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Samuel Denton
24th April 2019, 09:42 PM
I am sure like a lot of us on here we have all sailed into various ports in Saudi Arabia. First time I was ever there was in 1977. I have to admit I did find it an interesting place, especially Jeddah. I even bought my future wife's engagement ring there. Even when it was valued in the UK I was told I had got a bargain. Concerning my wife I certainly did get a bargain and after 36 years still going strong. Jeddah was my favourite port in Saudi if there had to be one. We used to get a decent run ashore there for shopping. Bought a cracking camera there , Minolta S 7 had it for years, funny though when I bought it they would not sell me any film with it.
Ras Tanurah was a place you only ever wanted to pay off if you were really desperate. Paying off there you would just leave anything of value on the ship and agree with the master that it would be put ashore at a civilised port and sent home from there.

Talking about civilised, just read today that Saudi Arabia publicly executed 37 people on Tuesday, how on earth can we or the rest of the world continue to trade with this nation. Disgusted.

Chris Allman
24th April 2019, 10:22 PM
AH yes Jeddah - bond closed & sealed prior to picking up the Pilot - the chicane of reefs whilst entering, and the abject horror of seeing the crew playing football on the quay with a case of Harp Lager as one of the goalposts. The instant dispatch of two Cadets to retrieve the offending case into a canvas bag which was then hidden in the galley oven till we left. There will never be the likes again :bigsmile:

Des Taff Jenkins
25th April 2019, 12:20 AM
Hi Samuel
Ras Tenura one of the most inhospitable places on Earth, unfortunately was there many times back in the 50s.
Des

Colin Wood
25th April 2019, 01:27 AM
Only went there once, thank goodness. Arrived early morning as we had been advised, much easier to see reef and safely navigate inwards. Long hot standbye and berthing, so mate came off of focsle and in a moment of absentmindedness, got a beer from his fridge, poor old Captain Roberts nearly had a heart attack. Luckily no one else saw him.

happy daze john in oz
25th April 2019, 05:39 AM
Saudi Arabia, where you will be executed for being gay.
Moat of their executions are in public and done by beheading with a sword.
But things are on the improve, females are now being allowed to drive!!!!

But yes by western standards they are well behind the times with some laws, but not alone on this.

Louis the fly
25th April 2019, 09:31 AM
The so called civilised world headed by US and UK worships at the altar of the god of money , the Saudis have an abundance of money.
The royal dictators know they can murder , torture and imprison men women and children , kill thousands of civilians in Yemen while others die from disease and starvation. US and British governments will never criticize or condemn their actions because of the billions upon billions of dollars flowing into their treasuries from arms sales and investments. Conscience , rule of law , war crimes and human rights all come way down the list of priorities behind the god of money.

Captain Kong
25th April 2019, 10:25 AM
I spent several years running into Saudi.
in the anchorage several miles off shore near Rastanurrah the Customs boarded a Dutch ship, and discovered an empty beer can in the trash,
The Captain was taken ashore and given 100 lashes and a year in a hole in the ground called a prison, the Agent ashore , who had never seen the ship was also given the same sentence, the ship was Confiscated.

I had my leg crushed on SEA ISLAND near Rastan, and went ashore in a boat, the customs went through every item of clothing as I sat there in a pool of blood, nearly two hours. then an eight hour drive to hospital in Al Khobar which was infested with rats and cockroaches,
The Doctor looked at my leg and said, "No Problem, I will amputate," No chance, I got out of there fast, with a broom as a crutch. and got the Agent to fly me home next day.it is an evil place, In 1975, I went ashore one Friday with the Agent to his office, and we were stopped by the Police, there were crowds of people, including young children, It was Execution day, we had to watch four men one at a time kneel down and the man with the sword did a dance as he swung his sword around then CHOP, off came the head with a long spurt of blood. everyone cheered, he has to take off the head in one blow. if it takes more then he has failed. Then two men who had stolen something had their hand cut off with a guillotine,

Red Lead Ted
25th April 2019, 01:32 PM
I sailed in and out of Jeddah a few times in the 70s I also bought my wife's engagement ring there {White gold single diamond } More out of curiosity than anything else I got it valued in BOODLE AND DUNTHORP in Liverpool in the mid 90s, Unknown to my wife, I think I paid around 30 for it in Jeddah, When the jeweler looked at it here in L,Pool I have to admit sir I cant read the markings, Never seen anything like it before can you leave it overnight and I will get my boss to look at it. Went back into the shop the next day AHHH Good news sir my boss will give you 275 for the ring. She still wears it every day. Terry :grinsign:

Samuel Denton
25th April 2019, 05:00 PM
I used to buy a lot of jewelry in the Gulf , Kuwait, Dubai and Saudi, never got ripped off once. Sometimes the wife would be honest and say sorry love but that is not my taste sow e would sell it on. She has started to give my daughter inlaw bits and pieces now.

