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Don Cook
22nd December 2014, 07:26 PM
Junior Eng on Skycrest joined Rotterdam8/2/63 payed off Venice 16/1/64 were you responable for shaving me when we crossed the line ?

David West
20th February 2015, 12:49 PM
We obviously spent some time together on the Skycrest but I can't recall your name. Sorry I have taken a while to come back to this but laptop has been in intensive care for a while.

Don Cook
21st February 2015, 09:57 AM
Hi David, Were you the saloon steward with Lofty.Everybody called me Taf/Taffy

David West
25th February 2015, 02:48 PM
Hi Don

Guilty as charged that was me as Second Steward. Lofty (alias Jackie Brand) comes from the same town (South Shields) and I still see him from time to time. He never went back deep sea, after leaving Skycrest he went into cable laying vessels and more lately working on the offshore wind farms although by now he should be retired. After the Skycrest I went back in the deep sea trawlers for about 5 years before getting married and coming ashore, had one more go at it in 1975/76 but couldn't make enough money so said goodbye to fishing forever. Somehow I got into transport/logistics and spent the rest of my time up to retirement doing that, for the last ten years I was Operations Manager for Port of Tyne Logistics.

You may recall two other engineers who might have been on the Skycrest at the same time as you, Big Jonny Gray from Sunderland who sadly lost his life at a relatively young age in an engine room fire on, I believe the M.V. British Trent.

The other guy was Brian Hansen again from South Shields he came ashore a few years later and went back into the ship repair yards ending up in senior management, sadly he had a heart attack and died just after he retired aged about 60.

I hope you are well it's like a blast from the past being in touch with you, where are you living now ?

Stay fit
Dave

Don Cook
1st March 2015, 03:37 PM
Hi Dave

Even after 50 years it is still sad to hear of the death of two shipmates who you remember always winding you up by telling you every thing is biger and better on the Tyne,

I also remember when they left me alone they would start on each other, and say only one of them was a true gordie as one lived north of the river.
I have some photos of all the engineers and lecy in my cabin with the usual tin of Tennants, I was going to post them, I don,t know how people will feel if I do that now(maybe members could help on this one).

Where you King Cunute when we crossed the line?,I can remember one of you coming down the engineroom, me shaking in my boots as you had wound me something terrible as to what you where going to do to me?
What I remember you treated me kindly, made me a skin head and washed me down with the fire hose, I have a photo taken in Cape Town of my hair cut and to think thats how I wear it today.

When you think the Skycrest was a non- pool ship and a lot of nationality in the crew , I still say it was one of happiest ship that I sail on.

Don

David West
2nd March 2015, 01:50 PM
Hi Don

I can't recall who played the roll of King Canute but it wasn't me, honest. I remember first time I crossed the line was in the Orecrest going down to Vitoria Brazil then back to Port Talbot (where else). Not the most dignified ceremony but it was all good fun and taken in good heart even if it did take a while for my hair to grow back, happy days eh.

I agree with you the Skycrest was a happy ship, good crew mixed nationalities, Spanish, Italian, Yugoslavs etc. Captain Lowes was one of the nicest guys you could sail with as was the Chief Engineer but I can't recall his name.
I think that is why I stayed on her so long, about 18 months, and there was plenty of variety in the countries and ports we visited, much better than the "iron ore run".

I particularly liked Vancouver so when an old friend of mine emigrated years ago I couldn't wait to go out and see him. We've now been to British Columbia 12 times

I often regret not doing the same thing myself as it is the most fascinating place.

I also have quite e few photos from the good old days, fifty years younger and fifty pounds lighter haha.

Hope we can stay in touch Don

Cheers for now
Dave

Don Cook
4th March 2015, 07:56 PM
Hi Dave

O Vancouver have good memories, while at anchor waiting for the berth on Vancouver Island C/E Patterson came into the duty mess and said Taf you have a visiter, and then in walked my uncle who had come out on the pilot boat. to cut a long story short while there I had my 21st birthday in Vancouver ,my cousins took me up a mountain that was covered in snow which had a cafe on the top and me in my best go a shoregear. We then went to a restaurant call The White Spot (I still have the matches that were on the table)for a meal. We also had a 21st birthday party good times.

Do you remember the first cargo that we picked up after leaving Rotterdam?

A while back I was swinging the lamp with an ex 2nd mate who told me that for awhile he was running grain from Vancover to Cape Town, and what did we pick-up in Cape Town for Communist China. I still have some bank notes from there I often wonder if they are worth anything.

Cast your mind back to Friday 13th December 1963 can you remember what happened

I felt the same about N/Z after we spent all that time on the coast, I applied to work in there Naval Dockyard thats another story.

Speak again later

Don

David West
5th March 2015, 03:17 PM
Hi Don

That's the name I was looking for Patterson. Yes Vancouver was a bit special, the place you went for your birthday meal was probably Grouse Mountain which overlooks English Bay, at night it is quite spectacular. We have also been up there during the day watching the loggers carve animal shapes with their chain saws.
White Spot is a huge chain of cafes throughout Canada and U.S. they serve up some awesome burgers as the Canucks say.

