BoatNerd.Com Discussion Boards
http://newsearch.boatnerd.com/

My starting to be a sailor
http://newsearch.boatnerd.com/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=109403
Page 24 of 30

Author:  Lakercapt [ April 30, 2017, 4:51 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: My starting to be a sailor

The good news for me that my confirmed that she was with child and baby was due in the latter part of April. Gone are the day when it took ages to confirm a pregnancy as now all that is required is to plddle on a stick and instant results!!.
The trip to Mourilyan was a work up getting the holds cleaned for sugar but a case of beer at the end of each day was incentive enough.
If our merry men were expecting bright lights and wild times they were in for a big shock as the only thing there was a wharf to load the sugar. It was quick load and again a long slow trip across the Pacific. It is a lonely place as we never saw another ship until nearing Panama. At night it’s a magnificent sight to see all the stars without the lights caused light pollution caused by cities. The soaring albatross as it wings nearly without movement for hours on End. In the morning just as it was getting light one of the 4/8 watch would walk the deck and collect the flying fish that had landed on board during the hours of darkness. I used to like standing at the bow watching the porpoise swimming in the bow wave. Another thing that was obvious was the man made garbage floating by. Mainly plastic but an amazing assortment of other man made junk.

Author:  Lakercapt [ April 29, 2017, 9:59 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: My starting to be a sailor

It was all surprises these first few weeks. The first time we held “Board of Trade Sports” (boat drill and firefighting exercises) it was a joke. The fire hoses had holes and fittings were not there. As for the lifeboats we could not even get them out of the chocks let alone lower them to the embarkation deck. How the ship was allowed to sail from Liverpool in that condition was a mystery to me. So with the aid of the two apprentices we set to getting things up to standard. We discovered two new sets of falls for each boat so someone must have had an inclination that all was not well. We secured the boats and started working on them stripping all the blocks and tackle and replacing the falls which is a very difficult job getting them to the correct length. It was with a great deal of satisfaction the three of us managed to lower them without a problem. The third mate in between watches sorted out the stores and their other equipment and refreshed the water tanks. A combined effort got the fire pump to work and the other hoses and extinguishers up to standard. It was just as well we had done so as when we arrived in Tampa to load the US Coast Guard boarded and inspected all the safety and navigational equipment.

The loading of phosphate went well as well as the crew loading up for the voyage and it was more or less a repeat of leaving Liverpool. Our orders had changed too so instead of Australia were now going to a place called Bluff at the south end of the south Island in N.Zealand. It was a long haul and again it was water rationing when the rain maker broke down. We passed through the Panama Canal and to our disgust there was no mail for the ship. My wife still wrote each day so I knew something was wrong and when I wanted to send a cable to the office in Glasgow the captain would not allow the Sparks to send it. His endeared me to him further as you can imagine. He had served his time with the company and had never been anywhere else so the old habits were ingrained. We arrived in Bluff and the agent was met with a great deal of hostility as again there was no mail. He got on to the postmaster (it was a Sunday) and they discovered three bags so a mutiny was avoided.

The crew true to form thought that that we were a cruise ship, and enjoyed all the pleasures of shore leave (unofficial) leaving a couple and the poor apprentices to shoulder the load. The worst was still to come as our orders were changed and we were to go to the Queensland port of Marillion to load sugar, not for the UK but St. John in New Brunswick Canada. So much for the short trip I was promised.

To be continued

Author:  Lakercapt [ April 28, 2017, 10:45 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: My starting to be a sailor

My wife and I were now in a bit of a conundrum. We had decided to buy a home and this particular builder as well as requiring a deposit required that any additions or alterations we wished had to be paid for in cash so the bank balance that we had acquired by being true to our heritage, frugal , was nearly gone. Another major decision we made was it was about time to start a family and had stopped taking all the contraceptive measures. Another very serious one was we wanted to immigrate to Canada. The latter was a real tough one and as it turned out the toughest to achieve but we were not disappointed at this first pro forma response.

