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Around the world via the Capes

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  • Around the world via the Capes

    A discussion in another thread has promted me to ask a question of everyone.

    Have any of you been around the world "both" ways? By that I mean Panama and Suez Canal and Cape of Good Hope and Cape Horn?

    I did it back in about 1984. The reason was that I was on one of the OCL Bay boats. A reefer container ship that was on the Europe and Australia/New Zealand run. I did a double header, which was 6 months and 2 weeks, by request as my sister was getting married and I wanted to be at home and the company was obliging.

    On the first voyage we went through Suez, and because of a row with the pilots, were put to the back of the convoy. As we were the fastest ship in the convoy it caused us no end of trouble in the transit and for many hours afterwards as we had to overtake eveything. The company had a wappy and decided that the next voyage we would go around the Cape of Good Hope. The return passage on the first trip was via Panama as usual.

    On the second voyage we went around the Cape of Good Hope as planned, with a mail stop in Table Bay, and then when we got to New Zealand we loaded 18 Polo ponies in containers on deck. 6 to a container with flat beds in between. We also had containers of feed and a couple of "stable lads" to look after them.

    The owners of the polo ponies worked out that the horses would have to be quarantined when they got to the UK because of the Panama Transit. So they worked out the extra cost associated with the company sending the ship via Cape Horn and paid the difference to OCL. Because the ponies came from New Zealand direct to the UK they only had to do 1 month low level quarantine instead of a lot longer.

    It was so unusual, even then, that the Captain was the only person on board that had been via Cape Horn on a ship. It was amazing. So much so that the company even looked into the costs of the pilotage to transit the Magellan Straits, but I have a feeling the quarantine people in the UK said we would pass too close to land and so we went right around the Cape.

    There was one small footnote to the voyage which backfired on the company.

    The lids on top of the hatches that the Horses were positioned on, just aft of the accomodation, did not seal properly. As we were an airblown reefer the hatch under the lid had over 1000 tons of frozen butter in it. Because the hatch covers leaked the hatch was tainted by gallons and gallons of horse pee and when the hatch covers came off the stench was unbelievable. The whole hatch full of butter was condemned and the Insurance Company had to cough for the lot!

    The C/O was planning to make us cadets clean the hatch until it was pointed out to him by someone shoreside that it was too much of a job and would take us days to do so a specialist team was called in to clean the whole hatch. (Whoever did that - thank you!)

    So has anyone else here been around the world by both Capes?

    Ian
    "Any damn fool can navigate the world sober. It takes a really good sailor to do it drunk." - Sir Francis Chichester.
    "Waves are not measured in feet or inches, they are measured in increments of fear." - Buzzy Trent

    "Careers at Sea" Ambassador - Experience of General Cargo, Combo ships, Tanker, Product Carrier, Gas Carrier, Ro-Ro, Reefer Container, Anchor Handlers.

  • #2
    I've certainly been around both capes, and have been through some severe weather at both of them unfortunately. The Suez and Panama Canals are both quite interesting, particularly the Panama.

    Comment


    • #3
      Cape to cape you say?
      Mirangi, Resolution, and NZP here :-) and a host of baby bays.....all before I joined the borg :-)
      Trust me I'm a Chief.

      Views expressed by me are mine and mine alone.
      Yes I work for the big blue canoe company.
      No I do not report things from here to them as they are quite able to come and read this stuff for themselves.


      Twitter:- @DeeChief

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Chiefy View Post
        Cape to cape you say?
        Mirangi, Resolution, and NZP here :-) and a host of baby bays.....all before I joined the borg :-)
        Remuera Bay here! I was on her when she was re-engined and went from a twin screw steamer to a single screw diesel.

        When were you on them?

        Ian
        "Any damn fool can navigate the world sober. It takes a really good sailor to do it drunk." - Sir Francis Chichester.
        "Waves are not measured in feet or inches, they are measured in increments of fear." - Buzzy Trent

        "Careers at Sea" Ambassador - Experience of General Cargo, Combo ships, Tanker, Product Carrier, Gas Carrier, Ro-Ro, Reefer Container, Anchor Handlers.

