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My starting to be a sailor
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Author:  Lakercapt [ April 24, 2017, 9:49 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: My starting to be a sailor

The trip across the Atlantic was uneventful and the ports were Hamburg, Bremen ,Rotterdam, Antwerp and final load port of Le Havre. We discharged and loaded at the same time and I was pleased there was a super-cargo to assist as the range of goods was multitude. I was pleased to see the last of the straw and hay as that was a pain since we loaded it. Another ship took a prize bull to Montreal and I was thrilled it was not us. We loaded cases of wines which had to be watched like a hawk but the stevedores were past masters at getting into them
Final items loaded were two locomotives for CN railroad and they were well secured on deck as if they ha d got loose it would have been chaos. The gods were kind to us and a good passage across was comfortable. Discharge in Montreal was no problem and then it was up the “Seaway” with the long hours doing that and the Welland Canal. It was daylight when we went through the American locks with the sightseers on the special viewing platform. When we were doing the “Canal” and the “Seaway” we were paid a special bonus as we were not paid overtime for all he extra hours. It was a big deal as when British ship owners paid you a bonus - you certainly earned it!
As on the previous trip the welcome we received from locals was outstanding consisting of being taken out for meals, movie tickets, local sights etc and if you had a special request they would try to accommodate you. Evan one knowledgeable kind person took me back to see the Indians and explain the rules of baseball. It was years later when I supported Toronto Blue Jays that I realised he had instilled some knowledge.
One occasion when the Bosun and I were on the wharf looking to see how the crew were coming along with a painting job when a guy approached us and asked if we spoke English. The Bosun whose first language was Gaelic kidding him along and said we did. He asked us questions about the ship, were we were going etc. We answered him and he asked where we had learned o speak such good English with a funny accent. At school we replied. Will they did a good job he said!! With a broad Scottish brogue the bosn and I had a good chuckle and wish him good morning ini Gaelic
To be continued

Author:  Lakercapt [ April 23, 2017, 5:45 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: My starting to be a sailor

I lost a part that I had written so will write again. I had been invited to the company offices in Glasgow to meet with the owners and managers as I had been promised that the next master to be promoted would be me. Silly me for believing them as shortly after New years a letter dropped through the mail box to the effect, Dear Sir, it is with regret that due to the sale of a vessel we are not i the position to offer you further employment Bla, Bla, Bla. We thank you for your services any wish you luck in any future endeavours . Had I known this was about to happen I most certainly would not have sailed the ship out to Japan and missed Christmas. But fortunately at this period there was n shortage of positions and I joined a local company sailing on small ships from the UK to Norway and back. When we were in he UK the two mates would split up the time for a run home. We, as merchant sailors had a reduced fare on the railroad so it was not too expensive. During my time there the Sailors Union decided to go on strike so we tied up to buoys in the River Tyne. A shore watchman was employed and the mates and engineers split up the time at home, The captain came down every couple of week to give us our pay. My wife was a frequent visitor as her friendly doctor gave her “sick notes”. Alas all god things have to come to an end and the government passed legislation forcing the strikers back to work. I was asked by the office if I would transfer to another of their ships. ( I am still in contact with that captain). The incentive for me was that I was going to the Great Lakes and I would get a chance to see my brother and his family,
This was to be a first for me and to say that it was different on a “Salty” would be an understatement as all hands and the cooks were used to transit the Seaway and the Welland Canal. The first port was Montreal and construction for the Olympics was underway with the futuristic buildings etc quite a sight to see. I spent the last few hours of discharging on the dock watching the draft as to be in excess was going to be a big problem. The seaway inspection was done and instead of self tensioning winches I was later to experience we used cargo winches and snatch blocks. A right nightmare and the AB’s were constantly splicing new eyes in broken wires. The cooks used to cook us a supper as we spent long hours standing by to transit the “Canal”. We were to go to Toronto but it was cancelled which was a disappointment. From the Canal we discharged in Cleveland and Toledo. Next port was Detroit were my relatives managed a visit. Having pilots all the way was novel for us but I could understand why. Up the Calumet to complete discharging and start loading outward cargo. I was amazed at the trip with all the bridges and barges floating about. I would in later years curse this trip up there but it was just part of life.
We part loaded at “Rail to Water transfer Terminal and I experienced a problem. North Americans have different tons to us. I ordered up so many tons and when it was done noticed we were light on draft, and with space to spare. They were using short tons of 2000 lbs. where we used long tons of 2240lbs. (more problems later as metric tonnes were introduced (1000 Kg.) Every day the loading lists would change and as 1st Mate it was a nightmare. Detroit was another case of what was on the shipping list and what would appear on the dock for loading bore no reality. KD cars where large plywood boxes of cars, that were to be reassembled ,in Antwerp. In Cleveland i was invited to go and see a baseball match at the old stadium near the docks. To be honest I had not a clue what was going on but have since become an avid Blue Jays fan.
Last port of loading was Montreal and a couple of Items had me pulling my hair out. For last port of discharge (and final port of loading outward bound) was bales of hay and straw, these took up a large amount of space and the reason was that livestock being shipped to Canada had to have straw and hay from that country for regulations.
To be continued

