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Thread: Captain Cook. Donaldson Line

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    Default Captain Cook. Donaldson Line

    I joined the above ship in October 1957 in Glasgow as JOS, my first trip to sea. My job was Bridge Boy. We sailed from Glasgow on the 15 October bound for Wellington New Zealand. We had on board over 1000 emigrants all looking for a better life in beautiful New Zealand.

    We sailed from Glasgow into a severe gale which lasted until we were nearly at Curacao. I was sick as a dog nearly all the was to Curacao. 4 of us were were in a very small cabin with no portholes. The cabin had 4 tin lockers and a small chest of drawers with a drawer each. 2 of us could get out of bed get dressed and then leave the cabin so that the other 2 could get out of bed.

    After Curacao we went through the Panama Canal, stopped at Pitcairn Island with stores etc. The locals came on board to sell their goods.

    When we arrived in Wellington the Dominion Monarch of Shaw Savall was in Port. It did not take long for hostilities to begin. With the cheap wine beer etc Wellington was no longer a nice peaceful City. Extra police had to be call in etc. The Captain Cook was moved to the other end of Wellington, Clyde Warf.

    We were there for a week, took on about 1000 troops for Singapore. From Singapore we went to Djakarta Indonesia for refuges mostly women and children. These poor people were being expelled because they worked with the Dutch or had some Dutch parents of grandparents. We sailed with about 1400 refuges and about 20 young men stowaways that were wanted by the Indonesian Government. We took them to Amsterdam and docked in heavy snow fall. They were given a very warm reception by a large crowd on the dockside when we arrived.

    We then sailed on to Glasgow. I did another 2 trips on the Captain Cook.

    Alexander Mac Innes

    Isle of Barra.

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    I can honestly say I have never heard the term Bridge Boy before. What were your duties?

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    Hi Alex.
    I was in Wellington the same time as the great confrontation took place, I had emigrated to NZ on the Southern Cross in June 57. and was on the Union steamship Kurow having been across the Tasman.
    I'm not sure but I think that the port authorities where later told to make sure the two ships were never in port the same time again.
    Cheers Des

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    Hi Alexander,
    My mate, Pat Burns from Stevenston, was a steward around about the time you were on the Captain Cook.
    He used to tell me about the battles aboard her.I know he did a couple of trips on her as he was skint I wonder if you knew him.
    James Jamieson

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    Quote Originally Posted by Quizmaster View Post
    I can honestly say I have never heard the term Bridge Boy before. What were your duties?

    .
    .
    Hi Tony, the liners usually had Bridge Boys, they were used as Gofers, they took phone cals from the crows nest, they polished the wheelhouse Brass, and generally kept the Bridge clean. They made the tea for the watchkeepers. etc.
    Other first trip Deck Boys on cargo ships and tankers usually sailed as Peggies in the Sailors mess room.
    The Captain Cook had a terrible reputation as a Battle Ship on the NZ and Ozzy coasts.One of quite a few.
    Cheers
    Brian.
    Last edited by Captain Kong; 27th November 2011 at 12:12 PM.

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    i always thought the captain cook was employed by the pool to give the double DR's a job. i was in NZ a couple of times when she docked and the word went round quicker than a telegram. all the bars and dance halls were put on red alert and every seaman grabbed thier favourite weapon i remember the upsrairs dance hall in wellington where the narrow stairs came out in the midle of the dance floor and the seamen were taking it in turns to keep the captain cooks mob from coming up. alf
    Backsheesh runs the World
    people talking about you is none of your business
    R397928

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    I was on the same trip Alexander and you recalled the trip quite accurately, although you never mentioned when we broke down off the island of Sombrero, the epidemic of food poisoning (the crew were lying everwhere on camp stretchers...me included), the brawl with the Kiwi soldiers onboard just as we were getting ready to leave Wellington, one of the crew diving into a mass of sharks which were swimming around the aft end while we were anchored in Singapore harbour...all for a 10/- bet!!!! (which he won)....one of the 'bumboats' picked him out of the water before he got nobbled. Yes we kept 'Big Bob' the master at arms on his toes 24/7 - Dave

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    Many thanks Alexander and Crockett for the stories about the Captain Cook. Had heard about the ship through the years when I first went to sea and much preferred to sail with Cunard in those days. She must have been a hard ship to sail on as the Dominion Monarch did'nt have a very good reputation either. When I was on the Soton Pool I always kept clear when the DM was going through particularly if you knew that Lizzie or Mary was coming up or even better the Caronia or Mauritania.
    Regards,
    John

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    Default Capt Cook AKA Empire Clyde

    Sailed as Bridge Boy on the Empire Clyde on the HK run, second worst ship.............1st Cabano 1954 on the West Africa run.
    Bill Crawley

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    Recall hearing the term 'standover men' when having a bevy with one of the crew off captain Cook.
    Think it refured to the hard cases who ran some kind of protection racket on board?
    Den.

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