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Old 15th April 2017, 10:56
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Hawkey01 Hawkey01 is offline
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A 1960's tramp ship voyage.


Owner; Stephenson Clarke.

8999.27 Grt 4986.58 Nrt. 12830 Dwt.
Off Number 302819.
B.H.P 6640.
Radio Callsign GHQT.
Radio Station MIMCO Marconi.


I joined the ship on the 8th October 1965 in Ellesmere Port for a coastal trip. She had just returned from a 12 plus month trip. Arrived from I seem to recall Dalhousie in Canada, loaded with paper and timber.

After Ellesmere we headed out to Ijmuiden to discharge timber and paper at a large paper mill. We were entertained by one of the Engineers from the plant and given a tour around the mill. Also we were taken to Amsterdam and entertained in various clubs. At this time it was discovered that the ship had lost a large number of plates from her rudder and there was not much left to steer the ship. Amazing she made the run back over the Atlantic. We were taken to DD and the rudder was re-plated. Interesting experience as it was a floating dock. From there we went to Antwerp, Rouen and then back to Sunderland. I signed off on the 29th October 1965. At this time I had decided that I would like to take the ship deep-sea. Marconi were delighted as they
did not have to worry about finding a replacement RO. So I was on leave again and headed home for a few days. Re-signed articles on the 11th November 1965. At this time we were in DD in Sunderland.
Unfortunately I did not keep a dairy so I cannot give dates when we arrived or sailed from the ports but we did have a lot of port time as was normal then.

Sailed light ship from Sunderland into a full North Sea gale which was not ideal on the ship, as light she had practically no fore draft as she was all aft and tended to ride deep astern and nearly have the bow out of the water. Great for pounding. However in the whole trip we were only light for a couple of sea passages.
It was so rough that we took the pilot round to Dover.

We were bound for New Orleans to load grain on a World Food charter for discharge somewhere out east. At that time the destination was unknown but if turned out it was India.
Loaded full cargo New Orleans and headed across the Atlantic for Suez and on to Visakhapatnam and Calcutta.
Back loaded in Calcutta with part cargo of coal and departed for Kakinada to complete with Iron Ore.
Kakinada - Singapore for bunkers to Japan.
Yokohama - discharged then we were fortunate and our next charter was a Mitsui OSK general cargo - round the world trip.
Loaded at many ports in Japan the order of which has left me but it was probably something like this.
Possibly another which has slipped my mind.
Tanjong Mani/Sarawak Sejingkat/Kuching Timber.
Port Sudan
New York
New Orleans
Lake Charles
Port Arthur
Japan various discharge ports.

Japan - Noumea New Caledonia to load Nickel ore for Japan.
Takayama Hit by a typhoon here but we were too late to sail so had every wire rope and the ships cat out to hopefully keep the ship safe. Luckily all went OK.

Japan to BC light ship luckily with a following sea so we flew across.
Port New Westminster Canada
Port Moody Sulphur, part cargo.
Port Alberni

All the BC ports other then Port Moody were timber in various forms. Full deck cargo of timber. Really just a giant match stick.


I signed off 24th November 1966.

Marconi wanted me to take the ship out again after discharge but I declined. I wish I had but at the time I thought otherwise.

Now they complain about a few months!
Sorry I cannot remember the dates we arrived our left these ports but we certainly had lots of port time. Cargoes as I remember them.

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Old 18th April 2017, 02:00
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a great deal of memories there for you. Me?...I was only a rock dodger who regrets never going deep sea.
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Old 10th May 2017, 13:21
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Not commonly thought of as trampers, even by me at the time, but the BP product carriers were, in their own way, tramping.
One never quite knew where one was heading. Cargoes or parcels, were usually loaded with a destination in mind, but these were often changed.
As an example, joined one in Rotterdam, a parcel for Portland, then one for Swansea, then headed south calling at Nigeria, Singapore, Bankok, Singapore, down to the Australian coast, then on to NZ, back to Singapore. And so on. Back loading parcels or cargoes at various places and finally paying off in Aden. Something like that anyway.
As I said not true tramping, but never knowing quite where the next port, country or even continent would be. All interesting and good fun.
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Old 29th October 2017, 22:22
bubba bubba is offline
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Originally Posted by billyboy View Post
a great deal of memories there for you. Me?...I was only a rock dodger who regrets never going deep sea.
i suppose i was a deep sea man but the strange thing for me was i only sailed on 2 coasters (hawick) and (vauban) and looking back they were brill enjoyed both very much Only went on them to keep Reg in kg 5 pool happy good memories
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Old 30th October 2017, 00:28
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Doesn't seem like there's much chance of doing trips like that anymore. You have to wonder what all those ex-seafarers who become story tellers would have made of modern shipping. Not a lot to inspire a good yarn.

I suspect most on here like me caught the best end of our seafaring tradition before it became the absolute fodder of the bean counter and the spread sheet, which pretty much meant it disappeared as a home born skill.

Well when space travel needs cargo shifting maybe a bit of adventure will come back into the job, after all, you'll kip most of the way there and most of the way back, and just hope you don't encounter something a 'bit off' on the way (but if you do, it'll make a good yarn to tell.)

"I say we take off, nuke the site from orbit. It's the only way to be sure."
Corporal Hicks
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Old 30th October 2017, 11:58
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erimus United Kingdom erimus is offline
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Enjoyed that tale of your trips,thanks.

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Old 31st October 2017, 07:06
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Tom Alexander Canada Tom Alexander is offline
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Not tramping in the true sense of the word as we always carried the same cargo --- iron ore. 8 months on the Sagamore and I believe in the UK 14 times in those 8 months and never had time to get home once. Never knew (at least I didn't) where we were going to go from one trip to the next. Seven Islands, Wabana, Pittsburgh, Birkenhead, Casablanca, Bone, La Goulette, Monrovia, Oxelesund, Narvik, South Shields. Great ship and great crew, though.
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