Author:  Lakercapt [ April 21, 2017, 9:44 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: My starting to be a sailor

Glad you are enjoying them and I must admit I still have a few more to bore the readers.
As an additional to the last missive I had been through to the company offices to meet the directors and owners. This as I was next in the promotion list for masters.
This all fell apart as shortly after New Year a very impersonal letter arrived, Dear Sir we regret to inform you Bla bla bla you are no longer required thank you for your previous services.
looking for work again

Author:  Guest [ April 21, 2017, 4:19 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: My starting to be a sailor

Great story Capt Keep em coming

Author:  Lakercapt [ April 20, 2017, 9:52 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: My starting to be a sailor

How is it that vacation time flies by quickly and before you know it the suitcases have to be brought out from under the bed.
When my wife had graduated I bought her a white miniature Poodle. As she had been living with her mother until we got our own home the dog had been staying there. Our new home was just a few houses away so we did not see the point of changing hat arrangement but every morning my mother in law opened the front door and a white flash was along the road to our house. (Over the many years we have had dogs they were always “My” dogs and the other people were tolerated when I was away)One day I thought that the poodle looked rather scruffy so booked him in for a grooming etc. Took him in on morning and told to pick him up in the afternoon. He looked like picture postcard all fancy haircut and a blue ribbon on each ear. I felt sorry for him, being cooped up all day so on the way home stopped at the local park to let him run loose for a bit. BIG MISTAKE. How is it that dogs instinctively find something gross to roll in??. The rest of the drive home i the car was nearly enough to make me lose my lunch. Out came the garden hose and the picture postcard was soon a soggy scruffy dog. He and I did not see the humour of it and my wife most assuredly did not.
I had asked the company for my next ship not to have so long voyages as my wife was not happy at with the long trips. I was appointed to a ship that was chartered to a famous liner company that had a regular run out to Australia with general cargo and Australian produce back. Just the thing so I joined in Liverpool when they were discharging Aussie produce before heading round to London complete.T his was the first time for my wife to come with me as a friendly doctor had given a sick note to allow her to be off for the week or so. When we were completed discharge the bomb was dropped as we were to come off the charter and become a “tramp” once again. This news was not well received to say the least but as we had all signed on there was little we could do. Sad farewells t my wife as we sailed for Casablanca to load Phosphate for Yokohama in Japan. However hat was not the only bad news we received in Casablanca as we were told the ship had been sold and we were all being flown home from there. To compound matters e would arrive thee if our ETA was correct at Christmas time.
Anyway there was nothing we could do about it but when we went through the Suez Canal there was many items of stores that were surplus to requirements (part of our unofficial pay off bonus)sold to willing buyers. We did however remove all he brass sounding pipe covers stored in a secure place, otherwise they would have gone missing.
On completion of discharge we went on a flight back to the UK ending there just before New Years. The cadet I mentioned earlier was supposed to go to the Sailors home but I could not think of that so he came home and stayed with us. To be continued

Author:  Lakercapt [ April 17, 2017, 9:39 am ]
Post subject:  Re: My starting to be a sailor

