Comments from the forum - 1

After the Tula accident with the generator flywheel I remember having to crack test the flywheels of the generators on the sister ship. I do remember that Ianto Morgan and I had many hours of "Fun" trying to get the generators into some sort of working order. Roger Shannon. Posted on the forum 28 March 2010.

I worked on a good number of ships during my time with R.S.L/C.S.M.S, and the only one of them I was delighted to see the back of was "Cordoba". I can say absolutely nothing in favour of the vessel, nor of the appalling condition she was in - 1990. Tony Lightfoot. Posted on the forum 6 April 2010.

I first joined the Cordoba in La Spezia in July 1987. I cannot remember for sure but I think that was when CSMS took the ship into their management from the Mexicans who had been running the ship before that.
She was an absolute mess!. The engine room was as black as the hobs of hell. On deck hardly anything worked. The cargo derricks from No.2 hold I think were stowed in the tween deck and all associated running gear was all over the show. TMM then sent orders that the derricks were to be re-installed by ship's crew no assistance from shore. Bill Gill was there in Vera Cruz and helped greatly with trying to get things done. The ship was a nightmare. I did a total of 15 months on her over three voyages. The mates and engineers worked very hard to try and remedy the myriad damages and non-serviceable gear. Then when a TMM guy came on board on her first call to VCZ under CSMS management, he reported that the ship had been badly neglected but his report indicated that this was the result of CSMS management! We had only been on board about one and half months!
On the bridge the radar, gyro compass and standard compass were all naff when we joined. Managed to get the standard compass adjusted to residual deviations but the gyro was always going on the bum. A great big brute of a Sperry. The engineers had a nightmare down below and frequently it was all hands down below to assist in trying to repair some major item of machinery. We had to make an emergency stop in Kingston Jamaica to carry out repairs to cylinder liners. The spare liner was in its stowage place but when brought out it was a used spare (!) and useless.
The ship was engaged on the Mexbras Service - Vera Cruz to Tampico to Coatzacoalcos then to Recife, Rio de Janeiro, Santos then Sao Francisco do Sul then north again to same ports plus a call at Portocell and Bahia Salvador and back to Mexico; TMM were operating a joint Mexbras service with 2 Brazilian outfits and there was much celebrating by them when the Cordoba loaded £1Million freight on her third round trip.
For the Brits the only relief was the usual longish stay in Santos
Service was considered to be the "penal battalion"
Like others who sailed her, I was really glad to see the back of the ship. The only other TMM ship I hated almost as much was that abortion of a car carrier the AYA II. I was spared the Tepozteco thank God! Bryan Boyer. Posted on the forum 6 April 2010.

Brian, that was a brilliant summation of that bucket. Many thanks !
P.S. "Tepozteco" was a yacht by comparison ! Tony Lightfoot. Posted on the forum 7 April 2010.

An Informative summary if perhaps somewhat bias.
I recall that when you joined the Cordoba around September 1989 in Vera Cruz, Mexico, you relieved Capt J.J.Birrell.
I seem to remember that you suffered the misfortune of loosing your luggage on route from London to Vera Cruz, and as this was the last loading port you were left with the clothes you were stood up in to sail that 2 week voyage down to Recife Brazil. I think you managed to 'borrow' a uniform shirt from one of the other officers.
Then about 3 or 4 days out from Vera Cruz the gyro compass fell over which ment 'Hand' Magnetic steering all the way to Brazil.
Although your luggage was waiting on the quay in Recife the trip was perhaps memorable for all the wrong reasons.

I completed 2 very enjoyable voyages on Cordoba. Fist voyage I joined in Tampico on 30/07/86, this was only 2nd voyage with British Officers.
Capt: L R Staines, C/O: Peter Baverstock, 2/0: Jerry Coleman, 3/0: Jose Able Cardenas Chavez, R/O: Bob Masters, C/E: Keith Morgan, 2/E: Karl Negele, 3/E: Hugh Mclundie, Elec: Denis Osbourne, C/S: P D Smith.
A Hard working group who did a lot to upgrade the vessel throughout.

I recall the stores truck being sent from Cardiff to Italy and we received a second hand carpet from Burtons ( Gents Outfitters ) who just happened to be close by to Cardiff Ship Management offices in Cardiff. Complete with fag burns and chewing gum marks, but it was better than lino for those people lucky enough to get a piece. Jerry Coleman. Posted on the forum 26 April 2010.

It was when I was sent out to join the Cordoba at Receife in October 1988 that Varig Airlines mamnaged to lose my luggage!. I flew from Paris to Sao Paulo first of all, then a flight from SP to Receife. At baggage claim in Sao Paulo, no sign of my bag. But after Receife the ship was scheduled to call at Santos, so I flew up to Receife. Fortunately,in my cabin hand baggage I had a spare set of tropical gear so I managed to last out till our return to Santos. Then up to SP airport and a lot of argy bargy with the Brazilian customs to get my bag out of bond. It's marvellous what a bucketful of cruzeiros will do. My reports about the Cordoba are not biased just telling it like it was. I didn't need any uniform anyway as I spent most of my time on that bucket in a boiler suit trying to help everyone else on board put right the years of neglect that were the results of previous managers. Bryan Boyer. Posted on the forum 26 April 2010.

Then there was always the threat of thse Brazilian Pirates !
Lock those doors ! Jerry Coleman. Posted on the forum 26 April 2010.

Disclaimer: The statements on this page are the views of the person who posted them on the forum. The events took place many years ago and in most cases rely on those people's memories, and so we cannot guarantee the accuracy although every effort is made to check it.

Cordoba. Page [1] [2] [3]
Memories from RSL staff. Page No. [1] [2]