What was the most frightening thing that happened to you?

Arthur Jenner
12th February 2009, 23:40
Apart from the time I was nearly lost overboard in the middle of the night and the number of times we returned from a night on the turps and couldn't find the ship, my most scary time was while the ship was leaving a quay; going astern on a backspring to bring her head around; slowly easing out the wire which had about a turn and a half on the bitts. The wire sizzling and sparking as it tried to saw through the steel while I am wondering what would happen should the wire snap or should a snag in the wire catch the leg of my dungarees and take me around the bitts and through the fairlead. Glad I don't have to do that anymore

john mc ginley
16th February 2009, 22:27
hello arthur. one of my scary moments was in goteborg in sweden.we were berthed in goteborg,awaiting cargo. it was midday and i had a bit of time on my hands.had a shower,went into my cabin.it was very warm,opened the port holes to let some air into the cabin.i heard a noise from the dockside.not thinking i put my head through the port hole,to see what the noise was. it was some dockers kicking a ball around the dock. i was watching the dockers having a kick around when i heard the waters starting to lash the side of the ship and the dockside.the after end ropes grinded up the side of the ship,( i pulled my head in just as the ropes scraped past the porthole )(I HAD NEARLY LOST THE HEAD). it turned out the swedes were launching a ship from the ship yard ,on the other side of the river gote , and we had not been informed.the river gote is not that broad a river ,so the waves from the launching was quite heavy .(COULD HAVE BEEN HEADS OR TAILS)?????

kudu
18th February 2009, 19:29
Hi Arthur,
One day,in late april I think whilst we were at anchor at Baie Comeau in
Quebec,I fancied a swim.It was very warm (for the time of the year) and the
water looked inviting.Me and a few others jumped in off the pilot ladder.The
water was freezing.It must have been melt water on top of the sea water.
I surfaced hyper ventolating,I also found myself many yards down stream
the current was very strong.I was a young man and quite a strong swimmer
but it took every ounce of strength to make it back to the ladder.I had thoughts of ending up in the mouth of the St Lawrence somewhere.
Kudu.

Gareth Jones
19th February 2009, 01:04
hello arthur. one of my scary moments was in goteborg in sweden.we were berthed in goteborg,awaiting cargo. it was midday and i had a bit of time on my hands.had a shower,went into my cabin.it was very warm,opened the port holes to let some air into the cabin.i heard a noise from the dockside.not thinking i put my head through the port hole,to see what the noise was. it was some dockers kicking a ball around the dock. i was watching the dockers having a kick around when i heard the waters starting to lash the side of the ship and the dockside.the after end ropes grinded up the side of the ship,( i pulled my head in just as the ropes scraped past the porthole )(I HAD NEARLY LOST THE HEAD). it turned out the swedes were launching a ship from the ship yard ,on the other side of the river gote , and we had not been informed.the river gote is not that broad a river ,so the waves from the launching was quite heavy .(COULD HAVE BEEN HEADS OR TAILS)?????

The dockers might have ended up with 2 footballs john !

john mc ginley
21st February 2009, 21:33
The dockers might have ended up with 2 footballs john !

good idea Gareth if scotland played with 2 balls we may score some goals?????

paisleymerchant
21st February 2009, 22:20
I was on a cadetship anchored in the mississipi river coming back from a night on the bevy not pissed but quite happy.
The gangway was down and the launch caught the gangway pulling it out slightly from the ships side. A new Ch/Stwd and his wife was joining and ne being a good a/s had offered to take his suitcase up the gangway for him just as i was climbing onto it it unhooked from the launch and a gap appeared sure enough i went straight down between the gap right into the river luckily i dropped the suitcase and grabbed hold of the gangway though i did get soaked.
Mind you the lads were not too happy with me ! yep the Ch/Stwd had the mail in the suitcase last seen floating away. I nearly got lynched !...lol

bugeyes
19th January 2013, 05:39
Hey Arthur, I was serving on the Cable Ship Long Lines and we were heading home back to the states,I slept in the top bunk.The overhead was only about 2 ft above my body when lying down..we hit a storm in the north atlantic that was pretty rough.I woke up at 2am standing up in my bunk thinking that this is how i die..lost at sea.luckily the seas pushed us back over..Next day was still rough and i had asked the mate how much we rolled last night.he informed ne that the guage on the bridge showed 52 degrees.I went up to the bridge to see the guage and the deck dept was installing plexiglass windows in the bridge where the seas had busted them out..The bridge was 7 decks above the main deck.

tom roberts
19th January 2013, 12:46
Meeting my first mother in law , but by the time I met my third mother in law the fear had waned , and I had stopped sh****g myself.

trotterdotpom
19th January 2013, 14:03
Tom,three m-i-laws! How many toasters does one man need?

