Return to Great Lakes & Seaway Shipping Great Lakes & Seaway Shipping Online
Discussion Boards
Please click to visit our sponsor
It is currently February 21, 2018, 4:08 am

FAQ | Instructions | Help
Search for:



Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 436 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 ... 30  Next
Author Message
 Post subject: Re: My starting to be a sailor
Unread postPosted: January 14, 2018, 3:55 pm 
Lakercapt wrote:
(I know this is not really nautical but hope the moderators will be patient as I do get back on that later on)


I love the stories. If the moderators are not patient they shall feel my wrath. :)


Report this post
Top
  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: My starting to be a sailor
Unread postPosted: January 14, 2018, 11:24 am 

Joined: July 19, 2010, 4:51 pm
Posts: 404
Another person I helped was the janitor. He as in modern terms the custodian and was required to do many tasks and one I liked was looking after the boiler which supplied heating and hot water to the school. It was an old coal fired one and I used to shovel the coal for him (helped in later years) The perk of this little chore was I could take some home for our fireplace. As everything was in short supply including coal my mother did not say too much about my dirty appearance at times but always told me “be sure to wash your neck” The youngsters of this time were all for making some money and as we lived fairly close to the railway that served the local gas works and the Granton Harbour coal trains were frequently passing. Often there were lumps of coal which fell off by the side of the tracks so we diligently collected this and sold it to the willing buyers. When there was none about it was down to the local beach and see what the tide brought in. That could be a wide range of goodies and wood in particular. This we collected and chopped up and bundled it in small pieces and sold as kindling.
In the event of any air raids, shelters were built. At the back of our house was the common green which the ladies hung their washing between poles to dry. The famous Anderson shelters were erected there. Foundations were poured and them these shaped corrugated sheets of shaped sheet metal were attached then covered with dirt and sod. I don’ know how effective these miserable shelters were but when the air raid sirens went, regardless of time of day we were bundled into them until the “all clear was sounded” They were fitted with wooden benches and a couple of bunks for the children. Often they got filed with water so many did not even go to them. An officious person called an Air Raid Warden would be going round and his task was to see that no lights were showing which could attract enemy bombers. I never recall any bombs dropping near us but some did many miles away.
There was always some activity in the harbour as ships would come and go all the time and in the middle pier the fishing boats used to tie up. A great adventure for us gang of small boys as we would try and get some fish to take home by whatever means! Usually was given freely by the people working there. It was also where the local trawler fleet tied up and many of the old steam engine boats had now been commandeered by the Admiralty for service with the navy. I wonder now about the security as we wandered about and seldom were challenged. There was a gate to pass through with a policeman but we could easily slip in.
At school we had air raid practices and when the alarm was rung we all trooped out in file with our gas masks and into shelters which had been built in the school playground (yard). I often wondered about this as they were brick and not very strong. (I watched when they were demolished after the war). Good for morale maybe?? Still chuckle at this.
(I know this is not really nautical but hope the moderators will be patient as I do get back on that later on)


Report this post
Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: My starting to be a sailor
Unread postPosted: January 13, 2018, 12:43 pm 
Captain Ross, my family and I were in England in 1995, to trace family history in the Black Rod area.. We were staying at Carnforth, in the Lake District, and it we a short drive to Edinburgh. I was amazed with Edinburgh Castle and its structure. It would be difficult to build that building today and I don't know how they did it back then. I especially enjoyed the short walk down the road to the Scotch Whisky Experience facility. By the way, I have ordered the El dorado rum and I am looking forward to its arrival. I will toast you when it arrives.
Jerry


Report this post
Top
  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: My starting to be a sailor
Unread postPosted: January 13, 2018, 11:37 am 
welcome back skipper,you've been missed,


Report this post
Top
  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: My starting to be a sailor
Unread postPosted: January 12, 2018, 10:32 pm 

Joined: December 6, 2014, 4:51 pm
Posts: 288
Dumbarton was firebombed by the Germans also. Destroying many blueprints of Great Lakes Canallers. Most notably the Regina.


