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In October 1966 I got a working passage on the Hamburg South American cargo ship Cap Frío. I was 18. The first time I boarded the ship was in dry dock in North Vancouver, Canada. Straightaway the bosun put me to work cleaning the crew toilets and berated me when he found me smoking a cigarette. Over the month long voyage to Sydney Australia our relationship barely improved. Passing under the Lions Gate bridge I waved to my girlfriend on the Prospect Point lookout. In a waterfront bar in San Francisco the woman bar person scolded me for referring to the Cap Frío as a boat. It’s a ship, she said. In San Pedro, the port at San Diego, the mess boy got caught stealing a car, was fired and deported, and I was promoted from toilet detail to messejunge, serving the crew, washing dishes, etc. My German vocabulary grew to include “riz o kartofel?” (do you want rice or potato?). The cook’s fresh bread every morning smelled divine. There was no fuss made over me when we crossed the equator, the first time for me. I tried to fry an egg on the deck but just made a mess. Also, I completed an experiment started in Vancouver to observe which way the water went down the drain, clockwise in the northern hemisphere and anti-clockwise in the Southern Hemisphere. Inconclusive. In Sydney I left the ship but attended a football (soccer) game between ships’ crews in a city park, to cheer on the Cap Frío side. Altogether an adventure, the first of many before I returned to Vancouver three years later. Just now I read that the ship met its end on a Pakistan ship breaker beach in 1981.
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In October 1966 I got a working passage on the Hamburg South American cargo ship Cap Frío. I was 18. The first time I boarded the ship was in dry dock in North Vancouver, Canada. Straightaway the bosun put me to work cleaning the crew toilets and berated me when he found me smoking a cigarette. Over the month long voyage to Sydney Australia our relationship barely improved. Passing under the Lions Gate bridge I waved to my girlfriend on the Prospect Point lookout. In a waterfront bar in San Francisco the woman bar person scolded me for referring to the Cap Frío as a boat. It’s a ship, she said. In San Pedro, the port at San Diego, the mess boy got caught stealing a car, was fired and deported, and I was promoted from toilet detail to messejunge, serving the crew, washing dishes, etc. My German vocabulary grew to include “riz o kartofel?” (do you want rice or potato?). The cook’s fresh bread every morning smelled divine. There was no fuss made over me when we crossed the equator, the first time for me. I tried to fry an egg on the deck but just made a mess. Also, I completed an experiment started in Vancouver to observe which way the water went down the drain, clockwise in the northern hemisphere and anti-clockwise in the Southern Hemisphere. Inconclusive. In Sydney I left the ship but attended a football (soccer) game between ships’ crews in a city park, to cheer on the Cap Frío side. Altogether an adventure, the first of many before I returned to Vancouver three years later. Just now I read that the ship met its end on a Pakistan ship breaker beach in 1981.
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Remember seeing the German cap boats in hamburg they were good looking ships
 

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Remember seeing the German cap boats in hamburg they were good looking ships
Cap San Diego has been preserved in Hamburg and still does trips down the Elbe in the summer, well worth a trip if in the area, free run of the ship bridge, engine room etc. They were known as the white swans of the South Atlantic.
 

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Remember seeing the German cap boats in hamburg they were good looking ships
I spent eight months in POLAR URUGUAY in '81/82 as Mate. Built for Hamburg Sud, but the six of these ships were owned by Uiterwyk (UK) Lines. Ran on time charter to Hamburg Sud and wore the original red & white funnel colours. Quite modern ships for their time. On the bridge there were two small 'buttons', port and starboard. Odd little things. No signage and I wasn't going to find out the hard way. I asked the old man what it was? He smiled and pushed button in. A about five second later it popped out. It was a cigarette lighter! I never could find the tap for the beer.

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I spent eight months in POLAR URUGUAY in '81/82 as Mate. Built for Hamburg Sud, but the six of these ships were owned by Uiterwyk (UK) Lines. Ran on time charter to Hamburg Sud and wore the original red & white funnel colours. Quite modern ships for their time. On the bridge there were two small 'buttons', port and starboard. Odd little things. No signage and I wasn't going to find out the hard way. I asked the old man what it was? He smiled and pushed button in. A about five second later it popped out. It was a cigarette lighter! I never could find the tap for the beer.

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Hi Stephen this was obviously a reefer but what a smart looking vessel probably fast also 👌 tony
 

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Tony,

Hamburg Sud ships were largely general cargo but with some reefer spaces. Some had more extensive reefer spaces. The POLAR class like the URGUGUAY were 100% reefers and could carry meat fish, fruit. and also bananas. Of course some general, like cars. 22.8 knots. The hulls were steel and had been completely 'galvanized'. External doors on the superstructure and hatch access doors were all fiberglass. On deck they were simple ships. E/R was not so good with Pielsticks... better called Pielstops! Twin engines geared to single shaft.

Here is a good shot of POLAR COLOMBIA showing the layout. Not like ships today!
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Stephen
 

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Tony,

Hamburg Sud ships were largely general cargo but with some reefer spaces. Some had more extensive reefer spaces. The POLAR class like the URGUGUAY were 100% reefers and could carry meat fish, fruit. and also bananas. Of course some general, like cars. 22.8 knots. The hulls were steel and had been completely 'galvanized'. External doors on the superstructure and hatch access doors were all fiberglass. On deck they were simple ships. E/R was not so good with Pielsticks... better called Pielstops! Twin engines geared to single shaft.

Here is a good shot of POLAR COLOMBIA showing the layout. Not like ships today! View attachment 689996

Stephen
Hi Stephen smart looking ship 4 hatches union purchase easy to work gun port doors nice looking ship anyway happy new year Stephen 🎉😀
 
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