For those addressing Arthur Jenner, sadly we lost him about three years ago.

John T

Hugh Ferguson
19th January 2013, 14:13
Without doubt, standing on a balanced tween-deck hatch board- over a queen beam- and finding myself clinging to the coaming by my finger nails, hoping there would be somebody to haul me out of this predicament.
Fortunately there was because there was nothing but a few tanks and jeeps in the lower hold. I never made that mistake again!

R58484956
19th January 2013, 16:17
When a tg turbine came out through the casing. No one hurt.

TOM ALEXANDER
20th January 2013, 08:36
Apart from the time I was nearly lost overboard in the middle of the night and the number of times we returned from a night on the turps and couldn't find the ship, my most scary time was while the ship was leaving a quay; going astern on a backspring to bring her head around; slowly easing out the wire which had about a turn and a half on the bitts. The wire sizzling and sparking as it tried to saw through the steel while I am wondering what would happen should the wire snap or should a snag in the wire catch the leg of my dungarees and take me around the bitts and through the fairlead. Glad I don't have to do that anymore

Similar deal - leaving the berth in the Calumet River in Chicago, the aft tug decided to show off and applied full power away from the quay before we had let go the aft (wire)spring. Fortunately an unusual thing happened - it stranded before it let go. 2nd. mate hit the deck on the top of the aft accomodation, couple of deck hands disappeared through the door of the same, while I jumped into the open tonnage hatch, clinging to the coaming. When the wire parted it wound all the way up the aft starboard samson post, leaving a visual imprint of the lay of the wire in the paint. Way too close for comfort. (MAD)

Gleo
20th January 2013, 14:20
I was 1st Lecky on a RoRo in Italy, moored stern to. We were just about to leave the berth at 02:30 when the ship took on a Stbd list. Ballast was pumped to bring her upright whereupon shortly later she listed to Port very fast, went over approx 45 deg before the bilge keels hit bottom and stopped. I was on the Stbd boat deck with my wife and two young boys, a 2 year old and 6 year old. After a lot of nothing happening a decision amongst the guys we launched the stbd life-raft. At the same time the 2nd Eng and the 2nd Mate attempted to launch the port lifeboat. The 2nd mate ended up in the water having fallen quite a way when he released the fastenings holding the boat into its deck mount. He managed to climb back aboard up a Jacobs ladder and eventually they got the boat in the water. Meantime the rest of us were going down the Jacobs ladder on the Stbd side. I went down with my 2 year old under my arm and my 6 year old followed on his own next. More by pure luck no one was hurt and our lifeboat came round and took us off the life-raft and then across to the wharf. Not something you forget in a hurry, this happened just before Xmas 1981.

