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Discussion Starter #1
Hi Guys,

My trip on the Nordic Texas (1977), it was my first motor ship after spending two years on the GTVs and one trip on the Burmah Zircon.

Joined in Rotterdam and sailed for Nagoya, Japan through Suez. In Suez the Gilli Gilli man came on along with his mate Jock McGregor. The magic tricks from the Gillie Gllie man were impressive he went around collecting after the event and I only had a couple of dollars and some change to give him. Later that night I was on deck and he was leaving, I said I would see him next time and he replied in a broad Glaswegian accent, “No if I see you first”. Jock McGregor could talk with any UK accent I watched him change from Glaswegian to Geordie and back without hesitation. He had open razors in the lapels of his jacket which he tried to sell, “want to buy a malky”. A malky was the name for the open razor that the Glasgow razor gangs used in the 30s. Suez had only just been opened after the Israel/Egypt war and there were loads of burnt out tanks along both sides of the canal and the place must have been heaven for a scrap man.

We arrived in Nagoya were we stayed for about two weeks loading was very slowly. So had plenty of time to explore, I remember being in a bank exchanging money and the teller was using an Abacus, calculators were available but they were still using the ancient method of counting in the bank. In one of the local bars the Mamasan asked who the captain was, she had a full crew list, obtained I suppose from the docks, with all our names and ranks. A lasting memory of Japan was the beer dispensers in the streets just like a coke machine came in handy when waiting for taxis. One evening after having used these machines a bit much we were picked up by the police and put in a police car however we did not go to the police station but got dropped off at the ship, nice police in Japan. I have quite a few other stories of Japan but none I can put in print.

Finally we finished loading and headed for Savannah through Panama, it was my first time through panama so there were the usual comments about saving bread for the mules, the locomotives that tow ships through the locks.

We discharged in Savannah and proceeded to Port Netches near Beaumont for repairs to the RD90 exhaust valves which were leaking oil like a river down the back of the engine. We were there for about two weeks and became regulars in the local bar. Local law was that no bars were open on a Sunday but we could get to the bar through the owner’s house on a Sunday. He know when the police were coming past and put the lights out and told us to keep quite once the police passed the lights and jukebox went back on. We passed part of the US Navy reserve fleet just North of Beaumont there dozens of ships there laid up, looked on Google maps recently still some ships in reserve there but nothing like the number there in the 70s. The agent got us free tickets to go to the senior bowl football in Beaumont and laid on the transport. It is the best college players in the North versus the best of the South and most of these players go on the join the NFL. It was a real spectacle with marching bands, cheerleaders etc.

We then loaded in Port Arthur, went to Rotterdam, back to Port Arthur, back to Rotterdam and I paid off. Around the World, through both canals, in one trip never did that again and as far as I know neither did the Nordic Texas.
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Hi Guys,

My trip on the Nordic Texas (1977), it was my first motor ship after spending two years on the GTVs and one trip on the Burmah Zircon.

Joined in Rotterdam and sailed for Nagoya, Japan through Suez. In Suez the Gilli Gilli man came on along with his mate Jock McGregor. The magic tricks from the Gillie Gllie man were impressive he went around collecting after the event and I only had a couple of dollars and some change to give him. Later that night I was on deck and he was leaving, I said I would see him next time and he replied in a broad Glaswegian accent, “No if I see you first”. Jock McGregor could talk with any UK accent I watched him change from Glaswegian to Geordie and back without hesitation. He had open razors in the lapels of his jacket which he tried to sell, “want to buy a malky”. A malky was the name for the open razor that the Glasgow razor gangs used in the 30s. Suez had only just been opened after the Israel/Egypt war and there were loads of burnt out tanks along both sides of the canal and the place must have been heaven for a scrap man.

