Master's Nightmares

Alistair Macnab
7th March 2009, 19:32
Reading about the "Westbank" grounding on Juan de Nova in the Madagascar Channel as detailed in the "Inverbank" thread has prompted me to start a new thread called Master's Nightmares.
Perhaps some of us will prefer to keep these primordial dreams confidential but I believe all seamen in command must have experienced troubling visions during sleep that were quite disturbing.
Mine was to be looking over the side from a speeding ship and seeing the shelving sandy bottom of the ocean and then scattered black rocks looming closer and closer to the ship's bottom. It was terrifying and I would wake up in a cold sweat!
Just to complete this in an amusing note: we were to drydock in a floating dock in New Orleans and when we (the then marine superintendent, Captain Broadley and I) were walking around the dock bottom after the ship had been lifted out of the water suddenly when we arrived at the bow, it looked like the entire forward end of the ship had been forced upwards in what could only have been some cataclysmic collision. My heart stopped and my blood ran cold. When did this happen? I was toast! Captain Broadley seeing my total dismay pointed out that the forward section of the floating drydock had not come up straight and that what looked like the horizontal was, indeed, the sloping downwards of this section of the floating dock and that was why the forward part of my ship was not resting on the blocks!
I'm glad that dreams didn't translate into reality at that time!

jimthehat
7th March 2009, 21:26
never reached the dizzy heights of master as was made medically redundant many years ago ,but I certainly have had nightmares fro some masters ,principally Reggie Warne on the Etivebank,who after a drinking session with the pilot whilst coming down the river from Chalna suddenly had a row with the pilot ,went below and came up waving a pistol(where did he get it) and threatening to shoot the pilot,anyway the mate quitened down the situation and the pilot went off shouting that he would have the old man arrested when we got to Chittagong.

JIM

Alan Rawlinson
7th March 2009, 21:42
Reading about the "Westbank" grounding on Juan de Nova in the Madagascar Channel as detailed in the "Inverbank" thread has prompted me to start a new thread called Master's Nightmares.
Perhaps some of us will prefer to keep these primordial dreams confidential but I believe all seamen in command must have experienced troubling visions during sleep that were quite disturbing.
Mine was to be looking over the side from a speeding ship and seeing the shelving sandy bottom of the ocean and then scattered black rocks looming closer and closer to the ship's bottom. It was terrifying and I would wake up in a cold sweat!
Just to complete this in an amusing note: we were to drydock in a floating dock in New Orleans and when we (the then marine superintendent, Captain Broadley and I) were walking around the dock bottom after the ship had been lifted out of the water suddenly when we arrived at the bow, it looked like the entire forward end of the ship had been forced upwards in what could only have been some cataclysmic collision. My heart stopped and my blood ran cold. When did this happen? I was toast! Captain Broadley seeing my total dismay pointed out that the forward section of the floating drydock had not come up straight and that what looked like the horizontal was, indeed, the sloping downwards of this section of the floating dock and that was why the forward part of my ship was not resting on the blocks!
I'm glad that dreams didn't translate into reality at that time!

Like Jim, I never made the exulted rank of Master either, but often wondered how some of them slept safely in their bunks, not sure which watchkeeper if any could be relied upon.

I came down the outside bridge ladder on the Eastbank after the mate had relieved me at at 4 a.m. and heard a dreaded hissing sound on the starboard side. It was a reef breaking and I could make out the white water. This was in the middle of the Pacific ( on the' '' blank '' white chart) . Needless to say, I quickly legged it back up, and we veered away safely. Should have been 5 or 6 miles off, but who knows what had happened? Capt. Barry Mitchell was none the wiser, and we had the nightmares for him. // Alan

Ian6
7th March 2009, 21:57
Likewise I left at 2nd Officer level but after a few months of 12-4 with continually disturbed brief sleeps (meal reliefs, morning and noon sights etc not to mention arriving and departing) found I would regularly dream that I was on watch and we were steaming up some high street, no fear of going aground as it was raining, but the traffic lights always changed to red at the last minute. Never hit anything, fortunately, as we had good brakes! What goes on in your head when you are asleep ?
Ian

David E
7th March 2009, 23:41
Reading about the "Westbank" grounding on Juan de Nova in the Madagascar Channel as detailed in the "Inverbank" thread has prompted me to start a new thread called Master's Nightmares.
Perhaps some of us will prefer to keep these primordial dreams confidential but I believe all seamen in command must have experienced troubling visions during sleep that were quite disturbing.
Mine was to be looking over the side from a speeding ship and seeing the shelving sandy bottom of the ocean and then scattered black rocks looming closer and closer to the ship's bottom. It was terrifying and I would wake up in a cold sweat!
Just to complete this in an amusing note: we were to drydock in a floating dock in New Orleans and when we (the then marine superintendent, Captain Broadley and I) were walking around the dock bottom after the ship had been lifted out of the water suddenly when we arrived at the bow, it looked like the entire forward end of the ship had been forced upwards in what could only have been some cataclysmic collision. My heart stopped and my blood ran cold. When did this happen? I was toast! Captain Broadley seeing my total dismay pointed out that the forward section of the floating drydock had not come up straight and that what looked like the horizontal was, indeed, the sloping downwards of this section of the floating dock and that was why the forward part of my ship was not resting on the blocks!
I'm glad that dreams didn't translate into reality at that time!

Alistair,

I think the "On the rocks" nightmare was fairly common at all watchkeeping levels-I certainly had it and the first thought on waking-relief that there would not be a Court of Enquiry.

David E

John Briggs
7th March 2009, 23:59
Reading about the "Westbank" grounding on Juan de Nova in the Madagascar Channel as detailed in the "Inverbank" thread has prompted me to start a new thread called Master's Nightmares.
Perhaps some of us will prefer to keep these primordial dreams confidential but I believe all seamen in command must have experienced troubling visions during sleep that were quite disturbing.
Mine was to be looking over the side from a speeding ship and seeing the shelving sandy bottom of the ocean and then scattered black rocks looming closer and closer to the ship's bottom. It was terrifying and I would wake up in a cold sweat!
Just to complete this in an amusing note: we were to drydock in a floating dock in New Orleans and when we (the then marine superintendent, Captain Broadley and I) were walking around the dock bottom after the ship had been lifted out of the water suddenly when we arrived at the bow, it looked like the entire forward end of the ship had been forced upwards in what could only have been some cataclysmic collision. My heart stopped and my blood ran cold. When did this happen? I was toast! Captain Broadley seeing my total dismay pointed out that the forward section of the floating drydock had not come up straight and that what looked like the horizontal was, indeed, the sloping downwards of this section of the floating dock and that was why the forward part of my ship was not resting on the blocks!
I'm glad that dreams didn't translate into reality at that time!

