Seafarers

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Re: Seafarers

Post by DuxDeluxe on Tue Dec 18, 2012 7:02 pm

Try pronouncing "Reims" (of champagne fame) to a French person - I still can't!
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Re: Seafarers

Post by andygump on Tue Dec 18, 2012 10:06 pm

DuxDeluxe wrote:The French spoken by the Swiss around Lake Geneva is one hell of a lot easier to understand than the French spoken by a Parisian - they all speak much more slowly and clearly which was great when eavesdropping on gossip on who was doing what to whom. It is very nice on the ear, a bit like an Englishman listening to someone from Edinburgh or similar
EDINBURGH!!!

" WHITS RANG WEY GLESCA"



Andy hugegrins

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Re: Seafarers

Post by deckie on Wed Dec 19, 2012 7:51 am

andygump wrote:

" WHITS RANG WEY GLESCA"

Andy hugegrins

Nice one Andy hugegrins

Whilst repairing a Ship in 'Glesca', I upset a couple of 'Tarts' (the two legged type, complete with cauliflower ears and broken noses smile! ) with "I ken wot ya saa, bu I dina ken wot ya min" ....... Needless to say I kept my cabin door very well locked after that hugegrins

Brian

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Re: Seafarers

Post by DuxDeluxe on Wed Dec 19, 2012 7:56 am

That's why I said Edinburgh and not the other side. Oh, all right, I admit defeat - shall we say rural lowlands? winks
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Seafarers

Post by murph on Wed Dec 19, 2012 9:34 am

Hi Dutto,
Not only a smart Captain, but a pratt of a production supervisor.

Brian2
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Re: Seafarers

Post by Dutto on Wed Dec 19, 2012 12:07 pm

murph wrote:Hi Dutto,
Not only a smart Captain, but a pratt of a production supervisor.

Brian2

I agree on that one. It was a weird situation as he thought he was a potential Installation Manager. wave

A very old, very new and very wise old Yank arrived on the same installation as Installation Manager and he was only on his second trip when we held an exercise.

The Yank knew just enough to realise that he had to trust the team around him and let them get on with their jobs. All he did was consider and then OK the suggestions made to him by the team and respond to any prompts that the team gave him; as a result the overall response was one of the best I ever saw!

The Production Supervisor's response in the cafeteria afterwards? "He did nothing! He may as well have not even been there!" The man was too dumb to realise that the Yank had done everything a manager should do; starting with the words "Delegate." and "Decide."
tap_fingers
I have to say that after just over 35 years working in the Oil and Gas Industry I only needed one hand to count the number of totally incompetent people I met; unfortunately four of those were in management or supervisory roles!

My prime example is the Installation Manager who was so incompetent that as a result of his actions I lost two dummies that were tossed into the sea to represent members of his crew! The man was a total control freak who found it impossible to delegate. As a result, by the time he informed his own Standby Boat and HM Coastguard that there was a problem (25 minutes after the first alarm was raised) the two dummies had drifted off never to be seen again!!

Happy days!!?? scratch head

Best regards,
drinksallround
Ian

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The Last Episode

Post by Dutto on Fri Dec 21, 2012 4:19 am

Hi there,

I thought I may as well complete my narrative as Christmas is just around the corner.

I lived on the six-berth motor cruiser when I called an end to my first marriage but finished up selling the boat in order to eat! (Anyone who has been divorced will know how expensive it is!)

So, poverty stricken, I went without a boat for many years before investing in an ancient Macwester Kelpie that sailed so slowly I christened her "After You". She was unsuited to towing so I berthed her at Inverness and sailed her in Loch Ness and the Moray Firth. Helen only sails to keep me company and one time I asked my good lady if she ever got frightened and received the comment "Never! I know you wouldn't put the dogs at risk!"

After a couple of years I sold the Kelpie and moved on to a 12ft inflatable and another Orkney Longliner that I named "Helen Too".

We regularly took the inflatable over to France and broke almost all of the French laws regarding how far you can go offshore in a small boat. After fishing up to five miles out from Stonehaven in Aberdeenshire I figured that The Mediterranean and the Bay of Biscay in summer were fair game and we even sailed down the length of the River Erdre.

