Cadet 57/61

IRW
5th October 2008, 02:08
any body remember the pilot at Tonga 'Johanssen' (sp) who became mate in Bank Line and I believe latterly master.Went more than once to the three island where we picked up copra - Appys job to ensure copra stowed well into corners not blocked out - finished up with sore rears as locals used them as target pracrive as we scrabbled in to find acres of unused space. Took a teacher (Scot) back to Vavau much reveered as a teacher - I think. But that was in the days when the Engs tried to swipe the cannons from in front of the P.O. . Happy Days[=P]

Charlie Stitt
23rd February 2009, 19:18
Yes I remember as Apprentice checking the copra was properly trimmed out. Also remember as Mate crawling along on top of the copra checking the box beams were clean ( no sulphur from previous cargo) when I come eyeball to eyeball with a dirty big rat, I broke all records getting out of there ( hate rats ). I let the 2nd Mate check the rest. Before telling him about the rat of course. :sweat:

jimthehat
23rd February 2009, 23:38
Sulphur,copra and grain in the box beams,ah the joys of being an app and mate in bankline.

jim

Alistair Macnab
24th February 2009, 02:21
any body remember the pilot at Tonga 'Johanssen' (sp) who became mate in Bank Line and I believe latterly master.Went more than once to the three island where we picked up copra - Appys job to ensure copra stowed well into corners not blocked out - finished up with sore rears as locals used them as target pracrive as we scrabbled in to find acres of unused space. Took a teacher (Scot) back to Vavau much reveered as a teacher - I think. But that was in the days when the Engs tried to swipe the cannons from in front of the P.O. . Happy Days[=P]

Captain Johnsen was a pilot in the Tongas and I believe navigated the pleasure craft that belonged to the royal family. He had been born and brought up in Germany and was a member of the Hitler Youth as was every young man at that time. I think he sailed on the "Pamir" or "Passat" during his training for a sea career. He joined Bank Line and had a successful career as Mate and Master. His wife was a delightful lady from Liverpool who often sailed with him.
All of the above is from memory and from several wonderful evenings out in New Orleans over a span of years so I may have some of the details wrong. But you will agree, that Carl was a colourful man and his historic background makes interesting reading and just the sort of sailor you expected to find in Andrew Weir's.

I thought the Scotsman in Vava'u was a medical doctor but he may well have been an educator. He was either a Doctor Mackenzie or Doctor Matheson and was a relative of Farquhar Mackenzie, First Electrical Officer, who visited him in Vava'u when I sailed with him on "Laganbank" in 1963.

Alan Rawlinson
24th February 2009, 09:35
Alistair,

There were some really good guys in the service of the Bankline as you say, but in the name of objectivity, I would venture to say that they also had their fair share of drunks, tyrants, and social misfits, and that was only the masters! It always baffled me how the crew department came to employ some of them. Perhaps you have an answer?

Sadly, we shouldn't fall into the trap of seeing the past through rose tinted glasses.

cheers/Alan

Alistair Macnab
24th February 2009, 16:26
....and I sailed with quite a number of the drunks, tyrants and misfits! What I meant was that for good or bad, most shipmates were CHARACTERS and Carl was certainly one of them. But we tend to remember those who made an indelible impression on us, either "I will never be like him" or "that's always what I imagined a sailor to be". Reading other sites in SN, it seems that Weir's were not much different that many of the other ship operators. People who went to sea and remained at sea usually came in two flavours: "nutcases" or "well suited for the unique lifestyle".

Charlie Stitt
24th February 2009, 19:45
I always insist on wearing my rose tinted glasses when I look back on my years with Andy Weir, the good memories far outnumber the bad. It makes me feel miserable if I dwell on the memories, the likes of,as Mate, crawling out from the deep tank manhole having just spent hours of sweaty turmoil trying to get the steam coils down and steamtight etc etc. Nightmares.So from I joined my first ship in 1955 as apprentice until I left in 1967 I had nothing but a great time and all my shipmates were terrific. Now I feel happy again.[=P]

jimthehat
25th February 2009, 00:13
Charlie,
can only confirm everything you said,only three masters who were strict and tight,reggy warne, Angle and TS robertson,no drunks,and all the rest earned my respect,and that was 1952-1966,and it was the same in ASN.
JIM

Mike Agate
28th August 2012, 08:55
I remember captain Johansse,he was mate on the Larchbank,and alwas talked about the days on the Pamir.I was 1st appy,and out of my time,he was hard but fair,but Ilearnt alot from,that I used in later life.