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  #151  
Old 24th February 2019, 19:36
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Samsette Samsette is offline  
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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.
Why is it that we only learn about those soft jobs when we are too old to apply?
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  #152  
Old 24th February 2019, 19:41
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duquesa duquesa is offline  
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Why is it that we only learn about those soft jobs when we are too old to apply?
Not a job I would have relished. Probably suffered horrors later in life, like asbestos.
Heck of a lot of thick dust.
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  #153  
Old 24th February 2019, 22:32
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Not a job I would have relished. Probably suffered horrors later in life, like asbestos.
Heck of a lot of thick dust.
Something I had not considered. Never-the-less, a voyage up the Amazon, and back, must have been something special in seafaring experience.
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  #154  
Old 24th February 2019, 22:45
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Something I had not considered. Never-the-less, a voyage up the Amazon, and back, must have been something special in seafaring experience.
It certainly was and even better when you did it time and time again! Never regretted that time in Booths for a second. Once upon a time a great company.
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  #155  
Old 25th February 2019, 07:54
Jim Harris Jim Harris is offline  
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It certainly was and even better when you did it time and time again! Never regretted that time in Booths for a second. Once upon a time a great company.
I was lucky enough to do a few trips up the mighty river, but only as far as Manaus as I was on the 'Bernard', and she was too big to go all the way to Iquitos.

But I've got some very fond memories of Belem and Fortaleza!!
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  #156  
Old 25th February 2019, 10:47
P.Arnold P.Arnold is offline
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It certainly was and even better when you did it time and time again! Never regretted that time in Booths for a second. Once upon a time a great company.
I did 4 trips on the Valiente,up the river. From New York, via nearly all of the WI islands, and up to Manaus, Iquitos. Round trip of about 13-14 weeks. Drydock in Hoboken with bent prop, nearly every trip.
Had my 20th birthday in one of the wood ports.
It still has the Wow memories 50 years later.
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  #157  
Old 25th February 2019, 11:17
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I did 4 trips on the Valiente,up the river. From New York, via nearly all of the WI islands, and up to Manaus, Iquitos. Round trip of about 13-14 weeks. Drydock in Hoboken with bent prop, nearly every trip.
Had my 20th birthday in one of the wood ports.
It still has the Wow memories 50 years later.
Oh yes the bent props - every trip!And one lost altogether. That was fun. I recall to this day spending my watch on the river standing next to the engine telegraph. On hitting a tree, stop engines, engineer sitting on a beer case knocked off the fuel, count 10 seconds and restart. Looking over the back end the tree would shoot up. Hence bent props!!

Last edited by duquesa; 25th February 2019 at 11:20..
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  #158  
Old 8th April 2019, 12:50
Foca Foca is offline  
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Originally Posted by Jim Harris View Post
I was lucky enough to do a few trips up the mighty river, but only as far as Manaus as I was on the 'Bernard', and she was too big to go all the way to Iquitos.

But I've got some very fond memories of Belem and Fortaleza!!
I took the "Berwell Adventure"ex "Bernard" to Iquitos, with a full cargo, for the newly opening oilfields in the Peruvian Jungle.
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  #159  
Old 8th April 2019, 17:18
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The names of two of Booths choice Amazon pilots have suddenly crawled into my memory cells:- Hugo Ferrera and Walter Carlos dos Reise(?). I have photographs of those two rascals somewhere in my files. Utterly brilliant pilots- massive respect.

Last edited by duquesa; 8th April 2019 at 17:20..
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  #160  
Old 8th April 2019, 18:43
bbyrne98 bbyrne98 is offline  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by P.Arnold View Post
I did 4 trips on the Valiente,up the river. From New York, via nearly all of the WI islands, and up to Manaus, Iquitos. Round trip of about 13-14 weeks. Drydock in Hoboken with bent prop, nearly every trip.
Had my 20th birthday in one of the wood ports.
It still has the Wow memories 50 years later.
Your post triggered a lot of memories from WOW to WTF.

I did 3 on the Cyril as RO in 1977 but they were 7 weeks or so by then, if I recall correctly, Manaus only . Had my 19th birthday in NYK courtesy of the CO, top man too (if he is reading)! However, to this day, I haven't forgiven him for making me measure ever single log we loaded on the river (but my figures were bob on!), nor the near death experience in St Lucia.