I trailed "Helen Too" all over Scotland to launch her in some of the more remote and spectacular sea-lochs on the West Coast. The area around Ullapool is superb for wild-camping as well as sailing and fishing so we may go up there again if we have a decent summer next year.

I was reasonably happy with my boats when a chance, whisky fuelled, remark made to a neighbour to the effect that I had always wanted to convert a lifeboat resulted in the purchase of a 55 man lifeboat in the form of a Harding Totally Enclosed Motor Propelled Survival Craft (TEMPSC) in 1999.

Stage One was to name her "Kindie", re-paint her, seal up the water ballast holes, remove the seating, stick in four tons of sand/cement ballast (but retain the original 10 tons of foam buoyancy to stay "unsinkable") and fit beds, chemical toilet and kitchen.

With this configuration we sailed with two friends all the way from Whitehills on the Moray Firth to Calais for the July 2000 finish of the Tour de France in Paris. We then had a week on the French canals up to Arras and came back through Belgium via Niewport and to Whitehills.

At this time I decided that it needed more improvements so I cut the "enclosed" bit off and fitted her out with a proper cabin, after-deck, flushing sea-toilet etc for when we retired in 2003. In the meantime we used her for sailing up and down the Moray Firth for weekend fishing expeditions.

On the work front I carried out safety audits on a variety of offshore platforms, drilling ships, tankers, floating production units and drilling rigs from as far afield as the North Sea, Singapore, Qatar and India. I also acted as HS&E Manager for two Oil and Gas Companies and a Service Company at the same time. As a result, apart from the UK and North Sea I finished up working for periods of up to two months at a time in Turkmenistan, Ukraine and India.

With this kind of life the temperature changes could be drastic. On one occasion the AC failed on a rig in the Bay of Bengal and the temperature in the accommodation soared to 50 degrees celsius during the day for nearly two weeks. The day the AC was repaired was the day I flew home for a week and then flew out to Ukraine where the temperature was minus 18 degrees celsius!

Ukraine has been invaded and occupied by almost every one of its neighbouring countries and a variety of armies had swept through the town of Poltava where I worked. Which is why I considered the local vodka factory's celebration of "300 years of continuous production 1697 to 1997" that much more special!

It was a busy time with some great memories. Two from the same rig are:

Bad. Sending a fax to my employer after an Audit that said "I have no confidence that this Company currently operate a safe system of work." and being asked to re-visit the rig the next day because they had killed two men by letting them enter an unventilated tank!

The rig was hired anyway and I sailed with her from Singapore to India to start implementing a Safety Management System to UK standards.

Good. Nearly seven years later a young Operator stopped me from going out on to a Flare Boom and explained that new rules meant that I needed a Work Permit. That was when I knew that I could retire in peace. When I had first been on the rig a mere operator would have been too frightened to question the actions of a Manager never mind to tell him that he couldn't go somewhere; and especially if he was a white-man!!

Back to the sailing.

After spending the first summer and autumn of our retirement on "Kindie" we decided that wasn't big enough to live on through the coming winter so we bought "Calypso II" an 11 metre Dutch Cruiser which would sleep six people in comfort. We lived onboard "Calypso ll" for seven years cruising around Holland, Belgium, Germany and France and slowly made our way south to the sun to spend three years cruising up and down the Canal Lateral and the Canal du Midi. Helen thought it was brilliant but I was getting bored.

Family problems made us decide to call it a day on living on a boat so we put "Calypso II" up for sale and bought a house in Skegness to be near my ailing Mum. After about a year I started to get itchy for a boat so I bought "boat number thirteen and the last" in the form of a Drascombe Dabber named "Karra" and spent about a month getting her shipshape.

At this time we finally sold "Calypso II" and bought our Duetto "Petal". "Petal" is pure comfort driving and I hardly notice I am towing "Karra" so taking the two of them up to Scotland, around Norfolk and even down to the Mediterranean over the last eighteen months has been a breeze.

That just about completes my "Seafaring" up to the end of 2012.