We arrived in Nagoya were we stayed for about two weeks loading was very slowly. So had plenty of time to explore, I remember being in a bank exchanging money and the teller was using an Abacus, calculators were available but they were still using the ancient method of counting in the bank. In one of the local bars the Mamasan asked who the captain was, she had a full crew list, obtained I suppose from the docks, with all our names and ranks. A lasting memory of Japan was the beer dispensers in the streets just like a coke machine came in handy when waiting for taxis. One evening after having used these machines a bit much we were picked up by the police and put in a police car however we did not go to the police station but got dropped off at the ship, nice police in Japan. I have quite a few other stories of Japan but none I can put in print.

Finally we finished loading and headed for Savannah through Panama, it was my first time through panama so there were the usual comments about saving bread for the mules, the locomotives that tow ships through the locks.

We discharged in Savannah and proceeded to Port Netches near Beaumont for repairs to the RD90 exhaust valves which were leaking oil like a river down the back of the engine. We were there for about two weeks and became regulars in the local bar. Local law was that no bars were open on a Sunday but we could get to the bar through the owner’s house on a Sunday. He know when the police were coming past and put the lights out and told us to keep quite once the police passed the lights and jukebox went back on. We passed part of the US Navy reserve fleet just North of Beaumont there dozens of ships there laid up, looked on Google maps recently still some ships in reserve there but nothing like the number there in the 70s. The agent got us free tickets to go to the senior bowl football in Beaumont and laid on the transport. It is the best college players in the North versus the best of the South and most of these players go on the join the NFL. It was a real spectacle with marching bands, cheerleaders etc.

We then loaded in Port Arthur, went to Rotterdam, back to Port Arthur, back to Rotterdam and I paid off. Around the World, through both canals, in one trip never did that again and as far as I know neither did the Nordic Texas. View attachment 684435 View attachment 684436 View attachment 684437 View attachment 684438 View attachment 684439 View attachment 684440 View attachment 684441 View attachment 684442 View attachment 684443 View attachment 684444
Hi Guys,

My trip on the Nordic Texas (1977), it was my first motor ship after spending two years on the GTVs and one trip on the Burmah Zircon.

Joined in Rotterdam and sailed for Nagoya, Japan through Suez. In Suez the Gilli Gilli man came on along with his mate Jock McGregor. The magic tricks from the Gillie Gllie man were impressive he went around collecting after the event and I only had a couple of dollars and some change to give him. Later that night I was on deck and he was leaving, I said I would see him next time and he replied in a broad Glaswegian accent, “No if I see you first”. Jock McGregor could talk with any UK accent I watched him change from Glaswegian to Geordie and back without hesitation. He had open razors in the lapels of his jacket which he tried to sell, “want to buy a malky”. A malky was the name for the open razor that the Glasgow razor gangs used in the 30s. Suez had only just been opened after the Israel/Egypt war and there were loads of burnt out tanks along both sides of the canal and the place must have been heaven for a scrap man.

We arrived in Nagoya were we stayed for about two weeks loading was very slowly. So had plenty of time to explore, I remember being in a bank exchanging money and the teller was using an Abacus, calculators were available but they were still using the ancient method of counting in the bank. In one of the local bars the Mamasan asked who the captain was, she had a full crew list, obtained I suppose from the docks, with all our names and ranks. A lasting memory of Japan was the beer dispensers in the streets just like a coke machine came in handy when waiting for taxis. One evening after having used these machines a bit much we were picked up by the police and put in a police car however we did not go to the police station but got dropped off at the ship, nice police in Japan. I have quite a few other stories of Japan but none I can put in print.

Finally we finished loading and headed for Savannah through Panama, it was my first time through panama so there were the usual comments about saving bread for the mules, the locomotives that tow ships through the locks.

