In 1976 BP Tanker Company laid up just about all of their ‘Bird Class’ product tankers at Barry Island in South Wales. These motor tankers of 16000 tonnes deadweight had a single ring main and steam reciprocating pumps. Gentle, easy and popular, they were a loss to us BP wallahs at the time. Cormorant and Swift pictured, allat sea was a first trip 3rd Mate on Cormorant at the time. The Swift was the ‘mother’ ship, we moved onto her after couple of weeks in Barry. Happy days indeed.
Another view of the lovely British Cormorant.
British Renown. Allatsea’s last vessel as a cadet. A VLCC of 280,000 tonnes deadweight. A death ship, three deaths in #4 centre tank in March 1975. Allatsea and John Zwart survived. Scarred. BP have NEVER said sorry.
British Queen under construction at Harland and Wolff Belfast (tbc). At 50,000 tonnes deadweight, she was the largest of her kind when delivered in the late 1950’s. Allatsea was there in 1974, by then she had become an appalling piece of crap, badly maintained and with a bullying Master and a kickass Mate.
British Queen from the air, in 1959 she was regarded as a very large tanker indeed. How times change.
Allatsea’s very first ship, British Comet. He joined at RAK in October 1972. Captain Tony Sainty. The trip lasted 5 months but although quite enjoyable, it seemed to last a thousand years. To help pass the time though, a bottle of gin was 50p, as was a carton of ciggies. Every week of that trip, mummy allatsea posted that week’s edition of Melody Maker to her son. Not one was ever received on board.
British Mallard, also known as the Dirty Duck etc etc. Onboard for 4 and a half months 1974/75, NW European coasting in winter. Products, mainly Northern Norway, Baltic and Gulf of Bothnia. Brrrrrr. BP did not supply proper cold weather gear to the crews. Shame on them. Two years later allatsea found himself in the same areas at the same time of year but on a RFA vessel, properly clothed and equipped. Although a vast and in many ways generous employer, BP, like today was not good at covering itself in glory.
British Vine, 19000 Tonnes, double ring-main, electric pumps, manual valves, hard work on deck. The last BP vessel that allatsea served on. Paid off the vessel at the Isle of Grain, January 1977 and took up employment with the RFA.
Second ship of cadetship. British Avon, from Steam Boat Willy to Star Trekk, fantastic automation for the time and powered valves on deck and in the pumproom. She was also UMS, a very new thing at the time…. .1973. Drunken Dancing Donald as Master though, ruined a good trip.
British Vine crew-changing , probably at RAK using Gray MacKenzie launches. Note the myriad of ‘red lead’ patches on deck.