20th December 2008, 16:19
At anchor on Maihar (I) in March 1958 at Colombo waiting a berth the 5th and I as 4th took advantage of this break to do some maintenence on the cargo winches serving No hold.
I was always keen on football, but he was more of a runner, and the banter reflected our pursuits. Anyhow at the finish of a job up forward he commented that I could not chip an empty Beldam packing box over the bulwark from a position quite near the rail. "Of course I could, just watch me!"
A little later after gathering up all our tools I ran down the slope of the fore deck and really thumped the carboard box, alas, alack, he had placed it over a deck eye bolt!
Never felt pain like before or since, my engine room boot completely split open with the impact, and he had to practically carry me aft to my cabin. Result was a trip ashore to hosp. and diag. a broken toe and heavy bruising.
Oddly enough I came back to the ship on the launch at same time as Capt. "Crikey" Morris, and in his concern for me when re boarding the gangway he completely missed his footing and stepped one leg into the water!
No, I was not excused a watch!
20th December 2008, 16:41
Boat drill in the Bitter Lakes, I casually mentioned to one of the firemen " bet you 200 fags if you jump in" Splash he was in, had to lower a lifeboat to get him back aboard. Couple of others wanted to know if the deal was still on.
No more bets after that one.
20th December 2008, 16:57
Pleased to see the Brocks boys at it again.
JAPottinger's mention of Colombo brings memories. We were there for weeks in 1944 (or 5 -forget which). We had the motor boat down and ran a service to the pier every so often. The second mate was a bit of a scruff - off white patrol jacket, grey flannels, cap with no white cover; me at the engine. The battleship King George V steamed in and moored to the buoys. She had come all the way from Trincomalee. There was a steady stream of boats to and from her to the head of the jetty which was reserved for the RN.
We motored in and tied up alongside the pier; I sat back in the boat having a smoke whilst the 2nd Mate, smoking his pipe paced up and down on the pier.
The admiral's pinnace came alongside the head of the pier with the matelots at its bow and stern using their boathooks in unison.
Four high ranking officers in immaculate whites stepped ashore - one had a broad gold stripe on his epauletts and I imagine he was the admiral. They stepped briskly down the pier and as they approached the 2nd Mate I saw him stare disapprovingly at him. As they passed, the 2nd Mate looked him in the eye, removed his pipe from his mouth and said to him -"Aye, aye - Jack".
I don't suppose the admiral had heard anyone refer to him as "Jack" before.
21st December 2008, 14:12
Expanding the Christmas theme I recall Visag December 25th. 1961. I was advised that it was the tradition for the Junior Apprentice to work through the Christmas Menu twice over. I don't mean two soups then two whatevers followed by two turkey dinners etc. The requirement was to work through the menu once from soup to pudding and mince pies and then start all over again and one portion of each course had been kept warm for this purpose. In keeping with tradition (if that really was the case) I complied to the letter and was awarded 10 rupees or 10 chips as we used to call them by the Captain (it was either Charlie Gray or Duncan Campbell). At the time that was worth 15shillings - 75p in today's money. With a first year apprentices annual salary of £112, suddenly I was rich!!!! We sailed for Calcutta less than one hour after the dinner was over. Remembered as if it was only yesterday. Let's have some more stories please. John
21st December 2008, 17:26
Your mention of Charlie Grey a smaster is the first I have heard of him for many, many years. he was 2nd Mate when I was 3rd Mate - I think on the old MATHURA. I was in Vizag when it was a village and the thing I remember is seeing a hyena by the hut which was some sort of club and served warm beer. We walked back to the ship down a dirt road with a sort of jungle alongside !
24th December 2008, 18:33
2nd Mate (drumnadrochit) hid gynomin tablets (contaceptive tablets - if you've fiorgotten already - they frothed up in use!) under all of the pillows in his cabin whilst coasting. This enabled him to score from wahtever seat he found himself in after bringing a young lady to his cabin.
Then one night someone switched them all for polo mints while he was ashore.......wonder how that one turned out!!!