Gastor/Nestor - Ships Nostalgia
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Gastor/Nestor

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  #1  
Old 4th June 2018, 07:29
Julian Calvin Julian Calvin is offline
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Gastor/Nestor

Remember meeting one or two guys who stood by on these.
Questions re their stay in Loch Striven;
1. What were the moorings
2. Who was onboard (understand living quarters was portocabin on deck)
3. How often was maintenance carried out.

Apart from visit back to builders yard, they were there for nearly twenty years. Any stories?
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  #2  
Old 4th June 2018, 08:22
BillH BillH is offline
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Extracted from my PDF book on CD – “The Blue Funnel Odyssey”

Another new joint venture (also subsequently doomed to failure) with the Dutch Nedlloyd Group was undertaken wherein both partners would construct a Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) tanker to enter service during 1977. However when the Dutch GASTOR and Blue Funnel’s NESTOR were completed the proposed trade opening for which they were built failed to get off the ground.
Although the vessels were approved by the United States Department of Energy, escalating costs and problems with the receiving terminal continued to dog Pacific Indonesia LNG Corporation the ships’ 20 year charterers. NESTOR proceeded to Loch Striven and was placed into lay-up without having carried a cargo. She was subsequently sent back to her builders for upgrading work, enabling her to compete with more modern tonnage when eventually put to work. GASTOR subsequently joined NESTOR in Loch Striven.
NESTOR was sold to Bermuda based operators for a new project in Nigeria but remained in lay-up. The new owners were listed as Enellengee Ltd., which in itself means little. To print it differently as NLNG Ltd., one can find the initials of Nigerian Liquified Natural Gas Ltd. NESTOR eventually left lay-up during 1991, having been renamed LNG PORT HARCOURT for her new owners.


I have a photo of both laid up and that shows lashed alongside each other bow to stern both with portside anchors out and both vessels also with what appears to a pair of some form of anchors rigged over their sterns centre and port quarter. Definitely not moored to buoys. Unfortunately copyright issues prevent me from posting it on site

NESTOR Liquified petroleum gas steam tanker.
O.N. 373259. 78,951g. 51,244n. 902' 3" x 137' 10” x 40' 3"
Two, Stal-Laval type steam turbines by the shipbuilder. 34,000 SHP. 19 kts.
6.11.1976: Launched by Chantiers de l'Atlantique, St.Nazaire (Yard No. B. 26), for Ocean Transport & Trading Ltd.
3.10.1977: Trials.
12.1977: Completed for Odyssey Trading Company Ltd., (Ocean Fleets Ltd., managers), Bermuda.
10.8.1982: Laid up at Loch Striven.
1987: Ocean Marine Ltd., appointed as managers.
1989: Sold after seven years lay-up to Enellengee Ltd., (Shell International Marine Ltd., managers), Bermuda, but remained in lay up.
6.1990: Sold to Bonny Gas Transport Ltd., (Chemikalien Seetransport G.m. b. H., appointed as managers).
1991: Renamed LNG PORT HARCOURT, (same managers).
4.1992: Shell International Trading & Shipping Company Ltd., appointed as managers.
10.2015: Sold to M T East Energy SA and renamed EAST ENERGY under Panama flag.
10.2016: Sold to Sinokor Maritime Co Ltd., S Korea
29.3.2018: Arrived at Chittagong for demolition.
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  #3  
Old 4th June 2018, 10:10
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Frank P Frank P is offline  
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Did they ever carry any Gas (cargo)?
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  #4  
Old 4th June 2018, 14:31
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makko makko is offline  
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During my cadetship, I was sent up during summer workshop time to participate in the reactivation of Nestor for her return to the yard for guarantee work. I think that this might have also involved some modifications to the tanks as I recall discussing with the 2/E the invar steel used.

Regarding the moorings, I just do not remember.

On board were a chief and second mate, a second and fourth (acting 3rd) engineer and an electrician. There were a couple of nav and eng cadets. Yes, the living quarters were Portacabins on the port side between the accom and main loading ducts. The greatest problem was abject boredom!

As the "riding squad", we lived in a nearby hotel with an extra 2/E (Barry?) and 2/O and we travelled in two Austin Maxis and lifeboat to the ship each morning. We made it into Dunoon most nights and generally escaped on the weekend back home.

