Verhalen van John Papenhuyzen

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Jinny
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Lid geworden op: 09 sep 2017 13:34

Verhalen van John Papenhuyzen

Bericht door Jinny »

Ik plaats met enige onregelmatige regelmaat een verhaal van John, AKA Puntenel
Daar zal altijd minimaal een 36 tot 48 uur tussen zitten, soms meer als ik op zee zit.
Met enige hulp van Jan DB Vos wat betreft de foto's uit de documenten vissen.



EEN VEEG UIT DE PAN VAN NAN

Een aantal vroegere opvarenden van de "Tjibantjet” overweegt om in 2007 een reünie in Nederland te houden voor oud-bemanningsleden ter herdenking van de stranding van de Tjibantjet op 22 September 1957, vijftig jaar geleden, in Junk Bay, Hong Kong gedurende de taifoen Gloria.
Oude herinneringen komen natuurlijk weer naar boven, sommigen minder prettig, maar anderen van een vrolijker karakter.
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Na de stranding lag het schip vast op de rotsen beneden de Devils Peak bij Lyemun Pass, gelukkig waren er geen slachtoffers gevallen en de zes passagiers en een gedeelte van bemanning werden de volgende morgen door de Hong Kong Marine Police van boord gehaald.
Zes leden van de etat major bleven aan boord voor bewaking, beveiliging en wacht lopen.
Ik was de enige marconist en bleef ook aan boord voor eventuele noodgevallen. De noodzender, ontvanger en batterijen werkten nog en ik had na een paar klimtochten ook de noodantenne vrij kunnen krijgen dus we hadden wel weer verbinding! 
Het schip maakte 45 graden slagzij en alhoewel er de volgende morgen geen beweging meer was, op de been blijven was een probleem. Eten en drinken was er niet en plat gaan ging ook niet zo best! En we zullen maar niet verder ingaan op de normale dagelijkse hygiëne en lichaamsfuncties.
Er werd besloten om een houten horizontale bevloering op het bakboord sloependek naast de radiohut te bouwen zodat er wat comfort was voor de mensen die aan boord moesten blijven.
Het kantoor kwam langs in de launch, proviand en materialen werden besteld en maatregelen werden getroffen om de vloer te bouwen. De stranding was voor de directie en het walpersoneel in HK ook een onaangename verrassing. Iets dat zij waarschijnlijk nooit hadden meegemaakt, en zodoende moest er dus wat voor de jongens aan boord gedaan worden.
Liefde gaat door de maag wordt er gezegd. Dus de echtgenoten van de directieleden spanden hun krachten in en sloegen aan het werk. Er moest iets speciaals voor die hongerige jonge kerels gekookt worden. Wat beter dan ouderwetse Hollandse stamppot? De dames hadden echt wel de grootste kookpot in HK gevonden want toen de company launch de volgende dag arriveerde stonden wij met open mond te kijken toen de stamppot aan boord gehesen werd.
Er werd geen tijd verspilt en de manier waarop hongerige jonge kerels korte metten maakten met de stamppot zou een trotse glimlach op de gezichten van de dames gebracht hebben. Guus Keessen, de eeuwige grappenmaker, had z’n beschrijving gelijk klaar! Nou, zei hij, dat is me een veeg uit de pan van Nan! (Nan was de echtgenote van een van de directieleden).
 Ja, Nan, wij zijn je nog altijd dankbaar. Niet alleen voor de stamppot maar vooral voor het medeleven.
 
John Papenhuyzen 
Je wordt al geboren
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Jinny
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Lid geworden op: 09 sep 2017 13:34

Re: Verhalen van John Papenhuyzen

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HONGER WINTER 1944

 
Als men terugkijkt naar het verleden schijnen de meer prettige gebeurtenissen zich naar voren te dringen. En dat is maar goed want nu, met zoveel vrije tijd om terug te denken, komen herinneringen weer voor de dag waar je van kan genieten.
Toch zijn er ook minder vrolijke zaken die je nooit vergeet.
 
Zoals deze.
 
Hongerwinter 1944. Vader werd weggesleept door de moffen en was gedwongen om in Duitsland te gaan werken. Niet alleen sleepten de moffen onze vaders weg zij stolen ook het voedsel dat voor de vrouwen en kinderen bestemd was. Het gevolg was hongersnood.
Gelukkig hadden wij altijd goed te eten gehad want sinds 1943 werkte vader in Zeeland en bracht als hij thuiskwam, zo eens in de maand, schapen en geiten vlees mee. Ook tarwe en boter en kaas, dus honger hadden we niet.
Dat veranderde natuurlijk toen hij weggehaald werd. Maar moeder had een linnenkast vol met prachtige nieuwe lakens, kussenslopen, handdoeken enz. enz. die ingeruild werden voor brood, aardappels, boter en soms vlees.
 
Dat werd mooi versierd door Joris Buitelaar, de schillenboer uit de van Heurnestraat, die goed in de zwarte handel zat. Moeder ging dan met Irene daar naar toe en werd altijd met open armen ontvangen, dat moet ik wel zeggen. Joris zijn vrouw gaf Irene altijd wat en als het zo voorkwam mochten moeder en Irene mee-eten. Joris had meestal een stuk in zijn kloten, de jeneverfles stond daar altijd op tafel maar als je honger hebt gaan je principes ook de achterdeur uit dus Moeder lachte er maar om. Als er een prakkie over was mocht ze het meenemen naar huis. Op een goeie dag was ze er weer toen Joris zat te schaften. Zoals gewoon had hij weer te diep in het glaasje gekeken en zat hij in z’n eten te kwijlen. Toen mevrouw Buitelaar aanbood om Joris z’n prakkie terug te doen in de pan en het aan moeder mee te geven heeft ze het maar geweigerd, zo’n honger had ze nog niet.
 
Uiteindelijk was er geen linnengoed meer dus dan ga je maar aan het tafelzilver gaan denken!
 
De moffen waren inmiddels ook aan het verzamelen voor het Russische front, koper, ijzer, dekens, warme kleren en bont. Ieder huis werd bezocht.
Die dag deed mijn kleine zus Irene de deur open en daar stond een droevige grootvader in Duits uniform. Toen hij mijn zusje zag schoot zijn gemoed vol en stond hij met tranen in zijn ogen zijn trieste verhaal te vertellen. Hij was het er helemaal niet met eens, toen hij die kleine meid zag kon hij alleen maar aan zijn eigen kleinkinderen denken en zeker niet aan koper of bont. Dus zodoende hadden we ons koper nog, gelukkig was het ook het einde van de Honger Winter en bleef het tafelzilver in het buffet.
Jaren later toen ik koper poetsen moest voor moeder zei ik: “Wat een rot karwei! Ik wou dat die mof je koper maar meegenomen had” en voor die bijdrage kreeg ik gelijk een draai om mijn oren.
 