When I started I said that I had owned thirteen boats but if you have been counting them you will have only counted twelve! The thirteenth was a small Yamaha inflatable that I bought as a tender for "Kindie" and "Calypso II". I didn't count it as a boat until another person in this house insisted that it was a boat in its own right when she was totting up what she refers to as "Ian's Toys"!!

Finally, I often bang on about safety but I've seen a few things in my life that are enough to make your hair curl, and I started very young.

My father was a coal miner when an 8" x 8" baulk of wood "flicked" as it got caught in a conveyor belt and it hit him in the face. In that particular accident he suffered a broken nose, broken cheek bones, broken top jaw and broken bottom jaw. He came home from the hospital when I was in bed and the following morning I failed to even recognise him when I came downstairs and saw him sat in a chair in front of the fire. I was about eight years old at the time and watching him eat his meals through a straw for nearly a month left a distinct impression on me; despite Dad always reckoning that after the first two days it only hurt when he laughed!

At the other extreme in terms of time, 52 years later and just before I retired I audited a Drillship which had a "Zero Lost Time Injuries" record for the previous five years. I was therefore surprised to discover that a year before my audit a roustabout had been killed when the main drilling wire had parted.

Apparently after the wire parted the travelling block fell downwards and the free end of the wire whipped around the drill-floor and looped itself around the roustabout and he was lifted up into the derrick. The wire cut him cleanly in two as the end passed through the sheave on the top-block and death was instantaneous!

As it was explained to me by the Drilling Manager:

o There was no record in the Medical Log "Because the roustabout was past needing first aid care!"

o It wasn't classed as a "Lost Time Accident" because "The man was a Contractor and therefore the Company Bonus Scheme was not affected!"

To finish, the young lad that first told me about the death of his mate (himself a Contract Roustabout) was scratching both his arms and the small webs between his fingers all the time he was talking to me.

When I took another look at the Medical Log to confirm what he had told me I remembered the scratching and noticed that there was a lot of "Itchiness" logged in the Log's "Symptoms" column.

It slowly dawned on me that apart from the safety problems the drillship also had a major outbreak of scabies in progress; and this was the drillship where my clothes, overalls and bedding were washed along with everyone else's!!

Oh joy!! I am itching and scratching at the memory even though I was lucky enough not to catch anything! allthumbz

Happy days!! confused3

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all (actually, just one will do!) of my readers!
drinksallround
Ian

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Photographs

Post by Dutto on Sat Dec 22, 2012 4:07 am

Hi there,

The converted lifeboat.



and the Dutch cruiser.



Sorry about the quality of the photos but they are a photo of a photo.

Happy days. allthumbz allthumbz

Best regards,
drinksallround

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Re: Seafarers

Post by DuxDeluxe on Sat Dec 22, 2012 8:49 am

Very interesting stuff Ian - you are so right about flogging of lost time injury records..........
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Re: Seafarers

Post by micknhilary on Sat Dec 22, 2012 11:25 am

Picking up on Duttos thread, if you do make it to Ullapool do call in to the Argyll Hotel. This is run by my daughter, Franner, and her husband. She is a fellow motor-homer although not an Auto Sleeper. I'm sure she would make you welcome. allthumbz
Happy Christmas,
Mick.

PS. They have a good sized car park and are happy to welcome Motor Homes.


Last edited by micknhilary on Sat Dec 22, 2012 11:36 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : added a ps.)
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Re: Seafarers

Post by modelman on Sat Dec 22, 2012 12:34 pm



Dutto, love the dutch cruiser, right up my street that, I would love something like that.

I had an 18ft cathedral-hulled Johnson power boat a few years back, stuck a couple of 100hp Mercuy's on it, went like the preverbial, but 20gal of fuel only lasted about 1-1.5 hrs!!

Then had a 20ft shetland 4 berth rear cockpit, both in the garden on breakback trailers, but got rid due to lack of use, I would still have on if I were by a river of sea however.

Built & sailed a mirror in the 70s, then on to an enterprize, then a Bonito.

