Geoff Gill @ Methane Progress, Wed, 02/15/2017 - 01:19

My late brother, Peter Gill, served as 2nd Radio Officer on the Methane Progress in the mid 1960s, sailing from Canvey Island to Arzew in Tunisia. The ship was his first assignment from Marconi Marine after leaving college. Years later he retired to Cornwall and was surprised to find the ship one day, laid up on the Fal.

Geoff Gill @ Patella (3), Wed, 02/15/2017 - 01:09

My late brother, Peter Gill, served as Radio Officer on the Patella, and other Shell tankers, in the mid 1960s. He had a rather scary time on the Patella - which he recalled was not in great shape - when she broke down during the tail end of a hurricane in the Caribbean.

Esmeralda Loos @ Elena, Tue, 02/14/2017 - 10:35

Mijn grootvader, Jan Weering< is kapitein geweest op de Elena. Tijdens een van zijn reizen was er een zwangere vrouw mee aan boord, ik geloof van een collega-kapitein. Ze was op reis naar huis volgens mij. Tijdens de reis begonnen de weeA<<n en uiteindelijk is ze aan boord bevallen van een gezonde dochter. Die heeft de naam Elena gekregen.

Ik zal nog eens kijken voor de foto en het artikel in het shell tijdsschrift. Heeft u voor mij een mailadres waar ik dat naar toe kan sturen?

Met vr gr Esmeralda Loos-Dekker

Paul Wayman @ Opalia (2), Sat, 02/11/2017 - 09:54

We were in New York, where somebody had bought a rubber stamp with "bullshit" on it, and went around stamping all of the Chief Officers standing orders. The perpetrator didnt own up, so we all got punished. Myself and a few others were sent to scrape paint off the flying bridge in sub zero temperatures, as we followed an ice breaker up the Hudson River.

Brian Owenson @ Amastra (2), Tue, 02/07/2017 - 23:35

First Joined the Amastra at the Keil Canalin 1963.My 1st ship,15 years old,first time away from home,full of trepidation and excitement,but what a ship,what a crew,enjoyed it from 1st minute till I left 6 or 8 months later.Only down side was my Boss,the Chief Steward didn\'t like me,looked for faults in everything I did,until one day I told to Fcuk off and go and pick on someone else,cause I\'m reporting you to the Captain.No more bother after that,never spoke to me again.Captain Kerr was the boss man,remember him,but on the whole ,it was a brilliant ship and many many great memories.

Bob Skipworth @ Clam (1), Tue, 01/31/2017 - 19:16

Account of a grounding of SS Clam from the notebook of Captain Thomas Black master of SS Clam 15th May 1899.


