View Full Version : New Certificates

Graham Evans
4th February 2011, 01:12 AM
Taking into account the increasing number of females choosing a career at sea, will the Master's Exam be renamed "MISTRESS FOREIGN GOING"?:eek:

Doc Vernon
4th February 2011, 04:37 AM
Me thinks "Mistress" would perhaps give the wrong meaning if you get my drift!:D
But more seriously Graham,these days with most all things the Ladies have to
adhere to the old style of things so to speak!
Like for EG: becoming a Prime Minister! They dont call them Prime Ministresses ! :)
Oh well whatever!
Food for thought though!

Captain Kong
4th February 2011, 11:03 AM
Or will` Mate` realy mean that.

happy daze john in oz
5th February 2011, 07:11 AM
And this one has no idea what it is all about! Back to the fog locker I go.

Duart Castle
2nd August 2012, 02:41 PM
I always thought a mistress was a hybrid. ie. Something between a MISTER & A MATTRESS.:D
Russ McLean

Tony Morcom
2nd August 2012, 04:21 PM
Sooner or later someone will no doubt decide it is no longer politically correct to have shipping Masters and so presumably they will have to rename everything Captain:confused:

Glenn Baker
3rd August 2012, 10:33 AM
Im not sure if Madam Kapitan could be used although i met a few Madams in my time around the globe. all the best Glenn

happy daze john in oz
4th August 2012, 06:26 AM
We used to have waiters and waitreses, now we have wait staff. So maybe the captain or captaines would become the cap staff?
Or if female maybe just the 'boss'' well it would fit after all said and done cos that is hwo they see themselves.

len mazza
4th August 2012, 06:36 AM
Never mate,I was always a Saloon Steward,same as a zillion other poor sods.



4th August 2012, 07:16 AM
I think the average woman would never consider a life at sea if she had the living conditions that existed in the 50"s and 60"s. For example there used to be at least 4 seamen to a cabin, no air conditioning, toilet conditions and sanitary conditions only adequate. I can remember even on new buildings the bunks being measured for mininum size abour 6ft. X 2ft 6" or something like that. Then bang everything changed so as to be politically correct. They had to have different toilet facilitys and other features were changed to adjust for females. Previous to this the shipowner would do nothing for the seamen. All in the name of equality and politically correctness. I have sailed with stewardesses, and a female 2nd. Mate. The second mates boast was she could do anything a man could do except carry a bag of spuds when storing the ship. She came to me one day and asked for a job, so I put her over the offside plimsolls and told her to cut them in. I saw her over the side in a chair and passed the paint and brush down to her and left her. I forgot all about her and heard shouting about 4 hours later, she was still there and couldnt get back on board. She said I had done it on purpose, but I had literally forgotten about her. Myself personally do not like women on a ship, and this includes passengers, the few that we carried on the one ship that I served on that did carry them. There always seemed to be trouble on board with women.The few times I had my wife and young kids staying with me, I told her that she was responsible for the keeping clean the cabin etc. and was not to interfere or make suggestions about how the work was performed onboard. Maybe the type of ships I have served on are different, they might be all right for company advertising standing on the bridge of a ship, there is more to the job than that, at least there used to be. I am not a male chauvanist, which I am sure I will be accused of, but to me it does not seem right women on ships, also in cases of emergency think they would be very distracting in a dangerous situation. The 2nd mate in question did not fill a lifetime at sea, as she finished up in the personell department of Marks and Spencers. Cheers John Sabourn.

Capt Bill Davies
4th August 2012, 08:37 AM
.................... Myself personally do not like women on a ship, .....................

I have very little experience of women on ships and even that was limited to wives on board. Probably half a dozen and all when sailing foreign flag. Four Ch.Eng wives and two Ch.Mates and in each case from the Far East and kept themselves to themselves and had no aspiration in usurping their husbands positions. Two of the Japanese wives were medical practitioners and an absolute pleasure to engage in conversation. This of course was a far cry from what I had hear of the goings on in British ships from around the 70s onwards when every officer was entitled to to carry his wife. I'll not belabour what has already been said in this area on the site. As for woman working as officers?. I have no experience save to say I was never put in a position where one was offered by the owners and and I can say that I would probably have declined. Woman shipmasters have been around for some time and I have met quite a few, all Scandinavian, and they seem more than able enough. I heard that back in the 80s little coasters like Arklow shipping had one or two.



