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Further Introduction to Marine Refrigeration

My first ship to sail on was the SS Carthage, a 14,000 ton twin screwed passenger ship built in 1931, which I joined as 2nd Ref Engr on the 18 Aug 1958. The ship’s regular trip was Port Said, Aden Bombay, Colombo, Penang, Singapore and Hong Kong.

The Fridge Flat was aft of the main engine room at prop shaft level. The main refridge machines were two vertical twin cylinder J&E Hall CO2 compressors direct coupled to electric motors. The expansion valve on these systems were manual and controlled by a paniwallah. A piece of wire wrapped around the compressor discharge thermometer set at 120 deg F above entering sea water temperature was maintained by opening or closing the expansion valve. The brine system was an open type system with return brine from the various circuits emptying into an open tank. If you didn’t isolate the pumps immediately after turning off, the brine head would run the pumps backwards, fill the brine tank up until it overflowed which would then mean making up more brine. If you had a blackout then it was a rush to isolate the brine pumps.

The ‘tween deck refrigerated lockers were checked as we were to take frozen food to Singapore and walking around we were crunching on dead 3" brown bodied insects who my 1st Ref referred to as Bombay Canaries. I never did find out what they were called. Opening up one of the lockers it stank of oranges to which my boss said it needed an ozonator to kill the smell and prevent cross taint to the new cargo. This small electrical device which produced O3 was switched on overnight and the following day the locker had a sharp fresh smell similar to that of a switch room. The spare O atom oxidising the smell.

The 1st Ref Engr was a Hall’s man but not known to me. I don’t know whether he was a sadist or testing me but going across the Bay of Biscay he had me taking big end clearance leads on both of the CO2 machines. Luckily these machines have crankcases open to the atmosphere so no pumping down was necessary. I should have rolled the leads out with a bottle to 0.006/7".

Another challenge was quickly trying to learn enough Hindi so that I could make myself understood by the Paniwallah, as all engine room crew were from Pakistan.

The officers dined in the 1st class dining saloon and I remember my first dinner which included Heligoland Schnitzel, a bread-crumbed veal fillet with a fried egg and crossed anchovies on top.

We were taking a spare 2nd Ref Engr named Peter Fullager (who I knew from Hall’s) out to Colombo to join the SS Corfu which was homeward bound.

Crossing the Indian Ocean I was informed the Captain wanted to see me. I racked my brains to try and remember what misdeeds I’d committed in my short time at sea and accompanied by my 1st Ref attended the meeting with God and was informed my father had suddenly died.

I asked the Chief Engr if I could swap places with the spare 2nd Ref Engr and join the Corfu so that I could get home a bit sooner. I was informed that “we don’t transfer people at sea”. In Colombo the spare 2nd Ref left to join the Corfu.

On arrival in Hong Kong one of our cargo ships, the SS Surat was anchored in the bay. Her Refrig Engr Ray Cole (who I knew well from Hall’s) had suffered a severe hernia and was being transferred to the Carthage for the passage home. The two Chief Engrs got together and after a few “bevies” decided that “Moi” with 4 weeks sea experience was to be transferred to the Surat with a full frozen cargo from Tsingtao bound for East Germany. With two suitcases I was swiftly taken by the Surat’s lifeboat to my new home. What was going through my mind, “we don’t transfer people at sea”.

My first greeting by my new group of engineering friends was a serious ship’s problem “THE WARDROOM FRIDGE IS NOT WORKING”.

The problem was moisture in the system and after a look around the Fridge Flat stores found there were no driers or desiccants on board. I then found out that the “leckies” used silica gel in the winch electrical boxes. Luckily the expansion device contained a large filter and with a little modification filled it with the magical desiccant. After a short period the system choked up. The made up drier was removed, left on the boiler over night to regenerate and then refitted. We had cold beers for the trip home.

As for the main fridge plant, with the aid of a Jnr Engr doing 6 on and 6 off we had no serious problems. The Jnr Engr was a great lad named Ian Harvey a degree engineer from Rolls Royce and very knowledgeable. The main Fridge plant was two Halls twin cylinder horizontal CO2 compressors direct coupled to electric motors and with a closed brine system.

As the Surat moved up the KG5 dock in North Woolwich the Fridge Superintendant was cycling up the jetty. He was first onboard and his first comment was “how’s the cargo”.

After the added delights of Port Swettenham and Trincomalee and the usual ports of call we arrived back about 2 weeks after the Carthage.

My bonus was earning 1st Ref Engrs money on that trip home.

Roger Monk Ref Engr Carthage, Surat, Perim, Strathmore, Himalaya, Somali.
 

