23rd September 2009, 19:40
I was the Blue Star water rat in Cape Town from 1974 -77. Ken and I became friendly, not only because of the quantity of liquor with which he plied me.
Among the voyages he made to the Cape he was choff of, I think, the Andalucia Star at the time that she was chartered to Union-Castle as a mailship.
I last saw him in the 1980s by which time I'd become a journalist and my memory is, sadly a bit hazy: had he held command at that stage? I can't remember...
Does anybody know of Ken's whereabouts? I'd love to chew the fat again after the intervening decades.
26th September 2009, 17:20
The Andlucia Star was chartered for some time to Union Castle and carried the funnel colours of afore said, as for Ken suggest you put an entry into the log book section of Fraser Darrah's website below. Many ex BSL BSSM look in
28th September 2009, 14:38
She was, indeed, chartered to U-C who by that stage were shedding ships on the UK-SA mail route, but who still had the end of the mail contract to honour. They chartered the Andalucia Star because of her speed.
She was painted in U-C colours (mauve hull) and I understand there was some discussion at the time that U-C wanted a) to rename her and b) to take off her funnel and replace it with something ... erm ... less conspicuious. I understand Edmund Vestey flatly refused.
As the water rat in Cape Town at the time I greatly enjoyed having a mailship to deal with because I knew EXACTLY when she was to berth and EXACTLY when she was to sail (the port used to close to other shipping movements for the arrival and sailing of the mailship).
And, having a regular caller like her meant all sorts of nefarious dealings... I used to have the latest copy of Playboy and Penthouse delivered to me in Cape Town, even in the month of issue ... something unheard-of in SA in those days when both magazines were banned!
Good times indeed!
17th November 2009, 21:51
Ken Pykett left the sea some time ago and now lives in New Pymouth, NZ. He and his wife own a shoeshop.
26th November 2009, 18:59
Thanks, Cap'n Pete, Ken's back in the UK, retired and wifeless. We've made contact, thanks to this site, and will correspond more.