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ss Mitra - 1971 (Shell tankers)

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  #26  
Old 22nd October 2006, 18:52
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mikeg mikeg is offline  
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I didn't know that. It seems a rather strange situation, I can't think why in manufacture they didn't incorporate permanent magnetic material for the excitation field.
I thought hammering and heating reduced magnetism - though I suppose if the metal was aligned to the earths magnetic field and struck, I seem to recall that can magnetize to a small degree.
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  #27  
Old 23rd October 2006, 14:01
BarryM BarryM is offline  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeg View Post
I didn't know that. It seems a rather strange situation, I can't think why in manufacture they didn't incorporate permanent magnetic material for the excitation field.
I thought hammering and heating reduced magnetism - though I suppose if the metal was aligned to the earths magnetic field and struck, I seem to recall that can magnetize to a small degree.
Mike, The pilot exciter was supposed to retain its residual magnetism but sometimes - particularly on the older sets - it lost it over time if the gennie was lying idle. It only needed a small boost to get it away again and thus even the 1.5V torch battery was sufficient. Thinking aloud here - perhaps the many welding/lighting cables slung across the ER during refit had an effect? Who knows? - It was a fairly rare occurence.

As far as hammering goes, the explanation I heard was that it "realigned the magnetic field" and restored the residual magnetism. I think I would rely on the battery!

By the by, can I give a thnk you to those Sparkies who were prepared to help out in the ER when big electrical trouble struck. Shell thought nominating the 3/E to perform all electrical tasks rather than employ a 'Leckie encouraged versatility; those of us who sailed with Uncle Joe knew it was their usual penny-pinching.
Cheers,

BarryM
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  #28  
Old 23rd October 2006, 23:40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BarryM View Post
Mike, The pilot exciter was supposed to retain its residual magnetism but sometimes - particularly on the older sets - it lost it over time if the gennie was lying idle. It only needed a small boost to get it away again and thus even the 1.5V torch battery was sufficient. Thinking aloud here - perhaps the many welding/lighting cables slung across the ER during refit had an effect? Who knows? - It was a fairly rare occurence.

As far as hammering goes, the explanation I heard was that it "realigned the magnetic field" and restored the residual magnetism. I think I would rely on the battery!

By the by, can I give a thnk you to those Sparkies who were prepared to help out in the ER when big electrical trouble struck. Shell thought nominating the 3/E to perform all electrical tasks rather than employ a 'Leckie encouraged versatility; those of us who sailed with Uncle Joe knew it was their usual penny-pinching.
Cheers,

BarryM
Thanks for that about pilot excitors, if I'd known about that 'initially' back then it would have saved an awful lot of time, though once known never forgotten
On all of Uncle Joes ships I sailed on the 3/E performed electrical tasks but I'd be called in to assist at certain times, perversely enough I really enjoyed working down the engine room as it made a break from the confines of the Radio Room. Later on when I achieved the Electronics cert. then it became officially part of my work. It was really good experience being trained in boiler control, data logging, alarm systems etc etc and working more with the C/E, 2/E. On most ships that 'partnership' proved very successful.

I'd also like to take my hat off to 3/E's for tackling some very complex electronic repairs (its amazing what you can learn in a ships environment through experience).
Though I'd sailed on other non Shell ships that carried Electricians the majority of my time was with Shell so I didn't really see it at the time as 'penny pinching' because the general situation seemed to be under a slow change anyway with Uncle Joe progressively reducing numbers under the banner of General Purpose.
'Suppose it all depends on which side of the fence you're on? Shell would see it as commercial sense whereas we may think they were getting away with it!
From time to time I wonder how they get along now without R/O's to assist because I remember looking after some (or most) ER electronics, of course navigation equipment inc. radars etc., telephone exchanges,communal aerial systems, cabin phones, TV cameras, Crew and cargo TV's, film projectors, repairing crews radio's, tape recorders etc. virtually anything with transistors in (..and valves in those early days).
I must say now the modern bridges look very impressive with lines of computer monitors some incorporating sophisticated radar displays. Reliability has improved hugely but I hope when if it goes wrong there is someone with the knowledge and experience to be able to complete speedy repairs under less than favourable conditions.
Sorry for rambling on...
Cheers,

