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on 18 February 2014
My word.. this book did bring back some memories of my apprenticeship years with Shell Tankers.

My apprenticeship started in 1959 when I had eighteen months at sea before going to Plymouth for six months, our group were only the second bunch to attend Plymouth tec and we were billeted at Merrifield hall of residence, can't remember the name of the road where it was.
Those early days at college were an awful lot easier than what Simon appears to have experienced and we had far more spare time to frequent the bars and coffee shops and, of course, making friends with the local girls.

Excellent reading, fully recommend it to any ex Shell tanker men of that era.

Vic Hubbert
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on 29 April 2014
A candid, ingenuous and nostalgic account of youth and young manhood in a difficult and challenging environment, and written in a veracious self-deprecating prose, with acute detail and a cynical sense of humour and sincerity. As the author so aptly describes, it is only when colleagues together endure such hardship, especially at such a tender age, that such an inveterate bond of deep friendship and loyalty emerges, and becomes embedded within the souls for a lifetime. As still a serving Master at sea, and a cadet from the same era, I can relate to much of author’s experiences and found his autobiography both evocative and inspiring.
A must to read for all those still serving at sea or connected with the maritime industry, but also of equal appeal to any who aspire to a sense of adventure.
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on 6 January 2017
A brilliant book covering all aspects of going to sea at that time. I went to sea as a cargo ship variant and also wrote my memoirs and whilst reviewing the text was aghast at the amount of alcohol we consumed. It obviously was apparent to Simon as well but in those days it was more acceptable. Well that's my excuse anyhow. I really enjoyed the book and his honest approach to writing. Now to the next book......
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on 13 December 2016
An excellent read, quite reminiscent of the era it is set in. I first went away to sea in 1972 so can connect with the situations and characters. Brought back some good memories of my early years spent at sea. The reality and apprehension of joining a ship for the first time is well portrayed.
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on 26 October 2013
As one who served with Shell Tankers during the period in which this book is set I can vouch for the authenticity of the various tales in this book.
I sailed on the Valavata and the Hemitrochus and the memories the book brought back to me are priceless.
I would recommend this book to anyone sailed with Shell or any of the merchant navy companies in the sixties and seventies.
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on 22 October 2013
A rip roaring yarn about an apprehensive sixteen year old that opted for a career at sea, the men he sailed with and the experiences they shared. The foreword assures us that his adventures are not fanciful storytelling but in these days of political correctness and health and safety, some of the events seem to beggar belief to a young landlubber like me. The tales are laced with wit, humour and an insight which helps those with no experience of the sea to understand the hardships he suffered, the things that no doubt forged him into the man he is today. Those days are a world away from the one we live in today and I'm sure it will be a nostalgic trip down memory lane for many seamen of that era.
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on 30 January 2015
I enjoyed this book and would recommend it.
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on 30 December 2014
Bought this as a present for my Father
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on 9 April 2016
interesting
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on 11 January 2014
Bought this for my partner who is merchant navy trained (many years ago) and is looking forward to reading this book, as am I.
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