China Ports Navigation

raybnz
22nd October 2006, 20:42
I can remember reading about problems that arised during the navigation of British flagged vessels when entering some ports in China during the 1960-70s.

A mate was caught marking a light/buoy onto a chart and was put in jail.

Not sure of the company involved nor the actual date this happened.

Would be interested in learning more.

Geoff Garrett
22nd October 2006, 22:15
It happened on board a Blue Flue ship, she was placed under arrest and held for several months and as I recall, during The Cultural Revolution. Did a "ticket" at Liverpool with the offending Mate. Sorry I can't help you with any of the dates.

raybnz
23rd October 2006, 05:24
Thanks Geoff. Once again this site is incredible with its response.

It happened on board a Blue Flue ship, she was placed under arrest and held for several months and as I recall, during The Cultural Revolution. Did a "ticket" at Liverpool with the offending Mate. Sorry I can't help you with any of the dates.

pilot
23rd October 2006, 05:53
It happened on board a Blue Flue ship, she was placed under arrest and held for several months and as I recall, during The Cultural Revolution. Did a "ticket" at Liverpool with the offending Mate. Sorry I can't help you with any of the dates.

Did a radar obs. course in Lverpool with the Mate. Mid 70's he was then master with Ocean Fleets.

He told us that they also took off a Cadet and 2nd. Mate. The 2 officers did not know the cadet was also under arrest and the Chinese used the Cadet to confirm the accounts the mates gave them.
(Seem the think the mate was called Flood, Hood or Blood?)

Regards.

John Briggs
23rd October 2006, 07:09
First went to China in 1960 as third mate and it was very nasty. The whole crew kept on deck for over 12 hours while they searched the accommodation. We had been well briefed and they only found a couple of harmless magazines but they managed to make something out of it.

I have to take my hat off to Naval Intelligence as first thing on arrival back in HK we were all mustered and an intelligence type chappie asked for the photographs that had been taken from a cabin on the stbd side during our departure from Shanghai and transit of the river. Eventually a junior engineer owned up and handed over the film - clever stuff!

Went back again in 65 but this time chartered to the Chinese (Cuba run) and it was quite different. We even convinced them to pay a charterers bonus. Used to load us up each trip with boxes of Mao badges, little red books, leaflets etc. for handing out in various ports. These all got the big heave over the wall mid ocean - wish I had kept a few now!

Charlie_Wood
23rd October 2006, 11:18
One of my great regrets is that I didn't get enough anecdotes from my old man before he passed away. He was apprentice to Master with BI from the early 30's to late 50's. He did tell me that, as second mate, he was always briefed by Naval Intelligence before departing for the China coast with specific info they wanted.

He did tell me that of all the ports of the world, Shanghai in the the 1930's could never be matched for a run ashore(EEK)

Paul Liu
23rd October 2006, 16:57
This thread is of interest to me as one who is of Chinese origin. May I point out that you can never generalize from one experience in one China port case to another. What worked once will not work again. It's a totally lawless regime currently. Yes, they have laws supposedly. But most of the lawyers that were trying to argue cases based on their laws are in jail, being tortured or killed. The best thing you can do is to stay away, if at all possible, and pray. Pray that the regime will follow the old U.S.S.R. sooner rather than later. Hope all the bussiness in the free world will have patience. It will be a wonderful market only when the thugs regime is completely eliminated!

Trevorw
23rd October 2006, 20:07
I remember going to Tsingtao in 1964. The search party found the Monopoly money in the Officers' smokeroom and we were all provisionally arrested for importing illegal currrency! Fortunately, we managed to convince them it was only a game!

Andrew Craig-Bennett
21st December 2011, 21:53
This is a nice thread and somewhat a propos the current "Bought in Shanghai" thread.

In the 1980's the depth of water on the Yangtse bar was directly related to whether or not the shipowner or charterer had entered into a despatch agreement, and I seem to recall that US$60K was worth a metre of draft...

BeerSailor
21st December 2011, 22:48
I can remember reading about problems that arised during the navigation of British flagged vessels when entering some ports in China during the 1960-70s.

A mate was caught marking a light/buoy onto a chart and was put in jail.

Not sure of the company involved nor the actual date this happened.

Would be interested in learning more.
A History of the British Merchant Navy (Vol. Five) by Richard Woodman has a very interesting chapter about the difficulties experienced on the China coast and has good detail about this incident.
Brian

Jardine
22nd December 2011, 10:25
This is a nice thread and somewhat a propos the current "Bought in Shanghai" thread.

.


'somewhat a propos' well get a load of you!!!!

You can do a bit of name dropping on this NICE thread!

Jardine
22nd December 2011, 10:29
A History of the British Merchant Navy (Vol. Five) by Richard Woodman has a very interesting chapter about the difficulties experienced on the China coast and has good detail about this incident.
Brian

And please tell me where this fine seaman Richard Woodman was a Midshipman and Junior Officer?

Chris Isaac
22nd December 2011, 11:48
'somewhat a propos' well get a load of you!!!!

You can do a bit of name dropping on this NICE thread!

