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Author Topic: Nautical "Strange but True!"  (Read 137666 times)

Roger in France

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Re: Nautical "Strange but True!"
« Reply #250 on: March 13, 2009, 06:34:01 AM »

Bryan,

Your description of the "Chinook episode" was scary enough but that photograph is staggering! Surely there has to be a less hazardous loading method?

I continue to enjoy your reminiscences.

Roger in France
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MikeK

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Re: Nautical "Strange but True!"
« Reply #251 on: March 13, 2009, 07:34:04 AM »

Thanks for the memory stirrer Bryan, that street was unique in the world !
Continue to enjoy your very entertaining reminiscences
Mike
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Dave Buckingham

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Re: Nautical "Strange but True!"
« Reply #252 on: March 13, 2009, 08:11:42 AM »

Brings back a few good memories of the GOOD old days.

Most of the world has been whitewashed since then

I remember the US helicopter cavalry in Vietnam flying between our masts and circling them on a tanker l
loaded with aviation fuel and petrol (Sorry combat grade mogas)

Dave
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BarryM

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Re: Nautical "Strange but True!"
« Reply #253 on: March 13, 2009, 08:30:03 AM »

Bryan,

Your description of the "Chinook episode" was scary enough but that photograph is staggering!

Roger in France

Roger, Exactly which photo were you staggered by?  %)

Bryan, On reflection it's probably just as well that the picture of the street is too indistinct to make out faces; could cause problems with various SWMBO's. Think I'll keep my photos under cover.
 :-))

Barry M
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Roger in France

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Re: Nautical "Strange but True!"
« Reply #254 on: March 13, 2009, 01:39:32 PM »

Barry M,

Street bars don't really do it for me and a fine pair of long legs are all very well but that probably means they can run too fast for me these days!

Roger in France
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MikeK

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Re: Nautical "Strange but True!"
« Reply #255 on: March 13, 2009, 02:12:14 PM »

Roger, you do realise that the long legs belong to bloke's ? that's what Bugis Street was all about !

Mike
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Roger in France

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Re: Nautical "Strange but True!"
« Reply #256 on: March 13, 2009, 02:23:36 PM »

You mean they are all Drag Queens? Oh dear how embarassing that I could not tell!

Roger in France   :embarrassed:
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Bryan Young

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Re: Nautical "Strange but True!"
« Reply #257 on: March 13, 2009, 04:32:30 PM »

Roger, I thought you would be too elderly to be embarrassed! I would have mentioned the "orientation" but then wondered both who would fall for it and who would "tell it as it was". Good for a giggle! Actually the majority of the "girls" were very nice blokes. Believe it or not, at least one of the beauties in the pic was a welder in Sembawang shipyard. That pic was taken in the late 1960s, way before cosmetic surgery became the "in-thing". I guess they were just born that way. Bugis Street (Haven't a clue where the name came from) was always a "must go there" street. Quite short, only a hundred yards or so, but very safe, very boisterous, very entertaining, great food (always washed down with either straight "Tiger" of "Tiger Tops" (for the wimps). Then you got a rickshaw to take you to somewhere else (like Raffles, or the ANZAC NAAFI....or the "Intercontinental" where the air stewardesses stayed). The Rickshaw "drivers" were invariably very small, very old (probably about 30 or so) and very strong. Good job Singapore is pretty flat though. Many was the time when we used to take "pity" on the driver and put him in the passenger seat and pull him along ....and then paid him for the privelege! Funny stuff is "Tiger" beer. Bryan Yong.
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Bryan Young

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Re: Nautical "Strange but True!"
« Reply #258 on: March 13, 2009, 04:46:42 PM »

Bryan,

Your description of the "Chinook episode" was scary enough but that photograph is staggering! Surely there has to be a less hazardous loading method?

I continue to enjoy your reminiscences.

