View Full Version : First trip cock-ups

11-20-2008, 01:33 PM
'Borrowed' this idea from another sailor's forum. Reproducing my own contribution below. What did you do that caused you immense embarrassment on your first trip to sea?

Took a full trip to live this down - and was occasionally reminded of it years later when sailing with people who were there.
First trip on the MV Novelist - 6th engineer. Leaving Liverpool and put on the movement book. Thought I'd save time by writing out the movements in advance - dead slow, slow, half, full. Thought we'd just let go, build up speed, then leg it all the way to the West Indies!
Hadn't taken into account the multiple movements forward and reverse it would take to leave the berth, navigate Canada Dock, then move into the lock before getting to the river.
The 3E spotted it before the first movement and I had to rub it all out - thankfully it was in pencil.
My face feels red now, just remembering it.

Right guys - fess up. What did you do?

captain kong
11-20-2008, 04:22 PM
When I was Second Mate of a big 300,000 ton tanker, we were leaving Yokohama and a new first trip cadet had just joined, I handed him the `Bell` book, for all the engine movements and orders to be logged in.
He said `What do I do??`, So I said "Just look after the `Bell` book.".
After many, many engine movements, helm orders, bearings and distances from landmarks, and Pilot commands etc, The Pilot departed and I said, where is the `Bell` book,? he handed it to me, There was no comments in it at all, blank pages.
`Where`s all the information, I asked, "Dont know" he said.
`Have you not filled it in `, "No you just said look after it and I did".
He never lived it down.
and I had a problem trying to fill the Official Log with details of our departure.

11-20-2008, 04:30 PM
As a bit of a loner, I never ever had a second mate :tear:

brian daley
11-20-2008, 08:03 PM
There are so many embarrassing moment in my life, and the faux pas' I made at sea still make me cringe. I suppose the worst were when I joined the Allurity on the London river. She was a bunkering tanker,that is she fuelled the ocean going vessels. A little ex-naval vessel of just 812 tons,her captain ,Duncan Brown,kept her spick and span, from the polished steam whistle on her funnel down to the gleaming paintwork ,she was like a dinky toy.That is ,until I joined her. He conscripted me to keep his bully boys in control, a foolishly misplaced idea if ever there was one. He thought I was a hard man ,and that is yet another tale;back to this one, I had never been on such a small vessel, she was a minutuarised version of all my previous berths.
Duncan never stayed on board at night, at 5.30 p.m. each evening he would don his beret,mackintosh ,scarf and gloves and depart for home. The first night of such an event we were moored on the buoys in the river just about 300yards from the companys offices . We had to lower the jolly boat so that we could scull the skipper ashore. I was put in charge of the falls ( the tackle which would lower the derrick over the ships side ) another guy was in charge of the cargo runner which would lower the boat into the water. We did'nt have bitts like you would on a proper cargo boat but rather small cleats. I put two turns of rope on the cleats ,hoping that that would be sufficient to hold her properly, I was feeding the rope through the cleats and the guy next to me was giving me some instructions , in the time it would take to blink an eye,the rope jumped off the cleats ,the derrick dropped, smashing the boat beneath it and the boat,now matchwood slipped into the Thames and floated away on the Ebbtide. The boat sling held the steel rings from the bow and the stern and sod all else. Duncan stepped out of the accommodation doorway to find all hands staring over the side. A look of blank incomprehension stole across his face,"Wheres the boat lads" he said all ready to go home. I jibbered something ,pointing to the disappearing matchwood, the poor ba***rd, that was the first of many misfortunes I was to bring him. Nearly always when he was due to go home.

Jeff Glasser
12-14-2008, 05:44 PM
This was my first trip to sea on the 'Braemar Castle' washing thousands of plates. We, and I imagine others too, would 'post damaged plates or even the ones we could'nt be bothered to wash, out through the bars on the plate house port hole, this is fine whilst at sea, and even in port if anchored out. One such time I'd been happily disposing of said crocks in this manner, when I was aware that the sound of them hitting the sea was somewhat different to the normal pleasing splash, I took only a passing interest, until the knowledge that the gangway to the boat taking bloods on their trip ashore was directly underneath, and had been subject to several direct hits, was now imparted to me by a screaming Banshee of a deck officer in no uncertain terms, luck was with me, and no one was struck! and strangely, I never heard another word, ( after I'd cleaned it up of course.)
It was on this first trip that a pair of the indestructable dungerees from Vindi were lost. Having tired of scraping and scrubbing the residue from the plate house off them, I thought that I'd use the power of the passing sea to "wash" them for me, so, attached to a stout piece of ships rope ( string ) I lowered them over the side and into my personal dhobi machine, "they'll be like new" I thought, how clever I am! There was a strong tug as dungerees made contact with the sea, followed by a slackening of the 'rope'. Neptune gained a manky pair of denims, in exchange for thirty odd feet of frayed string! hmm, not such a great idea after all! shame, they were very good kit, luckily, I do'nt think anyone saw this act of stupidity!

12-14-2008, 07:04 PM
I say Ged, with cracks like that....I'm surprised you had a first mate! Arf, arf

brian daley
12-14-2008, 07:46 PM
It did'nt take long for old Duncans shock at the loss of his jolly boat to die down. She was a busy little ship and we were forever shooting up and down the Thames bunkering the deep sea vessels. We got our own fuel from Essohaven, a god forsaken little jetty down near the Estuary. Our fuel tank as on the fiddley(the top deck above the engine room) It had a clip on cap just like you have on a car and on the jetty stood a fuel pump just like you have at any garage. I was given the job of refuelling (the fools). I went on to the jetty and the guy in charge was about 70 years old,walrus moustached and wearing an old cloth cap and suit that was near as old as he was. He passed me the hose and told me to stick in the tank "I'm goin' fer me sanwidges nar,yew sod orf fer yours an I'll whistle yer when I gets back.No sense in startin' now mate" So saying,he wandered off down the jetty and I went down to my cabin to do the Mirror crossword. I was having a contemplative fag when everything went dark;looking up I saw that the porthole was black,"Ffffflipping eck!!" I thought and shot up to the fiddley. There the deck was covered with a thick black coating of fuel oil, it was inches deep and was flowing over the scuppers coating our pristine whitework black. I screamed at the old baskit ashore to switch off and he looked at the state of us and just said "Sorry mate ,I forgot to whistle" As I was surveying this disaster I heard the door to the wheelhouse open and out stepped Duncan,blissfully unaware of anything amiss. His Oxfords just touched the fiddley deck and he went base over apex sliding like a luge straight for the ships side. Thank god he was too fat to fit under the railing or Everards would have lost a good man on the ebbtide.
He heard me out later and said that he would be talking to the management at Essohaven, I was absolved once again. If only he had sacked me then................