We were ALL rather clever----really!

Philthechill
24th March 2008, 16:55
I was just reading my newspapers and, pausing in my reading, looked-up at some "profiles" (on my kitchen wall) of all the Brock ships I sailed on, which a chap I befriended via the Letters section of Ships Monthly painted for me. Seeing them got me thinking about those far-off days and realised we were ALL rather clever weren't we?
A bunch of, (usually), quite young men (with older, more Senior Officers to teach us how to drink!) entrusted with taking ships and cargo's worth huge amounts of money from Britain to various places in the world and taking all the trials and tribulations we would meet up with in our collective strides and rarely failing "to deliver".
There was the ever-present rivalry wherein we all "knew" we could get along without the Deck Department/Engine-room/Radio/Catering but, in reality, we were all "wedded" to each other and couldn't get on without everyone else's skills.
So I think we should ALL give ourselves self-congratulatory pats on the back and say "Well done! Each and everyone of us!"
And before you all say it! No I haven't been on the ssip!!! Salaams Phil(Hippy)

Ian6
24th March 2008, 17:04
Phil
Despite my natural modesty I have to agree with you. When you consider GPS versus squinting thru' the eye of a sextant, loading masses of identical anonymous boxes instead of general cargo with dunnage and what goes near which etc. Didn't we do OK? Of course one ship carried as many crew in those days as are floating around on the entire Atlantic today.
I think we all earned ourselves a little celebratory drink, thanks Phil.

Regards
Ian

Johnstokoe
24th March 2008, 19:00
Hi Phil,
I definitely think you should be applauded for this observation and it is also great to bring this site back to life after some weeks in the doldrums. The other aspect you did not elude to was that we were regularly seeing the world 'warts and all'. Life at sea seems to be completely sanitised nowadays compared with what you rightly describe.
Talking to someone involved in the organisation of an MN Careers Open Day recently, given the superfast turnaround in port and berthing literally miles from civilisation, I asked how one gets over the fact that present day seafarers don't really get very much opportunity to see the world as we used to. 'Oh yes they do!' was the reply to this. I queried this further to discover that with, the equivalent of 6 months away followed by 6 months at home (or 4 and 4 .. whatever) and, given some of the exhorbitant salaries currently on offer, you now take advantage of travelling around the world during your leave.
Look forward to reading lots more views on Phil's fascinating post.
Cheers John

MM˛
24th March 2008, 20:43
Having been jolted into digging out my sextant yesterday by reading the 'How did we manage before GPS' (http://www.shipsnostalgia.com/showthread.php?t=3445) thread. I have now located my Burton's Tables, Norie's Tables and Nicholls's Concise Guide Vol 1. Looking at the Nicholls made my eyes water. Did I really do all that stuff and Compass Work, Magnetism and Stability into the bargain.

To a 70% pass mark as well!

J Smith
25th March 2008, 22:03
Thanks to Phil and Johnstokoe for reminiscing as to what the MN was like in bygone days. Johnstokoe's reference to the short time alongside of the modern box-boats set me remembering about an extended trip ashore in New York with Phil's old pal Reg Seubert. Reg had insisted that I go ashore with him to see the newly released film of the decade i.e.Sound of Music, leaving Phil in supreme command of the department. Now, I am not a cinema addict, so having sat through that three hour marathon we set off to return to the ship. We had only gone a hundred yards or so down the road when, passing another cinema Reg exclaims 'Look Jim, Mary Poppins, we MUST see THAT'. Reg didn't mean another day - he meant there and now. So that meant another marathon sitting of three hours or so and a much later return on board. Phil, I beg your forgiveness if you were late in getting ashore that night. Regards - J.Smith.

Derek Roger
25th March 2008, 22:21
A good thread Phil ;
I think our era of the swinging 60s plus or minus a decade or two was an important one and a very enjoyable time . There was mutual respect of what we all did in getting to A to B .

There were new things on the Deck side with Loran / DF etc and new cargo handling gear ( Deck Cranes for example )

Communications were better !!

The Engineering group were moving ahead in Jumps and Bounds .

The friendships were great ; The Engineers provided the means of getting where the Deck Dept could lead us ; The Sparkies kept us in touch with the outside world and if one were fortunate enough to have a good Purser ? Chief Steward and a good Cook the recipe for success was there for all to enjoy .

