Every now and then, some Engineer decides to tell everyone who ever went to sea, which was the worst ship they ever sailed on..why is it always the Engineers that get the messy end of the stick?British Light was undoubtedly the worst ship I sailed on from an engineering point of view,.........................!
Well, it was a well known aphorism in my day that, "All Seconds are B*s*a*ds".Well I certainly don't have 'em, I was only a lowly 4E in '61. The only thing I left on her when signing off was GOTB ( get off the B******) 'chalked' in devious places and that was not due to the ship but the Second!
In 1972 I`d left a ship with no intentions of going back to her or the company that owned her and found myself in that situation that we`ve all experienced.No job,not a lot of money and a hard search of the job market ensuing.With a couple of feelers out I approached the officers section of the pool on Mann Island.`We don`t get many opportunities for Pursers`I was told so I wandered off.A job offer with Whitco materialised which I accepted with alacrity(and never regretted)then a letter arrived from the pool with an offer of the PCO`s job on the Cape Wrath.I let them know I`d got a job and duly joined Whitco.My last ship was the Temple Bar who was attended after an incident by Cape Wrath.Last week some of my customers retturned from a walking holiday to Cape Wrath and I turn on my computer log onto SN and find this posting about Cape Wrath.I feel stalked!After reading Robert Ngs book thank god I never sailed on the Cape Wrath,she seems a right bast..d,did anyone else sail on her?.
I was one of the 3/E's on the British Centaur when it left Belfast on it's maiden voyage. What rank were you ?British Centaur, brand new out of Belfast jan 66. Thank goodness I wasn't an engineer, over the 6 months I was on her they were kept busy on a regular basis with various problems.
Loading was a decidedly nervous operation at times as the pump system for the hydraulic bulkhead valves had a tendency to stop working just when you really needed it so the emergency hand pump had to be pressed into use. The inert gas system, a great idea, was also temperamental at times especially during discharge.
Not a great advert for a new ship and from comments in other threads it would appear things didn't get much better. She seems to have picked up a few votes in this thread too!
All the above apart though it was a lucky trip as I should have joined the Crown, but was sick so I missed it thank goodness, I only hope nobody took my place as it was at short notice.
I often thought it was better to be on a bad ship with a good crowd than a good ship with a bad one. Of course it was nice when they were both good !Did anyone else find that some of the harder-working ships had the best social life? Don't know if it is the work-hard, play-hard ethic, but people always seemed more determined to enjoy themselves on tougher ships.
One of the less enjoyable engine rooms I spent time in had Pielstick engines, which I hated, but I stayed for 7 trips as we had such a good time on board.
Strangely enough when I was on the "Bibi" in 1970 the first round trip was like that. I have seldom met a more sullen group of officers.For sure. But it didn't need much more than one bad apple to make a voyage go sour.