Navigation/Management Supers

13th August 2010, 09:26
Does anyone remember when Shell introduced Navigation/Management Supers, I think Dai Salmon (Dai The Spy) was one and another who "did" our ship, the Amastra I think, was a Captain Nicholls.

I think they were introduced following some incident, a grounding or collision or suchlike.

I can't remember their brief exactly but their title gives a clue, old men used to quiver at the thought of a Nav super joining; used to be at short notice as well, a telegram a couple of days before the joining port.

It was a bit like a school OFSTED inspection; they would observe watchkeeping routines (day and night, arranged and surprise), trawl through paperwork, passage planning and record keeping, observe pilotages and any other practices relating to the deck side operation. There were also individual Q & A session with each deck officer.

In general they were treated like pariahs as they interrupted the "smooth??" running of the ship!

On the Amastra we got a pretty clean bill of health; the one item I always remember being criticised for was to with to do with rating the chronometer. Like every ship I sailed on there was a “rough” rate card kept by the chronometer, on which the daily time check/chronometer rate was recorded and later this was transferred to the official Shell Chronometer Rate Book.

Captain Nicholls pointed out in his report that I had not transferred the information from card to book for 6 days. When I challenged him about this he muttered something above the rough card may get lost. Talk about splitting hairs and finding fault for faults sake

13th August 2010, 09:51
Dai Salmon! met him at Shell Europoort at about three in the morning in 1976-7, he had a new Grand Slam Tie; took me a week to get my mum to post one over to me. I suppose The ship managing Super came in about '76 when the new BIG ships were delivered and deep draught courses had to be held for all Navigators. This was when Dai became the Chief examiner for STM at Southampton Boat Pool and simulator. On Lyria Maiden Voyage into Rotterdam there were no less than Five masters and three C/os on the Bridge, with two sea and one mud pilots. Dai Shallis was the Chief and he had another two chiefs and three seconds in the control room. It was some beat up that class.

14th August 2010, 13:07
I attended a ship simulator course at Warsash with Dai The Spy as the tutor. He was a real character.

One of his favourite tricks was to try and distract you while you were in the middle of a tricky situation in the simulator; besides introducing strange currents, fog, an abundance of fishing vessels etc etc he would phone the "bridge" or call the ship on the VHF (or both) at the most inopportune moments with some totally spurious request that was enough to break your concentration. If that didn't work he would actually talk to you on the bridge. All good fun.

I also did a "Blind Pilotage" course with him at Cardiff, now that was fun.

14th August 2010, 19:24
Yes, I've heard that Dai gave quite a few masters and mates heart attacks during simulator sessions, talked to him once about it, he said, "You have to catch them on the simulator, it's too late, if they cock-up in the channel, at 15 knots"! A great character.