Anecdote

Duncan Mcgregor Gunn @ Gold Shell (2), Mon, 10/02/2017 - 21:16

After a convoy to Canada (Halifax) and US (Baltimore and Galveston) we sailed back to Scotland and off-loaded a cargo of oil. We then went to James Watt docks in Greenock and the tanks were cleaned out and fresh water loaded. We then sat off Oban for 2 days before sailing to Falmouth. We all thought this very strange. We anchored off Falmouth just as evening fell. The next morning, 6th June 1944, we set sail for France. That was when the skipper told us about the invasion we were part of. Naval personnel came on board to man the 4.7 guns. Our task was to sail between the landing beaches dishing out fresh sweet water to the invasion fleet and landing craft. I was one of the trained merchant gunners and had to do my shift manning one of the Oerliken guns. Though we were susceptible to enemy fire we were quite lucky and when the tanks were empty we would return to Southampton to reload. Unfortunately on our last trip back to Southampton we hit a mine during the return. The ship listed to port. However, little damage was done (on this occasion) and we limped into port. At that point I went home for a spot of leave.
(Incidentally, my son is typing this entry for me. At 94 my typing skills are (and never have been) good.)

Michael Spencer @ Isanda (1), Sun, 10/01/2017 - 16:33

I sailed on both the Isanda and the Isocardia as 3rd Engineer. This was when they had been jumboised and sold to Thai Ocean and renamed Siam and Bangkok respectively. We had Thai ex navy engineers sailing with us and had to train them to run these ships. I had an ex Thai lieutenant commander as a trainee, I wrote him a four hour check sheet to cover the whole watch, big mistake. Check list example: 0800 put on kettle and make tea, 0820 make inspection rounds of engine room, 0900 report any defects to me etc. 0825 I walked round engine room and discovered duty boiler feed pump running nearly cherry red, changed over pumps and shouted on my trainee. Asked him why he hadn't come to me about the hot pump. His answer gobsmacked me, he pointed to his check sheet and said, it written to report defects at 0900, not 0900 yet. Taught me a lesson.
I sailed for Denholm Ship Management of Glasgow on these ships.
I cannot remember whether it was the Siam or Bangkok but on these ships the Engineers cabins were aft on the main deck. A rough crossing of the bay of Biscay saw us pooped by a huge wave which ripped the aft anchor winch off the deck and caused all sorts of other damage. It was just after mid-day and we were all in the electricians cabin, the fourth from aft on the Stbd side. We heard a great crash and rushing of water, the alleyway was full from deck to deck head with water, it started to fill the cabin and all we heard was the lekky shouting save the ******* fridge. There we were up to our waists in water holding a fridge full of beer above us, definitely beer more important than us drowning.
Hope I haven't been boring.

Brian Brown @ Limatula (2), Wed, 09/27/2017 - 10:46

Stood by the building in Odense and loaded in Europort and took cargo to Muscat and then left at lay up in Brunei Bay

Robert Bruce @ Cardita (2), Mon, 09/25/2017 - 11:13

In 1941Captain Robert Laurence Bruce of South Shields, Captain of the S.S. Cardita received the OBE in recognition of his gallantry and fine seamanship in action against an enemy submarine which they sank and for saving a significant number of merchant seamen from ships previously sunk by the submarine. Would be grateful to anyone who can add to this story.

Tony Dodd @ Beauval (1), Thu, 09/21/2017 - 15:32

After Shell ended her contract, she went to Houlder Bros under the name of Ore Carriers Ltd and I joined her in Los Angeles November 1975 for the first of two trips on her as 2/E. She was on spot charter then and over the next 12 months we were generally running Gulf to US West Coast. She was well built, reliable, ran well and had nice accommodation. The main problem was that she had been built as a greyhound to do 17 knots loaded from her 13,500 SHP and this was no good when oil prices rocketed.

Our last run was to carry spiked crude to the Gulf Oil refinery outside Bellingham, Washington state and we were 3 weeks discharging in dribs and drabs. Bellingham was an interesting place, it had a huge teacher training facility with lots of single ladies! After the last discharge, we went to Pusan, South Korea to finish tank cleaning and then to Kaohsiung, where we ran her up the beach - probably my worst moment in my life as a Marine Engineer was shutting her down for good. She was also my last steam ship - I went on motor vessels after her some with Houlder Bros and others with CP Ships.