A normal day then.
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  #161  
Old 14th May 2019, 07:35
P.Arnold P.Arnold is offline
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I used to tally palletised animal skins somewhere on the river and cray fish tails at Fortaleza to tally them off at Charleston.

We were without a 3rd mate for several weeks, during which time I kept watches, and did the helm, under the watchful eye of Cpt Needham.

Can’t remember what I got paid, but I didn’t have to use my “signing on pocket money” for the 14 months I was away.

And those thunderstorms !!
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  #162  
Old 16th May 2019, 18:38
bbyrne98 bbyrne98 is offline  
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Originally Posted by P.Arnold View Post
I used to tally palletised animal skins somewhere on the river and cray fish tails at Fortaleza to tally them off at Charleston.

We were without a 3rd mate for several weeks, during which time I kept watches, and did the helm, under the watchful eye of Cpt Needham.

Can’t remember what I got paid, but I didn’t have to use my “signing on pocket money” for the 14 months I was away.

And those thunderstorms !!
I clearly got off light then as I tallied timber on the Amazon and KFC (certainly chilled boxes of chicken) in St Lucia. The KFC tallying was made very easy by the discovery that most of it had been pilfered in New York.

I'm less happy that we pilfered timber from the rain forest but that's another discussion, another day.

My memory bank says I had an hourly rate of $10 (obviously declared to HMRC) - I played hard to get as that looks like about $40 (justified) dollars today. I bought a camera from my earnings, the pics from which are around somewhere, I must dig them out.
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  #163  
Old 28th May 2019, 22:00
sternchallis sternchallis is offline
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Bluestarline.org website

Sadly on the 20th May Fraser closed the web site down. He posted his message on FaceBook. ..........."I have from tonight closed bluestarline.org permanently. The reasons being financial, failing eyesight and other health concerns which make it impossible to keep the website updated.

Thank you to all those who have visited the website in the past.

Fraser Darrah".
**********************
A very informative company website with a list and history of all the company ships, many images supplied by members, history of the Vestey family firm, crew lists going back into 1970' s or earlier until the demise from the centre fold of the house magazine, a logbook of posts, obituary section and copies of the house magazine as pdf's and images of various reunions. Other intersting sections added by Fraser including his own photographic images.
A well structured and interesting website, definately a labour of love by one man.
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  #164  
Old 31st May 2019, 15:31
Foca Foca is offline  
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Animal Skins

I do remember carrying animal skins from the Amazon, used to come in two varieties, wet and dry.The wet ones stunk to high heaven. Frozen cargo we carried most were the Blue Water Catfish, also in late sixties and early seventies we carried shrimp from Georgetown, Guyana to New York. Although we tallied them in we were always short on discharge.....and resultant was a nasty letter from Marine Superintendents. So in Georgetown we tallied them on the quay and into the hold and again we were short in NY, until on the next trip we tallied then twice in Georgetown and out in NY. And the next thing we heard was, a lorry had pulled up in the Warehouse at Pier One asking for his forty cases of shrimp, only he asked the wrong guy and it turned out that was what had been happening along ....Mafia again.
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  #165  
Old 1st June 2019, 08:58
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I do remember carrying animal skins from the Amazon, used to come in two varieties, wet and dry.The wet ones stunk to high heaven. Frozen cargo we carried most were the Blue Water Catfish, also in late sixties and early seventies we carried shrimp from Georgetown, Guyana to New York. Although we tallied them in we were always short on discharge.....and resultant was a nasty letter from Marine Superintendents. So in Georgetown we tallied them on the quay and into the hold and again we were short in NY, until on the next trip we tallied then twice in Georgetown and out in NY. And the next thing we heard was, a lorry had pulled up in the Warehouse at Pier One asking for his forty cases of shrimp, only he asked the wrong guy and it turned out that was what had been happening along ....Mafia again.
I remember the stinking skins and the shrimp shortages very well indeed. Almost as well as the hang overs in Belem!!
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  #166  
Old 17th June 2019, 13:13
Foca Foca is offline  
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Everyone I sailed with always said it was the ice in the drinks that caused to bad heads......!!
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  #167  
Old 17th June 2019, 16:30
sternchallis sternchallis is offline
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Bluestarline.org website

I am pleased to report that the Log Book is back on line, the rest will follow shortly over the next few weeks.
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  #168  
Old 17th June 2019, 18:56
Foca Foca is offline  
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Memories of Booths