I think when we left Rotterdam we went light ship to South Africa either Durban or Capetown (stopping off at Dakar in Senegal for bunkers) to load for Tsingkang China. If memory serves me it was sugar.

I do remember some months later we ended up in New York and because we had indirectly come from a communist country the Customs guys stripped down every cabin looking for commie propaganda material. They even took my parrots seed saying it could have poppy seeds in it eh!

I can remember being in Vancouver when Capt. Lowes told me Kennedy had been shot but can't say I remember anything about Fri 13th unless it was the day our cargo of alfalfa pellets from Long Beach caught fire just before we got to the Panama.

I was also very keen on NZ and at one stage when we were in Napier a trawler owner who I met, offered to sponsor me to come back out and work for him.
Another missed opportunity what !!

If I can find a way to send a private message to you with my E-Mail address I will do so then maybe you could post those photos.

Watch her when she rolls

Dave

Ivan Cloherty
5th March 2015, 04:08 PM
Dave all you have to do is click on 'Don Cook' in his message, that will bring you to private messages and you can send without anyone else seeing it

Don Cook
7th March 2015, 09:09 PM
Hi Dave

Yes Grouse Mountain rings a bell.

While we were in China did we play a foot ball match against a local side?.

Do you remember all those guys turn-up on bikes with little stools and chipping hammers then then sit on deck all day chipping away.

You mention that when we hit New York the customs guys went through the ship looking for any propaganda material, I had said material which I wanted to keep as a souvenir, ships agent took me and one other person ashore to appear before a judge and we were both fined, I think it was some thing like 25 dollars,I oftern wonder if I ever apply for a visor to visit the States will I get one?

Keep Swinging The Lamp

Don

David West
9th March 2015, 01:26 PM
Many thanks ivan

David West
10th March 2015, 02:36 PM
Hi Don

Can't remember playing any football but boy was China in the dark ages 50 plus years ago. I remember one of Hain's ships berthed aft of us and we had to smuggle our books ashore tucked down our trousers so we could do a book swap, they didn't like any western material at all much the same as the Yanks were in New York about the propaganda stuff. Fancy taking a man's souvenir books away from him haha.

I remember buying one of those heavy blue kapok jackets for peanuts and it certainly came in handy for the snow Canada.

Was I right about the Fri 13th question you asked?

How long did you stay at sea after Skycrest ?

Regards
Dave

Don Cook
15th March 2015, 08:19 PM
Hi Dave

I also had a blue jacket wore it until it fell apart.

I found a newspaper cutting about 9 months ago and I have put it some where safe,thats right can,t find it now, on Friday 13th we put in to port to have the ships gyro-compass repaired and have new Co2 bottle fitted to the fire system before they would let us through the canal there was a bit more but can,t remember what it was, when I find it again I,ll let you know the rest.

After the Skycrest I joined Mavrolens Southwick not as happy a ship as Skycrest, on iron ore run then a few years latter joined the Victor also Mavrolens (both managed by Ivanonvic) went light ship to Newport News to load coal for Vitoria had 2/3 weeks there rain kept stopping play, then iron ore back, it must have been a long old run down for you on the Orecrest? Victor was also a happy ship.

I,ll save how I gave the sea up to tell some time later.

Keep The Lamp Swinging

Don

David West
16th March 2015, 03:45 PM
HI Don

I think Brazil was about a six week trip. Sometimes the longer trips got a bit boring but it was nice to see a different country now and again, I lost count of how many trips we did to North Africa Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia.
We had a Maltese messboy on that trip to Brazil and before he even attempted to go ashore he bought a bottle of the local firewater, made from peanuts I think, and after drinking it he woke up 3 days later back at sea and didn't even know we had been to Brazil. Although it sounds funny now, at the time he was vomiting 24/7 and had to be constantly watched in the sickbay.

Somewhere in my a paper cutting of Skycrest arriving in Port Taranaki N.Z. the unusual heavy lift derrick caused a stir.

Also have cuttings when the Orecrest lost her steering in a hurricane coming back from Narvik, we had to be towed into Trondheim and stayed there for a month for repairs.

Watch her when she rolls.

Dave

Don Cook
11th April 2015, 03:39 PM
Hi Dave, talking to an acquaintance about 18 months back he told me about the trouble with the steering gear on the Orecrest, he read that you had a rough time of it,going to Narvik. Navik was my first trip on the 12 to 4 and come the midnight watch about 2 O,clock after I had opened the F O purifiers and filled the F O tanks, I used to think never again no more rolly poly iron ore boats for me but you soon forget the bad times and remember the good times.

Somewhere in my collection I have a cutting of Skycrest on the N Z coast when I find all I will let you know what port it was.

Talking to a guy a while back about the Cuban crisis, do you know if Ivanovics Tidecrest / Rivercrest was involved he seems to think that they were?