I needed to get our finances in order and requested a ship with not too long voyages. Got just the thing I was informed a ship going to the States to load phosphate at Tampa for Australia and then sugar back to Liverpool where I was to Join it. The company was a well known “tramper” and that should have been my first warning. When I saw it should have done a round turn and headed home but money is not the root of all evil, its the love of money that is .So I boarded this rusty wreck. It reminded me of my first ship as the lay out was very familiar with two hold for’d of the bridge one hold between the bridge and the engine room and two before the poop housing where he rest of the crew were accommodated. The only main difference was here we had a three cylinder Doxford diesel instead of a steam plant.The accommodation was laid out exactly the same.

Come time to sail and a crowd of drunks piled out of taxis and continued to party in spite of us having pilot on board and tugs standing by. The captain, who under current rules would not have been allowed to command a vessel he being well on the road to happiness, said we would sail so of we sailed with the help of the two mates, Sparky and the willing apprentices. Heaven knows how we managed as I had the steward assist the captain and put him to bed. We never saw anyone to work until to booze ran out and I told the captain to ration it to two cans of beer a day and a packet of cigarettes if they worked. It was a very reluctant crew that set to and got the sugary mess of the holds cleaned up. I invited the toughest sailor to my cabin and told him to close the cabin door as I wished to have a little chat. I pulled back my pillow and showed him what I kept there and should anyone get any ideas of causing problems he would be the first. We had an understanding after that!!!

Author:  Paul A [ April 28, 2017, 9:43 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: My starting to be a sailor

Lakercapt, it's really interesting to hear stories of ocean trades of a British shipping co. BTW, my family immigrated to Canada from Fife, specifically Cupar in the 1820's.

Author:  garbear [ April 28, 2017, 6:31 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: My starting to be a sailor

garbear wrote:
Jerry at Duluth wrote:
Captain, I really enjoy your stories and hope that you keep them coming. When you wrote about the alfalfa pellets cargo, I recalled many of them that we loaded at Duluth. Most of them were in Brovig tankers and the trimmers were in the tanks. the tank would be loaded until the cargo filled up to the small hatch and then the men would have to trim the cargo by hand in order to dig their way out of the tank. The cargo was referred to and I believe the ILA contract referred to the cargo as GREEN DEATH. The longshoremen would cough up this green stuff for days after the ship left. The contract called for a premium wage for this cargo but it never seemed worth it to me. I look forward to your lakes career and wonder if we met. When I was a vessel agent at Duluth, our company represented most of the Canadian fleets.
Jerry


Think years ago when I listened to the scanner, I heard you talking to the vessel officers or your boss. By chance was the first name of your company's owner Mark? My son went to grade school with one of his sons and my daughter went to school with his daughter.


Post was meant for Jerry at Duluth.

Author:  Lakercapt [ April 28, 2017, 5:33 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: My starting to be a sailor

That will give the game away now wouldn't it.
But the owners first name was not that but Similar to my nationality and I don't mean Brtish!!!

Author:  garbear [ April 28, 2017, 2:53 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: My starting to be a sailor

Jerry at Duluth wrote:
Captain, I really enjoy your stories and hope that you keep them coming. When you wrote about the alfalfa pellets cargo, I recalled many of them that we loaded at Duluth. Most of them were in Brovig tankers and the trimmers were in the tanks. the tank would be loaded until the cargo filled up to the small hatch and then the men would have to trim the cargo by hand in order to dig their way out of the tank. The cargo was referred to and I believe the ILA contract referred to the cargo as GREEN DEATH. The longshoremen would cough up this green stuff for days after the ship left. The contract called for a premium wage for this cargo but it never seemed worth it to me. I look forward to your lakes career and wonder if we met. When I was a vessel agent at Duluth, our company represented most of the Canadian fleets.
Jerry


Think years ago when I listened to the scanner, I heard you talking to the vessel officers or your boss. By chance was the first name of your company's owner Mark? My son went to grade school with one of his sons and my daughter went to school with his daughter.

