The REAL reason for the demise of the R/Officer

surfaceblow
10th August 2008, 03:51
I received this a few days ago and I thought that I should share share it.

A mate is said to be a man who knows a great deal about very little and he goes along knowing more and more about less and less until he finally knows practically everything about nothilng...

An engineer on the other hand is man who knows very little about a great deal and keeps on knowing less and less about more and more until he finally knows practically nothing about everything...

A radio operator starts out knowing practically everything about everything and ends up knowing nothing about nothing due to his association with mates and engineers...

kewl dude
10th August 2008, 04:02
MOST People aboard, let alone ashore, knew all that R/O's did.

At least on US Flag ships I sailed. The RO was the fella that prepared ships forms, in duplicate, prior to arrival and while in port. The RO was the Captains Secretary, after all he already had his own typewriter. The RO took care of the ships paperwork.

Greg Hayden
An engineer

Ron Stringer
10th August 2008, 08:09
Take one can of oil and one can of water. Pour into large container and stir vigourously (or, in respect of the nationality of the contributors, vigorously).......

Shipbuilder
10th August 2008, 19:35
There was no "demise" of radio officers, they just moved on to "greener pastures," the demise of the British Merchant Navy followed shortly after.

Bob

vasco
11th August 2008, 01:21
The proper duty of the R/O was to lend moral support to the 3/O at midnight over a can or two.

spongebob
11th August 2008, 01:28
The Radio Officer's most important function on ships that I sailed on was to act as paymaster, good for an advance in a foreign port.
His next was to pass on all the airwaves gossip news at breakfast.
Probably the two most vital jobs at sea.

BA204259
11th August 2008, 07:39
The proper duty of the R/O was to lend moral support to the 3/O at midnight over a can or two.

I was never derelict in my duty...It was the least I could do after he'd made me a mug of kye (with condensed milk) at around 10 pm.

BA204259
11th August 2008, 08:17
There was no "demise" of radio officers, they just moved on to "greener pastures," the demise of the British Merchant Navy followed shortly after.

Bob

Well said Bob, exactly what I think.. or what I like to think, anyway. :) :)

BobClay
11th August 2008, 08:49
Probably the two most vital jobs at sea.

Also .... get the footy results (also involves sorting the Vernons Pools where applicable)...

With some companies ... run the bar (inputs and outputs).

Fix the film projector when it blows up.

andysk
11th August 2008, 10:04
The Radio Officer was on board for :

(In no particular order)

Football results
BBC World Service sports generally
Run the officer's bar
Organise parties with the local nurses home, telephone exchange, etc etc
Swap the Walport films with other ships when in port

Oh yes,

and be ready & willing to initiate a distress when no other options remained.

Cutsplice
11th August 2008, 18:01
I certainly missed the Sparkies, always enjoyed their chat when they strolled on to the bridge from time to time.

mikeg
11th August 2008, 18:06
Swap the Walport films with other ships when in port




....and wasn't media heavy in those days (EEK)

tunatownshipwreck
12th August 2008, 02:16
I saw many a R/O drafted into typing services while a ship was in port, and those on ships from non-English speaking nations were often the ship translator when the ship agents and other callers were on board.

Shipbuilder
12th August 2008, 07:54
I sailed in one ship where the captain hated typing. When it came time to type his voyage report out, he came up to me with it. As it was always as short as he could make it, it was no great job. The important thing to me was that having given me the handwritten report, he would depart with my radio accounts & presently return with them all up to date & perfectly balanced - fair exchange!
Bob

Robinj
12th August 2008, 12:28
I agree with Vasco, but maybe more than one or two.

Derek Roger
12th August 2008, 15:28
An amusing thread.
My only irk with Sparkies was in port when the mates were working cargo and the engineers cleaning boilers / scavenge spaces etc the Sparks was more often than not on a sightseeing trip somewhere .

We did get our own back once in New Orleans . The 2nd sparks had come down the engine room at sea looking for distilled water which I gave him from the Evaporator discharge . When in new Orleans he was send for more which he decided to take himself from the Evap again . The unit being shut down was full of sea water!!! Topped up the batteries and ruined them . We had to wait 2 days for a new set to arrive .
Happy days up Bourbon Street .

Cheers Derek

mikeg
12th August 2008, 18:44
An amusing thread.
My only irk with Sparkies was in port when the mates were working cargo and the engineers cleaning boilers / scavenge spaces etc the Sparks was more often than not on a sightseeing trip somewhere .


It was like that for me when I started as R/O in the mid 60's. I found later that being on ships without leckies and with an MED ticket shore time was necessarily curtailed or became non-existent.

Mike

K urgess
12th August 2008, 19:32
It was like that for me when I started as R/O in the mid 60's. I found later that being on ships without leckies and with an MED ticket shore time was necessarily curtailed or became non-existent.

Mike

Seconded, Mike.
With most vessels I experienced after about 1974 the chance to run off ashore would be a fine thing. Not just from a busy, busy point of view but also because of the nature of the port and the time spent there changed out of all recognition.
Besides I was always the social secretary before 74, having the gift of the gab and the spare time meant I was the phone man to the local nurse's home, etc., the one who went and hired the car and I was usually bar manager anyway.
Woe betide sparkie if the fridge wasn't stocked ready for breakfast![=P]

Kris

Tai Pan
13th August 2008, 09:31
At least in Blue Funnel I had my own steward, he used to fetch my drinks for me. what all this about bar manager, sounds to me I got out at the right time. Who did your dhobi for you. Could not exist without clean whites laid out every morning, buttons and epuletts in place. mind you that was in Glen Line.

Ron Stringer
13th August 2008, 10:57
Could not exist without clean whites laid out every morning, buttons and epuletts in place. mind you that was in Glen Line.

Noor Bux, the Burmese officers' steward on Ellerman's 'City of Lucknow' used to go at least one better than that. On a DC ship, without aircon and with a radio room having only one porthole (on the port side), it was hot in there even up the St Lawrence in winter. In the tropics it was something else, consistently above 100F. One of the biggest culprits was the 'Oceanic' broadcast receiver that worked only from 110v DC so had a big, wire-wound dropping resistor (in a protective cage) bolted on the side to reduce the 220v DC mains supply to 110v DC.

Depending on the longitude, on occasions the first radio watch of the day would be 0600 to 0800 ship's time. I would come down from the radio room about five or so minutes after 0800 and strip ready for my second shower of the day, to be cool and clean to go down to the saloon for breakfast. When I got back from the shower (no en-suite on that ship!) I would find a clean set of whites laid out on my bunk (epaulettes changed over from the shirt that I had just taken off) and my shoes, freshly whitened, on the deck alongside the bunk. Only necessary to 'crack' the legs of the shorts open (topass did love the starch) before getting dressed and heading off for a meal.

Robinj
14th August 2008, 11:49
Looks as though I got out at the right time. Must admit I did nothing when in port except get pissed, laze around and sightsee mainly pubs and bars. great life if only I could do it now. The boss won't let me get away with it.(Pint) (Pint)

Shipbuilder
14th August 2008, 13:17
R/Os day out, Cape Town 1968 (S.A. ORANJE).
Left to right: Carol Pringle (purserette), myself (3rd R/O), Judy Nelson (Children's Hostess), Andy Vost (4th R/O), Roy Mercer (2nd R/O)

The chief (Bill Eckersley) is not in this picture because we persuaded him to do the "day aboard!"

Bob