Tinker Taylor’s Homepage

a new look to an old site.

Searching through my photographs and slides, which I have used for my school presentations, I have selected a few pictures that both span my years at sea or are of more unusual interest.

1st Gallery

Link Button to my Athel Apprentices Association pages...

Athel Apprentices Association

In 1970 I started my sea going career with a British Shipping Company called Athel Line which was a subsidiary of the Tate & Lyle Group. My first ship was the 62,101 ton deadweight crude oil tanker 'Athelking'. At the time of building, in 1964, this vessel was classed as a 'Supertanker'

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For the following thirteen years I predominantly sailed on their Chemical/Parcel Tankers which traded worldwide. Pictured here is the 'Anco Empress'. Any Ex-Athelian Apprentices or Cadets - Please check in at the AAA Home page

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The smallest vessel I've sailed on was named 'Stirling Sword'. Owned by Stirling Shipping of Glasgow, this was a North Sea Oil Rig Supply Vessel of 2,200 tonnes deadweight. In the photograph 'Stirling Sword' is the little one, dwarfed in the middle of the two large Anchor Handling Tug/Supply Vessels.

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On 'Stirling Sword' was the nearest I ever came to being sea-sick. This vessel was based at Peterhead, Scotland, to supply Northern Sector Production Platforms. This sector of the North Sea has perpetual gales during the winter months.

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The largest vessel on which I've sailed was the Kuwait Oil Tanker Company's vessel 'Al Rekkah' a supertanker of 407,823 tonnes deadweight.

This is the Cargo Control Room, the nerve centre for all cargo operations; loading, discharging, ballasting and tank-cleaning.

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During the Iraq Iran tanker war in the 80's this vessel was re-flagged under the United States Flag and renamed 'Bridgeton'.

See the Fact and Fantasy Page for some interesting facts about this particular vessel.

Bunkering Tanker 'Al Wataniah' delicately approaches a relatively small customer the 'Caspian Universal'

Here the 'Dagmar Mærsk' is about to be Wataniah'd

Off Khor Fakkan 1988

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The 'Al Wataniah' was a grand old lady. Originally built as a 14 hatch bulk carrier in 1956, she was converted in the early 1970's, to the bunkering tanker we see here.

The distinctive crane was used to lift the bunker hoses across to the customers and was high enough to reach the freeboard of ULCC's in ballast.

She was finally sold to shipbreakers in 1992

This was one of my recent commands. Built in 1999 and entered service early 2000. The 21,823 mt Dwt 'Wolgastern' is a modern, Ice-Class, Chemical / Oil tanker. Seen here loading at Kalundborg in Denmark

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Navigators, particularly the 4 to 8 watch-keepers, have the pleasure of seeing and photographing many spectacular maritime sunrise's or sunset's.

Invariably the resulting photographs although beautifully colourful are often lacking depth with the omission of any foreground.

So here are both a sunset and a sunrise - can you tell the difference?

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This photograph, and the opening one on my Front Page, both attained first prizes in the Annual Seafarers Competition organised by 'The Marine Society', and have been featured on the covers of their quarterly magazine "The Seafarer".

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Visit The Marine Society at http://www.marine-society.org.uk

Being one of my favourites, this photograph is my present desktop wallpaper.

Returning to the subject of the photograph on my Front Page here are a few more of storm conditions at sea.

Always a popular photographic subject, if the photographer is prepared to wait, the next wave may be even bigger or more dramatic!

This photograph was taken onboard the 'Anco Princess' hove to in a very severe North Atlantic storm during February 1979.

The reduced visibility is due to wind blown sea spume. The vessel transmitted a Navigational Warning, to all ships, reporting barometric pressure of 878mb and winds in excess of hurricane force.

The ships radars were unable to operate as the wind was so fierce, the scanners could not compete against its force.

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Another photograph from the Bay of Biscay. This is the 'Al Rekkah' experiencing beam sea and swell.

Compared to the above photograph this also displays the vast size of a ULCC.

The sea shipped on the port side is rushing across to starboard as the ship rolls in the long North Atlantic swell.

A modest estimate of the quantity of water shipped on the deck would be 1000 tonnes.

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Water can flow uphill. True or False ?

In this photograph the vessel has rolled back to port and shipping the next sea while the first is still flowing up the angled deck to cascade over the starboard side.

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Here 'Rheinstern' is experiencing a North Sea gale.

February 2002

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Here are three more pictures of 'Rheinstern' labouring in poor weather in the St. Georges Channel.

Strong winds, but a glorious sunny day.

May 2002

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Recreation at Sea


Most modern ships will have a crew compliment of less than 25 persons.

Everyone onboard a merchant vessel is effectively living in a working environment. Recreation facilities are invariably limited, and ingenuity is used to create something different.


Playing basketball on 'Al Samidoon'. One basket, small teams, don't trip over the hatch and it will cost you two cases of beer if you shoot the ball over the ship's side!

This was another of my prize winning photographs published in 'The Seafarer'.

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A very popular evening social event is a Horse Race.

Requirements are a tabletop canvas race track, six wooden horses a couple of mattresses to protect the bulkhead, a bucket and some very large dice.

This photograph claimed the 3rd Prize in the 1998 Annual Seafarers Competition organised by 'The Marine Society'.

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Fishing, very popular amongst all hands, especially sunny days at anchor.

Here some of the catch on the 'Seychelles Pride' have been strung up on the poop to become sun-dried.

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Always popular when numeruous conditions are favourable is the barbeque party. Empty oil drums are converted to make BBQ grills and in the picture here two have been combined to open roast a suckling pig.

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