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Re: Seafarers

Post by Dutto on Sat Dec 22, 2012 12:51 pm

micknhilary wrote:Picking up on Duttos thread, if you do make it to Ullapool do call in to the Argyll Hotel. This is run by my daughter, Franner, and her husband. She is a fellow motor-homer although not an Auto Sleeper. I'm sure she would make you welcome. allthumbz
Happy Christmas,
Mick.

PS. They have a good sized car park and are happy to welcome Motor Homes.

Mick,

Thanks for that. up!

I enjoy staying in Hotel Car Parks as it makes the walk home a lot easier!! Whistle1

Best regards,
drinksallround
Ian and Helen

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Re: Seafarers

Post by Dutto on Sat Dec 22, 2012 1:02 pm

modelman wrote:...........

Built & sailed a mirror in the 70s, then on to an enterprize, then a Bonito.

Hi there,

The Mirror Dinghy design was an absolute Classic and I think it has done more for sailing in the UK than any other single factor in the last 100 years. allthumbz

The "gas guzzler" syndrome was demonstrated to me by a man I once worked with who's pride and joy could do over 50 knots; but got through an amazing 65 litres of PETROL an hour to do it!! wave

At that time I had the converted lifeboat and at 5 knots she "sipped" about 1.5 litres of red diesel an hour using about 6 of the available 65 horsepower. up!

Best regards,
drinksallround
Ian


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Re: Seafarers

Post by JimCul on Fri Dec 28, 2012 10:19 am

Good morning fellow mariners, thought i would stand up and be counted. At this moment in time i am sailing as an engineer on a dp3 dive ship off the coast of Brasil, 6 weeks on 6 weeks off. So plenty of leave to enjoy travelling around in our legend.
I first went to sea in 1970, as deckhand on my fathers day fisher, and mfv with the sea cadets. Then upgraded to junior stoker with the Cardiff RNR at HMS Cambria in 1974,sailing on the minesweeper HMS St David.
On the 23rd of march 1976 transferred to the RN and joined HMS Ganges for basic training. From junior stoker to leaving end of 1989 as a Chief petty officer artificer, serving in frigates Berwick, Brighton , and Dido, then conventional submarines. I took my class 4 engineers ticket on leaving the mob then joined the Geest line for a few trips out to the windward islands. Followed by a spell in the north sea on standby boats [ dont ask ], then six years on coastal tankers, 2 years agency work [ cableships, large containerships, ferries, car carriers ]. Finally in 2002 i joined an offshore company working primarily on dive ships, and have spent the last 10 years working in Brasil. I am due back in the uk end of january so hoping the weather will be dry at least by the time i get home. All the best for the new year every body.

Jim
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Re: Seafarers

Post by Dutto on Fri Dec 28, 2012 10:53 am

JimCul wrote:Good morning fellow mariners, thought i would stand up and be counted. At this moment in time i am sailing as an engineer ........................

Jim

Jim,

I well remember a novel written by Nicolas Monserrat that started (more or less):

"The Captain sat in his cabin fully aware that he was responsible for everyone onboard his ship; from the richest passenger in the most expensive stateroom down to the lowest engineer!" Whistle1

Personally I have no prejudices snigger but I always thought how much trouble Monserrat would be in if Engineers ever learned how to read! lol4 lol4

Seriously, I hope the weather has improved for when you get home! At the moment I am sitting here in Skegness watching horizontal rain sweeping past the living room windows and the thought of off-watch sunbathing on the deck of a DSV is really appealing! allthumbz

Best regards and new_year
drinksallround best_friends
Ian


Last edited by Dutto on Fri Dec 28, 2012 10:56 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Add Emoticon)

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Re: Seafarers

Post by DuxDeluxe on Fri Dec 28, 2012 10:56 am

The Master Mariner wasn't it? The unfinished series................ confused3
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Re: Seafarers

Post by Dutto on Fri Dec 28, 2012 11:05 am

DuxDeluxe wrote:The Master Mariner wasn't it? The unfinished series................ confused3

