View Full Version : Those Trips Ashore

Russ Kennedy
26th January 2013, 02:38 PM
A comment made on a photo that was recently posted to the gallery reminded me of a couple of little trips ashore when I was on the Ibadan Palm. We had docked in Dunkirk to pick up cargo enroute to the West Coast of Africa. Three of us went ashore for a few scoops, on the way back, a little worse for wear, we happened on some road works. The triangular "men at work" sign was just the right size to hide under my mac. The gangway watchie was wasn't around so no bother, one sign deposited in the Engine room and hung above the tunnel water tight door (later). Can't remember how I (or we) got down below!! Next morning there were whispers that the Gendarmerie had been on board looking for a missing road works sign......I think the sign was still on board a couple of years later. On the return trip, in Antwerp, a similar situation. part of the docks were being re-furbished. On the way back to the ship, we managed to acquire a street name sign. Big mistake because this time we posted it on the bulkhead of the cross over alley in our accomodation. When we came to sail it was noticed by the port officials and confiscated.................funny how nobody knew how it got there. Happy days!!

Dennis McGuckin
26th January 2013, 05:31 PM
Often woke up with strange things by my bunk[sometimes in it ha ha]
Street signes were fairly common, but once I woke to see this Voodoo like carving staring back at me.
It had chicken feathers sticking out all over it and ugly faces carved on it.
No idea where it came from. Where the hell had I been to get that thing.
Cant remember what I did with it.
Either chucked it over the wall or gave it to someone I didn't care for.

john gill
26th January 2013, 06:31 PM
Sounds like you had a run ashore in Haiti and upset a member of Papa Doc's Ton Ton Macoute- the undead security arm of Mr Duvaliers thugs. Nailing a dead chicken to your door usually meant a visit shortly after and a disappearance. Seems you managed to avoid that experience Dennis- or maybe an excess of Cuba Libras in the First and Last contributed to that strange experience.

Peter F Chard
26th January 2013, 10:00 PM
Not quite a trip ashore but my leave after my first trip as junior engineer -- I went pot-holing, one of my pastimes before going to sea. Deep underground in Gaping Ghyll pot in the West Riding of Yorkshire we came across a sign at the entrance to a passage which read :-- Central Criminal Court of the Old Bailly, an arrow pointing the way and the words " Judges and Barristers Clerks only " A good place for them I thought. Regards Peter in NZ.

Lou Barron
27th January 2013, 01:21 AM
When the ship i was on (SS Aldington Court) we went to Ceduna to load wheat for NZit is only a small place but big enough to get on the booze any a few of us went ashore and got stuck into the beer whilein the pub some Aussies came in with a snake it was dead they said it was a tiger snake after a very good few beers the Aussies left the snake with us so back aboard the ship we put the snake into one of the ABs bunk he was one of the guys who did not drink and that night all turned in then Screams from this guy when he found the snake he threaten to go to the captain but thisbig Geordie AB stoppe him
by the way it was a good place to have a dance it was in a tin shed the band was a piano player a drummer and a guy on the fiddle Oh what a night

Frank Appleford
27th January 2013, 08:39 AM
I can remember a run ashore in Montevideo, being well anebriated and walking up the street in the bar area with a young lady (fondling my private parts). I still remember most of the juke boxes in the street at the time, were playing, 'and the concrete beneath my feet begins to crumble ...etc. Unit plus 4 the group I believe. Yes over my 9 years there were many great runs ashore and I would love to hear more from you old salts tales of your runs ashore. They were great days. I feel sorry for the younger generation of today, they will never experience those days for themselves. Sometimes the runs ashore were not the sort of thing you would write home to your mother about lol. But we kept the British end up didn't we?

Keith Tindell
27th January 2013, 10:23 AM
Some of the things we got up to were quite frightening, while on the St Merriel in the late fifties and the run ashore in Rio, a group of the deck crew plus the 2nd cook were in the usual dockside bar, the 2nd cook had been ashore all afternoon pi***** it up, and joined by the rest at 5oclock. During the course of the evening the 2nd cook passed out at the bar and hit the deck with a crash, and started snoring, the helpful boys put him in a chair, and proceeded to carry him from bar to bar for the rest of the evening, eventually took him on board and into his bunk, still snoring. It was only on turn to time in the morning they twigged something not right, and called a Dr, the poor guy had a fractured scull where he hit the deck. I know we got him down the gangway and into the ambulance, but cannot recall the outcome, or if we were informed, KT

