Life at sea with BP

ChiefCharles
11th June 2006, 23:50
There must be hundreds of funny, sad and unbelievable stories of life at sea with BP. Lets get them written and shared before they are long gone and forgotten. This one will get the ball rolling:-

I have followed this thread initiated by Brian(Benjidog) closely and found it both amusing and enlightening. I wonder how on earth the diesel engineers on the mv “British Commodore,” which was an innovative BP tanker built in 1967, managed to cope with the situations which arose in the second half of 1970.

This approximately 68,000d.w.t. motor ship was fitted with the following “steam equipment.”
One 88,000 pounds per hour Babcock and Wilcox integral furnace water tube boiler operating at 285 PSI coupled to an Exhaust Gas Boiler powered by the exhaust gasses from the Main Diesel Engine.
At sea speed the Exhaust Gas Boiler generated sufficient steam to run the Turbo Alternator which produced sufficient electric power to run the engine room plant without the necessity of running a Diesel Alternator or firing the Main Boiler.
The Evaporator used Main Diesel Engine Jacket Water as it’s heating source.
In port the cargo was discharged by Turbine Driven Cargo pumps and obviously in port it was necessary to fire the Main Boiler.
There was also an Auxiliary Package Boiler – 150PSI.
The Butterworth Heater when required used steam from the Main Boiler as did the Cargo Heating System.
In the centre of all this “steam equipment” was an 18,000BHP, 9 cylinder, 840mm bore VT2BF Burmeister and Wain Diesel with three Turbo Chargers.

I had just joined the ship as Chief Engineer prior to her departure from Malta Dry-Dock to pick up a cargo in the Eastern Med. (cannot remember where). The cargo was to be discharged at the Isle of Grain and required heating to a certain temperature to ensure it would not solidify. Shortly after departing Malta we experienced a leaking generating tube in the Main Boiler. This tube was plugged.
Upon leaving the loading port we lost further generating tubes which required “plugging.”
Halfway back down the Med., it became time to commence heating the cargo and the boiler continued having tube failures.
Even with the Evaporator operating at full capacity our distilled water tanks were not holding their own and in fact we had to supplement the boiler feed water with water from the domestic tanks. The problem of the leaking boiler tubes and the necessity to heat the cargo was discussed with Capt. Joe Beattie ( a grand Scotsman ) and he suggested calling at Algeciras (Spain) ( no idea how to spell it ) and take on as much domestic water as possible to enable us to reach the IOG and heat the cargo. I discussed this with Head Office and they agreed and in fact when we arrived in Algiceras, Engineer Superintendent, Stan Symon (now sadly deceased) was on the jetty to greet us. Following discussion, his opinion agreed with my own ref the cause of the boiler tubes failing, namely the result of improper or incomplete internal chemical cleaning during the dry-docking.

On departing the port the tubes were leaking to such an extent that the water could be seen through the inspection window boiling on the furnace floor. It was decided not to attempt any further tube plugging but proceed full speed to IOG.

We arrived at IOG without further incident and proceeded to discharge the heated cargo at a reduced rate so as not to fire the boiler too hard.

The Senior Superintendent fro “A” Fleet, David Gibbons inspected the boiler during the discharge and witnessed the leaking water “boiling” on the furnace floor.

He then made the decision that the Main Boiler, Screen and Generating tubes would be replaced during the passage to the Gulf around the Cape by a Sea Going Maintenance Team from (if I remember – Sweden/Norway) who would join the ship at Las Palmas together with the new tubes.

This would entail passage from Las Palmas to the Gulf with electrical power supplied by the two Paxman Diesel Alternators and steam for domestic and fuel heating from the Aux. Package Boiler. In view of the fact that the Paxman diesels had never been run for a sustained period and that one unit at maximum load could barely sustain the full speed required electrical load the Diesel Engineers were not too happy with this scheduled boiler repair.

We departed the IOG after both Paxman diesels had been serviced by a Manufacturer’s Rep., with the two units operating in parallel.

Except for some boiler tube tool problems and the fact that we were seven generating tubes short, problems which were resolved off Durban with the assistance of the local BP Superintendent Donaldson, the passage was without incident and the boiler repair completed on schedule and tested one week prior to arrival at the Gulf loading port.

The Paxman Diesel Alternators had done their job – had they suffered? – read on.

Several days into the loaded passage towards Cape Town the Main Engine had to be stopped in order to clean the Jacket Water Coolers. Because air was being supplied to the main deck it was necessary to supplement the Turbo Alternator electrical load with the Outboard Paxman Alternator.
There was aloud bang from the Outboard Paxman and two crankcase doors “blew off.” This was noticed by the watch keeping Junior Engineer who had just added one gallon of oil to the Paxman diesel. He informed the Engineers in the Control Room by intercom. Surprisingly the unit continued to run and remained on load in parallel with the Turbo Alternator. On receiving the message the Engineers in the Control Room took the unit of load and shut it down, started the inboard Paxman Alternator remotely and put it on load in parallel with the Turbo Alternator.

No alarms(all of which were operational)sounded in the Control Room. Examination revealed that the number two “A” bank connecting rod had fractured, the top half of which came out through the crankcase door together with the piston gudgeon pin. (Nearly caught by the Electrician, Fred Stewart who was in the area) The cylinder head was removed and exposed the top half of the piston seized at the top of the liner, but bit dropped out when given a light tap. The remainder of this piston was found in the sump. Two “B” connecting rod was found bent but intact. Number two “A” liner was found broken into several small pieces for the lower half of its length and the bottom of number two “B” liner was also broken off. The crankshaft balance weight was found broken off in way of the aft retaining bolt. The Liner Block Casting was found damaged in several areas. It was soon decided that the unit could not be repaired due to lack of all necessary spares and these were immediately ordered by cable and passage was resumed.

Five days later it was once again necessary to stop the Main Engine due to failure of the Exhaust Gas Boiler Circulating Pump. The inboard Paxman Diesel Alternator was immediately started and put in parallel electically with the Turbo Alternator as when the Main Engine is stopped quickly it was necessary to ignite fires in the Main Boiler to prevent loss of steam pressure. The Exhaust Gas Boiler was isolated and drained and passage resumed.

Shortly after this steam vapor was noted issuing from the Inboard Paxman Diesel crankcase breather. The unit was shut down for examination. This examination revealed nothing except a slight trace of water in the sump. This water was drained and the unit restarted. As the electrical load was gradually increased to maximum as a test a copious flow of steam vapor issued from the breather. The unit was again shut down and the fault found to be a leaking lube oil cooler. As we had no spare cooler tube stack on board it was decided to exchange coolers with the defective outboard Paxman Diesel.

24 hours later the Main engine had to be slowed due to a Scavenge Fire. I was called and as the fire was quite fierce stopped the Main Engine and extinguished the fire with the steam smothering system.
During this period the Turbo Alternator began to vibrate seriously and within a very short span of time was vibrating so severely that that it was sufficient to operate the over speed trip mechanism. The unit did NOT over speed.

