Author Topic: Talking about Ships  (Read 1366 times)

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Offline Peter-K

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Talking about Ships
« on: May 24, 2014, 07:34:02 PM »

My steamship journey across the Indian Ocean will stay in my memory forever. It was on a troopship in February 1957. We had called at Durban in South Africa and headed up through the Madagascar Straits and on toward Ceylon and Singapore. The sea was ultra-calm, like a sheet of glass that went on for hundreds of miles. Below decks it was stifling hot and for the first time, we were allowed to open the portholes. Our troop deck was only about 6 to 8 feet above the waterline and conditions became much more acceptable for the two hundred or so troops sleeping in three tier bunks with cool air coming in. The dawns and sunsets across the Ocean were fantastic as we watched the sun rising or dipping on the horizon, leaving beautiful golden beams shining on the mirror like surface for 25 miles.

Most days we witnessed hundreds of flying fish leaping out of the water in front of the ship and gliding on their wing like fins for about a hundred metres. Then there were the Dolphins playing and diving in the bow wave inches from the ship for hours.

One afternoon I was laying on my top bunk reading. Without noticing, the ship had entered a gentle swell and started doing a slow roll. The first thing I noticed was a change in light within the troop deck, it had become a brilliant turquoise colour, then an unusual sound which brought me immediately back to the twentieth century and from the story I was engrossed in. Turning my head toward the sound I saw five giant spouts of sea water coming in through the portholes. It was an amazing sight with the sunís rays being deflected through the jets of water in a prism effect turning the whole deck into a magical grotto. The ship gently rolled back and several soaking wet guys nearest the hull dashed to close all portholes before we got a repeat dose. Automatic klaxon bells started ringing as a giant steel door at the bottom of the steps started closing and to a man all twenty of us waded through the two feet deep water and escaped before anyone was trapped. Several hours later we were allowed back down and found not a trace of water anywhere,
the portholes stayed firmly shut for the remainder of the journey.

Offline David Jackson

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Re: Talking about Ships
« Reply #1 on: May 25, 2014, 09:32:02 AM »
Crikey!  :o I've never trusted portholes onboard ships.
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Offline harry

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Re: Talking about Ships
« Reply #2 on: May 26, 2014, 11:46:23 AM »
Spot on, similar touch when doing 2 month trip around South Africs to get via Suez Canal to the Desert,  the Med. being No Go Area.
During a stormy night (Why always at night ?) some lads two cabins away had their Portholes open, and went to play cards someplace else, Whoops ! mini tidal waves, panic Stations, complete with massive Life Jackets etc etc.and charge sheets next morning for the culprits.  YUK !
Much safer in the air ?

Offline KMG

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sports direct
« Reply #3 on: September 12, 2014, 06:20:16 PM »
 I ordered 3 sweat shirts & 4 pair of track bottoms. Cost £49 this was with P.P. at £3.33. This took 5 days to be delivered.
  I have ordered from them before and found them very good. Now sorted for the winter.

Offline Anthony

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Re: Talking about Ships
« Reply #4 on: September 12, 2014, 08:08:40 PM »
Nice to hear you're sorted KMG. At least you've no portholes on the casa so no worries there either