Captain Kong
4th August 2012, 07:30 PM
The Captainess of the Queen Victoria , Cunard, is a female.
A friend of mine, Chief Engineer in ESSO met her at a cocktail party on board, he was introduced to her by the cruise Director, as Chief Engineer, `Tod Sloan`, he held his hand out to shake hands, she said ,"I do not shake hands with Engineers. "
So arrogant with it.

Chris Allman
4th August 2012, 08:59 PM
Oh dear oh dear, why on earth do they make matters worse for themselves. I just do not see where they think it gets them.They just make themselves look rude and stupid and then wonder why they have the reputation that they do. We all know that their is a rivalry between deck and engine room but this is taking it too far. He should have made a complaint against her. She forgets that without them her ship could end up like a certain Italian one, lying on its side on some rocks.


Captain Kong
4th August 2012, 10:15 PM
She is Danish from the Faroe Islands Chris,
She started on fishing boats and then went onto Ferries before joining Cunard. Not as good a career patern as the rest of us.

4th August 2012, 11:38 PM
,"I do not shake hands with Engineers. "

Now that is the sort of attitude that would have got me in trouble similar sort of attitude was a new skipper joining as he is getting out of his cab i was staggering into mine (yep drunken teenager) he then shouted out are you crew on this ship and i said yes he then said carry my bags on board not knowing who he was not really caring either see brackets above the reply was carry your own bags not exact words i think i may have used some you don't find in any translating books but you get the idea anyway lets just say i was not the most popular crew member on the bridge after that :rolleyes:

John Arton
5th August 2012, 08:00 AM
I must have been very lucky when I was sailing as I can honestley say I never came across anyone who thought he was superior to any other, no oil and water sects on board etc. One of the most important things I was taught by my first ever Chief Officer (ex. Royal Marine) was to respect all and everyone on board and treat them as equals. This stuck with me throughout and I always tried to apply that rule with all the various nationalities of crew I sailed with in later years. Yes it was nice when one of the Filipino A.B.'s would greet you at the gangway on re-joing and insist on carrying your bags but that was out of frienship and I would certainly never have ordered anyone to carry my bags and would have expected all others on board to to the same.
p.s can you see the halo round my head haha!

happy daze john in oz
6th August 2012, 06:55 AM
We have a number of captaisn with the national airline here. Yesterday one of them was stood down just before the flight as a number of cabing crew saiud she had been on the grog just before boarding.

7th August 2012, 01:15 AM
The same person if she was brought up in fishing vessels would be speaking out of tune with her background as there was no such animosity on such, as the mechanics or whatever they used to call them also worked on deck as necessary so I am told. As to not mixing with engineers she was obviously trying to emulate a bygone era, to what purpose is anyones guess. Some of my best friends were engineers, there was of course rivalry at times which was used in a jokingly fashion, but nothing like the bitterness of some of our bygone seafarers. She obviously had been listening to the wrong people in her informative years. Cheers John Sabourn.

5th November 2012, 04:43 AM
Nothing so heady as command, but there must have been at least one BofT Cooks ticket when Buries-Marks signed a full female complement of catering staff aboard their La Cordillera in either 1947 or 48. All ex-WRNS, they did not last too long, mostly because they were snapped up as suitable wives for the male crew.

happy daze john in oz
5th November 2012, 05:07 AM
Way back in the 60's UCL dabbled with the concept of female wingers for a while, think it was on the Pendennis. These were the real macoy, not the usual make believe ones. Not sure how it all worked out though.