Alistair,

You have hit the nail on the head. That was a recurrent dream of mine when at sea. Another one was suddenly sighting breaking water right ahead, not enough room to stop and could only go hard over. Always woke up before the inevitable grounding though.

It is funny how our brains work as I also had dreams of driving the ship down a busy main street and worrying that there was not enough room to go between the bus and the car ahead.

I hesitate to suggest it may have had something to do with alcohol!

Charlie Stitt
28th March 2010, 19:34
While wide awake. Taking a small container ship, no bow thruster or belting, into Ardrossan Harbour on a dark winters night, with a f7 NW wind and heavy swell on the Starb Quarter.:sweat:

gadgee
28th March 2010, 22:40
That sailing up a high street dream seems to be common. I left seafaring 31 years ago and swear I have had one within the last 10 years!

eriskay
29th March 2010, 00:07
This is not a Master's Nightmare, it's not even a Deckie's Nightmare, this is a lowly engineer's nightmare except it was no dream, it was real, early evening, returning from fishing grounds, small wooden clinker-built boat, maximum 7 knots with a fair wind and no current, heading for home ......

On board, three deck officers, all relations, and said lowly engineer, keeping a lowly profile in such august company.

Down aft, the three navigation experts, yapping away about nothing important, as they do ...

Up for'd, straddling the bow, watching and listening keenly, the ONLY REAL watchkeeper on board.

The problem was the descending dark, accompanied by a real pea-souper of a sea-fog, and the close proximity to several known nasty reefs on the passage home. Piling up on one of those reefs, in a wooden boat, doing only 7 knots or so, is no different really or less risky of a bad outcome, than running aground in a 10,000 ton freighter doing the better part of 16 knots.

My impassioned earlier pleas to the three 'experts' down aft to reduce speed and close the shore to try and sight a light or hear the surf, thus giving some idea of location, fell on deaf ears, looks of disbelief and scorn, then dismissal as the trivial conversation resumed. Thus the reason I was straddling the bow and paying close attention ahead.

Then I heard it. Horrible. The unquestionable sound of the ocean breaking on an almost submerged rock crop, and not far ahead, just slightly to Port. I knew precisely which rock it was too. And that confirmed my worst fears, we were not in a good position or on a good course.

Shot down aft, pulled the throttle back to idling, to cut the noise, helm hard over to starboard, and started a rant with the three who had dismissed the chunterings of an engineer.

I should mention at this stage that two of them were Master Mariners, and the other a Bosun, all three were familiar with the area they were in and in herent dangers in either bad seas or visibility, and between them they could account for well over a century of seagoing years.

Needless to say they were not unaffected when, a few minutes later, we skirted the blackness of a very dangerous reef, heard the rumble of the sea breaking over it, and could just make out the white surface as the sea broke across it. We paid a little more attention after that scare and reduced speed until clear of the known hazard areas.

Winebuff
29th March 2010, 10:04
A case of familiarity breeding contempt. A problem on land as well as at sea.

Charlie Stitt
29th March 2010, 10:50
Eriskay, Fishing boats ? As watchkeeper on the bridge of a Ferry, or in charge of my 10 meter cruiser, I often found/find them to be a nightmare. Last Summer, coming through Sanda Sound, I had to take evasive action in a hurry as a creel boat, which had been stopped, suddenly got under way, and headed towards me doing around 12 knots. It appeared there was only one man on board and he was busy stacking pots on a platform aft.(MAD)

eriskay
29th March 2010, 19:53
Och, Sound of Sanda should have been a doddle if you have mastered Ardrossan Harbour entrance under the described conditions ! Poor fisherman struggling with all these pots, on his own too, you should have veered off and given him a bit of lee until he got finished ......

Charlie Stitt
29th March 2010, 22:09
Thank you for the advice eriskay, I shall remember to do that next time. Never too late to learn I suppose.

Alan Rawlinson
30th March 2010, 09:31
Had a weird experience on a Bankline ship which could well be a Master's nightmare....

Sailing along peacefully on a flat calm sea in the US Gulf between the SW Pass to the Mississippi and New Orleans, sailing westward towards Beaumont or Galveston - can't remember which. Lovely sunny day around 1pm and I am relieving the 2/0 for his lunch. Up comes a gaggle of oil platforms ahead , and I alter course to pass between two of them, looking forward to getting a good look - like you do. Then horror of horrors, when only a few cables to go, I notice wires or chains slung between the two, and the ends of the catenary rising up to each platform. I think there were also warning signs to sheer off, which is what I did. This scenario did haunt me for a while....

I wonder if Alistair has any thoughts on this as it was his ' patch ' so to speak?

Alistair Macnab
30th March 2010, 15:04
Alan....

We have all be frightened by the sudden appearance of platforms in the Gulf. The best thing to do is to keep to the 'clearways' which are the recommended routes between and among the Texas (and Louisiana) ports.

I have never seen a chain or cable slung between two rigs but can well imagine that this is something that can be encountered. When there is a cluster of platforms, best to navigate around the outside

But now that each rig has a larger footprint on the ocean bottom (up to 10 miles radius from each platform!) new rigs are fewer in number and stand in comparative isolation from one another.

Going further out into the really deepwater on the way to the Yucatan Straits, though, and you may encounter a dynamically positioned rig in 1000 fathoms! Might be American, Cuban, Mexican, Russian or Chinese! Usually lit up like a Christmas tree!

Its the old 'capped' wellheads just barely above sea level that are the difficult ones to spot and avoid.

Blue in Bim
30th March 2010, 15:50
In Fort de France bay, Martinique on a 100' tug that we had spent the previous year resurrecting having been stood down from an oil tanker that had grounded in the bay after refloating and berthing, I was going back to my berthing space which was facing the door at the drydock basin. Approaching I put the engines in astern to halt our progress when they both shut down ! Two Lister Blackstone ERS8's through a single gearbox onto a single shaft. One had stalled and stopped the other. So there we were drifting towards an empty basin behind the door. After looking at the situation I flew down the engine room, clutched out both engines, restarted one, clutched it back in and wound it up in astern guessing how long it would need to stop and not hit the door. I left it in slow astern and flew back up to the bridge where I found the mate completing docking alongside. Can't imagine what would of happened if we had hit the door and it had collapsed flooding the basin !!! Had sweaty nights about that for a while.

