24th September 2009, 12:13
It used to annoy me when sailing third/second mate, and signed on under “B Articles” to have to do unpaid Nights on Board unless in a UK port and doing more than one night in three. The payment then would be the princely sum of twenty shillings. It was all there in the Maritime Rule Book 6 pm to 6 am. When I questioned a Navigators & Engineer’s Officer Union official regarding the position at weekends and my going ashore in Dunedin on Sunday morning say to pray for the shipowner, he replied (correctly) that shore leave abroad was at the discretion of the master. I must admit, being young and rather anxious to share the delights of the shore, I transgressed at times, by discreetly waiting until the Captain’s bedroom lights were out before heading for the gangway. Later we were on A Articles and at least extra leave etc compensated for these previously unpaid hours. Do any other older members feel that this unpaid NOB was an injustice ?.