Some time before had asked the chippy to make me a wooden box so that I might ship some of the many artifacts (and junk??) home as I was limited in the amount of personal gear I could take on the flight. One of the items was a very unusual fighting stick from the local Islands and were made before the white man came and introduced metals. The stick was drilled with many holes and into these holes sharks teeth were tied on. They had also been drilled I, don’t know how and then using human hair secured to the stick. It was a fearsome weapon and I was told the purpose was to put it between the enemies legs and pulled causing massive cuts and bleeding. I gave a loan of this very unusual item for a school “show and tell” ad unfortunately never got it back. Getting back to the point the box the chippy made was a work of art and I used it for many years as our kids toy box.
When we arrived at Geraldton a big row started as he local carpenters contended that it was their job to build the shifting boards and feeders. No loading until this was sorted out and eventually the whole thing was torn down and started again from scratch. We the crew did not mind at all as we had been adopted by the local ex-patriots who owned most of the local fishing boats that fished for crawfish. This was a type of lobster without the clays and a big export to Japan.
We had several BBQ’s and parties before we had to wish sad farewells to the very pleasant visit. The next stop was Hakata and I was looking forward to that as I was due of on vacation. In between times my new wife had set up home for us. I was surprised when I read the address on my, as it was it was only a few houses from where her parents stayed. At this village in Fife there had been a mass exodus when the local coal mine closed and there were many houses vacant. My wife being a teacher at the village school helped too.
The discharge in Hakata was done with grabs and using the ships gear and there were canvas tarpaulins n deck to catch any loose grain that might spill. The day before I was due to fly home I was walking along the deck during the meal break when one of the grabs swung and crushed me into the hatch comings. A trainee winch driver was being instructed and did not see me. I was taken to the local hospital for ex-rays etc and had all the medical staff in to look at me. I was one massive bruise from the waist to the toes. All I wanted was to get home so I did not make a fuss and next day flew to Tokyo and on the polar route to Amsterdam and then to Edinburgh. Got a taxi to me new home and did manage to carry my bride over the doorway.
Later on in the bedroom I told my wife she was in for a surprise and when I took me pants off and she saw the massive bruising was extremely upset. Fortunately there was no other damage and things worked well!!
To be continued

Author:  Lakercapt [ April 16, 2017, 8:15 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: My starting to be a sailor

Another appliance that the chief steward bought was what we named “The iron Cow”. It was a machine that reconstituted skimmed milk powder and salt free butter that tasted like real milk. On ocean going ships fresh milk ran out quickly and the alternatives were not so good until UHT milk came along. With the iron cow it tasted like the real stuff if you followed the instructions. Skimmed milk powder was cheap so that was an added attraction. The secret of success was that you had to follow the instruction exactly otherwise it was not a pleasant result. The steward in charge tried to cut corners which resulted in a dismal failure and he was really reluctant to learn.
However from Littleton we headed to Newcastle NSW (a change!!) to load coal for Japan again which was getting to be boring but our entrepreneurs in the crew were happy to load up with goods to sell in OZ.
The chippy showed where he hid his stash. In his shop there was a 44 gallon oil drum with the top cut off where parts for MacGregor hatches were kept covered in oil. Only the top part was used as underneath was a space where the goodies were hidden. To my knowledge it was never discovered.
It was an uneventful trip and after unloading it was once more to Nauru and again there was no delay but for a change it was to unload in Fremantle in WA. A trip round the top of Australia and down the West Coast to port. In Fremantle there was a rubbing bar about two feet thick about three feet blow the level of the dock. This was the bane of our lives as the waste scupper pipes would discharge on to it when the ship got higher out of the water and we had to adjust the scupper covers frequently. There was a “gentleman” who rode about on a bike checking to see there was no effluent on this bream otherwise a fine would be charged against the ship. His nick name the “The turd man”

