Booth Line - Page 6 - Ships Nostalgia
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  #126  
Old 24th February 2016, 15:32
sternchallis sternchallis is offline
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Last year (2015) for the VGSA reunion lunch at Liverpool we stayed at the Liner Hotel and they did a good job of giving the hotel a nautical theme with a reception that looked like a Pursers office on an old liner, various brass bits in the lobby and restaurant like a telegraph, sounding machine and old fashioned binnacle.
All rooms (cabins) and alleyways had prints of various liners on the bulkheads. Just outside ours was the Hilary up the Amazon. (not sure of the artist originally, but my photo).
See attached.
We also visited the old BSSM Office (or Corn Beef Castle as it was known) and previously the offices of White Star Line (of Titanic fame), now a boutique hotel (what ever that is, but expensive).
Old L&H and BSL nameplates up in the top floor bar, Charts of South America the old Booth & Lamports runs.
You can just see what looks like part of a boiler, but not a ships boiler but possibly from the buildings original heating system.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg SS Hilary - Booth Line.JPG (86.7 KB, 57 views)
File Type: jpg L&H.JPG (30.3 KB, 49 views)
File Type: jpg Blue Star Line.JPG (58.4 KB, 37 views)

Last edited by sternchallis; 25th February 2016 at 14:11..
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  #127  
Old 28th February 2016, 23:02
Caffj Caffj is offline  
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Hi Foca,
Do you have Tom McCutcheon's telephone number? If so can you ring and find
out if he is ok. I did as you suggested and contacted Western Ferries on 28th
July,2015. They said they would forward on my e-mail to Tom. Todate I've had
no reply from Tom which is very strange.
Thanks and regards, Caffj
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  #128  
Old 2nd May 2016, 14:49
sternchallis sternchallis is offline
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RMS Hilderbrand

Did anybody sail on this Passenger /Cargo ship of Booth Line.
There is a book written about her last voyage when she ran aground off Cascais in Portugal. The Junior Engineer Tony McClemements is still around and one of the passengers who was a schoolgirl at the time, Ruthie Lockyer who wrote the book. It is available on Amazon.
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  #129  
Old 21st May 2016, 15:25
sternchallis sternchallis is offline
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RMS Hilderbrand Video

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J7CpgkFk7EI

This video describes what happened on 25th September 1957 by people on the vessel and the Formal Enquiry. The video was made by two Portuguese divers one of which was a had an interest in underwater video.
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  #130  
Old 21st May 2016, 20:51
kypros kypros is offline  
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My older brother sailed on the Hildebrand not the voyage of her loss,I sailed in her sister ship the Hubert on her last voyage to the Amazon before she was moved out to Australia,strangely my late father worked on the construction of both at Camel lairds shipyard,although still at school I clearly remember her loss.KYPROS
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  #131  
Old 22nd May 2016, 13:38
sternchallis sternchallis is offline
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Kypros, did you or your family come across Tony McClements who was the Junior Engineer, later became Chief Engineer with Booth Line and also served his apprenticeship with Cammel Lairds. He is still around I met him at the 2016 Lunch.
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  #132  
Old 5th June 2016, 22:40
sternchallis sternchallis is offline
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Is anybody in touch with Richard Wells (Red Wells , as he liked to be known) 3rd Engineer, obviously retired now. He ws from the Liverpool area and sailed with Booth Line and perhaps Lamports also.
He was my 3rd when we brought back the Benedict from the shipyard in Rio Brazil 78/79 and as I was a 1st trip 2nd he helped a great deal. In fact the 4thand cadet and lecky were all good lads.
As we were all in the same boat (no pun intended) a new ship with equipment and engines we had never come across before. Our first few watches from Rio to Belem it guess or by god, much crossed fingers.
We had our trials and tribulations with that ship till she settled down.
Cotton waste in the HFO service tank causing surging of the engine whilst rolling.
Fuel purifiers not set up with correct gravity disc by shipyard.
OWS heating coils cracked filling boiler with oil.
Hotwell with sight glass wrong side, hence above. Partly filled hotwell with oil.
Fuel pipe through ballast tank cracked or weld failed causing contamination of ballast and fuel tank.
Failure of fuel injector cylinder head bushes on mechanica pasada DA's.
Fitted with a hand operated ( glorified bike pump) black start compressor, rather than a Distar set.
Blacked out on maiden voyage in Barbados, due to too much water in DO that DOP never removed, just pumped.
Managed to get a jump start off a tug via the deck air line.
Due to the extra accomodation deck the gm was a bit dodgy.
Small overflow of stern tube oil out of the header tank in the boiler flat ( and she was cooling down as well) just before arrival Liverpool, never did hear what caused it.
ME (7 cyl MAN , same as QE 2 generators) somewhat underpowered, needed the extra cylinder at least as engine was on the propellor power curve all the time, no allowance for heavy weather.