Kolen of stookolie was er natuurlijk ook niet. Verwarming was er niet bij! Als gevolg daarvan werd iedere boom geveld en werd het hout gebruikt om te koken op een MAJO kacheltje. Dat was een soort miniatuur kacheltje met een nauwe doorsnede dat boven op een normale potkachel stond en waar je papier en houtblokjes in stookte om de pan of pot te verhitten.
Eerst werd er gesprokkeld in de bossen en toen dat op was ging je verder weg om een boompje of twee om te hakken.
Kennissen van mijn ouders hadden een dochter, Annie, een lieve meid waar ik veel van hield. Zij kwamen veel bij ons op bezoek en wij natuurlijk bij hen. Zo kwam het dus ter sprake dat Annie en ik hout zouden gaan halen bij Wassenaar. Wij hadden nog een kinderwagen en met een paar bijlen en een zaag van vader gingen wij op stap.
Het was bitterkoud en het was ver weg. Maar we vonden een paar berkenboompjes en hakten en zaagden tot we de kinderwagen vol hadden.
Ja, leuk! Nou weer naar huis terug, het werd donker, het vroor dat het kraakte en het begon te sneeuwen.
Halverwege knapte ik af en begon te janken want ik was zo koud en ellendig. Annie, zoals alleen een vrouw kan, sprak me weer moed in en gaf me de sterkte om de kinderwagen naar huis te slepen.
De ervaringen van die dag hebben een diepe indruk op mij gemaakt. Ik vertelde mijn moeder later: “Als ik groot ben ga ik waar het altijd warm is” en dat heb ik inderdaad ook gedaan. Ik kan nog steeds niet tegen de kou en ik voel me triest als de temperatuur beneden nul valt!
 
John Papenhuyzen
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gerard tenerife
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Re: Verhalen van John Papenhuyzen

Bericht door gerard tenerife »

Honger winter 1944,mooi verhaal en heel goed herkenbaar. In Amersfoort, Ma met twee kinderen maar er was nog geen echte honger, maar beddengoed en tafelzilver ging wel naar de boeren en toen Ma zelf hout ging halen in de Treek werd ze gepakt door de boswachter. honger kwam pas na Market garden, maar goed we zijn er nog.
Gerard
een pessimist is een optimist met veel ervaring.

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Puntenel
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Re: Verhalen van John Papenhuyzen

Bericht door Puntenel »

VERREKIJKER
Herschaalde kopie van ms Oranje.jpg
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Het gaat hier over het m.s. “Oranje”. Op de lange oversteek tussen Colombo en Singapore ging ik als derde marconist wel eens na de avond maaltijd naar de brug om een praatje te maken met de 3e stuurman.
Ik liep de hondenwacht maar je duikt niet gelijk je kooi in met een volle maag dus een uurtje minder slaap maakte niks uit in die dagen!

Heel illegaal had ik twee flesjes Heineken naar boven gesmokkeld, een voor de 3e en een voor mij. De zon was al weg en we genoten van ons pijpie, geen angst want de hoge druk zat nog aan tafel op de tweede zitting voor de passagiers!
Toch nog uitkijken en daarom stonden de twee lege flesjes verscholen op het stuurboord lichtbak. Wij waren in diep gesprek op de wing toen ineens die ouwe achter ons stond.
De derde, als de gesmeerde bliksem, had ineens de twee flesjes in z’n handen en stond door de halzen te kijken naar de horizon.
Die ouwe zei wat en de derde liet de twee flesjes overboord vallen.
“God, Kaptein U liet me schrikken en ik heb m’n verrekijker laten vallen!”
Die ouwe, kuchte wat en zei “Sorry joh, dat was de bedoeling niet. Ik wou je alleen maar wat vragen over het schip dat we een half uur geleden gepasseerd zijn.”

Het mooie eind van dit verhaal was dat de derde een nieuwe verrekijker van de kaptein kreeg na vertrek uit Singapore!
If you want to know more about Dutch Shipping in Australia go to the Oud Roest Down Under website
https://sites.google.com/site/ordustorypage/home

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Puntenel
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Re: Verhalen van John Papenhuyzen

Bericht door Puntenel »

S.S. "SAIDJA"
Herschaalde kopie van ss Saidja.jpg
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In Juni 1952 kwam ik als 3e marconist op de “Oranje” in Tandjong Priok aan. In die dagen moest je bij Radio Holland minstens twee jaar in het Verre Oosten dienen dus ik werd snel van de “Oranje” gesleurd en in het zeemanshuis geplaatst. Dat was even wennen want het zeemanshuis was geen luxueus hotel, geen douche cel maar een mandi kamer met een grote bak met koud water en harde bedden met klamboes.
Er was nog geen schip beschikbaar en overdag liep ik mee op de schepen met de Inspecteur of een technicus om reparaties uit te voeren.
Het enige vertier in Tg Priok was Kampong Kotja dus daar gingen we ’s avonds stappen met de andere zeevaarders die ook aan de wal zaten. Het was een gewaarwording om in die atap hutjes die tot bars omgetoverd waren een koud biertje te gaan kopen en wat sateh te eten. Wel romantisch in het donker die olie lampen en die geur van de tropen maar overdag was het toch een zootje!

Een paar weken later ontving ik mijn “sailing orders”. Ik moest naar Pladju in Sumatra naar een Shell tanker om een collega te vervangen die ziek van boord gehaald was en opgenomen werd in het Shell ziekenhuis in Pladju. Het was haast je, rep je, zo snel mogelijk en ja, je vlucht naar Palembang is al geboekt voor morgenochtend vroeg!!!
Mooie bak, het vertrek was om 7 uur in de ochtend van Kemajoran – een flinke afstand van Tg. Priok . “Zoek zelf maar uit hoe je naar het vliegveld komt want we hebben geen transport voor je”. Ongelofelijk he? Zoiets zou men tegenwoordig niet meer kunnen flikken.
Enfin, ik een bedjak versierd die rond middernacht m’n bagage en mij van het zeemanshuis zou ophalen. Dat gebeurde dus en een paar uur later kwam ik op Kemajoran aan.
Alles nog dicht natuurlijk, ik de bedjak betaald en ben ik bij de ingang gaan zitten tot de deur open ging. Het inboeken ging snel, het vliegtuig was een ouwe Dakota DC-3 ingericht als vrachtvliegtuig met een zijbank als passagiers zetels. Net als de vracht werden ook de passagiers “geladen”. Later hoorde ik dat die vroege ochtend vlucht naar Palembang de “milk run” genoemd werd.

In Palembang was er niemand om mij af te halen en mij naar Pladju te brengen. Moest ik weer alles zelf regelen!
Uiteindelijk kreeg ik iemand van de Shell Marine Office in Pladju aan de draad. Het bleek dat ze niets van mijn komst afwisten, maar ze zouden een auto sturen en mij voorlopig in het Guest House in Pladju onderbrengen.
Zo gezegd, zo gedaan. In de Marine Office in Pladju werd alles verder geregeld en toen de “Saidja” binnenkwam een paar dagen later kon ik aan boord gaan. Het Guest House in Pladju was wel even een verschil met het zeemanshuis in Tg Priok en het zwembad en de bar waren prettige afleidingen voor een paar dagen.
Ik wist niet wat me te wachten stond want iedereen die ik vertelde dat ik op de “Saidja” zat te wachten grijnsde en zei: “O ja, kom je bij Belo Ola en zijn Zigeuner orkest?”
Wat bleek nu dat de chef marconist een Hongaar was die Bela Ola heette (net als de leider van een heel bekend Zigeuner orkest toentertijd in Nederland). Bela was in het begin van de oorlog bij Radio Holland terechtgekomen en voer op Shell tankers. En omdat er nog twee andere marconisten aan boord zaten werd het trio “het zigeuner orkest”.
Ik werd geen muzikant want tegen de tijd dat ik aan boord kwam was Bela Ola al lang weg.