S/S Clam dated 15 May 1899

Ras Afia Light bare about SSW 18 miles. The weather being fine and clear sky occasionally cloudy with a light westerly wind. 11:30 pm I left the bridge in charge of 3'd Officer, the steamer course being S82 E by compass, or N84 E True allowing 14 Westerly Error. On leaving the bridge I told 3 Mate to tell the 2 Mate if he should happen to see the land before he saw Bougarone St to have her out at once and call me after writing up the night order book 11:50 pm informed 3 Mate I was going below. On the 16th about 1:30 am I woke up by hearing the ship struck heavily and made sure it was a collision immediately rushed on deck and found the ship had run ashore and had not quite stopped her way but in a few seconds she was fast and striking heavily and grinding on the rocks. The engines were not even stopped when I got on deck on arrival on bridge ship head by Compass was ENE we at once sounded the ship found 16ft in fore hold and No 5 No 4 and 3 we had ballast in and found they were running out from the starboard side which proved they were holed also No 2 on starboard side was filling up. No 1 was making no water and Engineer reported she was not making water in the engine room. At once made distress signals which was answered by a steamer in the offing. All boats was swung out and ready to lower. On daylight coming on I sent the 1 Mate away in a boat for assistance. A very heavy swell was on and ship sticking so heavily that I was afraid she would break in two. The S/S Waterloo sent her boat alongside which took part of the crew off and with our own boats as well as a French steamer called the Carmain eventually saved all hands. There not being the slightest hope of saving the steamer and no chance of getting ashore on account of heavy swell dashing on the rocks for any assistance if it come on to blow and the sea to rise there would be no chance of saving life there was two things I thought of. The first that I could do no good by stopping, and the other if I could get communicating there might be a chance of saving the steamer with salvage assistance. The Waterloo was bound to Hull, I consulted with her Captain found the S/S Clam was ashore about 5 miles to the West of Bougaroni. The Waterloo would not reach Bougaroni before dark and it being a small place I thought I should not be able to get much assistance there at night and would get to Algiers at daylight so I asked the Captain to land us there. Distance from Bengut to Cape Bougaroni 126 miles and she would be about 20 miles from Bougaroni when I went below. The first thing I done (sic) on getting ashore at Algiers was to send a wire to the owners as follows a??The ship is wrecked at 5 miles West of Bougaroni the holds are full of water all hands saved wiring later further particular.a?? I then went to Lloyds Agent and on entering his office he informed me he had wired the owners and had telegraphed to salvage boats at Marseilles and Gibraltar. I then went to the Consul made deposition had given full particulars of the Clam to Lloyds, the tanks that was full and Ct at the same time said unless the weather lvas exceptionally fine they would never get her off but a great deal could be saved from her. I called again at Lloyds in the afternoon to see if there was any news and found none on the 18th, I wired to owners as follows: a??Heard through Lloyds salvage boat arranged from Marseilles, do you require any of us to stay here?a?? During the day heard through Worms who had received telegram from owners that underwriter requested self and Chief Engineer to remain at Algiers until further notice to render such assistance as we could to salvage operations. I told Lloyds Agent this and was informed by him that he had telegraphed to the steamer Denmark to call here on his way to pick us up. During this time two small steamers left here for the wreck unknown to me, but I believe Lloyds knew about it, at the same time he said that he had wired to his sub/Agent in Philipdeville and guards were put on the steamer, and that nothing would be disturbed, nor anyone allowed on board as a strict watch was kept on her. On getting this news I was more easy. On the 19th called at Lloyds several times, on the 20th we were told that the Denmark was not going to call at Algiers, and as there was no chance of getting to the wreck by land in reasonable time, Lloyds wrote a letter, supposed to be written by me, saying as we were detained at Underwritera??s request to assist salvors it was time some means was made to take us there. This letter I signed as I quite approved of it, then he ordered the Engineer and self to be ready to leave Algiers. This was Saturday 20th, and we left at 7:30 pm. Arrived at the Clam about 2pm Sunday 21st. The Denmark was laying alongside the other French steamers at anchor, a little way off. On getting on board found the divers at work under the ship's bottom and one putting on a patch in No 4 tank starboard side. By this time No 4 was nearly pumped out and hoses were on board from the Denmark. I went in the Saloon found she had been properly pilfered, all locks busted and everything worth was gone. The Cabin being in a beast of a mess, empty bottles in dozens laying about, not a single knife or fork to be seen. I then had a look over the ship and saw that everything movable had disappeared, even the Compass was taken off the Bridge. I may mention that I found a good deal of the stores gone and should say about half of them was gone having a look around. Lloyds told me to tell the Engineer to take charge of the Engine Room, he himself acting as captain and kept me as a .....boy, but during the afternoon he insisted on me signing an agreement that he made between the French people interested, that they agreed to assist the Denmark in salvaging on the principle of no cure no pay, and that it was to be settled by Arbitrators in London. At one time it was settled to let things be until daylight, but as night was drawing the swell began to rise quickly and it was decided to try without loosing any time No 1 was filled up and the two French steamers made fast aft. Towing commenced, her stem shifted into deeper water and the steamer was nearly; borne at about midnight. The Denmark was rolling heavily and bumping against shipside, and as soon as possible after getting her hoses back, she hove up her anchor and passed a towing line on the Clam, with the assistance of the Carmain Charles, as well 4 steamers were towing for a considerable time before she made a move, but as the rollers came in it assisted very much. The Clam engines were set at full speed astern, and by degrees she floated at 1:45 am on the 22nd.

Passed at Liverpool 12 March 1875 No of Certificate 07066

Joined the Clam as Second Officer later end of February 1893 got command 28 June 1895 Died 12 August 1903 age 53

Piet Cammel @ Eburna (1), Thu, 01/26/2017 - 18:24

Rectificatie !
De "EBURNA" was de eerste tanker die door het Panama Kanaal voer in 1914.

David Hone @ Hyria, Thu, 01/26/2017 - 17:24

Joined the Hyria in September 1967 as assistant steward with a full crowd in Singapore when we took over from a Chinese crew. We'd flown in at about 5.00pm and immediately joined the ship and the we sailed for Hong Kong about a hour later. Felt sorry for the watch keepers, jet-lagged and working...not nice. All we did for 6 months was Singapore - Saigon - Singapore - Hong Kong, double money on the Saigon leg. She was a very happy ship when I was in her, good crowd and a lot of fun ashore. We were alongside at Nha Be on the night of the Tet offensive...bangs and flashes everywhere but, with the innocence of youth, a lot of the crowd werer sat on the poop deck, swilling Tiger beer and watching the action. We came off the berth next day and spent a few days anchored in the river until the convoys started again. We were at Nha Be on Christmas Day so we actually celebrated Christmas on the 27th. on the trip back to Singapore. Paid off in Yokohama drydock, spent a night in Tokyo (What a night!) and flew home with SAS via Anchorage and over the North Pole to Copenhagen and then changed for Heathrow. Happy Days & fond memories.