alf corbyn
27th January 2013, 12:40 PM
three of us went ashore in schidam and down the hoog straat? stayed in the one bar alnight and came out well pi**ed. made our way back to the ship and i nicked a big wooden sign with schidam on it. we got back to the dock area and decided to move all the steeln barriers and block off the docks. made a very nice job of it, then this big fat dutch copper decided that they were better where they were originally. we all shook hands with him, and i picked up my sign. he didn't say anything just waved us goodnight.
we went ashore in panama and aquired a small palm tree about 8ft high, went back to the ship put it in a room we used for relaxing in, fixed three chairs round it and by the time we had been round nz it was well decorated with ladies underwear.

Russ Kennedy
27th January 2013, 03:52 PM
My 21st, 1961, Hamburg, ship the St Essylt. Cannot remember much about the night except it was a heck of a good one. I can remember getting back to the ship and continuing with the a few more scoops and then crawling to my cabin, the next thing I remember was waking up with a fire extinguisher in my arms....sort of. Luckily it was the type that you had to strike, not the type you turn upside down to activate!!!! Sailed with some very considerate people!!!

28th January 2013, 02:24 PM
memories of Rotterdam, a milder memory (: ship was on moorings we went ashore in a boat had a right old time then in a interesting state staggered back to where we were to get a boat back to the ship & there were some others there from another ship. Anyway we all wound up chatting away in Braille as you do, then the first boat came in it was for us & I said good bye & 'you guys speak English well for Scandinavians' well did the excreta hit the f..... wall they started belting into us saying they were Geordie s ): Ah laugh, you gotta in a situation like that.
Another time ashore in Valpo & we had this dog, a pup we called Yacko after a well known bar there. Anyway we were drinking elsewhere with Yacko in tow & there were some Germans down the other end of the bar, Yacko kept walking up to them on the bar looking at them wagging his tail, they were getting more & more pie eyed then started making most ungenerous remarks about our parentage along with countries of origin. Being pleasant chaps we kept quite except for the occasional aside, sotto voice of course as to their loosing the war. Then Yacko trotted off down to them & did a huge slash all around their beers much to our hysterical delight, oh dear it was on for young & old.

happy daze john in oz
29th January 2013, 05:45 AM
Often woke up with strange things by my bunk[sometimes in it ha ha]
Street signes were fairly common, but once I woke to see this Voodoo like carving staring back at me.

You sure Den that was not one of the local 'ladies' you often speak of?

happy daze john in oz
29th January 2013, 05:50 AM
Oh yes we often 'ran' ashore but had to crawl back. Keeping your end up was the ambition of all who went ashore, and very often the local ladies would ensure that it happened.

ian avery
24th October 2018, 07:18 PM
Hi Frank, I went ashore in Montevideo in 71 as a deck boy, I was telling the girls of the night I was a cheery boy, they would not believe me, (even though I was at the time, bloody women) anyway I was drunk as a skunk and fell a sleep in the pub, my shipmates left me and move on; I woke up in the morning wondering where I was, looked around and found I was still in the pub; first thought was check for my wallet, I could not believe it, it still there with money still in it. Still think I was lucky to find a good pub and local people. (you did not always find them)

Tony Taylor
13th November 2018, 04:14 PM
On one Chinese crew ship, the galley boy looked about 10 years old. The bosun was adamant he was sixteen. They took him ashore in Curacao up the Campo, where they told the girls he was a cherry boy. He looked literally sh-gged out for the next few days. He did however put up very well with all the wind ups from everyone for weeks.

Ron B Manderson
13th November 2018, 07:29 PM
While in Calcutta About 3 am I heard scream/ shout from the 4th eng cabin next door. I jumped out the bunk and ran next door only to find The 4th hitting this Mongoose with Cobra coiled around it . with everything he could get hold off. Poor sole didn't remember buying that ashore.

Ron the batcave

Colin Pook
4th February 2019, 08:21 AM
Hi Frank. Colourful memories of the MAN FRIDAY coffee bar in Wellington. Any-one else sample the menu!??