Mike

Last edited by mikeg; 23rd October 2006 at 23:47..
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  #29  
Old 20th December 2006, 14:27
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I only ever successfully used the hammer method to restore residual magnetism in an excitor and I can't even claim to have thought of it myself. We were in some little port in Canada on one of Uncle Joe's finest and I had tried everything to get a T/A up and running after some repairs - without success.

The Chief called up the local shipyard and asked for an electrician to come and help - much to my chagrin I might add, but I was at a complete loss what to do next.

In due course this ancient jock showed up with a tool bag and Avometer. He took one look at it and told me to hit both sides of the exciter motor casing with two ballpean hammers. I thought he was on the auld celtic sauce, but did what he said - ran the bloody thing up with no problems and put it on full load.
Over the subsequent beers he said young electricians like me didn't know all the tricks of the trade!! I said young third engineers like me were pretty good at learning though!!

I was dying for that particular fault to happen again on subsequent ships to demonstrate how good I thought I was!! But the god of over ambitious young tikes deemed I was getting out of my depth and and it never happened to me ever again while I was at sea!! - Great memories

Last edited by BlythSpirit; 20th December 2006 at 14:30..
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  #30  
Old 20th December 2006, 14:41
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Originally Posted by Peter Eccleson View Post
Seeing the Shell Tankers thread jogged my memory of my first trip as 2R/O on the Mitra.
On passage from Singapore to Muscat in 1971 (June?) we had a complete engine failure in the Indian Ocean. I think it was something to do with contamination of water in the boilers and tube collapse or something like that - the engineers amongst you will know!
We were drifting for days towards some of the outer islands within the Maldives and had the German deep sea salvage tug 'Albatros' circling like a vulture for a couple of days.... with Shell in London telling us not to use him unless the situation got really desperate.
There was no powers at all - emergencvy generators failed. Also, to make matters worse, we had total failure of our emergency radio requipment (batteries went flat!!).
The engineers eventually (four days or so) managed to get an aux boiler going and got up a head of steam and off we limped to Muscat for repairs..... closely followed by the Albatros for a day or so until they decided that we were no longer fair game.
All this was about the time when there was a heightened awareness of safety on the new brand of 'supertankers' following the explosions on Mactra and the loss of ships like the Kong Haakon.
A good introduction to life at sea for me!
Anyone remeber the incident?

Peter - I remember that well - I was sailing 4/E on the Mangelia at that time, we were loaded out of Mina Al Ahmadi en route for Yokohama and off the Indian Coast, when we were ordered to rig out the gear and prepare to tow the Mitra if you couldn't get started again.

Caused great excitement at the time - everyone trying to figure if we would be entitled to salvage money, and anticipating that we would make the Guiness Book of Records for the world's heaviest salvage vessel!!

After two days of shifting spare chains, wire strops, and every polyprop we could muster, Uncle Joe cabled to say "stand down - emergency over" !!

Last edited by BlythSpirit; 20th December 2006 at 14:52..
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  #31  
Old 28th December 2006, 19:48
raymondwilliams raymondwilliams is offline  
 
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I did my four years as a D/A with Shell in the Sixties, and first trip shared a cabin with a Russ Gardner. from Tadley, near Basingstoke. Many years later, I popped into a pub in South Devon and met an old friend who told me that Russ was Third Mate on the "Mactra" when the explosion happened. I gather that he was working on one of the lifeboats at the time, and the force of the blast blew him over the wall and killed him. Does anyone know if this is true? I hope not, we were good mates years ago.
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  #32  
Old 28th December 2006, 20:41
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Ron Stringer Ron Stringer is offline
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Shell Tankers