De PTT in Indonesië werkte niet best. In de jaren 50 kon het wel drie dagen duren om een telegram van Indonesië naar Singapore te verzenden of ontvangen en voor een onderneming zoals Shell was dat een groot probleem.
Om deze vertraging te voorkomen werd er op verzoek van Shell op de "Saidja" met drie marconisten 24 uur per dag wacht gelopen.
Al het Shell telegrammen verkeer van Pladju naar Shell Singapore werd door het Shell kuststation PKM in Pladju via de "Saidja" naar Singapore Radio VPW verstuurd en vice-versa van VPW via de “Saidja” naar PKM in Pladju.
Er werd ook in de haven wachtgelopen en het telegrammenverkeer was overdag erg druk . Op dat schip heb ik echt wel m'n sporen verdiend want de telegrafisten op PKM hadden altijd haast en seinden minstens 25 woorden per minuut, er was veel verkeer en lange telegrammen van meer dan 200 woorden per telegram.
Op de schrijfmachine hadden we een rol papier met 3 doorslag kopieën. Het ontvangen telegram was geadresseerd aan "Master Saidja", met als eerste regel van de inhoud "For Shell Singapore". Wij hadden altijd voorrang bij VPW en als we met PKM klaar waren gingen we direct naar VPW, de tweede en derde doorslag kopie werd dan geadresseerd aan "Shell Singapore" .
De eerste regel werd dan '"from Shell Pladju quote" etc. Opnemen op de machine was de enige manier, dus fouten maken was er niet bij!

Het schip zelf en haar zuster schip “Saroena” hadden ook een speciale functie op de Musi River. Tankers met volle lading van crude oil uit Miri of de Perzische golf konden niet de rivier op vanwege de diepgang. Op de rede van Muntok lag een Mulberry Pierhead waar de grote tankers en de "Saidja" langszij kwamen en waar een gedeelte van de lading werd overgepompt. Als dat gebeurd was en het getij hoog genoeg was gingen beiden de rivier op naar de Shell raffinaderij in Pladju om te lossen. De Saidja" en "Saroena" waren zeer breed voor hun tonnage en hadden een geringe diepgang, uiteindelijk dus perfect voor de job.

Het Mulberry Pierhead was een erfstuk van de geallieerde landing in Normandie dat door Shell aangekocht was en naar Banka op de rede van Muntok bij de mond van de Musi River gesleept was .
Mulberry Pierhead werd bemand door een Nederlandse Shell Chief Officer en een aantal Indonesiërs. Kees Cupido heette de Pier Master, een vrolijke Terschellinger die altijd een vriendelijk woord voor iedereen had. Ik moest altijd lachen als hij zich voorstelde aan de kapiteins van de tankers die langszij kwamen. Hij zei dan: "My name is Cupido - See You Pee Eye Dee Oh -".
Wij lagen ook vaak buiten ten anker of langszij Mulberry Pierhead te wachten op de grote tankers. Voor een of andere “atmosferische” reden was er veel onweer op de rede van Muntok, donder en bliksem maakte het vaak een angstige wacht. Voor veiligheid werden de antennes van het apparatuur geïsoleerd en geaard, soms vlogen de vonken door de radio hut. Zelfs op kalmere dagen was het vaak onmogelijk te ontvangen door de atmosferische storing.

De kapitein had altijd wel een goeie reden om naar binnen te gaan voor het weekend, voor ons was dat ook iets om naar uit te kijken want iedere Zaterdag was er dansen in de Shell soos en er waren genoeg leuke verpleegsters van het Shell hospitaal om de zaak verder op te vrolijken.
Er was er een Noorse tanker, de "Björn Stange", die regelmatig tussen Miri en Pladju voer. De attractie van de "Björn Stange" was de vrouwelijke marconist die altijd een praatje kwam maken als wij langszij Mulberry Pierhead lagen. Zij was een beeldschone Noorse waar ik verliefd op was, jammer genoeg was ze getrouwd met de tweede stuurman van de "Björn Stange".

Aan boord konden wij "Tjap Kuntji" of "Bintang" bier kopen via de Shell Co-Op voor 1 Rupiah per fles. Het bier was OK, de brouwerij in Indonesië was opgezet door Heineken, dus wij mopperden niet. Het mooie was dat we de lege flessen weer voor 1 Rupiah per fles verpatsen aan de sampans op de rivier. Dat klinkt goed he? Free drinks forever.

Na een jaar werd ik afgelost in Pladju en overgeplaats naar een Stanvac tanker die in Sungei Gerong op mij lag te wachten. Sungei Gerong was de Stanvac raffinaderij vlak naast Pladju, en het was de thuishaven voor de “Stanvac Djirak”. Voor 2 jaar lang voer ik nog op de “Stanvac Djirak” naar havens in Indonesië, Malaya, Singapore, Thailand en Frans Indo-China voor ik eindelijk in 1955 met verlof naar Nederland ging.

John Papenhuyzen
If you want to know more about Dutch Shipping in Australia go to the Oud Roest Down Under website
https://sites.google.com/site/ordustorypage/home

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Puntenel
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Lid geworden op: 02 jul 2008 03:52
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Re: Verhalen van John Papenhuyzen

Bericht door Puntenel »

STANVAC TALES
Herschaalde kopie van Stanvac Djirak.jpg
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Our fleet comprises nine ships, kasihan
And the “Mambang” is the tenth, oh kasihan.
Near Saja you’ll run into this lot
Guaranteed seven out of the nine
Chorus.
Signed up with Stanvac, kasihan
Oh kasihan Tuan, kasihan Tuan.
Signed up with Stanvac, kasihan.
(Popular ditty 1950 – 1960)


The Nederlandse Koloniale Petroleum Maatschappij lost all its ships during the Second World War conflict in Indonesia and the Pacific.
To replace the lost fleet the company procured in 1947 four tankers of 4,000 ton DW of the type T1-M-BT2 in the US of A. They were given the names of the tankers lost, i.e. “Benakat “, “Djirak”, “Pendopo” and “Talang Akar”. When the company changed its name in June 1947 to Standard Vacuum Tankvaart Maatschappij (SVTM) the four T1-M-BT2 tankers received the prefix “Stanvac” to their names.
In 1948 two smaller tankers of the type T1-M-A2, each measuring 1,500-ton DW were purchased. They were named “Stanvac Selo” and “Stanvac Ogan”.

