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My first ship was relieving on a two week coastal trip on Pando Point in 1970. I had just come from my Apprenticeship at Cockatoo Island Dockyard in Sydney where I had worked through building the engine room through to sea trials on the new steam turbine destroyer, Torrens.
I had seen the navy engineers spinning the engine control wheels during the thrashing they gave the engines during the sea trials.
When the Second Engineer, Ivor Nash, asked me to take the wheels on Pando Point and I got the first telegraph order, I immediately started to spin the Ahead wheel as fast as I could to the dismay of the 2nd, who jumped in and stopped me, yelling like a banshee. He was a strange character but I got on ok with him for the rest of the trip.
Where are you from: Bilgola - Sydney Northern Beaches
My first ship with P and O was SS Bendigo renamed Pando Sound. As a assistant engineer we never were allowed to manoeuvre, we ran around doing everything else. 2nd engineer was on the valves....18months on Bendigo, good grounding for future ships.
Next ship SS Canberra Jnr 3rd with a brand new 2nds ticket. After a few hiccups, thats all we did was manoeuvre. 2nd engineer Beauchop was pretty snappy manoeuvring.