Dux,

With a start like that one I can well understand how it would be "unfinished" if an Engineer read the proofs! hugegrins

drinksallround
Ian

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Re: Seafarers

Post by deckie on Fri Dec 28, 2012 12:05 pm

JimCul wrote:Good morning fellow mariners, thought i would stand up and be counted. At this moment in time i am sailing as an engineer on a dp3 dive ship off the coast of Brasil, 6 weeks on 6 weeks off. So plenty of leave to enjoy travelling around in our legend.
I first went to sea in 1970, as deckhand on my fathers day fisher, and mfv with the sea cadets. Then upgraded to junior stoker with the Cardiff RNR at HMS Cambria in 1974,sailing on the minesweeper HMS St David.
On the 23rd of march 1976 transferred to the RN and joined HMS Ganges for basic training. From junior stoker to leaving end of 1989 as a Chief petty officer artificer, serving in frigates Berwick, Brighton , and Dido, then conventional submarines. I took my class 4 engineers ticket on leaving the mob then joined the Geest line for a few trips out to the windward islands. Followed by a spell in the north sea on standby boats [ dont ask ], then six years on coastal tankers, 2 years agency work [ cableships, large containerships, ferries, car carriers ]. Finally in 2002 i joined an offshore company working primarily on dive ships, and have spent the last 10 years working in Brasil. I am due back in the uk end of january so hoping the weather will be dry at least by the time i get home. All the best for the new year every body.

Jim

Great stuff, Jim allthumbz

Brian

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Re: Seafarers

Post by JimCul on Fri Dec 28, 2012 12:29 pm

Oh Dear ! Oil and water eh !......... Us engineerz r taut to read theze daze as we hav to doo sumz when we bunker , you window gazers now have electronic charts, so the one job you had to do [ chart corrections ] has almost disappeared. Our deckies on here very rarely go on deck, they are too busy playing with the big boys play station [ dp desk ]. Did i mention i was offered a deck cadetship with Readon Smiths when i left school. I turned it down because i wanted to work with engines. So i joined the mob as a stoker.....not one of my brightest moves but i had a great time and some fantastic memories. The job , as it is no longer a career in the old sense of things , has changed dramatically since many of you old salts sailed. Dry ships, elf and safety, risk assessments, permits to work, no runs ashore etc etc. It can take me an hour to do the paperwork before i do a 2 minute job. But hey ho, it pays the mortgage, and there are perks....it was 45 degrees in RIo on boxing day . Any way, smoko over , must look busy, all the best for now

Jim
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Re: Seafarers

Post by deckie on Fri Dec 28, 2012 9:55 pm

Hi Jim,

"Bobbed about" in the Gulf of Mexico, well below the water-line a few times myself ....... wooden ladders too hot to climb without gloves !!

Sledge hammers always in water buckets, to stop the heads flying-off !!

Happy days ?? ...... wouldn't have missed a day of it !!

Retirement is GREAT allthumbz

Brian

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Re: Seafarers

Post by Dutto on Sat Dec 29, 2012 1:12 am

JimCul wrote:............. Dry ships, elf and safety, risk assessments, permits to work, ................

Jim,

I appreciate how hard it must be for you, especially the "Dry ships" comment!!!

Back in 1996 I did an HS&E Audit on a shipping company in Singapore. The shipping company was responsible for an FSO Tanker and the Single Point Mooring (SPM) to which it would be attached and which my company was due to hire.

When I completed the Audit the only anomaly that I found was that the shipping company didn't have a Risk Assessment Procedure!

When I raised this at the de-brief session before I submitted my report the Marine Superintendent told me that the company didn't need one because "All of our Officers and Men are fully trained and qualified for what they do and therefore they only do those things for which they are competent."

I argued the point but even my offer to let him have a basic Risk Assessment Procedure for free the next day was turned down.

God was always good to me when I was doing HS&E Audits and when I returned to their Office the next morning to give the Marine Superintendent a copy of my Report and allow him to comment on my recommendations it was almost as if I was meeting a different person.

As soon as I mentioned that I was recommending that they should take onboard a Risk Assessment Procedure their HSE Manager looked at the Marine Superintendent who coughed slightly and said "Actually, we dropped the SPM yesterday when all the wires snapped!"

I managed not to laugh! lol4 lol4

The SPM was shaped like a 10m diameter upside down mushroom with a one metre skirt at the bottom. It was designed to hold the weight of the FSO with a combination of it's own weight and the suction effect of the skirt sinking into the mud.