Since 1948 Van Uden Shipping Company in Rotterdam also had three tankers of the T1-M-BT2 type operating in Indonesian waters in permanent charter to SVTM. These tankers were named “Tankhaven 1”, “Tankhaven 2” and “Tankhaven 3”.
The “Mambang” was a small motor lighter, built in Australia in 1947, which served mainly on the rivers in Sumatra.

That accounts for the number of nine ships and the “Mambang” mentioned in the ditty.
Saja was a small hilly island just before you entered the Banka Straits, on the port side when coming from Tandjung Uban, the tank installation of Stanvac on the Indonesian island of Bintang near Singapore.
The ditty was right, it was nothing unusual to see most of the fleet near Saja, either coming from the Stanvac refinery in Sungei Gerong, or returning to Sungei Gerong from wherever they had been discharging their cargos in the Far East.

The “Stanvac Djirak”, the ship I served on from May 1953 till April 1955, carried aviation fuel. From the refinery in Sungei Gerong to different destinations all over the place, sometimes short runs between the refinery to the tank installation in Tg. Uban and other times longer runs to ports in Vietnam, then called French Indochina, and Thailand. During my time the ship never called into other ports in Indonesia such as Tg. Priok, Surabaya or Macassar, but would call regularly into Singapore for stores or repairs in dry-dock.

Radio operators on most of the Dutch ships worked for Radio Holland as their principal employer, Radio Holland provided equipment, personnel and services to the shipping companies; in other words we were hirelings!
That sounds demeaning but in reality most radio operators felt that they belonged to the shipping company they sailed with and quite often stayed with the same company for years.
Being a “hireling” had other advantages; you were not locked into a particular company; once you had a few years seniority up you could indicate to RH the type of ships you preferred and which part of the world you wanted to sail in.

SVTM was unique in that their officers’ salaries were paid in US dollars and that no taxes, Dutch or Indonesian, had to be paid. Not that getting paid in US dollars made any difference to the radio operators, we were still on Radio Holland’s tropical pay scales, but we did not pay taxes either. For that we were the envy of the rest of the RH radio operators serving.
Apart from a tanker allowance I also received a US$45 monthly allowance for looking after the catering on board. Normally that job was the responsibility of the third or second mate, but sometimes the captain would ask the sparks if he would like to do that.

Since there was very little radio traffic on these tankers - only ETA telegrams to the agents and the odd telegram to SVTM headquarters in Sg. Gerong - I had plenty of time to do extra work. It involved checking on food and other stores as required by the Chinese Chief Steward, preparing stock and procurement lists and eventually victualling through a ship chandler.
By the way, deck, engine and cabin crew on the tankers were Chinese but the members of each department came from different parts of China.

Provisioning in Singapore was the big thing! Not only did we get our ship’s stores and fresh food on board but also duty free stores. And duty free stores meant only one thing to the crew – cigarettes!
On every one of the tankers cigarettes were smuggled into Indonesia and French Indo China without too many problems.
In Sungei Gerong they had the operation down to a fine art; before crossing the bar in the Musi River cases full of cartons were wrapped in oilcloth ready to be dumped at a predetermined location on the river at night where the small fishing boats were waiting.
We never used a pilot to navigate the Musi and Customs would only come on board in Sungei Gerong after we tied up, as far as the crew were concerned we had no officials on board to check on them and nobody was the wiser!
Of course the officers knew what was going on but the crew were discreet and never got into trouble, obviously there must have been a bit of palm greasing with the Customs in Sungei Gerong.

Don’t think for one moment that we, the junior officers, did not have our share of smuggling cigarettes. Our big deal was the port of Haiphong in the North of what is now Vietnam.
We bought our cigarettes in Singapore duty free and waited till we arrived in Haiphong; Haiphong was a war zone and there were no Customs anywhere to be seen, flogging our cigarettes to the French Legionnaires was no problem.
Going ashore in Haiphong was a problem because the Stanvac oil jetty was a long way from the city and it became no man’s land at night. The French troops returned to their fortresses in the late afternoon and closed all roads until the next morning; we thought it safer to spend the night in Haiphong than hang around a tanker half loaded with aviation gas in striking distance of any Vietcong mortar or cannon.
Going out in Haiphong was cheap and we enjoyed our shore leave there, still, Saigon was a lot better. We always saved our ill-gotten gains to spend big in Saigon; the city was not called “Paris of the East” for nothing!
The entertainment was fantastic, plenty of places to go to. We had made good friends with a pair of French females serving in the army and when we arrived in Saigon they were too happy to share a good time with us.
We bought many bottles of French cognac and liqueur cheaply to be consumed on board later; also Hi-Fi equipment and good fashionable clothes cheaper than in Singapore. Yes, Vietnam was a popular run in spite of the dangers involved.

Another example of penny-pinching mentality of the Dutch shipping companies was the refusal to pay a War Zone Danger Allowance in Vietnamese ports. After a year or more of arguing, they (SVTM and Shell) finally agreed to pay an allowance of 50% of the salary with a minimum of 5 days starting from June 15th 1954 till July 28th 1954, the date when the French and the Vietcong signed their armistice. A lousy period of 6 weeks, hardly worth the effort that went into fighting for an allowance!

Life on board was pretty good. I can’t remember ever hearing complaints about the food; however, the accommodation was Spartan, typical of the US mass-produced ships during WW2. Everything was made of steel and in port the heat in the cabins was oppressive, especially when you had to keep the porthole and doors closed. Only an electric fan on the wall and a gulang in bed gave some comfort. (A gulang is a long pillow used to put a leg over – also known as “Dutch Wife”!!!).
Even at sea the bridge, the chart room and the radio room were very hot. All decks were steel and painted in a browny, red colour like the boot top on the hull. The deck above the bridge was also painted in this colour, the dark paint absorbed the heat and in combination with the un-insulated steel structure the top accommodation turned into an oven. I had asked the captain if we could paint the deck above with a silver paint that would reflect some of the heat; at first he was reluctant because he did not want to change the company colour standards but he relented and let us do that. The result was remarkable!! From memory we measured a difference of some 5 to 6 degrees Centigrade before and after!

Talking about company colours. We had an old bicycle on board, left there by a previous deck officer who used it to ride up and down the long jetty in Tg. Uban between the ship and the office ashore. So, the ship inherited the bike and I used it and also looked after it. The old bike had been neglected over the years and it was decided to give her an overhaul. The engineers took her to bits and put it together again and my task was to repaint the frame and the wheels. Easier said than done, there was no bicycle lacquer on board to do the job properly and the only paint available was in the different company colours - grey, white, yellow and red. We got to work on the bike and the result was superb; you should have seen the faces of the guys in the Marine Superintendent’s office in Sg. Gerong when I peddled past the office on my bike done in company colours!

Tandjung Uban is situated on the Indonesian island of Bintang in the Riou Straits some 150 km as the crow flies from Singapore. Stanvac has a large tank installation for storing refined products and distributes these products from there.
The establishment was small and for the recreation of local staff and the officers of the ships in port there was a small clubhouse and tennis court.