We discharged in Savannah and proceeded to Port Netches near Beaumont for repairs to the RD90 exhaust valves which were leaking oil like a river down the back of the engine. We were there for about two weeks and became regulars in the local bar. Local law was that no bars were open on a Sunday but we could get to the bar through the owner’s house on a Sunday. He know when the police were coming past and put the lights out and told us to keep quite once the police passed the lights and jukebox went back on. We passed part of the US Navy reserve fleet just North of Beaumont there dozens of ships there laid up, looked on Google maps recently still some ships in reserve there but nothing like the number there in the 70s. The agent got us free tickets to go to the senior bowl football in Beaumont and laid on the transport. It is the best college players in the North versus the best of the South and most of these players go on the join the NFL. It was a real spectacle with marching bands, cheerleaders etc.

We then loaded in Port Arthur, went to Rotterdam, back to Port Arthur, back to Rotterdam and I paid off. Around the World, through both canals, in one trip never did that again and as far as I know neither did the Nordic Texas.
Nice story and great pics! Particularly like the one in the engine room where the pair of you had obviously been mopping the exhaust valve leaks(n)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Excellent. RTW in a Sulphur boat. As you say, a 'record'. The cargo was sulphur? Great collection of photos!

Stephen
I should have said the Nordic Texas and Nordic Louisiana carried liquid sulphur so had heating coils in the tanks to keep the sulphur liquid, can't remember what temperature it was kept at also all the loading lines were steam jacketed. You can only attach 10 photos at a time so here are a few more I am the guy drinking the pint under the AMVER pennant and also the guy sitting on the poop deck with the ship going through my head. The phone box in the pic was well used with almost everyone using it to phone home. You could always tell someone who had been a regular on sulphur boats as the fumes turned the gold braid brown.

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I should have said the Nordic Texas and Nordic Louisiana carried liquid sulphur so had heating coils in the tanks to keep the sulphur liquid, can't remember what temperature it was kept at also all the loading lines were steam jacketed. You can only attach 10 photos at a time so here are a few more I am the guy drinking the pint under the AMVER pennant and also the guy sitting on the poop deck with the ship going through my head. The phone box in the pic was well used with almost everyone using it to phone home. You could always tell someone who had been a regular on sulphur boats as the fumes turned the gold braid brown.

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Great Photos - some voyage for a sulphur boat!
 

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I should have said the Nordic Texas and Nordic Louisiana carried liquid sulphur so had heating coils in the tanks to keep the sulphur liquid, can't remember what temperature it was kept at also all the loading lines were steam jacketed. You can only attach 10 photos at a time so here are a few more I am the guy drinking the pint under the AMVER pennant and also the guy sitting on the poop deck with the ship going through my head. The phone box in the pic was well used with almost everyone using it to phone home. You could always tell someone who had been a regular on sulphur boats as the fumes turned the gold braid brown.
Hmmm. Yes, I was also with J&J and know enough about liquid sulphur to keep away from those ships! I was thinking, those two ships ran US Gulf to Rotterdam, I wonder why they would carry liquid sulphur to Savannah. My first ship was intended to be NAESS LOUISIANA... sent to NAESS PIONEER instead and ended stuck in Rio de Janeiro for weeks and weeks. Life was so hard in those horrible ports. :)

Stephen
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Hmmm. Yes, I was also with J&J and know enough about liquid sulphur to keep away from those ships! I was thinking, those two ships ran US Gulf to Rotterdam, I wonder why they would carry liquid sulphur to Savannah. My first ship was intended to be NAESS LOUISIANA... sent to NAESS PIONEER instead and ended stuck in Rio de Janeiro for weeks and weeks. Life was so hard in those horrible ports. :)

Stephen
Stephen I have no idea it was a one off with the Texas don't think it ever happened again, I think it was some kind of high quality sulphur but I may be wrong.
Just checking my discharge book it was Mobile Alabama I paid off not Rotterdam we were there for drydock for 2/3 weeks now that is another story for a later date.

I paid off the Sir John Hunter in Tubarao one time and we had a couple of nights up the road in San Sabastian it was terrific. We flew to Rio but then straight to Europe.
 

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Stephen I have no idea it was a one off with the Texas don't think it ever happened again, I think it was some kind of high quality sulphur but I may be wrong.
Just checking my discharge book it was Mobile Alabama I paid off not Rotterdam we were there for drydock for 2/3 weeks now that is another story for a later date.

