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Article: A Girl in Every Port

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    A Girl in Every Port

    32 Comments by Peter Copley Published on 7th January 2021 12:16 PM
    Although I’m fairly new to this site, I can’t help noticing the many references to women of the world’s seaports. They may be innocent church-going local girls, however, I get the impression from some comments, like leaping out of windows, wearing nothing but their underpants, escaping from irate husbands or angry pimps, I guess the lads are referring to; women of the night, gangway Gerties or foreshore floozies.

    I’m not saying I have sampled the delights of the boulevards, bars, and brothels of the world’s seaports, but, sometimes if I can’t sleep at night, I try counting the women I’ve ‘known’ in my salad day when my testosterone was fizzing and popping.

    Er, well, er, there’s Angela in Archangelsk, Brunhilda in Bremerhaven, Big Carla in Cornerbrook, Donna from Detroit, Erica in El-Salvador, Freda from Fremantle, Gale from Green Bay... Long before I get to Yoko from Yokohama, I’ve fallen asleep.

    Big Carla from Cornerbrook Newfoundland took a fancy to me. She said I was ‘cute’ and was buying me drinks all night in the Royal Canadian Legion Club. Well, ‘Big Carla’ was a big girl, her forearms as big as my thighs. Her daytime job was a ‘lumberjill’ and she had a reputation for bump-starting tractors with flat batteries. After drinking with her all evening, I said, “Well, it’s been nice meeting you, Carla. I’m going back to my ship now.” She said, “Oh no you’re not, sonny-Jim. You are coming home with me. You either sleep with me or fight me.” Well, I tell you, lads, she was too big to fight.

    On a more serious note, I did have some lovely girlfriends that I can tell my wife and children about.

    There was Maureen in Bunbury WA, I fell for her hook line and sinker. Tall, blonde and beautiful, a typical Aussie girl. The first time I saw her she was playing netball. I couldn’t take my eyes off her. After the game, I chattered her up and asked her for a date. We were both too young to drink in the pubs but I did take her to the pictures and a coffee bar, playing records on the jukebox. I remember the warm balmy evenings spent with her, just walking and talking by the beach. No sex, not even a quick fumble, just two teenagers enjoying the warm ambiance of an Australian summer. We corresponded as pen-friends for about 6 years and her father offered to sponsor me to emigrate to Australia. After she became a policewoman in Perth I lost contact with her. In the early 1960s, Bunbury was a one-horse town with wooden sidewalks but I loved the town and the people there. I felt like I belonged there. I look at where Maureen used to live, Sterling Street, on Google maps and see her house has gone, replaced with commercial buildings. I’ve been told that Bunbury South of Fremantle is now a suburb of Perth.

    Another romance I had while I was at sea, was with a Japanese girl; Ayami Ichimaru. I met her one Sunday morning in Kobe Harbour, 1960. My oppo and I were returning to the ship, waiting for a boat to take us to the anchorage. Ayami was with a group of giggling schoolgirls taking photos of the ships and of us two. Ayami was 15 years old. I was 17. We exchanged addresses and we became penfriends for about 6 years. Then in 1967, I returned to Japan on a 12-month time charter to Nippon Yusen Tokyo, trading between Pacific ports and Japan. I contacted Ayami and we met up and became more than just friends. By this time Ayami, who worked for JAL at Osaka Airport, was a petit 21-year-old beauty. She used her position with the airline to get flights to meet up with me at various Japanese ports. I visited her home in Takarazuka and met her family. It’s a long story, a dichotomy really, between a gentle oriental girl and an equally pretty English girl. So, I had to choose, Ayami or my future wife, I chose the latter, therefore I had to end my romance with Ayami. I took her for a meal in Osaka to tell her its sayonara. I could have just gone home and left it at that, but I couldn’t do that. I have to say she was heartbroken and I left her in floods of tears. I put her in a taxi and that was the last I saw of her. I was quite upset myself leaving this exquisite oriental girl that I had been leading on, knowing in my own mind that I would not marry her. It is true what they say, that the beds of the orient are the softest. Anyway, I married Kathleen and we had four kids and we have been married for 53 years.

    Around 2010 I was staying in a hotel working away from home. I got a phone call from Kathleen saying I’d got a letter from Germany. From a guy called Gerd Ackermann. I asked her to read it over the phone. Gerd had been a penfriend of Ayami for many years, although he had never met her. Ayami’s friend, a girl who was with her in Kobe when we first met, now lives near Gerd in Germany, she had married a German seaman. In his letter, Gerd told me that Ayami had contracted Cystic Fibrosis and was not well at all. She told him that she once loved an English sailor and before she died, she would like to find him again, just to see how he was and about his family. Gerd went to the trouble of tracing me and my address. It took him quite a while. He asked if I would like to contact Ayami by email. I agreed and for about three years we exchanged emails every other week. Ayami reminded me of the times we spent together, about things, places and music I had forgotten about, very touching. She died of CF around 2013. I’ve still got the emails and I may write a play based on them one day. Ayami never did get married. Gerd and I are still penfriends.

