Capt Donald Cowie.

ian keyl
8th June 2007, 00:14
I had the good fortune to sail on my second deep sea voyage with Donald Cowie on the Valla when i was cadet, ex london on the January 66 having paid off the previous voyage on the 24.12.65 with greeten Seaton Murry both were gentlemen .
On the voyage with Donald I remember him saying once when i was on bridge duty coming into Port Said ," Do you smoke? to which i replied no ,thenhe said if you want to make a good cadet then b##### well make sure you have some fags when you next come to the bridge." he could go through three packets of fags before we had picked up the pilot.
Another time towards the end of my time on the valla i was doing the weather log for the second mate Andy Davidson (aberdeen) and iwas tapping the barometer in the chart room and a tap on my shoulder said," if you were meant to tap it they would provide a hammer" .

A great man full of life and character and always supported his crew.
I rember he sent me once up the road to Mincing Lane in London to Killick Martins office to see the east bound freight manager to claim the dog and pig handling money that had not been paid the previous voyage, Donald told me "just you tell them you are not leaving the F###### office till you are paid it for all the cadets and the sailors " I was handed an envelope and the cadets felt like millionaires that voyage with all that cash,we had three dogs one to BGK and two to HK the pigs were from Hull to Yoko and they farrowed enroute during a typhoon so were due extra for those piglets that made it to Yoko.
Great memories sadley some of these charactors are not here to add thier tales.

Joe Freeman
8th June 2007, 19:51
Hi Ian, I was on that voyage and I remember the Pigs and the premature arrival of the piglets, most of which I think were stillborn and were heaved over the side.
Joe Freeman

Stuart Polson
28th December 2007, 16:49
I sailed with Capt Cowie for a few trips on the Box Boats, his favourite saying was "Life is but a bowl of cherries" as time went by it got shortened to "Life is but a bowl" I remember arriving in Hong Kong one day and a coaster crossing close ahead, near to the Kellett buoy. Donald turned round to me and said " Aye son I knew half of him would get accross!!!"

john fraser
28th December 2007, 17:46
I remember Capt.Donald Cowie smoking 80 plain Players a day.He attempted to stop when on Benlawers and started eating Quality street.They were too much for him and he went back to the fags.On Benavon he stopped again but one day came for fags.When I said I thought he,d stopped,the reply was. "Have you ever seen this ship on a sandbank near Port Said".Seems the trip previous the Avon had grounded on a sandbank near the canal and that was the excuse for starting again.