During my 13 years in Booths, mostly spent on the UK and US runs..except for six months I spent in Lagos in the cement queue on the "Dominic ", but that's a story for another time. We did have some funny times with the antics of the crew...it was about 0100hrs in Cabadelo and I was on the bridge checking the gear as we were sailing at three, when I heard a thump on the quay, looked over the bridge wing and there was the pantry boy legging it up the dock overcoat, case and all...called some of the crew to chase after him...he had fallen in love and was jumping ship to get married. I think it was the same trip we were in the Islands loading logs and one of the AB's came to me to say he had seen a local come onboard with a snake and when he left he did not have the snake..he was quite adamant..bloody big snake it was. Anyway it was all forgotten until we arrived in Las Palmas and one of the crew was ill and went ashore to the doctors and was put in hospital. Message came back to pack his gear and send it ashore, so his roommate who slept in the lower bunk started packing his gear..opened the drawer under his bunk to find this big snake curled up in the drawer, he nearly died of fright when he thought that he had been sleeping with the snake just below him.....of course the AB was vindicated, told you Second. Another time in Trinidad the stevedores used to swear something awful…we were sitting in Leckies cabin having a quiet beer…and this guy was shouting down number 3 hatch, what he was going ashore to do his wife and his mother and come back and do the same to him. Our scouse bosun one day had a word in the boss stevedores ear, saying that the crew all being Christians were very upset about all this cursing and swearing….anyway it certainly did the trick…until Friday afternoon when the head stevedore approached the bosun and asked him if he would like to come to their church on Sunday and read the lesson.
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  #169  
Old 28th June 2019, 09:19
Abramhillside Abramhillside is offline
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Originally Posted by Santos View Post
Hi Guys,

I was up in Manaus in 1960s on the L+H Sheridan. Along with our sister ship Spencer we ran between New York, West Indies and Manaus and St lawrence in the summer months, you may remember us.

Met quite a few Booth ships up there and in the Amazon and our two ships were later transfered to Booth Line as the Cyril and Cuthbert. I also sailed on the Rubens, which became the Bernard, and sailed on her again when she came back to L+H as the Rossini.

Chris.
Hi Chris

Im in possession of my late brother Paul Abrams Chief Engineers reports from when he joined MN in Jan 65 until he left in 1980
He was with LH and started off on Ronsard and was engineer on Spenser from Feb 66 to Feb 67 before joining Ronsard again.
He then did stints on Veras, Veloz & Venimos up until 1972.
I've also got loads of pics but 50 years later can't really say what part of the world they are from!!! But I do remember he did the trips up the Amazon to Manaus and I've still got an old Winchester style rifle that he brought back telling me (I was only at primary school at the time) that it was used to shoot at the locals who tried to shimmy up the mooring ropes!!!
Also remember him returning from one trip and meeting him in Liverpool, he'd been away for what seemed like years, and he gave my mum a load of fillet steak to take back with us but the little freezer in the fridge wasn't big enough for it all so we were on best steak every night - a bloody luxury back then.
So many memories.
Regards - Alan
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  #170  
Old 31st July 2019, 15:18
sternchallis sternchallis is offline
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Mike Lock(e)

Is anybody in touch with Mike Lock, he was a Chief Officer with L&H and Booth Line and also sailed with BSl. He came from Hull.
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  #171  
Old 5th August 2019, 08:36
Foca Foca is offline  
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I remember Mike Lock well, but I never sailed with him.....I did sail with his cousin Charlie Lock, who was 2nd Engineer on the "Dunstan" in 1965...like a lot of Booth men seem to dropped out of site.
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  #172  
Old 9th September 2019, 21:33
David Lorimer David Lorimer is offline  
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I believe Mike Locke passed away several years ago. Wonderful guy. We met when he stood by the Bernard in dry dock at Val de Caes, Belem, late seventies (er, late sixties???) when I was a junior there.

