British Kestrel 1974 - Ships Nostalgia

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British Kestrel 1974

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Old 13th October 2011, 21:10
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Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 702
British Kestrel 1974

I joined the Kestrel in 1974 on the Tyne. She was in drydock, cannot remember which one but may well have been at Jarrow.
I was very quickly introduced to the generator in the swimming pool!
This even had a roof and a door in the side of the pool!
Can anyone on here remember this?
It was used as a back up/standby generator to the diesel generator in the engineroom.
This was due to the fact that BP had finally given up on the steam turbine alternator that was fitted when she was built. This had never worked reliably due to the wet steam produced by type of boilers fitted.
In spite of this she was a very reliable "runner" and it was quite amusing when preparing for standby by going to the swimming pool and starting up and synchronising the generator.
I have mentioned it elsewhere on the forum about our "deep sea" trip to the Med from IOG to Piraeus, Istanbul and Akritiri. A very "tidy" war bonus was paid to those of us who volunteered to take her there as it was during the Greek/Turkish "war". We received a British naval escort from the Dardenales to Cyprus and spent a very enjoyable time moored off Akritiri discharging through a very small pipeline to the airbase. The RAF were flying a twenty four hour enforcement of the no fly zone in the area and were desperate for the jet fuel.
Another amusing "thing" was that she was regarded as a permanent coaster and a number of the "lads" did not have whites with them and here were were in the middle of the summer in the Med.
Happy days!

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Old 16th October 2011, 18:22
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derekhore derekhore is offline  
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Organisation: Merchant Navy
Department: Deck
Active: 1970 - 1987
Join Date: Sep 2007
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I think I can remember the genny being there, as I was on the Kestrel for April/May 74 as last trip Deck Cadet (joined Hamble, left IOG) before transferring to the Neath as 3/0.
R 892949
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Old 20th July 2012, 13:34
mpr41410 mpr41410 is offline  
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 44
I sailed on the Kestrel several times, a/e, j/e, 4/e and 2/e. In the early days the t/a worked well, from the late 60s on the ship had senior engineers who were less than competent and the reason the t/a was decommissioned was the gearbox was worn beyond replacement (there is another sequel to this that I discovered when I worked in big panic house).
At the bottom of the sump for the gearbox was a drain cock that originally had been fitted with a remote wheel. It had been disconnected and when I joined the ship I remembered the cock form my eng app days. I emptied the sump of all the water and it took forever to refill with th125 hb but the damage had been done, the gear teeth profile was like a circular saw and when the machine was run up could be both heard and felt on the focsl. Dennis Fenton came on board and c/e (jimmy rose) and self explained the problem to him.
It was immediately decommissioned and the diesel on the aft boat deck was replaced at the next dry dock with the one in the swimming pool.
I followed that 2/e on several ships and each one was the same, systematic neglect but he had an uncle or cousin in high places and had a solar anus.
Fortunately I managed to change jobs shortly afterward and my nightmare with BP Shipping came to an end.
I keep trying to find something pleasant to recall about that organisation and, after some 37 years of mental recall I managed, it was my last day with them.
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