Bankline Habits......

Alan Rawlinson
19th January 2010, 10:39
Reading ' Slick's ' contribution on the ' saving water ' thread reminded me of things learned in the Bankline which were carried over into life afterwards.
In my case, it was lifting bread slices up to the light in order to spot the cooked copra bugs. Finally stopped this when everyone around the table wondered aloud what was going on!

Charlie Stitt
19th January 2010, 11:59
Something similar Alan. Pour milk (lookalike) onto breakfast cereal, wait for the little weevil blighters to surface, then push them up onto the rim of the plate.If they tried to crawl back down again, clobber them with your spoon.

rcraig
19th January 2010, 13:08
Alan,

Still trying to imagine how an egg curry could be transformed into a work of art. Was it the glorious khaki technicolour?

You have both reminded me of one quirk which I carried on for years after leaving the company, namely, tapping every biscuit on the plate to make sure there were no weevils in it.

And up ending shoes/boots to make sure there were no Bombay canaries, or their on-shore equivalents in them.

Billieboy
19th January 2010, 15:41
Not a Bank line job, but I sailed with a chief engineer once who always took his glasses off before eating his cereal at breakfast; when asked why; he said, "So I can't see the livestock doing the breast stroke"!

Winebuff
19th January 2010, 18:53
I still stick my nose into every jug, jar,and bowl etc. to ensure it contains what I think it does rather than what I am told it is.

Peter Smith

Johnnietwocoats
20th January 2010, 06:25
Reading ' Slick's ' contribution on the ' saving water ' thread reminded me of things learned in the Bankline which were carried over into life afterwards.
In my case, it was lifting bread slices up to the light in order to spot the cooked copra bugs. Finally stopped this when everyone around the table wondered aloud what was going on!

Did that for years after I was married.....My present wife used to look at me strangely......

Still does BTW.......(Smoke) (Smoke)

TC

Johnnietwocoats
20th January 2010, 06:28
Something similar Alan. Pour milk (lookalike) onto breakfast cereal, wait for the little weevil blighters to surface, then push them up onto the rim of the plate.If they tried to crawl back down again, clobber them with your spoon.

Even to this day the present wife is amazed at how I can find the slightest intruder in a meal that is set before me......

What astounds her more is that after I have gotten rid of the beasties I can still eat the food until my heart is content.....TC

(Smoke) (Smoke)

Johnnietwocoats
20th January 2010, 06:34
Alan,

Still trying to imagine how an egg curry could be transformed into a work of art. Was it the glorious khaki technicolour?

You have both reminded me of one quirk which I carried on for years after leaving the company, namely, tapping every biscuit on the plate to make sure there were no weevils in it.

And up ending shoes/boots to make sure there were no Bombay canaries, or their on-shore equivalents in them.

Still do the boot thing but then I have a home in the bush in the States.....

The present wife wonders why I don't get upset when I discover the odd mouse in the house so to speak....

God bless her wee cotton socks if she had ever seen the size of the Rats we used to find on the odd Bank line Ship....And I am being very kind......

Especially after a cargo of Grain to Calcutta or the odd full cargo of Sugar or even the odd cargo of Gunnies etc etc etc.......

Old Captain Williamson on the "Streambank" used to give me a cartoon of Gigarettes for every 10 Rats I presented to him....

TC(Smoke) (Smoke)

Joe C
20th January 2010, 11:47
Still do the boot thing but then I have a home in the bush in the States.....

The present wife wonders why I don't get upset when I discover the odd mouse in the house so to speak....

God bless her wee cotton socks if she had ever seen the size of the Rats we used to find on the odd Bank line Ship....And I am being very kind......

Especially after a cargo of Grain to Calcutta or the odd full cargo of Sugar or even the odd cargo of Gunnies etc etc etc.......

Old Captain Williamson on the "Streambank" used to give me a cartoon of Gigarettes for every 10 Rats I presented to him....

TC(Smoke) (Smoke)

This is turning into an "Our rats were bigger than your rats,"thread.We filled several 40 gallon drums with the beasties on the Iris,no joke really,especially when I found they had eaten the gum off my envelopes.Fortunately just before I licked them.

johnb42
20th January 2010, 12:53
Still write, "wind chronometer" in soap on the mirror above my wash-hand basin.
Only joking.

tsell
20th January 2010, 22:17
Not Bankline, but on some of the ships I sailed on in the early 50's we could have set up our own zoo with the diversified wildlife on board!

