Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Chaos Theory

Eric recently posted about the improbability of Sea Gem sinking while we sleep. His post was a response to my post about my fear that this could happen. Well, this post (the one you are reading right now) is my response to Eric's response regarding the whole sinking-while-we-sleep situation.

Let me start by saying that back in September, when I wrote my initial post, I was completely unaware of the fact that we had so many pumps and alarms--a fact I remained unaware of until March, when I read Eric's post. After reading it, I felt completely safe and also a bit foolish. Although I'm still unclear as to why it took Eric 6 months to inform me of the multitude of pumps/alarms we have aboard, I have forgiven him.

After reading Eric's post, I felt assured that the likelihood of us sinking was rather slim; however, I still didn't quite trust that the alarms we had were loud enough to wake me from a deep sleep (I'm a good sleeper). Well, yesterday, I found out that our alarms are indeed loud enough to wake not just us, but any living creature found within a mile of our boat.

While cleaning early yesterday morning, I decided to organize the contents of our navigation desk. In it, I found this:


As I was examining the above device (In case you are wondering, it is a light you wear around your head.), a deafening sound suddenly pierced the air. Naturally, I assumed I had pressed a button on the flashlight/headband, which caused an alarm to sound. I desperately searched the device for whatever button I pushed, but I couldn't get the alarm to turn off. Out of frustration, I began shouting "Who puts an alarm on a headband?!?!"

Then, I remembered Eric's post, and it occurred to me the alarm had nothing to do with the headband--it was our high-water alarm! Upon having this realization, I flipped out, as I assumed the boat was filling with water. I remember getting up from the desk and turning around in a circle (my attempt at escape), right before catching a glimpse of the alarm (located just above the desk where I had been sitting). I noticed the switch had been flipped from "Mute" to "Test," which causes the alarm to sound.


I calmly flipped the switch back to "Mute" and waited for the ringing in my ears to stop. So what triggered the alarm? Our set of cork coasters. Yes, coasters. Here is what happened.
  1. I opened the desk, found the headband/flashlight, and began playing with it
  2. Distracted, I continued lifting the desk top higher
  3. As the desk top opened, the cork coasters that were sitting on top of it were lifted toward the switch
  4. As I continued lifting the desk top up, the coasters came into contact with the switch, thus triggering the alarm
See for yourself:


My lingering doubts about whether or not our high water alarm is loud enough to wake me from sleep are no more! The alarm is loud enough to raise the dead, let alone rouse a heavy sleeper.

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