I paid off the Sir John Hunter in Tubarao one time and we had a couple of nights up the road in San Sabastian it was terrific. We flew to Rio but then straight to Europe.

I see you were in the gtv's as well. I was in EUROLINER in '71. Once in ASIAFREIGHTER in '74... 6days, Gourock to NY. That was a perfect run. Only as 'passenger'. Just as fast as QE2!

What else boats were you in?

Stephen
 

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Discussion Starter #10
What else boats were you in?

Stephen
Hi Stephen see below
J&J Denholm
Burmah Zircon 74

Euroliner 74,75,76

Eurofreighter 75

Asialiner 76,78

Nordic Texas 76

Arctic Troll 77

Sir John Hunter 77, 79,83

Dalma 80, 81

Wellpark 81

Chemical Explorer 81

Cast Cormorant 82

Stena Oceanica 83

Swecal

Stena Hispania 84

Stena Carrier 85

BP

Gas Enterprise (BP) 86

British Trent (BP)86

BP Vigour 87

Transocean and Seadrill

Since 87 been offshore on various types of rigs and drillships retired 2015

As I said in the last posting I did not pay off the Texas in Rotterdam by in Drydock in Mobile so here are another couple of small stories of that trip

We then loaded in Port Arthur for Rotterdam and then to dry-dock in Mobile where I paid off after a couple of weeks. I flew to LaGuardia airport in New York and then transferred by helicopter, a Chinook, to JFK and then flew to London and on to Glasgow. Normally you would transfer by bus but I think there were problems with snow so a helicopter was used. It was a clear starlight night in the dead of winter and the views over Manhattan were terrific.

In Rotterdam the second time we had a big crew change before heading for Mobile, Alabama. One of the motormen who joined was an alcoholic and was permanently drunk and was a danger to himself and others, so the captain stopped his tap. He ended up with the DTs and was seeing huge flies and insects crawling about. We had to have someone sitting with him in his cabin to calm him down and we all took part in this, officers and crew. The ship diverted to Bermuda and he was taken of there. I never found out what happened to him but hope he eventually got home.
 

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.The ship diverted to Bermuda and he was taken of there. I never found out what happened to him but hope he eventually got home.

Still in Bermuda. Married my sister!


It is OK... I,m just joking.

Was in Wellpark in '79/80. Apart from those of yours above I missed them. Most of 75 to 81 were in the Lomond and Maree.

Xmas just next week. We can look forward for the Denholm Xmas present... the bottle of Tuborg!

Stephen
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Still in Bermuda. Married my sister!


It is OK... I,m just joking.

Was in Wellpark in '79/80. Apart from those of yours above I missed them. Most of 75 to 81 were in the Lomond and Maree.

Xmas just next week. We can look forward for the Denholm Xmas present... the bottle of Tuborg!

Stephen
Got a load of photos of the Wellpark will sort them out over the weekend and post some next week
 

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Nice to see a proper engineers mucky boiler suit, instead of these pristine snowy white things!
Roger.
 

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Hi Guys,

My trip on the Nordic Texas (1977), it was my first motor ship after spending two years on the GTVs and one trip on the Burmah Zircon.

Joined in Rotterdam and sailed for Nagoya, Japan through Suez. In Suez the Gilli Gilli man came on along with his mate Jock McGregor. The magic tricks from the Gillie Gllie man were impressive he went around collecting after the event and I only had a couple of dollars and some change to give him. Later that night I was on deck and he was leaving, I said I would see him next time and he replied in a broad Glaswegian accent, “No if I see you first”. Jock McGregor could talk with any UK accent I watched him change from Glaswegian to Geordie and back without hesitation. He had open razors in the lapels of his jacket which he tried to sell, “want to buy a malky”. A malky was the name for the open razor that the Glasgow razor gangs used in the 30s. Suez had only just been opened after the Israel/Egypt war and there were loads of burnt out tanks along both sides of the canal and the place must have been heaven for a scrap man.