[QUOTE=raymondwilliams;97002]I did my four years as a D/A with Shell in the Sixties, and first trip shared a cabin with a Russ Gardner. from Tadley, near Basingstoke. Many years later, I popped into a pub in South Devon and met an old friend who told me that Russ was Third Mate on the "Mactra" when the explosion happened.QUOTE]

Raymond,
Was the pub in Newton Ferrers by any chance?
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  #33  
Old 29th December 2006, 11:08
raymondwilliams raymondwilliams is offline  
 
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Ron,
Sorry to disappoint, but it was actually in Modbury, and the old friend was the barmaid!
All the best, Ray.
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  #34  
Old 29th December 2006, 13:33
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Originally Posted by raymondwilliams View Post
Ron,
Sorry to disappoint, but it was actually in Modbury, and the old friend was the barmaid!
All the best, Ray.
Ray,
Sailed with a 3rd Mate in Shell who was engaged to the landlord' daughter at the pub in Newton Ferrers. Lost touch with him 40-odd years ago and thought it might be a link. Thanks for that anyway.
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  #35  
Old 11th November 2008, 00:33
Radiomariner Radiomariner is offline  
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In 1966 I sailed on BP Tanker British Mariner. She was fitted from new (1964)with an inert gas system. I was amazed on joining Shell in the early 70's to find that IG was only in the experimental stage. Shell must have known about this development. In my opinion, Shell was very "insular" in Sorting out all it's own problems as they came to them and rejecting the findings of others.

On the subject of Shell Insularity: Somebody in another thread mentioned "The Madhouse" in Curacao. I first visited the Madhouse in 1961, my ship "British Maple". We were not made welcome and there were cheers when we left early. A similar thing happened visiting a Shell Ship to change Wallport Films. We sat in a crowded bar, not a drink offered, barely a word spoken other than to deal with the film exchange. These two events created a definate "impression" in my mind of the calibre of Shell personnel.
I was later to sail on Shell ships (1974-2002) and surprisingly found the natives to be friendly but there was a tendency to hostility towards visitors from other shipping companies. Remembering my earlier experience I tried to redress this whenever possible
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  #36  
Old 11th November 2008, 10:00
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Eres Eres is offline  
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Mitra

I do remember the Mitra The Dutch and British ordered quite a few of them Later several of the British went to the Dutch flag. I was your agewnt in Rotterdam working for Phs van Ommeren think well known by several of you.
Working or in Europoort or in Botlek/Pernis area A lot of ships remember The H, V and D class Lika Halia, Verconella (Capt.Aitkinson??) Drupa, Darina Later the L class like Litiopa, Laconica The Verconella was mainly on Venezuela/Rottrerdam trade with T J P crude (Tia Juana Pesado)

The disaster of the Mactra I do remember this also Just after the big explosion of the Dutch Marpessa I was with the Ouwerkerk not so far away Think the Mactra was on the African east coast then??

I live now about 300km from the nearest port After so many years I am back in the sihiiping

Best regards

Wim



Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Eccleson View Post
Seeing the Shell Tankers thread jogged my memory of my first trip as 2R/O on the Mitra.
On passage from Singapore to Muscat in 1971 (June?) we had a complete engine failure in the Indian Ocean. I think it was something to do with contamination of water in the boilers and tube collapse or something like that - the engineers amongst you will know!
We were drifting for days towards some of the outer islands within the Maldives and had the German deep sea salvage tug 'Albatros' circling like a vulture for a couple of days.... with Shell in London telling us not to use him unless the situation got really desperate.
There was no powers at all - emergencvy generators failed. Also, to make matters worse, we had total failure of our emergency radio requipment (batteries went flat!!).
The engineers eventually (four days or so) managed to get an aux boiler going and got up a head of steam and off we limped to Muscat for repairs..... closely followed by the Albatros for a day or so until they decided that we were no longer fair game.
All this was about the time when there was a heightened awareness of safety on the new brand of 'supertankers' following the explosions on Mactra and the loss of ships like the Kong Haakon.
A good introduction to life at sea for me!
Anyone remeber the incident?
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