As work on exchanging the Paxman Lube Oil Coolers was not complete we suffered a total power failure.

Within one hour work exchanging the coolers was completed and the Inboard Paxman Diesel Alternator was started and put on load.
Work also commenced lifting the Turbo Alternator cover in order to examine the turbine rotor and bearings.
Work also commenced cleaning the Main Engine Scavenge spaces.

The situation was now as follows:
We had one serviceable Paxman Diesel Alternator.
We were heading north away from the major South African Ports
We were unsure if the Turbo Alternator could be repaired until a thorough examination was complete.
Head Office was advise of the situation.

The Captain received a cable fro HO requesting us to call Mr. David Gibbons as soon as possible. As there was no answer we finally reached Mr. Gibbons at his home number. Mr. Gibbons advised the Captain to change course and head fro Walvis Bay. He advised myself to endeavor to overhaul the Turbo Alternator and prove it with a full load 12 hour test before the Captain could revert to the original Northern course.

The Captain commenced heading to Walvis Bay at 1230hrs and at 1535hrs the inboard Paxman Diesel Alternator failed resulting in a complete power failure. As the Main Engine was doing full speed at 108rpm at the time I had to “kick” the engine astern on air to stop it dead and thus avoid bearing damage due to lack of lubricating oil.

Examination of the Inboard Paxman Diesel revealed that the Number two “A” bank exhaust valve had broken. The cylinder head was removed revealing that the piston had forced the broken exhaust valve into the head leaving a two inch diam. hole in the head. A spare head was fitted together with a new piston and connecting rod. The liner was satisfactory. Upon completion the engine could not be “barred over” by hand and it was suspected that part of the broken valve had found its way into another cylinder. The other “A” bank head was removed and a piece of broken exhaust valve found on top of number three “A” piston but both piston and head appeared undamaged, Unit was closed up. However nothing ever comes easy!! The unit would not start due to the bendix mechanism sticking in the engaged position putting a severe load on the Air Start Motor holding bracket causing it to fracture. All parts were replaced and unit started without a further problem.

Main boiler was fired and steam admitted to the Jacket Water Heating System and the Lubricating Oil Sump. After a thirty six hour delay passage was resumed to Walvis Bay with a load of 230KW on the Paxman Diesel Alternator. This low load was achieved with the Paxman Diesel running on diesel fuel thus eliminating the requirement for heating steam and therefore no boiler. All non essential lighting was shut off. All vent fans were shut off except one in the Engine Room. The Galley was limited to the absolute minimum.

Approximately 24 hours later the vessel was safely anchored in Walvis Bay.
Paxman and Brotherhood Turbine reps. were waiting to board the vessel (with spares.)
The Paxman Rep. condemned the Outboard engine and it was removed from the Engine Room and stored on the bridge deck. HO advised a replacement engine would be supplied at the discharge port. His reasons for the failure – Malta Dry-Dock had apparently broken off the crankshaft balance weight during repairs, fabricated a new one but refitted it with non standard retaining bolts which threw the crankshaft out of balance. Also the connecting rods and bottom ends (which are matched pairs) had been assembled at random. During the overhaul the pistons were probably put in from the top instead of through the crankcase most likely breaking the rings in the process. A good case for having a Makers Rep. present at overhauls.

The Brotherhood Rep. fitted a spare turbine rotor, renewed the high speed bearings. labyrinths packing and high speed flexible coupling. He found the old rotor to be “throwing .003””. His opinion was that the problem was caused by the rotor not being true between centres.

The ship was out of service for ten days.

The passage from Walvis Bay to Ravenna was completed without incident except Number 6 Main Engine Liner fractured and had to be replaced. Diesel Engineers delight!!

My point with this lengthy tale is that all the Engineers except myself
were Diesel men and I had served on steam and diesel. These so called Diesel Engineers coped extremely well with the steam system problems encountered which is why I prefer the terms Marine Engineer or Ships Engineer. Marine Engineers, no matter what their background can handle any problem with little guidance That’s what makes us unique!

Roger

raybnz
12th June 2006, 01:48
Thanks Roger for the report.I enjoyed reading it. As a ex engineer I would go with your last paragraph. We were unique. A lot of skills I picked up at sea I still use today.

If only we all were paid for those extra hours we worked.

Patalavaca
12th June 2006, 11:09
A wonderful story Roger and the epitome of what happens when things go wrong down below, in this instance mostly attributable to the quality of workmanship of Malta drydocks.... & how the knights in shining white overalls come to the rescue ... ok, so they might be a bit grubby by days end....


Shore siders have absolutely no idea of what a breakdown at sea entails and from the catalogue of failures , you and your guys had a bellyfull of repairs to contend with, to say nothing of THOSE temperatures; more so on a steam turbine ship in the tropics.

If you ever find time to read the following report concerning the collision of the Chinese bulker " Bright Field" with a shopping mall on the River Mississippi ( which I am shocked to see was 10 years ago already) , then it makes compulsive reading for anybody with any knowledge of marine engineering.

Yes , the official report is 99 pages long, but thoroughly worth devouring. If you are short of time then try to read from page 48 " Inspections , tests & research" onwards.

You'll be hooked !

http://www.ntsb.gov/publictn/1998/MAR9801.pdf


Regards,
Rick

janbonde
12th June 2006, 14:49
Those maintenance teams which came on board if I remember rightly they were a Dutch company, they had crews of men from all over Europe and Scandanavia even some Spaniards from the Canaries I cannot remember how the company name was written but it sounded like nikerwerker,at least that what was used in Esso

ChiefCharles
12th June 2006, 15:10
Thanks for activating my brain cells. Not sure what country they came from but the Company name was Nickoverken. Not sure of spelling.

richardc
25th June 2006, 21:28
How did you get on with the Inert Gas system on the Commodore? I sailed on the Centaur maiden voyage and we had a major problem when we discharged our first cargo at Grain. It turned out that the input to the tanks from the IG system couldn't keep up with output from the tanks of the cargo pumps. The first we knew of it was the pumps struggling and discharge rates falling. We eventually found the problem, stopped the pumps and opened the mast riser, it took ages for the pressure to equalise.
I don't think the problem was cured during the 6 months I was on the ship. We always had problems getting decent IG readings in the tanks.
Regards,
Richard.

ChiefCharles
27th June 2006, 02:09
Richard,
I read your comments ref. the Inert Gas System on the British Centaur with interest. I served as C/Eng. on the British Commodore in 69 and C/Eng on the Centaur twice in 72/73.
Both vessels from new had not performed to design expectations discharging cargo.
We never experienced the IGS problem you refer to on either vessel but the Commodore did have a problem producing sufficient IG when I first joined which was caused by the Main Deck Isolating valve being in a half open position when indicating it was full open. As you can imagine this problem took considerable time to discover as we started at the IG Fans, Scrubber Tower and Engine Room Valves before getting to the Deck Seal and the Main Deck Isolating Valve.
The problem with the poor cargo discharge performance was discovered on the Centaur on my second tour and was an original design problem.
Total steam available from the boiler at maximum output was 88,000 lbs. Per. Hour.
To run the three cargo pumps at maximum rpm of 1750 according to the turbine and pump manufacturers drawings required 60,000 lbs. Per. Hour of steam, whereas the Operating Data for the vessel stated that only 42,000 lbs. Per Hour of steam were available for Deck and Cargo Pumps of which 36,000 was for the cargo pumps.

