Vancouver City (3)

Comments from the forum - 4

Hi Mike and thanks for the information - is it possible to get fuller
information regarding the voyage? I remember joining the ship in Glasgow, then light ship over to Norfolk,Virginia. I remember Suki as Chief Engineer (b****rd insisted on generator watches in port). I think we took coal down to Japan and I remember staying for 7 -14 days at the mouth of a river in Borneo whilst timber was floated down to be lashed on to the deck. I remember too Singapore (very colourful before LeeKuan Yew) and getting into trouble as I stayed in a bar and missed my watch. Then back to Trieste and I decided that I'd leave the navy and go off to Imperial College to study for a Ph.D - much easier! John Kenyon. Posted on forum 14 November 2011.

The Vancouver City sailed on her maiden voyage on 4th. April 1970. We went light ship to Norfolk, Va. and loaded coal for Japan. We discharged the full cargo in Wakayama then it was light ship to the West coast of Borneo to load hard wood logs for Italy. We spent a fair bit of time at Teloc Ajer and Tanjong Saleh, at least that is what they sounded like. Actually we were only a kick of the backside from Pontianak which is virtually on the equator. The logs were brought from inland and were formed into rafts and lashed with 'creepers', real Tarzan stuff. We stopped at Singapore to load a few tons of plywood and also to take bunkers and then we had the long haul round the Cape, something like 35 days, non stop to Trieste and Monfalcone. I'm not sure how or why you paid off in Italy because we had just got started. After that we went to the States and the Far East and then settled into what would be the well worn Canada, USEC, Japan run.
Tadeusz Sukkienik was indeed the C/E with Dave Dyer 2/E and myself 3/E. Nick Shilstone was 4/E and I recall Dave Martin, a J/E from Co. Durham. I think another J/E was called Phil. Gordon Lee an ex RN long service man from Barry Island was the Elect. Unfortunately I must confess that I cannot remember you but out of the mist I have a faint recollection of a first tripper whose wife was trying to get a book published for him but whether this was regarding you or the Vancouver City I have no idea. I hope this enlightens you as to your sea career short though it was. Colin Gateshill. Posted on forum 25 April 2012.

Alan Nichol, you are an honest chap recounting your first experience loading coal. So much so, that I have to put my hand up and admit to a similar incident in Vizag on the "Vancouver City", I was Master at the time and Dickie Vanner was the Mate. We were under a coal staith, just finishing off, when, without reason the twit on the dock decided we needed another full wagon!! The plimsol mark gently disappeared and I was dragged off to the Harbourmasters Office for a typical Indian bollocking. Meanwhile back at the ranch, there was much redistribution of fuel etc till things looked a bit more reasonable!! Having taken it on the chin,
I did remonstrate, pointing out that there was a distinct lack of cooperation and supervision on the dock and that I would be informing my Owners in due course to which my Agent intervened, Outcome was that I returned to the ship, WITH A PILOT! and got the hell out of there swiftly!! John Cann. Posted on forum 29 June 2012.

I had just finished my MCRC at Plymouth at the end of the summer term but only had 12 days sea time left to be able to go for 2nd mates.
The company, the great employers that they were, sent me out to Trieste for it seams like the entire summer to stand bye on the Vancouver City rather than send me away for a full trip.
Now, I do not know if I was given make work - but I spent that summer, the vessel was there for weeks, tallying the discharge of the cargo along with a stop watch and clip board. Apparently (I was told) this was an experimental voyage and I had to make a report on cargo handling. In fact if I remember correctly Capt Lemon came out with an entourage form the office and I was suitably impressed.
Again if I recall correctly the ship took a real beating discharging those heavy logs. Martyn Hammond. Posted on forum 31 July 2012.

Hiya Martin, must admit I don't recall you being in Italy during the discharge of the Vancouver City but as you say we were there what seemed an age. When we loaded in Borneo the logs had been in the water a long time and they had a covering of slime and other tropical freshwater debris. Maybe four or five logs at a time were lifted on a pair of slings and when the weight came off one eye of each sling was pulled off the crane hook and the hook was raised allowing the logs to free fall anywhere they would. The covering was slick and the logs really motored up against bulkheads and the shipside. Needless to say there was no one in the hold. The deck cargo was loaded with a bit more care but the top of the logs were uneven and the securing gear was tightened more often than the timber out of BC. The deck cargo was kept wet with a series of rotating sprinklers which were running for the whole passage. I think the deck cargo went ashore in Trieste and then we went to Monfalcone. When the hatches were opened the smell was pretty rich and we were forced to go ashore and wash our throats out with the local brew. Of course we didn't want to go but sometimes you have to have a bit of give and take. Unfortunately I don't recall any of the local beauties being impressed with our 'deodorant' but that was their problem. I think we must have been in Monfalcone for upwards of three weeks but I honestly don't recall. We were at an open jetty and the locals came and went as they felt, nothing like a busy port. Colin Gateshill. Posted on forum 2 August 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.

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