I joined Pipiriki on the 6th January 1970 in Hull straight from sea school.
I can remember walking along the dark cold dock with my suitcase feeling very scared.
I got to the top of the gangway to be met by the Captains tiger, who made me so welcome, " Hello ducky " he/ she said, " you must be tired, lets put you to bed "
I was in shock! I seemed to have my own steward.!!
Mother, as I knew him for years, made my bed, patted my pillow, and wished me a good nights sleep.
I didn't go to bed, but was talked into going to the Pub just outside the gates. " Yes I drink beer " I answered to the AB's ( never having drank anything before )
Six pints of Newcastle brown later, I crawled back to the ship resulting in very sore knees.
We sailed for NZ from Hull, calling into Samoa on the way. The Captain called a meeting prior to arriving Apia to warn us of the awful conditions in the Samoan jails.
I didn't listen, I did time.