Years later (late 80s?), he was shot in the leg by pirates at the anchorage in Santos, ferried ashore and spent hours in the hospital corridor awaiting surgery. Uncomplaining and, even then, with a dry sense of humour.
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  #173  
Old 10th September 2019, 09:19
Foca Foca is offline  
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Mike Locke

Hi David
Quite sad to hear about Mike.......yes indeed he was a nice chap. It was getting bad in Santos when I was there, we had a container broken into one night whilst we were at anchor and whiskey stolen. I have most of the "Berwell Adventure" story written down, but its quite long. I can still remember quite a lot, it's what I had for supper last night thats the problem
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  #174  
Old 11th September 2019, 11:48
Foca Foca is offline  
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Supermercado Booth

In the 1980's the company decided in their wisdom to open two Supermarkets one in Manaus and one in Iquitos….to be stocked direct from UK via Booth line ships.
Sounds good on paper and it did have initial success, Nice to be able to pop up the road and buy a nice Wall's pork pie or choc ice. One trip we discharged frozen goods at Iquitos for the Mercardo Booth and when freezer discharge was finished, No 3 freezer hatch was closed. Crispin like the other "C" class ships did not have a trunkway at No 3 hatch, exit was by coaming ladder. Pat Nichols was looking for David Lorimer who unbeknown to the Officer of the watch had asked David to pop down No 3 Hatch to check as they were a few items short, and was down to hatch searching when the 2nd Mate closed the hatch. Hatch was opened again and a grateful David let just as the refrigeration gear was put on again. In the end the shops were closed down and all the stock sold off discount….I remember John Needham bought all the Meccano sets and he had it all set up in a passenger cabin. A good idea but I think the idea was a bit ahead of time, but I did enjoy the pork pies.
Just thinking about all the Booth Line officers you were regular throughout the years that I sailed on the river…Tommy Morgan 2nd Mate comes to mind, if he is still alive I suppose, he is sunning himself in Spain as he had a house there. Joe Anish Chief Steward, another character, his brother at one time had a factory in Brooklyn, I remember him bringing a box full of ladies wigs down to the ship. Proved to be a great success in Belem and Manaus…lads going ashore looking like the Beetles, and the perucas were a great hit with the ladies. Basher Cowdrey (Chief Officer). Aussie Osman, (Chief Officer) now retired living in Cairo, Big Martin (Chief Officer) sadly died young in car crash. Nick the Greek other character. Looking back we were all lucky to experience the Amazon in its hay day
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  #175  
Old 11th September 2019, 21:44
David Lorimer David Lorimer is offline  
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I'd forgotten that one altogether but now I remember it was pretty scary. To be fair though, I think there might have been an element of prank about it. We were all so much more immortal back then.

Getting that reefer cargo from the hold onto trucks and off to the chambers in town was a challenge. The cargo would all be pre-cleared but tallying out was, well, it just didn't happen; we'd check in the shop reefer chambers the following day.

The ECUSA ships servicing the Caribbean island hotels with delicacies from the US sometimes let a bonanza get through, a leftover in the assorted debris at the bottom of the hold. In particular I remember a 6lb package of Alaskan king crab which I appropriated with approval of my superiors and had prepared specially for a large group at the Hotel de Turistas.

Leftovers in the UK service were rare and I only remember stevedores digging into a few small cases of fresh grapes.

Ships calling at POS would lift transhipment cargo from the Far East, mostly steel products which, after discharge from the Mitsui OSK ships, would have been left out in the baking Trinidadian sun for days or weeks until the first oncarrying Booth vessel arrived. The steel products included small kegs of nails. I say "small", 50cm tall barrels, damn heavy.

I don't recall the name of the ship but it was a UK run one, with a large load of Lyons Maid ice cream in the reefer holds. The cartons of ice cream are huge but relatively light in weight; they almost filled the hold, leaving just a few feet between the top of the stow and the bottom of the hatch cover.

Space at Port of Spain had been tight and, somewhere along the line, a decision was made to stow a few tons of kegs of nails on top of the ice cream. Nobody'll know the difference, right? Well, the almost red-hot kegs quickly burned their way right down to the bottom of the reefer hold and melted a good deal of the ice cream on the way down and at the bottom. Which, of course, re-froze en route and presented a disgusting glop on discharge at Iquitos.

What a business! The Lyons Maid ice cream had been sold by a Vestey subsidiary trading company in the UK to a Vestey subsidiary mini-market in Peru and carried there by a Vestey shipping company. The insurance claim by the consignees of the kegs of nails (ruined by condensation) and by us as consignees of the ice cream would eventually involve... us as Lloyds Agents.

Last edited by David Lorimer; 11th September 2019 at 22:25..
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