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Patrick Kafferty the Chief Engineer
Good on you Jeremy and a warm welcome to SN. I often wondered what became of Pat. In 1961 he was my senior engineer on the Brandon Priory and already had his Chiefs motor ticket. He was getting in the sea time for steam.

As a first trip Jun eng pat put me on the right lines to advancement and spent many hours on watch on the 12-4 giving me the benefit of his knowledge. A great bloke.

Kind regards

Bob W.
 

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Faraday

Ninja, Looked at your photos and recognise myself in the Line Crossing ceromony when Derek's wife Shirley is about to get a ducking. I recognise Bob Kirby (3rd Engineer) and of course Ron Hedger but none of the others. The photo of the girls at Christmas time was the girlfriends dressed in their partners uniforms. Micky May's (2nd Mate) is one of them!

Patrick Cafferty later sailed with Island Fuit Reefers (IFR) but I do not know where he went after they became bankrupt.

Jeremy Meadows.
 

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I thought it was Cafferty with a "C" Jeremy, but didn't want to be pedantic.(Smoke)

Pat was with Ropners before joining Houlders.

Bob W.
 

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Gas Ships, ouch! Was lucky enough to sail on a few.

Joule 29/1/78 – 30/6/78
Cavendish 17/11/78- 23/3/79
Faraday 22/10/82- 29/1/83

Always considered myself a general cargo chap spending most of my time on Westbury & Banbury. But Gas Ships made me the man I am today………A Nervous Wreck. Dodgy ships but some great guys and memories.
 

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I was on a ship which transhipped into a Houlder Brothers gas ship in 1994 off Guayaquil SA, they called it the “Black Pig”, Some of the lads had been on board for a long time.
What ship.
 

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I looked at a photo posted by Ninja of the Clerk Maxwell entering the locks in Panama and like one of the comments that went with the photo remember the bow being very narrow.

I seem to remember an old story about one of our ships being built for somebody else and they went bust. Somebody in our company saw it and decided to buy the ship but it had no bow however there was fo another ship in another part of the yard so they made it fit.

Was there any truth to this, was it the Black Max. As I am sitting here typing I am now thinking it may have been a regular tanker, Joya Macance rings a bell.
 

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My mistake, it was the Furness Withy LPG storage vessel Darwin.

http://www.shipsnostalgia.com/gallery/showphoto.php?photo=89411
It is difficult for a Firey Kipper sort of person to really embrace the ship with avid enthusiasm, and whilst it would be wrong to ever cast doubt on the parentage of any poor ship, the Darwin (in my opinion) had little going for it: (i) Not a proper Houlders Gas Boat (no Firey Kipper and instead that awful stripy funnel of ‘the other company’ ) (ii) Owned by someone called Furness With (Shipping) Ltd., and not Houlders. (iii) A storage ship for their ‘curious’ Ecuadorian Storage Project, rather than a ship that moved from A to B. (iv) Pielstick main engines (enough said). The later fact possibly was in some way to blame for her interesting legal career….

Oh well, we should never blame the ship, she did not choose her career or ownership (Jester)
 

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What an interesting thread. I always imagined gas tankers to be 100% organised unlike tankers in far off ww2 and after when geyers were common when loading and crews were inexperienced.
In about 1985 I was in a large yacht sailing from NZ to the Meddy and when we were in the G of Aden we came across a big Bibby gas carrier wallowing there. On asking if they were broken down they said No - they were just stopped waiting a cargo and it was cheaper to wallow than pay dues in a port.
Pretty boring I would think.
(Wouldn't fancy yachting through there now !)
 