James Avery @ Volsella (2), Wed, 09/20/2017 - 11:41

i was an apprentice on this oldtub from april 1963 to December
the skipper was f.w barnes and the first mate hunter. on our way from geelong to Rotterdam via the cape we rescued an American yacht called the collegiate rebel just off the coast of south Africa. the other apprentices were roger payne kim Elliott and \spud\ murphy. not a lot of british merchant navy left now.................. other memories of the volsella,.... we did bandar mashur Bombay so many times we ran out of fresh water and had to take some on in Bombay...... heavily sanitised to prevent disease. after that we did bandit mashur to geelong, took on water there. then geelong capetown.... took on water there, then capetown Rotterdam and when we got to Rotterdam you could STIL taste the chemicals they put on in Bombay..... tinned tit, centipede chickens and dog spew (sandwich spread) sarnies......those were the days......not,,,,,,, well o.k maybe

H. Nagelhout @ Cleodora, Sun, 09/17/2017 - 11:09

Kon. Mij. 'De Schelde' (KMS). 1938. bouwnr. 206.

Koninklijke Maatschappij 'De Schelde' Vlissingen.

Jean-Yves Quentric @ Miralda (2), Fri, 09/08/2017 - 11:22

On the 28 of August 1977, when sailing from Singapore to Pulsan in South Korea, I was Deck Officer and you met a vietnamian fishing boat with 71 refugees. I stopped the Miralda and after an evaluation. of their status, we took them on board. When arriving in Pulsan, since our refugees didn\'t have all compulsory documents (passport, vaccinations booklet, etc), we were put in quarantine. It was a strong human adventure. I made pictures and we sold them to newspaper in order to provide money to the vietnamian people. An Engineer Officer got married on board with one of the young vietnamian lady. I do remember the bosco: FranA?ois Mingant who was a great seaman. If you have any possibility to know the crew list of the Miralda when it happened, it\'ll be great to know. Please mail me!

Bernard Jones @ Helcion (2), Wed, 09/06/2017 - 20:27

We lost the Alternators in Mid Ocean, a total blackout, boiler water got dangerously low, Engineers managed to get things going in time, also we lost starboard Anchor in Hamburg Harbour, so a pretty eventful trip, trip I done on her was from CuraA?ao to Buenos Aries Argentina, apart from these problems it was a good trip.

Anonymous @ Tagelus (1), Thu, 08/10/2017 - 13:24

I started as a Kitchen/Galley boy and then ended up Chief Steward/Purser. Of all the ships I sailed on Cargo and Passenger the m.t "Tagelus" with Captain John Davidson from Johnshaven, Scotland was the happiest ship I ever sailed on. She was a T2 Turbo Electric Tanker and very quiet.

I was Chief Steward from 27th April 1957 (joined Birkenhead) until 15th November 1957 (Left Cardiff) to join the Trochiscus and I stayed on the "Troch" until she was laid-up in Rosyth and scrapped in March 1958. I then joined the mt "Hadra" in June 1958 and met up with Capt Davidson again and left her and came ashore in Middlesborough in March 1959. I then joined a ship supply company and have been in this trade ever since, but I retired some years ago as now 86. I spent 12 happy years at sea travelling the world for free and getting paid and fed! HAPPY HAPPY DAYS. The Chief Officer on the Hadra Joe Bodle was a good friend but cannot seem to trace him. Jamie Flett was the Chief Engineer.

Stephen Gentles @ Nivosa, Tue, 08/08/2017 - 12:26

At anchor off one of the Persian Gulf states during Iran / Iraq war. Lifeboat drill held. 2nd mate in charge of boat. Decides to pull nearby Fish trap.
2 nice big fat cod inside. In his wisdom decided they had to be taken onboard.
When error of his ways pointed out he decided compensation was in order.
So believe it or not went back to Ship, with Cod. Ran up to his Bar, grabbed 24 pack of plastic wrapped Coke cans, repulled Fish traps, replaces Cod with Coke.
He was quite content with himself until back on board it was pointed out in large letters on can, Product of Australia, and then we reminded him that we are a 140,000 ton Australian Tanker anchored 600m from a plundered Arab Fish trap and they would probably remove his hands if possible.
He seemed very eager to leave that area.

Anonymous @ Hadra (1), Mon, 08/07/2017 - 18:47

I joined the "Hadra" as Chief Steward on 13th June 1958 and left her in March 59 in Middlesborough. She was a good ship and great crew. Capt Phillips was the Master an old fusspot. When I joined he told me he expected me to look after him and clean his quarters, needless to say I put him right. The Chief Officer was Joe Bodle and Chief Engineer Jamey Flett we all got on very well. I left after 12 years at Sea to join a Ship Supply Company in London selling beers to ship's at London/Tilbury - Double Diamond, Long Life, Skol, Allsopps Lager and Simmonds "Tavern" Ale. Was moved down to Southampton HQ where I negotiated with Thorensen Car Ferries for sole contract to supply their cross channel ferries and as a result Hibbert's made me a Director.

I really enjoyed Shell. The Tagelus was my first with Capt John Davidson, a superb Master and much respected by all the crew and then I joined Trochiscus which went into mothballs at Rosyth . Happy days