Opalia (2)

About

Completed 1963 as Opalia for STUK. 1975 converted to cadet training ship. 1984 sold to Kappa Maritime Panama and renamed Lady T. 14-3-1985 struck by missile, explosion and fire. 11-5-1985 arrived Gadani Beach for scrap.

Information
Also known as
Lady T
IMO number
5421857
Call sign
GLQA
Construction number
1279
Tonnage
53.739 ton
Year of construction
1963
Year of renaming/broken up
1985
Service for Shell
1963 to 1984
Cargo
Class
Flag state
Home port
Manager
Shipyard
Status
Photo(s)

Sailors

Name Job Period Details
Desmond Sissons 5th engineer 1961 to 1965
Michael Kemp 3rd officer 1963 to 1964 1st trip
Michael Mcdowell radio officer 1963 to 1964 First ship
Jim Russell deck apprentice 1964
David Cumming apprentice engineer 1965 to 1966
Paul Garroch apprentice engineer 1965 to 1966
Sheff Preston 2nd engineer 1965 to 1966
David Spence 2 2nd officer 1965 to 1966
Tony Day apprentice engineer 1966 1st trip
David Fraser 5th engineer 1966 to 1967
Donald Travis 3rd officer 1966
Anthony Lopez 5th engineer 1966 to 1967
Vic Hubbert 2nd mate 1967
Desmond Sissons 5th engineer 1967 to 1968
Peter Astles apprentice engineer 1967
Anton Barkhuysen 4th engineer 1967
Lee Sheung Hung grade 1 seaman 1967
John P M Cusson 2nd officer 1968
Geoffrey Roberts junior radio officer 1968 to 1969
Noel Anthony Ra... chief mate 1968 to 1969
Herbie A. Battye 3rd officer 1969 to 1970
Terry Brady Asteward assistant steward 1970 to 1971
Fred Cummings chef 1970
Ian F. Boon captain (commanding officer) 1970 to 1971
Herbert Rintoul chief petty officer 1970
Alan Platt 5th engineer 1970
Dave Cobbett senior ordinary seaman 1971 to 1972
David Bunn chef kok 1971 to 1972
Gavin Hair 2nd steward 1971 to 1972
Bernard Teale 2nd engineer 1971 to 1972
Les Rhodes 5th engineer 1971 to 1972
Jerry Garner catering boy 1971 to 1970 catering boy/prat
Terence Stephen... senior ordinary seaman 1971
David Else chief engineer 1971 to 1972
Douglas Richmond 5th engineer 1971 to 1972
Andy Haines catering boy 1971
Nigel Mott engineer cadet 1972 1st trip
Martin E Mowlem boatswain (bosun/petty officer) 1972 to 1973
Andy Robbins catering boy 1972 to 1973
Arthur Roy 5th engineer 1972
Tom Bell 5th engineer 1972
Thomas Malcolm ... 3rd engineer 1973 to 1974
Gus Mcphail senior radio officer 1973 to 1982
Raymond Shand senior ordinary seaman 1973 to 1974
Michael J. Francis catering boy 1973 First ship
Ron Frend engineer cadet 1973
Mike Connell 2nd cook and baker 1973 to 1974
Michael Marsh 5th engineer 1973 to 1974
Gerry Mapson catering offficer 1973
Joe Collins deck cadet 1974 to 1975
Alan Robertson deck cadet 1974 to 1975
Joe Mally po deck 1974 to 1975
Robert Rotheram... catering boy 1974 to 1976
Steven William Veal 5th engineer 1974
William Park deck cadet 1974 to 1975
Brian Killilea radio officer 1974
Jerry Keen deck cadet 1974
Pete Rodger deck cadet 1974 to 1975
Chris Matthews chief engineer 1975 to 1976
Keith Ideson 5th engineer 1975
Andy Jankowski deck cadet 1975
Dave Freeman deck cadet 1975
Mike Hapgood 2 deck cadet 1975
Tony Birtwistle deck cadet 1975
Andy Brown deck cadet 1975
Steve Hardy deck cadet 1975
Steve Bacon 5th engineer 1975
Tony Ripper deck cadet 1975 to 1976
Peter Davidson deck cadet 1975
John Cumming chief officer 1975
Richard Paul Helliar deck cadet 1975
Steven Matthews deck cadet 1975 to 1977
Syd Lees 2nd mate 1975 to 1976
Nick Roberts senior deck cadet 1975
John Holmes deck cadet 1976
Brian Crew 3rd engineer 1976
Taffy Rees Tony Rees steward 1976 to 1977
Robin Macleod 3rd mate 1976
Neil Harris deck cadet 1976 to 1977
Neil Beaumont deck cadet 1976
Robert Jones grade 1 seaman 1976 to 1977
Stewart Dean Comley catering boy/galley boy 1976 to 1977
Christopher Ryan deck cadet 1976 to 1978
Chris Grimson deck cadet/3rd mate 1976 to 1982
Robin Dunn deck cadet 1976 to 1977
John Arnott deck cadet 1976 to 1977
Trevor Harris deck cadet 1976
Mark Adams deck cadet 1976
Joseph Zerafa senior deck cadet 1977 to 1978
Ian Falconer deck cadet 1977
Thomas Ogle 5th engineer 1977 5th engineer during spithead review
