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Old Jul 27, 2010, 09:48 PM
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Xiaoshan, China
Joined Jun 2006
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Here are some new interesting tales that were posted last night...

One incident was spotted from the engineers' deck which looked aft over the open deck near the Verandah Grill. During summer afternoons this deck would be covered with steamer chairs where passengers would relax in the sun. Here they were served with tea, coffee, cakes and cookies in a very relaxed way. It was the Captain's habit to chat to the passengers here, talking to all who might show an interest. On this occasion a woman passenger who had finished with her tray said to the Captain (whom she mistook for a Steward) "Hey Steward, you can take my tray!". Without a word, the Captain took the tray, walked to the leeward side of the ship and threw the lot overboard. He then continued with his afternoon rounds.

I remember once coming close to death in No.3 boiler room. During a midnight till 4am watch I was attacked by a drunken fireman (stoker) who came at me wielding a two foot long oil burner sprayer bar. Luckily for me one of his fellow fireman witnessed the situation and managed to floor my would-be-assailant with one perfectly delivered right cross. The following watch, my now sober attacker apologized profusely. He was normally such a placid chap who had acted totally out of character. To be safe however I reported the incident. He was seen next day by the Captain and fired when the ship returned to Southampton.

An elevator ran from the engine room top to the engineers' accommodation. Over-riding control was from a switch in the floor of the elevator pressed by the occupant. This gave the person already in the elevator priority use. On one midnight to 4am watch, a young engineer failed to turn up in the engine room. After waiting some time, the engineer who was waiting to go off duty decided to go up top to seek out his late relief. He was found to be drunk and sound asleep in bed. The engineer dragged him from his bunk, marched him the seventy or so feet to the elevator and bundled him in. When the elevator was about half way through its descent the drunk decided to press the stop button and continue his sleep. Some time later the elevator was wound up manually. The young man was found inside, still asleep. Next day he was reprimanded, but not fired.

It was common company practice to punish any serious errors committed by engineers with what was known as "pegging". This meant that the culprit was unable to progress higher than his current rank.

On the lighter side...............

Transatlantic voyages officially began or finished at Bishop's Rock Lighthouse and Nantucket Lighthouse. The bridge logged the time when passing these points and relayed it to the engine room via a `loudaphone'. These phones were never loud enough, but familiarity made them easier to use. On one watch the engine room bridge phone rang and it was answered by a `First Tripper' engineer. He asked again and again for the message to be repeated, but being unable to understand what was being said, he gave up and replaced the phone. A more senior engineer asked what the message had been. When the reply was "I couldn't hear it" the senior engineer (guessing what it might have been) rang the bridge and asked "was that Bishops Rock abeam?". The now frustrated mate sarcastically replied, "Oh, don't bother your ass, we've passed it now!"
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