Lightening and North Sea
Sort of fell into doing this in 1976 almost by accident then spent a good part of my remaining time at sea off and on these ships (I think the extra leave was an attraction!)
I think I sailed on all of them at some point Naticina, Darina, Drupa, Halia, Serenia and Northia.
What strikes me looking back is the huge difference the various regular Captains made to the ships, they all did things different.
Capt Ken Olsen was my first, he had a terrible reputation, fortunately for me I was relieving a very good friend and he gave me some pointers for surviving. First was that if standing by for and aft if he gave an order to slack or ease anything to make sure the rope hit the water with a splash instantly, second was not to smile or laugh when he was having one of his temper tantrums, only a short man and wearing a beret, he would on becoming enraged rip this from his head throw it to the deck and jump on it. Never own up to not understanding a word he said (his geordie accents got stronger the more furious he became) and lastly never beat him at darts (this was easy as I am rubbish!)
Next I had Captain Ron Kerley, probably the best in terms of ship handling but with a fairly sharp temper, fortunately short lived and he had a good sense of humour.
Captain Peter Blackshaw, lovely man, sad to read of his passing
Captain John Price, his method we called the squealing pig approach, he allways came in hard and fast, often causing the other ship to veer off and run for it!
Brian Pearson, Keith Fenwick, Charlie Close, Di Evans, Dave Spargo another no longer with us, Captain Davidson
Capt Bradley, another with a fearsom reputation, walked on eggshells the whole time I was with him on the Serenia, I later met him ashore on a course at Southampton, I had my wife with me and he was so pleasant and nice my wife wouldn't believe I hadn't made all the stories up!
I think I have remembered most of the captains but if anyone can fill in some blanks that would be good, especially of all the other regulars on these ships, I sailed with some great CPO's and pumpmen but can't now remember any names