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What an interesting thread. I always imagined gas tankers to be 100% organised ...
Oh we were very ‘organised’ if a little out of control… but these days I think the world of Gas Tankers has changed a little from the early times, when it was faintly amusing to build up the pressure in one of the cargo tanks up to 8 atmospheres, open the ball valve swiftly and send the ‘pig’ on its way along the jetty towards the shore terminal at speeds that gave every impression of being in excess of 100mph… Less humorous, but equally, if not more catastrophic, was to pull a vacuum on the ship’s cargo tank and then connect it to an atmospheric shore-side tank…. (EEK)
 

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And when it all went wrong the Mates would call for the Ginger Beers (Thumb)
Absolutely; I have vivid memories of using a pair of mole-grips to ‘adjust’ something on the delicate machinery in the Cavendish’s reliquifaction plant and the C/E being wholly tolerant of my worthless contribution to advanced machinery maintenance (after I broke it). – Mind you I can also remember rebuilding the Sulzer Cargo Compressor on the Joule, working with another C/E in the tropics, both of us with BA to cope with the ammonia; finishing the rebuild, starting it and going of (at the invitation of the C/E) only to notice, after 30 minutes drinking, on page 5 the immortal words “It is essential to stop the running-in process after 15 minutes to allow…..”
(Jester)
 

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i can remember bouncing off the side off the shipping channel on the faraday on the way to houston steering motors slow problem resolved in singapore dry dock,tom wolcott was master,went back state side after dry dock,no the east coast ,alfie tomas was boson,nick clark replaced him,as half the crew went on leave,did 6 month 4 days on the faraday.felt like 6 weeks had a great time ,good crew .good officers and entertament supplied by tom wolcott .
 

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After serving in Avogadro as 2nd Mate/1st Mate under Ron Hedger and Tom Woolcott I joined the Joule in Nantes in Sept `65 and served to 22.12.65. paying off in La Mede. After a brief trip in Orelia I again signed on Joule as
2nd Mate.A full Relief Crew with Capt J D H Glover and C/O Reg Kerr travelled from Dover to Rouen via Paris and eventually sailed for Bia Blanca on what turned out to be an "epic voyage".Our next passage was to a small installation south of Punta Arenas where mooring was to buoys fore and aft with the loading lines lifted out of the sea. A number of passages were undertaken with butane and propane to the Chilean ports of Quintero and San Vicente, both of which entailed mooring to two anchors and stern ropes to a buoy and again sub-sea pipelines.After a number of uneventful passages through the Magellan Straits between these ports it was eventually decided to dry-dock briefly in a floating dock in Valparaiso for a propeller inspection. (Mr Morell was flown out from London Office to supervise).The next passage took us to Botany Bay (now Port Botany) Australia via Papetee,Tahiti, where an overnight stay gave us brief respite before leaving for Yokkaichi,Japan via Suva,Fiji. Loading Anhydrous Ammonia in Japan was in the usual Japanese super efficient manner with an exclusion zone placed round the Joule during loading indicated by flashing marker buoys,and a chart placed on board indicating the position of shore personnel by the colour of their safety helmets.It was then off to Portland,Oregon via Honolulu,Hawaii, doubling up on watches to refrigerate cargo at regular intervals on passage.
Unfortunately it was discovered too late that all the valve gaskets were the wrong type for ammonia and became fused to the ball valves. Eventually discharging was completed in Portland and we were banished to an anchorage in the river to gas free by presurising the system and exhausting overboard into the river via a manifold hose,repeated a number of times under the watchful eye of a U.S. Coastguard cutter,and with a river tug moored alongside. After obtaining the necessary clearance berthing was permitted at the Swan repair yard although the crew had to wait another month before the Company decided to fly out a relief crew. Although,except for a lack of subs Some were in no rush to be relieved.Reg Kerr`s wife, who was employed by Moormack travelled across the U.S. by Greyhound Bus to join him.Eventually on the 9th December `66 we were flown home via New York and London after exactly six months.
Regards
Angus Davidsom
 

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Angus a nice account of the early days with plenty of names to conjure with – at least the Joule was a pressure ship and therefore able to reach the parts other has ship can’t (Jester) – so that tedious hiccup of finding Anhydrous Ammonia tended to dissolve most things in its path, was able to just about able to be cir***navigated.
(Thumb)
Mark
 

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Hello to all!

Reading these pages has brought plenty of memories back. I sailed on most of the gas fleet from 1977 onwards including Cavendish (5 trips), Lord Kelvin, Faraday, Clerk Maxwell, Joule and Humboldt.

