Ian Stewart

I've just had a quick scroll through what appears will be a huge trip down memory lane as I work my way through it.
I scanned one of the threads about the Indian when it was in B&V for the conversion to a car carrier. That was my first trip to sea and what an introduction to sea going life for a 16 year old. A quick run to Brazil and then 6 weeks exploring the "delights" of the Reeperbahn and surrounding district!! Griff Jones was Master and I still remember his advice the morning after my solitary stagger back through the Elbe tunnel, after giving up trying to keep up with more experienced drinkers. It wasnt that I shouldnt have gone ashore and got drunk - it was only that I shouldnt have come back alone! How many times have I offered that same advice to others over the intervening years? Thanks Griff.
Mike (Jones) - hopefully you will remember me? - I was 3rd mate on the Fresno(?) on what I believe was your first trip as Master and then we met again at that glorious drinking day at Leightons pub in Derby on the first reunion.
As Ian said in his post - I am now Offshore Installation Manager of a semi submersible drilling rig owned by an American company called Transocean.(Fortunately - not the one that sank in the Gulf of Mexico last year)
As for sightings - I met up with Jon Challacombe (senior apprentice on my first trip) a few years back. He was teaching (Maritime Law or Business I think) at Plymouth University.Posted on forum 2 March 2011.

I snuck out of Smiths in February 85 just a few months before the collapse. My (then) wife had just had our first son and I rolled out of the baby wetting one Friday afternoon to phone Griff and say that I didnt want to take up the foreign flag option that was on offer at the time. Fortunately out of the blue the following Monday I got a call and subsequently got a job with a offshore drilling company called KCA. Doubled my salary and then was on the dole a year later. One way or another I've stuck with the offshore drilling industry and am now working for Transocean (they of Deepwater Horizon fame) as OIM (Offshore Insatllation Manager)on a drilling rig off Nigeria. I'm aiming for 3 more years and a hopefull retirement at age 60. Fingers crossed. Have lived in Plymouth since 1978 and still trying to civilise the barbarian English!Posted on forum 5 June 2012.

I never had any idea about going to sea. Being a good valley boy all I could think of was an electrician with the NCB or a policeman. I was too short then to be a policeman so when I saw an advert in the paper for the old British Shipping Federation promising sunny trips to foreign lands , nice white unifiorms and a sextant to ply your trade, I thought - what about that? I duly contacted the BSF in London who got me an interview with the Cardiff BSF office. The man said who do you want to go to sea with? I had only heard of BP and Cunard so said either of those. He said "you don't want to do that" and pointed me at a gleaming plastic model in the corner of his office of (I think) the Cornish City and said what about a local company? Two hours later I was sat in front of Jeff Birrell and two months later I was in Plymouth doing Pre- Sea training. The rest, as they say, is history. May I publically thank that kind gentleman in the BSF for pointing me in the right direction. Looking back I have absoluitely no regrets whatsoever. Thanks also to all I sailed with over the 13 years and conributed to a great period of my life. Posted on forum 26 April 2013.