Douglas Baker @ Hemiglypta, Thu, 01/26/2017 - 13:37

Joined Hemiglpta at Immingham dry dock mid July 1961 this was my first trip,almost 16 years old, what we thought was to be a 4month trip turned out to be almost 13 months, but what a trip! Around the world to so many country's and ports, amazing crew and many laughs. Sailed with Ron Holmes on that trip,sadly Ron passed away probably 2 years ago.RIP old shipmate.

Sue Dalton Cunn... @ Mactra (2), Thu, 01/26/2017 - 02:05

My father was Lindsay Cunningham, who worked for STUK and was stationed in Tokyo in 1969, when the Mactra was brought to Yokohama for repairs. I remember barbecues at our house, when the crew came, while the repairs were being done. I was 7 years old at the time.

David Hone @ Helcion (2), Sun, 01/22/2017 - 15:06

My first Shell Tanker which I joined in the London river from the pool as a 16 year old pantry boy. It was September 1962 and we loaded at Shellhaven for Avonmouth, Swansea & Dublin then headed for Curacao not returning to the the UK until the end of April 1963. We loaded for Honolulu and then back to Curacao for a couple of trips to W.Africa and then to Rouen & Rotterdam where we left 5 months 28 days into the the trip so we couldn't pay off. Mind you, it was so cold I don't think anybody would've wanted to. Back to the Caribbean but this time we loaded at St. Nicolas, Aruba (the only timr I ever went there with Shell) again for Rouen & Rotterdam and then Cardiff drydock. However about an hour out of Aruba we broke down and were towed to Curacao for repairs. We spent about two weeks there before re-loading and heading again for Rouen & Rotterdam and then Cardiff drydock. We lost a man overboard on the way home, Jock Hay, an AB from Aberdeen but that's another (rather sad) story. We eventually paid off in Cardiff the day after arriving due to waiting for a court of enquiry to be sorted out. We were given A?2 Channel Money so we could go ashore and duly spent most of it in the Ship & Pilot and the North Star Club. Eventually I got home to Yorkshire with a sun tan and a decent pay-off just as spring was at last starting to happen.

Michael Kemp @ Velutina, Wed, 01/18/2017 - 22:31

I joined Velutina in Mina on 23rd February 1961 3 days after paying off Horomya. I was glad of the 3 day break as I had been suffering with a poisoned toe for the previous week. We berthed in La Spezia on 9th March and paid off 2 days later with Captain Swainston (ex Aluco maiden voyage master), 4 off Mothersole 5/E Maclaughlan, and D/A Rayfield for train to the UK, on the channel crossing which lasted barely an hour I felt seasick! I put it down to the ferry stabiliser motion. On Saturday 1st April 14 Deck apprentices reported to the Greenbank hostel in Plymouth for midapprenticeship course no 3 a ...Vic Hubert, Don Travis, Tony Parkes, John Rothwell, Paddy Slinger, Phil Abbott, Norman Dixon, Bob Cheshire, Ray Baker, Colin Neason, Richard Lawson, Ian Baird and myself. Mid apprenticeship courses had started in 1960 after the Board of Trade allowed these courses to qualify as seatime for 2nd Mates ticket shel and a number of other companies took part. That first Saturday evening Richard Lawson and I were invited to a party at Freds place (her nickname) at Newton Ferrers thanks to Andy Orr and Johnny Pounder from MAR 2. Weekdays and some evenings were devoted to studies, Saturday mornings for dhobying and cleaning the hostel for Sunday inspection by Captain Hyde, our other tutors were Captains Hopwood and Danton. Thursday mornings involved travelling to HMS Drake for marching drill courtesy of the Royal Navy ! Practical seamanship took place at Mutton Cove on the Tamar with Captain Hyde where had we had the use of a lifeboat and sailing dinghy, Richard Lawson and I had the dinghy on day and sailed down tide into Plymouth Sound despite the other lads in the lifeboat trying to attract our attention, a while later we realis d why as we attempted to tack up tide only to realise we had sailed downtime on a following wind! Several hours later we walked into afternoon classes to much derision and comment! I think all of us enjoyed the the break from life at sea for those few months . I certainly enjoyed many week ends in Newton Ferrers swimming , sailing and generally having a good time. Happy memories