We had a new crew member join while we were in Fremantle. A young Australian lad who was from a farming background and had the urge to go to sea much against the family wishes. They never had a connection to ships but that was what he wanted. He came straight from a boarding school and thought that being a cadet was the cat’s meow. I think he got his notions from books and it came as a shock when it was not as depicted in story books. He was the only cadet we had so there were none he could turn to for advice. As we were all Chinese crew I as first mate gave him his orders each day but that often meant working with the Bosun or Chippy.
Once more on completion of discharge it was the old familiar route of round to Port Kembla for coal to Japan. It was old hat by this time and again we sailed after a draft survey. For those who don’t know about that it is a method of figuring how much cargo is loaded using the lightship draft and comparing with the loaded draft. The deadweight is calculated using the difference. It is a bit of a hit or miss method on many occasions as reading the draft marks accurately can be subject to many factors/I could write a whole book about it as it can be quite complicated. I noticed that the fuel figures the chief engineer gave me were erroneous as they did not tally with the rest of the other deductibles but did not want cause conflict so kept quiet. It was more of the same discharging and on to Nauru once more. The young lad from Australia certainly enjoyed the sights and of Japan and the ladies who were out to please their guests (how do you keep the lad down on the farm after they have seen Japan!!).
We had a surprise too in that instead of the usual ports of discharge. It was to be Albany in West Australia. Not only that but we were to go off hire from the charterer. That caused the chief engineer a big problem as there was I had suspected there were many tons more of fuel oil on board than he reported. That would have meant the ship owners would have to pay for the extra fuel that was on board !!. I was horrified to be told that the excess was to be pumped overboard during the night hours until a reasonable amount would be on board when the hand over survey was done. I could just imagine the mess on the beaches of the islands when it washed up. This criminal act was never divulged by people in the know but although I was not complicate with this act I still get a feeling of guilt.
Our arrival in Albany a big thing as the ship was a big attraction with a name like Scottish Monarch and many ex-patriots visited and we were invited to many homes. We in turn hosted a big party and had the local hotel supply an 18 gallon keg of beer as well as other refreshments. It was this case in most ports visited in Oz and NZ and our motto was, work hard and play hard. As an added attraction we paid the chief steward extra money to have the cook and steward serve a proper Chinese meal, chop sticks and all. This was enjoyed by all.
On finish discharge we went round to Fremantle to have repairs etc that were require by the off hire survey. As we were to load grain for Japan in Gerladton so shifting boards and feeders were fitted o comply with the grain regulations. The Young Cadet enjoyed his visits home and had many tales to tell (some abridged am certain)
To be continued

Author:  Lakercapt [ April 14, 2017, 9:48 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: My starting to be a sailor

Another appliance that the chief steward bought was what we named “The iron Cow”. It was a machine that reconstituted skimmed milk powder and salt free butter that tasted like real milk. On ocean going ships fresh milk ran out quickly and the alternatives were not so good until UHT milk came along. With the iron cow it tasted like the real stuff if you followed the instructions. Skimmed milk powder was cheap so that was an added attraction. The secret of success was that you had to follow the instruction exactly otherwise it was not a pleasant result. The steward in charge tried to cut corners which resulted in a dismal failure and he was really reluctant to learn.
However from Littleton we headed to Newcastle NSW (a change!!) to load coal for Japan again which was getting to be boring but our entrepreneurs in the crew were happy to load up with goods to sell in OZ.
The chippy showed where he hid his stash. In his shop there was a 44 gallon oil drum with the top cut off where parts for MacGregor hatches were kept covered in oil. Only the top part was used as underneath was a space where the goodies were hidden. To my knowledge it was never discovered.
It was an uneventful trip and after unloading it was once more to Nauru and again there was no delay but for a change it was to unload in Fremantle in WA. A trip round the top of Australia and down the West Coast to port. In Fremantle there was a rubbing bar about two feet thick about three feet blow the level of the dock.This was a bain of our lives as the waste scupper pipes would discharge on to it when the ship got higher out of the water and we had o adjust the scupper covers frequently. There was a “gentleman” who rode about on a bike checking to see there was no effluent on this bream otherwise a fine would be charged against the ship. His nick name the “The turd man”
To be coninued

Author:  Lakercapt [ April 13, 2017, 6:46 am ]
Post subject:  Re: My starting to be a sailor

In these days before “Skype” Satellite phone calls and the internet or “facebook” there few methods of communication. We of course had the ships radio which was at first all only be by Morse code and the “Sparkie” would listen to the traffic lists sent out by Portishead Radio in the UK. Later on we were fitted with transmitters for long range communication but most of the time reception was poor. It was mainly simplex which meant one person would speak and say “over” then the next etc. Duplex came later which as an improvement. Other than that it was he written word i.e. letter writing. My wife and I used to write to each other every day so when we got to port there was a pile of mail to post or receive. II also became a habit to number the letters so you could read in sequence or note in any were missing. I big improvement was later we used cassettes. I well remember when the Commonwealth cable was completed and I phoned from Australia. She thought I was kidding when I told her I was in Oz. That was only for special occasions as it cos was one poud sterling per minute when my salary was 104 per month.