But after settling down was a pretty good ship.
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  #133  
Old 6th June 2016, 10:00
kypros kypros is offline  
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Sorry Sternchallis only just back to this thread not sure if any of my family new of the man you asked of both my Father and elder brother now crossed the bar impossible to find out.KYPROS
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  #134  
Old 13th December 2016, 00:19
sternchallis sternchallis is offline
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Sorry to hear that Frank Stitchcombe is no longer with us. I met him while we were standing by the building of Benedict and her sister in Rio 1978/9.
Is Richard "Red" Wells still around, he was my 3rd Eng when we took over Benedict from the shipyard? Two of the stalwarts.
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  #135  
Old 12th April 2017, 10:53
sternchallis sternchallis is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonog View Post
I sailed in the Boniface and the Benedict in 1983. Belem was unbelievable. 24 hour party town par excellence. Obidos upriver was very odd. Went ashore with some guys who were poisoned by 'high wine' wood alchohol mixed with Bacardi. Manaus was even better than Belem, especially The Cathedral club, built in the crypt of the ruins of the burnt out cathedral. What went on there was definitely NOT in the Book of Common Prayer!!!
Did you ever sail with Richard (Red) Wells, 3rd Engineer for many years with Booths. He sailed on the maiden voyage of the Benedict as my 3rd.
He knew everybody up the river, Alan the repair man, the Booth country manager and his family, the Marine Super, names lost in the mists of time, tide and Tennants (well perhaps not as I didn't like the stuff, but it rymed).

Now Brahma Chop or Mount Gay rum ( you have to watch what you write these days, hence adding the rum).

Just wondered if Red was still around.
I wrote a long post about that voyage on the L&H section, so won't repeat here.
Had a reply from Sparky 1.
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  #136  
Old 13th April 2017, 10:39
sternchallis sternchallis is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Graham Holden View Post
Served as 2nd Mate on "Veras" 64 and 65. 5 trips from New York/Montreal to Brazil including 3 to Iquitos. Fantastic ship and a good crowd. Brazilian crew. Enjoyed every minute. George Potts was Master, Guy Guerandel was Mate and Mike Locke 3rd Mate. No radar on board so on the east coast of USA in fog we would drop anchor and wait for vis to improve! We used to tow a loaded barge alongside from Manaus to Iquitos at low river season. Happy days.
I sailed with Mike Locke with Blue Star, he was Mate and sometimes 2nd Mate as he never got his Masters. He was a good Mate as well another from Hull my home port.
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  #137  
Old 13th April 2017, 10:51
sternchallis sternchallis is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by will. View Post
My last trip as deck cadet was on the Benedict in 1984.An amazing time was had by all !. Went up to Manaus, then on the way down river the Rudder stock parted from the Rudder, so I had to endure a whole month alongside in Belem !,my God I had a good time !!. Belem seemed to me to be in a permanent carnival mode.
First time I have heard about rudder. I was on there during the maiden voyage and we had little mechanical excitements all down to poor workmanship of the yard.