Report this post
Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: My starting to be a sailor
Unread postPosted: January 12, 2018, 2:48 pm 

Joined: July 19, 2010, 4:51 pm
Posts: 404
Guest wrote:
Captain I apologize for my lack of knowledge on this subject but did Scotland see any action in WW2 was it bombed or did Germany try to invade?



Oh yes as the Royal Navy base at Rosyth was not that far away and a target for the German bombers. There was also the port of Leith and Granton Harbour nearby which I will mention later on. The Germans did not try to invade although many years later there stil was signs of the defenses. Barrrage ballons were often in the area because of the harbour.


Report this post
Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: My starting to be a sailor
Unread postPosted: January 12, 2018, 12:48 pm 
terrible to her of families being split up like that. It probably wouldn't happen these days.


Report this post
Top
  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: My starting to be a sailor
Unread postPosted: January 12, 2018, 12:37 pm 
Captain I apologize for my lack of knowledge on this subject but did Scotland see any action in WW2 was it bombed or did Germany try to invade?


Report this post
Top
  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: My starting to be a sailor
Unread postPosted: January 12, 2018, 11:27 am 

Joined: July 19, 2010, 4:51 pm
Posts: 404
ItIt came to me that although I had finished with my stores and happenings in the “starting to be a sailor” I should perhaps include a little of my background prior to starting on my “adventures” at sea.
I was born in 1936 in Edinburgh Scotland in a home birth which was fairly common in those days. I was the first child of my parents and I will tell a little about them. My mother worked in a store and my father was a waiter in a hotel. My mother was the second last of a family of eight and had a younger sister. She and her sister did not have the same father as the others. My maternal grandmother had re-married and the sisters looked very different from their siblings, being red headed compared to the others who were all dark haired. My father was also from a large family and had ten brothers and sisters, two being younger them him. After the birth of the last sibling, a sister, his mother died and the burden of bringing up a family fell to his father. He alas was not up to the task and the children were split up. My father and his younger brother were sent to a place called Doctor Barnardo’s Home which was what we now refer to as a residential home and great controversy is on about these places. All the children there were treated abysmally by today’s standards with harsh punishment meted out for the slightest infraction and the rules were many. When they were only a little older my father and his brother were fostered out to a family with a farm in Fife which is a county north of Edinburgh. They were treated as hired help without the pay and badly (it took a long time before my father told of his stay at this place). He and his brother ran away a couple of time but were caught and returned until eventually they were returned to the home. Again they were fostered out but this time it was endurable and eventually they were united with an older brother. I only have one picture of him and me when I was about one year old.
When I was three years old war was declared and my father enlisted in the army. There was an addition to the family as I now had a brother who was three years younger. He was sent to join the Royal Engineers as a sapper having told lies about his background. He fought in Greece and with the rout of the British in this front they retreated down the Greek peninsula. As he was in a regiment of sappers it was their job to destroy the railways and bridges to delay the advancing German army. It was supposed to be another Dunkirk with the troops evacuated from the toe but it never happened and all were captured and made prisoners of war (POW’s). The bright idea of destroying bridges etc now was to their detriment as the journey back to Germany and the camps was nearly all on foot and took some time. He was a POW until the secession of hostilities in 1945. They woke up one day and there were no guards so he and many others started towards the front line using whatever transport they could find. I remember when he came home the street was decorated with flags and a large sign saying “Welcome Home”. A big party was held and it was a joyous time.
In between times at the age of five I was to go to the local school, Royston Primary which was in sight of our home. Later on when it was found that my father was still alive and a POW I was granted the privilege of free school dinners. Other children were asked to pay at the start of the week for their dinners and I believe it as about four pence a day. I and a few other children obtaining free were issued with a ticket. This really was a stigma as we were the last to be seated and served so if there was a shortage - guess who went without? The meals were basic and consisted of two courses, a main and pudding as we knew it. Always on Friday it was fish served with a white sauce which to this day I detest. The rest of the week was anyone’s guess but one day it would be soup and a piece of cheese and a bun. The puddings I still recall were mainly milk puddings of rice, semolina, tapioca, vermicelli, custard etc with the occasional steamed sponge with watery jam. It was wartime rationing and really I think we were fed better than those who went home for lunch. As free diners we were expected to help cleaning up and washing the dishes ( so much for free dinners) After school I had to pick up my little brother as my mother worked in a war production plant but I had some free time between the end of the school day and when my brother was to be collected so I would stay at school and help the cleaners. One of the chores was to clean the slates which we all had and a slate pencil as no paper was available.


