Joining / leaving Denholms ships.

19th January 2015, 14:35
Anyone have any experiences when travelling to join or leave a ship?
Here is what happened to me on a couple of occasions.

My time spent travelling to join a ship was usually the same day or next day but when I was joining the Eden Bridge in Taiwan it took a few days.

Day 1. Fly Glasgow - London. Overnight stay in airport hotel.
Day 2. Fly London - Hong Kong. Overnight stay in hotel.
Day 3. Go to Tiawan embassy in Hong Kong for a Visa - fly to Taiwan.
Overnight stay in hotel.
Day 4. Leave hotel in the afternoon to join ship.

When we left the Burma Legacy in the Bahamas myself and two other shipmates were taken by the agent to the hotel. It was the height of the tourist season and no flights were available back to the UK. We were told to wait in the hotel and phone the agents office every morning to see if we were on a flight that day. After 4 days of enjoying the agents hospitality and topping up our tans by the pool we were almost sorry to leave.

19th January 2015, 15:17
Try J&J DENHOLM #13 on this site for my story , still shaking..

John Cassels
19th January 2015, 16:56
When were you on the Burmah Legacy ?.

19th January 2015, 18:06
Just noticed from my Discharge Book that it was the Burmah Pearl I left in the Bahamas. I knew it was one of the Burmah boats but just forgot which one. I was on the Burmah Pearl from 25/02/80 to 22/06/80.

I was on the Burmah Legacy from 26/10/81 to 30/01/82.

20th January 2015, 12:52
was on Broompark early 60's crew paid off in Japan and flown home to UK so they could put Eurasian crew aboard start of the downfall of British M.N

20th January 2015, 13:25
I was travelling from Penzance to London on the overnight sleeper on July 6th.
1978 , with 2 others.Going to Yarmouth to join a ship called the Celtic Surveyor, when the carriage which was 2 in front of us caught fire, we had to get off in a hurry, this was just after Taunton. 12 people lost their lives. Quite a sobering experience.

willie mac quarrie
21st January 2015, 20:29
Maybe not quite appropriate to the thread, but anybody out there remember Chemical Venturer ( I was onboard 01/11/82 till 02/03/83 ) leaving Venice, clouting the side of the canal and ending up in a repair yard on some wee Greek island the name of which I can't remember?

John Cassels
22nd January 2015, 09:13
Maybe not quite appropriate to the thread, but anybody out there remember Chemical Venturer ( I was onboard 01/11/82 till 02/03/83 ) leaving Venice, clouting the side of the canal and ending up in a repair yard on some wee Greek island the name of which I can't remember?

Syros .

willie mac quarrie
23rd January 2015, 00:57
Cheers for that info John. I've been trying to remember the name of that place for years. First experience of Ouzo (washed down wi Kronenbourg lager ). Never again!

John Cassels
23rd January 2015, 08:44
Spent 6 weeks out there as charterers rep. for Cast Beaver conversion. That's
how I knew , Willie !.

23rd January 2015, 15:54
Colin Ross, 3/E, who sadly died in1981, and myself paid off the STT Burmah Cameo at Guayanilla, Porto Rico on 12/01/1975.

We left the ship I the afternoon and were taken by the agent to Ponce Airport where we boarded a local flight to San Juan Airport for our connection to the UK. When we arrived at the Check In and presented our tickets we were told that we could not board. We queried this and were again told we could not board the flight.

We were very worried by this time as our US Immigration passes expired at Midnight! We were told our best course of action was to return to the ship – the last thing we wanted to do after a 6-month trip! We got in touch with the agent who arranged return flights for us and we arrived back at the ship at midnight and knocked up the old Man (John MacLeod) who was shocked to see us back. He told us to sleep in the hospital and he would deal with it in the morning.

The agent arrived next day and we were taken to a hotel in Ponce for to wait for a flight home. We were there for 4 days before we got a flight home. It turned out Burmah had cash flow problems at this time so our first tickets had not been paid for. To compound this the agent would not give us a sub so we were there for 4 days with coppers to spend. On the plus side the hotel let us have 2 beers with each meal!

After this escapade I got a credit card during my spell of leave!

4th May 2015, 14:31
Left one of the vessels at Cape Town to find the old man ( J. McCobb god bless!) had paid off with the safe keys! Where were the spare safe keys, in the the safest place on board, inside the safe.
Got a Credit card when I got home!

5th May 2015, 13:00
First (6m to the day) trip, as E/C on Chemical Venturer - flew home from Venice with the ships mail for 120 St Vincent St a few days before Christmas. Arrived after tea so missed Office and the last train to get home - although 'required/needed' to see girlfriend in Glasgow anyway ....