The loading and unloading from the ships took place via pipelines on long jetties quite a distance away from the marine office and the club.

Having the bicycle as a means of transport for the short run to and from the marine office or the club was handy, going sightseeing on a pushbike was an other matter.
Bintang is an exporter of bauxite; Kidjang is the port where bauxite was loaded on cargo ships. (I did go back to Bintang once in 1956 on the “Tjibantjet” to take bauxite back to Japan.)
There were no made roads in those days and to explore the countryside I borrowed a Jeep from Mr. Oei, one of the office managers. The roads were graded gravel roads and the gravel was pure bauxite, OK for travelling on in a Jeep but no good for anything else as I found out later.
The gear lever in Mr. Oei’s Jeep was a bit stiff and I managed to break the stick, getting back to base in first gear was a job and a half and Mr. Oei’s displeasure was considerable.
However, next time back in Tg. Uban I conned him into letting me use his motor scooter. I set out on my trip into the country on the scooter and it felt great with the wind cooling me and to watch the countryside glide by.
It had been raining in the early morning and there were still puddles on the gravel road. Where parts of the road had started to dry up the bauxite formed a sludge, which was very slippery; because of the small diameter wheels on the scooter there was insufficient grip on the slippery road and when I took a sharp turn I came off the scooter with an almighty crash. I badly skinned my knees and both hands and because of the bauxite all parts got badly infected. As a result I had to go to the hospital in Sg. Gerong to get fixed up and suffer for a couple of days. Mr. Oei’s scooter did not have a scratch on it.
He was a funny guy this Mr. Oei, a bachelor who used to go to Singapore for R & R regularly and sow some wild oats I assume. Whilst in Singapore he would always buy a big bottle of duty free Channel No.5 perfume, which he used to sprinkle on his bed at night.
“To keep the memory alive” - according to him.

There were a few more eccentrics on those tankers that I have met or heard of in my time.
One captain, I shall call him Captain Frugal, was a strange man to start off with. He did not mingle with his officers and he was miserly. Much to the malign of his deck officers he used to keep chickens on the flying bridge that created a mess and stank. It was the duty of the Chief or second to collect the eggs in the morning. In all fairness to the man, he let the officers have the eggs for breakfast.
One day in port he was leaning over the railing and noticed that someone amidships had been to the toilet and had flushed his business. In those days we had no holding tanks or septic systems, everything went over the side at sea or in port, regardless.

After observing what came out of the sea outlet Captain Frugal ran inside to find out who had used the toilet. When he found the culprit he went into a tirade accusing him of wasting company money; the poor guy wanted to know what this was all about and was then told that he had used 7 pieces of paper and that such wastage could not be tolerated!

One deck officer, who was also heavily involved in smuggling cigarettes into Sg. Gerong, obviously made a packet from his illegal activities. The brand of cigarettes popular at the time in Indonesia was called Marvel and it was well known that this gentleman had a house built for his parents in Holland called “Huize Marvel”!
He also had another reputation. He invited others to come and watch him through the porthole with the girls who used to come on board in Bangkok. I don’t know if he charged for the show!

The ship made regular trips to Thailand, mainly to Bangkok and occasionally to Sattahip, the naval base of Thailand.
As you old salts well know Bangkok is famous for the girls who come on board to make the lonely hearts on board happy and at the same time make a quid. There was definitely class distinction; there was the Golden Team, another team that arrived per sampan and the individual entrepreneurs who came up the gangway and bribed their way past the Immigration officials.
Captains have tried to stop these invasions but to no avail, as soon as they were sent off the ships they re-appeared again. Therefore it had become an accepted fact they were on board till the ship sailed again.

My first trip, after signing on in Sg. Gerong following a year on the Musi River on Shell tankers, was to Bangkok. All the talk in the mess room was about the girls in Bangkok suggesting to me that this would be a good opportunity to get the accumulated dirty water of one year off my chest.
All this wink-wink, nudge-nudge made me nervous and I did not really look forward to Bangkok and its promises.
When we arrived in Bangkok everything happened exactly the way it was explained to me, the girls arrived and made themselves comfortable. I got introduced to them and could not believe my eyes, yes, they were beautiful!
Nothing sleazy about them, nicely dressed, well spoken and so sweet. Well, you can guess what happened and I was a very happy boy after that!

On one of the trips to Bangkok I stood outside the mess room on the aft deck talking to our Chief Engineer, a veteran of the war in the Pacific whose ship had been torpedoed by a Jap submarine and narrowly escaped being beheaded when the Japs picked them up.
An old woman was peddling the boat and as she came closer to the ship I noticed what I though was cooling water coming out of a pipe. I could not see or hear an engine and I remarked about it to the Chief who burst out laughing. “Have another look Sparks, where does the pipe go to?”
The pipe was a hollow bamboo stick that disappeared up the old woman’s trouser leg! The Chief explained that there is a mouthpiece on the other end of the bamboo pipe and that women on the sampans use that to pass water instead of getting up and squatting over the side.
Clever technology eh?

Other strange things happened on that ship that I had never heard of or had seen before. I always believed that one should never run a ship aground unless it was an emergency. Not so in one of the ports in Vietnam, either Nathrang or Haiphong.
We entered the river half loaded and high on the water. As we got to the oil terminal and wharf the banks of the river were very close, too close to turn around I thought. But there was Captain Harry, cool as a cucumber on the wing of the bridge, “Hard a port, slow speed ahead” straight into the mud and the bank. We slid into place and came to a halt. “Full speed astern, hard starboard” and out she came, facing the other way and Captain Harry brought her alongside without blinking an eyelid!

I always believed that when people died on board they had to be buried at sea. Not on our ship! An engineman died of unknown courses and he was put in the cool room waiting to be taken ashore in Singapore.
On board we had an honour system where at the end of the month the Chief Steward would let you know how many bottles of beer you had consumed. The beer was kept in the cool room and as you took out what you needed you ticked it off on the Chief Steward’s sheet of paper.
We were having a drink in the mess room and this time it was the turn of one of the junior engineers to shout, he went, only to return a minute later looking as white as a sheet.
“That Chinaman is still alive, I heard him rattle!”
What happened is that gasses built up inside the body and eventually escaped; there was no doubt that our man was dead but the junior will never forget his experience.

Singapore has always been my favourite city and I have spent a lot of time there. Even now my wife and I love going back there, it is clean safe and full of excitement!
The ship had to go through a major survey and it was found that a number of plates inside the tanks had to be replaced. Also there was damage to some of the hull plates, all in all it meant we had to spend nearly six weeks in dry dock in Singapore.
There is very little to do for a radio operator in dry-dock and I had plenty of time during the day to explore the city, the island and even go as far as Kuala Lumpur on the train.
In those days we had all the different “Worlds” where you could go for entertainment. Just to name a few, Happy World, New World, etc.

Dancing has always been my favourite pastime and you could go wild doing just that in Singapore. Being regulars at the “World” dance halls we did not have to pay the taxi girls because we were the ones that could jive, jitterbug and swing. From them we learned the rumba, cha cha and whatever else was exotic at the time. A great time, the girls did not worry, they had a ball too!