Bryan Stockdale deck cadet 1977
Derek Cumming deck cadet 1977 to 1978
Malcolm Freeman assistant steward 1977 The queens silver jubilee review spithead
Kev Gregory deck cadet 1977 to 1978
John Sage 5th engineer 1977
Ian Stretton Walker chief officer 1977
Tony Jones deck cadet 1977 to 1981
David Whyte 5th engineer 1977
Simon Maasz deck cadet 1977 to 1978
Gordon Robertson 3rd engineer 1977 to 1978
Simon Peart deck cadet 1977 to 1978
Pat Clark deck cadet 1977 to 1978
Colin Mckay deck cadet 1977 deck cadet (spithead)
Mike Ryan deck cadet/3rd mate 1977 to 1982
Bill Glaister deck cadet 1977
Graeme Lawrence deck cadet 1977
Gary Smith deck cadet 1977 to 1978
Nigel Draffin 1 2nd engineer 1977
John Peter Briand chief officer 1977 to 1979 Commercial
Mike Philpott A... radio officer 1978
Roy Rodwell 4th engineer 1978
Mark Davies deck cadet 1978 to 1979
Mark Shaun Buckley deck cadet 1978
Stephen Osborne deck cadet 1978
Paul Stebbings deck cadet 1978
Mark Williams deck cadet 1978
Michael F. Keenan 4th engineer 1978
Joe Greenland assistant steward 1978 to 1979
Jerry Keen deck cadet 1978 to 1979
Ashley Smith deck cadet 1978 to 1979
Bill Glaister deck cadet 1978 to 1979
Robert Samuel fireman 1978
Ian Dodds deck cadet 1978
Anthony Severn deck cadet 1978
Michael Simpson deck cadet 1978
David Wilson chef kok 1979 to 1980
Daniel Mccaffrey deck cadet 1979 to 1980
Mick Mulvihill pantryboy 1979 to 1980
Eric Burt cadet 1979 to 1980
Alan Paddy Neil deck cadet 1979
Mark Hornsby cadet 1979 cadet / senior cadet
Andrew Reilly deck cadet 1979
Greg Hoare 2nd engineer 1979
Barry Pettit deck cadet 1979
Stephen Foster deck cadet 1979 to 1980
Callum Anderson deck cadet 1979 to 1981
Dirk Parker deck cadet 1979
Simon Holt 1 3rd officer 1979
Guy Pracy deck cadet 1979
Mike Nicholson deck cadet 1979 to 1981 Hated it both times. So much BS
John Leslie 3rd mate, 2nd mate 1979 to 1980
Andy Bowling deck cadet 1979
Charles Rose deck cadet 1979
John Armstrong chef kok 1979 to 1980
Gerry Healy assistant steward 1980
Andy Simpson deck cadet 1980
Derek J. McReynolds 2nd cook 1980 to 1981
John Daley cadet 1980 to 1983
Michael Murphy 1 deck cadet 1980 to 1983
Philip Stead deck cadet 1980
Gerry Hickey deck cadet 1980 to 1981
Billy Nimmo 5th engineer 1980 to 1981
Mark Perkin cadet 1980 to 1983
David Hitchmough deck cadet 1980
Stephen Millar deck cadet 1980
Alex Hammond deck cadet 1980 to 1983
Sean Hurley navigation cadet 1980
David E. Byrne deck cadet 1980
Roger Chapman radio officer 1980 to 1981
Gordon Wright deck cadet 1980 to 1981
Steve Williams deck cadet 1980 to 1981
Kevin Madden deck apprentice 1980
David Carter deck cadet 1980 to 1983
Ted Witwicki grade 1 seaman 1980 to 1981
Paul Wayman deck cadet 1981 to 1982
Brian Watters deck cadet 1981
Steve Dunderdale cadet 1981
Brian Leverett able seaman 1981
Gary Smith deck cadet 1981
Angus Proctor deck cadet 1981
David Holden deck apprentice 1981
Mick Cardiff chef kok 1981
Wayne Barry deck cadet 1981 to 1982 1st trip
Stephen Edwards deck cadet 1981
Ian Nicholson deck cadet 1981 to 1983
Ian Howard deck cadet 1981
Alan Brock 3rd mate 1981 to 1984 deck cadet / senior cadet / third mate
Eric Cordiner gp 1 1981
Malcolm Freeman gp/steward 1982
Alan Jackson gp/steward 1982
Stephen Mackin deck cadet 1982 to 1983
Greg Squirrell deck cadet 1982
Steve Jasper deck cadet 1982 to 1983
Tony K Lewis 2nd cook and baker 1982
Fred Craig catering offficer 1982 to 1983
Geoff Jones deck cadet 1982
Roland Wysner sg2 sst 1982
Grahame Booth deck cadet 1982
Mark Bragg sg2 sst 1982 to 1983
Gary Crowther steward 1983 to 1984
Steve Harding radio officer 1983
Richard Whing 2nd mate 1983
Richard Williams 5th engineer 1983
John Arnott 3rd officer 1983
Gary Black steward/messman 1983
Michael John Francis catering boy/galley boy 1983 catering boy (galley boy / pantry boy)
Robin Campbell-... 2nd engineer officer 1983
Charles Humphreys deck cadet 1983
John Tallon saloon steward 1984 saloon steward/messman
Bruce Lamb able seaman gp 1984
John Kirkland 5th engineer 1984
Andrew John Field able seaman (grade 2) 1984