Taff

Donald McGhee
21st January 2010, 03:44
Not so much a Bank Line habit, but I still refer to going out at night as going ashore! My colleagues with whom I spend a lot of time when away from home looking at natural disasters are used to it now, but were a bit wary at first, especially when I still refer to starting work as turning to and someone being late as being adrift.
Tabnabs are still a favourite noun as are Bombay canaries for some of our specially large insects in NZ.
I guess some things never leave you, and why should they!?
Let's all keep our sayings, as with present day sailormen they are all but dying out.

McMorine
21st January 2010, 13:27
Before loading a full cargo of maize in Mombasa, the ship had to be completely fumigated. We were all put in a hotel for two days in Killindini Road, some of us took the opportunity to go on safari to Tsavo Game Reserve, fantastic, some fell by the wayside!!!!!
Regards Mac.

John Dryden
7th March 2013, 23:46
Trawling through the Bank Line forum Macs post(RIP) struck a chord.
So much time in port just to load or unload,thats without delays which were common through pure bureaucracy, strikes,drydock,national holidays(always a saints day in South America).
I do remember the safari trips from Mombassa only because I didn,t go on one..they all came back looking a bit bedraggled and disappointed.What did they expect for a tenner?Anyway to this day I believe I heard a lion roar off track down Killindi Road.
So much to see really and maybe we saw a lot.My cultural enlightening was in Rangoon at the Golden Temple.Some of the lads it was the Japanese wrecks in the South Pacific but my theory is every port was a Bank Line habit.

Alan Rawlinson
8th March 2013, 13:10
Trawling through the Bank Line forum Macs post(RIP) struck a chord.
So much time in port just to load or unload,thats without delays which were common through pure bureaucracy, strikes,drydock,national holidays(always a saints day in South America).
I do remember the safari trips from Mombassa only because I didn,t go on one..they all came back looking a bit bedraggled and disappointed.What did they expect for a tenner?Anyway to this day I believe I heard a lion roar off track down Killindi Road.
So much to see really and maybe we saw a lot.My cultural enlightening was in Rangoon at the Golden Temple.Some of the lads it was the Japanese wrecks in the South Pacific but my theory is every port was a Bank Line habit.

Talking culture, my dear old Mum asked me " Did you see Mt Fuji" - this, after returning from Japan on the Ernebank. As my recollections were mostly of girlie bars, and worse, all in an alcoholic haze, I replied " Is that what they call it!"

jimthehat
8th March 2013, 16:21
maybe slightly off topic,but whilst watching the AIS screen of the entrance to the River Plate (grandson is arriving there tomorrow on his first trip)I spotted Rosario about 150 miles up river from BA,and I thought ,I have been there on the Etivebank.
The reason I remember it is because as we swung off the berth we came into contact with the grain elevators,not too much damage done but I wrote up the movements in the log bookplus the event.Later on the old man got hold of me and said that he wanted me to tear out the revelent pages in the log book and write up the version of events that he wanted,I was only senior app but I refused point blank and that was the end of it.
We went down to bahia Blanca to top up and whilst there the C/E died and that is something i remember to this day the hearse was black and pulled by 4 black horses plus the 2 carrages for the mourners were also horse drawn,I think that was the first funeral I had ever been to.

jim

John Dryden
8th March 2013, 17:39
Glad to see your grandson got away Jim.I doubt his trip will be as eventful as yours!

Split
9th March 2013, 09:40
I remember taking blue cheese up to the Okl Man, after lunch. He was getting ready for his afternoon kip and he said "My God, I had some of that on my biscuits, today!" It seemed to be the belief that the more maggots crawling out of cheese, the better the quality.

The cheese went off the menu, though , so I must have done some good although I felt like Pip!

Aberdonian
9th March 2013, 10:23
The only unused foodstuff I ever saw being thrown over the side of a Bank boat were strings of neon-red Calcutta sausages, "Even the Old Man couldn't eat."

audierne
9th March 2013, 11:48
rcraig: What is a Bombay canary ?
regards

John Briggs
9th March 2013, 13:33
It is a very large and ugly cockroach audierne,
Sometimes the tween decks could be covered in them like a carpet
and they would crunch as you walked through them.
Made the steel deck quite slippery so you had to be careful!