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Further Introduction to Marine Refrigeration

My first ship to sail on was the SS Carthage, a 14,000 ton twin screwed passenger ship built in 1931, which I joined as 2nd Ref Engr on the 18 Aug 1958. The ship’s regular trip was Port Said, Aden Bombay, Colombo, Penang, Singapore and Hong Kong.

The Fridge Flat was aft of the main engine room at prop shaft level. The main refridge machines were two vertical twin cylinder J&E Hall CO2 compressors direct coupled to electric motors. The expansion valve on these systems were manual and controlled by a paniwallah. A piece of wire wrapped around the compressor discharge thermometer set at 120 deg F above entering sea water temperature was maintained by opening or closing the expansion valve. The brine system was an open type system with return brine from the various circuits emptying into an open tank. If you didn’t isolate the pumps immediately after turning off, the brine head would run the pumps backwards, fill the brine tank up until it overflowed which would then mean making up more brine. If you had a blackout then it was a rush to isolate the brine pumps.

The ‘tween deck refrigerated lockers were checked as we were to take frozen food to Singapore and walking around we were crunching on dead 3" brown bodied insects who my 1st Ref referred to as Bombay Canaries. I never did find out what they were called. Opening up one of the lockers it stank of oranges to which my boss said it needed an ozonator to kill the smell and prevent cross taint to the new cargo. This small electrical device which produced O3 was switched on overnight and the following day the locker had a sharp fresh smell similar to that of a switch room. The spare O atom oxidising the smell.

The 1st Ref Engr was a Hall’s man but not known to me. I don’t know whether he was a sadist or testing me but going across the Bay of Biscay he had me taking big end clearance leads on both of the CO2 machines. Luckily these machines have crankcases open to the atmosphere so no pumping down was necessary. I should have rolled the leads out with a bottle to 0.006/7".

Another challenge was quickly trying to learn enough Hindi so that I could make myself understood by the Paniwallah, as all engine room crew were from Pakistan.

The officers dined in the 1st class dining saloon and I remember my first dinner which included Heligoland Schnitzel, a bread-crumbed veal fillet with a fried egg and crossed anchovies on top.

We were taking a spare 2nd Ref Engr named Peter Fullager (who I knew from Hall’s) out to Colombo to join the SS Corfu which was homeward bound.

Crossing the Indian Ocean I was informed the Captain wanted to see me. I racked my brains to try and remember what misdeeds I’d committed in my short time at sea and accompanied by my 1st Ref attended the meeting with God and was informed my father had suddenly died.

I asked the Chief Engr if I could swap places with the spare 2nd Ref Engr and join the Corfu so that I could get home a bit sooner. I was informed that “we don’t transfer people at sea”. In Colombo the spare 2nd Ref left to join the Corfu.

On arrival in Hong Kong one of our cargo ships, the SS Surat was anchored in the bay. Her Refrig Engr Ray Cole (who I knew well from Hall’s) had suffered a severe hernia and was being transferred to the Carthage for the passage home. The two Chief Engrs got together and after a few “bevies” decided that “Moi” with 4 weeks sea experience was to be transferred to the Surat with a full frozen cargo from Tsingtao bound for East Germany. With two suitcases I was swiftly taken by the Surat’s lifeboat to my new home. What was going through my mind, “we don’t transfer people at sea”.

My first greeting by my new group of engineering friends was a serious ship’s problem “THE WARDROOM FRIDGE IS NOT WORKING”.

The problem was moisture in the system and after a look around the Fridge Flat stores found there were no driers or desiccants on board. I then found out that the “leckies” used silica gel in the winch electrical boxes. Luckily the expansion device contained a large filter and with a little modification filled it with the magical desiccant. After a short period the system choked up. The made up drier was removed, left on the boiler over night to regenerate and then refitted. We had cold beers for the trip home.

As for the main fridge plant, with the aid of a Jnr Engr doing 6 on and 6 off we had no serious problems. The Jnr Engr was a great lad named Ian Harvey a degree engineer from Rolls Royce and very knowledgeable. The main Fridge plant was two Halls twin cylinder horizontal CO2 compressors direct coupled to electric motors and with a closed brine system.

As the Surat moved up the KG5 dock in North Woolwich the Fridge Superintendant was cycling up the jetty. He was first onboard and his first comment was “how’s the cargo”.

After the added delights of Port Swettenham and Trincomalee and the usual ports of call we arrived back about 2 weeks after the Carthage.

My bonus was earning 1st Ref Engrs money on that trip home.

Roger Monk Ref Engr Carthage, Surat, Perim, Strathmore, Himalaya, Somali.
Thank you Roger. That was a really interesting and informative post of a type once common on this site. Lovely to read.
 