Terry Worsley
22nd February 2013, 23:20
Back in the late 40's Buenos Aires was a very dodgy place to be and many seamen were robbed by the police and put in jail for the night accused of being drunk. I had a somewhat different experience. I was in SS Sandsend and saw in the paper that the SS Riodene was also in port. As I had a good friend, Jack Carsley serving in the Riodene, I caught a bus and located the Riodene where I spent a pleasant couple of hours chewing the fat. Around 9.00pm I decided to go back aboard and as I was heading down the docks towards the gate, carrying with me some American magazine (Life, Saturday Evening Post etc) which Jack had given to me, I was stopped by a Marinero (Docks Police). He took the magazines from me one by one, flicked through them and through them on the deck. I bent down to pick them up and when I was upright again I found the Marinero had his revolver in his hand and was gesturing with it for me to follow him - not as I would have thought to the office at the dock gate which was only about 30 yards away and brightly lit, but back along the dockside which was extremely dark. One does not argue with a guy carrying a gun so I walked along with him. Eventually he stopped where there were steps going down to the water and I could just discern a boat of some kind at the foot of the steps. The Marinero called out and a short conversation went on in Spanish between the Marinero and someone on the boat. At the end of which the Marinero again gestured with his gun for me to go down the steps and onto the boat. By this time I was more than seriously worried - I had heard rumours of seamen being robbed and their bodies found floating in the docks so there was no way that I was getting on that boat. I stepped back a pace and lunged forward pushing the Marinero over the edge of the dock - whether he went straight into the water or hit the boat I didn't wait to find out and I ran like the wind. I was totally unaware of the direction I was heading, but luckily I spotted the funnel of the Riodene and I ran aboard. I found myself in an accommodation alley and I opened the first door I came across. The room was empty (it it strange what one does when in a panic, and believe me I was certainly in one at that time) I got into the bunk, covered myself with the counterpane and there I stayed. After what seemed an eternity, the rightful occupant of the cabin appeared and after he had got over the shock of finding a stranger in his bed and I had explained what had taken place he told me that the docks were crowded with police and Marineros, all with their guns drawn. My new-found friend then took me to Jack's cabin and it was arranged that I stay aboard that night. At around mid-day the following day, I went ashore accompanied by Jack and another guy I went ashore and out through the gate without incident when I caught a bus and went back aboard the Sandsend. I didn't go ashore again that trip. When I have related this story to different people I was often asked 'what happened to the Marinero' my reply was simple - I couldn't care less what happened to him or if he was alive or dead because I am convinced that if I had got aboard that boat I would have been the one who finished up dead. I never did find out out what happened to the Marinero and when I met Jack again months later he was unable to solve the mystery either, which is a pity.

John Rogers
22nd February 2013, 23:34
Hi Arthur,
One day,in late april I think whilst we were at anchor at Baie Comeau in
Quebec,I fancied a swim.It was very warm (for the time of the year) and the
water looked inviting.Me and a few others jumped in off the pilot ladder.The
water was freezing.It must have been melt water on top of the sea water.
I surfaced hyper ventolating,I also found myself many yards down stream
the current was very strong.I was a young man and quite a strong swimmer
but it took every ounce of strength to make it back to the ladder.I had thoughts of ending up in the mouth of the St Lawrence somewhere.
Kudu.

I done the same thing,water was black and freezing,took my breath away.

bgrace
24th February 2013, 19:04
Back in the late 40's Buenos Aires was a very dodgy place to be and many seamen were robbed by the police and put in jail for the night accused of being drunk. I had a somewhat different experience. I was in SS Sandsend and saw in the paper that the SS Riodene was also in port. As I had a good friend, Jack Carsley serving in the Riodene, I caught a bus and located the Riodene where I spent a pleasant couple of hours chewing the fat. Around 9.00pm I decided to go back aboard and as I was heading down the docks towards the gate, carrying with me some American magazine (Life, Saturday Evening Post etc) which Jack had given to me, I was stopped by a Marinero (Docks Police). He took the magazines from me one by one, flicked through them and through them on the deck. I bent down to pick them up and when I was upright again I found the Marinero had his revolver in his hand and was gesturing with it for me to follow him - not as I would have thought to the office at the dock gate which was only about 30 yards away and brightly lit, but back along the dockside which was extremely dark. One does not argue with a guy carrying a gun so I walked along with him. Eventually he stopped where there were steps going down to the water and I could just discern a boat of some kind at the foot of the steps. The Marinero called out and a short conversation went on in Spanish between the Marinero and someone on the boat. At the end of which the Marinero again gestured with his gun for me to go down the steps and onto the boat. By this time I was more than seriously worried - I had heard rumours of seamen being robbed and their bodies found floating in the docks so there was no way that I was getting on that boat. I stepped back a pace and lunged forward pushing the Marinero over the edge of the dock - whether he went straight into the water or hit the boat I didn't wait to find out and I ran like the wind. I was totally unaware of the direction I was heading, but luckily I spotted the funnel of the Riodene and I ran aboard. I found myself in an accommodation alley and I opened the first door I came across. The room was empty (it it strange what one does when in a panic, and believe me I was certainly in one at that time) I got into the bunk, covered myself with the counterpane and there I stayed. After what seemed an eternity, the rightful occupant of the cabin appeared and after he had got over the shock of finding a stranger in his bed and I had explained what had taken place he told me that the docks were crowded with police and Marineros, all with their guns drawn. My new-found friend then took me to Jack's cabin and it was arranged that I stay aboard that night. At around mid-day the following day, I went ashore accompanied by Jack and another guy I went ashore and out through the gate without incident when I caught a bus and went back aboard the Sandsend. I didn't go ashore again that trip. When I have related this story to different people I was often asked 'what happened to the Marinero' my reply was simple - I couldn't care less what happened to him or if he was alive or dead because I am convinced that if I had got aboard that boat I would have been the one who finished up dead. I never did find out out what happened to the Marinero and when I met Jack again months later he was unable to solve the mystery either, which is a pity.