PeterDD
30th March 2010, 19:01
I left the sea in 1989 and still have dreams right up to the present in which I am on watch and proceeding up a river. The water gets shallower and shallower - which is made worse by the fact that I realise I am on a fully loaded 220,000 dwt tanker! Sometimes it turns into a canal with a rightangled bend or a bridge across that I know we cannot get round or go under. The latest one was going into a lock which already had ships in it and not being able to stop - in the dream they were made of wood and I just ploughed straight through them. But still the cold sweat of fear as you wait for the "sssh you know what" to hit the fan!
Very interested that others have the same dream - perhaps we can get therapy for it!

Alan Rawlinson
30th March 2010, 19:44
Alan....

We have all be frightened by the sudden appearance of platforms in the Gulf. The best thing to do is to keep to the 'clearways' which are the recommended routes between and among the Texas (and Louisiana) ports.

I have never seen a chain or cable slung between two rigs but can well imagine that this is something that can be encountered. When there is a cluster of platforms, best to navigate around the outside

But now that each rig has a larger footprint on the ocean bottom (up to 10 miles radius from each platform!) new rigs are fewer in number and stand in comparative isolation from one another.

Going further out into the really deepwater on the way to the Yucatan Straits, though, and you may encounter a dynamically positioned rig in 1000 fathoms! Might be American, Cuban, Mexican, Russian or Chinese! Usually lit up like a Christmas tree!

Its the old 'capped' wellheads just barely above sea level that are the difficult ones to spot and avoid.

Thanks Alistair for the interesting comments...

The thing about my ' scare ' was that had I left things a couple of minutes later, it would have been vastly different. No time to turn away!

Post Bankline, I spent some years among the oilfields all over the place, and got involved in mooring big semi-submersibles with chain and wire, and the total area taken up is huge - much larger than the uninitiated mariner perhaps realises!

david_crosby
31st March 2010, 00:44
My nightmare unfolded when I joined a Smit as Master working in the Arafura Sea and discovered (after a while) that the Mate was a cupboard drinker both on and off watch. Company didn't want to know so I eventually went elsewhere.

rcraig
31st March 2010, 12:36
This is only indirectly connected with the Bank Line, in that I was with the company.

Army LCT Mk. 8's were flat bottomed, twin screwed open decked landing craft with a crew of 36. LOA 231 ft. beam 38 ft., draft 3 ft. forward and 6 ft. aft. Powered by 4 Paxmans through two screws recessed above the flat bottom. Minimum manoeuvring speed 5+ knots and operating speed 10 knots.
Given their draft, they were difficult to turn into wind in confined spaces and could not be steered going astern, other than by engines.

Both forward and stern anchors were connected by wire. Unless veered regularly when out, the wires snapped. They snapped less frequently when veered. You could not readily drop anchor in a sheltered anchorage on a windy night and think "Whew, now we can relax".

Their primary function was to service the rocket range in Benbecula and St. Kilda 40 miles out in the Atlantic. They beached in the horse shoe shaped Village Bay on St. Kilda there by dropping a stern anchor, running in and beaching and discharging/reloading once the tide was out. The bay is exposed to easterlies and although sheltered from the west, can be subject to fierce erratic katabatic winds from the 1000 ft. Conachair above.

We sailed from Loch Carnan out through the south channel of the Sd. of Harris, clearing into a solid westerly sea and swell on a bleak grey day with an indifferent forecast and the prospect of worsening weather. We crashed westwards and duly arrived in Village Bay.

Because of the projected forecast I decided that we would beach at about mid-tide between HW and LW to minimise the time on the beach. We ran in, dropped the kedge and slid up on to the sands. In due course we discharged and reloaded, shut up the doors and waited. The forecast worsened, as did the weather. Force 7 from the NW and possibly veering. The wind began to gust down fiercely from Conachair, whipping as usual from all directions, and sending flurries of spume across the bay.

The swell began to pick up and started to break on the stern. The kedge wire was taut. Without it you could not get off the beach. And you would broach to.

As the tide began to rise, the ship began to swivel from side to side. The swell got heavier and began to break over the stern. It was dark, of course. (Isn't it always when you are having fun?).

We began to lift on the swell, the rigging and masts vibrating as we bounced on the swell, before dropping down on to the sandy bottom. A swell big enough to cause us to rotate and bounce although it was only 1 hour after LW.

The stern anchor gang stood by the winch, heavy spray now regularly breaking over them. The kedge wire was singing with tension but could not be slacked off. We began to pay off to port. If the wire parted we were on the rocks to starboard on the beach. I stood on the open monkey island shouting back to the Coxswain who in turn shouted down to the after gang, who were being repeatedly doused in spray as the waves broke over them.

Burst of slow astern on the starboard screw, then half astern, trying to break her free. Then suddenly the bow was seen to float adrift a little. Half astern starboard and slow ahead port to kick her over to starboard, until finally free we stopped engines to avoid running over the wire. The wire inched in.

We were lying too much beam on to the shore for my liking but with the anchor close to up and down, the risk of going astern and fouling was considerable. Once she was almost up and down then there were no options left. Full ahead starboard, half astern port to try and pull her round into what was then an onshore wind. She clawed round with considerable reluctance, anchor still trailing, the black of the night closing in the shore in that strange way it does, making an uncomfortable situation seem even worse. We were indeed very close and beam on. The few seconds took hours.

There was no need to cook the log book for inclement weather conditions on this occasion as a very large tot of rum was issued to all and we rolled and scended our way to the south and east for Mingulay and Barra with a heavy following sea and swell.

Strangely, an almost identical narrative was written up by Hammond Innes in his book "Atlantic Fury" (he had sailed with us before) and I had read the passage two months before with a fair degree of cymicism in view of what I then thought was his exaggerated scenario.

John Dryden
31st March 2010, 13:43
Good old fashioned seamanship,I bet today it would be a phone call to stay in port and wait for better weather,Well deserved tot of rum though!