I had extended my time to serve in the Far East to three years but the time had come to find my way back to Radio Holland and Tandjung Priok in order to be repatriated to Holland. I wanted to be back in time for my parent’s 25th wedding anniversary. I made it just in time but how that all came to be is another story.

I signed off in Sg. Gerong on the 16th of April 1955, got a temporary transfer to the “Saroena” and then transferred to m.s “Agatha” to return to Tg. Priok where I picked up the “Oranje” again and returned home on her as 3rd operator.

John Papenhuyzen
July 2005
If you want to know more about Dutch Shipping in Australia go to the Oud Roest Down Under website
https://sites.google.com/site/ordustorypage/home

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Jinny
Berichten: 895
Lid geworden op: 09 sep 2017 13:34

Re: Verhalen van John Papenhuyzen

Bericht door Jinny »

Aalders, Gerry - Author
OF PIMPS AND GIN
(No ..... not Gins)
The Halcyon was not the only shipping Co that distributed free Jenever to its Officers as stated by
Herman Willemse in his much appreciated story “Jenever.”
Reading the story triggered these memories.

In the late 1950s I had the pleasure of being assigned as Radio Officer by my Pimp to be part of the
tramping Vinke fleet .
Radio Holland, being our pimp as they distributed us , R/Os, in gay abandon all over the Dutch merchant fleet to work without much regard to our wishes, has never been a great favourite of mine after I studied and got my certificates (2nd & 1st class) at the independent Higher Maritime
School of Rotterdam.

They (RH) even allocated you a number and, only just refrained from tattooing it permanently on one’s arm.
Not having an original thought in that body they copied Marconi UK to the letter, even to fitting Marconi radios for a while.
With administration procedures that could easily equal those of real important companies, like the nowadays Trump Org, and wages with sometimes (heaven forbid) miniscule wage increases, they could be no one’s favourite, but there again serving with Radio Holland was better than having no wages at all whilst being seconded in the Dutch ARMY or Royal Navy after being plucked from a “foreign” flag vessel that had the misfortune to enter Dutch harbour space.
Alright, that’s my gripe. Let it be said, before I go on, that RH Rotterdam was operated by some very friendly individuals, it was just that at the Rotterdam school I was programmed to be a free spirit.
After 7 years and thus free from military conscription I fulfilled my desire and continued sailing under “foreign” flags and was finally able to build up a “spaarpotje” until I too got bitten by “she who had to be obeyed” and dropped the anchor in Australia.

And so in the early days, as indicated above, I set sail on “sum” ships of Vinke Co: the Leersum, Bussum, Loppersum.
I was allowed to spend some years with them and managed to feel part of the Company. Contrary to normal procedure I now had a feeling of belonging and after some time when other company officers were talked about over dinner I too, knew who they were talking about and “belonged”
Tramping along with the freighters or the tankers gave me the opportunity to enjoy the sights of the world.
My photo collection grew.

While we sailed from port to port we enjoyed that rarest of joys: a free litre of Jenever (dutch gin) frequently, but of a frequency I have now forgotten.
Real bottles, not refills were distributed and were there to be drunk.
No, I did not barter for goods or help for the Radio Room, any requirements there were Radio Holland’s problems as long as I managed by hook or by crook to keep the radios going.
And if the antenna was down in port and the PDRH list unreadable.......who cared.......there were always sights to see and adventures to be had ashore.

It was a funny sight the see a Vinke ship come past in the tropics.
Still without air-conditioning at that time and a fridge jealously guarded by the chief-cook, we, of below Captains rank could only cool the bottle of jenever by wrapping it in a wet towel and hanging that contraption in the open porthole such that the wind, generated by our speed , would play over the wet towel and cool the bottle.
The Chief Steward was not impressed by the many stinking towels that were exchanged during the trip but the jenever was cool enough to be enjoyed.
It was around that time that the Radio Officer (of young years, not thought to be able to handle a whole litre of jenever himself) received an influx of college officers visiting at all hours of the evening.

I enjoyed these little get togethers and did not mind sharing my bottle with the old seadogs of higher ranks.
Quite a few came from the island Terschelling and many a story was told.
A slight headache the next morning was only a small price to pay.
It smoothed the way to walk out on the bridge at all hours of the night and share a conversation with the officer of the watch whilst hanging on the railing of the bridge wing while the ship cut through the flat phosphorous sea under the ink-black star studded sky, lit by a tropical moon.

I still do not know why we had to ship wheat from the U.S.A all the way to Calcutta and than
proceed to Western Australia to load wheat for England.
Logistics ?
Ach, as long as the bottle of gin arrived and could be drank with friends, we did not care and by filing the various reports we kept our Pimp happy such that we stayed employed.
What a way to make a living for a young fellow.
73’s
Gerry G.M. Aalders
Sydney
Je wordt al geboren
Je wordt al begraven
Waarom zou je ook nog worden geleefd?

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Puntenel
Berichten: 214
Lid geworden op: 02 jul 2008 03:52
Locatie: Telopea Sydney Australia
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Re: Verhalen van John Papenhuyzen

Bericht door Puntenel »

SAILING THROUGH THE KRIKKEMIKKE

S.S. “Rijn”
Afbeelding

When I finished my first trip at sea in 1951 as Second Radio Operator on the “Willemstad”, a new passenger ship belonging to the KNSM that made regular voyages between Amsterdam, Southampton, Madeira and the Caribbean, I had dreams of going solo on a beautiful white ship with all the mods and comfs sailing into a warm, sunny climate.

After a few days at home I received a message to report to the “Radio Holland” Inspection Office at the Levant Kade in Amsterdam to take over a ship. No further details were given and my hopes of signing on a white yacht were still very much alive.

One of the Inspectors took me on board a small motorboat and we made our way through the harbour. When I questioned the Inspector where we were going and what sort of ship it was the only answer I got was “You’ll see”!
I saw all right, the further and deeper the boat went through the port and the canals the greyer my white yacht became.
Finally we arrived at the end of the world and there she was – the s.s. “Rijn” of the NV Houtvaart – bunkering coal, covered in dust, rusty, old and looking very, very uninviting!

Now that the white yacht dream had been shattered I realised that the only choice I had was trying to make the most of it.
But even that thought got a knocking when we had to climb over the bunker coal on deck to get to the radio room and accommodation.
By the time we had found the First Mate and got the keys to the radio room we were covered in coal dust.
Before I got to the radio room I felt like tossing the whole thing in, but when we opened the door I got a pleasant surprise! Fancy that, brand new radio equipment on this old rust bucket.

Not surprising though, after the Germans invaded Holland in May 1940 they took the ship as a prize in the port of Rotterdam. All through the war she sailed under Dutch flag and German management in the German orbit. After completion of repairs in September 1944 at the yard of Crichton Vulkan, Helsinki, her crew scuttled her near Abo by destroying pumps.
She was salvaged in 1946 and back in service in 1948, Vinke & Zonen appointed as managers.
She was built and completed by A. Vuijk & Zonen, Capelle (No. 447), as RIJN for NV Houtvaart, Rotterdam in September 1916 with Vinke & Co. appointed as managers.
Classified as cargo steamship - 1965 GRT / 3312 tdw, 158,190 cubic feet grain, 85.95 m registered length, 12.28 m breadth, 6.5 m depth, triple-expansion engine, 1200 HP, made by Arnhemsche Stoom Mij. Arnhem, speed 9 knots.