Roger in France
That sort of loading or discharging is what a "Vertrep" is all about. Although more expensive than a standard "RAS" there are times when the sea is just too rough to do a "solids" RAS. At least at Ascension the sea was calm. In really bad weather even a Vertrep can be hazardous. Although the aircraft may be stable, the ship underneath it could be dancing around all over the place, so at the moment of lift or drop the load (about a ton) would tend to skitter all around the deck until the whole weight was either on the deck or in the air. RFAs tend to be quite large, but Frigates etc. tend to be pretty small and bounce around quite violently, which makes things even more dodgy. And that is why you need a fully trained and "aware" flight deck team. As I said earlier (re Ascension), my biggest worry was the lack of proper training for working with aircraft. BY.
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BarryM

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Re: Nautical "Strange but True!"
« Reply #259 on: March 13, 2009, 05:02:41 PM »

Bryan,

You must be the only posh Geordie I know.  :P  We never wore cummerbunds and so weren't allowed in Raffles while the Intercontinental (air hostesses or not) and the ANZAC NAAFI were for wimps, Shaw Swivellers and the like. We started off at Connell House or the Cellar Bar and then via Toby's, the Paradiso, Bugis Street, the Market, Pedicab races and sundry other places and activities probably now shut down on grounds of public health and morality continued on our downward slope. The really determined (usually Blue Flue types) did not consider they had had a good night unless they woke up in a monsoon ditch.

Tiger beer never tastes the same back here and the Kelong Bar's Nasi Goreng lingers still in the memory - so does a case of the Bugis Street Belly which confined me to the Great White Telephone for some time.

If you had the good fortune to be waiting some days to join a ship or waiting for the weekly flight home, it was close to heaven.  %)

Now I understand it's all sanitised and tourist-friendly and Change Alley is a mere imitation of the real thing. I believe it's called "Progress".

Cheers,

Barry M
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MikeK

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Re: Nautical "Strange but True!"
« Reply #260 on: March 13, 2009, 05:12:33 PM »

I was two rickshaws behind you Barry  :D

Mike
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Bryan Young

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Re: Nautical "Strange but True!"
« Reply #261 on: March 13, 2009, 05:35:46 PM »

Once had 2 weeks staying in the "Cockpit" while waiting for "Recorder" to come in. Ran up quite a bill, but C&W paid up for it! BY.
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BarryM

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Re: Nautical "Strange but True!"
« Reply #262 on: March 13, 2009, 09:17:07 PM »

Must have been the cost of drinks for all those air hostesses?   %)

Cheers,

Barry M
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Bryan Young

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Re: Nautical "Strange but True!"
« Reply #263 on: March 13, 2009, 10:11:05 PM »

Must have been the cost of drinks for all those air hostesses?   %)

Cheers,

Barry M
I plead the 5th ammendment!
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Bob

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Re: Nautical "Strange but True!"
« Reply #264 on: March 13, 2009, 11:32:27 PM »

Amazing what a few years "progress" will do. Bugie Street, not the way I remember it. Do you see the guy with the tie?
Railway station for a quick starter, Connell House to post the mail, Cellar Bar for orders, Change Alley to replenish, Regent Street for a feed then Bugie St and beyond.....
Turn too 0600 tomorrow, a unit to do (job and finish) before lunch tomorrow then away again.
Last night before sailing the market stalls outside the dock gates to get rid of all the small cash bludged from those who couldn't get ashore. ( Couldn't have used it all, found a saltbag full of "shrapnel" when ferreting around in the garage cupboard looking for a peice for the model yesterday)
Its not like that anymore......I'm sure we had the best years
Bob
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BarryM

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Re: Nautical "Strange but True!"
« Reply #265 on: March 14, 2009, 08:52:41 AM »

Guy with a tie? - That must have been Bryan!  %)
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Bryan Young

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Re: Nautical "Strange but True!"
« Reply #266 on: March 14, 2009, 04:21:32 PM »

A tie? In Singapore? Really! Only the Rodneys wore ties. Also nothing looks more ridiculous than a rat-assed Rodney still wearing his tie! I always remember a sort of human Commanders definition of "a good run ashore" (Singapore)..."Wear your best "Toothy Wong" suit, get legless, have your suit torn and then fall into a monsoon drain". At least we didn't wear a suit, and to maintain dignity a plodge along the drain (about 3' deep when empty) saved the hassle of actually falling into the thing. Apart from that, it was a pretty sure route home when you learned the directions. It wasn't all "posh", Anson Road held many delights....but it was always nice to "ring the changes". Almost a coastal trip for you Bob!  Cheers. BY.
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Bryan Young

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Re: Nautical "Strange but True!"
« Reply #267 on: March 14, 2009, 05:29:03 PM »

