I joined the Floristan in South Shields May 1965 while the ship was still being fitterd out in Redheads. The maiden voyage was general cargo to the Gulf, then down to Mauritius for a full cargo of raw sugar. This came out in barges by the sack full, which were then opened and the contents poured into the holds. We spent quite a long time there Finally, off to Canada. Part of the sugar removed in Montreal to lighten ship for the Seaway, then Toronto. Fantastic experience going up the locks of the Welland Canal. Took quite a bit of time to get the rest of the sugar out in Toronto. It had compressed solid at the bottom, and mini bulldozers and pneumatic drills had to be used to break it up. Then on up to Thunder Bay to load a full cargo of grain for the UK. It was well into November by the time we left, and speculation was starting that we could get frozen in. There was a significant amount of ice on the river by the time we got to Montreal, and when we stopped at Quebec to top up with more grain the dock railway tracks were just slight bumps in the ice. Glad to get back to thr UK in early December, but I didn't get relieved until New Years Eve.
Last edited by Jon Sparks; 12th January 2013 at 23:05..
Reason: missed out bit