Malcolm Lawrence
10th April 2019, 09:57 AM
Ffyffes SS Roatan
We had 2 weeks in New Orleans whilst discharging bananas and taking on general cargo, the banana warehouse was situated at the bottom of the main street and Bourbon St was about half a mile up it, needless to say we had a whale of a time and rarely sober.
On one occasion we (4 engineers) went on a humdinger of a bender and returning to the docks at 2 am following the obligatory 6" Burger with every extra on it decided it was too far to walk along the key to the ship, the 2nd Eng who was a massive ginger haired and bearded Geordie spotted a fork lift and proceeded to stick his swiss army knife screwdriver in the ignition to see if it would start.
Brrmmm, yep, it started, he shouts all aboard and off down the key the 4 of us go (think we were singing too), myself and one of the juniors were sat on the counter balance weight and the 4th Eng was sat next to the Ginger Beast as we called him, we get about half way to the ship and hear a loud 'pop' and the machine veered to the left, the beast shouts abandon ship, abandon ship whereby we all leap off, next thing we know there's a loud splash then silence, our transport had gone over the key and into the Mississippi. Apparently the Pop was the power steering hydraulic hose bursting!
We have a quick look around to see if we've been spotted but the place was deserted, so it was a rapid sprint back to the ship to percolate a hangover, next morning the local police came aboard asking if anyone heard or had seen anything as they thought thieves had been operating on the docks, funnily enough we all a had severe cases of memory lapse.
Happy daze

happy daze john in oz
11th April 2019, 06:51 AM
Malta in about 64, down in the Gut.
We arrived just after 1900 hours looking for a good time that night.
There was a bar we had heard was very good, had a juke box and the locals were very friendly.
As we approached one guy said where is that funny looking water coming from in the gutter?
No one bothered to take notice and we went into the bar.
It was only later when one of the guys need a leak we discovered the source of the water.
In the corner behind a curtain a bucket, over flowing into the gutter.

After a couple of beers one guy said we should move to another bar as he did not like the smell.
No worries, off we go.
Then the same guy saw a shop with motor scooters for hire.
Got one at home he said know how to ide them he said.
So off he goes to hire one deciding to see the town at night telling us he would see us in the morning.

We got back to the ship late and a bit worse for drink.
Next morning we got the news, Jim would not be returning to the ship as he had an accident last night, is in hospital and will come home DBS when fit enough.
So great with a scooter, but not great enough to see the truck distorting his view.
According to the driver he has never seen a scooter and rider fly so far off the wharf into the water.
Broken leg, damaged shoulder and many other cuts and bruises.

We had a very quite drink that night well away from any hire place.

Doc Vernon
11th April 2019, 09:31 AM
Oh those happy days of Shore Leave in various places and the times we all had,are really memories to remember all ones life!

We were so fortunate to have been part of a great Era ,and great Ships of that time as well.
How many people that missed out on such a great life ,with free Travel to the Worlds most known and loved (sometimes not so loved) ports.

Then able to get Shore leave as well,and really let ones hair down,the escapades we went through and the excitement we had far outshines any life these days that I can think of.
Memories of such days will forever be part of out greatest times alive.

So many true tales one can tell but would in most cases take Weeks for some ,to put to Pen and Paper, so it all just sits in the Memory bank of our Minds and that enough for me !

Tony Taylor
11th April 2019, 06:31 PM
I once had a run ashore in Cristobal and ended up in a bar, where the bar front was tiled, as was the step at the base of the bar, there was a tiled channel running along the step. Dont think I need to elaborate but there were no signs for toilets.

John F Collier
11th April 2019, 07:08 PM
Cristobal, only went there once as we normally went straight through the canal, we wandered from
bar to bar and ended up in the back streets half cut and lost, it was very hot and humid and as we
staggered through this dark narrow roads one of the lads said "It aint no life for a white man" and
a very deep voice from the shadows boomed out "Taint no life for de black man either", we legged it.

John Arton
12th April 2019, 12:34 PM
Any, Panama canal transit, the first 3 times I did it as a cadet I was so hung over I can scarcely remember it. On the forest product ships in c.p. we would load phosphate in Jacksonville for discharge in new Westminster. In order to get the max lift we would be on minimum bunkers departing Jacksonville in order to take bunkers in Cristobal (different load line zone). Whatever time we departed Jacksonville we always seemed to arrive in Cristobal in the evening in order to tie up and bunker overnight. Due to the shape of the ships hull and the 3 gantry cranes on deck we were daylight transit only so a run ashore to the delights of Cristobal's bars was always on the clock and boy did we cadets make sure their bars got a major part of our salary. Remember been literally thrown down the gangway of an American ship berthed astern of us after staggering up it in order to attempt to not only to apologize for our behaviour in the American service club but also to cement the bon homie between us Brits and our American cousins, that did not go too well.
After transit would have sobered enough for another run ashore in Panama where we always berthed to take on fresh water.

