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Article: Sailing with BP

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    Sailing with BP

    1 Comments by Peter Pemberton Published on 21st August 2019 02:37 PM
    I joined the SS Rogue River in September 1957, my first ship, as a navigating apprentice with BP. The ship was in dry dock in Cardiff for a couple of weeks before we sailed to Kuwait via the Suez Canal.
    After loading Crude oil we set course for Buenos Aires with a stop in Durban for water and bunkers.The transit from Durban across the southern Atlantic was quite an experience.
    The ship was a wartime T2 tanker, and although it had strengthening H girders built into both sides of the deck you could see the cable that went from the bow, to the two masts sag and go taught as we went through the heavy seas. On arrival we anchored in the estuary of the River Plate in front on the city of Montevideo awaiting the pilot. I was on the bridge while we travelled up the river, and was amused that the pilot gave instructions using some sunken ships as reference points. We reached our destination and anchored off the small town of Ensenada, which is about 30 miles away fro the city of Buenos aires There we had to discharge part of our cargo into lighters before we could enter a channel for the main discharge. Our second mate got furious when he saw a worker on the lighter barge smoking. On the opposite side of the channel to where we moored was a large slaughter house, and throughout the time we were there a continuous line of cattle was walked up a ramp until the top where a man stood on a platform with a sledge hammer, a gruesome scene.
    We did two more voyages to Buenos Aires and then after loading a cargo of crude we sailed to Philadelphia. From there we went to Punta Cardon in Venezuela and loaded crude for Europe. We thought that we were headed to Scandinavia and the engineers spent a lot of effort to get the tanks heating system working. In the Bay of Biscay we received orders to discharge in Loch Long, Scotland and pay off the crew.=

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    Default Re: Sailing with BP

    Hi Peter,
    I was a 1955 BP Engineering Apprentice, have been running a BP website for almost 20 years ( located over 1000 ex BP seagoing personnel), including a database of 4200 BP Navigating Apprentices. Never heard of you before and would like to connect privately but not too sure how to through this website.
    I know a few people who sailed Rogue river in 1957 , but both left in August. One of my close friends joined her as EA 7th Sept 1958 , but I guess you had left her by then.

    Graham Wallace

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