I think the beauty of being alongside for any length of time was having the Evaps off. We lost one our main headaches.
We used to go on 4 on 12 off, or; depending on the second, sometimes 24 off.and most of us got a run ashore to visit new, or existing, girlfriends, as well as spend time in the local hostelries.
The shoreside donkey boiler was only used on dry docking I remember, when we had no seawater for condensation.
The poor juniors were stuck with the occasional watch keeping, but most of the rest of us got stuck with night aboard, for at least one night.
Four days off in Sydney, Hong Kong, San Francisco, or even Southampton, were great times.
Geoff a visit to the Duke of Boot was a necessity when in Sumtumtum, numerous ocassions in fact with all the pennies on the bar top.
If I remember correctly, there was a "Log-Bok" to record loads of information. A green Engineer would then be told to go and get the readings - there was only one reading?