Keep Swinging The Lamp

Don

David West
17th April 2015, 11:18 AM
Hi Don

Yeah the Narvik trip was a bit scary and strangely enough a pal of mine picked up an old copy of Sea Breezes or something similar and what was in it but an article about the breakdown written by the C/E a man called Scrivens who by the sound of things lives in Aussie. I can obviously still remember him but he must be a good old age by now. It was quite enlightening to read some facts which, at the time we were unaware of, and how close we actually came to being abandon ship !!!

Keep your powder dry

Dave

Not too sure if any of the other Ivanovic ships were involved in the Cuba crisis but when I was in touch with an old mate who was a cadet on the Tidecrest she always seemed to be on the Central/South American trips, so it wouldn't come as a surprise.

Don Cook
10th April 2016, 05:24 PM
HI Dave
Well although we have had a few thousand hits on site still no fellow crew members have come foward does this mean that we could be the only crew left that sailed with Ivanovic ?.
I still maintain that the Skycrest was the happiest ship that I sailed on.

Keep Swinging The Lamp

Don

David West
15th April 2016, 05:31 PM
Hi Don
Nice to hear from you again. Yes I agree although we have had lots of "hits" i am disappointed that we have not heard from Fellow "Ivanovic - Crest Shipping Company" shipmates. Even though the Company then,was much smaller than in it's heyday i would have thought that even shipmates from the few ships we had left e.g. Orecrest, Tidecrest, Southwick, Formentor to name the ones i can remember,would have joined in to "chew the fat " Surely we can't be the only two old salts left but then again we were in the minority as English crew, we did have a very Cosmopolitan crew in those days, predominantly Yugoslavs because of the Company founder,Peter Ivanovic, then Spanish, Italian and you name it. It was a bit like the Foreign Legion we never knew why or where they came from. haha.

We'll keep fishing shipmate we might get a bite yet

Watch her when she rolls

Kindest Regards

Dave

Susan bates
1st June 2016, 08:11 AM
Hi Dave
Just joined this site to see if I could find anything about my mother's cousin Ralph Lowes. I grew up on Vancouver Island, and remember well when the Skycrest was there. "Uncle Ralph" used to invite us to the ship for dinner. One time my sister and I were allowed to bring friends with us! C/E Patterson made a big fuss over us (we were about 10 or 11 years old). He poured us all several glasses of cider, which he reassured my mother was non-alcoholic. Mom had a hard time explaining to the friends's mothers how they got so tipsy.
Thank you for saying such nice nice things about Uncle Ralph. Of course, I totally agree with your opinion of him.
Susan

David West
7th June 2016, 01:56 PM
Hi Susan
Nice to hear from someone who remembers the ship. Capt Lowes was an absolute toff as was the Chief Engineer Patterson, it was a pleasure to be "Captains Tiger" as the 2nd Steward was often called. I remembered BC with much affection and have been out there on 12 occasions for holidays. We had two lots of friends who lived out there, one set lived at Roberts Creek on the Sunshine Coast before retiring, buying a boat and are currently in Florida about to do the Panama and then on to NZ and Aussie. Our other friends used to live in Langley just outside of Vancouver where they ran a company called Commercial Dust Control. They have recently sold their business and moved to the Island and are now living in a place called Cowichan Bay. If you are familiar with the area they live in one of those seafront houses built on stilts, (the one with the red roof) where my pal has a dock leading from his house and keeps his 40ft Sea Ray cruiser. We visited them in 2014 and i didn't want to come home it's so beautful.
I was on the Skycrest for 19 months and on two occasions in that period we did Vancouver, Victoria, Nanaimo and New Westminster so chances are i might have been on board when you visited. (I was there when Kennedy was assassinated). I was sad to hear some years later that Capt Lowes had died, he once told me he had been at sea for 45 years and reckoned in all that time he had spent less than 5 years at home, such was the nature of the Merchant Navy back then.
I am really delighted that you have picked up this thread, my other shipmate, Don, and i were about to give up hope haha.

Best wishes to you and yours

Dave West

Arnold Smith
7th January 2018, 09:24 AM
Hi Don
I know this is almost 3 years after your post but I was wondering if you ever did post the photos you mentioned. I sailed with a couple of engineers from the North East on the Orecrest and although I can't remember their names, I might just recall them from photographs. I'm pretty sure nobody would object to seeing themselves as they were then.
Tom.

Ivan Cloherty
7th January 2018, 09:51 AM
I'm pretty sure nobody would object to seeing themselves as they were then.
Tom.

They probably wont Arnold, but it may bring a few tears to the eyes together with a lot of sighing

Robert Byron
8th April 2018, 05:33 PM
Hello there,
I sailed on the Southwick and the Orecrest a good Company and B articles so good overtime

- - - Updated - - -

I have a photo of someshipmates taken in Lulea in Sweden we took the Orecrest right up into the gulf of bothnia and had fresh water swimming