Under ideal conditions with the Centaur discharging into the British Dragoon at Lyme Bay with the boiler operating at absolute maximum output the respective cargo pump turbine revolutions obtained were 1300, 1230 and 1400 per minute. Maximum cargo rate obtained was 5632 Tons/Hour. Average IG was 5% Oxygen.

Referring back to your IGS problem I do not understand why the Pressure/Vacuum Valve on the IG Main did not operate to prevent a vacuum forming in the cargo tanks but this would have had the same effect as opening the mast riser valve namely letting air at 21% O2 enter the system. Also the IG Main Low Pressure Alarm should have operated warning of an impending dangerous situation requiring immediate shut down of the cargo pumps while a positive IG pressure still existed in the cargo tanks.

Sorry, guess I got a bit technical, but as you must realize I had my disagreements with the so called Cargo Expeditors who visited the ships to monitor discharge rates during the early 70’s.

Best Regards - Roger

ruud
27th June 2006, 07:07
Thanks for activating my brain cells. Not sure what country they came from but the Company name was Nickoverken. Not sure of spelling.
Ahoy,
Company's name was Nicoverken Holland b.v.and is specialised in ship repairs, overhaul of diesel engines, etc. through our 24 hour worldwide service.
http://www.nicoverken.nl/

benjidog
27th June 2006, 20:37
A remarkable tale of persisting against the odds! Thanks for telling it Roger.

Brian

paul0510
28th June 2006, 11:20
Morning Roger,
just wondering what your surname is seeing as it is quite possible that we both sailed together on the Venture in '69. I was senior Nav/App. Remember a J/E by the name of Edwards who played guitar. Chief Stewards Ken Moyce and Tommy (TC) Church? R/O Ray Nummey. Old Man Bernie Hughes who did the Sunday rounds with white gloves. So if you could further the list of names it would be appreciated.

Paul

Graham Wallace
30th June 2006, 05:10
Morning Roger,
just wondering what your surname is seeing as it is quite possible that we both sailed together on the Venture in '69. I was senior Nav/App. Remember a J/E by the name of Edwards who played guitar. Chief Stewards Ken Moyce and Tommy (TC) Church? R/O Ray Nummey. Old Man Bernie Hughes who did the Sunday rounds with white gloves. So if you could further the list of names it would be appreciated.

Paul

Paul,
Yes he was, but then his seatime info is more detailed than yours, so do you want to bring me up to date? Patrol, Venture, Hero, decidedly thin.

Graham

offcumdum sanddancer
1st September 2006, 13:36
Hello Roger,

You have a marvelous memory, and I think supplemented by your carbon copies of 'Letters to London'?

These letters I always read thoroughly after joining a new ship, as they gave not only a history of the particular problems of that vessels machinery, but also a lesson in themselves of what can happen, in that same way that the reports into marine incidents do (see above 'Bright Field') When I came to do a BSc in systems analysis (mostly) in the 1990's these sort of reports were the main means to be able to analyse how failures happened, but also be able to work out how to help in being able to design out, or at least reduce the odds that they occur again.

I sailed on the Commodore myself in the late seventies (2/E) and had a much more pleasant trip, although we did change an enormous number of main engine liners at sea. This was as a most likely result of the company fitting a fuel homogeniser which supplied 3 units out of the nine, and the other 6 units were supplied with fuel oil that had been centrifugally purified.

Also a late thank you to Roger for giving me a coffee when I visited him in Swansea when I sailed briefly with Trinity House. I think it was the Ensign we sailed together. The worst ships got the best engineers, and then we lost them to head offices! (that's certainly not me, but Roger)

Keith

ChiefCharles
4th September 2006, 21:36
Hi Keith, Good to hear from you, lot of water under the bridge since the Ensign. Yes I do have a few copies of "Letters to London" for ships I was Chief on but not as many as I would like. I can remember incidents more so than people although I do remember you. I have tried to recall as many people as possible from the Ensign and can only come up with yourself, Extra Third Arthur Salmon, Captain Nigel Groves and Junior Chief Malcom Todd. I wonder if you were there when we left Finnart in October 73 and had to hot wash one of the cargo tanks to examine a leaking 4-way pipe(crucifix). Anyway the Butterworth pipe above the main switchboard split and drenched the switchboard in sea water(wonderfull design). This resulted in a complete blackout and even sheared the coupling bolts between the Turbo Alternator gearing/alternator coupling which we had to manufacture new on the ships lathe as we had no spares. I won't give the whole story now as I intend to post it shortly. Suffice to say the Electrician who I can picture but not name did a fantastic job cleaning up the switchboard. Was it Fred Stuart?? I'm impressed with your BSc in systems analysis. Glad to hear you had a better trip on the Commodore than I did. Shortly after that I joined the Centaur which will be the subject of another posting shortly. Had two good trips on her but the first week was hilarious or frightening depending upon your point of view.
Roger
Your profile - "Retired Gentleman" really fits.

offcumdum sanddancer
5th September 2006, 18:24
Roger,

The guy who made the new fitted coupling bolts between the 'gobbler' low efficiency t/a turbine and gearbox, was a one time neighbour of mine here in South Shields, Paul Fentiman. He had fortunately served his time as a fitter/turner. He is no longer with us as he died last? year in Thailand, having reached his own lifetime's ambition by being the owner operator of a bar and having married a local.

I found this out as I met his first and second wife (same person) recently when I visited the Sunderland National glass centre, she is a receptionist there. He had had a heart attack, but this was the second. After the first he did not stop drinking, smoking and leading a good? life!

Paul lived a fast life, obviously. I was guarantor when he adopted his first (and second) wife's child when they married, to say he was a suitable person. It's a bit late now to find out he might not have been.

I will not steal your thunder on the Ensign story, but await the tale, and may reinforce as well.

Cannot remember the lecky at the moment, will try.

Keith

James_C
9th September 2006, 17:43
If you gents were on the old 'C' class, do you remember the "you're in trouble" catchphrase from a certain old man?
"It's either MacAlpines way or the highway"

LOL
(Hippy)

Incidentally, a new C class is joining the BP fleet at the moment, all LPG tankers. British Confidence, British Commerce, British Councillor and British Courage.

endure
16th April 2007, 21:25
I sailed with Joe Beattie on the Progress in 1975. He could certainly hold his whiskey!

paul0510
17th April 2007, 11:50
..remember Joe Beattie well, was Master of the Destiny in '70. Lived on the Tyne and drove a green Audi hatchback I seem to remember, as if anybody was interested ;-)))

BlythSpirit
17th April 2007, 12:59
Perhaps not the technical item as previously related but certainly memorable on a BP Tanker.