ROBERT HENDERSON
31st March 2010, 14:21
My own situation was not the same as Rcraigs, but in some ways similar. I was Master at the time of the M.V Ilala on Lake Malawi, leaving Monkey Bay I could not turn the ship through the wind even though she was twin screw, so dropped anchor, had a fag and cup of tea while the wind done the work. We then proceeded to two small port across the lake where we always loaded fish in baskets, piled up on the fore deck to just below the bridge windows. Having completed loading sailed for a port with a concrete jetty called Chipoka, waiting on the jetty for the rest of the lake cruise was Malawi Railway's general manager and his family. Making my usual approach to come port side alongside,stopped engines then suddenly the ship shot head to wind at right angles to the jetty, I had visions of the ship ploughing through the jetty into the warehouse, anyway managed to hold my nerve, hard a starboard the helm, slow ahead port engine and full astern starboard engine. the ship finished all stopped, parallel to the jetty and less than a metre of, didn't even scrap the paintwork.
When the big boss man came aboard he said; 'Captain that was brilliant ship handling'.
I replied that I thought it was also, as I rushed to my cabin to change my underpants.

Regards Robert

rcraig
31st March 2010, 14:43
Little did they ever know, at times!

eriskay
31st March 2010, 16:12
For RCCRAIG :

Enjoyed your reminiscence on what was a scary-sounding experience on Hirta and relieved you came out of it okay. Can I ask if you recall what year that was and can you recall ID Mark of the LCT in question? May have access to some fairly good quality B & W images of when the army engineers were taking delivery of the materials that were shipped over to Hirta for construction the facilities there in the 1950s/1960s.

What was the idea of heading South down to Barra/Mingulay after St Kilda - was there other materials and goods being shipped in via Barra ?

rcraig
31st March 2010, 17:59
LCT 4062, the only one with funnels fitted, around about '61 or '62.

We were either heading back to Loch Carnan south about or straight back for the Clyde. We never used Barra for cargoes.

If the former, as I think it was, the weather had become pretty foul and although the Sound of Shillay would have been no problem, taking the southern route through the Sound of Harris (our usual route) with its unreliably lit buoys was not a wise option. If you know the area it required a sharp starboard turn to pass relatively close to the reefs off Rubh' a Bhaile fo Thuath at the east end of Pabbay and then a port alteration for the "bar" buoys in Cope Passage where the chart showed as little as 5ft and 4ft. More importantly (as we would have been transiting near HW) as stated, the lights on the buoys were not totally reliable and if I remember correctly, they were rubber/plastic construction.

rcraig
31st March 2010, 18:23
I have put into Ports, Docks etc., a shot showing part of the southern route used through the Sd. of Harris, from one of the old Admiralty charts

buddy123
31st March 2010, 18:44
On A lighter note--I remember my Captain dad telling me a tale about when after many continuous hours on duty during extremely bad weather conditions, he advised the various duty officers that he was going to try and get some sleep for a couple of hours to recharge the batteries. He put a ''Do Not Disturb'' sign on his door (emergencies excepted obviously). About 45minutes or so into his exhausted slumbers, a tap tap on the door woke him up like a shot. He opened the door and a 'bright spark' on the other side said ''Is that right that you don't want to be disturbed Captain?'' (Applause)(Whaaa)!!!

eriskay
31st March 2010, 20:10
Thanks for quick response on LCT 4062 - will check see if I have any images.

Yes - that Sound of Harris is a dodgy place at best of times and tides - not a place to be caught in bad weather and/or visibility.

Charlie Stitt
1st April 2010, 20:44
Ray, sometimes I think we should have stayed with Bank Line and dodged in and around the coral reefs of PNG/Solomons etc. Weather was a bit more friendly.Glad I wasn't with you on that LCT. you must have been a glutton for punishment, to then go on rig supply ships in the North Sea.

rcraig
2nd April 2010, 01:18
Just needed the money, Charlie, for uni., wife and children + Halifax. They were all, shall I say, interesting! (The ships!)

rcraig
2nd April 2010, 10:10
Reading about the "Westbank" grounding on Juan de Nova in the Madagascar Channel as detailed in the "Inverbank" thread has prompted me to start a new thread called Master's Nightmares.
Perhaps some of us will prefer to keep these primordial dreams confidential but I believe all seamen in command must have experienced troubling visions during sleep that were quite disturbing.
Mine was to be looking over the side from a speeding ship and seeing the shelving sandy bottom of the ocean and then scattered black rocks looming closer and closer to the ship's bottom. It was terrifying and I would wake up in a cold sweat!
Just to complete this in an amusing note: we were to drydock in a floating dock in New Orleans and when we (the then marine superintendent, Captain Broadley and I) were walking around the dock bottom after the ship had been lifted out of the water suddenly when we arrived at the bow, it looked like the entire forward end of the ship had been forced upwards in what could only have been some cataclysmic collision. My heart stopped and my blood ran cold. When did this happen? I was toast! Captain Broadley seeing my total dismay pointed out that the forward section of the floating drydock had not come up straight and that what looked like the horizontal was, indeed, the sloping downwards of this section of the floating dock and that was why the forward part of my ship was not resting on the blocks!
I'm glad that dreams didn't translate into reality at that time!

You remind me of an occasion when I did an "Opmac" (services on behalf of the civil community) job in Papa Westray in the Orkneys. We were to pick up a crawler crane from the beach there which could not get off any other way. It had been used to build the new pier there.
On arrival, the beach could be clearly seen through the glass clear water. Perfect. Not a rock in sight.
I decided to go straight in, try and load up and get out straight away to avoid having to beach over the tides. Not easy to do on a falling tide with a large heavy crane and ballasting out made no difference. We could not back off once loaded and disconcertingly as we settled down for our 6 hours stay, I could see what appeared to be rocks astern uncovered by our prop wash.
I put on my diving gear to have a look. I went under, the water so clear that it seemed as if you were looking through air.
And oops....there were the two screws burnished at the tips and yes, the thin layer of sand had been cleared showing the flat slate like rocks which had been hidden and which had caused the burnishing. The sand was inches deep.
But what really caused that sudden sinking feeling in the guts was to look along both shafts fore and aft of their A-frames and see distinct severe bending. It was an icy unpleasant feeling.
Then I thought...how the hell could they have turned? How come I had not noticed and catastrophic damage not have occurred?
Then the penny dropped. I was wearing a scuba mask and the effect of looking through air and water had caused the apparent distortion. But I still was not happy until we turned the screws just to make damned sure that the second opinion was the correct one.
The burnishing was beautifully balanced and made no difference to performance.
As a side note, we had been instructed, in a change of policy, not to assist in loading/unloading in non-military jobs. This was such nonsense that I just ignored it. As a reward, the civilian who had bought the crane dirt cheap and could not have got it off economically without us, gave the crew of 36 a part half bottle of Highland Park whisky. And no, he wasn't an Aberdonian.