Des Taff Jenkins
26th April 2019, 04:26 AM
In NZ over fifty people were killed by a madman, the whole world lamented. On Tue in Saudi Arabia 38 people were executed in a public place, not a peep from anyone, especially our candle bearing politicians who stood a vigil when they shot two Australian drug smugglers in Indonesia .

Back to Rastanura, my last visit on a BTC tanker, as we were heading for the port this big Yank bulk er came tearing past, probably wanting to beat us in, we all looked on in amazement as she bounced over the reef, if I remember correctly she either ripped her rudder off or her prop, no problem for the Yanks they filled her up and got another of the fleet to tow her home, on our way home we passed her, wee were doing the usual ten knots but it took awhile to pass her.
Des

happy daze john in oz
26th April 2019, 06:06 AM
There are many countries where poverty, murder of civilians, starvation of citizens takes place.
The West is well aware of this but does very little about it.
Yes it may at times provide some assistance but little more than lip service.

There is a fear amongst many in the west that if they give to much assistance or interfere in the ways of such they may well rise up against the west and become a real problem.

So they allow the sleeping dog to lie still, turn a blind eye to corruption, genocide and many other crimes against humanity.
Why, because these countries area source of revenue for them, revenue soiled with the blood of the citizens of these countries.
But the West does not see it that way, they continue to turn the blind eye.

Ivan Cloherty
26th April 2019, 08:10 AM
Having lived in the Middle East for a number of years in 70's and worked in Saudi for months 80's the Arab mind is very difficult to understand and whilst the west appears to worship the money mantra of the area it goes deeper than that. Being friendly with said nations allows the west a certain amount of knowledge and therefore keep them as best as possible in their own domain. They are, or appear to be, in a position of strength at the moment with their oil revenues, but it will not always be so.

In the 70's I was offered a job at three times the salary I was getting in Dubai, which wasn't bad, but I turned it down as I would not be allowed to swim in the same pool as my baby twin daughters. The only reason anyone would work in Saudi is monetary, it has nothing else to offer.

I found the Dubai Arab very honourable in business dealings, until he started to be influenced by the Mediterranean Arabs whom he employed as managers

happy daze john in oz
27th April 2019, 06:17 AM
The problem with Saudi Arabia and many other nations is the religious following they take.

The word of their God is paramount to them, unlike the West where it does not hold such sway.
This results in situations we in the West may find abhorent, child brides as young as 10, sexual mutilation, females treated as nothing more than chattels and there for the male pleasure.

The subjugation of females is their way of making sure the male is forever dominant.
With such dominance they can do as they please, but their time will come when that power will disappear, hopefully for ever.

Samuel Denton
27th April 2019, 02:05 PM
Well start of the slippery slope has begun in Saudi, Women drivers eh!!! what ever next. :p That sure is one country that was long ago removed from my wish to return list.

Struan Robertson
1st May 2019, 07:23 AM
Been to Saudi a dozen times, worked there, was encamped there and have nothing good to say about it. Loathsome place with loathsome people...!

As the Jews say, "God gave them oil, because he gave them nothing else...!"

David Swan
1st May 2019, 07:35 AM
Remember once, we were discharging Ro Ro cargo in Dharhan (most of which we did ourselves). A few of us were taking a break in the Officers bar. All the booze was locked away as usual. The 2nd Mate had poured a tin of Fanta into a pint glass. Next thing a Saudia guard had walked past, saw the pint glass and his AK-47 was off his shoulder, cocked and ready to fire, pointing straight at the 2nd Mate. As you can imagine, we all damn near Sh@t ourselves and started yelling at the guard that it was orange/citrus. Took him some time before he finally got the message and he lowered his weapon. Really brought home to me just how little regard some races have for human life. To be possibly shot for drinking orange juice from a Pint glass doesn't bear thinking about.
Went to Saudi a number of times. Always found that the Red Sea side (Jeddah) was fine and a decent run ashore, but the Gulf side was a real pain in the posterior and was really glad when we finished and got underway again.

Louis the fly
1st May 2019, 08:05 AM
The Saudi royals finance the building of mosques all over the world to spread their message.
For the thousands who are working in the country on construction , in hospitals , as servants etc. they are denied the right to practice their religion.
No churches allowed in Saudi.
What a crazy world.