I was sailing 5/E on a Shell tanker, the Arianta, back in 1970, and we pulled in to Aden to load white oils for Durban. There was a couple of BP tankers alongside and we went over to one of them to scrounge some tins of Thistlebond, and ended up in the bar, (as you do!!)

There was about six of us ex South Shields Marine College Apprentices, and the chat got round to old girlfriends back in Shields, one young lass was well mentioned, both for her beauty and predilection for marine engineers.

Suddenly the Second Mate jumped up and slammed his pint on the bar and told us to go away ( I think he put shorter than that!) as that was his Fiancee we were yakking about!!

Exit rapidly some redfaced and embarassed Shell Engineers!!

Steve Hodges
24th April 2007, 13:41
Anyone remember those compressed air gun devices that were intended for clearing blockages in the plumbing? You pumped them up by hand , fitted the outlet in to the blocked orifice, then pulled the trigger. Dangerous articles. On the first ship I was on that received one, one of the mates used it to try to clear a blocked toilet, and it cracked the pan into two halves. Later, on one of the VLCCs I got a blockage in my shower drain, so I duly laid hands on "the gun", followed the instructions, and cleared the blockage most effectively. Shortly afterwards met with an irate Chief Steward, who had been innocently taking a shower when a geyser of shitty water erupted from the plug hole, splattering him, his shower cubicle and the deckhead. Must have been the only time anyone came out of a shower dirtier than when they went in.(Thumb)

John_F
24th April 2007, 18:22
Anyone remember those compressed air gun devices that were intended for clearing blockages in the plumbing? (Thumb)

Talking of compressed air devices, whatever happened to Zwicky pumps? I remember that they were part of the fire fighting equipment on board BP's larger vessels. They had a very loud piercing whine when operating.

Kind regards,

John.

King Ratt
24th April 2007, 19:08
Have any of you good BP men read the chippy's lament? If not here it is:

Chippy's lament

To those of you who grunt and groan,
whilst seated on this marble throne
spare a thought or a give a ponder
upon the route your waste will wander
Through paths tortuous it will wind
on bends it will so easily bind
but you know it shoudn’t oughter
if you flush with ample water
so hold the handle for a while
and thus keep chippy’s happy smile
too often has it been his gripe
three inch a..e and two inch pipe.

barnsey
25th April 2007, 02:35
What some fantastic tales and ingenuity .... trust Rick to stick his oar in ... been looking for him .. now I know where he was !!!

Zwicky pumps John? ... yup ... but just at present I am seeing in my memory two types of pumps ... the ones you are talking about were the Air Salvage pumps??? and I can also see another pump on a plank of wood with a lever ... air pump for those bloody Friremans breathing helmets ???

As for the compressed air sani gadget .... what fun!! I remember opening the package when it arrived aboard ... about the same era as Tespa Bandits??? .. and puzzling as top how it worked .... tried it out and blew all sorts of holes on bends which were obviously weak spots in the drainage pipes .... could be they caused more trouble on the older ships than they solved???

I have a picture of one of the 70's in drydock on the Tyne ... I think she was in for pre delivery check up.... must get my colour slides digitally transferred ... anyone got a good system??

Barnsey BP Tankers 1959 - 1974

John_F
25th April 2007, 18:59
Barnsey,
You're right - Zwicky = air salvage pumps & bloody noisy things they were too. Never saw one used in anger thankfully.
The other apparatus that you mention was the Siebe Gorman Fireman's helmet - what a contraption that was! The helmet had two little opening glass windows in the front which were inevitably badly scratched & dirty, making it very difficult to see anything at all out of it. The whole thing was very cumbersome what with the canvas clad air pipe leading from the helmet to the hand pump. Unfortunately, I saw someone killed while using this outfit while attempting to rescue a pumpman who had been overcome by fumes at the bottom of the pumproom. It transpired that one of the glass windows in the helmet had cracked, allowing gas to enter the helmet, killing the wearer. Strangely enough, the pumpman who had been overcome survived.
Kind regards,
John.

paxmanmerv
27th January 2008, 20:01
superb piece about the Paxmans!
Am restoring one of these, V12YHA, & could do with any tales of good fortune or woe along with hints & tips on the opperation of the beast!
Will be touring some steam rallies in the UK this year with it & would be delighted to chat with anyone who remembers the Paxman engines!(Thumb)

mofnotmuff
29th January 2008, 19:58
How about the one about the deck boy tasked to empty the engine room gash bins, when he got to the control room he found a gash bin full of oil and metal, he duly hauled it up to the poop(no mean feat considering the weight) and dumped it over the side and replaced empty gash bin in control room.

Some time later engineer was seen searching for the bits from the lifeboat engine he had left to soak in oil. Bosun and chief agreed deck boy not at fault - gash bins for gash only!

twogrumpy
30th January 2008, 12:17
Paxmans.........Um
One good trick was for them to break the flexible coupling between the two injector pumps, the pumps being mounted in the V between the two banks.
This usually had to be fixed when the engine was red hot, and with BP normally next to nill headroom, think I still have the bumps and scars.
Paxman said that while it was not unusual for the blowers to glow red hot, it was unusual to be able to see the rotating part through the glowing casing.
twogrumpy

Hamish Mackintosh
6th February 2008, 23:25
Paxmans.........Um
One good trick was for them to break the flexible coupling between the two injector pumps, the pumps being mounted in the V between the two banks.
This usually had to be fixed when the engine was red hot, and with BP normally next to nill headroom, think I still have the bumps and scars.
Paxman said that while it was not unusual for the blowers to glow red hot, it was unusual to be able to see the rotating part through the glowing casing.
twogrumpy

Worked in an open cast iron ore mine in Northern Ontario back in the 60's, we picked up the ore with 24 yard self loading scrapers powered by 610 Jimmies, one front one back, the rear motor had about a one foot exhaust pipe off the turbo, and when they came across the ore discharge bin, at night ,it was not uncommon to "see through" the case and see the vanes

d.r.wing
23rd June 2008, 20:15
Another engineers tale. We were at sea in 1961 having left Kwinana on the British Captain a day or so earlier, when we were called to the Eng/rm a tie rod approx 20ft long had sheared off at the nut almost level with the cylinder head we took the nut off the scrap piece and proceeded to drill a 1.5 inch hole into the tie rod all engr's and myself (lecky) taking turns with a ratchet drill, small size drills first then it had to be tapped with a whitworth thread,the tie rod nut was then screwed on to the one and a half remaining threads of the rod, a half inch steel plate with a clearance hole for a 1.5 inch bolt to tighten it down. Yipee it worked this was our ticket to return home early. No such luck we sailed for another six months on that repair. Chief engr Sammy Bodle, 2nd John Sherlock. When we did get back to the UK she was taken to Faslane for breaking up.