I had a near death experience in Buenos Aires in 57 or 58 , we went ashore heading for a club, a few streets away from us we could see large fires and a lot of gunfire and shouting, we later found out it was Peronists staging a revolt. We found a club and then one of our crew went and squeezed a girls backside, there was a hell of a commotion and we were advised to leave quickly, I can still hear the noise of the bullets hitting wall by us as we ran for our lives, somehow we all made back to the ship but never went ashore again

sparkie2182
24th February 2013, 21:08
"one of our crew went and squeezed a girls backside"

Wasn't Evita's...........was it?

:)

Davie M
25th February 2013, 12:49
good idea Gareth if scotland played with 2 balls we may score some goals?????

Hi John, They certainly had more balls than that yesterday.
Davie

deckboypeggy
25th February 2013, 16:41
The first time i went into the ROUND HOUSE pub . i think it was KG5 royal docks over 2 swing bridges,up from Shaw Savellie berth however, i had never seen that many STEAM QUEENS.in one place.scary then but not frighting.

Barrie Youde
25th February 2013, 17:36
#10

Precisely the same experience as Hugh. We were in ballast in North China (Hsin Kiang). Radnorshire (A-Class Blue Funnel, transferred to Glen Line).

In a dimly lit tween deck. Number one hatch. Port side. One hatch-board had been pulled to one side, to starboard, leaving a gap of about five feet above an empty lower hold, with a potential drop of about fifteen feet or more. Unknowing, unwary and in the dim light I stepped off the hatch board. Fortunately I was facing forward. My left leg went straight down the gap and my left arm automatically went up and out. Fortunately my left armpit fell precisely on the hatch-coaming, with my right leg from knee downwards still on the hatchboard; and the fall was thus arrested completely, with no injury. But it was a terrifying experience, never forgotten.

What made it worse was that I was alone and it would have been a long time before anybody would either have found me or even might have heard any shout from me.

bgrace
25th February 2013, 21:10
"one of our crew went and squeezed a girls backside"

Wasn't Evita's...........was it?

:)

if it had been, there wouldn't be much flesh, she died in 1952

Pat Kennedy
25th February 2013, 22:32
The first time i went into the ROUND HOUSE pub . i think it was KG5 royal docks over 2 swing bridges,up from Shaw Savellie berth however, i had never seen that many STEAM QUEENS.in one place.scary then but not frighting.

They were not Steam Queens, they were just plain old Fairy Queens.
Steam Queens were the laundry maids on the passenger ships, and those I sailed with were very desirable, but wouldnt consider anything less than a third mate.
Pat[=P]

portsidebob
26th February 2013, 05:37
We were out of Seattle and in route to our assigned patrol area in the North Pacific at 15 knots when a fire broke out in the engine room. A fuel line to one of the main diesels cut loose spraying fuel over the exhaust manifolds of both.

At the time we did not know the cause or extent the fire only that we were dead in the water and and from my general quarters station on the signal bridge there was a great deal of smoke coming from amidship. Both small boats were swung out and lowered to the rail and rafts freed up.

It took about 30 minutes to extinguish the fire which was largely contained to the engine room. It took several more hours to figure out if we were going to need a tow back to Seattle or could get something on line. The diesels were toast but these cutters have two gas turbines as well and one still worked. So it was back to port on one shaft and straight into a shipyard for repairs. Fortunately no injuries.

John Dryden
26th February 2013, 06:25
I know what you mean portside,engine room a'fire/ never experienced that fortunately but has to be a worst thing to happen.

munroejah
17th March 2013, 13:32
#10

Precisely the same experience as Hugh. We were in ballast in North China (Hsin Kiang). Radnorshire (A-Class Blue Funnel, transferred to Glen Line).

In a dimly lit tween deck. Number one hatch. Port side. One hatch-board had been pulled to one side, to starboard, leaving a gap of about five feet above an empty lower hold, with a potential drop of about fifteen feet or more. Unknowing, unwary and in the dim light I stepped off the hatch board. Fortunately I was facing forward. My left leg went straight down the gap and my left arm automatically went up and out. Fortunately my left armpit fell precisely on the hatch-coaming, with my right leg from knee downwards still on the hatchboard; and the fall was thus arrested completely, with no injury. But it was a terrifying experience, never forgotten.