Woggy was 2nd Mate on there, met a Brazilian girl in Manaus and eventually married her and moving to Manaus. Think he got a job to do with cargo in the Booth/Vestey organisation up there.
See his picture on the BSL website/ ships/Booths/ Benedict following the handover.
You might recognise the old man peering through red eyes.

Last edited by sternchallis; 14th April 2017 at 10:26..
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  #138  
Old 14th April 2017, 16:01
Caffj Caffj is offline  
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Hi is there anyone still out there. I know we are all getting long in the tooth,
(myself included) but this forum seems to have died.
Does anyone know what has happened to Foca?
Can anyone answers the following questions.
What Booth Line ships was Tom McCutcheon master on?
What happened to all the masters when Vestey pulled the plug on Booth
Line, eg some of the masters I sailed with (can't remember them all)
Sharpe, Roberts, Walker, Macrife, (might have spelt his name wrong)
Look forward to hearing from some one with the answers.
Happy days with Maggie Booth.
regards. Caffj
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  #139  
Old 17th April 2017, 09:33
Mike Williamson Mike Williamson is offline  
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The Saint

Quote:
Originally Posted by sternchallis View Post
Sorry to hear that Frank Stitchcombe is no longer with us. I met him while we were standing by the building of Benedict and her sister in Rio 1978/9.
Is Richard "Red" Wells still around, he was my 3rd Eng when we took over Benedict from the shipyard? Two of the stalwarts.
Frank Stinchcombe was one of the true characters of the British Merchant Navy, and I could talk all night about him! Here's a little link that I've posted before - but if you'll forgive my self-indulgence it's worth doing again. I've posted a couple more on the "big river" on the same site, but this epitomises Frank "The Saint" Stinchcome to me.
http://mike-williamson.blogspot.com....uba-libre.html
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  #140  
Old 19th October 2017, 12:02
Foca Foca is offline  
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30 James Street

Albion House ex Pacific Buildings, James Street Liverpool.


Seems a lot of people including the press are ignorant of the fact, that 30 James Street built 1896/98 by the White Star Line...was owned by the Pacific Steamship Company who bought it from the White Star Line in 1934, who had been there for 38 years or so. and remained as their head office called Pacific Buildings for 31 years until Furness Withy took over the Royal Mail Lines/Pacific Steam Company in 1965. It was PSNC that commissioned the floor mosaic of South America in the foyer when they took it over from White Star line.
BSSM took over the 30 James street and called it "Albion House"..........the local name for the building was "Streaky Bacon House" after its red and white brickwork .....I am not quite sure how long BSSM stayed there but it was nowhere near the 31 years that the Pacific Steamship Company used it as their Head Office.
The present Hotel owners and the press either from ignorance or play on the White Star past have simply airbrushed The Pacific Steam Navigation Company out of the picture....nothing has been mentioned about Reina del Pacifico and Orduna which carried thousands of troops during WW2, and served with distinction during the North Africa landings...peacetime "Reina del Pacifico"......most of PSNC cargo ships carried 12 passengers, so the ground floor of Pacific Buildings which was the passenger department as well as the cash department saw plenty of coming and goings.
James Street Station was badly damaged as was "Pacific Buildings" during the war.......including the "Goree Warehouses", which were demolished after the war to the widen the roads....I remember the bomb damage very well and its really amazing to see how Liverpool has changed over the years....anyone that never rode on the Overhead Railway(Dockers Umbrella) certainly missed out
Booth Line original seagoing staff offices were in Wapping...more or less opposite Queens dock were the Booth Line ships docked
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  #141  
Old 20th October 2017, 17:45
sternchallis sternchallis is offline
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Re: Foca 140.
BSSM had 30 St. James St. Fom mid 1970's until they had sold up all their ships, perhaps sometime in the 80's and as you say nowhere near 31 years.
On the open bus tour they don't mention the other shipping companies that used it as an office, just the ill fated White Star Line, nothing at all to do with the Blue Star Line.
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  #142  
Old 16th January 2018, 19:51
Foca Foca is offline  
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Hoboken Shipyard

