Originally Posted by Jon Vincent
I too was a Prince line apprentice, buttons, badge and all, the "Black Price" was my first ship, Capt Kemp, who was usually well oiled, a gordie I believe, and c/o Parrish who was actually married to a vicars daughter, the rest is all rather hazey now, loved Malta but hated Haifa.
I was a Furness Prince Line apprentice, my cap bage (which I still have) was the two crossed houseflags. I joined the Black Prince in 1966 after a year on the Tudor Prince ( which in reply to other letters had a "P" type Doxford and was always breaking down). Cappy Kemp was master and I agree was often well oiled and sometimes woke up in the Channel long after we had sailed. Barnie Roberts was the mate. Once when I was on the Tudor Prince we were passing the Black Prince when she started to come towards us. A figure was observed running along the boatdeck and shortly afterwards she resumed her correct course. Later when I was sailing on her with Barnie I found out why. It was his routine to put the lookout and farmer (the apprentices kept his watch as wheel and lookout) out paining etc, often in the dark. As soon as it was light enough he would turn the apprentice on the wheel working on the boatdeck, coming back occasionally to put her back on course. Barnie would then go below for a shower and shave leaving the bridge unmanned. Kemp of course would be out of it. The figure running along the boatdeck was the apprentice on wheel, lookout and officer of the watch duty. Talk about pushing your luck. Apart from that not a bad run, we were usually given a half day in Famagusta to make up for all the overtime that was piled on us at other ports especially Haifa.