The accom was cocconed and a permit was required to "break the seal" as it were. Electrical power was supplied by a skid mounted CAT generator in the canyon between the accom and stack block.

Maintenance was ongoing to ensure that moisture did not get into controls and to ensure that nothing was "frozen".

During my tenure, the plastic (refractory) on both boilers was being renewed. Like any machinery, boilers don't like just sitting around without a fire in the furnace.

I remember poring over the control diagrams for the boilers with the 2/E and Lecky. During warm through, approximately 1200 T of diesel would be required! This is why no one wanted the poisoned chalice of ChEng! There were two 1000T wing tanks on either side of the ER. During operation, the boilers were to operate on 90% boil off from the cargo and 10% diesel. IF there was a FLAME OUT, the furnace , stack and boiler front were supposed to be completely inerted to avoid any build up of unburned LNG, fans restarted and the boiler flashed up on diesel until the flame was stabilized and fuel change over to LNG/DO. The problem was the inert system, temporizing and order of start up. I cannot remeber the specifics but there was a very good chance that gas could build up in the furnace and lead to an explosion. The 2/E was very concerned indeed and spent a lot of time tracing lines and testing circuits with the Lecky.

I remember also that there were problems with delamination of plates in the engine room tank tops. The bulk of engine room work was chipping and painting to ensure that there was no corrosion due to moisture pooling. I managed to avoid the chipping/painting and got involved in majors for both diesel auxies, Allen V-18's, right bar-stewards for checking the timing on!

The accom, like most French vessels, was palatial and very well appointed. However, we had to take our boots off the couple of times we had to go in. We would check comms and main engine controls. I seem to remeber testing the steering gear too. I do not remember if the main plant was on turning gear, but it must have been. The engine room, as on most steam ships, was very roomy, especially the auxy flat.

Under OTT, the Nestor only loaded/unloaded once, a test at Isle of Grain. I subsequently sailed various times with the 2nd (from OCL Bays) who had taken her from the yard to the IoG for the loading test.

Enough for now, Julian and Frank!

Rgds.
Dave
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  #5  
Old 4th June 2018, 14:40
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makko makko is offline  
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I forgot to mention that water was rationed for those living onboard - A particular bug bear for them.

I may be remebering incorrectly but, if memory serves, the relieving ChOff was the Bishop. Definitely not the Mufti (who I was remembering initially) because I sailed with him on an M.

Rgds.
Dave
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  #6  
Old 4th June 2018, 14:43
Julian Calvin Julian Calvin is offline
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Many thanks Dave, very informative.
Other than this preparation before returning to the builders, who had the unglorious task of staying onboard. Were they unmanned ghost ships at night?
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  #7  
Old 4th June 2018, 14:53
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makko makko is offline  
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Hi Julian,

As I said:

On board were a chief and second mate, a second and fourth (acting 3rd) engineer and an electrician. There were a couple of nav and eng cadets. Yes, the living quarters were Portacabins on the port side between the accom and main loading ducts. The greatest problem was abject boredom!"

They were permanently onboard. Yes, the vessel at night, as any "dead" ship was particularly spooky!

We were onboard for Charles'/Di's wedding. We built a pyramid of M/Ts on deck. We lost count at 96.......... July and bl00dy freezing!!!!

Last thing, every day, before going ashore was to pick up the rubbish for disposal shoreside!

Rgds.
Dave
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  #8  
Old 8th June 2018, 08:39
shunters shunters is offline  
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Moorings

The vessels were moored with large anchor cable, I seem to remember I was told the chain was ex Queen Mary??. Can't remember what was on the end of the chains I assume anchors. Chain also ran to the beach if I recall corectly.
Around 1983 ish we went round to Loch Striven on the OIL Harrier to re lay the moorings at one stage we were working very close to the beach.
Its all a bit hazy now as it was long time ago before the time of cameras in phones etc so I doubt if there any photos of the opperation.

shunters
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  #9  
Old 10th June 2018, 12:38
Dod Caukie Dod Caukie is offline  
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Originally Nestor was laid up with two bow anchors and two stern anchors. The first time we had a strong gale of wind the anchors dragged. They were relaid by an OIL anchor handler and four more anchors were supplied and set. We were having to adjust the anchor cables by running the steam winches on compressed air. A very slow process and it was January and it was freezing. I did the first 3 months of lay up and never saw Nestor again.


George T
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