What made it worse was that I was alone and it would have been a long time before anybody would either have found me or even might have heard any shout from me.

Frightening moments? I've had a few to quote the song

Reminds me of when I fell 25 ft into the lower hold of no1 on the Benwyvis when I was cadet. We had arrived in Amsterdam after a very slow and tedious passage from Southampton the previous evening. By the time we had berthed all hands had worked hugely long hours and we were to start loading in the after end of no1 lower hold.
The mate appeared in the cadets cabin requiring one of us to work through the night lashing cars on the very top of the stow in the fore end and at the same time do cargo watch because under said cars was a treasure trove of cargo consisting largely of cigarettes and alcohol. I drew the short straw or to be more accurate the wrong playing card.
Down in the after end of the lower hold a gang of dockers were loading cartons of condensed milk throughout the night. By the time I had finished all the lashing it was well into midnight shift and I sat on the edge of the stow to carry out the remaining time cargo watching.... next thing I recall I was lying prostrate amongst the dockers. I never stopped to wonder who were the more surprised ... my new found Dutch friends who broke my fall or myself. I was badly shaken and shock set in but I was unscathed otherwise. Wouldn't you know, when I was got up on deck the powers that be decided that I should spend some time on the end of a broom sweeping the fore deck 'just in case shock set in'.

Another buttock clenching experience. Same ship, a couple of trips later. This time hanging under no2 jumbo table in a bosun's chair painting in all the dark corners. Nothing drew my attention to what had happened but when I realised what was happening it had my 100% undivided attention.
The splice on the lizard which I had made fast under the table and from which I was hanging was old and caked with paint. So much so that the splice had started to work it's way loose.
Was I in danger? Some of the old hands didn't think so but I was down from there as quick as I could.

The third occasion didn't directly affect me but I witnessed something which made my blood run cold. Again same ship, in Christmas Is during the H bomb (A bomb? can't remember) tests in 1957. We had a full load for there and this incident unfolded in the lower hold of no3That particular class of heavy lifter had long deep holds and if I remember the length of each of the three hatch tops alone was 84 or 85 ft. They were big and to get a lot of the big lifts under the jumbo hook it was necessary to bull cargo, particularly stuff in the fore end, into the hatch square. Picture one mate, who will remain nameless, standing on the tank top directing the driver on the bulling winch. The bulling wire led from the winch drum end to the cargo to be dragged via a snatch block on the after bulkhead. I guess by now some of you have a pretty fair idea where the mate was standing. Correct. In the bight of the wire. No prizes for guessing what happened next. The block parted company from the bulkhead and proceeded forward at supersonic speed in the direction of said mate. It should have hit him just below head head height........ at that precise moment,or to be even more precise, a microsecond prior, our hero bent down to examine something on the tank top...just as the block passed over him en route to it's rendezvous with the for'd bulkhead. I was frightened. The mate? I'm not so sure.

expats
13th May 2013, 15:51
I've had a few but none to match that of the bosun on the "Baltic Merchant" in early 1966 en route to Leningrad.........

Ships would get as far up the Baltic as possible before getting stuck in the ice, radio their position and wait for an icebreaker. When there were enough ships to form a line astern convoy out would come the 'breaker and we'd follow like duckings.
We'd just been picked up to follow the icebreaker 'Lenin' into port and were about three or for ships behind her. She stopped, the ships ahead stopped, we stopped but the tanker behind us didn't. She ploughed straight into our stern destroying all the crew accomodation aft and, for good measure, dropped her anchor into our stern.
Luckily, as we'd been icebound for several days all the crew were on 'daywork' so no-one was in bed. However, the bosun had just left the toilet, which ended up about 4 inches wide.

His luck? He hadn't found a 'News of the World' which he'd meant to read and so he'd, to coin a phrase, 'cut his stay short. Had he found it his stay in the toilet would have been longer (and thinner) than he'd expected...

peter3807
20th May 2013, 02:23
A birds nest of anchor, anchor chain and 200m of pennant unwinding itself as I was trying to work out how to do the same.

And, an irate husband sticking a bread knife in my neck when trying to sort out a domestic dispute.

