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Deck Hand

I rejoined the Merchant navy as a Deck Hand in 1973, and after a week and a bit of Sea School in St Katherines Dock, signed on the P&O liner SS Oronsay in Southampton, sailing August 8th bound for Sydney.

Oronsay took us across to Florida, through the Caribbean and Panama Canal, up to Mexico, California and Canada, and then across the Pacific Ocean to New Zealand & Australia. 

After 5 months of cruising the Pacific & the Far East, we were flown home on Jan 30th 1974, courtesy of a clapped out Freddy Laker 707 (losing a bit of the wing on Darwin approach and then flying on without it).

Six weeks later, a brand new Qantas 747 had me back in Sydney to join Shaw Savill's SS Ocean Monarch. We did a couple of cruises, before bring her back to Southampton for the UK summer season.

At that time I signed off to take my EDH (Efficient Deckhand Certificate) and on passing, signed up for a 3 week trip aboard the SS Northern Star. To be honest, she was not my cup of tea and so paid off and rejoined the Ocean Monarch.

Autumn saw Ocean Monarch heading back out to Sydney for the 74/75 season. We had 6 months of Pacific cruising before sailing Sydney on the 26th of April back to the UK.

Unfortunately it was to be the 'Maniac's' last trip as the poor old girl, having had many mechanical failures over the previous months, was long past her 'sell by date'. Ocean Monarch was sold for scrap and sailed Southampton on the 13th of June, bound for the breakers in Taiwan

I had been a bad boy on that trip and after appearing before a 'committee' at Prescot Street, I was pronounced 'unsuitable for passenger ships' (I had a good time fraternising with passengers) and awarded a 99 year ban from Shaw Savill (eat ya heart out S.S, think I out lived you lol - #;0)

A couple of years had me on cargo boats running down West Africa, and bit UK 'rock dodging', before calling it a day and heading back ashore.

Ports Visited:

EUROPE

PACIFIC

AFRICA

FAR EAST

ATLANTIC

NORTH AMERICA

Hamburg

Honolulu

Casablanca

Singapore

Tenerife

Vancouver

Bremerhaven

Tahiti

Tangiers

Hong Kong

Las Palmas

Quebec

Antwerp

Kota Kinabalu

Tunis

Yokohama

Madera

Los Angeles

Rotterdam

Djakarta

Freetown

Kobi

Lanzarote

San Francisco

Amsterdam

Suva

Tema

Nagasaki

St Helena

Port everglades

Le Havre

Nukualofa

Takoradi

Ponta Delgado

Lautoka

Apappa

AUSTRALASIA

WEST INDIES

SOUTH AMERICA

Ceuta

Roratonga

Douala

Cairns

Bermuda

Acapulco

Cadiz

Numea

Lagos

Newcastle

Nassau

Cristobal

La Corunna

Vila

Luanda

Sydney

Barbados

Balboa

Santander

Honiara

Port Harcourt

Brisbane

Curacao

Malaga

Vavau

Bathurst

Auckland

Trinidad

Agadir

Savu Savu

Lome

Wellington

Gibraltar

Apia

Cape town

 

Venice

Pago Pago

Durban

 

Malta

Bali

Athens

Istanbul

Izmir

 FOOTNOTE

  Oronsay was officialy delivered to the Orient Line at Tilbury, Essex on the 3rd of May 1951 where she took on passengers for her maiden voyage.

On the same day just 15 miles away I was born in Oldchurch Hopsital Romford and 23 years later I signed on for a & month voyage but only discovered the connection years later whilst browsing the net.

 

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