eriskay
2nd April 2010, 10:49
For R. Craig :

Another great wee story, enjoying your recollections thoroughly! Och, these Shetlanders, Orcadians, and not forgetting those from the Northern end of the Outer Hebrides, they're that mean they take their doorsteps in at night. Not like us down in the Southern tropical isles ... generous to a fault ..... ! Please, more of the anecdotes from your days in and about the tricky shores of the Northern and Western Isles !

rcraig
2nd April 2010, 19:32
Not a nightmare, Eriskay, but still a source of irritation at my idleness.
My failure to take a photo of a ship and an aircraft sharing the same runway when we beached at Barra airfield and the aircraft landed and took off ahead of us. It would have been fairly unique.

eriskay
2nd April 2010, 19:39
Now trying to figure out what you would be doing beached on the Traigh Mhor ? Perhaps loading Barra harl (crushed seashells) for export to mainland?

As you say, a unique photo-opportunity that, the boat and plane together !

rcraig
2nd April 2010, 19:59
No, we did not do commercial work, only that which could not be done by other vessels. Probably Opmac trip for the local community.

johnb42
3rd April 2010, 02:36
Most of my nightmares are looking back at some of the things I did as Master but would not even consider today, were I still in that position.

rcraig
3rd April 2010, 09:47
Isn't that the advantage/disadvantage of old(er) age!

Joe C
3rd April 2010, 12:28
For R. Craig :

Another great wee story, enjoying your recollections thoroughly! Och, these Shetlanders, Orcadians, and not forgetting those from the Northern end of the Outer Hebrides, they're that mean they take their doorsteps in at night. Not like us down in the Southern tropical isles ... generous to a fault ..... ! Please, more of the anecdotes from your days in and about the tricky shores of the Northern and Western Isles !

I think I would describe the Shetlanders as "canny" rather than mean.
My father and mother retired home to Lerwick and we visited them fairly regularly usually involving a trip on the St Clair (called The Blue Canoe by the locals).After a horrendous journey in foul weather,my wife was fine and I was determined not to be sick,ex Merchant Navy and all that,but when we docked I was down the gangway before they had secured it and leaped into the nearest taxi.
"Broons Buildings please".The canny taxi driver obviously seeing we were "Sooth-Moothers",(my green face was a bit of a giveaway,) tucked us in with a warm blanket,then took us to our destination,less than 100 yards from the terminal and took a fiver for it!
That's what I call Canny.

johnb42
3rd April 2010, 23:39
Isn't that the advantage/disadvantage of old(er) age!

Surely is one or the other.(Thumb)

eriskay
9th April 2010, 23:01
Have uploaded an image in the Gallery - Special Purpose Vessels - that you may find of interest.

The modern day landing craft, if I am reading it correctly, has the number L4041, but it is a bit obscure and that may not be accurate.

Regards,

Angus Mac Kinnon

rcraig
10th April 2010, 02:26
As you gathered, Angus, I saw the shots and thanks for them

Regards

Ray

rcraig
10th April 2010, 21:25
I think this dream has to do with potential command after years away from ships.
I am called up by the army to possibly take over command of a LCT. I am in my 70's and slightly bemused and uneasy.

I arrive at an army place (it is not clear where) and find myself at the periphery of ex-colleagues all also in their '70's and chatting away to each other. I stand there in my enveloping army greatcoat in my bare feet (as you do) and chip in asking if we had plans for lunch and on being told that nothing was arranged in my desire to get in with the crowd I offer to go for some bread.

I wander into a cavernous warehouse with people looking at my bare feet, feeling cold, and on asking where I could get dough for bread am pointed in the direction of a warm Co-op. However, I then spot a stall within and buy a huge pancake of dough like a large pizza and with this draped over my shoulder I set off through the streets to look for the Co-op. Eventually I drift back to my colleagues with the thing draped over my shoulder still.

The dream then jumps to looking at two of the landing craft populated with old crew from the past and unknown younger crew all bathed in an uneasy eerie greenish tinted sepia as I seem to drift unseen through one of the ships with a distinct feeling of edginess as I try to reconstruct how to handle her after 40 years away.

The latter part has been repeated and with the familiarity it seems to make the dream more realistic.

None of it, of course, has anything to do with malts the night before.

Charlie Stitt
10th April 2010, 23:22
Ray, you left out the bit , while in command, heading through the gulf of Corryvreckan, with a strong spring flood and westerly gale force wind, hard a port, can't find the wheel, all these rocks, starb, no port, I can't move, going down the big hole, panic, woke up to go to the toilet. So why do I still do it in my wee boat ?? ( NOT in those weather conditions of course) Still gives me a great buzz.(Thumb)

Charlie Stitt
11th April 2010, 10:55
A Yachtmasters Nightmare?
The big whirlpool in the Gulf of Corryvreckan, on a GOOD day. photo taken from ''The Essential Guide To Scotland''

Billieboy
11th April 2010, 11:52
Looks like someone pulled the bloody plug out!

rcraig
11th April 2010, 20:45
A Yachtmasters Nightmare?
The big whirlpool in the Gulf of Corryvreckan, on a GOOD day. photo taken from ''The Essential Guide To Scotland''

Went through it once and as I always had a thing about swirly "hissing" water where the ship would trend 20-30 degrees either side of the course did not do it again.
The race off Oa at the south west end of Islay is another you will know about, Charlie. Running through that with the race all around you at night time and that unsettling sound of racing water always left me uneasy despite what the radar showed!
Bit like parts of the Pentland Firth at the wrong time.
No wonder you had nightmares!

eriskay
11th April 2010, 21:19
A Yachtmasters Nightmare?
The big whirlpool in the Gulf of Corryvreckan, on a GOOD day. photo taken from ''The Essential Guide To Scotland''

Went through it in a small (28 ft) fishing boat when it wasn't nearly as turbulent as that images portrays, and was very unhappy indeed as she seemed to react and cavort to forces I couldn't even see - would not like to repeat the experience. Was not even in the worst area, good bit outside of that.

rcraig
11th April 2010, 23:33
We had lain in drydock for some weeks in some desolate hole on the South Wales coast. I remember it as Barry Dock and for those who recollect it in the old days and might recognise the description, it willl do for the narrative. We had had, I remember, no facilities on board but our bunks.

