Comments from the forum - 2

Your note Dave brought back some vivid memories of the Tula. It was your mention of the bow thruster and remote ballast valves which triggered my response.

I joined her in Tenerife in the late eighties. I came straight off the Lerma in Newark. After the initial shock of her condition it was certainly one of my most enjoyable trips. As an engineer there was plenty to fix! Ships company that I remember were John Henry Davies, Mo Green (and Wife), Bob Rees (or was that the Sonia M?),Capt Stanies, Colin Harrhy (and Gloria and Nanimo?) , Tony Field, and I think Evan Walmsley. ( apologies for any omissions and if I have mentioned any of this in a previous post.

In her day she must of been some ship. Fast and plenty of deck gear including a car deck (Munck?) and openings either side of the vessel to load the cars. I sailed on both the Cordoba and Tula and the Tula seemed to be in slightly better shape.

On both ships the engine room was blacker than black. The odd thing was that there were 3 x B&W slow speed (450rpm) generators on the bottom plates. I don't remember us having the 3 in running order at any one time and there were plenty of times where we only had one. I remember on one occasion us only having one and us blacking out mid Atlantic and the emergency generator being given a good test. There were candles on in the bar that night. John Henry spend most if not all of his time (and skill) working on the generators but they were well past their best. To start them you needed 2 people to bar them over (or stand on the end of the bar) and there was a knack to get them to turn over. If the air-start valves were not overhauled and tested accurately (John Henry's test rig!)they not rotate through 360'.

Your mention of the bow thruster and remote ballast valves brought back memories of the late Mo Green (C/E). He suited the ship well. Nothing seemed to phase him and he appeared to enjoy the challenge of fixing more and more clapped out equipment. He always had a smile as if the years of neglect seemed to amuse him.

The bow thruster and motor windings looked new to me, which backed up your note of it being repaired. Mo had a project to get it running which was difficult to do with only 2 x generators. You could in theory start it with 2 but everytime Mo tried we blacked out.

Mo also repaired all of the remote ballast valves (which you mention) which as I remember took a lot of toil and effort as they were up the duct keel.

The main engine was fairly reliable (RND 90 and apparently a prototype when new) , but we did have a few scavenge fires. Upon starting outside one of the Italian ports (Genoa perhaps?) the port thought we were on fire due to the thick black smoke from the funnel. Something that wouldnt happen nowadays.

The only other thing of note were the mice and rats but that is another story.
Paul Heyman. Posted on forum 13 May 2012.

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.

Tula. Page [1]
Memories from RSL staff. Page No. [1] [2]