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Thread: The Dilkara, the Allunga, the Paralla

  1. #11
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    Default Re: The Dilkara, the Allunga, the Paralla

    Hi I was a deck cadet on my Dilkara,from December 1972 to April 1973. I was an Ellerman Lines cadet and the company had a one third owner/operator share in the vessel.The trans Pacific round trip,at that time,originated in New Westminster,Vancouver and took in various ports on the west coast of the USA before the two week transit to east coast of Australia,usually Brisbane,Sydney,Melbourne and Adelaide then northward crossing which included a bunkering stop at Honolulu.At that time,the vessel did not call at any ports in South America.Ex Blue Star Line crew could probably give you more detail on voyages to S.America.
    Best Regards
    Harry Thorburn

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  3. #12
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    Default Re: The Dilkara, the Allunga, the Paralla

    Sorry do not know anything about the ships mentioned but I have sailed almost on that route, I did Australia to east coast USA through Panama. In your book you could mention crossing the International date line means you go back and repeat the day you crossed. When I did it we had two Mondays.

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    Default Re: The Dilkara, the Allunga, the Paralla

    Going the other way you missed a day, and if a true blue company man would try and make Saturday so Sunday didn’t exist, and no Sunday at sea. When you had two Monday’s how do you know you shouldn’t of had two Sundays ? . Cheers JS
    Last edited by j.sabourn; 27th May 2021 at 08:30 AM.
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    Post Re: The Dilkara, the Allunga, the Paralla

    JS. I heard stories,possibly passed down from an old China Hand (!)of certain Old Men fond of their 'pop' who regularly missed a day(or two) and they were nowhere near the Date Line! .One story was about an Old Man who missed two days of the voyage from Liverpool round to Tilbury,a voyage which takes yes 2 days!.But that story was probably apothecary...er apocalypse...no.hyperpathetical or hypo... no,what's that word ...open to being taken with a pinch of salt.!

    Personally I used to love working out ETA's which involved traversing multi time zones(some of them keeping daylight saving time) and crossing the IDL.where you gained or lost a day.
    Nothing taxed my brain more though was once flying out from UK to Japan via the Polar route in the 70,'s.Back then the stopover for refuelling was Anchorage Alaska.Anchorage became known as the worlds largest airline gas station.This was still the Cold War era and airlines avoided flying over Russia or Siberia It was very busy both ways with European airlines flying from Europe to the FarEast and Far Eastern airlines flying to west coast U.S.Even though it was the 747 era their range was not sufficient for a non-stop.

    It was a strange experience because we left London at 1600 on Monday (summertime so it was GMT + 1) and after a 9hour flight westbound arrived Anchorage (GMT-8 at just one hour later local time as we had left London.1700 hrs.!
    After an hour and a half's refuelling and legstretching in the airport and watching the snow being cleared outside the airport lounge windows !) we were off again.Departing Anchorage at 1830 (GMT-8,still Monday) it was evident that one's body clock
    was way out of synch, the body clock saying go to sleep,time zone saying wake up.With sun streaming through the plane portholes ,and after stuffing us with yet another meal and a couple of glasses of vino and a film the cabin crew darkened the cabin and closed the porthole screens at each seat....Contented exhausted zzz's ensued......
    After another 7 and a Half hours ,this time flying eastward
    We arrived in Japan (GMT +8) at 1400 on the Tuesday ,after advancing clocks 12 hours !((GMT - 8 to GMT + 8.

    I remember within hours of joining that bulker in Chiba I not only found myself on after mooring duty but then standing my 4 hour watch on a huge unfamiliar bulker.It wouldn't have been allowed now.I think the Old Man would have probably tbought well,he must have slept on the plane.! Oh my days (! I still want to go back though!

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    Default Re: The Dilkara, the Allunga, the Paralla

    #14 Did almost a replica of you polar excursion to Chiba. Mine however was in 1968 and if remember correctly had to go to Amsterdam Skipol I think. Was a JAL airline flight and I was the only European on it so all the drinks were free courtesy of JAL as far as Anchorage. However on a ship time is what one wants to make it , and much to others dismay for those that don’t know , noon is not 1200 hours it’s what the navigator wants to make it. As second mate I used to like to make it about 1130 hours Ships time , so could be all wound up for 1200 hours and the chief engineer had all his info. To work out his slip at his own leisure . When approaching the date line and it was near a weekend the old man if so inclined would say skip the Sunday otherwise on the other hand could say make it two sundays this week second mate. Ships time was to the discretion of the navigator. The same as arriving in port early Sunday morning you had to have 8 hours at sea for a Sunday at sea so depending on what side of 0800 hrs FWE was rung depended if you got a days leave and a days subsistence. However if you were on A articles didn’t really matter as you were on a different Agreement with fixed leave and no overtime. So those on B Agreement would lose out depending on that FWE log time. Today you don’t have any controversy’s that these situations could develop into. Unions in those instances fought for the wrong things . Loss of sleep was a farce and was supposed to be a safety factor. Now you have longer working days and no loss of sleep, whatever happened to Safety ? I think that radio show with Wilfred Pickles when he said given him the money Mabel ! Just about sums up the monetary side of British Shipping. Cheers JS

    As regards masters losing days I could vouch for that and there was reasons why, in the cases where I was on the ship I lost no respect for a couple of them , they were just there more or less to see their time out. One of them actually skinned out in South Korea , he was already retired , so had just had enough, I thought he was joking when he told me the previous evening he was going home, but home he went. All the way back to Sunderland. These were the old timers then who we all respected them, as had gone through the wartime convoys and survived. Cheers JS
    Last edited by j.sabourn; 27th May 2021 at 01:07 PM.
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    Post Re: The Dilkara, the Allunga, the Paralla