The crew had been scrambled together for departure for Portsmouth. The ship, a Mk. 8 Landing craft of 1000 tons with a crew of 36, in inimitable dockyard style, was crawling, and we had cleaned up. It was late in the week and we were waiting to sail subject to the weather forecast. These ships had no deck and because of their configuration they never took a green sea. If you did take a green sea it meant you were sinking. In severe head seas you could see the tank deck flex from forward aft like a rope snaking resulting in a whip lash effect that could cause all the plates in the fidley in the pantry to climb vertically out and smash on the deck.

The forecast was not good. A deep depression was rolling in from the south west, with a storm warning, and yes, the glass was falling.

Rather fancying myself as a weather forecaster....I think it was the old penny we used in these days....I calculated that we could get round Land's End in time for the really bad weather to be astern for the run up the Channel to Portsmouth. We sailed.

As we headed out into the Bristol Channel, we were soon punching into a steep south westerly swell and short sharp waves. The wind steadily increased and darkness began to fall. I had allowed what I thought was a fair margin for error for the turning point for the Channel, I think about 5-6 miles off the Longships. We began to labour heavily with a rapidly increasing south westerly gale building up and that ominous sound through the mast rigging which indicated that life was going to get increasingly uncomfortable. With our bluff bows and 3 ft draft forward we had dropped back to 3-4 knots when an ominous dull clanking could be heard from forward as we pitched into a heavy deep swell with spume flying over the catwalks.

The whine of the telephone brought the news that the turnbuckles were working loose on the bow doors which in turn were starting to open. The bow doors were not watertight and in the event they broke open then only the ramp separated the ship's tank deck from catastrophic flooding.

By then we were directly off the Longships and in total darkness. All engineers were turned to, and the only option was to fall off the wind and head directly towards the rocks down wind. With the minimum maneouvring speed of c. 5 knots and the wind behind us it was clear that there was not a great deal of time available. We ran down wind, heaving and scending in what was by then a very heavy swell and sea, rolling down at an alarming speed towards the reefs, the radar a blaze of orange.

Remember the TV sketch "Don't panic, don't panic.............What else is there to do"? It was not the time to cast doubt on my meteorological skills.

The engineers were within the unlit space between the bow doors and the ramp as the sea surged within the doors, desperately trying to bowse down the turnbuckles.

As we rolled relentlessly down towards the reefs, trying not to continually ask what was happening, the Chief eventually apeared at the fo'c's'le break with his arms crossed in the "bowsed down" sign and we immediately turned back into the swell. By then we seemed alarmingly close to the reefs. And we were.

We began to grind our way back out from the lee shore at about 1-2 knots, the bows banging heavily against the seas, the ship snaking and vibrating viciously. We had run for about half an hour when again that ominous banging resumed from forward. The tension on the first occasion had been bad. This time it was even more tangible. As we rolled back down wind I knew there would not be another chance. We had recovered very little ground. Engineers back into the bow doors again. Very wet and cold. Orders to all hands to don lifejackets. (Well, you had to say something!). It may have been cold that night. I never noticed.

Again the doors were secured and we screwed round battling into the wind, close to storm force, keeping a course which cleared the reefs and minimised the effect on the doors but left no margin for error. We eventually clawed our way to the south before turning with relief up Channel, soaring away and scending from side to side before a very heavy following sea and swell.

What a strangely remedial effect a large tot of rum had in those days. What do they get at sea now? Appletiser?

Satanic Mechanic
11th April 2010, 23:51
and don't forget Sandy Lyle yesterday

John Dryden
12th April 2010, 00:32
Great story,I reckon without the dodgy bow doors you,d have made Portsmouth in record time!Sounds grim at Barry Dock in the old days so I guess you had to make a break for it.

Charlie Stitt
14th April 2010, 17:55
Forget the nightmares, with a good passage plan you can have fantastic dreams. ''Tara'', on passage from Dunstaffnage to Ardminish Bay, Gigha,2007, approaching Fladda Lt/Ho and the Sound of Luing, less than an hour to Corryvreckan. Weather like this all the way.(Thumb)

rcraig
14th April 2010, 21:46
Now I wonder, is that a col around and above you?

Definitely not a nightmare, Charlie.

The tranquillity of a Minch crossing, the sea pellucid all around and the air clear with a Hebridean high settled down. Arriving at Loch Carnan in perfect still calm with the sharp tang of peat in the air, the browns and russets intermingled with the dappled lochans.

And at the jetty taking the ropes come hell or high water, two old gentlemen, Murdo and Donald. "Would you like a dram, gentlemen?". Pause. "Yess". And very large tumblers of rum went down before these great old bachelors walked back over the moors to their houses from whence they came almost as if by osmosis there being no advance warning of our arrival for them. Just looking for our lights or profile.

And then, remembering our thread, the midges.

Satanic Mechanic
14th April 2010, 21:50
And then, remembering our thread, the midges.


Ah "the Pets of Satan himself" (works best in a western isles accent)

rcraig
14th April 2010, 22:23
These great old characters would be waiting on the quayside at any time of the day or night and in any weather. I visited where there houses had been last year by bike and they were some distance from the jetty at Loch Carnan.

They always paused before they spoke in that lovely lilt as they "translated" from the English...at least that is what I thought they did. I always reckoned that if I could speak English the way they did I would not have bothered to try to learn Gaelic so badly. When I pause to speak it, its just because I am crap at it.

rcraig
18th April 2010, 22:30
Am I the only one admitting to real nightmares or the only one who has experienced them? Can't believe either! This one was like a dream at the time.

We had been lying at the barge which passed for a berth at the mud flats at Instow in Devon. It required us to lie on the mud listed over at low tide tending to slide out on our mooring ropes from the barge which was also grounded.

I decided to move up river for the night to berth in Bideford. To lie in a civilised setting with the town close to is, as most will know, one of these luxuries to be enjoyed. And rare.

The good ship "Aachen" lay alongside the quay, barely a ship's length from the ancient bridge connecting the two river banks. The bridge, which was originally built in 1286 and then stone built in 1500, had just been repaired followiing the collapse of a couple of arches. How do I know? Ahh.

We lay port side to, pointing down river, well secured, for there was a strong flood tide.It was rare to be so comfortably ensconced.Ahead of us lay, pointing up river, a small German coaster.

The gangway watch was set up. The task the following day was a straightforward job at Instow. Most of the crew headed on shore and the wardroom gang of two settled down comfortably. The night was still.

