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Invernahaille
Regular Member


669 Posts
Posted -  26/06/2006  :  04:02







Edited by - Invernahaille on 10 April 2007 04:41:19
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Invernahaille
Regular Member


669 Posts
Posted - 11/06/2007 : 14:55
After the drydock work had  been completed, the ship was refloated and we headed back down the M.S.C. to Eastham to refit the masts and funnel top. We had made the new gaskets etc whilst the Worcester was in drydock. It took about 8 hours to navigate the canal. After the refitting of the mast's and funnel we entered the River Mersey bound for sunny Swansea. The trip down to Swansea was done on 6s. It took most of the day to sail down to Swansea, and when we arrived we had to wait for the tide so that we could enter the dock locks. So it was we anchored off the Gower pininsula 0n the Mumbles for about 6 hours.

Edited by - Invernahaille on 11 June 2007 14:58:58


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Invernahaille
Regular Member


669 Posts
Posted - 12/06/2007 : 16:37
When the ship was in port at Swansea, engine room life aws a repetition of what was done in Manchester. More inserts and maintenence. Crankshaft calibrations etc.


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James Powell
New Member


22 Posts
Posted - 13/06/2007 : 04:12

Last trip we did was to Manchester, Washington State.  Picked up roughly 100 000 bbl of F76 (Diesel) and F77 (JP5/AvCAT).  I sail as the boiler operator, we steam 7 persons on the watch :

EOOW, a Petty Officer 2nd or 1st),

 Boiler Operator (Leading Seaman/Master Seaman),

 Electrician of the Watch (Ordinary Seaman-MS),

Inside Rounds (AB or LS), Evaporator (typically a LS),

 Watertender (LS or MS)

 and Outside Rounds (OS). 

 Heavily over crewed, but then we have other obligations to meet that mandate the # of people on the ship.  When we went to sea, it was post refit trials, we had another 30 million spent on keeping our 35 year old ship at sea.  As Stanley says, all it is a way of spending $ at a great rate.  It looks more and more like we will finish up in 2014, when double hulled ships are a requirement here on the west coast, rather than just a double bottomed ship like we are.  (even there, we have 2 active fuel tanks in our DB's). 

I find it very interesting, even though it is definitely NOT the life for most people.

MS James Powell

Royal Canadian Navy (the ship says it, why can't I?)

 




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Invernahaille
Regular Member


669 Posts
Posted - 13/06/2007 : 13:00
Hi James, and welcome. Hardly surprizing after the Exxon Valdez incident. Oil companies want to think themselves lucky they didnt have to convert earlier.


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Chouan
New Member


9 Posts
Posted - 14/06/2007 : 10:09
I used to hate Drydock. As Second Mate I always had loads that I needed to get on with; catching up with corrections etc. all bridge based of course. But, I was invariably roped into "gopher" jobs by the Engine Room, given that it was a Engineer Superintendant that usually oversaw the Dry Docking,  who couldn't see why I should be idling away on the bridge, as he saw it. Either that or I'd spend hours watching paint dry. Literally. Watching the painting gang put a new coat of paint on the hull bottom. Thrillsville!


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Invernahaille
Regular Member


669 Posts
Posted - 14/06/2007 : 13:50
I hear you.


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Invernahaille
Regular Member


669 Posts
Posted - 15/06/2007 : 12:55
Swansea. Met a girl called Caroline Wells, really nice. The Worcester left Swansea for Glasgow, Princess docks, (now filled in). Passed Ailsa Craig, an island on the Firth of Clyde, incredible sight at close quarters. It just appears to be a sheer rock, that appears from nowhere. Arrived in Glasgow (my first time in the great city) The clyde was a mass of shipbuilding yards in those days, John Brown's, etc etc. The fourth engineer had been relieved by a Glaswegian called Eddie Frazer, and he gave me the unofficial tour of Glasgow, the barrows, Sauchiehall St etc etc.


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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 15/06/2007 : 15:52
Robert, I know Ailsa Craig well.  It's a volcaic plug that everyting has eroded away from.  What fascinated me was the way it appeared to move around as you drove down the coast road towards Ballantrae, you'd have sworn it was on wheels!


Stanley Challenger Graham




Barlick View
stanley at barnoldswick.freeserve.co.uk Go to Top of Page
Invernahaille
Regular Member


669 Posts
Posted - 16/06/2007 : 13:54

We loaded Whiskey in Glasgow, and true to tradition the dockers managed to break a pallet holding several cases, sending bottles everywhere, anyone who was in hearing distance of the mishap was rewarded with a bottle to compensate them for their distress. I dont know how many times a night that incident occurred, but there was always an abundance of steaming (inebriated) dockers around in those days. This was also the time Billy Connolly was welding in the shipyards on clydeside.

Yes you are right Stanley Ailsa is an enchanted  island. Even at sea it seems to move and follow the ship.




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Invernahaille
Regular Member


669 Posts
Posted - 18/06/2007 : 14:41

The Worcester then left Glasgow for Birkenhead, that is the port on the opposite bank of the Mersey from Liverpool. Most people think that Birkenhead is part of Liverpool I can assure it isnt. A few years ago I returned to the East float docks at Birkenhead, it saddened me to see all the old sheds that still retained the shipping company logos of companies long since gone.

