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Old 3rd May 2017, 17:40
Shelterdeck Shelterdeck is offline
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Product Carrier Algol - 1977

I stood by this one for three months during the final stages of building at Cammell Laird's, Birkenhead in 1977. Then sailed in her for six months - mainly lightering of Galveston Texas. I finished this drawing today for my latest book, From Good Hope to St. Helena.
Bob
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Old 3rd May 2017, 18:54
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BobClay United Kingdom BobClay is offline
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I worked a few product carriers with CP Ships and quite liked them. They visit places crude carriers never go so were much more interesting. I did six months plodding around the Venezuelan coast and up and down the Orinoco River at one time which was most enjoyable.
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Last edited by BobClay; 3rd May 2017 at 18:58.
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Old 3rd May 2017, 19:35
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Pat Kennedy Pat Kennedy is offline
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Originally Posted by Shelterdeck View Post
I stood by this one for three months during the final stages of building at Cammell Laird's, Birkenhead in 1977. Then sailed in her for six months - mainly lightering of Galveston Texas. I finished this drawing today for my latest book, From Good Hope to St. Helena.
Bob
I worked on her in Cammell Lairds Bob.
I was driver of the fifty ton crane at No 1 drydock when Algol was brought round from the basin for some work on the rudder. Funny thing, I was reading some book or other at the time which informed me that "Algol" was the name of a star, and it was Arabic for "Demon Star". Consequently I took a totally irrational dislike to this ship!
Regards,
Pat
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Old 3rd May 2017, 20:09
Shelterdeck Shelterdeck is offline
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Bob & Pat,
She was pretty awful to sail in. Reason was that we spent six months lightering at Galveston Bar. Taking 55,000 tons of crude a time from VLCCs and taking it up to Houston, then back out for more. We heard the name roughly translated meant "Eye of the Evil One!" Only got ashore for two or three hours once in the whole six months and that was because a boiler explosion in Houston put us in a backwater for ten days for repair. Eventually, after I left, she had a serious fire, with two fatalities. Repaired and had a number of names, final one being Titan Mercury. Scrapped in 2004. Company asked me if I wanted to go back to Laird's for the next one, Alvega, but I declined and asked for brand new general cargo ship Silveravon, just coming out of building yard in Hiroshima. Spent a year in her, but we got renamed Bandama shortly after I joined. Mediterranean ports to Abidjan, West Africa. Out with general cargo, to load logs and bagged coffee beans in Abidjan and San Pedro then back to Med for discharge of logs at various ports before loading general in Marseilles. Hardly ever at sea About two weeks discharging and loading in Med, then 5 weeks in Abidjan, followed by a couple of weeks in San Pedro. Quite liked it, but left when I was offered employment in RMS St. Helena, where I remained for 13 years!
Bob

Last edited by Shelterdeck; 3rd May 2017 at 20:15. Reason: Spelling mistake
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Old 3rd May 2017, 20:38
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BobClay United Kingdom BobClay is offline
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Originally Posted by Pat Kennedy View Post
I worked on her in Cammell Lairds Bob.
I was driver of the fifty ton crane at No 1 drydock when Algol was brought round from the basin for some work on the rudder. Funny thing, I was reading some book or other at the time which informed me that "Algol" was the name of a star, and it was Arabic for "Demon Star". Consequently I took a totally irrational dislike to this ship!
Regards,
Pat
Well Pat/Shelter I'm something of an astronomy/cosmology nerd and yes, you're quite right, Algol was known as the 'Demon Star.' However, the reason for this is that Algol appeared to 'wink' in the night sky, which back in the day, meant the best interpretation is that this was something evil.

Science however discovered that Algol is what is known as an eclipsing binary. Two stars rotating around each other, one much brighter than the other. Hence as one eclipses the other, the magnitude of the star dips quite appreciably than rises up again with a period of about 3 days. In fact there are three stars in this system, but the third tries to stay well out of it ...

So, no demon, a far more fantastic explanation given. If there are planets, they could have three suns !!! (That'd make building a Stonehenge seriously bloody complicated.)

Algol pretty much became the defining star of its class.

Of course, if it turns out some demon like aliens come from the Algol system and give us all a hard time, particularly looking at your stories ... don't come looking for me, I'll be deep in my alcoholic bunker .... :
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Old 3rd May 2017, 21:43
Shelterdeck Shelterdeck is offline
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Thanks for explanation Bob, I never knew that!
I would have been much happier there if we had been sailing all over the place, but lightering was awfully boring from a going ashore point of view. Very busy all day with VHF calls to agents. In practically every local traffic list every day. Couldn't open windows as they were bolted shut and the A/C was always failing because the gas pipes crossed an expansion joint and kept cracking, so that although the A/C machinery was OK, we kept losing the gas! It was like a furnace inside most of the time. Best accommodation I ever had though. Through sheer boredom I kept all the ALRS books fully corrected and looked forward to more coming. Safety rules drove me mad as well. I wasn't allowed to use a soldering iron when we were pumping in case the ship blew up, but I was kept busy for hours on end sending HF messages on W/T when we were pumping alongside VLCCs, but not allowed to send private traffic in case we blew up. Could only conclude that it was OK for us to be blown up on company business, but not for the odd Pdh or SLT! Designated smoking area was officers smokeroom with door opening out on deck where the air was often blue with oil fumes outside the door. So, they were all in there smoking, and I could not even use a soldering iron in an enclosed radio room or bridge - Flexirules - Ugh! Couldn't get off quick enough, but was stuck there for 6 months!
Bob
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Old 4th May 2017, 20:09
borderreiver borderreiver is offline
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Was mate on her at one time.
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