Tony Taylor
12th April 2019, 12:51 PM
On another occasion, I was in bar that had a sign outside saying off limits to American military. Shore patrol comes in and grabs me, slams me up the wall repeatedly while berating me for being off limits, I managed to get my British Seamans card out of my pocket and wave it in front of them.
They just dropped me and walked off without a word; probably because I had a very short haircut.
Despite that, it was a great job as we were carrying bunker fuel for banana boats so we visited lots of small banana ports on both coasts of Central America.

Captain Kong
12th April 2019, 04:30 PM
I was on Cunard`s `PARTHIA` in Boston, now Dont do this in the States,
We tied up outside the city in a place called Maverick. Not a lot there just a couple of bars, we took a subway to Boston City centre but it was very quiet, not a bit like New York. We came back to Maverick and had a few drinks there.
Six of us were staggering back to the ship through the dock area. It was quite a way so we stopped for a relief against the wall of a cargo warehouse. The six of us were stood in a line with it all hanging out when searchlights lit us all up, and a loud haler shouted `FREEZE, DON`T MOVE OR WE SHOOT, POLICE. HANDS ON THE WALL AND SPREAD `EM`.
We froze, Kinnell, with hands on the wall all with our nudgers still hanging out. I think the whole of the Boston Police Department were there behind us.
The cops came over to us and frisked us for weapons and tuned us around, we were blinded by the search lights. `And put those away` the Cop said pointing his night stick at our nudgers. We zipped up quick.
We are Limies, we kept saying ,but didn`t make any difference.
One at a time they took us to a Patrol car, `Hands on the hood and spread `em`. Geof went first, a big black Cop towered over him, `Where ya from``, Geof said `The Isle of Wight`, the Cop hit him over the head with his club, "AARRWWGGHH", said Geof, as a large lump appeared on his head. The big black Cop said `Ya trying to be funny wise guy.`. `No` said Geof, `I am from the Isle of W-I-G-H-T not W-H-I-T-E. its in England`.
They went through all our pockets and found our US Immigration Passes.
A bunch of Limies off the Parthia, eh. So we got a Police escort back to the ship to make sure we got on board. The cops who were taking us back told us they had a stake out on that Warehouse as they had a tip off that it was going to be raided and we had ruined it. They were not amused.
We sailed the following day bound for Liverpool

Captain Kong
12th April 2019, 04:35 PM
I always enjoyed wearing Khakis, until I went ashore in Jacksonville Florida, I was schooner rigged and called into JC Pennys Store,
They had US Army uniforms, Khaki shirt and trousers, complete with badges of the Regiment on,
I said Why the hadges the man said he had a lot of Vet customers who bought shirts of their old Regiment. So I bought a shirt and a pair of Keks. I went in town and into the Flamingo Bar, a beautiful Puerto Rican Barmaid, she poured real good Rum and Cokes, after a few hours I was drunk as a skunk, I fell out of the Bar and almost into arms of a Military Patrol. They chased me round the intersection , jumping over cars then I fell over and they both battered me with their night sticks. I`m a Limie I kept shouting, to no avail, `Yeah we heard that before Mac.` then another bang on the head, I was covered in blood, then a jeep turns up and I am thrown in and taken to a military base and thrown into a tank with another dozen fellows in a similar state. After an hour or so I am taken out for questioning and searched. `Goddamn this guy really is a Limie`, they found my pass off the Manchester Merchant.
So they cleaned me up sponging my shirt as well, and took me to a hospital for stitches in my head. They put me in the jeep and took me back to the Flaminigo Bar, the barmaid was still there, `Give this guy anything he wants. `me `I want to go back to the ship my head is hurting, I just want to lie down.` `We are off duty in half an hour we will be back `.
`What for?, to beat me up again`? The Barmaid treated me to a large Rum and so I spent a pleasant half hour chatting to her.
They came back, paid for my drinks, picked me up and took me to a Restaurant and a big steak, All I wanted was to go to bed , my head was hurting,
Eventually they took me back to the ship.
I never wear Khaki Gear since then