Terry Hunter

Sailed with RSL from Jan77 to June 81 when made redundant.
Devon City as 2/O then all following as Mate - Prince Rupert, Port Alberni, Fresno, Devon and PRC.
RSL kindly passed me on to Safmarine but that was not a success. The two companies were like chalk and cheese.
I was then passed on to Swire Pacific Offshore where I spent 13 happy years as Master.
Ventured into the wonderful realms of education at the Glasgow Nautical College as lecturer, then a couple of years as 2/O with the Northern Lighthouse Board on the Fingal, where I had occasional visits from Tony Lightfoot and family/friends.
In 1999 I started as Assistant Harbourmaster at Grangemouth and remained there until retirement in 2009. A couple of names whilst there were Pete Baverstock (on coastal tankers I think) and Neil Jerrum on the dredger.
I attended the 2004 reunion in Derby but then heard nothing more about them, but note they are still going. Did I upset someone??? Hope to make the one in 2013. Posted on forum January 2013.

Prior to and during the time I was doing Master's at South Shields from April to December 76 I was employed by T&J Harrison of Liverpool. The writing was on the wall for them to go container, with subsequent reduction in fleet size, so I thought it prudent to look for employment elsewhere.
I wrote to a number of companies, RSL being one of them. Two things stuck out in the information which I received, one being an emphasis on the quality of food, which I have to admit engendered some scepticism, and the other being the five month trips (most other companies offering four), which did not exactly put a smile on my wife's face.
I, therefore, plumbed for another employer, who shall remain nameless, but round about the time of my sitting my exams they had a gathering in the Sea Hotel in S. Shields, to which I was invited, and then a lot of inconsistencies started to appear plus a changing of the goalposts. I left feeling none-too happy about the situation. Prior to the meeting I had picked up a copy of the NUMAST Telegraph, upon the back page of which was the usual (at the time) advert for RSL, which mentioned limited vacancies. Upon my return home I picked up the phone and spoke to Graham Hardy to ask if my particular situation (up for Masters) would fall into a suitable category. The answer was affirmative and paperwork was sent, with an interview subsequently arranged for 28th December.
My parents came to my house for Xmas and I was talking to my father about future employment options and in the course of the conversation he said to me that, no matter whom I chose, to stay well clear of 'Smiths of Cardiff'. I told him about the interview on 28th and enquired as to what was so bad about RSL. Apparently two of his schoolfriends had gone with the company as Deck Apprentices and the experience put them off seafaring for life. When I asked when this was, he told me 1925! I said that things had probably improved a bit since then. Needless to say, I ignored his advice.
I have also to admit that my scepticism about the food was not founded and the trips were not quite as long as suggested - 4.5 months.
I, like the many others who contribute to the forum, look back on my RSL days as being the happiest overall of my seagoing career - a good mix of professionalism and enjoyment. Posted on forum 20 March 2013.