Author:  Lakercapt [ April 12, 2017, 4:28 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: My starting to be a sailor

Before I leave this episode about NZ I should mention that at this time the country was going through a very difficult time financially. This was because their main market for their agriculture produce was the UK. All that came to an abrupt close when the UK joined the European Common Market. That union forbid the produce from non members. Now NZ had nowhere to export all the butter, lamb, wool and many other items. In the stores many good were now not available, to buy a car you had to have a large sum of foreign currency. They were rather peeved at this but they did recover and they still have a great deal of common grounds with the UK except when the All Blacks are playing rugby against England!!!

Author:  Lakercapt [ April 11, 2017, 8:43 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: My starting to be a sailor

Back to Port Kembla for anther load of coal and there were no changes and after a draft survey off we sailed on a now familiar route.
Each evening after I had finished my 4 til 8 watch the captain, chief engineer, second engineer and I got together for a game of cribbage which got serious and with only penny stakes it was more for fun than big time gambling. As anyone that has played this game you know that there are many rules. I tried to teach my wife but she said I was cheating so she would always lose, not true but as we all know once that is ingrained nothing on gods green earth can shift it.
After discharge we were stemmed for drydocking and that was a real workup as I had to submit a list of defects (I would not refer to them as repairs). The engineer superintendant came out from Glasgow and we had a conference to see what was in his opinion necessary. Not much according to him so I took my list and said do as you wish as did not make the list as a make work project and if there were problems later because of his omissions I would not be responsible. Got most of my list done.
When there, I got introduced to Japanese bath protocol. We foreigners would have jumped right in away which is a big no no. You had to sit on a little wooden stool and slosh hot water over yourself with a ladle thing and with a big scrubbing brush and soap give yourself a skin scraping till it was in my opinion red raw. Then you slowly lowered yourself into the bath which I am certain was hot enough to boil a lobster!! When you came out it was into a steam room for more torture before being rinsed off with cold water. Did I feel invigorated I don’t know as I did not have too many senses working by this time. When in dock I caused a major concern. When you entered a tank, which I had to do for inspections of the work being carried out. You took to take a tag that was on a board at the tank opening and pinned it on you hard hat to show how many persons were inside. There were shell plating being replaced and I checked them and instead of crawling back through the tank climbed down the staging and looked at what was going on under the blocks. Forgot all about the tag and at the end of the day the tag talley did not match so a search was made throughout the tank with no one found. Were they a more than a little upset when I remembered I had the tag still on me hard hat!! Eventually all the work was completed and off we went to, No prizes for guessing Nauru.
This time it was strait in and loaded for a place I had never been, New Zealand. We were all looking forward to visiting that marvelous country and we were not wrong. We went to the port of Littleton as a leisurely discharge allowed us to explore. As there was no weekend discharging I ask the cook to make up a picknic lunch for me and set off to walk the “Pioneer Trail” This was the route that the first settlers took to go over the steep hill to reach the Canterbury plains. These were lush lands and the town of Christchurch was found there. A few other hearty souls were climbing the trail with me and when nearing the summit I heard children’s laughter and other noises. Got to the summit rather weary and with a great deal of admiration to those first immigrants that hauled carts and al their possessions up that way.
All the children and adults had come up the easy way as a road had been built to bypass that climb. A rail road tunnel had been built from the port of Littleton to Christchurch.
We all enjoyed our stay there with very warm heated people and beautiful scenery and were saddened to leave for where else but Port Kembla to load for Japan with a load of coal.

Author:  Guest [ April 9, 2017, 7:49 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: My starting to be a sailor

Guest in Toledo wrote:
Thank You for sharing your stories. They are absolutely wonderful. In your day, coal floats were a livelihood for you and my reading is that coal wasn’t your favorite cargo. Have you ever loaded coal in my hometown, Toledo OH, or other Great Lake coal ports? Were you ever loaded, anywhere, by the huge coal loading machines of the past, or, unloaded by a Hullet? Who did you assign the laundry and cleaning detail your ships for the coal dust? On the Great Lakes coal runs, anything white that was laundered or cleaned was at best…some shade of gray. TIA. Please keep your stories coming as they are greatly appreciated.


