Thank you Ian for that defence, but I am too long in the tooth to worry about a bit of sour grapes. I believe it was SOP for those deep sea and was one of the things you were told when first going to sea, ' Don't drink down Aft with the crew'.I think post #139 was a wind up. On first reading it I dismissed as such but did remark on the writers memory of the hey day of shipping which I am sure all the 'old timers' will agree was well finished before the author even went to sea. Cut him a little slack, I think it was tongue in cheek.
The same as the Officers Smokeroom (later bar) was just that and a Captain could be asked to leave, which I understand happened on one of our ships. Though it would not be a drunken 5th engineer who told the old man , but a senior officer.
I understand the following day the old man never said a word and accepted his ejection.