DURANGO
12th March 2013, 18:42
Not a good idea walking on cockroaches

Split
12th March 2013, 20:18
It is a very large and ugly cockroach audierne,
Sometimes the tween decks could be covered in them like a carpet
and they would crunch as you walked through them.
Made the steel deck quite slippery so you had to be careful!

My Word! I was at sea in the fifties and I never saw anything like that when I was in tramps. What were you carrying?

I've seen the odd rat and the small golden cockroaches, but nothing else.

John Briggs
12th March 2013, 21:25
You were obviously not on the Indian coast Split.
This was British India and we carried general cargo.
As I said in my post it was only sometimes when
the infestation got particularly bad. You could also
hear them rustling - very erie in a dark tween deck.
We had rats the size of cats at times also and hairy ones in the freezers.

Aberdonian
12th March 2013, 22:38
Maybe you share the same memory of a steward bringing evening sandwiches wrapped in a cloth napkin and hanging same onto a cabin port hook so as to keep them clear from cockroaches.
In those days, occasional spraying by shoreside pest controllers killed the insects by breaking down their nervous systems; so they said.

The really large "Bombay canaries" I recall seeing at night in India were scuttling about on quaysides. These varmints are capable of limited flight.

Aberdonian

jimthehat
13th March 2013, 01:12
on the India/S. African run and the Durban /Far east run we used to do a fumigation in Durban,when I was third mate I was the unlucky sod who pulled the short straw and had to sit on the quay along with a junior eng whilst every one else was given some cash and sent off for the day.I think that the fumigation was more for the rats cos about three hours after the ship had been ventilated the roaches were out in their thousands.

jim

John Dryden
13th March 2013, 02:27
Bombay Canaries as I remember were the size of an egg and useless at flying so they just used to bash into you.I was working in the lower hold one night when hundreds of them appeared from nowhere..crunch,crunch!

Johnnietwocoats
13th March 2013, 03:25
Here you go.....

http://www.whatsthatbug.com/2008/02/10/flying-cockroaches-in-india-american-cockroach/

Joe C
13th March 2013, 12:01
Sunday morning at sea, duty for apprentices was to "Flit" spray the crews accomodation on the Moraybank. Lots of protests and many dead cockroaches.
On the Irisbank we were so rat infested that they wouldn't let us berth in the USA until we had fumigated and set set traps.We filled a good few 40 gallon drums with the deaduns

Joe C
13th March 2013, 12:07
Bombay Canaries as I remember were the size of an egg and useless at flying so they just used to bash into you.I was working in the lower hold one night when hundreds of them appeared from nowhere..crunch,crunch!

The worst way to encounter them was when you were sweeping the box beams in the dark while discharging copra.You ended up with them crawling all over you

makko
13th March 2013, 13:25
My father who is about to turn 77 still shakes his shoes out every day before putting them on! Copra bugs..............!
Rgds.
Dave

oldseamerchant
13th March 2013, 14:32
If anyone has loaded copra in the Philipines they will know that on the periodic opening of the hatches for ventilation etc, will reveal that the cargo could be mistaken for semi fluid appearance. Day by day the level will drop and at that critical temperature the bugs will die and you will actually see your copra again.

Alan Rawlinson
13th March 2013, 16:59
If anyone has loaded copra in the Philipines they will know that on the periodic opening of the hatches for ventilation etc, will reveal that the cargo could be mistaken for semi fluid appearance. Day by day the level will drop and at that critical temperature the bugs will die and you will actually see your copra again.

Always had a sneaking admiration for the tough little copra bug.

Steaming up the Red sea ( Ernebank) with a following wind matching the speed of the ship, so that the air around the decks was virtually still. Clouds full of Copra bugs and every corner, galley etc full of flying and crawling bugs. Then we took a 360 turn into the wind and back round again to see millions of them getting caught unaware and disappearing astern in a dark cloud.

They could be outsmarted, but dropping them in a bucket of water had no effect.

China hand
13th March 2013, 20:42
You got to admire the cockroach and copra bug though. Talk about survivors!(Applause)

Aberdonian
13th March 2013, 23:30
Alan Rawlinson: Post #33

In 50’s Bank Line there was talk of a Company ship that turned into the wind so as to clear the bridge front of copra bugs. I wonder now if she was your Ernebank.

