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Thread: Cuba

  1. #11
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    Default Re: Cuba

    #3. I'm a bit late jouning this thread , sorry. I remember Boqueron in Guantanamo Bay. I was there as an apprentice, still less than a year at sea, in May 1959, just four months after Fidel took over. I remember going through the narrows between the sides of the American Navy base, and into the bay proper, then going alonside the jetty at Boqueron, to load sugar for Japan. I recall going ashore to the 'village' and finding nothing but a wooden shed and men sitting around smoking, friendly and happy to see us but not exactly popping with life. We were there a week in all, but spent most of any free time going back and forth in ships lifeboats to met with other boats berthed on the other side of the bay. in Caimanera. We then moved 'next door' to Santiago, a much more lively place. There for a fortnight, slow loading more sugar. The first weekend we four apprentices went up into the hills with a local lad we had met the day before, with the intention of hunting guinea fowl, what we caught was about the size of a jackdaw, but a happy day. One day we went in the lifeboat out into the harbour entrance near to El Morro castle, which we also visited another time. The time we had in Cuba on that trip left me with happy memories of the people the country, and of Fidel. I feel that he was basically a Nationalist, pushed into the arms of the Russians by the Americans who embargoed Cuba out of frustration that they had lost their offshoe brothels and casinos. Latterly he did become more dictatorial, following Che Guavara. I went back to Guantanamo in 1968 - nothing had changed, what they had before was all they had now (viz the old Chevvys etc) they were being starved by the US embargo. I remember the local doctor coming on board, almost begging for medical supplies. I got a little 'rap over the knuckles' for giving some things out of our medical locker that I told the Owners were almost out of date.
    Cheers, Dave G.

  2. #12
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    Default Re: Cuba

    Quote Originally Posted by eric fisher View Post
    Making me cry Ivan ! First Habanaera dance 1950. Last visit 2017. Now strum Cuban music, dance tango, smoke their cigars, drink rum, etc., etc. Some of the above I don't do so well. Cheers, Eric


    999 94078654_3722449334494741_45819003171504128_n.jpg
    "Our veterans did not forget about us .... Let's not forget about them." From Michael Levesque

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  4. #13
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    Default Re: Cuba

    #11. What ship were you on David.? It would have been about that era I was in Boqueron and you are the first person who has admitted to going there. The usual Castroite khaki clad black beard and machine pistol used to wander on ship as though he owned it , wander in to whatever room he wanted and literally help himself, the machine pistol being the deterrent to giving him a punch in the nose. I remember a pub on the Quay where we used to go for smokos as well as all other times we could make it. All the times we loaded sugar in Cuba it was always for Japan. The first time in 1953 we took to Kawasaki , it was a different world in those days. Thanks for your reply. On the other hand all the sugar we loaded in Queensland was for the UK. Which I hope will be the next trade agreement with after disentangling itself from the present encumbrances.. cheers JS

    PS just looked at your cv and see you were once with Palm Line. Did you ever come across an engineer who would probably be known to you as Tommy Kempster. ? JS
    Last edited by j.sabourn; 17th May 2020 at 02:43 AM.

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  6. #14
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    Hi J.S. I was on Blue Flue 'Ulysses'. A great ship and memorable voyage, still in my first year at sea - went around the world on her. Joined her in Amsterdam early April 1959 then to Cuba, Panama Canal to Honolulu to Yoko and Moji, followed by Philipines, Borneo, Malaya, Ceylon, and Suez. We didn't turn right at Gib but went across to Halaifax, then down east coast U.S. Cape Cod Canal, into the Gulf to New Orleans and others then back up to New Yorkand back across The Pond to Algiers and Alexandria, follwed by Bangkok and Indonesia, finally drydocked in Singapore, where I left her on Christmas Eve to join 'Cyclops', for home but via anothercall at Bangkok and Borneo. Arrived Liverpool March 1960.
    Re Palm Line - I was deep sea with them only for a little over one year on 'Lagos Palm' then Europe coasting, 1965-66, Don't recall Tommy Kempster.

    I did a couple of trips to Aussie, in 1958, then 1962 with Blueys. I see you are in WA. I applied for a job with Air Traffic Control when if Freemantle. Interview o.k. then told I had to apply from UK. Intended to follow it up, but life got in the way. I have cousins in Brisbane, Melboune and Adelaide, but none in WA.
    Cheers
    Dave G.

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    Never would have expected to see a blue Flu ship in Cuba, so we all live and learn. When blue Flu was mentioned one thinks of the Far East run. Your first trip sounds more like a trampships agenda and not the liner trade. Was very similar to mine only did it in two phases , a 6 month one round the world and then a continuation one of 11 months down to South America , to Far East and later back to Europe. An acquaintance of mine did 5 years without getting back to Uk . He lives in Canada and saw him a few years ago , he finished serving his time in the Far East but wasn’t able to sign off until the Articles of agreement which were the third set , expired a year later. Blue Flu ships were always good to swop the Walport movies with as always seemed to have better ones than we had. Cheers JS.

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