J.r. Ketel @ TARIA, Wed, 02/18/2009 - 16:14

was 3/O, toen Kapt. A.L. 't Hart in Singapore commodore werd. Werd in jan.'53 2/O. Waren het laatste schip dat op zat. 31 jan.1953 's middags omstreeks 16.30 de Waterweg verliet en dat daarbij bijna op het Noorderhoofd liep. Loods kon niet ontscheept worden. Toen ik 's nachts weer op wacht kwam, was de zee melkwit en stonden de sterren als karbonkels tegen de zwarte hemel. Loeiend stormweer, maar rustig vooruitkruipend schip. Buitenboordafsluiter open om meer ballastwater in te nemenOm 1 uur 's nachts kwamen de eerste SOS berichten van schepen in de Duitse bocht. Onze bestemming Curacao dus geen mogelijkheid tot hulpverlening. R/O Korff bleef op wacht en zodoende wisten wij al vrij vroeg dat het in Zeeland niet pluis was. Waren pas 's middgs ter hoogte van Dover, maar geen bootje naar buiten komend, zijn we doorgevaren en hebben de loods de volgende dag ter hoogte van Falmouth ontscheept. Hebben aan bvoord collecte gehouden voor de watersnood slachtoffers, waarbij de Chinezen zich ook niet onbetuigd lieten.

Mike Connor @ HYGROMIA, Fri, 02/13/2009 - 15:09

I was and engineer cadet on the Hygromia in 1972, sailing out of Pulau Bukom, Singapore, Chief Engineer was Dougie Horrocks. In August 1972 we were in Australia and got orders to return to Singapore as the ship had been sold for scrap. When we got there the crew were paid off and flown home but the officers stayed on board. We were on the Eastern anchorage off Clifford Pier, the tanks were cleaned out and gas freed, cleaning was done by hand using rags and cotton waste, mostly by old women.
Although the ship was scrapped in Taiwan it was actually handed over to the scrapping company in Singapore.
We stripped out a lot of the equipment from the engine room to be used as spare parts for other H-boats, including the HP turbine and the emergency generator, and had a floating crane and generator alongside.
We stayed on the ship about ten days, having barbeques on deck at night, we had steaks every day as the Chief Steward had just stocked up on meat in Australia!

Ian Biffo Johnson @ ERVILIA, Sat, 02/07/2009 - 20:40

The reason I signed a contract with shell . Asked if I would sail on these ships again told yes spent the next 4 years on L and D and N and I class. Got back on them in the end .

Jaap Jager @ FELIPES (3), Fri, 02/06/2009 - 19:15

South Chinese Sea: am I a seagoing gardener..?

Once,happy sailing onboard Felipes in summer of 1985, my job was to be officers steward.
Due to this job I had to be care of cleaning officerscabins and several other spaces in ship's accommodation, serving meals in officersmess and did work in Felipes laundry.
In crew's- and officersbar and officersmess this producttanker had a large numeral of pot's and hanging baskets,filled with a lot of different plants from all sizes. Once paid by the company on this tanker they looked like a mini-jungle.
Sometimes when ship was in harbour,people were able to buy new plants from ship's money,given by captain. And when dockstores were coming on board,companysent small bags with fresh plantingground and artificial plantingfood were once included.

Some stewards gave those plants water and the special food during work,some didn't.
But when they did,only when they had plenty time. Or when they liked to look after plants very much. Most of the voyages I made, apprentices did the 'greenwork'.
Or some officerswifes,who sailed with their husband several months onboard and had very much freetime...and mostly very 'green fingers'.
For me,on Felipes I had no time to look after the mass of plants and as a matter of fact,I wasn't interested in it at all,so I just did nothing about it.

When working more than a month onboard,the plants got more and more yellocoloured leaves,as water was not added to them by nobody at all.
And one month further,I had to pick up a lot of fallen leaves from floor,which started to irretate me. And during rolling ship some pot's also started rolling...
People asked me something about the plants and I said I'm doing nothing about it, because we had enough other volunteerscapacity onboard. There were four appentices and I thought four or five officerwifes,and my dailyschedule was fullfilled with work...
So,later on the captain (W.S.van der Ham) asked me about doing ship's plants.
And he got angry,because I said to him I wasn't onboard just to do so.
As housekeepinggroup,our group was to be smallered,because company wanted to save money on crew's occupation. So every time you came on an other ship,you got a lot more work to do,because sailors and apprentices were not minimalised,at those times.
I told captain greenkeeping was not included in my contract,it was just a voluntary
'job' and I even hadn't any knowledge about it. He began shouting at me: I had to do the plants,it had costed company's money and people onboard liked to look at them...
He said I was responsible for cleaning officersmess,thuss for the plants too...!
I still refused and told him I wasn't to be A GARDENER at all,there was nothing standing about it in my seamansbook and on ahip's payroll...!
He warned me about reporting me,due to bad behaviour and 'refusing work'.
Allright,at last I told him I would give them savingwater for once,but officerswifes
could to do the rest of greenwork,in their freetimes.