The SPM weighed something like 20 tons in free-air and they had slung it with 4 x 10 ton slings. So far so good.

When the SPM was supported by the seawater it obviously weighed a lot less due to the seawater displacement and therefore the 4 x 10 ton slings were more than adequate to lower the SPM to the seabed ......... except that there was a swell running and the crane tip was heaving up and down by about 1.5 metres.

This meant that when the SPM reached a depth of 10 metres (for example) the 4 x 10 ton wire strops were being expected to lift the weight of the SPM PLUS the weight of the 10m high column of water sat on top of the "mushroom" bit!

A 10m diameter column of seawater 10m high weighs somewhere near 800 tonnes so it was no surprise that the wire strops snapped when the heave of the crane tried to lift everything.

As you are undoubtedly aware, these are the type of screw-ups that RA is designed to catch and eliminate; and luckily I had a CD with me with a Risk Assessment Procedure ready to go! hugegrins allthumbz

Enjoy your trip. I only got to Rio once and although I enjoyed my two runs ashore it was probably one of the most easily recognised example of crushing poverty living cheek-by-jowl alongside immense wealth. tap_fingers

Best regards,
drinksallround
Ian

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Re: Seafarers

Post by JimCul on Sat Dec 29, 2012 10:22 am

Hi Ian, i have no problem with HSE, RA,SMS, ISM , etc etc, it has made the job a lot safer. My problems start with the office expecting the impossible to be done by the few competent people on board these days. By putting a few computers on board ships, they seem to think they can now cut the manpower to the bare minimum [ minimum manning certificate]. They seem to forget that the paperwork they generate, including emails need a human at the other end to answer the questions they ask. Whilst trying to do planned maintenance, breakdown repairs, modifications, and when the computers go doolally run a ship with a handful of bods. Add to that the save money culture by employing the cheapest labour available, language barriers with a crew like the united nations , less experieced and educated ,limited resources, etc etc . The job gets tougher every year, but i retire in another six years, should just about make it with my sanity intact. Getting away in the van helps to relax me a lot from every day stress. [ Definition of stress - The uncontrollable urge to strangle some numptie who really deserves it ]. Its not all bad, out of 140 people on board the other 2 brits are good eggs, did i mention it is a British managed ship, Liberian registered, Greek owned, we are paid from some office in Bermuda. At least its sunny.....most of the time,.....i love it really......salt water in the blood stream and all that, and i am sure i will really miss it when i finally drop the hook. I have been thinking of buying my own boat,dinghy or barge when i retire. I would like to do dive trips in the Bristol channel off West Wales somewhere. But that is a pipe dream at the moment. I will happily ride my motorbike and go off in the legend and forget about the ship during my leave. All the best for the new year , wishing you all good health , happiness, and prosperity,

jim
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Re: Seafarers

Post by Enn on Sat Dec 29, 2012 9:03 pm

DuxDeluxe wrote:Anyhow, to kick this off again, any current or ex seafarers on board? Or indeed people who like mucking around in boats in general.

Fascinating lives a lot of you have had, all my boating pleasures have been purely leisure based apart from working at my Uncles Norfolk Broad based boat yard for several summer seasons when in my teens.
Lots of stories to tell there, one memorable situation that occurred was when a couple on their honeymoon hired out one of the oldest timber cruisers, on mooring up for their first romantic night afloat failed to see the ‘No Mooring’ sign along the bank.
As the tide receded a wooden post pierced the hull and the poor couple were floundering about in the early hours trying to save their floating belongings.
I was woken by my Uncle at about 4.00 am to go and help with the rescue, he was manning the launch with pumping equipment on board and I was to keep up in a large 8 berth Broads cruiser.
The river authority was informed and we were given the all clear to do what was necessary, including severely breaking the speed limits.
The half sunken boat was strapped to the side of the launch with tarpaulins wrapped under and pumps running flat out and the race back to the yard began incase it sank. I was given instructions to keep up close in case it was necessary to tie the stricken boat to my boat as well.
Anyway imagine the seen, two boats strapped together side by side, one half sunk, and a large 8 berth cruiser following very closely behind all going full throttle at 5.00 am, creating a huge wash behind them. The banks lined both sides with moored boats full of sleeping holiday makers, as we went past boats were banging away against their moorings so furiously you could hear the cries of half asleep tourists falling out of their beds over the roar of our engines, I couldn’t contain my laughter, I still laugh about it now nearly 30 years on, lol4 the honeymooning couple were shaken but fine and continued their holiday the next day in the large 8 berth cruiser.

