Red Plum gone ...

Discussion in 'The Fleet' started by Levers_Aligned, Jun 1, 2016.

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  1. Levers_Aligned

    Levers_Aligned War Hero Moderator

    Former HMS Endurance towed out of Pompey today to Turkey for scrap.

    Tragic victim of poor support and cheers easy drafts.

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  2. Endurance was the ship I wanted to get a draft to more than any other as a killick. I never got that chance sadly. Still, I got three back to back SNFMs so can't complain.....
  3. Taken on 12 October 2005, three years before her attempted suicide in the Antarctic.

    HMS Endurance 12 Oct 2005.jpg
  4. Absolutely no tears shed by me whatsoever. Appalling ship (structurally and professionally), my worst time in the mob bar none.

    Some of us old boys (so to speak) had a party when she was decommissioned. No loss to the fleet or the nation.

    Agree with Levers that somewhere, probably just after purchase, there was the makings of a great ship - but she was ruined by a relentless work programme, and years of "upgrades" and "enhancements" which just added ever more weight and support nightmares.

    Designed to leave a Norwegian port every year, hang a right, and bimble around in the Arctic summer; we used the ruddy thing to do an annual circumnavigation of the globe. Great heating + no air conditioning = half the ship's company sleeping on deck every time you crossed the Equator. Carpets everywhere, a passenger lift, more non-standard kit, fixtures and fittings than you can shake your PLR at.

    The scenery down south is nice for the first week or two, but rapidly pales, especially when there's always a thought at the back of your mind that your ship is a f******* liability.

    If pictures ever emerge of her being cut up I'd like to frame one for the wall of my shed.

    I still get angry thinking about it.
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  5. Everything Kinross said but; in my case regarding H.M.S. Plover in spades!
  6. Yes, the "Plover" was somehing else! Spent 3 months on her, peirhead jump from "Lochinvar". Lucky white Heather.....
  7. Levers_Aligned

    Levers_Aligned War Hero Moderator

    That'll be two weeks before I joined. For information, she'd recently emerged from a refit in Falmouth where she'd fell off the dock blocks (I'll reserve the comments as to why but the report is amusing stuff considering some members of her then ship's company received awards and gongs for their work in the refit) She was then fitted out to take Brenda round the Jubilee Fleet, her rudder post seal was clumsily refitted, her Parat Boiler compartment looked like Steptoe's Yard, much of her machinery was in rag order, and on her sailing south she suffered from shit fuel and had to call in at Montevideo to get her tanks cleaned. Then it was found that the clumsy rudder refit meant that the ship had to be drydocked ASAP, it eventually went to Puerto Belgrano in Argentina where, as soon as the dockies got the rudder off, they went on strike and marooned the ship and it's crew for five weeks.

    The ongoing battle to get the ship in some sort of seaworthy state for the following trip was the stuff of legend too, and basically laid the sand and gravel for its eventual road to disaster. I could see it coming, so could everyone else who cared enough. It basically finished my four decade naval career. When I left, I told someone high up it would be towed back or would come back on a low loader. But what did I know, eh?

    That ship, and it's fate, was the zenith of how not to run a ship. I'm proud of my efforts on there, but embarrassed at my failure to even scratch the surface.

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  8. I joined her during that refit. The first in a new experiment where the RN refitted ships as far from home port as possible. "Pompey ship you say? We'll give you 6 months in west Cornwall - don't worry, you can have a rear link office in Portsmouth and a regular shuttle bus for 200 miles along the south coast."

    At about the same time was it Bulwark that came back into Guzz only to be told they were refitting in Birkenhead?

    With the passage of time, I'd actually forgotten that particular gem. In retrospect, that should have been the first clue that I hadn't joined a normal ship... That and the "ding dong" every time you made a pipe.
  9. Levers_Aligned

    Levers_Aligned War Hero Moderator

    We finally got rid of the 'ding dong', thank god.

    That refit was done sans-PUMA, you know. Which kinda gives a clue as to why it was such a cluster, all the nice-to-haves (like HiFOG) were fitted, and the really-should-have-been-dones were ignored. I was distraught when I finally got to lift the carpet and look at the stuff that was swept under it (so to speak).

    The following year I managed to instigate a survey of the whole vent system ... I'll leave it to your imagination as to what was found. Let's not forget, the ship was designed for twenty-odd permanent crew plus scientists for no more than an month away. By 2005 we had 121 matelots and any number of 'who are they?'s on board, hitching a ride, and BAS scientists telling us the world was ending in a holy climate change hell whilst ignoring the two massive Bergen BRG8 engines downstairs ferrying them to their next research grant.

    You couldn't make it up Kinross.

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  10. Quite a sought after draft for Wafu's apparently.