Just for the record, I did the last two trips on her before she was sold to Egon Oldendorff, Lübeck. She was renamed Erna Oldendorff on 14.1.1952 and sailed under German flag until 1962 when she was sent to Italy to be scrapped.

After re-floating the ship the damage was repaired and she could sail again; fortunately the old radio gear could no longer be used and was taken off. Brand new equipment was put on board albeit in the same old, crummy accommodation.
The new radio equipment was the latest UK Marconi MIMC equipment - an Ocean Span MF/HF transmitter, Receivers, Echo sounder, Spark Emergency transmitter - and last, but not least, a Marconi Lodestone Direction Finder.
The Lodestone would play a role in what lay ahead.

After the inspection I wanted to go back on the boat to Amsterdam with the Inspector. Before we left I had a chance to talk to the First Mate to find out what was going on and was told that we would be leaving empty the next day for Finland.

As you know now she was neither built for speed nor comfort but despite all the inconveniences on board she had character. When I say character I mean she represented to me what an old steamer should be like.
Her mess room was finished in beautiful mahogany wood panelling, light fittings in that officers’ lounge were still the original lamps but converted from oil to electricity.
All brass and copper was polished and everything was spic and span.
On deck all winches were steam driven and very quiet in operation.
The engine and engine room were an eye opener to me, a beautiful old triple expansion machine and other ancillary machines of a past era.
I had never seen anything like that before and to this day I can still smell the steam and see in my mind how the oilers kept in rhythm with the movement of the “arms and legs” whilst squirting oil out of a can.

I had good reasons to make regular visits to the engine room! There was no laundry service on board and you had to do your own washing. If you were lucky you could sometimes get hot water in the showers or washbasin in your cabin. The only other way was to grab a bucket and ask the engineer on duty if you could fill your bucket with boiler water and drag it all the way to you cabin up top to do the washing.

Everything on board was steam driven, including heating in the cabins. Heating in the radio room was through a couple of huge coils (serpentines) underneath the operator’s desk. When the heating was on your feet would be boiling whilst the rest of your body was cold and the temperature inside the cabin was still like a freezer compartment.
Same in the cabins, heat distribution was not good at all! The worst part of it all was that in port power was turned off after 10 pm until 7 am the next morning; they also shut the boiler down and turned steam heating off. Company regulations!!!!!
Perhaps this measure is OK in a moderate climate but not in Finland at the beginning of winter. With only an oil lamp for light in a freezing cabin during the night condensation would form, run down the wall and freeze up. Result was that you woke up the next morning with your hair stuck to the wall, fair dinkum!

Perhaps that was a reason for the company to issue a bottle of jenever a fortnight free of charge! Just to placate us and compensate for the inconveniences.
Other story tellers have mentioned free issues of jenever on some of the trampers they sailed on, well, I can tell you we needed our bottle of Blankenheim & Nolet to keep warm, not to bribe the bosun or loosen the tongue of others!

Before we sailed the next morning on my first solo trip I went on the bridge to introduce myself to the Captain and the second and third mate. The captain walked around with a wind jacket without epaulettes and had a battered old sailing cap on his head. He seemed a very quiet sort of a person, one of the old school who had gone through the war and survived.

He eyed me up and down and said “Welcome on board son, first ship on your own is it?”
I told him that it was and that I was a bit nervous, he grinned and said: “They all do, you’ll be fine Marc”. How little did I realise that a week later he would appreciate my presence on board.

The ship looked presentable after the bunkers were taken down and the decks were cleared and washed.
The bosun had put the aerials up and I was ready to go as soon as we got outside the locks in IJmuiden. Scheveningen Radio – PCH, the Dutch coast radio station is located right next to the locks in IJmuiden. In order not to blast the poor station operator’s headset off in such close proximity you had to transmit on reduced power. On the “Ocean Span” MF transmitter you could make a choice between full power, half power and quarter power transmission, and of course I used quarter power. All went well and we were on open sea.
Up comes the First Mate with a telegram for the agent in Kiel, no problem,
start the Ocean Span and call Norddeich Radio on full power.
Nothing happened, no transmission, no meter readings.
What the good inspector had not told me that there was a problem with Ocean Span equipment cutting out at the slightest overload. Apparently antenna length and tuning are very critical and if not spot on caused the transmitter to drop out.
When I called Scheveningen Radio earlier on quarter power this problem did not occur, anyway, I got the hang of it and later managed to operate the transmitter on MF to work the local coastal stations and sometimes in the Gulf of Bothnia on HF to work Scheveningen Radio.
Our destination was a port called Mäntyluoto, the largest timber port in the Nordic region on the Gulf of Bothnia near Pori in Finland, to load up with timber.
The “Rijn” was designed to carry timber logs or cut timber in the holds and on deck. She could also carry bulk cargo such as coal or iron ore but this trip we sailed to Finland in ballast. The weather was good for the time of the year, September – October and we arrived at the Kieler Canal without any incidents.

To get to Mäntyluoto the ship has to sail North East from Kiel into the Baltic Sea and the Gulf of Finland and then steer north into the Gulf of Bothnia along the coast of Finland. To sail via the shortest route into the Gulf of Bothnia you have to pass through an archipelago. The passage is very tricky to navigate under normal conditions - extremely difficult to negotiate when visibility is limited.
Remember, we did not have radar on board!
Those who sail around the Baltic commonly referred to the archipelago as the “Krikkemikke”.

After we left Kiel I checked the Marconi Lodestone direction finder and took bearings to check the accuracy of the calibration chart. The third mate was very helpful and took visual bearings to compare the results with me. They were spot on and it gave me confidence, not only in my own ability but also in this new equipment.
Would you believe it! Two nights later, after I had finished my last watch I went to bed.
Just after midnight the third mate woke me to tell me that the old man wanted me on the bridge. They had run into poor visibility and the third mate called the captain on the bridge. They had a discussion and decided it was better to be sure to be sure and call the sparks.

On Dutch ships in those days the older men always called the sparks “Marc”, short for marconist.
The old man told me that he was not certain of the ship’s position and could I give him a fix with the Lodestone?
I had familiarised myself with the list of radio beacons along the Danish, Swedish and Finnish coast and I knew I could be of assistance. During that dogwatch I took regular bearings, which they plotted, and when visibility returned and visual bearings could be taken my positions showed to be spot on.

You know when you are wanted or needed, all through the night they plied me with cups of coffee and sandwiches and when it was all over the captain came up to me, put his hand on my shoulder and said: ” Thank you very much Marc, well done!”
To hear that compliment from an old sea dog with many years of experience was my proud moment. I felt then that I was part of the team and this spirit has been with me all the years that I sailed and later ashore when I worked with other people. As a wireless operator I have never felt the odd man out, I always knew that my work was just as important as the work of all the others on board. We had to rely on each other, regardless.