Captain Kong
1st May 2019, 08:11 AM
Boltonistan has a ring of 52 mo sks around it,
When they conquer a place they always ring it with mo sks.
another racket here is, if a building is registered as a religious building they do not pay Council Tax,
whole streets of terraced houses, individual houses, are all registered as places of worship, so No One Pays Council Tax.

ian walsh
1st May 2019, 11:37 AM
Rastanura, what a kip, sand, camels, and Arabs. Been there many times, one particular time, in the 70's,
on a VLCC about 20 Customs came aboard (they were really the religious police) and went through every cabin looking for alcohol, they didn't find any 'cos we all knew the drill. After they left there was this one guy hanging around the Control Room offering $50 if anyone would sell him a bottle of whiskey,we were wise to that one too - entrapment. What a horrible shower of fks they were.

Martyn Hammond
1st May 2019, 01:42 PM
First went to the Gulf in 1968, July and August with no air-conditioning unloading, 12 on 12 off relatively heavy machinery ourselves with a crew of laborers that we had acquired offshore Dubai on our way in. We unloaded into barges and never made it ashore in Dubai, Ras Tannura, Doha, Kuwait, Basra or Khoramshar.
I spent 8 years in the 80’s, during the Iran / Iraq war living in Kuwait and Dubai, but with frequent visits to all the other countries on the Arab side and North Africa, including sometimes monthly visits to Saudi. I still keep in touch with a couple of Palestinian and Kuwaiti friends, for whom I have great empathy.
In my opinion, apart from Dubai, the best place was Iraq. I never quite understood how and why we got sideways with Saddam as he was no worse or better than the other psychopaths.
I suppose we thought the business was worth it, but after the $Trillions spent on the various wars, the Saudi led and financed global expansion of “nutters”, I’m glad to see we are beginning to come to our senses. We are however, probably too late.

keith pratten
1st May 2019, 02:18 PM
rastanura 1974 Texaco Norway,2nd tripper,brilliant run ashore we were told,big sub.
on with the platform shoes,woolen hipster flares(red)crushed velvet jacket,shirt tie, ready for the promised ladies,off ship up the longest jetty I have ever walked ships crew leaning on the hand rails,they were still there when we came back 3 hrs. later laughing theyre tits off.what a wonderful life.

Pete Laurie
1st May 2019, 02:31 PM
I sailed with P&O Bulk as R/O for 9 years in the 70's and for most of the time never went near the Gulf, I would join ships that only went back and forth to Ras and immediately get orders to do something else. Eventually, towards the end of my career in the MN, I did go to RAS. As we approached the Chief Steward started throwing oranges over the side, Jaffa's, 10K fine if the Saudi's found any. Second Mate reckoned you didn't need to navigate into Ras, just follow the oranges.

Paul Slingsby
1st May 2019, 08:37 PM
Executed , now that's a good idea we could do with in the UK.

happy daze john in oz
2nd May 2019, 06:12 AM
As some of you may be aware we have a feral erection later this month.
The shadow foreign minister, a female, is a lesbian.
If she becomes the new foreign minister it will be interesting to see how she fare in countries such as Saudi Arabia, Brunei and a, few others where any form of homosexuality can result in the death penalty!!!!

john walker
2nd May 2019, 08:47 AM
Remember once, we were discharging Ro Ro cargo in Dharhan (most of which we did ourselves). A few of us were taking a break in the Officers bar. All the booze was locked away as usual. The 2nd Mate had poured a tin of Fanta into a pint glass. Next thing a Saudia guard had walked past, saw the pint glass and his AK-47 was off his shoulder, cocked and ready to fire, pointing straight at the 2nd Mate. As you can imagine, we all damn near Sh@t ourselves and started yelling at the guard that it was orange/citrus. Took him some time before he finally got the message and he lowered his weapon. Really brought home to me just how little regard some races have for human life. To be possibly shot for drinking orange juice from a Pint glass doesn't bear thinking about.
Went to Saudi a number of times. Always found that the Red Sea side (Jeddah) was fine and a decent run ashore, but the Gulf side was a real pain in the posterior and was really glad when we finished and got underway again.