Anecdotes

Date Visitor Anecdote
11/05/2018 - 16:33 Mike Nicholson

Sorry Paul Wayman, but it was me who “Bullshitted” the papers, I was actually senior cadet at the time. Though I was pissed It all escalated rather quickly. The Chief Officer saw this and pointed at me straight away and said “You” (I thought fuck me that was quick), then he went on “your the senior cadet, I want you to find out who did this”

Anyway, then came the “punishment” work (petty f***ers), I was all set to fess up, then word got round and about a dozen of the lads came to see me. “Mike, don’t do it, you’ll get sacked. Anyway, it was worth it just to see the reaction from the Chief Officer”. So discretion being the better part of valour I kept shtum, though (nearly) everyone knew it was me.

When I left I was branded “immature” on my report. Then thrown out of the captains cabin (Snowdon - I think), for telling him what went on the ship. Ie Alcoholism, drinking contests, sleeping on watch (on the mat behind the helm), flogging the chart corrections etc. He even threw a sellotape dispenser at me.
His response - he wrote to the company refusing to sail with me in any capacity whatsoever ever again. Petty arsehole.
When Shell interviewed me (after already having had my redundancy notice) they said they hoped I had learned something. I said “Yes - you just cant win” , they said that was the wrong attitude, I said it’s the only one you’re going to get from me.

Although we had some fantastic fun, and camaraderie, I hated the ship, and most of the officers on it. I recently went to an old Oralia shipmates wedding - so not all bad.

02/11/2017 - 09:54 Paul Wayman

We were in New York, where somebody had bought a rubber stamp with "bullshit" on it, and went around stamping all of the Chief Officers standing orders. The perpetrator didnt own up, so we all got punished. Myself and a few others were sent to scrape paint off the flying bridge in sub zero temperatures, as we followed an ice breaker up the Hudson River.

02/17/2015 - 22:53 Wayne Barry

16 years old and first time leaving the UK... was flown to Venezuela, on my own, to join this ship. Loathed and despised almost every minute of every day, subjected to intense bullying from so-called "senior cadet" who was nothing more than a jumped up power freak who got upset because I wouldn't go back to his cabin for "a little fun" Great training. not.

01/11/2015 - 16:14 Wayne Lomax

This was my first ship back in 1983. I was what was called back then an STS trainee sort of a poor mans cadet. Whereas cadets were seen as lowly we were even lower. I have some mixed memories of the ship some good some bad. I remember painting the front of the housing on a stage when my side suddenly collapsed because the doddery old bosun hadn`t secured it properly and myself and the other cadet were left hanging on our safety lines. They had to lower a jacobs ladder which we had to use to climb back up. When we eventually got down all the chief officer said was "was that you up there pretending to be batman lomax". I also remember being shown the 3 man lift in the bar which consisted of me and two other cadets lying on the floor, me having my arms and legs pinned down and another sprog debagging me and pouring a can of lager over my nads. i can highly recommend a beer shampoo on the old pubes but not soaking wet under crackers.

10/07/2014 - 17:37 Nick Roberts

As a "Senior" Cadet (an important distinction at the time!!) I enjoyed my trip on her - and probably learnt more about pumps and cargo and general tanker practice than on any other trip or college stage.... but it was a good job nobody had thought of D&A testing at the time!! Anybody remember the Boxing Contest???? (Today - I wonder how the "Risk Assessment" for that would have looked!!)

