The Crossroads of the Aether
I mean that in several ways. I'm a 5th generation Seattleite who knows the geology, botany, history, and Native American culture of the Puget Sound area and Washington state. Some of that list is by actual formal study. The rest by years of experience.
In addition, I have been an engine room crew member on the state ferries. And a volunteer on the classic Virginia V (that's 5, not vee) which has a triple-expansion steam engine built around 1901.
Wanna find out about some arcane detail for that book you're writing? Or simply to appreciate the Pacific Northwest? I might know... or at least know where to find out.
Yes. I was on it a couple of Sundays ago for about 9+ hours and again last Monday, 7/18. Takes awhile to start up or shut down the equipment. I can do the oiling part and the bridge/engine room telegraph, and I am really good at spotting any potential problems.
But I haven't done fireman/watertender for 30 years. So I'm breaking in for those duties. I do remember parts of it, however. They take some real skill-- the old double acting steam driven pumps have to be handled gently. Lighting off has to be done correctly or there can be danger of flashback for anyone standing in front of the boiler firebox. Changing burners is not easy, either. And it's critical to maintain proper water levels for the boiler.
Totally off the subject, but speaking as a 5th generation native, I was totally appalled by Boneshaker by Cherie Priest. It is a mystery to me why that book has received any good reviews at all. This is not the place to deal with my reactions, as I want to at least appear to be friendly here. Anyone wanting further information can click on the avatar, find the relevant material, and read the grisly details.