I turned in. The night was little disturbed by only the occasional flutter of noise as inebriated crew members came back clattering up the gangway before all eventually settled down.

Suddenly at a time which never registered, the cabin door was thrown back and someone said, shouted?...whispered. "We are adrift". Instantly awake....well, who wouldn't be?...I jumped out and shot to the bridge wing. We were connected to the quay by only one after spring and drifting bow out to starboard on the flooding tide which was swirling past us. I noticed even then, that the German coaster had either sailed or sunk. I called out to get the Chief up immediately and all hands up.

There then ensued a remarkable dearth of activity. Or perhaps time shot by very rapidly. I dropped down the ladder and into the WO's cabin. 'Twas then I discovered that the Chief, very reliable and good as he was, slept profoundly with a drink inside him, even with a cool calm and screaming captain shouting in his ear. The general alarm seemed to make very little difference to the peacefully sleeping crew. I, or someone, got some engineer up and straight down the engine room. Someone manned the wheel and telegraph. I got up on to the monkey island.

At this point we had swung well out into the river, the tidal flow catching us increasingly, the aft spring working very effectively as a fulcrum, and one that we dare not let go. Time stood still, but the ship didn't. Once we got round far enough it would not matter if the engines started as there would be no way of swinging her round.

The steering came on. Oh, great. Hard a-port, one of these actions you take in extremis, in the vain hope it would make a difference. It didn't. I could see in the mind's eye only too clearly, the vessel beam on alongside the ancient bridge pressed against it by the tide. And a radio or TV crew were due down that day to visit us.

Suddenly one engine started. On the port side, I think. Full power, hard over, let go aft. Watch the rope on the screw. Both engines on. Crew drifting into position, gently alongside, man ashore and we tied up again. Now get me the gangway watch.

I never did discover how this happened. We were named after one of the WW2 battles and the coaster close to was German...but, perish the thought.

Didn't bother turning in after that. Quite enough adrenalin to keep me awake.

I spent about 10 years of my 17 at sea between landing craft and anchor handling supply vessels. Between them there were in retrospect many "nightmarish" situations. Many of these were simply part of the peculiarly unusual nature of their work. This one was not. This proved the first of two occasions with one rope connecting us to the shore, the other being on a supply vessel.

John Dryden
18th April 2010, 23:41
Splendid nightmare!Something tells me that your landing craft was a proper dog but you mastered it and told it who,s boss!
Maybe it wouldn,t have happened if Murdo and Donald had taken your ropes.
Cheers JD.

Charlie Stitt
19th April 2010, 22:53
Ray, it's the way you tell them, let's have some more please.(Thumb) Beleive it or not, but last night I had that disturbing dream, AGAIN, where I was back on board some ship, I think I must have been Mate as at first, I was trying to get the steel hatches open,I could'nt get the winch to stop, and all the hatch lids come crashing off the rails over the end of the hatch.Next thing I was finding it impossible to determine the ships position, while a lot of people were standing around me waiting for me to do so etc etc. On deck, it was a small ship, like a Kelly boat, bridge amidships, then like one of Robertsons. everything aft, but the wheelhouse was massive with all sorts of complicated instruments and controls which were new to me, but again a lot of people were standing around expecting me to know what to do.I woke up, and darned if I could get back to sleep again. I have had this dream three times now over recent years, it has taken over from steaming up high street, tearing up a river, and trying to find my way out of a maze of underwater reefs. Must have something to do with knowing, in my mind, that I would find it difficult if not impossible to do the job again.:sweat:

rcraig
20th April 2010, 21:21
What I find is that the repetition adds not only a touch of authenticity to the dream but also reminds me that it is a dream without making any difference to the feeling of foreboding that goes with it. I think I'll keep this quiet from my psychologist daughter!

rcraig
23rd April 2010, 19:20
We had been asked to do an Opmac (civilian operation) in Loch Indaal on Islay which required us to land an articulated lorry belonging to the firm of hauliers, McKelvie, over the beach there.
The tidal conditions were anything but ideal. Loch Indaal is a "horn" shaped loch in the SW of Islay, in the Inner Hebrides. At the ends of the horns, lie the headlands, the Rhinns of Islay and the Mull of Oa to the east, the latter renowned for its race. Whilst there was a reasonable tidal range at both of the horns (on my recollection) there was very little range within the loch itself. Not untypically, we were slotted in to a gap between two operational trips and we were not able to pick and choose ideal beaching ranges.
Low tidal range created two problems, one, that it could be very difficult to survey the beach at low water in advance of an operation, and two, it could push you into beaching too close to HW in order to get enough range to land vehicles without drowning them. Especially civilian vehicles.
Tht tides were near spring maximum and information was scanty for within the loch.
It was a very flat beach. This made it difficult to decide when to drop the kedge while running in. If you ran out of wire because you had misjudged the speed of shallowing then you would have to haul the wire back in and the winch was not just slow, it was extremely bloody slow.
And it was essential to have a kedge down in the event especially that an onshore wind sprung up whilst holidaying on the beach for 6 to 8 hours.
The crewman stood at the horizontal ramp as we crawled in towards the beach, sounding pole in his hand and calling out the depth.
Anchor away, run out and on and on she went, before finally and thankfully hissing to a halt. We waited. We had fortuitously grounded so that our ramp rested on a raised part of the beach.
We had an extremely pedantic ops. officer from HQ on board who for reasons best known to himself wished to be there when we took the vehicle ashore. I had not the slightest intention of disturbing him for that purpose. So at sparrow-fart we discharged the artic, she crawled up the beach and she promptly stuck on the soft sand, much as I expected but had hoped otherwise. Now for most of you who may think that it is only now and under this Government we lack resources in the military...I have news for you.
We however duly conjured up a Scammell recovery vehicle from the TA which sat at the other side of the coast road with a two fold purchase connecting the artic on the other side in the sand. With commendable foresight I placed a man well down stream on the road to stop any on-coming ̀leach approaching on his vehicle, confident in the knowledge that no sensible Islayman would be loose at 0630 in the morning. And I watched with horror as the ́leach drove straight through the signals and banjoed his car on the tackle. The car suffered but he did not.
The lorry duly reached the road.
So where is the nightmare? This so far had simply been part of life's rich tapestry. And Sod's law.
So we closed up. We awaited the tide. We had taken the precaution of discharging all unnecessary ballast. I was aware that on my calculations from admittedly skimpy information that we had at best three tides which ought to exceed our beaching tide and that there was not going to be much rise in excess of that particular tide. There was a high over us...of course; Sod's law still prevailed and such wind as there was, was from the north, all conspiring not to assist in a higher tide.
The tide rose and we stayed put. There was not a hint of movement. Strain on the stern anchor. A gentle attempt to pull her astern on the engines but only very briefly. Otherwise you simply built up the sand astern. And the tide receded. Oops. Oh dear. And for my next joke?
The ship lay high and dry. Pushing out the recurring bubble in my head of us being stuck for several weeks and comforted in the knowledge that the army didn't usually do courts martial given the nature of the work that we did on a regular basis....at least, so far they hadn't...... I vaguely remembered the efforts suggested in such a situation. The untested belief was that you had to break the suction of the flat bottom. So out with the crew on the sands. Hoses and shovels around the periphery of the bottom digging and jetting and by the time we finished on the rising tide a most unimpressive shallow channel existed around most of the ship. Inches deep. Which seemed to disintegrate as the tide rose around it.
Just short of full tide came the first movement of the vessel. With tentative hauling on the kedge wire and minimal engine movement we slowly, very slowly took her out.
And thankfully, very thankfully we pulled back to the kedge and away. Interesting though nightmares often are, the thought of lying stuck on the beach next to Bruichladdich and Bowmore and within driving distance of Laphraoig, Lagavulin and Caol Isla distilleries would have been absolute hell!
Wouldn't it?

