The New Age of Passenger Liners

Erik Wood

Member
Apr 10, 2001
3,519
4
168
Good Afternoon all,

I thought seeing as we have discussed voyages and past ships that it might be fitting to make a forum where we can discuss the industry and experiences we have all had on the vast oceans on those wonderful floating box we call ships. I have alot of stories I could tell and I know that most of you do too. I would also like to bring out the major and I do repeat MAJOR differences between old steam and the new ships of today. Just thought that we could all learn from each other and have some more fun.

Erik
 
May 9, 2001
741
2
146
Erik,

Oh man, am I tuned into this thread.
I could sit and listen to you and Michael Standart, and all the others salts, swap sea stories all day.
Go for it.

Yuri Singleton
(sitting on the front row with a tub of popcorn)
 

Erik Wood

Member
Apr 10, 2001
3,519
4
168
Hey,

I (Erik hands Yuri a nice big tub of something to drink to go along with the popcorn) too can't wait to get some more peoples ideas and thoughts about travel on the high sea.

Erik
 
Dec 2, 2000
58,582
373
283
Easley South Carolina
Yuri, like my chum the executioner said;" Be careful what ye AXE fer. Ye may GET it!"
proud.gif


Seriously, I could probably spin a yarn or two...dozen. What would you like to know?

As to the differences between old steam and the ships of today, where do we begin?

Cordially,
Michael H. Standart
 

Erik Wood

Member
Apr 10, 2001
3,519
4
168
Hello All,

Well I hate to admit this but I am old fashioned althougth I will admit that I love steam. I love the clang of engine order telegraphs. The new diesel system in my mind takes away from the nastalgia of sea travel. There is just a different kind of romance I guess plus we have the unforgetable smell of Bunker C #6 fuel burning that is always a nice smell. But like I said I think with the end of steam came really the end of superior service on the high seas.

Erik
 
Dec 2, 2000
58,582
373
283
Easley South Carolina
Thanks Yuri, this one I bookmarked. Some interesting points I saw at a glance;The problem of piracy for one. I've seen the odd write up on this in U. S. Naval Institute Proceedings, but for all of it's savagry, it gets virtually no press except in maritime circles. Another hotspot for piracy is the Phillipine Archipeligo. The Straits of Malacca and the coast of Brazil I already know about. These guys typically operate out of small boats, they are very well armed, and it doesn't mean anything to them to kill somebody.

Ships to avoid traveling on: stay away from ships carrying livestock...uh...unless you like the smell of a stockyard.

Cordially,
Michael H. Standart
 

Erik Wood

Member
Apr 10, 2001
3,519
4
168
Good Afternoon,

You know piracy is something that i have had very little contact with thank goodness. But we get reports of tankers and such being robbed in the middle east and places like that. Cruise ships I think as a rule have armed guards that far east most stopped traveling the Suez after all this stuff between Isreal and Palastine broke out. Hmm, Piracy that could lead to a whole nother story. You know I miss the age of steam far to much perhaps all this new fangled lifestyles is getting to me and I just don't want to come to terms with the end of a fun era.

Erik
 
Dec 2, 2000
58,582
373
283
Easley South Carolina
I can think of one overwhelmingly good reason why freighters are frequently targeted by pirates; they're much easier pickings. The ships are large with very small crews and are very difficult to patrol, so it's easy enough for a few armed men to slip aboard...especially in confined waters such as a canal, or the Straits of Malacca. By the time anyone realises something is way wrong, the bad guys are already in control of anything that needs to be controlled. Cargos are reletively easy to dispose of too. Sometimes, so are the ships.

Cordially,
Michael H. Standart
 

Erik Wood

Member
Apr 10, 2001
3,519
4
168
Michael,

I would have to agree but I do recall a passenger ship being hijacked some time ago maybe in the 70's. Freight ships you would think wouldn't have all that much to take except maybe food. Maybe some money belonging to the crew but no mass amounts of money as on cruise ships. We recieve hot flashes over or satellite system when a cruise ship suspects that they are being followed or anything like that or if anything funky that might lead to priacy occurs. There is strengh in numbers so they say plus it lets other captains know to avoid the situation or locatoin or just be more alert.

Erik
 
Dec 2, 2000
1,513
1
168
So, is this akin to an ice warning kinda thing? And do your Marconi operators take all pirate warnings to the bridge or only the ones earmarked for their attention and do the Marconi men work for the cruiseship company or themselves? (Giggles!)

This could be a play for Cookster....Tom Cruise would play Erik the Confident Captain and Pat could be Sean Connery the sly pirate who takes Shelley's pearls.

Hey, I didn;t ever say that I was good that this sort of thing.
Maureen.
Sorry about that guys, continue.
 
May 9, 2001
741
2
146
Has anyone ever been on a ship of any type where there was an evacuation or sinking? What happened, and why? What insight does it give you when thinking about what happened on Titanic?

Yuri
 
Dec 2, 2000
58,582
373
283
Easley South Carolina
Hi Erik, good news bad news time; the good news being that passanger vessels are rarely hijacked. This much you already know, however. The bad news is that when they are hijacked, it's usually by terrorists vis a vis the Achille Lauro. Those escapades get rather ugly to say the least. Ask the poor chap in the wheelchair that they pitced overboard.(Better bring your Oujii Board when you do it. The poor bloke is a little bit dead.)

Yuri, I never had to abandon ship for real...and I'm damned glad of it. I've drilled at it plenty of times and just mustering the crew can be a time consuming excercise. One probably doomed to failure as every abandon ship drill I took part in assumed battle damage or a conflagration and plenty of casualties. The lifevests we had to wear were the inflatable type and the flashlights didn't always work. Sometimes the CO2 cartridges were missing as well. That green dye marker was always there, but it wasn't the sort of thing you wanted to use if you didn't have to. That stuff was frequently referred to as "shark attractant."

