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Does anyone remember "Foggy Robby" Robertson, who was the coastal
captain in the early sixties.
He had the reputation of anchoring in the North Sea whenever it was foggy, as he didn't trust the radar.
I sailed with him on the "old " Benlawers" , which still had the wartime gunners' accommodation in the tweendeck level of the ER Casing : mind you at that time it was used by the Chinese painters,
 

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keithf said:
Does anyone remember "Foggy Robby" Robertson, who was the coastal
captain in the early sixties.
He had the reputation of anchoring in the North Sea whenever it was foggy, as he didn't trust the radar.
I sailed with him on the "old " Benlawers" , which still had the wartime gunners' accommodation in the tweendeck level of the ER Casing : mind you at that time it was used by the Chinese painters,
Hi keithf

I did a about 6 consecutive trips as 3rd and 2nd Mate with him on the coast and whilst we all knew we would see fog (never mind the time of year) cannot say I was involved in him anchoring anywhere or everywhere in the North Sea apart from once approaching the Thames. Mind you who did trust the "Macaroni" radars, "wind up" the handle on the side and hope they work. As most radar units where located over the Old Mans cabin, when started, was like kick starting a tank.

All the best/BSK
 

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i did a coast on the BENALBANACH in 69 Foggy Robb was skipper ..I was told he carried fog around in a suitcase .........great days with the greyhouds of the far east....backsplice (Thumb)
 

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My last trip on the Benvalla after ayear on there and Foggy Robbie was the old man ,there were two Ben boats in Grangemouth ours which was discharging Chrome ore for Stiens brickworks and salted pig skins from Japan for the use i was not aware.
The other Ben name i cannot remember was loading and also heading for Hamburg we sailed first and by three o clock in the afternoon we had run into fog.
The old man was already up and about so he had slowed her down then as it was too thick in his opinion he stopped her. Well we blew the fog horn and the engineers at tea time were saying when is he going to stop we will run out of compressed air soon. We were there till four in the morning before we go under way.
It was unusual to have two Bens in Grangemouth at the same time but the other sailed at eighteen hundred hours and still got in to Hamburg before us. Dispite our superior speed .It was a joke in the Zillertal when parties from the two ships met up.
We did not drop the pic when were in the fog but i was on the 12-4 and I remember the old man coming up with his long blue coat belted up at the waist and his steaming berry on his head covering his mass of pure white hair.
I wasn't feeling too well as there was a long swell and all afternoon the three cadets had been in the poop deck washing and scraping out the remains from the salted pig hides. Well it was August and fairly warm and this horrible smell combined with the up and down on the swell in a confined space, spelt sea sick for me. He asked me to make him a cup of tea and see what was in the sandwiches when i looked in to the sandwich box i just got a whiff and went straight out on to the wing of the bridge and puked over the rail.
When I went back in Foggy asked what was in the sandwiches and i said they made me sick, so he said " Ah well in that case I want have one"
To be fair to him he came back up later for a report on the weather and spoke to me and said to the 2nd mate this lad had better get off watch and turn in , it was a half hour before end of the watch so I was grateful.I put the rest of the watch on the shake and went to bed. My one and only encounter .
Keep her steady Ian.
 

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I did a voyage in ’62 in the Bencleuch under Captain J P Robertson (Foggy Robby). We carried 3 or 4 passengers at various stages, one fare then being £42 per week for a couple. The usual hard working trip with numerous ports of call:

Grangemouth – Rotterdam – Hamburg – Antwerp – London – Suez Canal Transit – Aden – Penang – Port Swettenham – Bangkok – Jesselton – Bugo - Cebu – Iloilo – Manila – Keelung – Kaohsiung –Hong Kong – Bangkok – Rajang –Singapore – Port Swettenham – Singapore – Penang – Galle – Aden – Port Sudan – Suez Canal Transit – Liverpool.

Keith
 

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Another former ship mate of mine died recently, George Cleland. Ex Ben Line man, but not sure when. I sailed with him in the early 90's on the Dover ferries, where he was sailing as C/O. RIP.
 
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