First Trip Pranks

Johnstokoe
19th February 2008, 19:37
Come on Brocklebankers lets liven our site up once again..... and I look forward to your amusing tales.

Back in 1961, barely a month after my sixteenth birthday, I joined my first ship s.s. Malancha in Sandon Dock, Liverpool. After a spot of coasting - Manchester, Greenock and Birkenhead from memory, we then began the deep sea voyage to India via Red Sea ports. Not having the benefit of any pre-sea training I was green in more ways than one and this included my first encounter with the Bay of Biscay. Oh yes, there were pranks that I fell for hook, line and sinker. I did write some letters to friends and family which were to be picked up by helicopter as we steamed past Gibraltar.

There was one port in particular indelibly imprinted in my mind - Massawa. IMy first time abraod, my first time ahore I was feeling quite safe and secure in the company of Mike the Rdio Officer as he happened to be the son of a Somerset vicar. I couldn't have been more wrong! Whether I erred and strayed like a lost sheep - well that's another story.......

When we left Massawa, as Junior Appentice I was on 'stations' aft with the Second Mate and I had the responsibility of handling telephone contact with the bridge. Having let go fore and aft we were leaving the port in the late afternoon. The phone rang and I was then to take one of the most memorable telephone calls of my life. The Senior Apprentice was on the bridge and his instruction was 'Tell the Second Mate to get the crew to bring the accommodation ladder right in'. 'OK' I said and to the Second Mate I then said 'get the crew to bring the accommodation ladder in........ Sir.' Stations was stood down and the crew obviously went to work heaving up the accommodation ladder and fixing a few lashings round it in readiness for use at Aden which was to be our next port of call a day or two later.

I was settling in the cabin when a short time later the Senior Apprentice came in and said 'The Mate is furious with you... the accommodation ladder was supposed to be brought RIGHT in and not just lashed and the crew will now have to turn to once again to finish the job. The Mate is so furious about you getting this message wrong he says that you have to run round the deck 50 times to let this be a real lesson which is vital you learn NOW... and don't try and cheat by running fewer laps because the Mate is on watch on the bridge and he will be counting.'

Imagine how I felt at that moment. So on went my running shoes and off I went running around the deck.....and counting very carefully!

Now lets get the true measure of this penalty. The Malancha was (bless her) 500 feet in length so one lap would be 1000 feet in distance. There were to be 50 of these laps and 50,000 feet is the equivalent of 9 miles. But it doesn't end there..... the Malacha was a four island ship so during one circuit there were also 8 sets of steps to climb or descend and 50 laps meant 400 sets of steps. I kept a careful mental note of the number of laps that I had covered - as if the Mate wouldn't have better things to do than count my laps.. but remember I am still very green.

It took the best part of three hours to complete this punishment which was shortly before the Mate finished his watch. You can imagine the state that I was in by this time. Anyway a little later on during the evening I had a chance encounter with the now off watch Mate which caused him to comment as to whether I had decided to become a keep fit enthusiast as he had spotted me running around the deck. He obviously had absolutely no knowledge of the fact that I had been set up by the Senior Apprentice.

It certainly was a hard earned lesson as far as I was concerned and from that day on every order was repeated verbatim. It's a habit that still holds fast on many an occasion.
Cheers John S.