John Dryden
23rd April 2010, 23:16
I bet you wish you were stranded there now doing a spot of whisky tasting!

rcraig
2nd May 2010, 23:18
It was September and close to the end of the working season for St. Kilda. With the winter storms, came the boulders rolling in and up the beach there rendering it too risky to beach.

The LCT Aachen was captained by Ian Peradon with whom I later sailed as 1st. Lt. In what was possibly the last trip before closing the Aachen had taken her usual route around the Mull of Kintyre, then up through the Sound of Islay to head for the Sound of Mull. The weather forecast was adverse. Very adverse. It was 1961 and Hurricane Debbie was about to hit the UK.

Once the vessel clears a line between Coll and the north end of the Sound of Mull past Ardnamurchan Point you lose the very limited cover from Coll. The distance then is about 45 miles to the landfall buoy at the entrance to Benbecula Sound.

It was decided to sail. The glass was falling fast but Ian reckoned that he would make the berth alongside before the full strength of the storm hit. However, by the time they were half way across the full force of a hurricane had swept in. Winds gusting 80 knots were recorded locally.

He described the scene to me of total white out conditions with white water horizontally whipping ferociously over the seas. Visibility was virtually nil and the radar recorded a solid wall of orange making it impossible to pick out land. She got eventually into what passes for a lee in that area of low lying rocks and islets. The light at Uisinis just to the south of the landfall buoy was never seen. Anyone who knows the area just to the south of Wiay Island will know this is not an area to approach in such conditions.

By DR they astonishingly picked up the fairway buoy. If they had not there would have been no way out. Whilst they had lost the seas, they were still working in violent wind conditions in an intricate passage with a ship which required 30/40 degrees lay off for the wind.

In total darkness he manoeuvred up to the jetty where by putting the bow on to the jetty and steaming half ahead he was able to hold her to get a rope ashore, and they were able to tie up in due course.

rcraig
20th June 2010, 11:57
Are there no nightmares left? Or just too old to remember them?

We were tasked to deliver an old 50 ton Centurion tank to the beach at Pendine in South Wales, the scene at one time of world speed record attempts for motor bikes and cars. It was to be used for gunnery practice at the MoD range there.

We arrived off the sands in our landing craft at night and in dense fog. The beach was very flat with little slope on it and on the radar it was impossible to tell where the beach started or finished.

Tidal conditions were perfect for timing but the difficulty was going to be to let go the stern anchor in time without running out of wire and having to try again a long and slow caper which could affect the timing for maximum tidal range effect.(i.e. drying out enough to allow for discharge etc.). Or worse, beaching with too short a wire out should the weather turn on us.

Bow door open, with the ramp horizontal and soldier at the end sounding out on the pole. Peering forward into the darkness we inched forward, totally blind. Let go aft.

Sliding forward, hoping to ground. Lower the ramp a little, straining our eyes for a glimpse of anything...I glanced down into the tank deck, aware of a shout from forward and lo and behold, the menacing reflection of water rolling back down the deck and aft of the centrally placed tank. We were trying to scoop up the ocean. Full astern, raise the ramp. We stopped quickly enough but the water seemed awfully deep in the darkness. (Water always seems deep once it gets into a ship!).

The ramp inched up, but it was not at first possible to see if we had scooped up enough to bring the tank deck below the water level. Pumps on and check out. No, we were alright, so haul up the anchor and start again to beach in due course in the fog and discharge the tank.

Turned out that a combination of the usual leaking rivet heads forward (we were the only riveted landing craft which made life more awkward when beaching on concrete hards) and a misjudgment about the best place to locate the tank for the effect on her trim had taken her forward draught down more than desired.

Why beach in darkness in dense fog? Well, I knew there was a naval commander in the beaching party awaiting us and that the RN would not have countenanced doing it in these conditions, so how could the challenge be resisted?

Charlie Stitt
25th June 2010, 16:11
I am still having them. Crossed over the North Channel Tuesday 22nd in my wee boat, dropped anchor in Campbeltown, slow astern, NOTHING, lifted the floor boards to check the drive shaft. PANIC, I had sheared all four studs on the flexable coupling. :sweat:

rcraig
11th July 2010, 17:05
Only one venture into powered cabin cruising. Hired a floatable caravan from a charterer in Oban and made the mistake of deciding to do a trip out to a deadline, with the family on board, ie., equal time allowed for the outward trip as for the return. So if the weather turned....

First night anchored off in flat calm close to a beach. Much more restless night than on any ship I had been on, getting up more often than I was off, to check anchor, etc.

Engine started surging badly on approaching the Corran narrows at the north end of Loch Linnhe in a force 5 on a lee shore. My deep sense of unease was compounded when I saw that the overside discharge pipe for the lavatory bowl was a piece of rubber hose held on by one jubilee clip therby ensuring that should it work loose or the hose perish nothing held back the ocean's contents.

Told boat company to pick up the boat that night from the Caledonian canal and never repeated the experience!