Oh yes I have loaded coal there and also grain when I was on lakers but that is for future stories.I also have been unloaded by those Wonderful machines, Hullets but that too is in later stories.
Glad you enjoy my ramblings of days long gone but keep reading for more of my life as a sailor (deep sea and on the "Lakes)

Author:  Guest in Toledo [ April 9, 2017, 4:56 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: My starting to be a sailor

Thank You for sharing your stories. They are absolutely wonderful. In your day, coal floats were a livelihood for you and my reading is that coal wasn’t your favorite cargo. Have you ever loaded coal in my hometown, Toledo OH, or other Great Lake coal ports? Were you ever loaded, anywhere, by the huge coal loading machines of the past, or, unloaded by a Hullet? Who did you assign the laundry and cleaning detail your ships for the coal dust? On the Great Lakes coal runs, anything white that was laundered or cleaned was at best…some shade of gray. TIA. Please keep your stories coming as they are greatly appreciated.

Author:  Lakercapt [ April 9, 2017, 11:21 am ]
Post subject:  Re: My starting to be a sailor

Off we set sail for Japan again it was the same discharge port , Osaka. I got fairly friendly with one of the stevadors and he had asked me to bring a bottle of Johny Walker Black Label scotch (it was a status symbol to serve that as I think its rubbish and could have suggested many single malts that in my opinion were far superior) For doing that he presented me with a man’s Kimono with obi made of silk. I was truly grateful and kept it for many years. I loaned it to a theater group for a production of Madame Butterfly and it somehow got lost. I was really upset about that.
On completion once again it was away to that pacific paradise, Nauru. It was no surprise that we could not load and drifted off. When I was walking along the deck, I passed Chippy who was using a hammer and cold chisel when he hit the chisel and a steel splinter went into my right eye. Wow was that painful and I asked the second matte to remove it. With tweesers he pulled it out and then threw up as the eyeball started to come out too. It was decided I should get medical assistance on the island so we steamed to the island and a small launch came out and took me to the hospital. There were only two doctors there and they had to call for assistance to Melbourne for advice. Threat it with antibiotics and pu in drops of what I don’t know. It was touch and got whither they would remove the eye but I would not consent to that. The ship was still waiting to load and after a week I was allowed to move about and I was loaned a Land Rover so I could visit the “sights”. It was then I managed to see the remains of the Japanese fortifications and the wrecks of WWII planes. They had mined vast underground areas including a hospital and storage places for muntions etc. The large gun from Singapore was still there. When I came ashore I took my walkie talkie that we had purchased In Japan so could keep in contact with the ship. As there was no hotel on the island I stayed in the hospital and as there was a gazillion mosquitoes I end up with infected bites. They put up mosquito net eventually. During my wandering about the island I visited the places where the phosphate was dug out and when it was depleted it resembled a moon landscape. Completely barren with no vegetation.
I was pleased to hear the ship was coming in to load as I had visions of being left there until the next ship came ( I mentioned earlier there was an airfield builty the US army after they recaptured the island)
An uneventful trip to Sydney where I saw a eye specialist and was told that I was extremely lucky as another millimeter and I would have lost my eye.
To be continued

Author:  Lakercapt [ April 7, 2017, 6:55 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: My starting to be a sailor

As a P.S. to our time in Sydney I forgot to mention a couple of interesting titbits
Shortly before arrival the customs crew declaration had to be completed by everyone and any electronic piece of equipment had to be declared and the serial number included. The reason for that was transistor radios and sterio equipment etc. was cheap in Japan and very expensive in Oz,. There was a ready market for the same and a good profit could be made selling it. The customs rummage squad searched the ship high and low and found a couple of cheap transistor radios which they were meant to as an appeasement. The good stuff they never fond as the Chinese crew were past masters at stowing away the contraband. I was later when they knew I could be trusted in the cartel. A day or so after arrival the boson handed me a roll of Australian dollars. I asked what they were for and he told me it was me share of the shark fin money. All those fins that had been drying on the poop deck had been taken ashore and sold at a very good price to the local Chinese restaurants.!!

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