The rest of the journey was quite uneventful, we arrived at Luoto where we anchored in a lagoon and waited for the floating logs to arrive and for the “pojkas” to start loading.
It was a slow process and we were there for 4 days, there was nothing ashore and the nearest village was some kilometres away. Somehow we got word that a dance was to be held at the village hall and that we were most welcome to attend.
We walked through the forest and through the clearances we could see the night sky. Absolutely beautiful, the stars were brighter than I had ever seen before and although the night air was cold it felt so clean and fresh.

The dance itself was great! All the lovely local lasses turned up and we had a ball!
What surprised me was the amount of spirits that were consumed by all and sundry, in my sheltered life before I went to sea I had only ever seen the occasional drunk but at this turn out everybody had a skin full!
Is it the cold weather that turns the Scandinavians to drink?
It must be, I had already noticed that the “Pojkas” (wharfies) were drinking sprit, a sort of high alcohol content vodka, on the job and getting more drunk as the day progressed! How they did not have terrible accidents walking on those floating logs and getting the logs in slings to winch on board I still don’t know.

We returned to Zaandam in the first week of November 1951 and unloaded our cargo of logs. I went home on leave for a week before signing on for the second trip on the “Rijn”.

We left Zaandam on the 12th of November 1951 bound for Turku, Finland with an empty ship again.
I had settled in very well and life on board was good. The food was good, thanks to our Chief Cook who also doubled as Purser. Cabin service was “self-service”; at the mess the Captain’s steward served the meals.
The steward was a tall, aloof sort of a man. Dedicated to the captain only and looking at us the etat major as necessary evils. To be fair to him he was always correct and courteous, but never friendly.
I was given to eat a few more dishes that never appeared on Mother’s Menu!
Labscous is one that springs to mind. And there were other dishes that on Mother’s Menu came under the category of “prakje” – left overs or bubble and squeak. No food was ever wasted, not only because the company was a typical tight-fisted Dutch organisation but also the Chief Cook was trying to save a quid (for himself?).

When we signed on for the journey in Zaandam we were informed that the ship had been sold to Germany and that this was her last voyage under Dutch flag. Obviously the company was not going to spend money on an asset that was no longer on the books and we found out that repairs that had to be done were not carried out or items were not replaced.
At one stage the gravy boat in the mess room got smashed and there was no spare gravy boat to be found. Fortunately only the foot of the gravy boat was badly smashed but the actual bowl was still intact. No problem to our engineers, they found a large oblong shaped sardine tin, filled it up with cement and sand and set the bowl in the tin. They then painted the base in company colours and put the company logo on either side of the base!
Great hilarity at the mess table when the gravy boat returned, I wonder if anyone souvenired it at the end of the trip?

Not only did we run out of small foodstuff during the voyage but also on the way back when we struck bad weather north of the Wadden Isles where we could not make headway and had the Isle of Texel on our port side for the best part of the day.

We nearly had to pinch timber from our cargo to keep to boilers going because we ran out of coal. We only just made it into Zaandam.
On the day before entering IJmuiden we actually ran out of potatoes and the cook had to supplement rice to prepare the last dinner.

As I said before the Cook was also responsible for the Stores. He was a likeable tall guy with piercing black eyes, a typical Rotterdammer with a broad accent. He always managed to come up with a good meal and now and then he would surprise us all with something one would only expect to see on the menu in a first class restaurant. I don’t know where he learned his trade but he was good at it.
One morning before arriving at the first port of call in Finland the captain asked me to go and wake the Cook because Customs and Immigration were due to come on board.
I went into his cabin; the cook was on his bunk with his face on one side lying on the pillow looking at me. I spoke to him and told him that the officials were on board and that he was wanted. He just looked at me and did not move or answer. I repeated what I said before – no answer. Then I got worried and thought that he had carked it, I touched him on the shoulder and he turned around on the pillow, opened the other eye and said: “What’s the matter Marc?”
I never knew that he had one glass eye.

Before we got to our destination ice had started to form on the Gulf of Bothnia, this was in the middle of December and we still had to load and return before the ice became too thick. There was some concern on board and the fact that the empty ship ploughing through the thin ice made a terrible noise did not help much.
Lucky for us it did not happen otherwise we would have been stuck there for the winter and miss out on our Christmas with the family.

Another minor problem developed and we had to call into Helsinki for repairs. I grabbed the opportunity and went ashore to have a look around. One of the mates had told me about saunas, how most people in Scandinavia had one at home or if they did not have one at home they’d go to a public sauna. He had been to a public sauna before and gave me the drum.
Here I was, standing in front of this big building where the saunas were. It looked like a normal office building, nothing like a swimming pool or bathhouse.

Once inside this huge blonde in a white coat intercepted me. She looked like an import from Russia, one of those Gulag commissars. She spoke German and I told her that this was my first time (in a sauna of course) and could she assist me. Well, she did more than assist me; she gave me the full treatment – hot bath, cold shower, birch branch whipping and a full body massage. She certainly knew her job, I felt like I could jump a tall building and for that I thanked her profusely.
The euphoria lasted until I got back on board. I suddenly felt tired and all I wanted was go to sleep, which I did. Never woke up until the next morning, feeling good again.

Apart from a couple of days in bad weather in the North Sea the return voyage from Helsinki was very quiet. I think everyone was feeling sad because the old girl was sold and we would miss her.
For me it was a great experience, my first ship, being my own boss, and a new responsibility of learning how to get on with other people.
I have never seen her again although she sailed in European waters under German flag for another 10 years.

I spend Christmas and New Year with my parents and family and sailed on the “Hercules” of the KNSM from Amsterdam to Hamburg and the Mediterranean on the 2nd of January 1952.

John Papenhuyzen
July 2005.
Laatst gewijzigd door Puntenel op 13 apr 2020 03:22, 1 keer totaal gewijzigd.
If you want to know more about Dutch Shipping in Australia go to the Oud Roest Down Under website
https://sites.google.com/site/ordustorypage/home

Gebruikersavatar
sparky-san
Berichten: 253
Lid geworden op: 23 mei 2019 17:27

Re: Verhalen van John Papenhuyzen

Bericht door sparky-san »

Prachtig verhaal John; en de jus-kom is nog steeds in handen van Egon-Oldendorff. . . . ? . . . ! ;)
on a clear day, you can see forever . . . .

roy
Berichten: 12121
Lid geworden op: 29 jan 2005 22:19
Locatie: Den Helder

Re: Verhalen van John Papenhuyzen

Bericht door roy »

Tja, het goeie ouwe trouwe waterbootje...………………..
Vaak als de kok de messroom, ( durfde ), te betreden werd gevraagd of iemand het waterbootje even kon doorgeven...……... :lol:
Sommigen leren het ook nooit. :!: ;)

m.v.g.,, Roy
Een individu weet meer niet dan wel.
Laat dat a.u.b. zo blijven................



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