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  #101  
Old 10th June 2009, 21:42
non descript non descript is offline
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Hello to all!

Reading these pages has brought plenty of memories back. I sailed on most of the gas fleet from 1977 onwards including Cavendish (5 trips), Lord Kelvin, Faraday, Clerk Maxwell, Joule and Humboldt.

I’ve got a few stories (most of them true!) Here’s one from around 1979 .

All The Best
I only spotted the Firey Kipper this morning ... Nice to have you on board and a very warm welcome to you.
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  #102  
Old 12th June 2009, 19:42
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Guy41 Guy41 is offline  
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Thanks Tonga,

I dont think our paths crossed at sea as I started in Feb 1976 firts trip on the Sir Alexander Glen - What an impressive ship (from the point of view of a first trip deck cadet) and what a shock regarding her sister the Derbyshire.

However 2 trips later I joined the Cavendish, and John (Jahro) has reminded me what a trip that was! I recalled the story of the Chrysopigi Cross shipwreck earlier in this thread, but had nearly forgotten the other rescue that trip (admitedly just before I joined in Durban)

The Cavendish had picked up 17 vietnamese boat people in the S China Sea they could not be landed in Durban so we took them to the next discharge port which was Corpus Christi in Texas. (John joined off limits in Curacao on the way)

When we arrived at Corpus we learned that these vietnamese were the first ever to be picked up and taken directly to the USA.

I remember the local TV stations were out in force and l will never forget sitting in a bar watching the NBC interview of Captain "Theodore" Wilcox . I think it was the same bar where either Bob or Aden managed to eat all of the 40 ounce steak and therefore got it for free! Happy days.

Strangely enough some 26 yaers later when working as a surveyor in Houston, I ended up doing a job in Corpus Christi and noticed about 5 vietnamese restaurants -the seafood was good....... but sadly nobody had ever heard of the old Cavendish.

All the best

Guy
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  #103  
Old 12th June 2009, 20:17
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Thanks Tonga,

I don't think our paths crossed at sea as I started in Feb 1976 first trip on the Sir Alexander Glen - What an impressive ship (from the point of view of a first trip deck cadet) and what a shock regarding her sister the Derbyshire.

However 2 trips later I joined the Cavendish, and John (Jahro) has reminded me what a trip that was!
...

All the best
Guy
Hi Guy,
No, that is correct, for by 1976 I was already enjoying life in the South Pacific, and whilst the slightly clinical Cavendish could never be described as dull, it was not a patch on the James Cook, which apart from being perfection, inasmuch as she was a Pressure Ship, she also had on board a very special crew member and radio officer, Mrs Tonga.

Mark
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  #104  
Old 12th June 2009, 20:49
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Guy41 Guy41 is offline  
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Yes, sounds good to me!

Us seafarers are a particularly superstitious lot and theres much lore about women aboard- but apart from 5 and a half months sailing with me when I was mate on a products tanker with "another" company, my wife (born in the Southern Hemisphere)has managed to accompany me on various vessel surveys and even ridden a tug and barge from Southern Louisiana out into the Gulf of Mexico and learned some great Cajun recipes from the tug skipper (plus a whole load of country and cajun music too!)

Mustn admit to this in front of the other Gas hands in case they think Ive gone soft in my old age!

Envy the "presh" ship the nerest I got was the Humboldt in winter

Cheers

Guy
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  #105  
Old 14th June 2009, 01:12
MARINEJOCKY MARINEJOCKY is offline  
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Hi Guy,

I either sailed with you or just missed you on the Cavendish and maybe even the Humbolt.

Although I was not there for the "Rescue's" I did sail 5 times on the Cavendish and heard the stories a few times. I always understood that the two rescues happened at different periods.

33 years ago and the following is what I remember.

The Cavendish was sailing along with the 2nd mate doing his chart corrections until the Chief Eng. (Alan Lowery) came up to the bridge saw the refugee boat directly in front, he altered course and the main engine shut down. Nearly ran the poor folk over, anyway got them on board and proceeded to the gas barge off Indonesia where on arrival there was alot of heavily armed soldiers on the barge stopping any one getting off.

Company told the ship to take them to Singapore where upon arrival they were again denied shore access. Company told the ship to buy loads of rice and terry towelling to feed and cloth them. I believe most of them were sleeping in the large laundry room just forward of the engine room.

South Africa said that they would take them but only for 7 days and after that the company had to pay for them to leave.

Company told the ship to take them onto Corpus Christi. The Catholics of Corpus Christi hired a professional money raiser who raised about 13 million to look after the boat people and one of the major TV stations paid for an intrinsically safe cable to go down the dock so they would record the first boat people coming ashore.

