Whilst looking through the books back in the school library in 1978 I found an old worn out careers book, "The Merchant Navy" and after reading it I was hooked, the merchant navy was for me.
I joined the QE2 in 1980 after my consultation with Mr. Tinkler at the POOL and once on board was shown the way forward to the Commie waiters section where I was introduced to the other commies, and that was the start of my most colourful adventures on that fabulous ship.
The commies if you do not know were pretty much the (Slaves) of the waiters who took great pleasure in giving us most of the dirty jobs they did not want to do, but we did not mind, even after the eleven hour day we were full of life and liked nothing more than to go down to the bar for a swifty.
I only ever served once as the waiter was ill, so a couple of us took over his tables, but what a complete mess that turned out to be as the rest of the waiters nicked our cutlery and I ended up emptying all the peas into one lady passengers handbag.
After my six months training we picked straws for the posts which were open and I thought I got the short straw by getting the post of assistant night steward, but by god I was so wrong, as I worked at night (sometimes as I spent most of it out at two deck aft or at one of the parties) and I had more time ashore than the passengers, what could be better than that!
I had many an adventure and I would like to share a few on here with you.
Whilst Alan Whicker was filming we went to the island of Moorea by Tahiti with his film crew, and while they were off filming we wondered through the jungle and found a pristine white beach with a blue turquoise lagoon, we ran into the warm water and swam out oblivious to what was around us until out of the water about thirty feet came a tiger shark fin.
All I remember was everyone splashing around trying to get to shore and me breaking the world record for the front crawl.
Durbin in Africa was where we joined the QE2 on her world cruise and while we were out and about at night in the city we spied an alley with a single door at the end with three red lights over it. It was actually a lift and after entering it and not knowing where it went, the doors opened and we found ourselves in a private club and spent the night with Durbin's elite, and their toy boys and girls.
The QE2 took me to wild adventures, exploring the back streets of Acapulco, motor biking past paddy fields in the interior of Bali, or sharing a cigarette in a grass hut with rastas in St Kitts, the QE2 took me there, and with that I say thank you.
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