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Sure it wasn't Mike Santi?
We had a Chief Freezer from P&O passenger ships join Blue Star mid '70's and he was quite a character. Never saw him dirty. Think he used to supervise the fridge and mains greasers to do any dirty work.
I sailed with a Mike Santi on SS Chusan. I remember Mike got left brhind when we left Durban in 1972. He had to catch us when he found the shi had sailed. I was lucky as 2 VO to take his watch 4 to 8. Until we got home.
 

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Further Introduction to Marine Refrigeration

My first ship to sail on was the SS Carthage, a 14,000 ton twin screwed passenger ship built in 1931, which I joined as 2nd Ref Engr on the 18 Aug 1958. The ship’s regular trip was Port Said, Aden Bombay, Colombo, Penang, Singapore and Hong Kong.

The Fridge Flat was aft of the main engine room at prop shaft level. The main refridge machines were two vertical twin cylinder J&E Hall CO2 compressors direct coupled to electric motors. The expansion valve on these systems were manual and controlled by a paniwallah. A piece of wire wrapped around the compressor discharge thermometer set at 120 deg F above entering sea water temperature was maintained by opening or closing the expansion valve. The brine system was an open type system with return brine from the various circuits emptying into an open tank. If you didn’t isolate the pumps immediately after turning off, the brine head would run the pumps backwards, fill the brine tank up until it overflowed which would then mean making up more brine. If you had a blackout then it was a rush to isolate the brine pumps.

The ‘tween deck refrigerated lockers were checked as we were to take frozen food to Singapore and walking around we were crunching on dead 3" brown bodied insects who my 1st Ref referred to as Bombay Canaries. I never did find out what they were called. Opening up one of the lockers it stank of oranges to which my boss said it needed an ozonator to kill the smell and prevent cross taint to the new cargo. This small electrical device which produced O3 was switched on overnight and the following day the locker had a sharp fresh smell similar to that of a switch room. The spare O atom oxidising the smell.

The 1st Ref Engr was a Hall’s man but not known to me. I don’t know whether he was a sadist or testing me but going across the Bay of Biscay he had me taking big end clearance leads on both of the CO2 machines. Luckily these machines have crankcases open to the atmosphere so no pumping down was necessary. I should have rolled the leads out with a bottle to 0.006/7".

Another challenge was quickly trying to learn enough Hindi so that I could make myself understood by the Paniwallah, as all engine room crew were from Pakistan.

The officers dined in the 1st class dining saloon and I remember my first dinner which included Heligoland Schnitzel, a bread-crumbed veal fillet with a fried egg and crossed anchovies on top.

We were taking a spare 2nd Ref Engr named Peter Fullager (who I knew from Hall’s) out to Colombo to join the SS Corfu which was homeward bound.

Crossing the Indian Ocean I was informed the Captain wanted to see me. I racked my brains to try and remember what misdeeds I’d committed in my short time at sea and accompanied by my 1st Ref attended the meeting with God and was informed my father had suddenly died.

I asked the Chief Engr if I could swap places with the spare 2nd Ref Engr and join the Corfu so that I could get home a bit sooner. I was informed that “we don’t transfer people at sea”. In Colombo the spare 2nd Ref left to join the Corfu.

On arrival in Hong Kong one of our cargo ships, the SS Surat was anchored in the bay. Her Refrig Engr Ray Cole (who I knew well from Hall’s) had suffered a severe hernia and was being transferred to the Carthage for the passage home. The two Chief Engrs got together and after a few “bevies” decided that “Moi” with 4 weeks sea experience was to be transferred to the Surat with a full frozen cargo from Tsingtao bound for East Germany. With two suitcases I was swiftly taken by the Surat’s lifeboat to my new home. What was going through my mind, “we don’t transfer people at sea”.

My first greeting by my new group of engineering friends was a serious ship’s problem “THE WARDROOM FRIDGE IS NOT WORKING”.

The problem was moisture in the system and after a look around the Fridge Flat stores found there were no driers or desiccants on board. I then found out that the “leckies” used silica gel in the winch electrical boxes. Luckily the expansion device contained a large filter and with a little modification filled it with the magical desiccant. After a short period the system choked up. The made up drier was removed, left on the boiler over night to regenerate and then refitted. We had cold beers for the trip home.

As for the main fridge plant, with the aid of a Jnr Engr doing 6 on and 6 off we had no serious problems. The Jnr Engr was a great lad named Ian Harvey a degree engineer from Rolls Royce and very knowledgeable. The main Fridge plant was two Halls twin cylinder horizontal CO2 compressors direct coupled to electric motors and with a closed brine system.

As the Surat moved up the KG5 dock in North Woolwich the Fridge Superintendant was cycling up the jetty. He was first onboard and his first comment was “how’s the cargo”.

After the added delights of Port Swettenham and Trincomalee and the usual ports of call we arrived back about 2 weeks after the Carthage.

My bonus was earning 1st Ref Engrs money on that trip home.