As for cockroaches, didn’t we place empty round cigarette tins against cabin skirting boards baited with a drop of beer? The memory dims.

Aberdonian

garry Norton
14th March 2013, 06:48
Sweeping up spilt cement in the hatches for sale in the next port

Johnnietwocoats
14th March 2013, 07:59
Catching Rats on the Streambank.....Captain Williamson gave me a cartoon of cigarettes for every ten rats I caught........

If memory serves me right......

I once held a very large Rat over the side by the tail while wearing very large gloves....

That sucker ate off it's own tail to get away and fell into the murky depths....

Alan Rawlinson
14th March 2013, 09:14
Alan Rawlinson: Post #33

In 50’s Bank Line there was talk of a Company ship that turned into the wind so as to clear the bridge front of copra bugs. I wonder now if she was your Ernebank.

As for cockroaches, didn’t we place empty round cigarette tins against cabin skirting boards baited with a drop of beer? The memory dims.

Aberdonian

Still on Copra Bugs - Can recall how they loved the folds in the hatch tarpaulins, especially thick and dense at the corners when it came time to knock out the wedges, and remove the battens. The folds were jet black with handfuls - sleepy in the cold weather arriving UK, just like us humans, they preferred the warm.

NB: For modern readers, see Wikepedia for explanation of wedges, battens, boards, and tarpaulins, in the same section as wooden sheathed decks, and open rails, steam winches, etc etc.

DURANGO
14th March 2013, 09:53
When I left the sea I got into the lift trade first as a mate then worked up to become a fitter, having been to sea was my passport into the trade being that I could handle wire rope and rigging was second nature to me .
I remember having to repair a lift in a public swimming baths, when I went down into the boiler house to gain access to the lift pit there was cockroaches everywhere and you could not help treading on them when I had finished repairing the lift I reported the roaches to the on site maintenace man who told me that they loved the warm damp conditions but he also warned me never to step on one as chances are they would be pregnent and I could end up getting the eggs in the tread of my work boots and next thing you will be taking them home with you .

Split
17th March 2013, 13:08
Maybe you share the same memory of a steward bringing evening sandwiches wrapped in a cloth napkin and hanging same onto a cabin port hook so as to keep them clear from cockroaches.
In those days, occasional spraying by shoreside pest controllers killed the insects by breaking down their nervous systems; so they said.

The really large "Bombay canaries" I recall seeing at night in India were scuttling about on quaysides. These varmints are capable of limited flight.

Aberdonian

That they can fly, is true. My in-laws lived across the road from a riding school, in Spain. They had to be very watchful of them and they lived on the third floor.

However, my Indian coast days were on a BI charter, carrying coal. Calcutta to Colombo. I guess that helped us with the bigguns, I lived in blissful ignorance of those, but we got plenty of those littleuns. The rat problem was normal, I suppose.

The rat count after deratting in Antwerp, once, was five, I remember, which they thought was about par for the course.

IBlenkinsopp
18th March 2013, 22:05
For reasons which now escape me, tapping the top of a can of beer before opening it, still have a Castle Beer top end spanner.

Duncan112
19th March 2013, 10:06
Assumed wisdom was that tapping the top of the can stopped the can foaming over on opening - I used to do it but am not convinced of the efficacy.

John Briggs
19th March 2013, 10:53
We did exactly the same thing in BI and for the same reason.
Must have been a common trait in liner companies!

China hand
19th March 2013, 21:23
Naah, we were just pillocks who enjoyed the general rub of things.

expats
17th April 2013, 12:25
Maybe you share the same memory of a steward bringing evening sandwiches wrapped in a cloth napkin and hanging same onto a cabin port hook so as to keep them clear from cockroaches.
In those days, occasional spraying by shoreside pest controllers killed the insects by breaking down their nervous systems; so they said.

The really large "Bombay canaries" I recall seeing at night in India were scuttling about on quaysides. These varmints are capable of limited flight.

Aberdonian

I remember working on the radar, just in shorts, and the 'canaries' would land on your bare skin...After a while you just ignored them....
Listening to the 'shite hawks' crunching them is a lasting memory..