I’ve got a few stories (most of them true!) Here’s one from around 1979 .

I remember one midnight sitting in the bar on the Cavendish after the 8-12 ,having a beer with the sparks (Dave Hobson I think?)and remember asking him if he’d ever had to respond to an SOS message. He said no. Anyway some 3 hours later he got up to answer the auto-alarm and it turned out that we were the nearest vessel to a Greek cargo ship the Chryssopigi Cross which had run aground off Galle point in Sri Lanka and was breaking up.

We diverted and got as close as was safe and sent away our stbd lifeboat with the mate, 4th engineer and 2 ABs. All the Greeks transferred into our boat and up a pilot ladder safely on board the Cav. The last person to board was the Greek old man who was clutching a brief case. The wind was picking up and the Cavendish with plenty of windage was being set down on the shore so there was no time for argument and the Greek captain was threatened by somebody’s fists (or 10” shifting spanner) to drop the bag and get up that ****ladder. He did and after several unsuccessful attempts at recovery, the lifeboat was streamed astern from the poop. All the Greeks gear and their ships dog (a poodle) were left in the boat for retrieval during daylight. (there was also a female Vietnamese stowaway by the name of Minh who came aboard with the rest of them- I remember the song at the time “Minh no likey British sailor”- but that’s another story.)

The Greek master was in an awful state and broke down saying there was over USD25,000 in the briefcase. Later during the night the lifeboat painter parted and the boat, the dog and the alleged 25 grand disappeared.

We dropped the Greek crew off in Columbo (minus the stowaway who stayed with us 3 months) and proceeded to Ras Tanura. The next day we made contact with a Swedish cargo ship bound for Dubai who had found and recovered our lifeboat. We made arrangements to pick the boat up off limits Dubai.

We arrived 2 days after the cargo ship and finally retrieved our boat with everything intact including clothes, the mates walky talky, wolflites, some suitcase, but no dog and guess what …..no briefcase!.

There must be some of you who were there who can corroborate this tale and correct any memory lapses -Also appologies for making such a long winded post.

All The Best
 

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Hi Guy,

That was during my first trip (as 2R/O). I joined with Dave Hobson at Curacao in August 1977 and yourself and Kevin Alcock were the Deck Cadets. At the time the Cavendish had a bunch of Vietnamese boat people on board that you had picked up somewhere prior to Curacao and the good people of Corpus Christi, Texas, (our next port) had agreed to take them off our hands.

I distinctly remember the episode with the Chryssopigi Cross. Due to lack of accomodation I was staying in the hospital and was awoken in the early hours by Dave Hobson saying he was responding to an SOS. I remember picking up the lifeboat in Dubai and everything was there - except the briefcase. I'm sure I heard later that the Chryssopigi Cross grounding may have been an insurance job!

I enjoyed my several trips on the Cavendish and have fond memories of her - cockroaches and all! Anyone know if she is still around?

One of the memories of that trip was a deck cadet playing a tape in the bar which was a recording from a station called (I think) Radio Victory. The words that stand out are "Well, Guy from Cowes got the answers right"!

I just happen to have a list of crewmembers that I sailed with on that first trip:

Master: Charlie Willcox, Nigel Matthews (and wife Bev)
C/O: Tony Banton, John Brodie
2/O: Ian Wilson
3/O: Steve Gudgeon, Mick Green (and wife Susan)
Dcadet: Kevin Alcock, Guy Webster, Chris Mann
R/O: Dave Hobson, John Davis
2R/O: John Hetherington
PCO: John Thackwray, Bill Walker
C/E: Jim Foxwell (and wife Brenda), Alan Lowery
2/E: John Montgomery, Dave Kelso (and wife Patricia)
3/E: Bob Jennings, Pete Gilbert
4/E: Aden Barlow, John Heaton
5/E: Alan Fox, Dave Butler, Stuart Hood
J/E: Hugh Thomas, Richard Williams
Elect: Ray Barratt, John Jeffrey

All the best
John
 
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