    JS # 14.JAL eh? They certainly pushed the boat out for you John Did you keep your complimentary kimono and slippers?I went with BA and paid for those glasses of collapso,although I think I received a key ring,made in Hong Kong. JAL is a very good airline but I must admit
    I have always felt safer flying the flag-can't really say why,although there will be some who think they'd rather fly in an aircraft rather than a flag. The other carrier which I used quite often was El Al -almost as many security crew as passengers ! It was always nice to land in Ben Gurion Airport hearing all the passengers singing # Hava Nagila,or was it # If I was a Rich Man ?,while I hurriedly scrabbled round my complimentary Dan Air shoulder bag-that was from a previous carrier) -for my yarmulka- there's absolutely nothing wrong in showing your respect for a host country's traditions.
    Another excellent Far East airline is Malaysian Airlines.A fellow passenger remarked about all those lovely Oriental beauties showing off their beautiful cheongsams.​.Being young and a bit boozy and because my ears hadn't yet popped at that altitude I gave out a leery nudge nudge guffaw thinking that cheongsam was another word for something else. I got a disgusted look and we spent the rest of the flight in silence.Well,I was young !(that's no excuse)
    Sadly these days there's a lot more tension in the world than during our earlier years and I wouldn't like to fly over Ukraine, Belarus or Syria these days...Gull Air!.gif

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    Default Re: The Dilkara, the Allunga, the Paralla

    Yes there is so much one could say of the past, the good parts and the bad, however in all good conscience some of the things that happened is not for others ears , as may put others in uncomfortable positions, although most be dead by now , but they all had families and probably great grandchildren by now. So discretion is the better part of valour., and never speak Ill of the dead and all that. The truth sometimes has to be spoken but in all good faith not to hurt the innocent. Did you get the certificate for flying over the North Pole , think this was mentioned in another post not so long back. Think I took my kimono and slippers home for the wife which was 13 months later. In those days one had to pay for ones drinks which were nearly always miniatures. Another time another ship flew back from NZ but think the drinks were free by this time. Arriving Heathrow the plane was out of booze due mainly to my companion and myself or so we were told .JS
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    Post Re: The Dilkara, the Allunga, the Paralla

    JS #17. Good Heavens-a certificate for flying over the North Pole? I didn't know that one got one ! No I did NOT get one,and I now know what my life has been missing all these barren oceanless years. Perhaps I was asleep when the cabin crew slipped them onto our little tables,perhaps in my exhausted sleep-deprived state I accidentally filled it in and handed it over to Japanese Immigration-I mean they woudn't notice because it 's in English surely....
    To think I could have had it framed and it could have been within sight of my home office desk all those years,to be gazed upon through misting up eyes at the memory.I could have placed it in my ditty box along with my scrimshaw and my last will and testament for some ungrateful beneficiary after I 'cock me toes'.
    'Tis tragic. Wonder what else I have missed out on in life-apart from the JAL kimono and slippers. Thankfully I have an old water-creased Crossing the Line cert.glued into my Cadet's Journal-heck that's goin'back a bit,well I hope it was crossing the Equator and not the Int.Date Line. I mean who would want to commemorate crossing the IDL? I mean it's either "Oh no,we've just lost a bluddy day,I feel so cheated",or "Effing 'ell-not another crappy day like yesterday"! I think it is still done on cruise liners however,but what the heck,every day is a celebration on there,especially for some of the oldest punters!

    Think I'll try E-Bay for a North Pole Crossing cert.They've lots of things like that.even one for the South Pole and ,allegedly one belonged to a Robert Falcon Scott,although he didn't ,allegedly, get it stamped by the adjudicating official at the said S.Pole.However it is still worthy of being a collector's item,and does look like the genuine thing.Verified by the Chinese Government too. Bids start at 2,000 dollars.

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    Default Re: The Dilkara, the Allunga, the Paralla

    #13 JS It was a Sunday and we were on a UMS ship with normally a half day on Sundays for the ginger beers but the chief said no way two Sundays so we had two Mondays.

    I did the Jal flight once think it was London or Amsterdam to Tokyo. Still have the wee JAL blanket. We got off, in Anchorage, while refuelling was going on and the beers were extortionate in the bar, if I remember right it was about a dollar a beer ( late 70s) in the States but in Anchorage airport it was about 3 or 4 dollars a beer. We never got to see the big stuffed polar bear either.

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    Default Re: The Dilkara, the Allunga, the Paralla

    #18. Ah well now Graham seeing is believing unfortuanetley with all my and the wife’s meandering around changing tents like Nomads in our declining years such articles of beloved possessions seem to have wandered off on their own,probably sick of being chained up and told to stay put. The same as my little Red Book by Mao tse Tung ,in English made especially for the touring Occassional British seafarer who misbehaved. All these relics of a misbegotten youth middle and old age would maybe be worth something today for the collectors of artificacts. Was it Henry the fifth who through the good auspices of Willy shakes his spear said to be or not to be, this was after of course someone else said to have and to hold and made a song and dance about it. There is little in this world today that most elderly seafarers have not seen before , and is like an old record played over and over again, just like that special one , Those were the days my friend, only the last bit about thinking they would never end , should be they are definetley coming to an end . If the devil doesn’t get you, the big bomb will get you , failing that Covus 19 ,20, and 21 will. Stay safe and make sure shoe laces are tied correctly, don’t want you tripping upnow do we. Cheers JS.

    #19. That polar bear was huge , must have got too motheaten in its later stuffed up life. Cheers JS.
    Last edited by j.sabourn; 27th May 2021 at 09:22 PM.
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