As I mentioned in earlier post i needed some seagoing watch keeping time after failing my 2nd Mate’s exam. Not sure how I made contact with Metcalfe Motor Coasters but I duely joined the John M at Percy Main on the river Tyne as an un-certificated 3rd Mate on 27-6-1972.
This was rather interesting and new for me keeping watch at sea and discharging alternate cargoes taking turns with the 2nd Mate. The 1st mate would load all the cargoes, usually at Fawly or Milford Haven. During the two months that I was on board we visited ports as far apart as Foynes, Inverness and the River Seine with many in between.
I found myself after only a few days onboard the John M navigating down the Thames on my own, there was a party going on in the Captains cabin, when just over two years earlier I had been the helmsman when we had the captain, officer of the watch and pilot on the bridge.
Apart from being hungry some of the time it was a pleasant summer spent coasting but the time was fast approaching to return to college so I asked to leave and said my goodbyes at Saltend on the Humber.
A week or two later I was back in college at Lowestoft and would have more luck at my next 2nd Mate’s examination before rejoining Offshore Marine and my first and only position as 2nd Mate on a supply vessel, the Ocean Shore.