Philthechill
22nd February 2008, 15:42
I feel it is incumbent on me to lower the tone of John's delightful story, of his first trip ribbings, by filling in (possibly) his discreet "---------------well that's another story", as to what he and the R/O got up to (again, possibly) in Massawa, by recounting an adventure I had in that much beloved (?) port in the Red Sea.
The other participant, (in this sordid tale), who I had sailed with on another ship was, despite being married, quite a "swordsman" (for want of a better term) and will have to remain nameless just in case he is short of funds and wants to sue me!!!!!
We were on "Makrana" and loading in Liverpool. My erstwhile companion was a Liverpudlian and, also, a mad-keen Evertonian. He was going home every night, of course, whereas we non-locals were obliged to stay aboard.
Everton were due to play at home and I was asked if I fancied going to see them play followed by some tea back at his house-----------"and you can meet the wife".
Everton won the game 5-4 against WBA so my oppo was like the proverbial dog with two d***s.
Proceeded to his house, for tea, and met his most charming wife.
I swore (to myself) there and then that, once we got away deep sea, and of course, went ashore, he may be tempted by some dusky maidens to forget his marriage vows so I would be his guardian-angel and make sure he never strayed off the straight-and-narrow!
Ha!
First time we got shut-down and managed a run ashore was in Massawa!
Me, my halo, and my friend fell into the first bar we came across and instantly a couple of local ladies came and sat with us.
One of the ladies had the most magnificent pair of "puppies" and me, being a complete sucker (pardon the pun!) for such adornments, couldn't take my gaze off them!!
My oppo seeing my interest and being quite taken with his companion said, "Looks like we've cracked it Phil!"
I saw my (metaphoric) halo reflected in the mirror behind the bar and with great self-sacrifice said, "No! Let's go somewhere else for a drink!"
Neither he, or the young ladies were exactly ecstatic at my announcement and tried their level best (even involved a quick glimpse of the "puppies") to make me change my mind but my self-imposed zealotry made me more determined to keep him on the straight-and-narrow!
We left the bar and moved down the main drag (all of half-a-mile long if I remember correctly!) calling at various bars as we went, usually attracting more female attention!!!
Eventually we arrived at the last bar and my oppo said "Well? What do we do now?"
A surfeit of ale and a recurring vision of those fabulous "puppies" had weakened my resolve I'm afraid and I said, "Back to the first bar!"
The rest I shall leave to the readers imagination but, rest assured, all you think that may have happened------------did!
That was, unfortunately, as far as I got with protecting my oppo's morals------------------but at least I did try!!!! Phil(Hippy)

Supergoods
24th February 2008, 02:10
We were in Massawa on the Maskeliya with Tubby Evans as Captain.

On arrival off the port at night he was a little distressed by the lack of navigational aids and saw a bright green light ashore which would have aided him, had it been on the chart.

He sent the 3rd mate ashore to find the light for future reference and it turned out to be in the outdoor bar on the roof of one of the local houses of ill repute.

On receiving this news, Tubby didn't have a word to say about putting it on the chart

Ian

Danny Simpson
10th July 2008, 21:41
I feel it is incumbent on me to lower the tone of John's delightful story, of his first trip ribbings, by filling in (possibly) his discreet "---------------well that's another story", as to what he and the R/O got up to (again, possibly) in Massawa, by recounting an adventure I had in that much beloved (?) port in the Red Sea.
The other participant, (in this sordid tale), who I had sailed with on another ship was, despite being married, quite a "swordsman" (for want of a better term) and will have to remain nameless just in case he is short of funds and wants to sue me!!!!!
We were on "Makrana" and loading in Liverpool. My erstwhile companion was a Liverpudlian and, also, a mad-keen Evertonian. He was going home every night, of course, whereas we non-locals were obliged to stay aboard.
Everton were due to play at home and I was asked if I fancied going to see them play followed by some tea back at his house-----------"and you can meet the wife".
Everton won the game 5-4 against WBA so my oppo was like the proverbial dog with two d***s.
Proceeded to his house, for tea, and met his most charming wife.
I swore (to myself) there and then that, once we got away deep sea, and of course, went ashore, he may be tempted by some dusky maidens to forget his marriage vows so I would be his guardian-angel and make sure he never strayed off the straight-and-narrow!
Ha!
First time we got shut-down and managed a run ashore was in Massawa!
Me, my halo, and my friend fell into the first bar we came across and instantly a couple of local ladies came and sat with us.
One of the ladies had the most magnificent pair of "puppies" and me, being a complete sucker (pardon the pun!) for such adornments, couldn't take my gaze off them!!
My oppo seeing my interest and being quite taken with his companion said, "Looks like we've cracked it Phil!"
I saw my (metaphoric) halo reflected in the mirror behind the bar and with great self-sacrifice said, "No! Let's go somewhere else for a drink!"
Neither he, or the young ladies were exactly ecstatic at my announcement and tried their level best (even involved a quick glimpse of the "puppies") to make me change my mind but my self-imposed zealotry made me more determined to keep him on the straight-and-narrow!
We left the bar and moved down the main drag (all of half-a-mile long if I remember correctly!) calling at various bars as we went, usually attracting more female attention!!!
Eventually we arrived at the last bar and my oppo said "Well? What do we do now?"
A surfeit of ale and a recurring vision of those fabulous "puppies" had weakened my resolve I'm afraid and I said, "Back to the first bar!"
The rest I shall leave to the readers imagination but, rest assured, all you think that may have happened------------did!
That was, unfortunately, as far as I got with protecting my oppo's morals------------------but at least I did try!!!! Phil(Hippy)

Is that what they mean by puppy love?

Regards,
Danny