Dickyboy
10th June 2009, 20:00
Anyone remember those compressed air gun devices that were intended for clearing blockages in the plumbing? You pumped them up by hand , fitted the outlet in to the blocked orifice, then pulled the trigger. Dangerous articles. On the first ship I was on that received one, one of the mates used it to try to clear a blocked toilet, and it cracked the pan into two halves. Later, on one of the VLCCs I got a blockage in my shower drain, so I duly laid hands on "the gun", followed the instructions, and cleared the blockage most effectively. Shortly afterwards met with an irate Chief Steward, who had been innocently taking a shower when a geyser of shitty water erupted from the plug hole, splattering him, his shower cubicle and the deckhead. Must have been the only time anyone came out of a shower dirtier than when they went in.(Thumb)
I remember those well!
Wern't they called a Kinetic Gun? Various attachments that could be placed in the opening of a scupper, pipe, or whatever, then screwed tight with a butterfly nut so that an airtight seal was made. Then attach the gun to that with the hose provided, having first charged it up with air. Then stand back, turn the head away, close the eyes and pull the trigger. It was an A1 tool, if the attachment had been fitted into the pipe correctly, if not you got a blowback, as happened to me when doing a toilet with one and not fitting the plactic toilet cover on correctly.
Made a great spud gun as well :o MUCH better than the one I had as a kid. It could easily take an eye out.

oilybob
10th June 2009, 22:26
I remember one incident when I was first trip junior on the British Resolution in 96 when it was discovered that the Galley sink had a bit of a blockage on it, so mr mate decided to clear it.
I was not a witness to the actual events but very shortly after it happened there was a longish line of people who just happened to pop by to have a look at the resulting mess.
Mr mate had decided to use the 'At will' fire hose and a few rags to unblock the sink, so equiped with the hose down the drain packed around with the rags the water was turned on, this resulted in pushing the greasy blockage down the pipe until it found an easy way out.
The easy way out being the officers bar sink!!, there was a hell of a mess with what could only be described as 'grease T*rds' lying around the place, the rest of the day was spent cleaning up the bar including removing the entire carpet to clean it and then hanging it up in the engine room to dry for a day or so.
Everything cleaned up well the only remaining sign that something was up was the slight gap around the edges of the carpet when it shrunk a bit.
A lesson was learned for all that day, study the drawing of where stuff might go before forcing it to go that way.

Rob

James_C
10th June 2009, 23:00
Oilybob/Rob,
Would you be Rob Wheeldon?

Dickyboy
10th June 2009, 23:51
There must be hundreds of funny, sad and unbelievable stories of life at sea with BP. Lets get them written and shared before they are long gone and forgotten. This one will get the ball rolling:-

I have followed this thread initiated by Brian(Benjidog) closely and found it both amusing and enlightening. I wonder how on earth the diesel engineers on the mv “British Commodore,” which was an innovative BP tanker built in 1967, managed to cope with the situations which arose in the second half of 1970.

This approximately 68,000d.w.t. motor ship was fitted with the following “steam equipment.”
One 88,000 pounds per hour Babcock and Wilcox integral furnace water tube boiler operating at 285 PSI coupled to an Exhaust Gas Boiler powered by the exhaust gasses from the Main Diesel Engine.
At sea speed the Exhaust Gas Boiler generated sufficient steam to run the Turbo Alternator which produced sufficient electric power to run the engine room plant without the necessity of running a Diesel Alternator or firing the Main Boiler.
The Evaporator used Main Diesel Engine Jacket Water as it’s heating source.
In port the cargo was discharged by Turbine Driven Cargo pumps and obviously in port it was necessary to fire the Main Boiler.
There was also an Auxiliary Package Boiler – 150PSI.
The Butterworth Heater when required used steam from the Main Boiler as did the Cargo Heating System.
In the centre of all this “steam equipment” was an 18,000BHP, 9 cylinder, 840mm bore VT2BF Burmeister and Wain Diesel with three Turbo Chargers.

I had just joined the ship as Chief Engineer prior to her departure from Malta Dry-Dock to pick up a cargo in the Eastern Med. (cannot remember where). The cargo was to be discharged at the Isle of Grain and required heating to a certain temperature to ensure it would not solidify. Shortly after departing Malta we experienced a leaking generating tube in the Main Boiler. This tube was plugged.
Upon leaving the loading port we lost further generating tubes which required “plugging.”
Halfway back down the Med., it became time to commence heating the cargo and the boiler continued having tube failures.
Even with the Evaporator operating at full capacity our distilled water tanks were not holding their own and in fact we had to supplement the boiler feed water with water from the domestic tanks. The problem of the leaking boiler tubes and the necessity to heat the cargo was discussed with Capt. Joe Beattie ( a grand Scotsman ) and he suggested calling at Algeciras (Spain) ( no idea how to spell it ) and take on as much domestic water as possible to enable us to reach the IOG and heat the cargo. I discussed this with Head Office and they agreed and in fact when we arrived in Algiceras, Engineer Superintendent, Stan Symon (now sadly deceased) was on the jetty to greet us. Following discussion, his opinion agreed with my own ref the cause of the boiler tubes failing, namely the result of improper or incomplete internal chemical cleaning during the dry-docking.

On departing the port the tubes were leaking to such an extent that the water could be seen through the inspection window boiling on the furnace floor. It was decided not to attempt any further tube plugging but proceed full speed to IOG.

We arrived at IOG without further incident and proceeded to discharge the heated cargo at a reduced rate so as not to fire the boiler too hard.

The Senior Superintendent fro “A” Fleet, David Gibbons inspected the boiler during the discharge and witnessed the leaking water “boiling” on the furnace floor.

He then made the decision that the Main Boiler, Screen and Generating tubes would be replaced during the passage to the Gulf around the Cape by a Sea Going Maintenance Team from (if I remember – Sweden/Norway) who would join the ship at Las Palmas together with the new tubes.

This would entail passage from Las Palmas to the Gulf with electrical power supplied by the two Paxman Diesel Alternators and steam for domestic and fuel heating from the Aux. Package Boiler. In view of the fact that the Paxman diesels had never been run for a sustained period and that one unit at maximum load could barely sustain the full speed required electrical load the Diesel Engineers were not too happy with this scheduled boiler repair.

We departed the IOG after both Paxman diesels had been serviced by a Manufacturer’s Rep., with the two units operating in parallel.

Except for some boiler tube tool problems and the fact that we were seven generating tubes short, problems which were resolved off Durban with the assistance of the local BP Superintendent Donaldson, the passage was without incident and the boiler repair completed on schedule and tested one week prior to arrival at the Gulf loading port.

The Paxman Diesel Alternators had done their job – had they suffered? – read on.