Just found this picture on the Hoboken Historical Site....its the Booth Line "Valiente" in dry dock in the Hoboken Shipyard, must be early sixties.
Been there a few times on various company ships,brings back a lot of memories
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File Type: jpg 20120070065.jpg (193.2 KB, 59 views)

Last edited by Foca; 16th January 2018 at 19:55..
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  #143  
Old 17th January 2018, 13:45
P.Arnold P.Arnold is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Foca View Post
Just found this picture on the Hoboken Historical Site....its the Booth Line "Valiente" in dry dock in the Hoboken Shipyard, must be early sixties.
Been there a few times on various company ships,brings back a lot of memories
Re my #96
I don’t think we missed a trip without going into dry dock to have the prop cropped or replaced due to damage sustained by submerged logs/trees.
I had an FCC radio survey whilst in dry dock. The surveyor took a dim view of the aerial held together with splices and bulldog clamps. When explained this was a result of either trees falling in, or snagging the wire as we passed.
He was not too impressed when the Rentokil people had fumigated the radio room and bridge area. Consequently the cockies came out en masse from the crevices in their death throes.
When moving out of the r/room to the c/room he threw up.
It was the first and last time that I failed a survey.

The subsequent survey was conducted by a different surveyor.

I had my 20th birthday on the Valiente, what an adventure.

Peter A
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  #144  
Old 21st November 2018, 13:45
Foca Foca is offline  
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Kostantis Yemelos

Whilst serving as Master in Booth Line in 1968, the Brasilian Government in all there wisdom decided to ban the export of lumber in log form, hence forth only cut timber would be allowed. You can imagine the panic as the shippers who had relied on the export of logs tired to get there stocks exported before the rule can into force. Most of the logs we carried were mostley for the Portuguese market, Libon or Leixoes. So you can imagine the urgency in Booth Lines offices to charter any ship to fullfill the shippers present needs
I flew out to Recife to join a ship called Kostantis Yemelos, which a found had been originally built as "Samiday" run by Holt and Co Liverpool in 1944...in 1947 she became the "Scholar" Harrison Line........1964 she was bought by Greek owners and became "Kostantis Yemelos"

She had just finished loading grain, and I happened to be in the Captain's cabin when the receivers can in and stated they were x amount of tons short, impossible replies the Captain. Anyway that afternoon I did the on survey accompanied by the Master and Mate. First hatch I survey was No 1 hold and along with a number of faults I pointed out was that the air vent for the DB tank was rusted right through.....which started a big row between the Master and the Mate. A couple of days later whilst underway to the Amazon the crew were walking along the foredeck with bags of grain..seemingly No1 DB was filled with the missing x amount of grain. It seems they intended to sell this grain and the cook was quite angered because he could not fit down the manhole and was not included in a share of the profits. Anyway we had a successful trip with a full cargo to discharge at Lisbon and Leixoes, were I put her off charter.
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  #145  
Old 24th November 2018, 14:05
Foca Foca is offline  
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Patricia

