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Thread: Picking up a tow from another banana boat

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    Default Picking up a tow from another banana boat

    78319085-5DF1-4D98-BC13-5A68C751440E.jpg
    Following a major engine room fire, the Darien (loaded Fyffes ship out of the Philippines), we were adrift for a number of days when the Turrialba (ex Fyffes, then Empressa) arrived to give us a tow.
    Superb ship handling by the master of the Turrialba allowed a rocket line to be shot from the Darien across to the Turrialba. Being a 4/E I was awed by this demonstration of ship handling although the deck department were quite nonchalant about it.
    Then began a 6 day tow until a tug from HongKong could take over.
    in total 17 days without power although we did get one of the auxiliary diesels ready to go but the amount of condensation in the alternator and switchboard deterred the C/E from starting it up.
    many side stories are attached to this event, maybe some of the other participants will contribute.

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    Default Re: Picking up a tow from another banana boat

    I was taken off the Bayano in Gulfport to fly to Hong Kong for the five week drydock of the Darien. The ripe sweet smell of the banana pulp in the holds, could be smelt all over the place. All the fruit had of course ripened and had turned the cardboard boxes they came in, into a soggy mess and had to be pumped out. Three local crew members to help with the accommodation cleaning were employed. The Fyffes employees were put up at a very nice hotel where a car would pick us up for the ship in the morning and return us at night. The wooden gratings from the domestic 'fridges had all been burnt, presumably for cooking purposes. These all had to be re made and installed. I'm glad I wasn't an engineer as they had a lot of hard dirty work to do. It was a change to normal routine of ship at sea and so an interesting change.

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    Default Re: Picking up a tow from another banana boat

    Quote Originally Posted by Ernest Martin View Post
    I was taken off the Bayano in Gulfport to fly to Hong Kong for the five week drydock of the Darien. The ripe sweet smell of the banana pulp in the holds, could be smelt all over the place. All the fruit had of course ripened and had turned the cardboard boxes they came in, into a soggy mess and had to be pumped out. Three local crew members to help with the accommodation cleaning were employed. The Fyffes employees were put up at a very nice hotel where a car would pick us up for the ship in the morning and return us at night. The wooden gratings from the domestic 'fridges had all been burnt, presumably for cooking purposes. These all had to be re made and installed. I'm glad I wasn't an engineer as they had a lot of hard dirty work to do. It was a change to normal routine of ship at sea and so an interesting change.
    The voyage to Hong Kong was difficult for all on board but the crew pulled together and accomplished many things. Yes, we did burn most items made of wood to enable cooking. Pete Downie (purser) worked tirelessly to ensure we were all fed.

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    Default Re: Picking up a tow from another banana boat

    I’ve just remembered the name of an oil rig on a memorable passage I did from the East Coast to the NW shelf in the 1990s. Usually I was master on one of the tugs , but this time I was on the oil rig where one had the grand title of tow master. The oil rig was the Ocean Epoch and was American. In the oil Industry people have different titles and the real person with all the say is the OIM which means for those unaware “ Offshore Installation Manager” . Who was of course American. After sorting out the language difficulties he was a very pleasant man, the language difficulties for example was finding out what he was talking about when he kept asking me “ Had I seen the Boooeee yet “ , finally I said what the hell is a boooeee, and discovered he was talking about a buoy. After seeing his point of view , as that is how it is spelt. However he was avery competent man and a great help when crossing the Bight the towing bridle parted , and we had to deballast to get on to the pontoons to replace. On leaving Fremantle the towline parted , and rushing out on deck on his own initiative he dropped one of the anchors right on top of the telephone cable running north to Asia. However he was man enough to own up to it and to carry the can. That tow distance wise must have been well over 2000 miles , but that saying worse things happen at sea was very appropriate at the time. JS
    Last edited by j.sabourn; Today at 05:01 AM.
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