Several days into the loaded passage towards Cape Town the Main Engine had to be stopped in order to clean the Jacket Water Coolers. Because air was being supplied to the main deck it was necessary to supplement the Turbo Alternator electrical load with the Outboard Paxman Alternator.
There was aloud bang from the Outboard Paxman and two crankcase doors “blew off.” This was noticed by the watch keeping Junior Engineer who had just added one gallon of oil to the Paxman diesel. He informed the Engineers in the Control Room by intercom. Surprisingly the unit continued to run and remained on load in parallel with the Turbo Alternator. On receiving the message the Engineers in the Control Room took the unit of load and shut it down, started the inboard Paxman Alternator remotely and put it on load in parallel with the Turbo Alternator.

No alarms(all of which were operational)sounded in the Control Room. Examination revealed that the number two “A” bank connecting rod had fractured, the top half of which came out through the crankcase door together with the piston gudgeon pin. (Nearly caught by the Electrician, Fred Stewart who was in the area) The cylinder head was removed and exposed the top half of the piston seized at the top of the liner, but bit dropped out when given a light tap. The remainder of this piston was found in the sump. Two “B” connecting rod was found bent but intact. Number two “A” liner was found broken into several small pieces for the lower half of its length and the bottom of number two “B” liner was also broken off. The crankshaft balance weight was found broken off in way of the aft retaining bolt. The Liner Block Casting was found damaged in several areas. It was soon decided that the unit could not be repaired due to lack of all necessary spares and these were immediately ordered by cable and passage was resumed.

Five days later it was once again necessary to stop the Main Engine due to failure of the Exhaust Gas Boiler Circulating Pump. The inboard Paxman Diesel Alternator was immediately started and put in parallel electically with the Turbo Alternator as when the Main Engine is stopped quickly it was necessary to ignite fires in the Main Boiler to prevent loss of steam pressure. The Exhaust Gas Boiler was isolated and drained and passage resumed.

Shortly after this steam vapor was noted issuing from the Inboard Paxman Diesel crankcase breather. The unit was shut down for examination. This examination revealed nothing except a slight trace of water in the sump. This water was drained and the unit restarted. As the electrical load was gradually increased to maximum as a test a copious flow of steam vapor issued from the breather. The unit was again shut down and the fault found to be a leaking lube oil cooler. As we had no spare cooler tube stack on board it was decided to exchange coolers with the defective outboard Paxman Diesel.

24 hours later the Main engine had to be slowed due to a Scavenge Fire. I was called and as the fire was quite fierce stopped the Main Engine and extinguished the fire with the steam smothering system.
During this period the Turbo Alternator began to vibrate seriously and within a very short span of time was vibrating so severely that that it was sufficient to operate the over speed trip mechanism. The unit did NOT over speed.

As work on exchanging the Paxman Lube Oil Coolers was not complete we suffered a total power failure.

Within one hour work exchanging the coolers was completed and the Inboard Paxman Diesel Alternator was started and put on load.
Work also commenced lifting the Turbo Alternator cover in order to examine the turbine rotor and bearings.
Work also commenced cleaning the Main Engine Scavenge spaces.

The situation was now as follows:
We had one serviceable Paxman Diesel Alternator.
We were heading north away from the major South African Ports
We were unsure if the Turbo Alternator could be repaired until a thorough examination was complete.
Head Office was advise of the situation.

The Captain received a cable fro HO requesting us to call Mr. David Gibbons as soon as possible. As there was no answer we finally reached Mr. Gibbons at his home number. Mr. Gibbons advised the Captain to change course and head fro Walvis Bay. He advised myself to endeavor to overhaul the Turbo Alternator and prove it with a full load 12 hour test before the Captain could revert to the original Northern course.

The Captain commenced heading to Walvis Bay at 1230hrs and at 1535hrs the inboard Paxman Diesel Alternator failed resulting in a complete power failure. As the Main Engine was doing full speed at 108rpm at the time I had to “kick” the engine astern on air to stop it dead and thus avoid bearing damage due to lack of lubricating oil.

Examination of the Inboard Paxman Diesel revealed that the Number two “A” bank exhaust valve had broken. The cylinder head was removed revealing that the piston had forced the broken exhaust valve into the head leaving a two inch diam. hole in the head. A spare head was fitted together with a new piston and connecting rod. The liner was satisfactory. Upon completion the engine could not be “barred over” by hand and it was suspected that part of the broken valve had found its way into another cylinder. The other “A” bank head was removed and a piece of broken exhaust valve found on top of number three “A” piston but both piston and head appeared undamaged, Unit was closed up. However nothing ever comes easy!! The unit would not start due to the bendix mechanism sticking in the engaged position putting a severe load on the Air Start Motor holding bracket causing it to fracture. All parts were replaced and unit started without a further problem.

Main boiler was fired and steam admitted to the Jacket Water Heating System and the Lubricating Oil Sump. After a thirty six hour delay passage was resumed to Walvis Bay with a load of 230KW on the Paxman Diesel Alternator. This low load was achieved with the Paxman Diesel running on diesel fuel thus eliminating the requirement for heating steam and therefore no boiler. All non essential lighting was shut off. All vent fans were shut off except one in the Engine Room. The Galley was limited to the absolute minimum.

Approximately 24 hours later the vessel was safely anchored in Walvis Bay.
Paxman and Brotherhood Turbine reps. were waiting to board the vessel (with spares.)
The Paxman Rep. condemned the Outboard engine and it was removed from the Engine Room and stored on the bridge deck. HO advised a replacement engine would be supplied at the discharge port. His reasons for the failure – Malta Dry-Dock had apparently broken off the crankshaft balance weight during repairs, fabricated a new one but refitted it with non standard retaining bolts which threw the crankshaft out of balance. Also the connecting rods and bottom ends (which are matched pairs) had been assembled at random. During the overhaul the pistons were probably put in from the top instead of through the crankcase most likely breaking the rings in the process. A good case for having a Makers Rep. present at overhauls.

The Brotherhood Rep. fitted a spare turbine rotor, renewed the high speed bearings. labyrinths packing and high speed flexible coupling. He found the old rotor to be “throwing .003””. His opinion was that the problem was caused by the rotor not being true between centres.

The ship was out of service for ten days.

The passage from Walvis Bay to Ravenna was completed without incident except Number 6 Main Engine Liner fractured and had to be replaced. Diesel Engineers delight!!

My point with this lengthy tale is that all the Engineers except myself
were Diesel men and I had served on steam and diesel. These so called Diesel Engineers coped extremely well with the steam system problems encountered which is why I prefer the terms Marine Engineer or Ships Engineer. Marine Engineers, no matter what their background can handle any problem with little guidance That’s what makes us unique!