Ivan Cloherty
5th November 2012, 08:33 AM
Once trvalled out to the Phillipines in the late 70's and sat next to a young Filipino and got talking, as you do! discovered he had just passed is UK 2/mFG and had been offered a job in Manila as a lecturer teaching Masters and Mates, so don't know what that says. But then again I have sailed with some Captains and Mates with no certificates who were excellent navigators and seamen, (and yes even when they were out of sight of land, as I know some still think that coasting men have no abilities)

5th November 2012, 08:54 AM
Ivan recently mentioned in a thread about philipino certification. Everyone and I mean everyone had a big fancy certificate on the lines of the Liberian one. The storekeeper came up to me when he joined and asked where his typewriter was, I told him I did not possess one and his job was to mix the paint as required. Whatever nautical school at that time they passed through must have giving some of them with newly aquired cert. a wrong impression of their job. As people with no certs. I agree with what you say as sailed with quite a few who were excellent shiphandlers, the shipowner was quite prepared to pay the fines when they went above 60 north and outside the limits. A cert is a piece of paper and does not do the job, says you have satisfied someone else that you can. Cheers John Sabourn

Louis the Amigo
5th November 2012, 09:29 AM
Hi Shipmates, Will they have to wear long leather boots and carry a cat n' nine tails? for the naughty crew ???

5th November 2012, 10:41 AM
It was the SA Vaal ( or the RMS Transvaal Castle as she was known with her earlier name ) , They had quite an army of females , like the Olympic rowing the Coxless variety . I understand that there was "favours " available at a price , which had a sliding scale dependant up on rank , but that was truly an urban legend . The Pendennis just had men who dressed as women , and the sex was free to all

Graham Evans
12th November 2012, 09:03 PM
Years ago I briefly worked for a South African Company (we all know the one) We had 4 deck Cadets - males & 2 newly hired girls. It is in the nature of the beast that these two were immediately snapped up by the OM & Ch. Mate, and were sitting at the Captain's table in no time. Naturally, it was beneath their dignity then to clean hatches, chip and red lead steel or pull on nasty heavy mooring ropes! Assisting the watch officers was tried but discontinued as they got too tired! Eventually their main (daily) duties consisted mainly of typing letters, filling in forms and log extracts and such. Afternoons were spent bronzying or drinking GT in the bar. I had one with me, briefly, on the 12 - 4, but it was to cold all the time, so she had to remain in the wheelhouse or chartroom. Anyway, at that age the last thing I really wanted was a young bird breathing in my ear, whist I was trying to show her how to take a compass bearing, a difficult task. I got out of that ship shortly after, before I got myself in trouble ! :cool:

happy daze john in oz
13th November 2012, 05:38 AM
..........The Pendennis just had men who dressed as women..

In a book I have, 'Every Thursday at Four o'clock' the history of UCL there is a section devoted to the Pendennis Castle, or as she was then known, 'The friendly ship" Men dressed as women?????????
Regular fashion parades were held on board her funded by Courtholds..

Capt Bill Davies
13th November 2012, 10:44 AM
John S/ Ivan C,

Referring to your posts 21/22.

These type of comments were doing the rounds in the 60s and invariably on a 'hear say' basis.
I witnessed a few incidents first hand but, that aside, it is what it is.

We should concentrate in getting our own house in order and from what I can see of those 'home grown' variety with STCW (2 one or 2 all) qualifications on the back of 'internal marking' and 'tick box' work experience booklets initialled by similarly qualified make me think of the 'blind leading the blind'.



Ivan Cloherty
13th November 2012, 11:26 AM
Bill, I think you should read post #21 again, it was not hearsay, as I was *sat next to a young Filipino* He showed me his ticket of which he was justifiably proud, and it was he who told me he had been offered the position as lecturer. Are you inferring that I am telling inexactitudes :confused:

Rgds Ivan

13th November 2012, 11:35 AM
Bill not a comment, an actual experience. Most posts I have read on here are from people who have experienced what they are saying. I dont think someone on being logged and losing money is speaking from hearsay. I have never inferred that the British seaman was an angel far from it, other type crews had as bad if not worse afflictions than British crews. When I said everyone had a certificate I meant it.
I was on one steamer that the chinese cook went 3rd. Engineer so assume he also had some engineering knowledge. Regards John Sabourn.

Capt Bill Davies
13th November 2012, 11:47 AM

The amount of times I hear undermining comments re third word seaman on this forum disturbs me. It was told back in the 60s when I made my first tentative steps foreign flag what to expect. You will have to sleep with a life jackets on etc, etc, and you will never be able to sail in a British ship again. None of it was true and pushed out by people who had never been in FOC ships.