In english it is one word "apropos".

Jardine
22nd December 2011, 11:56
In english it is one word "apropos".

Correct Chris. I thought it inappropriate to correct his grammar in open forum.

Strachan
22nd December 2011, 19:39
And please tell me where this fine seaman Richard Woodman was a Midshipman and Junior Officer?

The word "Midshipman" tells all. He was a Junior middy on Antenor when I was getting to the end of my time.

BeerSailor
22nd December 2011, 20:58
And please tell me where this fine seaman Richard Woodman was a Midshipman and Junior Officer?
Presumably NZS had no vacancies at the time! Joking aside, I have a number of his non-fiction books including the five book series A History of the British Merchant Navy. Excellent.

Julian Calvin
22nd December 2011, 21:22
Nothing to do with this thread although similar vein.
Wonder how much our "naval colleagues" put us in dangerous waters.
Went on the Myrmidon to Mururoa atoll in South Pacific. This where the French tested their atomic bombs.
Similar to China, not allowed to use radar or take bearings, However, before sailing, I was briefed by Naval Attache and asked to make drawings and sketches as the Admiralty had scanty information. Luckily the French Foreign Legion guys who boarded were a great bunch who enjoyed seeing the wives onboard and we had a great party.
If they had seen me making notes etc though, could have been quite nasty.
Still awaiting my MBE.

Andrew Craig-Bennett
23rd December 2011, 13:47
'somewhat a propos' well get a load of you!!!!

You can do a bit of name dropping on this NICE thread!

Delighted to oblige, dear boy. I've known Richard Woodman for the past 38 years. Happy now?

joebuckham
23rd December 2011, 14:13
is it me, or is the ghost of b.d. hovering again [=D]

Jardine
23rd December 2011, 14:43
Delighted to oblige, dear boy. I've known Richard Woodman for the past 38 years. Happy now?

Happy?......impressed no less!!

garry Norton
23rd December 2011, 23:31
Went into shanghai on Eastern Muse early 60,s ,the radio officer was questioned for several hours about not declaring all his small change money.The Captain there was an ex Shanghai river pilot but we still had to take all fuses out of the radar,echo sound etc. At night we used to put up to our port holes a tape recorder to play music and when the Red Guards came rushing to the ship we would stop broadcasting and another ship would start up playing music.

Hugh Ferguson
24th December 2011, 11:11
My visits to North China ports alternated-after the bombing by the Nationalists of the Anchises and the machine gunning of the Glenearn. After that it became, once to North China and the next to Taiwan, but never the twain.
Between 1947 and 1952 I was, with exception of one voyage, constantly in that trade and never experienced any problems. On one occasion, in Tsingtao, I was asked/ordered by the captain to sound around the ship. He told me the Navy wanted the information, so I found myself creeping around the ship in the dead of night with a leadline and constructing a little chart of the soundings.
The weather was bitter cold and the Red Guards had made themselves comfortable in the passenger accommodation: good job any one of them hadn't gone out for a look around and wondered what that strange line with bits of coloured bunting on it was doing, dangling over the side!

Jardine
24th December 2011, 17:56
You certainly had to be careful trading up there as the slightest contravention could land you in big trouble. Things were only marginally better for HK based operators than BF and that is probably borne out of us trading their continuously.

Cisco
24th December 2011, 18:06
is it me, or is the ghost of b.d. hovering again [=D]

No... its not just you .......

lakercapt
24th December 2011, 20:27
A trip to Tsingtao in the 70's was something as the crew except for one engineer and AB were all assembled in the crew mess as the ship was searched.
Armed guards were posted on board and roamed the ship.
Ashore we had the international club and guided tours (One to the brewery was good)
Martial music was played over the loudspeakers night and day.
We had many visits from "students" to practice their English (with a Scots crew!!!!) and were surprised at the freedom we had. At that time many industries in the UK were nationalized and they found it difficult to understand when I told them that the ,Railways, steelworks, coal mines etc were owned by the People and not by blood sucking running dogs!!!!
Glad to leave there and head to Japan which was like gong from night to day

Jardine
24th December 2011, 20:46
The brewery, I am told, was originally operated by Germans.

Andrew Craig-Bennett
25th December 2011, 00:16
The brewery, I am told, was originally operated by Germans.

Indeed it was; Tsingtao / Qingdao is often described as having been a German treaty port but in fact Germany was not a signatory to the Unequal Treaties - Tsingtao was the result of a simple land grab by Admiral von Diederichs of the Imperial German Navy following the murder of two German missionaries in November 1897.

Tsingtao was a fishing village, and became the capital of the German colony of Kiaochow from 1898 to 1914 when it was beseiged and captured by the Japanese.

The Germania brewery was founded in 1903 and complied with (and still complies with) the German Beer Purity Law.

Visiting Qingdao today one is still struck by the "Germanic" feel of the place's architecture, the Cathedal and the Rathaus are remains of the German colony butmuch of Qingdao's recent architecture still looks "German" to my eye.

It also reminds me somewhat of Busan - holiday resort, major port and industrial centre all on one.