Roger
Hi!
I joined the Commodore in Malta as a GP1 on 10/07/70 I don't remember, or probably didn't know, what the exact problems with the Commodore were She was a sod though. I do remember that. As I recall we carried one cargo in the six months I was on her. I remember calling in at Walvis Bay, but don't remember the IOG or the other ports of call. My visit to Ravenna may have been on her. I paid of in a bitterly cold Portland Maine and flew home via Boston on 23/01/71 Was it her they put a big Jenny on the deck, stbd side, just abaft the wheelhouse and close to the accomodation?
I was on another ship where we called into Walvis Bay to have new main engine (If that's the correct term) turbine blades replaced. The steam system got very badly contaminated with sea water and when they pulled the turbines out It looked like a bloody great christmas cake. That Could have been the Mariner, where we spent weeks alongside in Angle Bay, having the whole system flushed out with freshly distilled, and very hot water supplied by road tanker from the Ahem.... sorry about this...Texa*o, refinery up the road. (I just couldn't say it) :o I may have my ships confused a bit, It was a long time ago.
Cheers!

Old Janner
11th June 2009, 04:06
How about the one about the deck boy tasked to empty the engine room gash bins, when he got to the control room he found a gash bin full of oil and metal, he duly hauled it up to the poop(no mean feat considering the weight) and dumped it over the side and replaced empty gash bin in control room.

Some time later engineer was seen searching for the bits from the lifeboat engine he had left to soak in oil. Bosun and chief agreed deck boy not at fault - gash bins for gash only!

Oh Dearee me, BP Tanker dumping oil and gash over the side!!!

verawoddip
8th October 2009, 21:28
To add to ChiefCharles experiences - I was on the maiden voyage of the British Centaur as senior apprentice.
I think it was the longest ship anyone had been on because as soon as it started pitching in the Bay of Biscay it was visibly bending! Obviously the makers were contacted and they said not to worry unless it bends more than 12 feet! It was certainly very uncomfortable with all the accommodation aft.
As was the way with BP, all the officers were very senior, 4 year third mate, 8 year second etc all waiting for promotion. What a miserable lot of so and so's they were, all watching each other!
I was on there for 6 months and only saw the captain 3 times, he was a chronic alcoholic, one can and he was out for days. The Chief wasn't much better but at least you did see him (staggering) around. I remember his wild eyes as he threatened me once when he was in a drunken stupor.
You have to wonder at the thinking by a company that gives people like this a ship of this size. This was not uncommon in BP by the looks of it.
It was a long 6 months as we had to go round the Cape everytime (although I believe they eventually came to an agreement with the Suez Canal people).
BP were good to there personnel but tankers bored me silly, I did 2 years as third mate then left.

stewart4866
8th October 2009, 21:44
Sailed on her sister ship Commerce first trip J/E, only of the ship once in 5 months. C/E was P F Spires, 3/E Andy Langer, J/3E Ken Channock. Stewart.

Ryder
9th October 2009, 00:13
The Kinetic Gun was a fine piece of equipment. When I was mate on the Merlin we modified ours by putting a barrel on it, pumping it up and loading it with empty beer cans and trying shoot down seagulls. Several near misses but never a hit !!

James_C
9th October 2009, 00:16
We have a 3/E in my present outfit who constructs a 'Can Cannon' on every ship he sails on. Basically a compressed air bazooka for firing empty beer cans over the wall during Sundowners!
(Hippy)

red devil
3rd January 2010, 18:29
I read with interest the incident on the British Ensign way back in October 1973 reported by Chief Charles and offcundum sanddancer. I was the 3/0 on watch at the time of the incident which occured whilst on passage from Finnart to Cape Town in the Irish Sea off Liverpool. I remember it was a fine morning with a following wind, the crew were on deck tank washing, when everything was spoiled by an almighty explosion in the engine room, this was followed by clouds of smoke rising through the skylights and the ship blacked out. My watchman hurriedly raised the NUC signal which must have given the OOW on an overtaking cargo ship about half a mile astern quite a fright once he had realised what was happening!
I remember most of the deck officers helping out below including me in my lily white boiler suit, changing many of the blown fuses, and I also remember seeing the melted copper connections in the switchboard.
This was one of three incidents which occured during my five months on this jinx ship. The following month after loading at Kharg Island we set off for Genoa and off the coast of Somalia some of the GP crew set to to clean and paint the funnel, after making sure the junior ratings were all securely in their bosuns chairs the senior AB climbed out onto his some 40 feet above the deck. As soon as he was seated the chairs gantline snapped and he fell in the seated position to the deck below, breaking his pelvis and arm.
I was on watch at the time so was the first on the scene and I still cringe at the thought of this mans cries of pain as we attempted to get him into a strecher.
That evening after a rapid U turn to rendevous with a Russian tanker which of course had a doctor onboard I motored one of our lifeboats over to pick him up. The outcome of this was that he needed hospital treatment asap so the ship made for Mombasa at full speed. The poor AB who came from Hull had to spend 3 days in semi conciousness before we transfered him to the pilot boat. I hope he made a full recovery.
The third incident occured during lifeboat practise with MY boat! One crewman got into the boat to remove the tarpaulin and pass the gripes over, another man armed with a hammer clouted the quick release link on the for'd gripe and without warming the boat suddenly dropped down a couple of feet by the bow, luckily the crewman in the boat fell in the between the thwarts and not over the side. The aft gripe bit into the gunwhales severly damaging the boat.
The British Ensign was enough for me and I left BP and got a job ashore in February 74!!
Although both authors wrote their pieces some time ago I do hope they will see this and perhaps remember who I am. I must admit I'm hopeless with names especially after so many years, but I do remember Nigel the c/o and the r/o Kevin Kielthy who tragically died on the British Trent some years later.

nobby clarke
16th January 2010, 10:42
hi all, was wondering if any of you bp chaps served on bp tanker hatasie around 70 71 we took her in tow off durban lost her prop i think i was mate on the tug statesman united towing it started of lyods open form we where rubbing our hands by the time we docked it was a contract job, regards nobby clarke

Jim S
16th January 2010, 21:44
I think she was a Shell H-Class not BP

Splinter
17th January 2010, 15:15
Have any of you good BP men read the chippy's lament? If not here it is:

Chippy's lament

To those of you who grunt and groan,
whilst seated on this marble throne
spare a thought or a give a ponder
upon the route your waste will wander
Through paths tortuous it will wind
on bends it will so easily bind
but you know it shoudn’t oughter
if you flush with ample water
so hold the handle for a while
and thus keep chippy’s happy smile
too often has it been his gripe
three inch a..e and two inch pipe.


How true, many's the time I've ruined the deckies mop when conducting the delicate operation of clearing a blockage.