By far the worst was being present at the birth of both my kids.

arthur elletson
10th December 2013, 23:45
had a few when I was at sea one I remember was we were homeward bound from brazil(ss rialto 1969)discharged most of the cargo in Dunkirk then sailed to sunderland it was in jan 69 in the north sea when a freak wave hit us side on ,I was on the top bunk and ended up on the single bunk on the otherside of the cabin the second mate said later the gauge on the bridge had passed the no return point finished going to sea after that(well for a week)

charles henry
12th December 2013, 20:36
Climbing half way up a cargo net from a lifeboat which had about 60 men in it when the ship which had lowered the cargo net for us was torpedoed.

Eventually worked out well, still here....

Chas

retfordmackem
13th December 2013, 17:10
Stuck in ice off Stockholm for several weeks aboard British Reliance Jan 1972. We walked across the Baltic sea onto another BP ship the Merlin to get essential supplies (beer of course ). On arriving back the ice had separated from the ship and we had to jump form little ice floes to another very exciting at the time ,as a naive first tripper. Upon reflection quite scary.

Leratty
29th December 2013, 12:54
Charles, hard to top that.
The B.A. stories all have some memories for me as I spent quite some time there. One amusing if stupid escapade on my part was on returning from a heavy day on the sauce & each purchasing a huge Water Mellon which we were lugging, a young Marinero stopped us seeking our B.A. passports. Anyway I as only a drunken young idiot would do grabbed his three cornered hat & took off. To this day do not know why he did not fire at me. He did chase me though I dropped my precious Water Melon & out sped him. We all eventually made it back to the ship ex Water Melon & his hat & I was in serious s... with my mates, rightfully so too.

Puffin's skipper
15th December 2014, 19:22
I had a near death experience in Buenos Aires in 57 or 58 , we went ashore heading for a club, a few streets away from us we could see large fires and a lot of gunfire and shouting, we later found out it was Peronists staging a revolt. We found a club and then one of our crew went and squeezed a girls backside, there was a hell of a commotion and we were advised to leave quickly, I can still hear the noise of the bullets hitting wall by us as we ran for our lives, somehow we all made back to the ship but never went ashore again

Larnanca, Cyprus.. cant remember the date, early sixties I suppose.. Shell white oil tanker,"Hatasia" I think? We foraged ashore (against orders) and heard a "firework" display in the distance... Took no notice at all till full platoon of "camouflaged" Brit 'peace keeping' squaddies suddenly popped up out of bushes at the side of the road with blackened faces and twigs in their helmets and and informed us that the "firework display" we were heading towards was actually artillery fire from the Greek & Turk opposing forces both knocking the crap out of each other for ownership the town.. (Ouch) After their sound advice we went back to the ship and settled for a few cans of Tennants and a game of crib. (Thumb)

Puffin's skipper
15th December 2014, 19:29
And again... Just as bad, Gydinia, Poland Xmas 1962... On walking ashore 3 of us decided not to wait for barrier gates of level crossing to open but as no trains were in sight just run across to other side.. To be shot at (honestly) by a guard in a sentry hut just 50 yards upline...
He missed with 3 shots and we were arrested, (not very gently) when his backup guards arrived. At the Police station we finally did get an interpreter and complained bitterly to him that while we were in the wrong jumping the crossing gates there was still no need to fire "warning" shots at us...
He answered that this was a place the trains HAD to slow down and a common site where 'defectors to the west' tried to jump aboard slow moving trains bound for Germany. They weren't warning shots he'd fired.. He had an 007 licence. Had he killed us on the "track" he would have had a 1000 Zloty reward for each corpse.... He was just (thankfully) a very bad shot.. (We paid our "fine" to be let go with 2 Bri-Nylon shirts & a pair of Levi's) As we all knew their value in communist Poland naturally we were all wearing several "lairs" of 'western' clothing against the Baltic cold winter....! [

spongebob
15th December 2014, 19:29
They were not Steam Queens, they were just plain old Fairy Queens.
Steam Queens were the laundry maids on the passenger ships, and those I sailed with were very desirable, but wouldnt consider anything less than a third mate.
Pat[=P]

Was that three matings on the one night Pat or where you allowed spread it out?

