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1966, early September I was cooks boy. 24 pounds a month but ciggies were only a shilling a packet. Royal Docks to Curacao, and then through the canal. Some idiot kept on at me to save the bread for the donkeys, I was only 16 but I wasn't that stupid. Someone else stole a bicycle through the canal, and then on to New Zealand. We went to Auckland, Lyttleton, Wellington and New Plymouth. Unloading the cargo of agricultural machinery took a long time and then the hold had to be lined with timber before loading cheese and lamb so on the coastal run we were allowed to take a half day off in every 3. On my first half day (starting at 3pm) I rode the bike for several hours to a hot spring spa, and when I got there it was closed. I don't know what it was called. After that I think I just joined the other catering crew in the bars.

On the return we had to go to Galveston, Texas, where girls were encountererd. Other crew that I remember were Chuck the stewards boy and one of the deck boys. There was also a guy called Shep and he lived in Newhaven near where I lived.
Some of my other memories of this my first trip was how friendly everyone was, even though I was on my first trip and had no money and I was really naive. In the Royal Docks we all went ashore and I got really drunk on 3 bottles of brown ale that the others had paid for. My first taste of Doctor Gordons medicine (still like that) and I still like girls (*))
 
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