27th March 2008, 09:01
Joined a ship in Singapore and introduced myself to the captain. He looked me up and down and said, "I hope you are better than that other useless bas****"
Unfurtunately, didn't meet my predecessor as he didn't wait to hand over to me.
27th March 2008, 11:07
quite a normal greeting, although mutual in most cases.
27th March 2008, 11:08
That reminds me of the Cadet who when paying off and at the end of his time had had a couple of beers and in the Wardroom put his arm around the Mate and said "Your'e the best Mate I've ever sailed with, no, tell a lie the second best".
27th March 2008, 13:31
May I digress slightly and mention a Captains farewell? When I paid off Anchor Line's Caledonia/GCKR, my chief, who was a lovely old Ulsterman I remember only as "Mac" (I say old because he must have been in his late forties) said to me......"It's like this.....the Old Man says you are welcome to come back next trip....but if you do you will be banned from the passenger decks....."
Something to do with "tampering with the cargo". Got the feeling he was telling me something, so I moved on.
30th March 2008, 02:09
I say, you are a polite lot!
When I posted this thread, I wondered how long it would be before someone said, "Well, were you?"
I think I was the best Sparkie he ever had (not that he ever said so!). He has the distinction of being the most incommunicative, cantankerous, bullying and intimidating man I have ever met. A huge man, he'd been a bucko mate on sailing ships, and would have cracked many a skull. Shell replaced mates and second mates on a six-monthly basis (less for the more sensitive). I saw him as a challenge and inflicted myself upon him for two years. We paid off together in Palembang. I wanted him to get into the bumboat first but he was up to my ploy. "After you, Brown", he said. We travelled supernumary to Singapore, not uttering a word to each other. He didn't buy me a beer in Singapore! He withheld my Discharge Book until the very last minute. I wasn't going to beg for it. When he thrust it at me, on Collyer Quay, I turned away and had a discreet look .... VG VG !!
I'm contemplating doing an article for QSO about my two years on Empire Tesbury with Captain Scott (New Zealander ...wonder if any of you knew him.... rephrase that, as I don't think anybody knew him ....sailed with him?
30th March 2008, 12:49
Did a short relief job (Xmas '61) on South American Saint Lines "St Essylt"/GBSW. We left London late one evening bound for either Antwerp or Bremen, can't remember which. Around 10 PM I was in the radio room preparing to open up with GNF when the door opened and a little bespectacled chap wearing a flat cap and raincoat (I thought it was the pilot) came in with a telegram form and threw it on the desk. "Send that as soon as you can" he said. I looked at the telegram, turned it over (no signature) and said "You can't just walk in here and tell me to send a telegram, it's got to have the Old Man's signature on it. Go back and get him to sign it". He said " I am the bloody Old Man". Geez... talk about getting off to a good start, how to win friends and influence people etc. Luckily for me he was a good sort and didn't bear me a grudge.