As I said, get our own house in order and comment on what is dear to the majority of members on the site. The British Flag (of convenience)



Ivan Cloherty
13th November 2012, 12:32 PM
Bill I see you have navigated around my question of inexactitudes, perhaps you could be man enough to get back on course

I have no axe to grind with any nationality navigators/officers, I only comment from personal experience, I have sailed with and employed Greek, Yugoslav, Pakistan masters who have been first class in every respect, I have sailed with British MFG were I was glad to get off the ship

Rgds Ivan

Capt Bill Davies
13th November 2012, 02:36 PM
Absolutely not! I lump tales like that in with the rest. There might be an element of truth and the rest is embroidery.


Louis the Amigo
13th November 2012, 03:19 PM
Hi shipmates, What is wrong with lady officers on merchant ships ? They have them in the armed forces in the U.K. The former U.S.S.R. has had them for many years . When I worked on the tall ships in southampton docks, a few years ago met many they were charming, and well spoken and very friendly from a training ship for future officers, Not much money to buy our goods? but very quick on trade, Vodka and stuff. I think more young woman like them should go to sea .I was only there for 5 days had a great time.

Ivan Cloherty
13th November 2012, 04:55 PM
Absolutely not! I lump tales like that in with the rest. There might be an element of truth and the rest is embroidery.


Thanks Bill, you've just confirmed my suspicions about you


13th November 2012, 10:42 PM
Remember someone telling me about the Buries Markes fiasco. The way he put it, it didnt work and most finished up pregnant. John Sabourn

13th November 2012, 10:49 PM
Bill perhaps the well minded person who told you of what to expect in the 60"s was speaking from hearsay. John Sabourn

13th November 2012, 11:12 PM
Believe this thread was on the new cert. structure. I bear no malice with such and any statements comparing the structure pre 1970 and the present day is more indignation than anything else, that I and others were put through apparentley a much harder sequence of subjects. If such had been brought out during my time, I would probably have been very pleased. The probable few youngsters going to sea nowadays will be brought up different, the same as we were with the old windjammer men. The best of luck to our youngsters as you only start to really learn your job after you get the all important piece of paper. Regards John Sabourn.

happy daze john in oz
14th November 2012, 05:54 AM
One thing thta has not been mentioned is the fact that ships and shipping has greatly changed since our days. The requirements are different so i would consider it to quite plausible that the certificates may differ from those of yesteryear.
As to commenst about 'embroidery' I think that all on this site speak from personal experience, and yes there may be some hearsay, but thta occurs in all walks of life.

Captain Kong
14th November 2012, 09:29 AM
I signed on an AB, I looked through his Book, he had several Master Discharges, " Eddie, what are all these discharges", have you a Masters Cert.
he said "Yes I have a Panamanian Masters Cert, I went into the Panamanian Embassy in London and after a few questions bought one for 50." he showed me, What a work of art it was, it should have been in a frame.
He got a Masters job on the Tugs towing ammunition barges up the Mekong during the American Viet Nam War.
He was a good AB, and one I could rely upon.

15th November 2012, 08:41 AM
Ref. earlier in this post about philipinos taking over from a chinese crew, being cheaper. The ship in question was about 8000 deadweight. Had 3 galleys, Deck crew from Foochow and engine crew Shanghai, or the other way round. Hence spoke different dialects and in the main could not converse among themselves unless could speak mandarin. The bosun could not speak English and being mate had to do all through the chinese 3rd. mate who was his brother.
For those not aware of the Hong Kong system of feeding, the daily rate was passed to the Bosun or No1 fireman every month and they went ashore with a couple of shopping bags. The midships crowd the Ch. stwd handled. As you can imagine the feeding was not great as the money was not there. All in all I got on better with chinese than other foreign nationals, maybe it was because most of the time it was with sign language. When people describe some foreign crews to me, I think I must have been living in a world of my own, either that or was a devil for punishment. Probably the Chinese cook who was out of the firemans galley had a past history in engineering thats maybe why he went 3 eng. These are facts and not hearsay. Cheers John Sabourn

15th November 2012, 10:23 AM
Remember one bosun when he came to see what the day was to bring was telling me. This one is Hearsay. That his previous ship had gone to see the mate who had been on the ship a couple of years, to get the days work. He said to the bosun start chipping the derricks. The bosun gave him a funny look and said you do know they are made of wood dont you. I think the mate was getting on in years so had probably started to decline memory wise. Cheers John Sabourn.