Indian City (4)

Comments from the forum - 6

This is my memories of my first trip as Junior R/O.
I joined a small party of officers at Heathrow to fly out to Marmagoa , many of those onboard were staying for a 2nd trip. With me was the famous JRM Matthews (RIP) my senior R/O, Jack Barnes C/E may have been with us I'm not sure.

We flew to Delhi or Bombay? stayed overnight and connected a local flight to Marmagoa. A funny thing I remember here is that, while we were we waiting to take off, as at all airports every so often a runway inspection is made to check for debris, this is usually done with some kind of vehicle, however here it was done with about a dozen guys on push-bikes riding abreast spread out across the runway, probably more effective!

In Marmagoa the ship was nearing the finish of loading Iron Ore from barges, I noticed another Indian technique, a gang would shovel the ore into a large square heavy canvas tarp, this was hoisted by the 4 corners with ships derricks in union purchase, then lowered half and half over a wire stretched across the hatch , the tarp folded over the wire and the ore dropped in the hold. So simple, In
Malaysia they used square metal buckets with a wire shackled on the bottom to achieve the same thing.

Some of the officers already on board were - Capt "Flash Thomas together with his Wife and Daughter , C/O Brian Jones (RIP) , 2/e Jack Chatten (RIP) 3/0 Roger Bunting.
I was " billeted" with the 2 deck cadets - Dave Burns and another.

After Discharge in Japan (Sakai or Kobe ?) we did an ore run to Queen Charlotte Islands B.C. and a coal run from Newcastle NSW. We were anchored off Newcastle for a while due to a strike, one day a bunch of us went fishing in the lifeboat near the port entrance where we caught hammerhead sharks and other exotic fish. I managed to get a fish hook through a finger so they took me into the port office and I was sent off to a doctor.
After cleaning up the wound and giving me a tetanus jab we discussed how to remove the hook . Since the "barb" was all the way through I suggested cutting it off, then the smooth hook would slide back out. A nurse was dispatched to the hardware store, I don't know the reaction of the patients in the waiting room when she returned brandishing a large pair of sidecutters!!!

The last cargo was ore again loading from barges off Kuala Dungun Malaysia. This was very slow (ore running out ) so it was decided to relieve us there.We were run up to Kuala Terenganu in a convoy of various vehicles to get a local flight to Kuala Lumpur and home to UK.

There was a very long tedious wait for the local plane and each time engines were heard we hoped it was our plane , a DC 3/Dakota turned up and I was really hoping we would get to fly in that famous historic plane, I don't think everyone was so keen! Eventually a Fokker twin engined commuter plane took us to KL.

I remember that Roger Bunting and a few of the younger lads had been ferried up from Dungun in a Landrover, I think they had sneaked some beer aboard and Roger was so bored, noticing the keys were still in, took the lads for a drive up and down the runway!! The tower was not happy and sent a more "official" looking Landrover to "escort" them off the runway.

I remember 2 messages we received during the trip, one was informing us the Chairman, Alan Reardon Smith had passed away (June 1970), all ships were instructed to paint a blue line round the hull in mourning.
The second was concerning Apollo 13 (April 1970), the famous moon mission that lost power and had to be aborted. They were trying to regain earth orbit but were not sure if they would make the planned splashdown site. There was a chance they might splashdown in the Indian Ocean , and we were asked to relay the message to another RSL ship in the area. I guess they alerted all shipping along the orbit route.

There is a connection there for me , I am writing this from Fort lauderdale Florida having just returned form helping on a friends boat around the Bahamas.
The name of the boat now is Sunshine , but its first name was Yankee Clipper , the name of the Apollo 12 Lunar Landing Module , and the first owner back in the 1970's was Charles "Pete" Conrad , the mission commander. Eric Bromham. Posted on forum 10 January 2016

I believe the third engineer on this trip was Alan Fisher, the chief steward was Joe Wagner and a junior engineer was Clive Greenwood. David Ricketts. Posted on forum 10 January 2016

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.

Indian City Page No. [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8]
Memories from RSL staff. Page No. [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6]