We arrived in Nagoya were we stayed for about two weeks loading was very slowly. So had plenty of time to explore, I remember being in a bank exchanging money and the teller was using an Abacus, calculators were available but they were still using the ancient method of counting in the bank. In one of the local bars the Mamasan asked who the captain was, she had a full crew list, obtained I suppose from the docks, with all our names and ranks. A lasting memory of Japan was the beer dispensers in the streets just like a coke machine came in handy when waiting for taxis. One evening after having used these machines a bit much we were picked up by the police and put in a police car however we did not go to the police station but got dropped off at the ship, nice police in Japan. I have quite a few other stories of Japan but none I can put in print.

Finally we finished loading and headed for Savannah through Panama, it was my first time through panama so there were the usual comments about saving bread for the mules, the locomotives that tow ships through the locks.

We discharged in Savannah and proceeded to Port Netches near Beaumont for repairs to the RD90 exhaust valves which were leaking oil like a river down the back of the engine. We were there for about two weeks and became regulars in the local bar. Local law was that no bars were open on a Sunday but we could get to the bar through the owner’s house on a Sunday. He know when the police were coming past and put the lights out and told us to keep quite once the police passed the lights and jukebox went back on. We passed part of the US Navy reserve fleet just North of Beaumont there dozens of ships there laid up, looked on Google maps recently still some ships in reserve there but nothing like the number there in the 70s. The agent got us free tickets to go to the senior bowl football in Beaumont and laid on the transport. It is the best college players in the North versus the best of the South and most of these players go on the join the NFL. It was a real spectacle with marching bands, cheerleaders etc.

We then loaded in Port Arthur, went to Rotterdam, back to Port Arthur, back to Rotterdam and I paid off. Around the World, through both canals, in one trip never did that again and as far as I know neither did the Nordic Texas. View attachment 684435 View attachment 684436 View attachment 684437 View attachment 684438 View attachment 684439 View attachment 684440 View attachment 684441 View attachment 684442 View attachment 684443 View attachment 684444
S
Never heard of the "Texas" going anywhere but the Mexican Gulf to Rotterdam,part cargo to Dublin twice a year. 20 hours to load in the States, 16 in Roterdam + 48 hrs. off hire for engine maintenance every 6 months.
Must have needed some extra charts from her usual round!
Very interesting post which I enjoyed reading
 

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Discussion Starter #17
S
Never heard of the "Texas" going anywhere but the Mexican Gulf to Rotterdam,part cargo to Dublin twice a year. 20 hours to load in the States, 16 in Roterdam + 48 hrs. off hire for engine maintenance every 6 months.
Must have needed some extra charts from her usual round!
Very interesting post which I enjoyed reading
Hi George, Yes it was unusual wish I had taken more pictures of the canals the third picture in my first posting was us entering the Panama canal from the Pacific side it was not until I looked at the photo again I remembered we came through at night so never really saw much of the canal.
 

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Came through the canal in the s.s. ROTTERDAM 1995. A dozen of us started a little club... The Dolphin's Club. To become a 'Dolphin' you had to make a transit of the Panama Canal. Everyone said, "So what? Everyone had done the transit." Ah, the explanation, "You have to do the full transit of the Canal AT THE BAR... for 8 hrs." No leaving the bar unless for the obvious. The Hotel Manager was part of the group... he provided platers of sandwiches. A group of very untidy passengers!
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The little 'dolphin' became the mascot.
 

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Hi Guys,

My trip on the Nordic Texas (1977), it was my first motor ship after spending two years on the GTVs and one trip on the Burmah Zircon.

