14th June 2018, 07:54
Hello from wellington nz(Jester)

14th June 2018, 07:57
worked for ssa line for a month in 1974 6th eng

Paul Braxton
14th June 2018, 08:05
What ship?

14th June 2018, 08:08
mv megantic 1974

14th June 2018, 08:10
bumbling around a bit

15th June 2018, 12:50
A warm welcome aboard from the Philippines. Please enjoy all this great site has to offer

15th June 2018, 13:24
Welcome to SN. Wow, you lasted well. Did you jump in the first port?

John T

16th June 2018, 00:33
Well, the 2nd treated me like ****, then I couldn't deal with the food or the class system,. Was coming back to ship one night in Auckland and some other engineer 5th I think decided that I was going in the drink between ship and dock at 1 am. Well, I wasn't having any of that, I heard him running at me, but I couldn't see him, he was yelling at the top of his lungs. I didn't recall the impact, but I sort of woke as I was holding him above my head somehow by his body as I slammed him into the concrete. His nickname was the bolt. Anyway, 3 broken bones later I'm supposed to be now going deepsea not relieving anymore. Bugger that if this is what sea life is about you can count me out. Chief wanted to know why I damaged one of his engineers, second tried to suck up to me. I told him how it was.

16th June 2018, 01:04
Wow we seem to have a story that needs a bit of expansion!


16th June 2018, 06:41
I always wanted to go to sea even before I had been trained as an engineer. Four years of hard slog as a member of a shore party, I worked on other SSA boats The Doric, Ionic etc, Rail ferries, cement boats, phosphate boats, tug boats, steam tugboats with triple expansion engines. Doxford engines, Harland and wolf, sulza, English electric, Then after an oral examination from SSA super. I got a job as a reliever. On the MV Megantic, flew to Auckland to join it, except it wasn't where it was supposed to be. It was in the stream. The taxi dropped me off with all my gear at the wharf it was assigned to. Three hours later I went on board, with a letter from the super. The other juniors showed me the ropes and the second said he was giving me all the difficult watches as his guys were tired out. I shrugged and got on with things. The first few weeks were great, then the second started to get morose, kiwi rubbish food and beer he kept abusing me mickey mouse this mickey mouse that. He would tank up on gin then take out photos of his girlfriend the cadets and other juniors would say what a good looker she was and ask why he hadn't brought her along as well, as it was possible. Of course, they would soon say that they would get into that. This would make him more and more morose. I would join to get something back on him after all the abuse he was dishing out.

16th June 2018, 08:57
Sounds like this lot is coming out of a book. Never mind, carry on we could do with a laugh until the Gallery is fixed. (Whaaa)

16th June 2018, 09:59
This has the makings of a good yarn - let us have it all Yellowboy.



16th June 2018, 11:09
I am quite flattered Cueball, maybe I should write a book the life and times of Big Bad James. As I began generator watches the second said if I find any easy ways to clean the purifier I was to inform him at once. Whats this all about I thought must be a catch here. The other juniors had figured a way to nurse the fuel use through their watches to always have me purifying. It took a whole 8 hours to clean the mucky thing. I asked others how to clean it. They all had hair-brained and dangerous ways. I finally figured a great way without any risk. After running four or five tonnes through it, I would shut all the valves turn it off. Once it was stopped I would pull out the dishes in one stack, put them aside, mop up the seal water, put dishes back in, Lock the nut, bring it up to speed, open exhaust valve or discharge valve, I'm forgetting names as its been a while. open inlet valve lets a gallon or so unpurified diesel through. Turn off the machine and all valves. You have never seen a machine so clean. For half an hour of graft. This would give me a lot easier watch. Then there was the time I dozed of with the compressor on as I was pumping up the air start bottles. Lifted the safeties, at 400lbs, that woke me with a start, rushed about opening all air valves in the engine room, didn't want the second to catch me. Didn't do that again.

16th June 2018, 11:35
The only thing the second ever said to me was always something negative. As I was taking exhaust manifold temp. readings I noticed a scavenge fire, instead of the normal 900degrees, it shot up to 1900 for a moment or two, so I wrote it down in the watch records. next day the chief and second were examining it carefully, haha had to get off their butts for a while. I slept two metres from my workplace, I missed driving to work and being able to ring up and claim to be sick or something. I drank some awful mixes and cocktails, Jellybeans were ok as long as one didn't overdo them, as being sick on that mixture was awful. Had trouble getting some sea legs, I had to carry a bucket around not much fun, sitting and sleeping was ok.

16th June 2018, 14:39
Getting lost in this story, James. Did you fly out to join the ship or did you live in NZ?

I have heard some strange stories about Shaw Saville but always remember, just because you're paranoid it doesn't mean they're not after you!

John T

16th June 2018, 16:07
SN's golden palm for top extraction of the yellow fluid yellow boy...

17th June 2018, 05:34
Live in Wellington NZ so wasn't far to come. I am 6 foot seven and as wide as a brick scat house so let them come. Also into very long range rifle shooting, pistol, black powder and small-bore. Also just recently bought an early English cutlass made by Mr Mole and son. The more the merrier. I thought that the SSA super would have been mad at me for leaving so early. But I bumped into him at my initiation into Freemasonry, seemed quite congenial.

17th June 2018, 07:07
The 8 hour watches were hard to deal with I was always tired, so I slept a lot, drinking companions were always getting a passkey from second and drag me into the bar. Never could understand why people needed others to be with to drink. The lifeboat drill was always the old boat above my cabin when the lister engine was started my light covers would drop on to me, then the captain would want a cabin inspection when I was in my bunk. I was the only person who spoke to the pantry boy and the cabin boy. They were just grateful for someone to talk to, the pantry boy knew that I liked blue vein cheese so every week he scored me a sector of it, Freddy Lamb kept it in his fridge for me. Couldn't eat it fast enough. Because I didn't smoke I had new friends I was buying smokes for. I couldn't figure why the youngsters were treated so poorly.