Prince Line, Ratcliffe Bibby, Blue Star, Ellermans, Harrisons, (called hungry Harrisons, because of their distinctive red funnel marking bands, two of fat one of lean), Ben line, Clan line, etc etc.




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Invernahaille
Regular Member


669 Posts
Posted - 18/06/2007 : 17:41
In those days there where also the Canadian Pacific ships (Empress of Canada, Empress of Great Britain, Empress of India) Moored at Mann Island on the Liverpool side of the River Mersey. The Mesey was an extremely busy place.

Edited by - Invernahaille on 21 June 2007 15:17:16


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Invernahaille
Regular Member


669 Posts
Posted - 19/06/2007 : 03:29

I took shore leave at the first weekend in Birkenhead to go and see Caroline Wells in Swansea. I stayed in the Merchant Navy hotel in Swansea. On the Monday I travelled to Newhey and gave my dad 200 cigerettes that I had purchased from the ships bond. I didnt know it at the time but that would be the last time I saw him.

Returned to the Worcester on Sunday night. The ship was due to sail to India on the 18th of June. So on the night of the seventeenth most crew members were shoreside doing the usual sailor type of things. There was a pub called the Duke which was heavily congested by seafarers of every nation. It is here that certain ladies, like those in  most other ports sold their wares.

I must admit I had a lot of beer that night, and I was pretty inebriated when I returned to the ship.

The following morning was the normal engine room duties of preparing to sail, We had to wait for high tide to exit the dock locks, and then after a while it was full ahead as we reached the Mersey Bar, heading south on the Irish sea. The ship's speed at 115rpm was around 14 knots. Just off Anglesy the sparks (Radio Operator ) received a message that two of the Indian crew members had been arrested the night before in Birkenhead, and that they were to be repatriated to the ship of Anglesy. The pilot brought the two men to the ship. From what I understood at the time those two men would never sail for Ellermans again.



Edited by - Invernahaille on 19 June 2007 03:33:38


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Invernahaille
Regular Member


669 Posts
Posted - 19/06/2007 : 17:39

So, we settled down to watchkeeping duties. Four hours on 8 hours off. I was on the twelve to four watch with the second engineer. The first day was basically adjusting seawater pumps and heat exchanger controls as the engine settled down into its operational mode.

Two days later we were off the Spanish coast and the Bay of Biscay. I had been told of the tempest that can brew there, but we were to given clear weather conditions and sailed through the bay without any hindrance.




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Invernahaille
Regular Member


669 Posts
Posted - 20/06/2007 : 14:25
The Worcester's itinery was Karachi, Calcutta, Chalna (East Pakistan, now Bangladesh) and Colombo, Ceylon (now Sri Lanka). Normally the  ship would have sailed through the Med and down the Suez Canal, but because of the conflict with Egypt and Israel the Suez was closed to traffic. So ships from  Europe plying the India trade had to sail via South Africa. I8 days steaming time from Birkenhead to Durban. Bunkers (Fuel Oil and Diesel) where taken onboard at one of the South African ports. The Worcester bunkered in Durban.


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Invernahaille
Regular Member


669 Posts
Posted - 20/06/2007 : 18:04

So eighteen days after leaving Birkenhead we arrived for bunkers at Durban, and I had had my first bout of deep-sea experience. However I did recieve an unexpected special kind of haircut as we passed over the equator.

Most of the night in Durban was spent sounding tanks and pumping fuel into the db tanks. By 9.30 in the morning bunkers were all done apart for the shouting. We just had to wait for the chippy (ships carpenter) to take on board fresh water.

At ten o'clock the ships agent came aboard and informed me that I needed to get a jab for yellow fever. Apparently when I was going through B.S.F. (British Shipping Federation)documentation and medical things at Mann Island in Liverpool, they had inoculated me for Typhoid and Malaria, but not Yellow Fever. I noticed going down the gangway that the ship was scheduled to depart at one o'clock pm.

So the ships agent took me into Durban itself which was about a ten mile journey round Durban bay.

The agent took me inside the medical centre and paid all the fees etc, and told me he would pick me up in an hour. I got my jab, and decided to do a little sightseeing. I returned to the Medical centre and was informed that the agent was running a little late. By tweve thirty I was getting a little upset. At one o'clock as my ship steamed out of the harbour I was possitively panic stricken.

The agent turned up about 1.30 and made profuse apologies, he then informed me that I was now tecnically an illegal alien because all my documentation was in the ships office.

I was then taken down to the port police office and detained, and held in the nicest of police accomodation. At about 4 o'clock the agent returned to the police station with some temporary documentation he had secured froim the British Consulate, and I was released.

I was told I would be flown to Karach in a weeks time to rejoin my ship. The agent gave me a couple of hundred Rand booked me into a hotel, and told me he would drop by during the week from time to time to make sure I was allright.

So it was that I had my first and only fully paid and expensed holiday in Durban. I sailed through the week without a thought of what the repercussions were going to be when I rejoined my ship.

That will be divulged in the next posting.



Edited by - Invernahaille on 20 June 2007 18:06:06


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