I joined the Bidford Priory in 1973 in Naples as a deck cadet. It was my first trip to sea. Paddy Slevin was the old man. The Chief Engineer was Dot Mason. She brought her husband with her. We traded almost exclusively Mina Al Ahmadi to Kwinana. On my shift off I went to Perth. Never went back for 38 years. Just re-visited working as marine super for a deep sea mining company.
I 'll never forget wearing just a pair of filthy shorts and boots down cargo tanks. Shovelling oily scale into buckets. To be heaved to the deck and poured into a canvas chute and straight over the side. I did so love tank cleaning. Give me loaded passage every time.