That same money raiser was interviewed with Charlie Wilcox and told him that the Catholics of Corpus Christi would pay to feed his crew. a few days later and alot of prodding by the ships agent a couple of cases of beer and some Kentucky Fried chicken turned up. The way it was described to me was in the interview this money raiser kept repeating over and over "we the Catholics of Corpus Christi" in the end you thought that they had rescued the boat people with no assistance from the Cavendish.

The boat people did make a small plaque that hung in the officers alley way and the kids apparently made toys from match boxes that they gave away to the crew. I think I saw a few behind the officers bar.

Like I say, I thought the two rescues where at different times but I was not there. I was told that two of the boat people had brief cases hand cuffed to their wrists as they had hoards of diamonds inside but again that could be a good old Cavendish story.

I made contact with Captain Charlie Wilcox last year after nearly 30 years and he sounded in good spirits.

I am a yacht surveyor over in Fort Lauderdale now.

Last edited by MARINEJOCKY; 14th June 2009 at 12:03..
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  #106  
Old 14th June 2009, 16:14
Billieboy Billieboy is offline  
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Slight mishaps on voyage

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tonga View Post
It reminds me of an earlier report by a Ship’s Master which read along the lines of:: “I joined the ship in Liverpool and I loaded her for New York and I sailed at good speed across the Atlantic and I arrived safely. I berthed the ship and after I had taken bunkers, I sailed for Panama, but during the passage we ran aground.”
Nearly as good as one Sunday afternoon, when I boarded a smallish, (20,000dwt), bulk carrier in the Elbe. The Super and I eventually got to the Old Man's deck and he appeared from the Bridge saying, "Welcome aboard Sirs, (he was Korean), I'm sorry to say, that I've just lost the Starboard anchor!"

Reading the Statement of Fact, the Chinese Super said, "Is this right?", the mate had written, "When I pulled the Starboard anchor up, it wasn't there!". When I eventually recovered from the hysterics, I said, "Leave it in, it will wake the underwriters up!".
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  #107  
Old 14th June 2009, 18:05
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International Rescue

I must admit that I thought the two Cavendish "rescues" were on 2 diferent trips, but John (Jahro) reminded me with the crew list and list of ports that it did in fact all happen during one trip (or at least within one 4 month period)

I joined in Durban where the Vietnamese were not allowed to be landed. When we arrive in the 'States there certainly was a big fuss with media in Corpus Christi and it even made the news at ten in the UK.

I remember that one of the refugees was a colonel in the S Vietnamese air force and they all seemed to come from fairly well-off families- the 2 young lads who made the match box models were known as tiger 1 and tiger 2 and when they finally left us had a good grasp in British Maritime Vocabulary as I remember (the 4 letter words at least!)

I'm not sure if Charlie Wilcox would remeber me as I only did the one trip with him as deck cadet but I understand he was born in Tucuman Province in Argentina. If he's back in Argentina or visiting, I live just outside of Buenos Aires , (send me a message and I can pass you my contact details)

Fort Lauderdale sounds nice, hopefully the financial crisis isnt hitting too bad,

Best wishes

Guy
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  #108  
Old 13th July 2009, 14:07
gyca gyca is offline  
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Originally Posted by Guy41 View Post
I must admit that I thought the two Cavendish "rescues" were on 2 diferent trips, but John (Jahro) reminded me with the crew list and list of ports that it did in fact all happen during one trip (or at least within one 4 month period)

I joined in Durban where the Vietnamese were not allowed to be landed. When we arrive in the 'States there certainly was a big fuss with media in Corpus Christi and it even made the news at ten in the UK.

I remember that one of the refugees was a colonel in the S Vietnamese air force and they all seemed to come from fairly well-off families- the 2 young lads who made the match box models were known as tiger 1 and tiger 2 and when they finally left us had a good grasp in British Maritime Vocabulary as I remember (the 4 letter words at least!)

I'm not sure if Charlie Wilcox would remeber me as I only did the one trip with him as deck cadet but I understand he was born in Tucuman Province in Argentina. If he's back in Argentina or visiting, I live just outside of Buenos Aires , (send me a message and I can pass you my contact details)

Fort Lauderdale sounds nice, hopefully the financial crisis isnt hitting too bad,

Best wishes

Guy
I was RO on the Cavendish during the "boat people incident". I remember being off watch at the time and flat out on the monkey island (soaking up the rays). The Sun started to move around in the sky so I knew something was up. The boat had a large SOS painted on the side and loads of folk were milling about on deck. There was a rumour that one of the blokes was armed and had persuaded others to join him on their little adventure. Maybe a myth but I wasn't privy to everything.