03/16/2014 - 15:09 Mike Hapgood 1

I like marmite but i hated that bloody ship. Painting on top of rust because the 'officer trainees' couldn't think of anything better for us to do. Was sent to the old man on a charge of 'mutiny' for throwing a chipping hammer overboard and refusing carry on - i quickly apologised! Did enjoy the cadets mess. My cabin was at the stern, next to the propeller - like trying to sleep in a cloths dryer, and the noise, can still hear it now!

12/02/2012 - 22:13 Don Owers

I was on watch with a new assistant, he was a Chinese trained as a mechanic and while I was busy trying to get the evaporator working he shut off the fuel to the boilers. He was supposed to shut one valve and open another to swop over tanks but he forgot to open the alternate tank. Naturally the fires went out, steam pressure dropped and the T/As slowed down lowering the A/C frequency as the did so. Strangely there was no alarms for this condition and nothing happened immediately, until suddenly the lights began to flicker and oh dear everything was going dark and light again with a strobe effect that made vision difficult and logic impossible. I didna??t have a clue what the hell was wrong so I pressed the alarm button. Unfortunately there were two alarm buttons, the fire one and the engineers. In my haste pressed the fire alarm which created no end of panic as everyone was roused out of their beds at 3am when they are not feeling like being roused at all.

10/10/2010 - 16:56 John Armstrong

A cargo ship went down around Venezuela and the survivors was rescued by the Opalia. Can anyone remember this?

11/04/2009 - 05:53 John Peter Briand

HI EX-OPALITES,
i HAD A THOROUGHLY ENJOYABLE 3 TRIPS ON THE 'OPALIA' AS MATE, WITH MOSTLY GOOD MEMORIES. WILL THOSE WHO TRIED TO GET A REINDEER AND SLEDGE ONBOARD IN BALTOMORE (XMASS 77?)PLEASE COME FORWARD, TOGETHER WITH THOSE CADETS WHO ENDEAVOURED TO GET A 4 METRE CACTUS ONBOARD IN PUNTA CARDON, AS THEY THOUGHT IT WOULD LOOK GOOD IN THE BAR. I WOULD ALSO LIKE THOSE WHO BARED THEIR BUMS TO SOME YOUNG LADIES IN THE SAN MIGUEL LOCK TO PLEASE EXPLAIN ONCE AGAIN WHY THIS WAS NECESSARY. THESE ARE MEMORIES I TREASURE - THANKYOU FOR CREATING THEM.
I EMIGRATED WITH BRENDA TO NZ IN 1996, AND SPENT 8 YEARS TRADING AROUND THE COAST ON THE NZ PRODUCT TANKER 'TAIKO'. I RETIRED IN 2004, AND AGAIN 2006, THEN GAVE UP RETIRING AS WORK AS A CONSULTANT TO VARIOUS PARTIES WAS OFFERED. AT PRESENT, I AM WORKING AS ISM CO-ORDINATOR FOR THE BUNKER TANKER 'AWANUIA', MANAGED BY PBSEA-TOW (NZ)LTD AND CHARTERED BY - YES, YOU HAVE GUESSED - SHELL.
IF VISITING NZ, ALL OPALITES ARE WELCOME. JP

04/11/2009 - 20:31 Gordon Wright

Opalia was a sort of 'Marmite' ship for Deck Cadets: you could love it or hate it (and sometimes both almost at the same time). It engendered such a fabulous camaraderie between the cadets on board that it provided possibly the best time of my cadetship. At the same time, the cadets were treated so badly by the 'management' of the ship that unhappiness was rife! (By management, I'm not necessarily referring to individuals so much as to the systems that existed for managing and working the cadets, though occasionally the inconsiderate or even arrogant behaviour of certain officers did make life worse.)
I learned a lot during my two trips on Opalia, though not entirely because of the 'training ship' tag. I learned that I found it rather hairy hanging over the bows on a stage painting the name when we were lightship and therefore a fair distance above the briny! I learned that chipping rust is pretty boring. I learned that digging the sediment out of bloody great cargo tanks using nothing more than a hand shovel when you are in the Caribbean causes you to sweat profusely. I learned that TJP gets very thick if the heating coils fail! I learned that if you 'drop' an anchor while going 'slow astern' and the windlass brakes are useless, there will be a good chance of losing the anchor!
All in all, though, with the mists of time hiding the worst excesses of Uncle Joe's bullshit from my eyes, I look back on Opalia with great fondness. She was physically a beautiful ship (or so I thought, and still do) and it's a shame such ships are no longer gracing the sea.