It was quite unusual to discharge cargo in Dharhan as the ports around the area were Dammam and Al Khobar the city is better known for being the head quarters of Aramco and is a huge area for expat employees and there families (About 50,000 of them) the families live in there own compounds and even have their own private beach for swimming and sunbathing, They also are the only people in Saudi Arabia who have access to pork and pork products from their own supermarket. I worked twice in the Eastern province of the K.S.A. and remember that certain food products including FANTA were banned due to them also being sold in ISRAEL. The name was changed to Santa and every one was happy. The security guard certainly over reacted to the incident but maybe you got the wrong end of the stick and He was reacting to the FANTA

Martyn Hammond
2nd May 2019, 02:51 PM
We would normally have the Brit ex-pats on bachelor contracts, 2 months in and 2 weeks out for 2 years, a few of the real bachelors would go off to Thailand for a 2 week session. We had a relatively small ex - pat operation in Dhahran / Dammam and our guys lived in regular apartments. One of the problems we found was that if any of them ever got lifted by the police, even for traffic offenses, they could disappear, this is before cell phones etc. The trick was to get the joint venture partner involved as quickly as possible before they and their paperwork was sent to Riyadh. If it could be “dealt” with by local contacts the solution was cheap and quick. On one occasion an accountant had finished his 2 years and was being replaced by another Brit ex-pat. There was a 2 week transition period where they both shared the same apartment. The existing accountant had developed a taste for Siddiqui and was accumulating quantities for his leaving party but was spotted stocking up and shopped to the police by the Farash (building super). The result was a midnight raid with both being arrested, because of the quantities, for trafficking and shipped off the jail. I was in Dubai and knew nothing of this and for some reason when they did not show up at the Dammam office non of the clerks reported them missing and it took 3 days before any search began. It took another week or so to find them and by that time their paperwork was in Riyadh and we could do nothing. They got 5 years hard labor. Our JV partner was not a Prince but had “influence”, but even so it took another 9 months and some significant funds to get them out and deported on a Ramadan amnesty.

john walker
3rd May 2019, 08:54 AM
Martyn #26 the two times that I worked in K.S.A. were on military contracts and we were fortunate to have a Saudi prince as our Government relations officer. I tried sidiqui once (Sidiqui = the Arabic word for friend or in expat circles illegally brewed hooch) All i got out of the experience was the hangover from hell. I ended up in prison once which was the traffic offenders prison for a night in Al Khobar. The Saudis were well aware of the amount of boozing that was going on in various compounds across the Kingdom and I believe if you stayed on your compound and kept a low profile they let sleeping dogs lie it was only the traders in illegal alcohol and those who were stupid enough to be on the streets smelling of booze or even worse drunk who were targeted and received prison sentences/public canings etc.

Martyn Hammond
3rd May 2019, 06:48 PM
Martyn #26 the two times that I worked in K.S.A. were on military contracts and we were fortunate to have a Saudi prince as our Government relations officer. I tried sidiqui once (Sidiqui = the Arabic word for friend or in expat circles illegally brewed hooch) All i got out of the experience was the hangover from hell. I ended up in prison once which was the traffic offenders prison for a night in Al Khobar. The Saudis were well aware of the amount of boozing that was going on in various compounds across the Kingdom and I believe if you stayed on your compound and kept a low profile they let sleeping dogs lie it was only the traders in illegal alcohol and those who were stupid enough to be on the streets smelling of booze or even worse drunk who were targeted and received prison sentences/public canings etc.

I agree, going in to the Gulf certain rules are pretty clear. But in saying that, even though I have visited them often, there are only 2 countries that I have refused to live, Saudi and Nigeria. In both places I could never really get comfortable.

Des Taff Jenkins
4th May 2019, 01:20 AM
My brother worked on a construction site in Saudi Arabia, can't remember the exact time but must have been around the seventy's, although my brother he was a bit of a nut case. When we went home for a visit his wife told us that he had been flown out on a private jet to avoid being picked and charged for making illicit booze, he was very lucky as i think he would have still been locked up there today, or worse.
Des

john walker
4th May 2019, 10:58 AM
#28 I worked a one year contract between November 82 and December 83 in Al Khobar and skinned out on an exit reentry visa. Then took a worse job in war torn Southern Sudan in February 84 I was medically evacuated from there after only 5 months 'After an incident' When I had recovered from my injuries I then took a job in Nigeria. later on in my working life I worked in the Yemen for three years and Angola for one year probably the most 'Comfortable' of those countries was Saudi but one thing they all have/had in common was the work was highly paid because of the difficulties of both the climate and working environment including a very volatile population. My only reason for going to work in such places in the first was purely financial. I had visited Saudi,Nigeria and Angola several times on various ships so I thought that there would not be to many surprises working ashore. Well I soon found out that I was blinkered to the realities of the countries and the thing that I found the worst was the utter boredom when not working as the usual T.V. newspapers, shops and social life were not available.