Anyway, the delights of Bugis Street were not in my mind as we approached Stanley Sound. For those of you who access "Google Earth" this is a doddle, but for those without I'll sort of explain the layout.
The reason the Islanders are known as "Kelpers" (didn't know that? Shame on you) is because of the huge kelp forests surrounding the islands. And I use the term "forest" with good reason. You may think you have a "weed problem" in your local boating lake, but this stuff has trunks as thick as telegraph poles. Underwater trees. Probably do to a full size ship what a bit of weed does to your model. Great for the marine life though. Stanley Sound is really one of a pair, the other just around the corner to the North is Berkely Sound. Another good anchorage....well used by fish-factory ships these days, but more on that another time. Stanley Sound has another "inlet" that leads to the town and harbour of Port Stanley. This inlet has a fairly narrow entrance and is not really usable by modern large ships, especially with a draught of 25' or more. But that doesn't matter as the "port" facilities are basically non-existent...that is, there is nowhere to tie up to. At least there wasn't in 1982. So all the STUFTS anchored in the main Sound.
We were directed to "raft-up" alongside our sister ship Lycaon, so at least our arrival had been noticed this time. But nothing happened for a couple of days. No visitors, no nothing. Part of our cargo was 6 CSBs. (sorry, Roger, "Combat Support Boats"....not the "Courage Sparkling Beer" stuff, although we had that as well). These are pretty nippy things fitted with (I think) Ford V6 engines re-configured as water jets. So we "resurrected" one for "operational purposes". Naturally, everyone and his dog wanted a "run-ashore",..but not this time. Me, the 2/E and a couple of "deckies" went into Stanley to try and seek out the elusive "guiding light" who could tell us what was going on. Nobody had a clue. Although I did meet up with a team of smiling Gurkhas loaded down with crates of beer, who took me to meet their CO. He hadn't a clue either, but was just grateful for the respite. So we had a beer. He was pretty interested in our cargo and mused that he could have done with some of it a few weeks earlier. The loss of the "Atlantic Conveyor" must have been a dreadful blow. For what it's worth, I still feel that a few "small" ships are probably a better bet in a war than one socking big one...especially if it is poorly defended. So I went back to the ship and decided that another CSB should be brought to life to be used as a "jolly" boat. This was worth a few more Brownie Points, but as the boat could only take about 12 people max, it was more of a ferry service.
We had a couple of days of this before the powers that be realised that some of the assets they had been waiting for were already there and waiting to be collected. Then I got the visitors. Army, Navy and Air Force. All demanding priority.
Please don't get me wrong here. Before the "pen-pushers" arrived there was a fantastic esprit-de corps between all the services that I had never believed possible. Wonderful guys to work with and totally free of any inter-service rivalry. This period was probably the most satisfying period in all my time in the RFA.
I'm sorry for the (lack of) quality in the pics, but perhaps later ones will make up for that. Next time will be a more casual look at Stanley and a bit of the aftermath. Ta for reading. BY
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ronkh

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Re: Nautical "Strange but True!"
« Reply #268 on: March 14, 2009, 07:06:49 PM »

Bryan,
Absolutely fascinating. Please keep them coming and any chance you might write a book?
Brilliant stuff.

Ron.
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Bryan Young

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Re: Nautical "Strange but True!"
« Reply #269 on: March 14, 2009, 07:15:44 PM »

Bryan,
Absolutely fascinating. Please keep them coming and any chance you might write a book?
Brilliant stuff.

Ron.
Thanks Ron. But if you go back (both in time and my takes on the world) you will see that I have been asked this before. The answer is the same. No. I'm more than happy just writing for you lot, and perhaps give the "non-seafaring" members of this forum a little taste of what being "at sea" is about. Mind you, I sometimes find myself "all at sea" trying to cope with and understand the attitudes and behaviour of my fellow "citizens" these days.  Cheers. Bryan.
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Jimmy James

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Re: Nautical "Strange but True!"
« Reply #270 on: March 14, 2009, 09:03:31 PM »

Brian,
 you don't happen to have any Pix of Bugi street before they tarted it up do you? I killed many a Tiger there in the old days and dented a few Anchors to when i worked for The Grey Funnel Line, Ben Line, Hungrey Hogarths & Chatty Chapmans.
Most of your readers won't know that the Bugis were notorious Pirates, Thieves, Kidnappers and Assassins. Bugis street was the site of the old Bugis village and is the source of the old saying used to frighten children came from (Behave Or The Bugie Man Will Get You) Yep!! Years ago Old Sing Sing used to be a great run ashore ---- Now it one of the most civilised and safest Ports/ Cities in the world --- By the way the Sing Goverment have moved Bugis street about a mile inland and made a street market of it
But just around the corner is a shopping Mall and in it is a full size replca of a Bugis Raiding Ship.
Jimmy (Freebooter
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Bryan Young