It was my Uncle who taught me to sail in traditional Broads’s racers and to this day I love the traditional boats best. You know the sort; usually having tan sails, often gaff main and lots of teak showing.
The list of previously owned boats include a Falmouth Bass Boat with gaff cutter rig, an Avon Scow, and three Drascombes, a Longboat, a Scaffie and currently a Driver which we tow with the Autosleeper to the Broads and Scotland every summer.
I also love sea kayaking whenever possible too.

I believe there is a lot of truth in the saying "the smaller the boat, the greater the fun".
Cheers to all the boat lovers drinksallround

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Re: Seafarers

Post by Dutto on Sat Dec 29, 2012 11:54 pm

JimCul wrote:................ The job gets tougher every year, but i retire in another six years, should just about make it with my sanity intact. .................

Jim,

I am well aware of how tough it has got on the "stress" side of life!

When I started they only had morse communications and a Marconi employed Radio Operator who was invariably insane or a drunk! The system lent itself to the fact that communication with Head Office a rare but still unenjoyable event.

On my first ship, the SS Domino, we had a full complement of 35 Officers and Men that included such exotic positions in the Engine Room as Greasers, Firemen and a Donkey-man. Not bad for a 2,200 gross ship!

As an engine-room man yourself you would have loved the boilers! Originally designed for coal and converted to oil they were notoriously temperamental.

As a Cadet I had to learn what went on in the Engine Room so after reading up on the subject I was handed over to be shown he ropes for three days.

Day One - Hour One - Boiler Number Three. "What do you think that is for?" said the Fireman. "It's a viewing hole so that you can see the oil when you light it and adjust the primary air when it is lit." I said proudly.

"Corrrrect!" he said "No what do you think that is?" he said pointing at a huge black plume of soot on the bulkhead opposite the boiler. "I haven't got a clue." I replied.

"Let me show you." he said. He then turned on the atomising steam, lit the igniter (an asbestos rope wrapped around a long steel pole and dipped in diesel oil), opened up a flap alongside the burner, inserted the blazing igniter into the boiler, opened up the flap on the viewing hole, stood well back and slowly cracked on the oil to the burner.

About five seconds later there was a "Whooosh!" and a plume of flame about eight feet long shot out of the viewing hole (i.e. the place where you were supposed to be peeping into the boiler!) and added another layer of soot to the black smudge already on the bulkhead opposite.

"There you are." said the Fireman with a trace of satisfaction. "At least you don't have to look through the viewing hole to know that it is lit do you?"

I decided there and then that I had made a wise career choice. allthumbz allthumbz

The next six years may drag a bit but be very aware that once you ae actually retired time just flies past so make the most of it.

Best regards and new_year

drinksallround
Ian

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Re: Seafarers

Post by Dutto on Sun Dec 30, 2012 12:26 am

Enn wrote:.................. going full throttle at 5.00 am, creating a huge wash behind them. The banks lined both sides with moored boats full of sleeping holiday makers, as we went past boats were banging away against their moorings so furiously you could hear the cries of half asleep tourists falling out of their beds over the roar of our engines, ........

...........


Enn,

I still love The Broads (last visit sailing "Karra" back in September) and I would have given my eye-teeth to have been on that boat with you! up!

The thought of doing a 5am high-speed pass of big hire cruisers just gets me smiling with a genuine "I wish it had been me." wave

You will see that Calypso II was protected with 7 assorted fenders each side; but they were barely sufficient against the depredations of the hire-boats on the Canal du Midi.



They aren't much better on The Broads!

Best regards and new_year

drinksallround
Ian

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