John Townsend

Gary Provis, Simon Hembury, Joe Cox, and Chris Taylor we were all 1979 induction at Plymouth RNC.
Well of original 12 that year I think I'm only one still sailing. Now Master with Maersk Line having been asorbed through P&O Containers, the P&O Nedlloyd which maersk took over 5 years back.
Much the same as you I was made redundant from Cardiff ship management 1986 having just obtained my Mates ticket. A couple of years freelancing befor settling with P&O containers.
Certainly lots to catch up on here with stories and posts. May 2011.

Here’s a brief resume of my Sea service;
Captain Griffiths Jones took me onboard after a General Council of British Shipping open day onboard HMS Wellington on the Thames, in London, late 1978. Paul Beattie was cadet training officer at that time, if I’m not mistaken? This established the foundations of a career for which Paul & Griff’ should be rightly proud. 
Some 30+ years on & ‘Oh’ how things have changed, even in my time!!

Joined  SARA LUPE  26/9/79  Barcelona  Paid off Barcelona 16/2/80  Master  Donald Jacks & R.Stuart
Joined  SAMIA          3/4/80  Rotterdam    Paid off Mobile  16/8/80  Master  Ray Skinner
Joined  NEW WESTMINSTER CITY  3/4/81Antwerp  Paid off  Shuaiga  1/11/81  Master W.D.Joness
Joined  AMPARO     05/12/81 Tampico  Paid off  Genoa 30/7/82  Master: Robin Stuart & R.Skinner
Sept 82 to March 83 Plymouth RNC & May/June 83 Greenhythe College to complete Class 3
3rd Mate
Joined  AMPARO 7/12/83 Las Palmas  Paid off  Felixstowe 13/3/84  Master  A.Lightfoot & R.Skinner
Joined  EASTERN VALLY 1/6/84 Middlesboro’  Paid off Mombasa 8/11/84  Master  R.Crawford
Joined  YAQUI     24/1/85 Hamburg         Paid off  Vera Cruz 4/5/85                   Master T McNulty
2nd Mate
Joined  AMPARO 4/5/85 Vera Cruz  Paid off  Houston 9/7/85                 Master R. Crawford
Joined  YAQUI     2/9/85 Bremen    Paid off  Belfast 4/4/86                   Master T McNulty & Ian Stutt
Joined  SILVIA SOFIA 12/6/86 Oakland Paid off Oakland 19/8/86             Master  T McNulty
Sept ’86 to March 87  Plymouth Maritime College for Class 2 . Made redundant on completion of ticket.

At 18  I joined Sir William Reardon Smiths  Sept 1979 & undertook a cadetship with the company for which my Father paid a GBP 20 surety.
After a 2 week induction course at Plymouth RNC I joined my 1st ship in Barcelona. 26/9/79
Perhaps a little naive as to what to expect and who would have thought this would lead to a 30 year plus career on the high seas. From those initial days doing tween-deck cargo watches, to ensure some thieving Spanish Stevedore didn’t help himself to Wine & Spirits from the lockers. To the present; Commanding large container vessels worldwide.
The 1st voyages were from the Med to Vera Cruz, Tampico, Coatzacoalcos & New Orleans in the Gulf of Mexico. After several trips, one of which saw me promoted for the first time to Third Officer  1983
Then promoted for the first time to Second Officer  May 1985
Returning to Plymouth Maritime College Sept 1986 I obtained my Class 2 before I was made redundant from Cardiff Ship Management/RSL in June 1987.
Later the same year I did a brief spell 2nd Mate, coasting with Crescent Shipping,  onboard the MV Militence
Next was to sign up with Delta Marine agency. Freelancing for several trips, one of which saw me promoted for the first time to Chief Officer  May 1988 .  Mv.Taiwan Senator  (OOCL)
1988 P&O Containers contacted Delta for anyone with container vessel experience.  As terms were agreeable and the prospect of shorter voyages, UK flag, I accepted & was interviewed. Employed the following week on the Tolaga Bay, December 1988, as Acting Chief Steward   (YES.. Chief Steward!!!)
The next few years were spent running Europe to Far East on the Liverpool Bay class ships as 2nd Mate.
(I did most of the class except the Cardigan Bay).
Occasionally I would get the odd voyage on a “Caper”. Europe to Aus & NZ East-about round both Capes.
I obtained my Class 1 at Warsash / Southampton October 1992
Sailing as Chief Officer  on 26 P&O Containers vessels between August ’94  to June 2005
P&O Containers merged with Royal Nedlloyd (Dutch) in 1997
I was promoted Master in June 2005
Maersk Line took over P&O Nedlloyd in Feb 2006. Sent by email 16 October 2011.