    I’m not sure if this article will interest anyone, however, it may start a thread for anyone wanting to tell us of their long-lost lovers, nights of passion in the orient or, steamy sessions in the tropical forests of Brazil... Now that is a place for beautiful women.

    PC R701198
    Last edited by Doc Vernon; 7th January 2021 at 08:00 PM.

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  3. #11
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    Default Re: A Girl in Every Port

    #9 I reckon that’s why seamen know where all the dives of Ill repute are worldwide. They have enquiring minds and have to see if what they hear is true. They are all self educated which is the best way to be. If someone doesn’t tell them the full story they have to go and find out for themselves , funnily enough though not too long after they all asked to see a doctor so maybe all the the rushing around they got heat stroke. Dennis will be saying I have been smoking John in Ozs wild woodbines. But I used to smoke Capstan full strength. Cheers JS.
    Last edited by j.sabourn; 10th January 2021 at 10:18 AM.
    R575129

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    Default Re: A Girl in Every Port

    Quote Originally Posted by j.sabourn View Post
    #9 I reckon that’s why seamen know where all the dives of Ill repute are worldwide. They have enquiring minds and have to see if what they hear is true. They are all self educated which is the best way to be. If someone doesn’t tell them the full story they have to go and find out for themselves , funnily enough though not too long after they all asked to see a doctor so maybe all the the rushing around they got heat stroke. Dennis will be saying I have been smoking John in Ozs wild woodbines. But I used to smoke Capstan full strength. Cheers JS.
    hi john sabourn
    it was not the big head that got the rush of blood and got you dizzy ? but the little head whom always got you in trouble, well at least it was for me.
    tom

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    Default Re: A Girl in Every Port

    Quote Originally Posted by j.sabourn View Post
    #9 I reckon that’s why seamen know where all the dives of Ill repute are worldwide. They have enquiring minds and have to see if what they hear is true. They are all self educated which is the best way to be. If someone doesn’t tell them the full story they have to go and find out for themselves , funnily enough though not too long after they all asked to see a doctor so maybe all the the rushing around they got heat stroke. Dennis will be saying I have been smoking John in Ozs wild woodbines. But I used to smoke Capstan full strength. Cheers JS.
    How could they possibly be dives, if they were so popular?

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    Default Re: A Girl in Every Port

    The lighting was seldom very good and it was quite a regular thing to do a nose dive in. Coming out was also at times head first. JS
    R575129

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    Default Re: A Girl in Every Port

    My mate picked up this really gorgeous looking shelia in the Navigators Den.
    Next day I asked how he got on.

    Gruesome he replied.
    How was that she looked alright.
    Yes but as she took off each piece of clothing she grew some more.
    By the time she was naked she was twice the Size.

    So how did you go?
    got here but it was like climbing Everest.
    Happy daze John in Oz.

    Life is too short to blend in.

    John Strange R737787
    World Traveller

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    Default Re: A Girl in Every Port

    Dear Brian,
    Well done,
    It says it all, I am approaching 80 after a lifetime at sea. In the end, regardless of what we have a achieved or haven't, it all comes down to this wine women and song, and like you I have certainly had my share and in the end, no statues, no fine words, no hymns of praise, just my memories, and they will be of my life at sea and all the fun I had.

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    Default Re: A Girl in Every Port

    Nicely Pend Brian

    Bob Gawler

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    Default Re: A Girl in Every Port

    I was on board passenger Canadian Pacific and Cunard ships for most of my MN career. Plenty of opportunity to meet girls. So I can relate to all that has been said about a girl in every port or in my case every port and ship. Because of the run it was mainly Liverpool, Southampton, Montreal, and New York. I also met a beautiful Canadian girl and fell hopelessly in love with her. Her name was Helen Shepherd and she lived in Sudbury, Ontario. I was so in love with her I nearly joined the OPP - Ontario Provincial Police. Sadly I lost touch with her but I still think about her from time to time. Keep safe. Terry Foskett R748632

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    Default Re: A Girl in Every Port

    A Girl In Every Port, I dont no where i went wrong it was usually a Port In Every Girl,
    {terry scouse}

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    Default Re: A Girl in Every Port

    I was very lucky when a cadet friend gave me the name of a young lady who he had met, with her parents, travelling to Lagos on one of the company mailboats. He very generously wrote to her advising that I would be regularly in Lagos as part of my practical training in those ships. A whole year when every six weeks there was a five day turn-round in that port. She was a very attractive Scottish hairdresser who had a job at a salon that catered for expatriate women. The five days gave enough freedom to visit beaches, expat clubs and their swimming pools, nightclubs and restaurants et al. Romance blossomed. When she and her family returned to the UK I used to travel across the Penines from Liverpool while shorebased training. Even picked her up to take to my 21st. to meet all my family. Regrettably, she decided to join her parents when they emigrated to the USA. I visited Lagos a number of times subsequently, but it was not the same. I subsequently married a 'Flying Angel', one of the hostesses at the Mersey Mission to Seamen. Both saved me from a life of debauchery. John Martin R845313
    Last edited by John S Martin; 13th January 2021 at 05:33 PM.

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