    Never dipped my toe in the Lynx world so was never on my Radar.
  11. Would have been interesting flying I'd say. Although reading KS and LA's posts it sounded a nightmare of a Ship.
  12. Levers_Aligned

    Levers_Aligned War Hero Moderator

    Our flight worked like Trojans. Big workload, two cabs. They dug out and partied hard and very rarely failed to deliver. The pilots, navs and FCs were top people. Full respect to all for them TBH and I naturally loathe WAFUs! :)

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  13. +1 on (most) of the flight. That was an aspect of Endurance that I liked - as a bridge watchkeeper with little else to do all watch it was quite good fun getting properly swept up on busy multicab operations.

    The LAC was very good at his job which helped, but in an otherwise exceptionally dull working environment for the OOW (no ADEX, CASEX, etc) the very real need to have a good handle on where the cabs were and what they were doing (no diverts for them...) enlivened things immensely.

    Even (most) droggies were quite ok really, but others did their level best to meet or exceed the stereotype!

    Weird ship - some parts (OOW, ME, Flight, CPO and Killick Specs, *some* SRs*) digging out blind, others essentially there for a ride. Certainly that's what it felt like anyway.

    Then add to that happy cocktail random types/groups from the FCO, the Australian FO (no icebreaker of their own), the BBC, the UKHO, BAS, and brilliantly at one point the Peruvian FO (just because, apparently), and you've got a big layer of "non-essentials" cluttering the place up.

    We may as well have had done with it and opened up to Page & Moy bookings.

    HMS Endurance - providing too many people with Antarctic sightseeing & adventure holidays for too many years.

    Wonder how Protector's getting on...

    *SRs as in Survey Recorders, not senior rates
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  14. Levers_Aligned

    Levers_Aligned War Hero Moderator

    Yup. Amen to that. We had a padre who latched himself on, and took my cabin off me (as DHoD) so I was forced to share on the guest bed in the SMRs cabin, whilst down on D deck a female killick had her own spacious two bunker. That quickly changed. The padre BTW turned out to be quite the white rat as well and deeply unpopular.

    On the second trip we had all sorts of 'who are theys?' including an Eastern European female whom we couldn't figure who or why she was there. She 'took photographs' apparently although no one could source any of her work (not like the award winning BBC photographer who was with us for a real purpose). She took her pics from behind the comfort of the Wardroom glass (complete with her own reflections and glorious sight of the foredeck and 27T crane) with what looked to be an ancient Russian camera.

    We also had 'guides' and scientists, of whom some freely admitted they were along for the jolly once we'd got them imbibed somewhat.

  15. Seadog

    Seadog War Hero Moderator

    The accommodation for senior officers in the larger civvy vessels -like MV Polar Circle - treats the Master and Chief Engineer to identical palaces forward and the Chief Mate and Second Engineer get a stately home each. How did the Navy - with its different hierarchical and organisational culture -divvy up those luxury cabins?

    Or was there an immediate A&A to 'navalise' the accommodation.
  16. Levers_Aligned

    Levers_Aligned War Hero Moderator

    The skipper was billeted Stbd Fwd in his stateroom. The XO on the other side (Princess Royal had this cabin when she came to visit us in 2007). The Chief Surveyor, Ops Officer and Logs Officer had sizeable cabins to Stbd and Engines (as a Lt) had a Port Aft corner cabin. I designed modifications for many of them, and designed a novel, high rise bunk system which replaced my rather shit, 'purpose built for one month trip' bunk. One I had it installed, all the cabin dwellers on my deck wanted one, so I measured them up and had them installed at the next AMP.

    On C Deck, the JRs fared dreadfully. It was 'guard and steerage' down there and some twerp had a great idea to squeeze three JRs into a cabin where there was, originally, one bunk plus a fold out guest bunk. The 'designs', which no one questioned even whilst it was being installed, placed one JR in a bunk above shared lockers underneath and adjacent to a longitudinal which took up 33% of his or her sleeping space on the bunk.

    The crew expansion ambitions had no study into what effect the uplift would have on HVAC, sewage, fresh water and other hotel services. The single two ton calorifier, completely shagged out by my second trip and running on best wishes, was begrudgingly replaced after a right old ding dong between the IPT and myself. The replacement was garbage. But believe me, there were worse systems. The ship was a floating disaster zone, and the ships company and passengers unknowing potential victims.

    I've said too much, but believe me, I wrote an account of my two years on there a few years ago, just after she caught a cropper, just to get the facts down. I sent it to a former colleague who shared my concerns and he agreed entirely.

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  17. Seadog

    Seadog War Hero Moderator

    Thanks Levers. It reads as if CDF and good engineering practice were all but absent with yours , a voice in the wilderness.

    Too late now but perhaps- lack of AC notwithstanding - the RFA should have been running Endurance with a flight and RM detachment added.

    I understand Protector had an RFA SEO and Bosun, plus the owner's Chief Engineer appointed to her when she was first chartered.
  18. Levers_Aligned

    Levers_Aligned War Hero Moderator

    Yeah, so I believe as well.

    I'll not say much else. Incriminating stuff aside, much of the believed principles were in fact mostly true.


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