I spent a wonderful New Year in the early 60's as we had a collision in the Elb going into Hamburg on the "Afric" and spent about 3 months under repair in the Deutswarf shipyard that year we started the New Year celebrations by sounding the ships horn at midnight to commence the celebrations.
I would like to catch up with some of my old mates who I sailed with but in this big world we seldom cross paths.
I worked on the Afric which carried general cargo but was designed for wool bales, unfortunatly it was designed for N. wool bales which were a different dimension than the Ozzie ones and inevitably we loaded wool bales in Oz. I could see a better way of being an engineer at sea and transfered to the refrigeration side where we also worked day work on the way out and reverted to 4 on 8 off on the return trip.
The other ships I sailed on were the Doric, Cymric, Delphic, and afew others doing coastals.
The Chief Engineer would split the watches into two, normally working six hours on and six hours off.
The electricians changed onto these rotas and worked alongside the engineers. We didn't get much sleep in the six hour break period.
Back in the 1960s, in the Hartlepools, it was quite common for young men to go away to sea.
I have been told that Napier was a stop off point, also Wellington and Auckland. The 1st elecy was Geoff Tong i 2nd and the 3rd was a chap called Bob cant remember his second name.
Finished my time at sea with SSA in 1970 as 1st elecy on the Cymric.
Our time in port was spent maintaining the engine room equipment, which had been running for twenty-four hours a day and often for many weeks non-stop.
At sea the engineers worked a three watch system made up of four hours on and eight hours off. Occassionally at sea, major engine breakdowns occurred.
Video transcript During my days at secondary school my best friend's father worked on the docks at Hartlepool. Often, after school, David and I toured the docks on our bicycles.