Originally Posted by sidsal
I was apprentice in Brocklebanks, crosssing Indian Ocean. Muslim serang comes on teh bridge and asks the mate - "What direction Mecca, sahib ?"
After pointing WNW the crew gathered on the afterhatch to do their prayers. Mate played silly B's and accelerated the zig-zag and it was strange to see the crew tuning with the zig-zag towards the setting sun !
I also remember (fondly) my two cruises with the Brocklebank vessels "Maihar" and "Mahout" both built at Lindholmens Varv in Gothenburg, Sweden.
These vessels were the first Brocklebank vessels with medium speed diesels. Lindholme-SEMTPielstick, and I was along as an observer/liaison from the shipyard. I had had no experience with "lascars" and was appalled by the Serang system. The crew was willing enough, but appeared more in awe/fear of the respective Serang than having innate seamanlike qualities. The cruises, however, went well, and I was able to return to Sweden from Calcutta with good memories (not including the food).