Just a bit of ice…

But first…
Dulltown, Europe: Today’s joke is the one about the Queen’s corgis ganging up on her and overthrowing the monarchy. Oh, how we tittered.
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Hey, let’s have a final look into that great ‘junk shop book’ the ‘Ship’s Code and Decode Book’ from the Meteorological Office, (Met.O. 509), ‘Incorporating the International Meteorological Codes for Weather Reports from and to Ships and the Analysis Code for use of shipping.’ published by Her Majesty’s Stationary Office, Decimal Index 551.509.1.

Just for a bit of added colour I thought that I might mention the three ships that this copy of the book was used on, the names of which are written in pencil on the title page: mv. ‘British Tamar’, mv. ‘British Hazel’, and ss. ‘British Explorer’.

This is ‘Table 26’ on page 31:
‘Zi – Ice situation and trend over preceding three hours.’
(The code figure is shown down the left hand side.)

0. Ship in open water with floating ice in sight.
1. Ship in easily penetrable ice; conditions improving.
2. Ship in easily penetrable ice; conditions not changing.
3. Ship in easily penetrable ice; conditions worsening.
4. Ship in ice difficult to penetrate; conditions improving.
5. Ship in ice difficult to penetrate; conditions not changing.
6. Ice forming and floes freezing together. Ice difficult to penetrate; conditions worsening.
7. Ice under slight pressure. Ice difficult to penetrate; conditions worsening.
8. Ice under moderate or severe pressure. Ice difficult to penetrate; conditions worsening.
9. Ship beset.

A fine piece of clear and gripping writing, starting fairly cheerfully with code figures ‘0’ and ‘1’, and ending at code figure ‘9’ with just two simple words, which are heavy with significance.

About Dave Whatt

Grumpy old surrealist artist, musician, postcard maker, bluesman, theatre set designer, and debonair man-about-town. My favourite tools are the plectrum and the pencil...
This entry was posted in books, cool, drama, information, observations, poetry, Royalty, words, writing and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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