Cheers Derek

Philthechill
25th March 2008, 23:45
Thanks to Phil and Johnstokoe for reminiscing as to what the MN was like in bygone days. Johnstokoe's reference to the short time alongside of the modern box-boats set me remembering about an extended trip ashore in New York with Phil's old pal Reg Seubert. Reg had insisted that I go ashore with him to see the newly released film of the decade i.e.Sound of Music, leaving Phil in supreme command of the department. Now, I am not a cinema addict, so having sat through that three hour marathon we set off to return to the ship. We had only gone a hundred yards or so down the road when, passing another cinema Reg exclaims 'Look Jim, Mary Poppins, we MUST see THAT'. Reg didn't mean another day - he meant there and now. So that meant another marathon sitting of three hours or so and a much later return on board. Phil, I beg your forgiveness if you were late in getting ashore that night. Regards - J.Smith. Well ok Jim! Just this once! But don't make a habit of it!!!! Phil(Hippy)

pete
26th March 2008, 11:57
I guess this is blowing my trumpet a bit but as an example of what we did back then I think this a case in point.
I was serving with Bank Line as Second Mate with a Mate's ticket and when we arroived in Aussie the Mate turned a beautiful shade of yellow and had to be paid off (Shouldn't brush teeth with Gin). The experts decided to promote me to Mate 'cos I had the Ticket. OK. We went to Easter Island (Indian Ocean) for Phosphate for New Plymouth and got the living sh*t beaten out of us in the Tasman.
Having discharged we were bound for Mackay Queensland when the Old Man fell down No.4 Hatch, bounced off the tunnel and I was IT. Boy was my Backside twitching. But as you all say it was all in a day's work and we kept the ships safe. I was 25 at the time......................pete (Thumb)

vasco
26th March 2008, 15:36
'We were ALL rather clever----really!'

We still are!

ken carr
10th July 2008, 15:39
Phil, What you say is indeed correct,I do however believe a lot of work went into the preparation of our entry into Brocks. All the young men that joined the MN in the 50s & 60s had been brought up in the war years, a most difficult and trying time. At meal times you sat down at the table with all the family and you ate all that was put on your plate or you went hungry, fast food did not exist. Discipline was very strict, one did as one was told or you got punished. As you passed through school the same applied,misbehave and you got the cane, fully approved by your parents.On leaving school the
Eng & Elec personnel started an Apprenticeship, once again discipline was harsh, we worked an 8hr day and had to attend night school 2 nights per week, transport to work was simple, walk,bicycle, or bus, no motor cars to drive around in those days. Your Parents gave you the two Greatest Assets for a successful life, Honesty and Good Manners. it is my opinion Gentlemen
that at 21 you were ready to tackle any job in your given field in a professional manner
Phil old chap as you say we DELIVERED and I am sure you will agree the rewards were PRICELESS
Thank You
Ken Carr

DURANGO
10th July 2008, 16:19
Phil, What you say is indeed correct,I do however believe a lot of work went into the preparation of our entry into Brocks. All the young men that joined the MN in the 50s & 60s had been brought up in the war years, a most difficult and trying time. At meal times you sat down at the table with all the family and you ate all that was put on your plate or you went hungry, fast food did not exist. Discipline was very strict, one did as one was told or you got punished. As you passed through school the same applied,misbehave and you got the cane, fully approved by your parents.On leaving school the
Eng & Elec personnel started an Apprenticeship, once again discipline was harsh, we worked an 8hr day and had to attend night school 2 nights per week, transport to work was simple, walk,bicycle, or bus, no motor cars to drive around in those days. Your Parents gave you the two Greatest Assets for a successful life, Honesty and Good Manners. it is my opinion Gentlemen
that at 21 you were ready to tackle any job in your given field in a professional manner
Phil old chap as you say we DELIVERED and I am sure you will agree the rewards were PRICELESS
Thank You
Ken Carr I dont like to brag [ but i will ] i was quite good at steering a ship [ never knew where i was going ] does that make me clever as well .