Joined in Rotterdam and sailed for Nagoya, Japan through Suez. In Suez the Gilli Gilli man came on along with his mate Jock McGregor. The magic tricks from the Gillie Gllie man were impressive he went around collecting after the event and I only had a couple of dollars and some change to give him. Later that night I was on deck and he was leaving, I said I would see him next time and he replied in a broad Glaswegian accent, “No if I see you first”. Jock McGregor could talk with any UK accent I watched him change from Glaswegian to Geordie and back without hesitation. He had open razors in the lapels of his jacket which he tried to sell, “want to buy a malky”. A malky was the name for the open razor that the Glasgow razor gangs used in the 30s. Suez had only just been opened after the Israel/Egypt war and there were loads of burnt out tanks along both sides of the canal and the place must have been heaven for a scrap man.

We arrived in Nagoya were we stayed for about two weeks loading was very slowly. So had plenty of time to explore, I remember being in a bank exchanging money and the teller was using an Abacus, calculators were available but they were still using the ancient method of counting in the bank. In one of the local bars the Mamasan asked who the captain was, she had a full crew list, obtained I suppose from the docks, with all our names and ranks. A lasting memory of Japan was the beer dispensers in the streets just like a coke machine came in handy when waiting for taxis. One evening after having used these machines a bit much we were picked up by the police and put in a police car however we did not go to the police station but got dropped off at the ship, nice police in Japan. I have quite a few other stories of Japan but none I can put in print.

Finally we finished loading and headed for Savannah through Panama, it was my first time through panama so there were the usual comments about saving bread for the mules, the locomotives that tow ships through the locks.

We discharged in Savannah and proceeded to Port Netches near Beaumont for repairs to the RD90 exhaust valves which were leaking oil like a river down the back of the engine. We were there for about two weeks and became regulars in the local bar. Local law was that no bars were open on a Sunday but we could get to the bar through the owner’s house on a Sunday. He know when the police were coming past and put the lights out and told us to keep quite once the police passed the lights and jukebox went back on. We passed part of the US Navy reserve fleet just North of Beaumont there dozens of ships there laid up, looked on Google maps recently still some ships in reserve there but nothing like the number there in the 70s. The agent got us free tickets to go to the senior bowl football in Beaumont and laid on the transport. It is the best college players in the North versus the best of the South and most of these players go on the join the NFL. It was a real spectacle with marching bands, cheerleaders etc.

We then loaded in Port Arthur, went to Rotterdam, back to Port Arthur, back to Rotterdam and I paid off. Around the World, through both canals, in one trip never did that again and as far as I know neither did the Nordic Texas. View attachment 684435 View attachment 684436 View attachment 684437 View attachment 684438 View attachment 684439 View attachment 684440 View attachment 684441 View attachment 684442 View attachment 684443 View attachment 684444
Hi Guys,

My trip on the Nordic Texas (1977), it was my first motor ship after spending two years on the GTVs and one trip on the Burmah Zircon.

Joined in Rotterdam and sailed for Nagoya, Japan through Suez. In Suez the Gilli Gilli man came on along with his mate Jock McGregor. The magic tricks from the Gillie Gllie man were impressive he went around collecting after the event and I only had a couple of dollars and some change to give him. Later that night I was on deck and he was leaving, I said I would see him next time and he replied in a broad Glaswegian accent, “No if I see you first”. Jock McGregor could talk with any UK accent I watched him change from Glaswegian to Geordie and back without hesitation. He had open razors in the lapels of his jacket which he tried to sell, “want to buy a malky”. A malky was the name for the open razor that the Glasgow razor gangs used in the 30s. Suez had only just been opened after the Israel/Egypt war and there were loads of burnt out tanks along both sides of the canal and the place must have been heaven for a scrap man.

We arrived in Nagoya were we stayed for about two weeks loading was very slowly. So had plenty of time to explore, I remember being in a bank exchanging money and the teller was using an Abacus, calculators were available but they were still using the ancient method of counting in the bank. In one of the local bars the Mamasan asked who the captain was, she had a full crew list, obtained I suppose from the docks, with all our names and ranks. A lasting memory of Japan was the beer dispensers in the streets just like a coke machine came in handy when waiting for taxis. One evening after having used these machines a bit much we were picked up by the police and put in a police car however we did not go to the police station but got dropped off at the ship, nice police in Japan. I have quite a few other stories of Japan but none I can put in print.