17th June 2018, 10:14
Coming on duty one day I found the engine cadet in the timing chain locker, he was fizzing at the bung as he was in his last pair of clean overalls, and he was soaking in lub oil. He seemed to think that I should have been in there instead of him, maybe I was too broad or something. He was Irish and I just couldn't understand what he was saying most of the time. The Megantics sister ship had collided with the Panama dock gates, Had a massive smashed in the bow, took 20 tonnes of concrete to stop it sinking. The bosses thought that the timing chain had stretched. So the cadet was in there measuring the chain. The little chap was a nasty bit of work and somehow we never got on. Maybe it was the smirk on my face at the new colour his legs were from the lub oil. I found out a few months later that the air start valves had jammed when they called down to go astern. That was when I was back ashore, I took a great interest in the valves when I saw them in the workshop. They were encrusted in a baked on crust.

17th June 2018, 13:24
Hello from Wellington nz(Jester)

G'day from Oz, Jim. As has been said, you have a good tale there and if you feel like it you could put all those posts into one tale and paste it into the Tusitala thread, in the Pig & Whistle forum, where it will be read by many members. (Thumb)



barry john macauley
19th June 2018, 06:39
It should come with a parental guidance note though.
My first ship was the Megantic, but the trip was relatively uneventful.

19th June 2018, 08:09
Hi John. Well yeah for a month or so of service I did seem to get bombarded by all sorts of problems. A bit like when I was called up for jury service everything that could go wrong did go wrong. Nobody knew where to go when 55 of us first arrived at the courts. The register was running late. They ran an election one group of about 20 went to the high court and another 20 went to the low court. They sent the rest home then they destroyed the voting cards and our letters of ID. At the high court, they did another election for a place on the jury. They called a name and someone went to the court and sat down then someone challenged him and he had to leave. Then they called another name, but no one went forward, they called another, nothing then another no one. Opps seems that they had mixed up the originally voted lists. Boy, the judge was mad. He had harsh words for the register. We got sent out back to the jury room. Then register rushed in and asked for our ID cards, we pointed out that he had already taken them. So he rushed off and soon came back with new cards to fill in. We went through another election with only 40 people to work with. Soon we were back to the high court going through another election I was about the 3rd to be called into the court, I just stood by the chair, the judge said I could sit, I said it wasn't worth it as I will get challenged soon. Nobody did so I sat. Then we all got sent out to the jury room to elect a foreman, Two of our group had been called up before so we had decided to try one of them. Then one of the youngest one there begged to be the foreman, so we said ok.

19th June 2018, 08:26
Ok, John more to come. Then we were each presented with a list of peoples names, got this round the wrong way, got a list before the last election as to the people who were connected with the case if we knew any of them we were to say so and they would eliminate us. I think one was eliminated. we elected our foreman. Then the judge said it was too late to do anything more and we could go home. Next day we all got sent back to the jury room when we had been told the previous day to go straight to the courtroom. Couldn't see our foreman anywhere it seems he had been thrown off the jury as he had shaved off his shaggy bead to look presentable and the prosecutor recognised him as a school chum. So with a new foreman and eleven members, we went back to the courtroom. We were all given booklets with photos of houses and some booklets also had pics of drugs. It was very hard to follow the case one moment it's about a parent abusing his kids, the houses were some sort of timing periods,, but we couldn't figure why the pictures of drugs. Then I saw the name of the police photographer below the pictures. A chap I knew very well. They had not mentioned him before.

19th June 2018, 08:37
More, John, sorry. Halfway through the day, I asked the register why some of us had pictures of drugs in our booklets. I could see through body language he was greatly annoyed when I called him over. He was staggered after he collected the booklets and showed them to the judge. We got sent back to the jury room and after an hour we were dragged back to the courtroom, and given back some very damaged booklets, someone had torn out pages by hand. On the first day, we had found out that it had taken 18 months to get the case to court. there had also been a mistrial as well. Once we had all settled down, I called over the register and explained that I knew the photographer and his name hadn't been on the list. He went and spoke to the judge and they both left the room, left us all in the court this time. The register quickly came back and said oh that's fine you can stay.

19th June 2018, 08:47
Might be me too much the scat stirrer.

20th June 2018, 01:36
Hi Taffy, I tried moving it over but stuffed it up. If you can move it go ahead.

20th June 2018, 13:07
Hi Taffy, I tried moving it over but stuffed it up. If you can move it go ahead.

Hi Jim, I could to do that for you, but unfortunately, it would appear under my profile and not yours.
That wouldn't sit comfortably with me, although I could put a tag in your name on it.
It's a good story, but it would need a little editing and removal of anything not relevant to the storyline.
I'll send you a PM with a suggestion or two.



21st June 2018, 01:44
Thanks for the offer, Taff. I always regretted leaving when I did. Believe it or not I dreamt about the sea life for at least three years. So many people I know also did about turns in the occupations they chose.

21st June 2018, 01:51
Me again, Taff. Something funny, the engineer who replaced me lives quite close and we often go gold prospecting together. We worked for the same engineering company onshore and we both had a fascination in making miniature steam engines. I bumped into him in a militaria auction a few years after I had left. He got a similar thrashing by the second, which made him leave soon after as well.

21st June 2018, 02:24
For years I thought through the actions of the mean second engineer. He used to go on about how well off us kiwis were. I think he was trying to punish us for coming from a good place. If I ever come across him again I will kick out his Zimmer frame. Ha ha ha no just kidding.