Dumped my bags in previously arranged hotel - Buchanan St -and as
Thursday night late shopping, reserved a zoom lens in a camera shop for pick up next day. Then both away out on the town, Glasgow curry, great time and finally back to her student digs, etc, etc.

Back to Hotel next morning - but it had been on fire overnight -though with my bags (& ships mail) being in first floor room, were safe and already for collection .....but the building's windows were all blackened and shattered on higher floors.

Into to Office, deliver mail and go and see the late Bill Gibb. He said 'I heard you had a hot exciting time last night!' (I thought to myself not half - and how did he know?!?) but my penny soon dropped about the hotel fire .... so ad-libbed for a bit, and eventually escaped.

Headed for Queen St and the shop to pick up the lens. Traffic chaos. Camera shop shut. Shutter down, windows blackened. Another fire! 2 x Fire engines and crews, still in attendance.

Abandon lens idea, decide this is all an omen - very, very briefly consider going straight back to sea, but hoping there isn't a third thing - quickly get on the dinner time train home.

Made it safely and without further incident!

5th June 2015, 10:51
Joined my first ship 55 years ago on the 11th June 1960 in Santo Portalbo.
As I, with difficulty and a curse, heaved a flamin' great steamer trunk across the ore-dust laden railway lines I received my first ever order of my career in the Merchant Navy from the Bosun - "Don't f****n' swear!

5th June 2015, 13:50
we had to join the m/t beau in laspezia italy after flying to milan we went by mini bus to laspezia ,no ship so they put us up in a hotel called the hotel jolly til the ship arrived 4 days later we were told to book food and drink up to the company,big mistake.
after 4 days of drinking with women and food our bill became rather large.
upon boarding the m/t beau we were quickly summond to the old mans cabin and informed that they didnt pay for women and alcahol whilst waiting for them so we had to pay some money back to the ship but from what i could remember we had a really good time.

11th September 2016, 22:29
I remember joining Loch Long in Brest France - Shuttle from Glasgow to London, Shuttle London to Paris and a flight on an old Air Inter Caravelle from Paris to Brest. The old bus had two attempted landings in snow and on the third she slid to a halt at the end of the runway. Then ploughed it's way to the terminal....Off to the hotel ......what a shithouse....following morning down to the ship. just as the local police were leaving as several onboard had been broaching suits, new shoes etc ....the best dressed crims I have ever seen.
After a good trip (6 months) paid off in Dubai....not the city it is today....we sailed up the creek in the agents boat and we ended up stopping mid channel for prayers.
Good hotel ....Grey & McKenzie and then to the only flight to the UK BA/ Gulf Air via AbuDhabi and Kuwait in a Tristar to heathrow and the the shuttle back to Glasgow.

Iain Lourie
12th September 2016, 06:37
About 1970 after spell at South Shields Marine & Tech Dave Wedderburn and I were to join Naess Sovereign in the Perishing Gulf.
Flew out from somewhere (Glasgow or Heathrow???) to Beirut, Lebanon. All these ragheads on board breathing out somewhat foul air (later learned it was garlic breath) and couldn't get away fro the stench. Landed in Beirut and into a hotel. Seem to remember hotel wasn't too bad, but no beers from recall.
Next day up for breakfast, full fried version for this hungry apprentice. WTF are these eggs, really bright coloured....... okay....... hunger wins. Tasted not bad. Off to airport onto plane with more heavy garlic fumes. Land Dubai. Now in those days it was basically a shed for an airport nothing like the big flash place now. Into a car off to another hotel. Camels, dusty sand etc, into Dubai itself. Looked like a hotel some shacks and camels. Next morning big breakfast, yum, ... well... it was okay. Into a Chevvy, aircon..... wonderful. Drove for a couple of hours (seemed like it) to a jetty. Hop in to a launch and off out to sea...... and eventually found this great big tanker... once upon a time the largest tanker ever built. Did 7 great months, lovely ship.

14th September 2016, 12:20
Paid off in port Sudan in july 73 and where stuck there for two weeks in a old hotel which was general gordens headquarters in the past food was s... no air condition but plenty gin and tonics which good old Denholms paid for as as gesture of good will as they did not do there home work on geting a crew out and one home as the crew on the way out where stuck in Khartoum for a long time had sand for months after in all areas of my body

14th September 2016, 13:08
left a lay up job on the river Fal went to leith to join a ship almost 2 days on the train in those days, left leith the next day went to drydock on the tees
i live on teesside

14th September 2016, 16:40
Went to join MV Staffordshire in Santos, the ship was there but at anchor, no crew changes allowed at anchor !
Put in a Hotel for 6 Days till ship came alongside lets just say we were a wee bit miffed when it did !