Roger Monk Ref Engr Carthage, Surat, Perim, Strathmore, Himalaya, Somali.
 

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Registered
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7 Posts
Further Introduction to Marine Refrigeration

My first ship to sail on was the SS Carthage, a 14,000 ton twin screwed passenger ship built in 1931, which I joined as 2nd Ref Engr on the 18 Aug 1958. The ship’s regular trip was Port Said, Aden Bombay, Colombo, Penang, Singapore and Hong Kong.

The Fridge Flat was aft of the main engine room at prop shaft level. The main refridge machines were two vertical twin cylinder J&E Hall CO2 compressors direct coupled to electric motors. The expansion valve on these systems were manual and controlled by a paniwallah. A piece of wire wrapped around the compressor discharge thermometer set at 120 deg F above entering sea water temperature was maintained by opening or closing the expansion valve. The brine system was an open type system with return brine from the various circuits emptying into an open tank. If you didn’t isolate the pumps immediately after turning off, the brine head would run the pumps backwards, fill the brine tank up until it overflowed which would then mean making up more brine. If you had a blackout then it was a rush to isolate the brine pumps.

The ‘tween deck refrigerated lockers were checked as we were to take frozen food to Singapore and walking around we were crunching on dead 3" brown bodied insects who my 1st Ref referred to as Bombay Canaries. I never did find out what they were called. Opening up one of the lockers it stank of oranges to which my boss said it needed an ozonator to kill the smell and prevent cross taint to the new cargo. This small electrical device which produced O3 was switched on overnight and the following day the locker had a sharp fresh smell similar to that of a switch room. The spare O atom oxidising the smell.

The 1st Ref Engr was a Hall’s man but not known to me. I don’t know whether he was a sadist or testing me but going across the Bay of Biscay he had me taking big end clearance leads on both of the CO2 machines. Luckily these machines have crankcases open to the atmosphere so no pumping down was necessary. I should have rolled the leads out with a bottle to 0.006/7".

Another challenge was quickly trying to learn enough Hindi so that I could make myself understood by the Paniwallah, as all engine room crew were from Pakistan.

The officers dined in the 1st class dining saloon and I remember my first dinner which included Heligoland Schnitzel, a bread-crumbed veal fillet with a fried egg and crossed anchovies on top.

We were taking a spare 2nd Ref Engr named Peter Fullager (who I knew from Hall’s) out to Colombo to join the SS Corfu which was homeward bound.

Crossing the Indian Ocean I was informed the Captain wanted to see me. I racked my brains to try and remember what misdeeds I’d committed in my short time at sea and accompanied by my 1st Ref attended the meeting with God and was informed my father had suddenly died.

I asked the Chief Engr if I could swap places with the spare 2nd Ref Engr and join the Corfu so that I could get home a bit sooner. I was informed that “we don’t transfer people at sea”. In Colombo the spare 2nd Ref left to join the Corfu.

On arrival in Hong Kong one of our cargo ships, the SS Surat was anchored in the bay. Her Refrig Engr Ray Cole (who I knew well from Hall’s) had suffered a severe hernia and was being transferred to the Carthage for the passage home. The two Chief Engrs got together and after a few “bevies” decided that “Moi” with 4 weeks sea experience was to be transferred to the Surat with a full frozen cargo from Tsingtao bound for East Germany. With two suitcases I was swiftly taken by the Surat’s lifeboat to my new home. What was going through my mind, “we don’t transfer people at sea”.

My first greeting by my new group of engineering friends was a serious ship’s problem “THE WARDROOM FRIDGE IS NOT WORKING”.

The problem was moisture in the system and after a look around the Fridge Flat stores found there were no driers or desiccants on board. I then found out that the “leckies” used silica gel in the winch electrical boxes. Luckily the expansion device contained a large filter and with a little modification filled it with the magical desiccant. After a short period the system choked up. The made up drier was removed, left on the boiler over night to regenerate and then refitted. We had cold beers for the trip home.

As for the main fridge plant, with the aid of a Jnr Engr doing 6 on and 6 off we had no serious problems. The Jnr Engr was a great lad named Ian Harvey a degree engineer from Rolls Royce and very knowledgeable. The main Fridge plant was two Halls twin cylinder horizontal CO2 compressors direct coupled to electric motors and with a closed brine system.

As the Surat moved up the KG5 dock in North Woolwich the Fridge Superintendant was cycling up the jetty. He was first onboard and his first comment was “how’s the cargo”.

After the added delights of Port Swettenham and Trincomalee and the usual ports of call we arrived back about 2 weeks after the Carthage.

My bonus was earning 1st Ref Engrs money on that trip home.

Roger Monk Ref Engr Carthage, Surat, Perim, Strathmore, Himalaya, Somali.
 
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