Ray. (Jester)

ChiefCharles
1st March 2010, 01:35
I just came across the June 10th comments by “Dickyboy” on his trip on the British Commodore, in response to my original Commodore story which started this thread.
You are right “Dickyboy” it was a long time ago (40 years) and you pushed my memory to its limit!. I also joined in Malta dry-dock but am sorry to say I do not remember you but would no doubt recognize you in a photo. I also left in Portland, Maine and flew home from Boston in January 71. An interesting coincidence is that my daughter has lived in Portland, Maine since she married several years ago.
As for carrying only one cargo in the six months you must have your ships mixed up!
First cargo which started all the fun was a ”heated cargo” from Tripoli to I.O.G.
Second cargo was from Mena?? To Ravenna via Walvis Bay
Third cargo (another heated cargo) was from a Med. Loading Port to Antwerp.
Fourth cargo was from Das Island to Portland.
We did not have a Generator on deck during my time on her.
Hope the above brings some memories back for you.
You have reminded me of another incident that occurred on this mighty vessel which I will try to describe as I remember it. On passage from Antwerp to Das Island, just short of taking stores at Cape Town. Engine Plant was performing well and all the Engineers including myself thought we were finally winning the “fight” with this Engine and its associated equipment. For two weeks we had been at full engine power and an average voyage speed of 16.5 when we had to slow the engine to 25 rpm due to loss of Fuel Valve Cooling pressure. Problem was quickly located and resolved – pump suction blocked with a clump of “cotton waste.” Upon returning to full power the Centre Turbo Blower started to vibrate severely followed by a temporary seizure as the engine power was reduced. Turbo Blower failures of this nature had been a long standing problem on this vessel and it was the usual practice to stop the ship and fit the spare rotor and bearings etc. However in this case the ship was in rough weather and rolling heavily. Following a discussion with the 2/Eng I met with the Master, Joe Beattie to discuss the problem. I told him that due to the weather conditions we would be unable to use the cranes if we stopped and overhauling the unit would be difficult and dangerous. I suggested that although I had never heard of it being done in the past on any similar ship we could run the engine with power from only six of the nine cylinders. It would entail a brief stop to remove the exhaust valve push rods, lift units 4, 5 and 6 fuel pumps (also shutting fuel off these units) and fit blanks to the Turbo Blower gas inlet and gas outlet and to the air outlet. Captain Beattie suggested that to assist the repair he would alter course to prevent the ship from rolling heavily. This plan of action was adopted and the ship stopped. We advised Head Office by cable of the intended repair method.
Upon removal of the Push Rods and blanking of the Turbo Charger etc. we attempted to start the engine and although it took a lot of air and sounded very strange it started OK. Engine ran smoothly at approx. 75 rpm but due to gas leakage from around the gas outlet blank rpm’s were reduced to 65 to improve working conditions. Between 65 and 70 rpm the exhaust manifold vibrated severely.
Working conditions were terrible due to the builders supplied gas outlet blank rupturing but work continued at 65 rpm until the spare rotor and new bearings had been fitted.
Cause of the failure was found to be uneven deposits on the blading which had caused the initial vibration. The blower end bearing was wiped and the labyrinth packing ring was fractured and rubbing on the rotor shaft.
I cannot remember how long the repair took but I do know we would have lost much more time if we had waited until the weather improved.
The BP Resident Superintendent in Cape Town/Durban – Mr. Donaldson was advised that we would be landing the rotor for cleaning and balancing and pick up on the return voyage.
What concerned me with the above actions was that there was minimal information in the Engine Instruction Manual. However I was encouraged by the fact that the necessary blanks were aboard the ship. I have since learned that with one Turbo Blower out of three taken out of service, maximum power should be 66% of full and max. rpm 87% of full.
I would be very interested to learn of any similar experiences.
Regards - Roger

Jon Vincent
2nd March 2010, 01:10
Amazing I never relised how much the various chiefs lied to me when I was master/Ch Off, thanks guys this has been very enlightning reading you comments on the problems of various classes of BP tankers

mpr41410
23rd June 2013, 21:41
Sammy Bodell's name was mentioned above, I owe a debt to Sammy that all who cringe at the thought of public speaking will sympathise with.
Sam was c/e when a new berth was inaugurated at geraldton, the agent wanted some brass there and because the old man got pe eyed and the mate was running cargo sam was elected. He wore his best battledress for the occasion.
I don't think his mum had ever told him how to button up but he never started from the bottom always the middles and never synchronised. Caps were unheard of but he had a lovely beret!
Here's the picture, like a country fete with a large stage and a piano, local radio there with one of those mikes that had the mouthpiece strung in the cetre of a metal frame.
The mayor of geraldton is there plus a large pile of swan and sam has taken a few, the pianist has taken about 4 times as many.
The mayor started his waffle about the new berth and 20 minutes or so later asked Sam to "say a few words"
Sam, in his lovely brogue said I won't say a few words but I'll sing a wee song for you, turned to the pianist and asked do you know bless this house? The pianist played like les dawson, sam sang his song to rapturous applause and I got the best ice breaker for starting an address that god could have given anyone. Thanks, Sam. BTW I named my youngest son after him.

Graham Wallace
24th June 2013, 17:00
Sammy Bodell's name was mentioned above, I owe a debt to Sammy that all who cringe at the thought of public speaking will sympathise with.
Sam was c/e when a new berth was inaugurated at geraldton, the agent wanted some brass there and because the old man got pe eyed and the mate was running cargo sam was elected. He wore his best battledress for the occasion.
I don't think his mum had ever told him how to button up but he never started from the bottom always the middles and never synchronised. Caps were unheard of but he had a lovely beret!
Here's the picture, like a country fete with a large stage and a piano, local radio there with one of those mikes that had the mouthpiece strung in the cetre of a metal frame.
The mayor of geraldton is there plus a large pile of swan and sam has taken a few, the pianist has taken about 4 times as many.
The mayor started his waffle about the new berth and 20 minutes or so later asked Sam to "say a few words"
Sam, in his lovely brogue said I won't say a few words but I'll sing a wee song for you, turned to the pianist and asked do you know bless this house? The pianist played like les dawson, sam sang his song to rapturous applause and I got the best ice breaker for starting an address that god could have given anyone. Thanks, Sam. BTW I named my youngest son after him.

Sammy Bodel !, I will always have great memories of Sammy, short ,heavy build, strong Irish accent. I joined my second ship the Justice as Engineer Apprentice 8th May 1959 at IOG only to find my first task was the get Sammy dressed so he could visit the 'Ladies' in Chatham and Rochester that evening, delightful task, never to be forgotten.
We did two consecutive slow speed trip round Cape and back Mina IOG, a couple of interesting bolier incidents ( close to priming) and 'balling' water tubes for eventual plugging. Her 3/E at the time recently successfully claimed Mesothelioma with BP caused at that time.

I have the Officer and Apprentices crew list for the Captain for September 1961 when Sammy was C/E, he was a very heavy drinker , I wonder how long he lasted.

I nearly forgot, he always carried his pump-up ring for his haemorroids

Graham

twogrumpy
25th June 2013, 15:52
We have a 3/E in my present outfit who constructs a 'Can Cannon' on every ship he sails on. Basically a compressed air bazooka for firing empty beer cans over the wall during Sundowners!
(Hippy)

Just spotted this one, we had the same idea on one of the engineers aft 50's so that we could bombard the mates as they came aft to eat, never got round to it though.(Jester)

2G