        Comment


        • #5
          Did cadetship up to 3/e so '88 to '97 (actually whatever year Diana died / was killed) a bit hazy for various reason :-)
          Trust me I'm a Chief.

          Views expressed by me are mine and mine alone.
          Yes I work for the big blue canoe company.
          No I do not report things from here to them as they are quite able to come and read this stuff for themselves.


          Twitter:- @DeeChief

          Comment


          • #6
            Ha. I was already with Maersk for 3 years by 88. Did M Buchan, M Ascension, M Harrier and then transferred to North Sea by then! Loved time on Bay Boats though.
            "Any damn fool can navigate the world sober. It takes a really good sailor to do it drunk." - Sir Francis Chichester.
            "Waves are not measured in feet or inches, they are measured in increments of fear." - Buzzy Trent

            "Careers at Sea" Ambassador - Experience of General Cargo, Combo ships, Tanker, Product Carrier, Gas Carrier, Ro-Ro, Reefer Container, Anchor Handlers.

            Comment


            • #7
              Not to make you all feel old, but I was 1 or 2 in 1988....
              I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.....

              All posts here represent my own opinion and not that of my employer.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by GuinnessMan View Post
                Not to make you all feel old, but I was 1 or 2 in 1988....
                Where are the Foxtrot and Oscar flag when you need them!
                "Any damn fool can navigate the world sober. It takes a really good sailor to do it drunk." - Sir Francis Chichester.
                "Waves are not measured in feet or inches, they are measured in increments of fear." - Buzzy Trent

                "Careers at Sea" Ambassador - Experience of General Cargo, Combo ships, Tanker, Product Carrier, Gas Carrier, Ro-Ro, Reefer Container, Anchor Handlers.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Hatchorder View Post
                  Where are the Foxtrot and Oscar flag when you need them!
                  It's ok, my taxi's outside...
                  I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.....

                  All posts here represent my own opinion and not that of my employer.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Hatchorder View Post
                    Where are the Foxtrot and Oscar flag when you need them!

                    Why did you push Guinness Man out of his wheelchair?
                    you can take it with a pinch of salt, but i prefer it with a nip of whisky

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by GuinnessMan View Post
                      Not to make you all feel old, but I was 1 or 2 in 1988....
                      FFS that even makes me feel old
                      you can take it with a pinch of salt, but i prefer it with a nip of whisky

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Given I was 17 then I don't feel old at all, being chief for 12 years already now that makes me feel old :-) was supposed to get this job near then end of my career not the beginning :-)
                        Trust me I'm a Chief.

                        Views expressed by me are mine and mine alone.
                        Yes I work for the big blue canoe company.
                        No I do not report things from here to them as they are quite able to come and read this stuff for themselves.


                        Twitter:- @DeeChief

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by ETwhat? View Post
                          Why did you push Guinness Man out of his wheelchair?
                          He started it. Neh, neh, neh, ne, neh, neh..................
                          "Any damn fool can navigate the world sober. It takes a really good sailor to do it drunk." - Sir Francis Chichester.
                          "Waves are not measured in feet or inches, they are measured in increments of fear." - Buzzy Trent

                          "Careers at Sea" Ambassador - Experience of General Cargo, Combo ships, Tanker, Product Carrier, Gas Carrier, Ro-Ro, Reefer Container, Anchor Handlers.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Never been round either one, have done the Panama Canal more times than I care to mention and the ditch in the desert likewise, but never been round the capes, I did make it to the Falklands a few times and my abiding memory of each trip was thinking that whichever muppet came up with the WNA mark on the load line had never been in the feckin' South Atlantic in the Winter.
                            Go out, do stuff

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Done the Pananma several times, but never a Cape. One day... preferably on a Tall Ship, just for the yarns I can spin in later years!

                              Size4riggerboots

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