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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I was hired for a run, Vancouver to South Korea in 1990 on the Panamanian reg'd., Louis Dreyfus, Bulk Carrier "Gallant Dragon". We went North of the Aleutians fully loaded with Coal and encountered tremendous storm Damage on that January Crossing, I wonder if there is anyone on "SN" from that trip or the subsequent trip when she was Skuttled., as I only recently became aware of her fate.
Regards.,
 

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Hi Athinai

I never sailed on your Dragon but...

I spent a couple of years in the banana - citrus trade between Guayaquil, Long Beach & Japan in the mid 80s. We loaded full cargo of bananas at Guayaquil & discharged about half at Long Beach. The space was then filled up with California citrus for Tokyo & Osaka or Kobe. Charterers had us weather routed from Long Beach to Tokyo & this quite often took us up into the Bering Sea during winter in order "to pass to the north of the lows". It was a bloody long flog in horrendous beam swells from Long Beach up to Unimak & quite often pretty bad up there as well. I often stayed well north until past Attu then headed down towards Kamchatka & the Kurils in order to get a bit of a lee. I once experienced Force 10 at -10 deg blowing straight of Siberia with 3 high containers on deck of a reefer: the rails were iced solid and over a foot of ice on the bridge front & containers. No way to calculate the effect upon the stability other than to time the roll period & feel it in your feet. There was a soviet submarine excercise area off Kamchatka which we used to pass very close to & I often wonder what would have happened had we been challenged. We were heading south in the wintertime from a port south of the equator with a tropical fruit covered in ice - we'd probably still been in the salt mines today!

I've also done it many times to the south as well as far as 25 deg north & it is still hell to get across there. Whoever called that ocean "Pacific" was some joker.

It's lovely now I live about a quarter mile in from the sea in a very small village with 40 houses, a church, a pub & 2 lighthouses & I can see The Foreland & Bull Point Lights from my living room window on a clear night. No rolling & never hove-to - I sleep well.

May you always sail on calm waters,
Tony.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Hi Tony,

Thanks for the reply, and it is most interesting to read of your own exploits up that Weary part of the World, One does feel all alone out there, north of the Islands, & what an awful place. And like yourselves , We were also MET ROUTED. , - ("Always leave it to the Experts" as they say. Hi) fortunately I only did it once and flew home. You therefore deserve and have earned that tranquil place of yours so close to the sea, I love your last line, and "may you always sail on calm waters". How appropriate. Good Luck to you and family. Sleep Well
 

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Hi,
I sailed as 2/O on the dragon from March 89 to Oct 89. I paid off in Korea having come from Norfolk with a cargo of coal. My relief was a chap called ?Dennis I'd relieved him when joined in March. I understand that your trips round the Aleutians was a couple of trips after mine. Must say I didn't envy you those trips in the winter.
I was "sad" to hear when she sank, she was a happy ship although hard work. The old man Stevie Poole was great.

PS People may knock the name, but when we were berthed in Europort the ship in front of us was called "Noble Duckling"!
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Ted, Welcome Aboard, Hope you enjoy the Site, Its pretty Good., Most enjoyable. Well I sailed briefly on Gallant Dragon 29/12/89 to 27/01/90 that Horrendous trip in which she was pretty well wrecked on a Pacific Crossing Vancouver to Pohang Korea via Unimak, I nearly didnt sail as Main Radio Transmitter was U/S and Emergency 500 Tx was Dodgy also., Sat/Com U/S.
Company not interested until I said ''Good Bye Gentlemen'' have a nice trip, No need for an R/O if there is no functioning Radio Room. ''Cheers.'', They got the Message, I Went Shopping and picked out a Ham Transceiver which I fitted and that became our Radio Room. It also Had the Marine Bands, Added advantage was I could Speak to my Wife daily on SSB as I have a Similar Setup at home. The Skipper and Guys were great, I enjoyed it, even with the Dodgy start.,and the Bows looking like a Sardine Can, and way down by the head etc., etc., etc.,etc., etc., etc.,etc., etc., etc.,
Eventually there were too many etceras.,
And you know the Story.

All the Best for now.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Hi Dave,
When that Photo was taken, she may have already been to the Repair Yards for her Final ''Fix''. My Information was that When her condition was Discovered in the South Atlantic, she was not allowed into any port ? However she had to be "Scuttled" not that long after as she had broken her back, (Said to have been from that January Crossing)
Would like to read the Final Report, Hi

Rgds/
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Dave By the Way, Great photograph, It will be Framed Shortly,
Many thanks indeed for the update.
Rgds/
 

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Athinai

See it is a while sine this topic was posted, but just came across it when browsing the site.

I was C.Eng on the mv Astart when we recieved the SOS from Gallant Dragon in the South Atlantic - Remember winding up the ME to max revs to get to her and then we stood by her for the best part of a day until a salvage tug came out to escort her back to Brasil
Quite a sight with I believe 7,8 and 9 holds open to the sea and the ER bukhead apparently starting to buckle. - Poop deck was vitually awash as we were standing by and believe the crew spent the night in the lifeboats which had been swung out.
We tried to pursuade the Capt to at least take off all non essential personnel as it looked as if she could go down at any time, but he wanted to keep everyone together.
I remember taking quite a bit of video footage at the time, but havn't seen the tape for years.
 
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