Bob

Puffin's skipper
15th December 2014, 20:02
Charles, hard to top that.
The B.A. stories all have some memories for me as I spent quite some time there. One amusing if stupid escapade on my part was on returning from a heavy day on the sauce & each purchasing a huge Water Mellon which we were lugging, a young Marinero stopped us seeking our B.A. passports. Anyway I as only a drunken young idiot would do grabbed his three cornered hat & took off. To this day do not know why he did not fire at me. He did chase me though I dropped my precious Water Melon & out sped him. We all eventually made it back to the ship ex Water Melon & his hat & I was in serious s... with my mates, rightfully so too.

I remember that in B.A. about 1963 there was a Juncta or something in power and they were pretty naughty. We were advise by the agent that even non-smokers like myself should carry a few pack of cigs in case we were "asked" for a fag by the 'National service' guarda we might well get a gun butt in the face for being a tight pratt if we refused. I also remember that they had banned bar girls too... At closing time for assignations with "ladies of the night" each willing party had to travel alone in a separate taxi or risk arrest... [=P]

trotterdotpom
15th December 2014, 23:01
I recall a bar in 25 de Mayo, BA, where a red light was flashed up inside to warn that the police were in the street outside. If a punter struck up a friendship with a girl, she would leave the bar first and the bloke would leave a couple of moments later and follow her down the street. I suppose he was going to meet her parents or something.

John T

tunatownshipwreck
16th December 2014, 07:06
I recall a bar in 25 de Mayo, BA, where a red light was flashed up inside to warn that the police were in the street outside. If a punter struck up a friendship with a girl, she would leave the bar first and the bloke would leave a couple of moments later and follow her down the street. I suppose he was going to meet her parents or something.

John T

I'm amazed at how much you've learned about this world, John.

trotterdotpom
16th December 2014, 11:21
I'm amazed at how much you've learned about this world, John.

Well, that's the way it is when you're a world traveller, Tunatown.

John T

tiachapman
16th December 2014, 16:42
inpecting the ballast tanks on a bulker one tea time before leaving dry dock on the Tyne . someone dropped the lid when i was down there EVER TRIED LIFING ON OF THOSE WHILE ON TOP OF ACCESS LADDER

Puffin's skipper
17th December 2014, 01:28
Fooling about painting the bow of a Hungry "H" boat on stages in Sapelle, right up the Nigerian creeks.. (fresh water) One or two of us fell in the river (due to horse play) and the local shore gang kept shouting a word that sounded like "Oomberca" or similar... we replied, "Yeah, yeah mate, and Oomberca to you too Pal." as we lazily swam to the Quayside ladder and climbed out. Later on that weekend, when we 'borrowed' a couple of canoes to paddle up river and ended up capsizing them we were having a laugh swimming about and cooling down in the humid jungle heat when this "Oomberca" shout was again heard shouted from well meaning locals, combined with a gesture, both arms fully extended making a sort of up and down 'clapping' gesture with both hands..?? We again thought this was some sort of friendly greeting and ignored it... or did it back with our own fully extended arms in friendly answer. ? Yeah, Ommberca mate, oomberca.. to you as well... and clapped the gesture back...

When loading Mahogany log deck cargo a few days later a local docker fell in off the logs when putting the chains on and again all the locals screamed in unison, "Oomberca...Oomberca", alarmingly, pointing across to dark shapes on the mud of the far bank.. and again with extended arms making this strange up and down clapping gesture..

What the "F***" does 'Oomberca' mean? I asked one of the English speaking Freetown loaders in charge of the Nigerian shore gang... 'Piss off' or something similar.?

"No" he replied..."It means Crocodile"... (Ouch) (The arms clapping gesture was just imitating their snapping jaws!) Oops

Puffin's skipper
17th December 2014, 02:22
Well, that's the way it is when you're a world traveller, Tunatown.

John T

I was once in a "very" rough port called Walvis bay in Orange FS, South Africa.. I was on a white oil Shell tanker taking fuel oil in for fishing boats, most of which all seemed German crewed..By HUGE Germans. The run ashore was unbelievable, It was just a canning factory and a couple of bars with the roughest seaman I've ever met ashore in my life.. It made that 'star wars' bar look civilised... and the hard case Argentinian gauchos at the 'Rosario' Corn beef bars look like ballerinas ...
The reason I mention it is later when I told someone in dockland Durban, (itself not a holiday camp) I was told.. 'Hey, Walvis bay, Oh, you've been up to Tunatown have you? How come you still have ears?"
If YOU have sailed out of a Tunatown... You DO have my respect...

