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Old 26-02-13, 09:45 PM
JJR866273 JJR866273 is offline
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Default My 1st trip 2 sea

Hi JJR, just "discovered" your story in the safed data from the Rock-dodgers site (Posted 02-01-2011, 11:43 AM), am glad that I`m able to repost it on your behalf......

My 1st trip 2 sea.
Hello to all, My first trip to sea was on the ‘Insistence’ the old one, in October 1966 ( not sure if it was just after the seaman’s strike) with London & Rochester Trading, In them days I lived in Maidstone Kent, My father & I left early in the morning to drive down to Faversham dock & I was told to be there for the start of the working day which was @ 06.00, We arrived @ the jetty @ about 05.45 & the boys were on deck opening up the hold swinging theses impressively large wooden boards ( & I’m only 5’ nothing ) my father said to me, I think this job will put some meat on you son, I though the to sailors would give us a hand to get my bags on board but just looked up @ us & my 2 big suitcases’ with my clothes belonging & my bedding which LRT did not supply in those day, my father climbed down the ladder ( the ship was on the mud ) and lost his packet of fags on the way down, he was not impressed I started to climb down when a voice shouted out stay where you are & this man came & threw a line @ me & said tie a knot to your bags, with my bags & myself on deck, the man who pasted me the line was Captain Jimmy James, I got to know him well a very nice man, he made my dad a cup of tea & was chatting to dad how much I’m going to enjoy this boat & going to sea, with all the formality’s over & dad ashore the Captain showed me to my cabin which was small clean & tidy but better than my bed room @ home, he took the time & showed me where to put thing like my clothes belonging & also showed me how to make up a ships bunk up with all that done, he said just a couple of rules, you will keep this room clean & tidy @ all times I no you will as I will look in every now & then to see that it is, & whiles we’re loading as we’re now & whiles discharging do not open this port hole under any circumstances’ as when the V/L go’s very deep by the stern & water may come in, he also said late @ night we do not have the generator running as we have to pay for the fuel & Its to noisy, & showed me how to top up & clean the 2 oil lamps that hang on the bulkhead, OK son get into your working gear & come up to the mess room when you are ready, I got myself up top side to the mess room & all the crew having there smoke co, 1 of the men said, are you here to relief me I just look @ him & said I have no idea, with an attitude (arrogant & assertive) manner, well you must be, with that he was gone, we finished the tea & the Captain said show the boy around & pump up the fuel? I cant remember the other sailors name or any of the names so long a go, only the captains, the other sailor said we need to open up another couple sections, well heavy work we started in the middle & worked to the sides jump down on deck & started to stack the boards on deck when that was done, the sailor said how was that you will get a great deal of this, we then went to the E-Room & he showed me how to pump up the fuel he also said when we’re @ sea we have to come down every 2 hrs & fill the header Tk, @ the end of the loading day when we had to close up, my first time with a full hatch open yes that was hard work, I though to myself what have I let myself into, the sailor said that’s it for the day lets go get some tea which the Captain had cooked, I went to my room & started to write my first letter home, @ 7 or 8 I went up to the mess room & not a soul in sight they’d all gone ashore, about 10 I could hear some one on deck then heard bottles up in the mess so I had a look & the sailor give me a glass of beer do you smoke he said yes but I have none & he give me 20 B&H pay me back tomorrow, see the Captain & he will give to you 100 fags, nice one I though, It wasn’t long before I was tucked up with big ZZZ coming from my nose, BANG BANG on the deck I looked @ my watch 05.45 & some one opened my door, it was the sailor, be as quick as you can, rushed out on deck & opened up, we finished the loading & batten down, I cant remember what time it was when we let go but it was dark & the Captain said you go up the front end & help the mate, what mate I haven’t made any mates yet, when I was up on the bow there was this other man I hadn’t seen before it was the mate, when we’ve let go we’ll put all the ropes down & get all the fenders in & put down when we’ve done go up on the bridge you have the watch with the captain, Out @ sea the boat started to roll, & I wasn’t felling to well then I got worst, the captain said here you go & stated to show me how to steer hour on hour off for 6 hours & in-between go in the E-Room & pump up the fuel by hand by then the ship was rolling even more & I was so sick in the E-Room I think it blocked the bilge pipe? We got to Rotterdam early morning cold wet & windy I had no oil skins so I got wet en cold, & for some reason I still get sea sick after some 30 odd years @ sea my last ship was the Arklow Villa in 98 with Captain Norman Dickinson a gentleman, this was the beginning of a wonderful career @ a job I’ve love doing, if it wasn’t for my eyes I’d still be @ sea now…
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Old 26-02-13, 09:55 PM
Dierk Bauer's Avatar
Dierk Bauer Dierk Bauer is offline
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Default My 1st trip 2 sea

Hi JJR, got the replies too.....hope they are still of interest

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Old 02-01-2011, 10:50 PM
peter barc
nice story John well put, i thought you had something wrong with your eyes when you put that crow bar thru the ships bottom down in the hold,,,remember,,ha ha..
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JJR866273
Hello Peter hope u'll well, HR HR yes I vaguely remember the hole in the bottom of the V/L, but I put it down to the new crow bar that I was useing @ the time LOL, my eyes have always been bad but with my specks on I can see 4 miles, not when they are off,
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02-02-2011, 12:17 PM
Robert Hilton
Wonderful detailed memories. I doubt my own ability to portray those times without letting more recent experience intrude. Well written!
Best, Robert.


02-07-2011, 10:02 AM
ray bloomfield
Good tale JJ, I found the domino hatches a lot easier and lighter to work than the old carling type we had on some of the barges though, especially if they had been repaired with an extra crosspiece.
My first ever trip to sea was on the trawler Boston Pionair out of 'Lowtsuf' during August, next one was after the college course ended and in January, not quite the same experience lol, and things have gone downhill ever since !!
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02-07-2011, 04:00 PM
alangibb
feeling rough at the mention of dominos and beams lads, didn,t have the
beer belly l got now though , and l dont drink half as much now
just getting older.
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alan

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