Anyway we go them on board and the "fun" started. While the old man was compiling the longest message in history for me to send to HQ I tried to contact a nearby US aircraft carrier on RT. Guess what the ship was called??? USS Enterprise! Suffice it to say they completely ignored us even though they were literally a spanners throw away. Read "Not our problem!"

I was up most of the night sending the mega message followed by a few more as the dialogue got going over the next few days.

The 2 lads (tiger 1 and 2) were cheeky little monkeys and I had a job keeping them out of the radio room. They were good lads and given what they had gone through they always seemed to be smiling. As rightly said Jakarta and Durban refused to take our newly acquired passengers so we plodded on the Corpus Christi. I paid off in Curacao so never witnessed the show when the ship arrived in the US.

Best Regards
GYCA
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  #109  
Old 9th May 2012, 12:13
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Chas York Chas York is offline  
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Hi... I was R/O on the Cavendish in 1988, only for the voyage from Ecuador where she had been storage vessel to Malta drydock. Please do any of you guys know the dwt or whatever LPG cargo capacity was measured in?

I'm updating the list of ships I worked on and the Cavendish is the only one I have no tonnages for, having lost my discharge book during a house move.

She is, so to speak, the Missing Link.

Should anyone be able to give me even rough figures, please email me using [email protected] A virtual beer will be in the fridge! Cheers

Chas
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  #110  
Old 9th May 2012, 15:23
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A.D.FROST A.D.FROST is offline  
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Originally Posted by Chas York View Post
Hi... I was R/O on the Cavendish in 1988, only for the voyage from Ecuador where she had been storage vessel to Malta drydock. Please do any of you guys know the dwt or whatever LPG cargo capacity was measured in?

I'm updating the list of ships I worked on and the Cavendish is the only one I have no tonnages for, having lost my discharge book during a house move.

She is, so to speak, the Missing Link.

Should anyone be able to give me even rough figures, please email me using [email protected] A virtual beer will be in the fridge! Cheers

Chas
CAVENDISH 29,528dwt, 26,802 grt,14,031 nrt 1,420,114 cu.ft.liq.
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  #111  
Old 20th September 2012, 23:52
Chalmers Chalmers is offline  
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MV Joule

After 35 years in the MN, by a nautical mile the worst ship mechanicaly I ever sailed on. Well past its scrap by date when I was on it. Thank goodness for the great crews.
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  #112  
Old 21st September 2012, 08:56
BOB.WHITTAKER BOB.WHITTAKER is offline  
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MV JOULE (ex HAVGAS) I couldn't agree more with your views.I have posted previously about her. Briefly I joined as 2cnd. eng. in the handing over dry dock from the Norwegian owners P. Meyers to Houlders in December 73 or 74.How it made it that far is amazing , the gennys/pumps/claytons/air start comps./ main engine/pipework were all clapped out ,similar comments on the cargo systems and hull.
Vic Pegg was Ch. Eng,CLive Wintle 3E ,Martin Halfpenny 4E,Les Cuttriss Capt. and Brian Dyson Ch.Off. We sailed on Christmas Eve for Fort Lauderdale to take bunkers then to "Gas Up" (Ammonia) in Tampa and load in Pascagoula. However we broke down Christmas Day and put into Cork on Boxing Day for water and a radio opr. that could operate the equipment.
That was the start of it all, I paid off strapped in a Robertson Stretcher into a launch in the mouth of the river going to Huelva Southern Spain.
I will never forget " MV JOULE ".
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  #113  
Old 25th September 2012, 00:26
Chalmers Chalmers is offline  
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Did the Inert Gas plant ever work. When I was there 77-79 it was pure junk!
And a heated discharge was something else.
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  #114  
Old 25th September 2012, 16:38
BOB.WHITTAKER BOB.WHITTAKER is offline  
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MV JOULE , the three Clayton steam generators were christened The Good The Bad and The Ugly . Regards the Inert Gas Plant , I can't remember it ever making gas successfully , I'm going back in time now but I seem to recolect using the I.G. compressors drawing fresh air to supplement the air start , can't remember whether it was a success or not though . Happy Days Bob Whittaker
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  #115  
Old 25th September 2012, 21:55
MARINEJOCKY MARINEJOCKY is offline  
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The only thing I can remember were the scavenge fires, an ice cold pantry refrigerator, passing out in the engine room, having an ECG done after that in Taiwan thinking I had a heart attack at 21 yrs old, (severe indigestion thankfully), dog'zee asking me what I had learnt after 7 months on the fine vessel and him telling me I would never get on in the company with my attitude when I told him I had learnt NEVER to come back to that ship again so imagine his surprise when I showed up 2 years later as 2/E on the Black Max.