That afternoon I opened a porthhole and gave them endless refreshing water...
Next day only a few neat plants were left in mess and bar,and captain asked me: where's the rest of it ? I told him they had enough water for the rest of their lives,so after a while he understood I had throwed them over the side...
He got very angry again and reported me as a very negative person in 'conduite-report',at the end of my term.

But It wasn't only me he reported afterwards; nearly everyone of Dutch crew got a bad 'conduite',then.
Later on,during freetime in Holland,Shell-office invided me to speak about the pro-blems on Fusus. They told me,until then captain was used sailing with foreign crew-members. And having a crew,which was speaking 'against' captain's 'ordered wishes', was quite a new thing to him,on those socalled P.L.A.-ship's.
The office was surprised nearly whole crew got bad,it happend to be rare
Many years later however,after a two years scholarperiod about green- and woodkeep-ing in naturereserve-area's,I had been contracted for six months to a city green-keeping department.
Quite a coincidence: then my contract told me,I used to be a gardener...!

A.j. De Gooijer Bill @ DAPHNE, Wed, 02/04/2009 - 21:46

opgestapt in singapore met een ploeg rubber boys na 1 dag in het hotel aan boord en de ketel in om schoon te spuiten ik wist absoluut niet waar ik mee bezig was. verder vond ik het een troosteloze roestbak .en spoelpoorten schoonmaken was de grootste ramp die ik maar kan verzinnen.verder was de lol en ervaringen goud waard.

A.j. De Gooijer Bill @ FICUS (2), Wed, 02/04/2009 - 21:31

In de zuid chinese zee 131 vietnamese vluchtelingen opgepikt destijds een zeer bijzonder ietsen na ongeveer 3a4 dagen afgezet in okinawa.

Badenohare @ ACHATINA (2), Tue, 02/03/2009 - 18:46


David Read @ BORUS, Tue, 02/03/2009 - 16:16

I was 2nd Mate on the Borus, the Eastern Fleet in 1962/63. One port we visited many times was Tjilatjap on the southern coast of Java we were known as The Tjilatjap Express and also The Bouncing Borus (becuase of the 3 cylinder doxford) and The Porous Borus. One time going into Tjilatjap the engine started giving trouble, we asked the pilot if we could turn round and go back out, we were just approaching the entrance. The pilot said no problem we put her hard over and ran aground to the east of the entrance and were there for 5 days on the edge of an old Japanese mine field. We were loaded with gasoline and kerosine. The only time we had seen no swell from the south, lucky. Another Shell tanker finally came and unloaded half the cargo before we got her afloat and that ship did more damage than running aground as it was then that the swell started to pick up. The locals sure thought it was funny when we finally went alongside.

Scotto Di Vettimo @ BORUS, Tue, 02/03/2009 - 10:50

mon premier petrolier de la Shell annee 1952
pendant 6 mois avec le commandant Duchamp
rendu aux Anglais chez Dubigeon (Bretagne Loire Atlantique 1952

Eric John Rowlands @ LYRIA (2), Mon, 02/02/2009 - 23:24

I joined the Lyria as a first trip deck boy(GP Boy)in Elsnore Denmark in November 1976.The Lyria was a new build, and I sailed on her maiden voyage from Denmark bound for the Persian Gulf.
Her first ever port call was Las Palmas for some repairs. On completion she sailed for Kark Island for her first ever cargo for delivery in Rotterdam.

Eric John Rowlands @ LYRIA (2), Mon, 02/02/2009 - 23:24

I joined the Lyria as a first trip deck boy(GP Boy)in Elsnore Denmark in November 1976.The Lyria was a new build, and I sailed on her maiden voyage from Denmark bound for the Persian Gulf.
Her first ever port call was Las Palmas for some repairs. On completion she sailed for Kark Island for her first ever cargo for delivery in Rotterdam.

Christopher Grindle @ VERENA, Mon, 02/02/2009 - 12:14

I remember joining the Verena in Nynashamn, Sweden as a first trip fiver, on the 23rd march 1968. I was housed in a porta-cabin lashed to the funnel deck as we were carrying so many extra engineers. I spent the next two and a half weeks in the air heater of one of the main boilers unblocking air heater tubes by hand .Lucky for me Shell in their wisdom decided to pay me and another fiver off in Cardon , Lake Maracaibo and I then spent five and a half months on the Venassa .