The next supercargo posting was to join the Greek-owned "Patricia" in Manaus….ship had a very interesting career built as the "Empire McAndrew" 1943/1946 (MAC Aircraft Carrier) which I had read quite a lot about beforehand. 1946 she was converted into a cargo vessel….1946 /1951 she was "Derryheen"….1951/1963 "Cape Grafton " Lyle Shipping Company.
When I arrived onboard the ship was in a terrible state of repair. the cabin they gave me had rusting deckhead. I doubt the Masters' qualifications but I think he had the job as he was married to the owner's daughter. The on survey was another thing…broken ladders, frames I could go on and on, but the main point was that the tween decks had come away from the sides of the ship. I pointed this out and the next day they were down there with cement covering it up. How they ever passed any Lloyd's tests beats me.
Never had so much trouble loading a ship before..mate was argumentative, didn't like this or that. and they were all shouting and screaming at each other. In the end, I told they the ship was off charter come and see we when it's sorted…A half hour later it's ok we will do it your way. Captain gets a bottle of ouzo out and the next thing they are all dancing with each other. What a ship toilets had stuff growing out of them and were filthy …food was terrible...I must have lost a good stone in weight by the time we got to Leixoes. One Port we were loading at in the Delta canoes of women came out and crew had them onboard…I did warn the Captain…but the next day the hatch tarpaulins and a good load of paint were missing, what a shouting match, out comes the ouzo and they are all dancing again. One night at a logging port the shipper and the Captain had revolvers out threatening each other……it's a good job I had a couple of Brazilian sailors helping me or I would never have got the ship loaded. Anyway we finished loading and I asked the Captain to work out the stability which was met with a blank expression..so I got the books from him and worked it out..I also told him that I did not want any slack tanks…ok, then he speaks to the Chief.
We sailed from Belem with my cabin loaded with all sorts of food, milk, corned, fruit etc which Ned St Roas the Superintendent said I had to have….they were talking about flying me to Portugal but were frightened that they would get up to something on the way back. Eventually, we arrived in Leixoes and I went to live ashore in a hotel. We started to discharge and the Captain wanted engine trials so I got permission from the Captain of the port…and they started doubling up in preparation to test the engines, so off I went back to the hotel for some lunch and a shower…came back at about 1500 to find the ship listing heavily and all the mooring bar tight. I went to find the mate but before they could do anything the moorings pulled two sets of bits off the quayside and we righted with a sudden jerk.
As I was the only one who spoke Portuguese the next day before noon one of the Stevedores came to me with a stick with about three foot of oil on it …..No 5 hatch was floating in bunker oil…Chief had certainly pressed the tanks up. The crew were down to there waist deep in oil clearing the bilges to pump the oil out. By now the owner had arrived and wanted all sorts of repairs done..you can guess what my reply was.
I was certainly glad to be on the flight home I can tell you.

Last edited by Foca; 24th November 2018 at 14:08..
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  #146  
Old 26th November 2018, 13:17
Foca Foca is offline  
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m.v."Cyril" Point a Pitre Guadeloupe to Trinidad, Buenaventura and Liverpool 30th J