The drill is that the crew is mustered at the stations where the liferafts would be (Graciously assuming they haven't been blown away by shell or missile fire), muster would be taken, the liferafts would be launched to be inflated in the water, the crew wouyld jump feet first over the side and clinb onto the rafts. The last people to leave the ship would be those charged with destrying classified documents/equipment, and also the really lucky blokes who had to OPEN watertight fittings to make sure the ship would sink. (Can't have it falling into enemy hands). I always wondered how I missed being picked for that detail, but I kept my mouth shut for obvious reasons.

The last time I did this was on the USS George Washington (CVN-73) just as we were about to complete a yearlong overhaul. The commander who was running this cluster flop was so inept in the way he managed the whole thing that it didn't inspire confidence. If we had been obliged to do it for real, we would have jumped overboard AFTER the ship sank because he took so long.

Not that I would have waited. When sharks are swimming in the hanger deck looking for a free lunch, it's time to leave...and I would have!

Cordially,
Michael H. Standart
 
Dec 4, 2000
3,226
476
213
There is a famous story about a French crew that abandoned ship too quickly. They put off in a lifeboat. A while later, their ship steamed up, heading straight for them. I'm guessing they got that lifeboat on a plane as they pulled their oars to escape destruction. The ship circled a couple of times before the crew was able to get back aboard. Apparently, they had let off boiler steam, but not pulled the fires. The ship built up pressure again and began making way. Somebody left the throttle open on the engine. Don't recall why they abandoned in the first place.

A couple of years ago, I talked to a guy who fell out of an open boat. The outboard motor kept the boat circling the unfortunate victim until somebody in another boat caught it. The fellow told me that he wasn't so much afraid of dying as he was of looking foolish.

--David G. Brown
 

Erik Wood

Member
Apr 10, 2001
3,519
4
168
Terrorism in any way shape or form is a very serious offense. Much like an airport if you joke that you have a bomb on board you are immiedalty arrested the Coast Guard is called the ship is brought to all stop and the crew does a cabin by cabin deck by deck inspection of the whole ship. Never happened to me but it has happened to some. As for abandoning ship I have done a partial once. At the time I was Third Officer on the Tropicale lets see if I remeber (scratching his chin) oh yes back in about the late 80's. We had run aground off the coast of Califonia I believe it may be the other coast but the Captain decided to be safe we would abandon ship seeing as land was only 2 miles away. About half way through the company told him not to. That very rarely happens that the company will over rule the Captains orders. I was put in charge of keeping order on the starboard side. Now the carnival ships are very box like and do not accomadate to abandonment very well. We were using the big ferrying tenders seeing as the ship was in no immiedate danger but keeping order became somewhat of a problem. You would think that Women and Children First would reign but it didn't. Families were aloud to go together on most occasions but some got seperated and somebody would scream that they were going to die and then older folks would start to panic pushing and shoving would insue for a short while until I would yell at them brandish my night stick and the other Officers and crew who had been assigned to me would assist in subdoing the problem it only happended a couple of times. Unlike back then though we had four or five different scenarios would could have used depending on the problem. Most are written in the Captains Standing orders somewhere. I do agree with Michael that I am glad I have never been forced with having to abandon ship and have it sink on me. I have done it before but only as a precaution.

In my opinion it really shows that time are talking about if you think on it. There was order and the officers word was law. Law that the crew followed for the most part. The crew showed dedication and the passengers showed restraint and the desire for there wifes and children to survive. Just a little side note. You wouldn't find that now. Everybody would try to leave at the same time whether the ship was foundering quickly or not.

David I heard of the story about the motor boat but the steam story I have never heard that is a good one.

Erik
 
Dec 4, 2000
3,226
476
213
Erik--

Your tale of semi-abandoning ship is harrowing enough to make me want to take up an oar and walk inland far enough that somebody asks, "what's that funny stick?"

-- David G. Brown
 

Erik Wood

Member
Apr 10, 2001
3,519
4
168
Tell me about it,

I felt moronic for telling those on the boat deck in the main entrance way to go back to there cabins and trying to explain that it was only a precaution that the Captain decided to end. I felt odd as did the Chief Officer who was responsible for the removal of the passengers.

Erik
 
Dec 2, 2000
58,582
373
283
Easley South Carolina
Erik, just out of curiosity, what ever happened to the Captain of the Tropicale? Running aground is known to be rather embarrassing and has even been known to trash some careers.

Cordially,
Michael H. Standart
 
B

Bill DeSena

Guest
While were telling sea stories.... On the USS Ranger there was a 'man overboard' alarm sounded one day and that caused a full muster roll call to determine who was missing. The ship was paralyzed for about 30 minutes while this went on and the only person not accounted for was yours trully! I had been on an inventory working party in one of the storerooms where we kept sundries for the ship's store and didn't hear the announcement for all hands to report to their mustering locations. I just kept counting soap and shaving cream boxes. Luckily, just when my division officer was about to confirm that I was the missing man someone remembered where I was and came and got me before it got more serious. The PA system in the storeroom got some repairs after that.

Regards
Bill
 
Dec 2, 2000
58,582
373
283
Easley South Carolina
Oh brother! Was that one of the old bombtail storerooms next to the main store and the Rangercove? I remember that the 1-MC didn't always work properly when I was on the ship.

They didn't work all that well in any of the soda storerooms either.

Cordially,
Michael H. Standart