Author:  Lakercapt [ April 28, 2017, 12:21 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: My starting to be a sailor

Yes Jerry I think that we did met as we had a agent when we loaded foreign (overseas) cargo.
But the laker stories are a little while yet as I had a tough time immigrating to Canada

Author:  Jerry at Duluth [ April 28, 2017, 8:38 am ]
Post subject:  Re: My starting to be a sailor

Captain, I really enjoy your stories and hope that you keep them coming. When you wrote about the alfalfa pellets cargo, I recalled many of them that we loaded at Duluth. Most of them were in Brovig tankers and the trimmers were in the tanks. the tank would be loaded until the cargo filled up to the small hatch and then the men would have to trim the cargo by hand in order to dig their way out of the tank. The cargo was referred to and I believe the ILA contract referred to the cargo as GREEN DEATH. The longshoremen would cough up this green stuff for days after the ship left. The contract called for a premium wage for this cargo but it never seemed worth it to me. I look forward to your lakes career and wonder if we met. When I was a vessel agent at Duluth, our company represented most of the Canadian fleets.
Jerry

Author:  Lakercapt [ April 27, 2017, 2:25 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: My starting to be a sailor

From Calumet and the hazard of the bridges we went to Detroit to load KD cars. These were slim plywood boxes that had complete that parts packed in these boxes fillng every cubic inch. All parts including ,nuts and bolts and washers etc. The panels, engines, gearboxes, windshields and glass door and any other part required to assemble a car. These crates were all of a different sizes and were to be stowed on the tween deck. To get them into position the forklifts would push then using the prongs. To secure the second layer star like steel pieces of steel were placed on top. The damage caused by the forklifts was not obvious as they sprang out and no visible mark showed. When these boxes were opened by the receiver all the damage was easily seen. Course the ship we to blame as clean B/Ls were signed by me. It was only when I had seen a crate opened and witnessed the crushed panels, broken and other parts that had been rendered useless all caused by the forklift tow motors pushing them into position. That is why I understood other companies refused to carry this cargo.
Next port we Toledo to load a cargo hold of Alalfa grass pellets. What a mess they turned out to be with green dust everywhere. I pitied the guy that controlled high speed belts directing the cargo that was shooting out the trimming belts as it was near zero visibility. This stuff we highly imflamable as one fellow on deck stubbed his cigarette on deck and next to no time a fire was shooting along the deck. I belief it was also explosive.
The final port of loading was Montreal and a good passage to Europe and the several ports of discharge.
A new set of ships agreement was to be signed on the final discharge port but I had been many months without a proper vacation and declined to re-sign. This was to be a two year agreement and not choice when to get off for vacation. When I got home I called the company and asked t go back on the Norway runs hips but was told they had no vacancies so once again I was looking for employment.

Author:  Guest [ April 27, 2017, 11:17 am ]
Post subject:  Re: My starting to be a sailor

Love stories from people on the inside great

Author:  Rob W [ April 26, 2017, 7:09 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: My starting to be a sailor

Lakercapt,

I was just looking at the numbers and was like "wow looks like some extra number there". 10,000 is proof we will still be interested!!

Rob W

Author:  A J [ April 26, 2017, 4:42 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: My starting to be a sailor

Capt., thank you for sharing all that you have and are willing to write. It's great to see that many views to your posts! You will find the boatwatching community is respectful of everyone's privacy and it is left to each individual of what all they want to divulge. Please keep posting at your discretion!


Alex

Author:  Lakercapt [ April 26, 2017, 11:47 am ]
Post subject:  Re: My starting to be a sailor

My oh my am I impressed that over 10,000 members have viewed my stories so far
I have still a few about my time before I immigrated to Canada so I hope that I can maintain your interest. Some are, I consider amusing.
I have remained anonymous but if anyone does recognise me please refrain from divulging as I will revel who I am laterr.

Author:  Lakercapt [ April 25, 2017, 9:27 am ]
Post subject:  Re: My starting to be a sailor

As a little addendum to this last post something that just came to mid. We had been up to Calumet to discharge (why anyone in their right mind would build a terminal there for importing foreign cargo is beyond my understanding as a more unsuitable place I have yet to berth). On completion we were to go back to Rail to Water Transfer and load a couple of hold with soya bean meal. As this ship had a wooden sheathed wood tank top ceiling we had covered it with a plastic to avoid any contamination. As we who have been to this place know the main shipments from there are coal, coke and such types of cargos. We were all ready to load this experimental cargo and a crowd of people watched in horror as when the belts started a pile of petroleum coke shot out from the loader and covered our pristine clean cargo hold. The words I uttered are not suitable for print so I will leave that to your imagination.!!

Page 24 of 30 All times are UTC - 5 hours
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group
http://www.phpbb.com/