The "Cyril" had run aground whilst entering Point a Pitre...and become fast on a coral reef...salvage tug had tried to pull her off but nearly took the poop housing away, so in the end she had to have her cargo discharged to lighten her enough to clear the reef, before she docked in Point a Pitre . I flew out with a John Morcom Harneis Chief Officer and Bill Halewood Chief Engineer at the end of January to relieve the Master of command and proceed to dry dock in Trinidad. We were to sail the following morning as I think the people of Point a Pitre were already fed up with the ship being there...when I asked what time the pilot would arrive, I was informed no pilot just go. So first light we singled up, maneuvered her clear of the berth and down the channel to sea, our progress was very slow as the ship bottom was all buckled due to the grounding, and going too fast caused the whole ship to vibrate. It took us over two days to get to Trinidad... we entered the Boca late on the afternoon of the second day and anchored off the Furness Withy floating dock in Chaguaramas Bay. We berthed alongside the floating dry-dock the following day and started the laborious business of cleaning the double bottom tank and getting rid of all ballast and fuel oil inshore storage. The yard assessed that we would need approximately 500 tons of new steel to renew the damage and I a few days later we were docked on the Floating dry-dock and repairs commenced. Most of the officers that were not needed were flown home on leave leaving just a skeleton crew onboard. The plan was to finish the repairs and then proceed directly to the UK where the rumor was that the ship was to be sold.
Work continued apace and the weeks slowly went by, until we had been there a month. It was impossible to have our ports open as across the bay was situated a bauxite berth, and every time a ship loaded which was frequent, the dust just floated across and it was not long before the whole place was covered in the stuff. Think it was about six weeks till we were eventually refloated and the remaining crew joined for the trip back to the UK……..Then out of the blue, I was informed that we were to proceed to Buenaventura, Columbia to load coffee(It was about that time there was a coffee shortage in Europe) So off we sailed for Panama Canal and then on to Buenaventura. I had been to BV as it was known with my cadetship in PSNC and also as Master with CSAV charter on the "Belloc"…and I knew from experience that it was a very unsavoury place. Three days of rain and overcast(no radar?) we eventually picked up the pilot off BV and anchored off the harbour as there was a dock stoke. Our agents boarded two likable chaps and there the first question was "What are you here for" coffee I replied "But there is no coffee‼! So presented them with some cartons of cigarettes to keep them happy and off they went. Next to arrive were the Shippers agents who insisted that as soon as the dock strike was over we would go alongside. Next day we received a telegram from BSSM that John Morcom Harneis was to fly home to join ACT 1….no relief so typical BSSM I was short-handed again. We were keeping 24 hrs deck watches as native canoes and ladies of the night were begging to come onboard…there was a Norwegian ship "Frendo" something anchored close by also come for coffee. they put their guard down and lost all their paint stores. As weeks went by dock strike over nor problem getting coffee down due landslides. Shippers agents were down each day not to worry. I tried going ashore to phone the office but could never get through..even thought of sleeping ashore and phoning in the night. We had been alongside to load water but were back out at anchor again. Ship Chandler would not supply any more beer as he was not getting his bottles back and suggested we go up to Cali to the factory to buy beer which was about 70 miles over the Andes. Off we sent Chief and me, Chandler and his son….reached the first Military checkpoint and soldiers at bayonet point kicked Bill Halewood and I into the back and loaded their girlfriends in the front with instructions were to drop them off. Anyway, the trip from tropical, via Mediterranean and alpine landscapes was not to be missed until we reached to the col and there was Cali stretched out in front of us. WE picked the beer up no problem which meant that Bill and I were sitting in the back with all the beer. Trip back was uneventful but very cold as we went over the pass. A few days later the shipper's agents disappeared…I was in the office and I happened to see one of the secretaries on the telex machine…Inglaterra, I asked si no problema….so that is how I managed to contact the office with my one fingered typing. Seemingly our coffee had been sold and Bills of Lading in my name had been issued on the Continent but we were still being paid our charter fee to the company were not too worried. To cut a long story a chap from Germany arrived to sort things out, I agreed to go off Charter as soon as I cleared the Panama Canal so we were on our way home at last in ballast arrived in Liverpool were the West Indian crew paid off and the ship was eventually sold.
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  #147  
Old 27th November 2018, 09:24
Foca Foca is offline  
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Brasil Nuts

I was just wondering if anyone out there remembers loading bulk brasil nuts on the UK run……my first experience was on my first trip as second mate on the "Boniface". in 1963. Usually we sailed from Liverpool via Dublin and Cork…..general cargo and a load of oilfield pipe for Trinidad. After Trinidad it was down to Belem and hence to Manaus were we started loading. At Belem we picked up a Brasilian shore gang who assisted in building the nut bins as required. Some of these lots were from 500/250/100 down to 25 tonne bins. The uprights in the lower holds consisted of hardwood Vigas (Portuguese term ) about 10 x 10 inch and very heavy. Can you imagine someone climbing up the hold battens with a viga balanced on his head and the rest with rope pulling it into an upright position….health and safety‼! The mate worked out the dimensions of the bins and between us all the bins were erected in the holds and tween decks. Loading was done from barges which came done from up country with native labour, who loaded the buckets or casambas as they were called. Officer on deck had to ensure that the buckets were topped off with a stick to make sure they were not overloaded, also we had to test about 5% of the nuts by cracking them open to see what percentage were bad. Sometimes a bin would overflow and the shore gang would have to build a little on alongside to take the overspill. Also we had to make sure that the bins had to be loaded on the nailed side first. I remember on day looking down into the barge and this dark haired beauty was shovelling nuts into a bucket and she turned round and smiled, she had no front teeth….sucking on sugar cane for energy had rotted her teeth. We also used to load at Itacoatiara and Santarem on our way down to the Delta to load logs. I met quite an interesting gentleman in Belem, I think his name was George he used to go round the World buying nuts for the London market…walnuts, almonds, cashews.etc.Iran, India, China all over..after a few drinks he would recount his experiences in the Western Desert during WW2 in Honey Tanks which I found intriguing being a History buff myself. On our homeward passage we carried a Brasilian shore gang(nutcrackers the crew called them) whose main task was to trench the bins each day and pick out any bad ones…hatches were opened each day weather permitting and wind sails rigged to ventilate the nuts…which like coal can cause combustion. Hull had a very odd system of discharge as they rigged a third wooden derrick so that each load could be weighed separately. Brasilian shore gang used to stay onboard in Liverpool and were really handy on deck on the outward trip.
All this was superseded when Brasilian industry advance and brasilnuts were shipped shelled in quite large tins.
When I joined the "Veras" in Hamburg during lengthening, as mate in 1966…we had Brasilian crew and I must admit that sailing with them were on of the most happy experiences of my sea going career . we had them for a while until one crew member claimed under Brasilian law he was entitled to a pension for life…which was upheld in a law court and as Booth Brasil was a registered Brasilian company that was that..no more Brasilian crews who were replaced by West Indians.
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  #148  
Old 27th November 2018, 13:56
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Booth Line

