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It had passed through my mind....not that much stops en route nowadays...that it might be of interest to record the length of time for some of the passages without striking land deliberately and the length of time out from the UK or elsewhere before returning to the base country.

The longest trip in time that I did was from Cristobal to Australia on the Glenbank. With often one engine broken down I think the total time taken was about 53 days. But I had heard of a trip taking 58 days across the Pacific.

My longest trip was just short of 25 months but that was exceeded by many of course.

The master and chief on the Springbank did over 3 years and 2 years 8 months, and I cannot remember if that was when I joined her in Australia before we got home 6 mths later, or their total time. I think it was the former. I think that both were relatively new to their posts and it seemed then that the company were simply just using that as a leverage. It seemed pretty harsh even for those days.

I do remember Capt. Holbrook with a couple of drinks in him at anchorage in the Fannings dancing on his own to the tune of Swedish Rhapsody.....a concept so difficult to imagine that it may have been me who had had the drinks....and advising me to leave the sea and his advice was based on his long time away from his family over the years
 

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Bank Line was known for 'long trips' in fact 'renowned' would be the better word. I remember my mother telling me that she had been at a meeting where there were other mothers of seafarers present and on being told that I was with Bank Line, a Clan Line mother said: "Oh! They do long trips don't they?" My mother not to be put down by anyone as insignificant as a Clan Line mother responded in defiant voice: " I'll have you know, they've just reduced the voyages from two years to fifteen months!"
Good for you, mother!
But its quite true that two year trips separated you from your family at home and from the community of your peers. I always marvelled at those who were married and made it work, Captain and Mrs. Peter Stewart, for example and brought up two fine children in the process. I don't think it would have worked for me so I didn't even think about getting married during the 15 years I was sailing.
I did five long voyages - 23 months; 25 months, 24 months, 27 months and 28 months and three copra voyages thrown in (plus or minus 6 months). There have been numerous references to the dreaded drafting to the White Ships! Believe it or not, Alan MacGregor and I were volunteers! And whilst I got relieved in 24 months, I seem to remember Alan was dragged out to something like 26 months!
My discharge book is barely on to Page 2!
 

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Kevin Habben, Australian 2/E joined the Irisbank in Belfast (newbuilding) in 1964 and left her in Falmouth in 1967. Well over three years
 

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A fifteen month double header on the Weirbank is my longest.
A friend was on the Lossie as sparkie for 18 months.
In those days when you joined you expected to be away for the full length of the articles at least.
Anything less was a bonus.
Longest port to port was Singapore to Liverpool on the Wierbank that took 39 days at around thirteen and a half knots.
And she never missed a beat.
Trouble was I couldn't sleep when I got home because it was too quiet. (Sad)
 

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Titanbank

I believe that Captain John Betts and his Lady Wife actually sailed 7 (SEVEN) years on the Titanbank.
I did half a year with him on FIRBANK when Capt Bevis died, then two years with him on TESTBANK (maiden voyage).
We wondered had Lady Wife driven him mad, or had he driven Lady Wife to the bottle (1030, two wicker chairs, one table, bottle of Gordons, glasses, Mrs Betts.( Call me Linda, Love).
His words to me when I went for 2nd Mates - "don't let me down, son". This after years of thinking *@%XX:: the way he pushed me.
In memory I love them both deeply.
 

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12 Months, 14 Months and finally 18 Months. That was my 4 year Apprenticeship.
Bank Line didn't give a Fiddlers how long you were away from home.
As an Apprentice and in my Prime I had no girlfriend worries, except where to find the next one.
Don't understand how engaged or married men went away for two years or more. Saw the result of lots of "Dear John" letters....Drink and more drink.
One would have to figure that a few of the wifes left at home had a bit'o'tail on the side.......Nature says it happened......
Of couse a lot of the "Married" guys I sailed with had their fair share.
Hopefully nobody is going to come on here and tell me that you were all Saints and that your "Old Ladies" were the same....LOL

TC....(Smoke)
 

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21 months as 3/0 on the Isipingo
2years 3 days as 2/0 on the Ettrickbank ,flew out to singapore,flew home from calcutta.
JIM
 

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The OCL/P&O box boats used to do Port Chalmers in NZ to Zeebruge in around 29 days ............. way to long for a shoot up the road person like me, Good ships, nice shipmates but way too long at sea for me in one go without touching land.

To you guys who did longer, I take my hat off .... if I was wearing one that is.
 

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This is probably a "mini-marathon"by Bank Line standards.I left Bromborough on the Irisbank in December 1955 and returned to Bromborough (believe it or not)in March 1958. The Irisbank trip ended in Cape Town when I transfered to the Levernbank in May 57, then the Fleetbank in November '57 for a month, followed by a month in a grotty hotel in Colombo then the Ivybank home. By then I had completed my apprenticeship and received my indentures but since I had, in the meantime failed the B.O.T. eyesight test I was told I could sit the second mates cert and have it marked "Failed Eyesight"This didn't really appeal to me and put paid to my sea going career.
 

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I did 22 months on the Marabank as Mate, but had my wife with me for the last ten, so I didn't consider it too big a deal.
 

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The longest run I did non stop was Bombay to Boston on the Nairnbank in 1967, and we ran out of beer after the first week, the mate had plenty of booze though, Geo Smith could get spirits any time he wanted but the rest of us plebs couldn't, the old man , the mate , the C/eng and the 2nd eng could but the 3rd eng ,4th eng 2nd mate and third mate, electricians and junior engineers had to go dry, what a plonka that old man was, the mate put it up to him, and he went along with it, still a long time ago but I still despise the ratbag

Ianian
 

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In the 1970's,Two hours between Larne and Cairnryan, on ASN Ferries, had to do two round trips a day for a whole four days before getting only eight days off,it really was mustard, my Wife threatened to leave me.
 

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Charlie,.
slightly out of thread here,but on the LSts from preston to larne we would sometimes take 5 days to get to Larne,drop the preston pilot at the bar belt down to molfrey bay for shelter then dash across to the isle of man for more shelter,then up to the scottish coast and a final leg across to larne.
On the felixstowe/Zeebrugge service it was 1.5 trips daily and 4 days and four days off,that was really hell.

jim
 
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