I just finished reading this. While the merchent marine is very different from the Navy in some respects, there was quite a bit in this article that brought back some memories. Especially regarding the "special treatment" of Cherry Boys!
This landlubber wanted to say that I completely enjoyed this well written article. Laughed outloud on several occasions. Thank you for sharing it.
I think Knucklehead's descendant is employed at the local gas station out here....
For some reason "Flats the Flounder" came to mind while reading about him... Too much Sponge Bob square pants I'm afraid.
As an ex MN AB and R/O your article brought back so many memories from my time at sea. I was quite a bit later than you, mid sixties on deck and mid seventies when I finished my R/O's course. Ok, the ships were better, but the officers and crew were just the same, the attitude and the humour were exactly the same, as was the treatment of "cherry boys".
We were in Singapore on one occasion and I think it was Boogie Street we were in, loads of drunken people about (including us!), anyway we were having another "frog and toad" (one for the road) about the 5th or 6th, as usual, when our 3rd Eng heard some German sailors on a nearby table. Well this guy was from Liverpool and Scousers and tact are 2 words that should never be in the same sentence, he started making comments about the war and the world cup win in 66 - all Hell broke loose and people were scattering in all directions and we all got split up. Everyone made it back to the ship ok, but one gadget (Cadet) had picked up a "GIRL" and sneaked her aboard. The "GIRL" was a KayTy (sp!!!)and this gadget had been warned about them but had taken no notice. The first we knew about it was when the shouts started in the alleyway and this GIRL was seen running down the stairway with only his pants on followed by the gadget with a 2 pound hammer in his hand. We managed to hold on to him (the gadget that is and all we could get out of him was something about a handful of nuts and bolts,- never quite understood that myself (NOT).
Shows things hadn't changed much David. Again thanks for a very entertaining and for the landlubbers, an informative article.
Many thanks one and all for your comments on my second trip to sea of which I had hoped had portrayed just an outline of the way things were at the time.
There was never any effort by shipping company's to make life a little more pleasant mainly because, they had us by ''the short and curly's'' in those days.
In other words, as it was the period of the ''call up'', it was the sea life or two years national service and they played on that to the extreme. A seaman in those days had this threat hanging over his head until the age of 26 when he was then free to leave the MN and take up a shore job.
I can remember the crew on the Queen Mary going on strike and threatened with national service by the government if they didn't return to work before sailing day.
It's quite amazing how much comes back to you when you sit down with some notes and cast your mind back.
I hope some of you enjoyed it as much as I did putting it together.