The thing I recall about carrying Brazil Nuts was that we always carried a "Nut Trimmer". He was on board for the round trip - He climbed around in the hold on top of the nuts and turned them regularly with a large wooden shovel. This was done daily and he kept a log book of the temperatures. We loaded in the ports mentioned in the previous post plus a couple of others and were on the USA service. I do recall having the same guy on board on a couple of trips at least though we didn't always carry them in bulk. The bin construction I also remember.
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  #149  
Old 7th December 2018, 15:36
Foca Foca is offline  
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Organisation: Merchant Navy
Department: Deck
Active: 1955 - 1997
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 87
Christmas in Guanta, Venezuela

Christmas at Guanta Venezuela
Must have been around 1968/9 I was on the "Viajero" on the New York run, we were carrying a lot of Plywood back to San Juan Puerto Rico in those days. We left Port of Spain on Christmas Eve bound to load Cement at Guanta…..so to arrive early on Christmas day and have our dinner at anchor I decided to go via the little channel between Isla Margarita and Isla Coche..made the channel during the night and good job the old Mark 4 was behaving and we anchored just after breakfast so Crew and Passengers had a nice day.
We berthed on Boxing day but did not start loading as the cement was not ready. Just before lunch the Factory Manager, his wife and a friend who could only speak Spanish came onboard and we all had a few drinks and a chat…bought some cigarettes and booze all going well…next thing this Army Sergeant is at the door hurling abuse at the couple..(Must say at this time that the whole port was under military jurisdiction )….Anyway, the lady who could not speak English got quite irritated and as far as I could make out wanted to go ashore to see someone, so I was invited along for a ride. We must have stopped at half a dozen military checkpoints before we reached the town…and stopping outside a cinema. Eventually, this guy comes out dripping with gold braid must have been a General or something and this girl goes up to his arms around him "Mi Amor"….oh bloody hell I think that poor sergeant. Trip back to the ship every checkpoint we never stopped and they were all standing the attention. Back at the dock, we said our cheerio's and back I go onboard…with the poor sergeant on his knees begging forgiveness .
So that was my Christmas at Guanta
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  #150  
Old 24th February 2019, 14:17
Foca Foca is offline  
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Active: 1955 - 1997
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
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Castries St. Lucia
My name is "Mary Pickford" was the lovely lady in Castries(Castries City now) who used to sell Limacol and Bay Rum in old beer bottles…..also for the fans hot pepper sauce, which I never got a taste for. But I used to love the Limacol splashing it on after a shower and it was very good for mosy bites. All the Windward Islands that we used to call at have harbours now, even Roseau, Dominica has a harbour, we used to anchor so close, you could see the guests having breakfast in the hotel on the cliff above.
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