Vancouver City (3)

Comments from the forum - 1

Group of people in KyotoThis photo was taken at Kyoto on an organised bus trip we booked outside Kyoto railway station,it was at the first temple we visited which was only a very short distance from the station,you can see the date on the board. We had a Sunday off while berthed at Kobe steel works, I had been up to Kyoto a few times on the train over the years and it was dead easy so the otherS wanted to come, we were on the Vancouver city,which had taken coal from Norfolk
You will see Myself, a cadet & Eddie Morgan in the back row. A deck cadet and Keith Roberts are just in front, Joe Fitzsimonds is sat down, the mates wife and 2 children are in amongst the crowd. On the far left is one of the juniors on the far right is either the 2nd or 3rd mate I am afraid I don’t remember the names, it was 35 years ago.
I am proud of this picture as it shows we knew more about Japan than Clancy's bar.
Willie Davies. Posted on Forum on 27th July 2009.

The Thunderbox incident 1977. The following is my recollection of a true event. I have, however, allowed myself a little poetic licence in order to make the narrative more interesting. My very good friend, Alan Nicholl will willingly verify most of what I now write.
Vancouver City arrived Kaohsiung from Buenos Aires with a full cargo of grain. Pilot boarded and we proceeded inwards. Upon approaching the quay, our assigned berth was between two vessels and it became painfully obvious that insufficient room had been allowed. The bow was put alongside and vessel carefully eased up the quay, controlled by the backspring. Alan had already informed the bridge that the coaster ahead sported a thunderbox and that we were getting very close to it! Movement up the quay continued with oders to Al, "give us another foot,Mate" At the very crucial time the seamen who were handling the spring very well (Sods Law) allowed it to render too much and the following dialogue from Focsle to Bridge took place.
(F) "Bloody Hell, weve just demolished his thunderbox"
(B) "Flaming Norah- was anyone in it?"
(F) "Not at the time of impact".
One had visions of some poor Chinese seaman ensconced within suddenly being aware of six Indian seamen peering down from above and, although he was evacuating,evacuation in a different sense seemed more prudent! The remshackle structure had disintegrated into the dock comprising bits of dunnage, burlap etc.Anyway, sufficient space had been obtained in order to bring the vessel alonside.
Next day, a mobile welding plant arrived alongside the coaster together with lengths of rail and checkerplate! The first thing to happen was the removal of a section of rail around the stern, two checkerplate footpads (adequately spaced) welded to the stern overside and new rail fashioned to encompass the footplates. This was good thinking on the part of the skipper as it obviated having to climb over the rail. One could just "back unobstructed" into this delux dunny!
In due course the skipper together with my Agent and a Port Authority Rep arrived at my desk with the Bill for all this work.
Now at this stage, it appeared that the Port Authority were somewhat embarrassed over the fiasco of our berthing and in order to save face,they immediately accused the coaster skipper of not declaring the exact length of his vessel (by the length of his thunderbox)and threatened to fine him!
This reduced the situation to a state of negotiation.
I am pleased to say that a compromise was reached and Anglo Chinese relations restored!! I felt proud that I had protected Reardon Smiths Internationl standing as an honest and fair Shipping Company.
John Cann. Posted on the Forum 16th July 2009.

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