R58484956
10th July 2008, 17:24
Pete, Has Easter Island moved, went there a couple of years ago and it was in the north pacific ocean 3700km (2300m) west of Chile.

pete
10th July 2008, 19:30
Pete, Has Easter Island moved, went there a couple of years ago and it was in the north pacific ocean 3700km (2300m) west of Chile.
There are 2 Easter Islands and I agree it can be a little confusing............pete

R58484956
11th July 2008, 14:28
Sorry Pete ignorance on my part, my atlas only mentions one, who owns yours?
PS H ave spent hours "googling" for info on your EI and have drawn a blank. Got any co-ords?

pete
12th July 2008, 14:40
You are right it doesn't show up anywhere but all I can say is it in the Indian Ocean somewhere to the west of Aussie and we went there to load Phosphate for New Plymouth. As we went accross the Bight we were caught up by a Depression and had the living S**t beaten out of us in the Tasman Sea. I have an idea it Might be Australian territory but not sure...cheers.................pete

dom
12th July 2008, 15:04
The group consists of at least 122 small islands and islets that sit atop the three carbonate platforms that comprise the Houtman Abrolhos. These are known as the Easter, Pelsart and Wallabi Groups. The groups spread northwest to southeast across 100 km of ocean

K urgess
12th July 2008, 15:22
I distinctly remember seeing two Easter Islands listed many moons ago but now all I can find is two Christmas Islands.
One in the Pacific and now known as Kiritimati and one to the west of Oz in the Indian Ocean that exported phosphates at one time.

Kris

K urgess
12th July 2008, 15:25
Well found, Dom.(Thumb)
Halfway up the Western side of Australia off Geraldton.

R58484956
12th July 2008, 15:56
Thanks lads and Dom, another mystery solved.

28.43s 113.47e

Philthechill
13th July 2008, 09:35
Y'see what I mean about us all being clever "when Christ were a lad"? Going by the head-scratching which has been going-on, with regard to Easter Island(s), and the final result, some of us are still clever!! Yours truly excepted!!! Phil(Hippy)

WilliamH
13th July 2008, 09:54
Pete, Has Easter Island moved, went there a couple of years ago and it was in the north pacific ocean 3700km (2300m) west of Chile.

No, that Easter Island is in the Southern hemisphere,as is Chile

MikeK
13th July 2008, 10:10
I dont like to brag [ but i will ] i was quite good at steering a ship [ never knew where i was going ] does that make me clever as well .

Of course it does, keeping a straight line (as near as dammit) in all sorts of weather for a mind numbing 2 hour trick at the wheel was a skill not everyone was good at. Especially when the gyro was broken (again) and the steering was by magnetic so you had to work out the mean course either side of the lubbers line on a madly swooping compass. A good helmsman must have shaved miles off a long sea passage.

Mike

Chouan
14th July 2008, 13:21
My wife was really good at steering too. She was even used on pilotages when the AB was having to help on deck. Although a bit phased (fazed?) by it when she first started to learn, she soon picked it up, and it is now one her proudest acheivements. Our two sons find it hard to believe that it was something that she once did!

DURANGO
15th July 2008, 12:24
Of course it does, keeping a straight line (as near as dammit) in all sorts of weather for a mind numbing 2 hour trick at the wheel was a skill not everyone was good at. Especially when the gyro was broken (again) and the steering was by magnetic so you had to work out the mean course either side of the lubbers line on a madly swooping compass. A good helmsman must have shaved miles off a long sea passage.

Mike Still got me steering certifacate needed for my e.d.h . ticket goes back to 1960 aboard the Pilcomayo , i see that you where out the far east a lot Mike i take it you have memories of Shanghai best wishes Dave .

Brian Locking
15th July 2008, 14:08
She was even used on pilotages when the AB was having to help on deck.

Trust the company did not hear of it!

Chouan
15th July 2008, 18:23
Old Man's idea; with Denholm's at the time, on their OBO "Friendly Carrier". I doubt if he wrote and told them!

MikeK
15th July 2008, 18:33
Still got me steering certifacate needed for my e.d.h . ticket goes back to 1960 aboard the Pilcomayo , i see that you where out the far east a lot Mike i take it you have memories of Shanghai best wishes Dave .

Certainly have Dave but I can't say many of them were particularly good ! Mostly hordes of Red Guards demonstrating on the quay by day and hanging off tugs all night, along with thousands more gathering near the Seamen's Club on the Bund when we went ashore. Some of the times were pretty frightening and there were a few foreign seamen killed by those idjits.
When you see the neon lit den of capitalism it has become you cannot believe it is the same place !

best regards
Mike

Chouan
16th July 2008, 15:17
Actually, on reflection, there's no reason why she shouldn't have, and no reason why the company shouldn't have known. She'd done a Steering Ticket, properly, and she was signed on, so I can't see why the company should have objected. In any case, there's no practical difference between her and a first trip Cadet steering under pilotage that I can see, once both have done the required number of hours and have reached the required level of proficiency.

doric
16th July 2008, 15:30
Ken Carr,

You are spot on, I thoroughly endorse all your comments, enough said!. Terence Williams.R538301.