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Glyn Dodson's Memories
I arrived at Nandi in Fiji in October 1973, dressed in a pair of wool trousers, long sleeve shirt and jumper, feeling like death after a 20 hour (lifetime) flight from Gatwick courtesy of Dan Air in the company of some 100 of my shipmates. To prolong the agony the agent had decided we needed to sample the Queens Highway on flatbed trucks with wooden park benches as seats and a canvas awning as the air conditioning!! Bouncing on the highway I dozed off and rested my head accidentally on the adjacent shipmates shoulder, I woke with a start and mumbled an apology and with a smile and a wink my shipmate said ‘oh that’s all right dear’ – its amazing how quickly one can wake up and sit bolt upright for the rest of the journey!!
Arriving at Suva we were ensconced into a hotel and I shared with another Engineer Officer, Noel Askeroff, ex Cargo Div Cadet. Noel had the advantage over me of actually being to sea. We ate a fabulous meal that night in Suva, so exotic when you are a ‘northern lad’ - this was definitely better than fish n chips. It was then an exhausted crawl into bed, day one of the biggest adventure of my life was over.
The following morning after a breakfast of Paw Paw and fish I got my first glimpse of my first ship – Himalaya.
She was alongside and below our hotel, the smoke whipping out of her funnel. She was so big and so white I was spell bound only to be woken out of my trance by Noel telling me to get my gear down to the lobby for transfer to the ship.
One hour later I was on board and in the engineer’s accommodation. This was a crew changeover and there were more engineers than cabins so being the first tripper I was bumped into adjacent passenger accommodation and was to remain there until we reached Sydney and the excess staff was repatriated home.
That first two weeks was hell, I hated it, home sickness struck me, the engine room was noisy, smelly and hot, and for 2 pins I would have walked off her.
Out on the next cruise I was with fellow engineers and my spirits started to pick up, then one night as we again approached Suva I was in the disco and the chief (Dave Twinning) told me to dance with a girl and not prop up the bar and his tone suggested it was not a request.
We danced and chatted and enjoyed ourselves.
The following morning on stand by (throttles) as we entered Suva the chief came up to me and enquired as to my evening which I said was agreeable and he then said he was going to my cabin and if anyone was in my bed I was sacked!! Boy did I sweat and it wasn’t the heat this time, but all was well my bed was empty. That day I did learn two lessons though, being at sea was fantastic and always put your responsibilities first. I went on to learn many lessons on Himalaya, like when you do a job do it properly and don’t take shortcuts (thanks to Kenny Worsfold), look after the passengers so they will come back next year (thanks to Dave Twinning) and work hard play hard (thanks to Kevin O’Conner).
I remained with Himalaya for the rest of her time at sea, leaving her in Kaohsiung as one of the crew taking her to scrap.
This was Toby Tompkins taken in March 1973
Then came the "Big O".
Oriana Engine Room 1975.
Nick "Taffy" Williams, Mickey Mouse, John Speed (aka Speedy)
Disneyland again this time with John Thow and Taffy Williams.
The girl being molested by me is Lynn Andrews, now Wright, who was my BLJ and someone I nearly left the sea for to take up a life in the USA with. After all these years we are now back in touch as friends and she is as lovely now as then. Lynn is still in Oregon and only this spring became a grandmother for the first time. We both have some good memories of our time cruising, she did a number of cruises on the Big O where we first met.
There's that bloody mouse again!
Here I am up a Gum Tree with Lightning (Andy Ball) Jan 1976.
Boat trip Lautoka April 76.
It's hard to make out the people but I do know that's Steve B on the Cabin Roof and John Speed at the rear.
Great shot of Oriana in the background and Garry Stewart's arse in the foreground. There's two others to the right of Garry beginning to bare all also. I'm quite pleased they didn't turn out that clear ... not a pretty site!
Oriana leaving Vancouver May 1976.
I met many great guys, far too many to mention them all, but Kevin O’Conner, Kenny Worsfold, Alan Sainsbury I still keep in touch with – thanks to this site and Steve’s efforts and I have good memories that will last me my lifetime. Not bad for a northern lad.
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