Shell Tankers – E Class
My seafaring career was defined when I served on Shell Tankers… almost nine continuous years of my seagoing life and progressing through the ranks of European-dominated Officers.
Fresh from the Academy…. with no previous experience on tank ship, I joined my assignment as Senior Deck Cadet on the ERVILIA in July 1996.
ERVILIA is one of Shell’s flagship E-Class constructed ooa the late 70’s and other sister ships in the early 80’s.
I was looking forward to spend Christmas at home that year but plans suddenly changed. The Company requested me to be transferred to another ship on the other side of the world.
I disembarked in Australia and flew all the way to Miami. After a few hours delay from recovering my lost luggage, I boarded a 12-seat airplane to the beautiful island of Nassau, Bahamas. I stayed on a beach hotel there for 3 days due to adverse weather that prevented the ship from docking to port. Since it was my first time to set foot on a Caribbean Island, I took every opportunity to stroll around despite of thundery rains.
I finally joined the EUPLECTA (photo below), another E-class, one week before Christmas day of 1996.
Despite of short hectic voyages, I enjoyed the trip around the majestic vacation islands that the ship calls. Being a junior Deck Officer, I’ve got the chance of going ashore very often and discover the beautiful beaches that I only saw on post cards and movies in the past. It was like going on a Caribbean cruise free of charge!
Circa May 1997, I was promoted to Second Mate by another veteran British Master, Captain Dave Picking. He was the permanent Master on the EUPLECTA and his reliever was Captain John Fielding.
By early September 1997, we sailed to Brest in France for docking and stayed there for over a couple of weeks. I finally signed off for furlough by beginning of October in Rotterdam just before the ship sailed across the Atlantic Ocean to New York.
I was away from home for a total of 15 months!
This is just the beginning of my journey with Shell Tankers so check back again soon for update. You can also subscribe to be notified by e-mail whenever I post a new subject.