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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Further to John B's thread , here is my favourite Master's report.
This is an actual letter recieved from one the charterered ships we had
at the time. Liked it so much , made a copy from the file. Copy is now
too old to scan but will reproduce exactly as written;

M.V,Fresno City
Durban South Africa
3rd.September 1980

Cast Ship Services NV
Antwerp Belgium.

Rats and mice on board

Dear Sir,

I refer to my letter with the above title dated 14th.August and posted from Jeddah.

The holds were bombed using "Lindane smoke" on passage to Richards Bay and as expected the operation was successful , a count of the bodies was as follows;

Hold No.1 18 mice nil rats
Hold No.2 38 mice 2 rats
Hold No.3 Not known , they drowned on ballasting this hatch
Hold No.4 18 mice 3 rats
Hold No.5 12 mice 2 rats

These are in addition to numerous others killed by the crew with shovels etc.

Since , some ( or perhaps the same one) mice have been seen on deck , none reported so far to date in the accommodation.

A total of 24 smoke bombs were used to good effect. The ship's stock has been reordered here.

Chandler's invoice for your account attached. This has been paid by the owners.

I trust the above meets with approval.

Yours faithfully,

G.S.Garlick Master.

cc . Reardon Smith Line Cardiff​

520 Posts
I once loaded bagged chestnuts at Savona on the SUSIE U for Philadelphia for arrival before Thanksgiving day. We actually discharged at Holts in Gloucester City NJ, across the river & on arrival we were greeted by the agent, the stevedore, 4 gangs of longshoremen & 27 battalions of American grey squirrels. The squirrels proved to be extremely dexterous & energetic guerillas who combined guile & gymnastics in order to defeat us. While one battalion marched up the gangway, four more were coming aboard clinging to cargo nets & a further ten were boarding via mooring lines with the others in reserve to reinforce the boarding party as the day progressed. Only a handful realised that once the cargo was landed in totality it made sense for them to slip quietly ashore. As the cargo was carried on liner terms there was no recourse to charterers & phone calls to the owners in Tampa brought such comments as "Your problem, Cap." or "Just dump 'em". Easier said than done.

The ship was due for a de-rat exemption at the next port, Cristobal, & the problem seemed not to improve. "What if they start breeding" ventured the chief: what indeed! Salvation came from the 2nd mate, a Filipino, who enquired if they were edible. Apparently they were for they were all gone by arrival Panama, the meat room was full, the crew getting fat & the de-rat renewed without any problem. (I did have a little taste of the Filipino dinner one evening & whatever it was tasted very good but I asked no questions.)
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