If the I.G plant worked when I was there it would be the only bl--dy thing that did
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  #116  
Old 1st October 2012, 17:47
merrymagpie merrymagpie is offline  
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N


Quote:
Originally Posted by MARINEJOCKY View Post
The only thing I can remember were the scavenge fires, an ice cold pantry refrigerator, passing out in the engine room, having an ECG done after that in Taiwan thinking I had a heart attack at 21 yrs old, (severe indigestion thankfully), dog'zee asking me what I had learnt after 7 months on the fine vessel and him telling me I would never get on in the company with my attitude when I told him I had learnt NEVER to come back to that ship again so imagine his surprise when I showed up 2 years later as 2/E on the Black Max.

If the I.G plant worked when I was there it would be the only bl--dy thing that did

Never worked in the two trips I was there

Mike
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  #117  
Old 9th October 2012, 22:16
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saltyswamp saltyswamp is offline  
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iggy never did work properly although a lot of people spent a lot of time on it,
I can remember it produceing a gas of sorts and spending 4 hrs at a time playing with it only to produce no inert gas.
regards
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  #118  
Old 28th October 2012, 23:43
Bob.Grainger Bob.Grainger is offline
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I was there as well

I was an apprentice on the Clerk Maxwell, during and after building. Then as Third and Second Mate on the Avogadro, Joule and Humboldt. Such good times, such a good employer.
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  #119  
Old 19th November 2012, 22:09
nickpaton nickpaton is offline  
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Hi everyone! First post here.

I was R/O with Houlders from 1977 - 79 ish, and drew the short straw to join the Joule (probably late 78) in Middlesbrough where we almost did a world circumnavigation before being released back to sanity again!

Yup we had scavenge fires (I still remember the engineers taking sledgehammers to straighten out the turbo blades) whilst off the Atlantic seaboard, and the fun of getting the gas detection equipment to work enough to pass the US Safety checks before entering Philadelphia and Galveston (?).

Later, having passed through the Panama canal unscathed, whilst crossing the Pacific, what I thought was some annoying Greek RO playing with his morse key, turned out to be the slowest SOS ever being sent over and over again, and after it had been going on for two days it took the first trip Deck Cadet to tell me it was actually a distress message!!! Well no other sparks from other ships got it either!!

Turned out the ship's RO had died in mysterious circumstances and at the same time there had been an engineroom explosion that had crippled the ship. The Captain had been sending the Distress messages from a text book on morse (hence the V slow speed) and from this we were able to arrange a salvage tug. We had the same agents in Chiba Japan and apparently the police were called to the ship when it docked and the agents had been told to tell us nothing of what had been going on.....

Whilst in Chiba a parrot arrived on board, and since Sparks never has anything to do I ended up looking after it. During the trip to Putan South Korea (?) the parrot became expert at morse, and there was more than one occasion where I had to stop Portishead Radio due to parrot "interference" on the line! Fortunately it flew off in Korea, which was probably a good thing as the Old man intended to disposed on the way down to Indonesia....

The one event I remember is being called to the bridge one evening and told to stay there and do nothing. Reason was Butane was venting off at one end whilst flames could be seen from the engineroom vents due to the Fridge gene going up.
The thinking was that I couldn't generate any sparks if I wasn't in the Radio Room, and in any case no matter how you looked at it an SOS was pointless - if fire and gas met the ship was obliterated, or else the fire was put out and no SOS was needed anyway. Being the Joule, she was just playing with us and we lived to float another day.

People-wise, I cannot remember any names but do remember the personalities. Two Indian Deck Cadets who hated each other strangely went ashore in Tokuyama Japan but only one returned. A while later the local police arrived and took the remaining Deck Cadet away with them, and he was never seen again.

Mid voyage one of the crew flipped and smashed up the Crews TV. He let it be known that if Sparks attempted any repair then he'd end up dead. Bosun (huge blond guy I seem to remember) also let me know that if I didn't fix it he'd personally make sure I ended up dead!! Managed to get it working again and the crew member was locked in his cabin with a permanent guard until the next port.

I think this sums up Joule for me. I really enjoyed the mahem and the fact that the "bad boys" were all on board, but in fact we all worked well together and generally had one heck of a time.

However I was not unhappy to ever go back again, and my next (and last ship) was sea trials on the brand new Elstree Grange out of Harland and Wolfe's yard in Belfast. But that's another story.....
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