Finally we finished loading and headed for Savannah through Panama, it was my first time through panama so there were the usual comments about saving bread for the mules, the locomotives that tow ships through the locks.

We discharged in Savannah and proceeded to Port Netches near Beaumont for repairs to the RD90 exhaust valves which were leaking oil like a river down the back of the engine. We were there for about two weeks and became regulars in the local bar. Local law was that no bars were open on a Sunday but we could get to the bar through the owner’s house on a Sunday. He know when the police were coming past and put the lights out and told us to keep quite once the police passed the lights and jukebox went back on. We passed part of the US Navy reserve fleet just North of Beaumont there dozens of ships there laid up, looked on Google maps recently still some ships in reserve there but nothing like the number there in the 70s. The agent got us free tickets to go to the senior bowl football in Beaumont and laid on the transport. It is the best college players in the North versus the best of the South and most of these players go on the join the NFL. It was a real spectacle with marching bands, cheerleaders etc.

We then loaded in Port Arthur, went to Rotterdam, back to Port Arthur, back to Rotterdam and I paid off. Around the World, through both canals, in one trip never did that again and as far as I know neither did the Nordic Texas. View attachment 684435 View attachment 684436 View attachment 684437 View attachment 684438 View attachment 684439 View attachment 684440 View attachment 684441 View attachment 684442 View attachment 684443 View attachment 684444
Hi Guys,

My trip on the Nordic Texas (1977), it was my first motor ship after spending two years on the GTVs and one trip on the Burmah Zircon.

Joined in Rotterdam and sailed for Nagoya, Japan through Suez. In Suez the Gilli Gilli man came on along with his mate Jock McGregor. The magic tricks from the Gillie Gllie man were impressive he went around collecting after the event and I only had a couple of dollars and some change to give him. Later that night I was on deck and he was leaving, I said I would see him next time and he replied in a broad Glaswegian accent, “No if I see you first”. Jock McGregor could talk with any UK accent I watched him change from Glaswegian to Geordie and back without hesitation. He had open razors in the lapels of his jacket which he tried to sell, “want to buy a malky”. A malky was the name for the open razor that the Glasgow razor gangs used in the 30s. Suez had only just been opened after the Israel/Egypt war and there were loads of burnt out tanks along both sides of the canal and the place must have been heaven for a scrap man.

We arrived in Nagoya were we stayed for about two weeks loading was very slowly. So had plenty of time to explore, I remember being in a bank exchanging money and the teller was using an Abacus, calculators were available but they were still using the ancient method of counting in the bank. In one of the local bars the Mamasan asked who the captain was, she had a full crew list, obtained I suppose from the docks, with all our names and ranks. A lasting memory of Japan was the beer dispensers in the streets just like a coke machine came in handy when waiting for taxis. One evening after having used these machines a bit much we were picked up by the police and put in a police car however we did not go to the police station but got dropped off at the ship, nice police in Japan. I have quite a few other stories of Japan but none I can put in print.

Finally we finished loading and headed for Savannah through Panama, it was my first time through panama so there were the usual comments about saving bread for the mules, the locomotives that tow ships through the locks.

We discharged in Savannah and proceeded to Port Netches near Beaumont for repairs to the RD90 exhaust valves which were leaking oil like a river down the back of the engine. We were there for about two weeks and became regulars in the local bar. Local law was that no bars were open on a Sunday but we could get to the bar through the owner’s house on a Sunday. He know when the police were coming past and put the lights out and told us to keep quite once the police passed the lights and jukebox went back on. We passed part of the US Navy reserve fleet just North of Beaumont there dozens of ships there laid up, looked on Google maps recently still some ships in reserve there but nothing like the number there in the 70s. The agent got us free tickets to go to the senior bowl football in Beaumont and laid on the transport. It is the best college players in the North versus the best of the South and most of these players go on the join the NFL. It was a real spectacle with marching bands, cheerleaders etc.

