be required. Using the sound powered phone I cranked the Maneuvering Room looking for the duty electrical cat to inform him that the load on the ships battery would increase. He answered the phone "WHAT", "this is MUFF in the forward engine room" and stated my intentions. "Wait a minute, what the hell is a MUFF". Slowly explaining the situation and being on the battery for ships electrical power permission was granted to run the distilling plants which would not disrupt electrical operations aboard.

So about 2 pm John and I started the process of cleaning the plants. This was a slow process and required many steps for this cleaning. The procedure involved a corrosive chemical to be dissolved in a large barrel, hoses and a few items that we had to improve on. John was amazed that I knew this form of maintenance since he had not seen it accomplished aboard. In the heat of the engine room we worked as a team, sweating and cursing. At about midnight we were making good fresh water in accordance with the required specs, as indicated by the battery water tester a Klineshmit. And as far as I could figure we were near maximmn capacity of good battery and drinking water. We were tired now so I left a note for the duty officer of what we did and climbed into my tree for a few hours of down time.

At quarters the next morning I was introduced to the crew as EN 2 Kamuf. Hey may be I'll lose my nickname. The Engineer and the Chief Engineman talked to me what transpired and about the day before. A slow explanation was detailed with only nods from their heads. A few weeks later the CO presented me with a nice commendation on this subject. Not bad for only being aboard a few weeks. Now I was called "Muff The Rain Maker". The crew was happy since most of the time they were on water hours which limited the amount of water to be used for showering, cleaning and cooking, and now a good shower once or twice a week at sea will be fantastic.

At about 0900 the maneuvering watch was stationed for a two-week deployment to Jamaica and Bermuda. The chief engineman said that while I rigged the engine room for dive he and the engineer would watch to see how well this was accomplished by me. No sweat. I got the dive bill from the bill holder and with a grease pencil rigged the room in a heartbeat checking off each item. Since propulsion underway was with the after engine room it was fairly quite in the forward one. After seeing me in action and my rapid response to the diving alarm, the were satisfied they had a good man they could trust. Looking at each other they said in unison "He is qualified in all respects". I felt great that my responsibility was bestowed so quickly, So for the next few hours I got to drink my coffee, smoke my Pall Mall cigarettes and eat sticky buns obtained by my oiler.

The distilling plants were now nmning at 80% capacity. I was informed a new record was set for there performance on Poacher. This allowed the crew to take showers, plenty of water for the engines, the battery and cooking. After a few days at sea the crew was saying "Muff the Rainmaker now has made our lives a little bit more comfortable under way". Wow, plus now that I am qualified the 2 forward throttle men Magoo Paterson and John Savory were off port and starboard watch standing = 6 hours on and 6 hours off.

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