tunatownshipwreck
17th December 2014, 06:55
I was once in a "very" rough port called Walvis bay in Orange FS, South Africa.. I was on a white oil Shell tanker taking fuel oil in for fishing boats, most of which all seemed German crewed..By HUGE Germans. The run ashore was unbelievable, It was just a canning factory and a couple of bars with the roughest seaman I've ever met ashore in my life.. It made that 'star wars' bar look civilised... and the hard case Argentinian gauchos at the 'Rosario' Corn beef bars look like ballerinas ...
The reason I mention it is later when I told someone in dockland Durban, (itself not a holiday camp) I was told.. 'Hey, Walvis bay, Oh, you've been up to Tunatown have you? How come you still have ears?"
If YOU have sailed out of a Tunatown... You DO have my respect...
I grew up in Tunatown (Astoria, Oregon). Rather calm now, but you can read some scary stories on the internet.

alan ward
17th December 2014, 12:25
I was once in a "very" rough port called Walvis bay in Orange FS, South Africa.. I was on a white oil Shell tanker taking fuel oil in for fishing boats, most of which all seemed German crewed..By HUGE Germans. The run ashore was unbelievable, It was just a canning factory and a couple of bars with the roughest seaman I've ever met ashore in my life.. It made that 'star wars' bar look civilised... and the hard case Argentinian gauchos at the 'Rosario' Corn beef bars look like ballerinas ...
The reason I mention it is later when I told someone in dockland Durban, (itself not a holiday camp) I was told.. 'Hey, Walvis bay, Oh, you've been up to Tunatown have you? How come you still have ears?"
If YOU have sailed out of a Tunatown... You DO have my respect...

Is that the same WB as the one in Namibia or,as it was,South West Africa.I always liked it there,mind you compared to Liverpool who wouldn`t?

Michael Taylor
17th December 2014, 13:59
Walvis Bay the only place I was ever "beaten up" in my seagoing career. Went for a hair cut and was attacked by a bunch of Germans..must have been early '60s. Was there again a few years ago when visiting Namibia and pleased to say things have changed.

tom roberts
17th December 2014, 20:34
Doing a pub relief in Sheffield,in an area called Manor, I had run three pubs in Liverpool in areas you would not call touristy at all as well as a few pubs as trainee manager in the high spots of Birkenhead and one in Rockferry,but they were holiday camps compared to the Manor. I couldn't get out of that sh*t hole quick enough.

Puffin's skipper
19th December 2014, 18:34
Is that the same WB as the one in Namibia or,as it was,South West Africa.I always liked it there,mind you compared to Liverpool who wouldn`t?

Yeah that was the one, Ahhh.. Nambia was it? Yeah SW Africa... Thought it was O.F.State but I never knew where the F*** I ever was coasting Africa to tell the truth... Yes, German Tuna crews or something ran the whole place......Rough as Sh*t but as you quite rightly tell above, compared to Bootle, or the Yates wine loge, Liverpool (Sefton Street?) it would be probably be deemed dead posh..

I remember a tale about them putting in planning to open the Knowsley Safari Park in Liverpool... Objectors said, "You cant put wild Lions & Tigers right next to a bloody Council estate, what if they escape?"

The Council's answer was, "They will simply have to fend for themselves, like all the other poor bastards up in Kirby". (K)

African coasting... We ran up, down and around the cape coasts, it was 'English speak' ashore in Mombasa, Portuguese in Lorenzo Marque's (FANTASTIC run ashore in the 60's before the Communist's chucked out the Portugese!) Over to Tamatave (Madagascar) so now ordering beer in French, then round to Durban ( Afrikans ) Cape town, (back into English again) and up Walvis bay and now all German bars ashore..
The only way I ever remembered where the "F*** we were was to look at the barmans face when I ordered a drink in the wrong language and then note the language he spoke in his vague reply..

It really was quite a rough coast ashore to work in the 60's... but as you quite rightly say, not as bad as the Pier Head & Scotty Road was.

Puffin's skipper
19th December 2014, 19:03
Someone mentioned the Round House near Shaw Sav's KG5 ? It made Danny's Bar in Amsterdam look straight..
Yup... That was definitely scary to some of us.... This is well before the millennium however..
Since 2000 it has now seemingly got far less scary to some... Normal to the extent that two blokes kissing each other now seems almost compulsory viewing if you watch any and every early evening soap now shown on TV.... no wonder the birth rate is dropping.