We then loaded in Port Arthur, went to Rotterdam, back to Port Arthur, back to Rotterdam and I paid off. Around the World, through both canals, in one trip never did that again and as far as I know neither did the Nordic Texas. View attachment 684435 View attachment 684436 View attachment 684437 View attachment 684438 View attachment 684439 View attachment 684440 View attachment 684441 View attachment 684442 View attachment 684443 View attachment 684444
Hi John
I know the Nordic Texas only too well.
I joined Denholm Ship Management as an Engineer Superintendent in 1977
Having spent the previous 7 years as a Board of Trade Surveyor & Examiner of Engineers I volunteered to sail on a Ship to bring me back into the real world.
I was assigned to the Nordic Texas & joined the vessel in Falmouth with intention of sailing to Beaumont Texas & then join another ship or return to the office in Glasgow.
In Falmouth I met Mike Dawson (of Harris Pye fame) when he was Repair Manager for Babcocks & a squad of their Boilermakers were on the Nordic Texas to retube the Boilers. Mike was supervising delivery of Boiler Tubes
My first venture into the Engine Room after sailing revealed a nightmare scenario which was absolutely horrendous !!!!!**
There were only 2 functioning Altenators as one Engine had blown up & it was stripped to the Bedplate awaing a new one
The Two Legged reciprocating Bilge Pump was permanently operating on one leg only as the other Leg was broken.
Bilges were being pumped to the Aft Peak which was overflowing back into the Engine Room. There was a semi-permanently piped Wilden Pump also pumping Bilges to Aft Peak. Bilge water level was up to Main Engine Flywheel so nearby Electric Starters etc were covered by Tarpaulin to deflect the spray.
For the Ship's Engineers the Abnormal was considered Normal & only an absolute Disaster merited comment.
Situation at Beaumont was also perilous as only one Boiler was functioning because Babcock had not completed the re-tubing of the other one. Boiler Feed Pump was almost useless & the Boiler pressure had to be droped to top up the Water level. Vessel drifted of the berth and 3/O tried to tighten Mooring at the same time as ER was topping up Boiler. Hence no steam for the winches. Shoreside Chicksan Loading/Discharge Arm was almost torn off.
All thought of me leaving the vessel in this state were cancelled & I was to sail back to Rotterdam on Nordic Texas
While in port parts of one of the functioning Alternator Engine were sent ashore for repair When they were returned the Engine would not start. So the vessel left the Berth on one Alternator The C/E had just got the engine started when he heard noises from other Alternator which he knew were signs of seizing & potential explosion as experienced with the wrecked Alternator. The vessel ended up anchoring for 5/6 days and using all hands (including Babcock Boiler makers) to strip down & repair the Alternator Engine. Eventually I left the vessel in Rotterdam after an eventful 5 weeks
This was my first introduction as a Superintendent in "Modern Shipmanagement" !!
For the rest of my time at Denhom until October 1982 the Nordic Texas & Nordic Louisiana were under my supervision .
The difference between the two Sister Vessels was startling Nordic Louisiana was almost problem free
At the first Dry-dock I attended, I discovered that Wallsend DD were incorrectly assembling the Oilseal on the Rotary Exhaust Valves This was cause of the horrendous Oil Leaks

In a Marine Engineering Career spanning 58 year I have been involved with three seriously JINXED vessels
Eskfield Hunting & Son Tanker on which I sailed as 3rd Eng & 2/E
Nordic Texas DSM Managed vesel as Superintendent & Senior Superintendent
Dalma DSM Managed vesel as Superintendent & Senior Superintendent

Some Vessels just have bad Karma and with the best will in the world, hard work by Ship-staff & copious amounts of money the problems are rarely solved

Jim Weedon
 
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