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Re: Nautical "Strange but True!"
« Reply #271 on: March 15, 2009, 02:09:41 PM »

Brian,
 you don't happen to have any Pix of Bugi street before they tarted it up do you? I killed many a Tiger there in the old days and dented a few Anchors to when i worked for The Grey Funnel Line, Ben Line, Hungrey Hogarths & Chatty Chapmans.
Most of your readers won't know that the Bugis were notorious Pirates, Thieves, Kidnappers and Assassins. Bugis street was the site of the old Bugis village and is the source of the old saying used to frighten children came from (Behave Or The Bugie Man Will Get You) Yep!! Years ago Old Sing Sing used to be a great run ashore ---- Now it one of the most civilised and safest Ports/ Cities in the world --- By the way the Sing Goverment have moved Bugis street about a mile inland and made a street market of it
But just around the corner is a shopping Mall and in it is a full size replca of a Bugis Raiding Ship.
Jimmy (Freebooter
Sorry Jimmy, those were my only 2 pics. Thanks for the info on the street name. Learn something every day! When were you with the Ben Line? Cheers, BY.
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Bryan Young

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Re: Nautical "Strange but True!"
« Reply #272 on: March 16, 2009, 07:22:27 PM »

My first foray into Port Stanley really was a "fact finding" mission, not as a tourist. You must realise that at this time we were still (technically at least) in a state of conflict with Argentina. We would get many "Yellow Alerts" each day and every now and again a higher level one. So it wasn't all beer and skittles. It probably was to those who had done the actual fighting, but we had arrived as new-born babes and hadn't a clue...and nobody stirred their butt to give us any sort of briefing. Lessons were learned, as I found out years later in Croatia.
Everybody wanted to do an ET and "phone home". At that time "Marisat" was in its infancy, and was definetley not used for personal calls. Not like now where cabins are fitted with Internet connections. (I wonder how the security of a ship is held with that sort of access?). But times change. So. To "phone home" one had to endure a long, wet and not very pleasant boat trip to the local C&W station and stand in line for as long as it took. (ages). This is another station with a dish that points "the wrong way". Basically at the sea horizon. I think I mentioned earlier that the dish in Tromso actually points downwards....this is the other extreme. Except that it isn't. Port Stanley is at about the same latitude South as Leicester is North, about 55*. And that is about all that they have in common. (people in Leicestershire speaking a strange version of equally unfathomable Brummy). The midlands of England are generally quite benign, but at 55* south there isn't much of a land mass to disrupt the wind that thinks it should have a "red spot" and just circulates around the globe. Although in terms of mph the relative speed of the earths surface is less here than it is at the equator, the whole stretch is covered by water. Nothing to stop the wind (or the seas). Even as a "Navigator" I have never really understood the term "The Roaring Forties" (unless it was purely poetical). It really should be the "Fifties" or even "Sixties", 'cos thats where the serios wind is. A good example of this is any one of the few trees in the Falklands. They all bend to the east. A bit like Northumberland, then. But I digress. Again.
The "powers that be" eventually took away the CSBs (it was their cargo, after all), but were kind enough to let me "keep" a 24' motorised naval whaler, so I could conduct intership business with the maximum discomfort...especially as I would have to drive the thing myself. No harm in that. After all, I'm supposed to be a seaman. My first visit was to RFA "Regent" . Weather was Ok so no problems getting there. Took the 2/E, the Senior RN Comms rate and the same couple of deckies as last time. It was nice to be back on "home-ground" again. The "Bluey" 2/E took one look around the large open decks of Regent and vry shyly said "Where are the hatches?". ...he had never before seen a ship that had flush deck hatches and lifts as opposed to "proper" hatch coamings. He was also a bit bemused by all the fork lifts doing their usual Monaco Grand Prix performance all over the place. Nice to be "home". I, conversely, was startled by the narrowness of the alleyways compared to the much more spacious ones afforded by Laertes. But it was smashing to meet old pals and "chew the fat". But the weather suddenly got a lot worse and so we left...on a very hairy trip back to our Bluey. Enough for now. BY.
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Bryan Young

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Re: Nautical "Strange but True!"
« Reply #273 on: March 16, 2009, 07:37:49 PM »

About time I showed myself! In the whaler. 1982.
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Colin Bishop

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Re: Nautical "Strange but True!"
« Reply #274 on: March 16, 2009, 09:09:59 PM »

Shackelton Incarnate!  :}
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