Thursday, 6 February 2014

A Little Personal History

A friend of mine was trawling through the maritime archives at the Guildhall Library in London and came across an entry for my first and second voyage to sea in 1971 and 1972 as a fresh-faced 16 year-old straight from naval college.

(Click to enlarge)

I signed on as a cadet on the 1st October 1971 in Rotterdam, leaving in Amsterdam on the 26th November. I then had a couple of weeks leave before rejoining the same ship on 13th December in Southampton and leaving again in Antwerp on the 23rd April 1972. Here's the proof from my MN Discharge Book.

And here's the vessel itself.

She was sold to Greek interests (as it's called in the trade) just after I left. She then caught fire in the USA and was towed away for razor blades. 

Fond memories - the Onitsha was the training ship for Elder Dempster Lines of Liverpool and she carried 12 cadets in the old passenger accommodation. Simply the best time of my life!


  1. I joined my first ship in Tilbury on 7/10/71 and then went to Rotterdam; probably there on 9/10th, so we may have been there at the same time. Mind you it was one of those new fangled box boats so wouldn't have been near the general cargo berths

  2. These days I would have to stamp on your blog discharge book a Very Good for ability but as for conduct .... was there a stamp with "Ambivalent" on it?

    1. Alan - did you note the upside-down stamp? I think the Master was drunk...