David Smiley wrote
I spent my first 12 years after leaving Conway, with a fairly conventional time in the MN.
The five years that preceded Mates, was with Blue Star, and I sailed on every route they served, plus a number that they didn't. This latter period was spent on their only tanker - a toy by later standards, at 16,700 dwt - but an enjoyable year. Having been on that ship, I had drifted away from the mainly reefer guys that I was friendly with, so it wasn't such a big deal to make a switch to Houlders, but a mistake nonetheless, because BSL was the better company.
I then joined Trident, and spent 3 happy years with them before doing Masters. By that time I was already aware of the changes happening around me, as shipping companies looked to co-operate with joint services and amalgamation - the container trade was coming..........
So I got Masters and decided to be non-conventional - spent some quality time in the islands of the Western Pacific, based in Tarawa - Mate/Master of an ex-Hoorn Line ship, then moved on to the first of many adventures in the M.East.
Initially I ran a crew-boat service out of Ras al Khaimah, but I then spent time in Abu Dhabi ( pilot at Jebel Dhanna) and Sidon, then on to Kuwait, as Project Co-ordinator, then back to Dubai ( lived there twice) as a Surveyor, before I became Marketing Manager for Smit International in Singapore. Five great years covering the Far East - met a few OCs along the way. Lots of fun chartering-out Smit-Lloyd vessels, securing towage/transport contracts, etc.
Came back to UK, got divorced, lost a lot of money in a catering business ( moral of that story, don't do it if you have no real experience/knowledge of the subject!)
Was persuaded to move to Aberdeen, and try my hand as a broker - only good thing that spawned from that little exercise was meeting my wife of 28 years - before I was persuaded to join Tidewater - a six year mistake. Covered-off the Med. with them, but also had a lousy experience of life in India, trying to patronize ONGC and Tidewater.
Back to the UK, put up with the BS pre- takeover of Zapata, was made redundant, joined Panalpina,
and opened their business in the UAE. Back in UK at age 51, I could see no future so came to British Columbia.
Had some good intros from a couple of OCs, and applied for an immigrants visa. Couldn't believe it when it came through in a mere six weeks. (The immigration officer at Vancouver said it was the shortest lead time he had ever seen!)
Settled with family in Victoria, on Vancouver Island, bought share in a Marine surveyor business, and ended up doing all the meaningful work, that would see growth over a number of years. Had some great consultancy contracts over the next 13 years, with clients such as McDonnel Douglas ( assisted with design philosophy for a Central Boost core carrier, and did route surveys, etc. etc.) Great experience, saw/learnt a lot about the space industry. Also consulted to the Sea Launch project with Boeing, and did a Feasibility Study for Las Vegas Sands before they deployed fast ferries of
their own on the HK-Macau route.
And so it goes. I could waffle for a while longer, but - if you live long enough - I have written many chapters that will one day appear in The Cadet.
Retired in 2007, went back to England while my wife looked after her Dad in his final days, and returned home in 2011.
We are now about to commence a new career, managing a 'Holiday Retirement' community of 118 suites, for old folk!
Can't wait - should be fun!!