Report this post
Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: My starting to be a sailor
Unread postPosted: December 24, 2017, 8:00 pm 
Captain Ross, thank you very much for regaling us with your wonderful stories. When they came to an end I reread them all over again, savoring them with even greater relish than the first time. If you ever decide to write more (and I'm sure there are countless more stories to tell) you will no doubt have an eager audience awaiting you. All the best to you, sir.


Report this post
Top
  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: My starting to be a sailor
Unread postPosted: December 21, 2017, 11:55 am 
Captain, I particularly enjoyed your stories of how you handled the ship docking in several foreign ports. I recall the Captain of the old Federal St.Laurent, during the late 1960's, that he never learned how to handle a ship until he came to the Great Lakes. He had enough seniority that he would only sail when the ship was coming to the lakes and would stay home in Belgium when the vessel was sailing elsewhere. Again, many thanks for your stories but even more thanks for showing us how a clear dedication to Ship, Job and Duty can produce a satisfying career and work product like yours.
Jerry


Report this post
Top
  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: My starting to be a sailor
Unread postPosted: December 20, 2017, 1:04 pm 
Thanks sincerely cap for a very interesting and informative saga on your very personal experiences sailing both on the big waters and on the Great Lakes. I looked forward to every post you provided us and am sorry to see this personal story end. A sincere thanks and good health.


Report this post
Top
  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: My starting to be a sailor
Unread postPosted: December 20, 2017, 12:00 pm 

Joined: July 19, 2010, 4:51 pm
Posts: 404
I thought that I would End by showing a couple of photographs of boat I had sailed..

Tourmaline was the first and Comeaudoc the last


Attachments:
Comeaudoc.jpg
Comeaudoc.jpg [ 36.71 KiB | Viewed 2248 times ]
Tourmaline.jpg
Tourmaline.jpg [ 30.73 KiB | Viewed 2248 times ]
Report this post
Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: My starting to be a sailor
Unread postPosted: December 16, 2017, 3:34 pm 

Joined: July 19, 2010, 4:51 pm
Posts: 404
To make another comment about my old boat. Some many months after the S.P. was all Indian crew I received a telephone call from a person in Miseners office. It was they were experiencing a problem on my old boat and this had never happened when I was there. They explained what was happening and did I know what the cause was and how to alleviate it.
Yes I knew what the cause was and could inform them what to do. My fee was $500.00 and expenses. What, was the reply, can’t you just tell us. My response was I have neither loyalty nor obligations to you now and if you don’t wish to contract me good bye. I later heard she was in dry-docking in Malta for many days getting it fixed!!!


Report this post
Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: My starting to be a sailor
Unread postPosted: December 15, 2017, 6:12 pm 
Lakercapt wrote:
I was sorting through some old papers the other day and came acrosss this report. It was done during our stop over in Sept Iles to repair the damage on the rope guard. This was the result of he tug in Antwerp lettng go the tow lines and them being wrapped roun the prop when it departed.
It is said that self praise is no honour but I thought it may be of interest. Those days were well remembered.


That's very high praise and no doubt well deserved Captain. I think people generally take pride in a job well done and being recognized for it is icing on the cake. Thanks for sharing the letter. It's another interesting glimpse into the world of shipping.


Report this post
Top
  
Reply with quote  
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 436 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 ... 30  Next

All times are UTC - 5 hours




Return to Great Lakes & Seaway Shipping  
Copyright Boatnerd.com All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Use of this site is based on the Terms of Use
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group