Sea Stories

Spanish Skipper Who Saved an Armada

Never forgotten was the drama as the Palm Line freighter Enugu Palm after finally answering the wheel skimmed by a metre or two a row of ocean-going freighters moored at the port’s quays. A second’s delay on the part of Captain Inés would have led to one of the worst shipping disasters in African history.

Had it not been for the quick thinking of the skipper several freighters moored at the Ivory’s Coast Port of Abidjan would have been devastated.

Palm Line, a British-owned shipping company, plied 5,000 miles West Africa’s seaboard. In the early 1960s, the company’s commodore was Spanish Captain Inés, whose hands-on character was legendary. He never suffered fools so I got on perfectly well with him.

Palm Line vessels were specially designed to negotiate the sand bars of the African creeks that otherwise excluded entry to liners that might otherwise bring trade to communities located to the Dark continent’s interior.

The Port of Abidjan on the Ivory Coast, however, is a modern port. Having picked up the pilot at the port’s approaches, Captain Inés, in accordance with the protocol, surrendered control of the Enugu Palm to the pilot. The local pilot’s knowledge of the port is essential for safe mooring.

On this occasion, it soon became self-evident that all was not quite right. The recently boarded pilot was blind drunk and quite incapable of riding a bicycle let alone a fast-moving ocean liner in the narrow confines of a port.

The Enugu Palm did successfully negotiate the port’s Vridi Canal without colliding with its palm thronged banks. As an 18-year-old Ordinary Seaman standing at the ship’s wheel I was best placed to see the unfolding drama as the pilot inexplicably instructed the engine room to full ahead. After all, we were now approaching a lengthy quay along which several freighters were moored.

Riveted, I watched the expression of growing alarm on the face of Captain Inés. Racing at full speed, about 18 kilometres per hour, the Enugu Palm’s bow was clearly destined to cleave the nearest moored freighter in two. I must have been the only British sailor ever to witness a port pilot being roughly cursed and physically shouldered aside as a ship’s captain resumed control of his doomed laden ship.

Rushing to the telegraph, bells clanged alarmingly as Captain Inés swung the lever to Full Astern. Simultaneously, he ordered me to swing the wheel hard to port. The rest was down to fate. Unlike a car, a ship can travel a long way before it responds to a change of command.

Michael Walsh was a British Merchant deckhand (AB) during which time his ships scoured sores of seas. By the time he was 24-years of age, he had visited, lived and worked in over 60 countries. His sea memoirs, The Leaving of Liverpool is crammed with fascinating stories, images and anecdotes.

Related books The Leaving of Liverpool and All I ask is a Tall Ship by Michael Walsh.

Think your friends would be interested? Share this story!

MICHAEL WALSH is a journalist, broadcaster and the author of RISE OF THE SUN WHEELEUROPE ARISE TROTSKY’S WHITE NEGROESMEGACAUST,  DEATH OF A CITYWITNESS TO HISTORY, THE BUSINESS BOOSTERTHE FIFTH COLUMN VOLUME I and IIFOR THOSE WHO CANNOT SPEAKIMMORTAL BELOVEDTHE ALL LIES INVASIONINSPIRE A NATION Volume IINSPIRE A NATION Volume II , SLAUGHTER OF A DYNASTY , REICH AND WRONG,  THE RED BRIGANDSRANSACKING THE REICH ,    SCULPTURES OF THE THIRD RIECH: ARNO BREKER AND REICH SCULPTORS  SCULPTURES OF THE THIRD RIECH:  JOSEF THORAK AND REICH SCULPTORS ,   PORCELAIN OF THE THIRD REICHSupreme Ceramics and Porcelain Lost to War, The Exiled Duke Romanov Who Turned Desert Into Paradise , THE DOVETAILS , SEX FEST AT TIFFANY’S  and other book titles. These illustrated best-selling books are essential for the libraries of informed readers.

MICHAEL WALSH NOVELS

The revenge of a predator is a city-vigilante epic better than Death Wish A LEOPARD IN LIVERPOOL , 55 lavishly illustrated first-hand stories by a Liverpool sailor THE LEAVING OF LIVERPOOL, Latest Killer-Thriller From Michael Walsh the City Vigilante Supremo The Stigma Enigma , A powerful thought-provoking paranormal romance The Soul Meets, How to form a naughty ménage a trois THE DOVETAILS and SEX FEST AT TIFFANY’S.

Latest Michael Walsh bestsellers: Those who fall victim to the taxman, banks and moneylenders are victims of legalised mugging  DEBTOR’S REVENGE, The Business Booster shows you how to double your profits not your workload THE BUSINESS BOOSTER 

MICHAEL WALSH is a journalist, author, and broadcaster. His 70 books include best-selling RHODESIA’S DEATH EUROPE’S FUNERAL, AFRICA’S KILLING FIELDS,  THE LAST GLADIATORS, A Leopard in Liverpool, RISE OF THE SUN WHEELEUROPE ARISE, FOR THOSE WHO CANNOT SPEAK, THE ALL LIES INVASIONINSPIRE A NATION Volume IINSPIRE A NATION Volume II, and many other book titles. These illustrated best-selling books are essential for the libraries of informed readers.

The author’s books available for purchase by visiting his website BOOKSTORE, and POETRY  links.

We are in debt to our donors who finance the distribution of spin-free real news and fearlessly expressed views.

KEEP REAL NEWS OPEN: Donate by using Western Union, MoneyGram, Ria, registered mail or contact Michael Walsh: keyboardcosmetics@gmail.com or euroman_uk@yahoo.co.uk 2) Follow our blog. 3) Share our stories and 4) buy our author-signed books. 5) Receive free newsletters by writing subscribe to euroman_uk@yahoo.co.uk

BOOKS THAT CHALLENGE, INSPIRE, INFORM Michael Walsh, ‘Writer of the Year’ with a strong global following. Nearly 70 interesting Amazon book titles famed for changing and improving lives. CLICK TO VIEW

www.mikewalshwritingservices.wordpress.com

New stories every day!

EUROPE RENAISSANCE

https://europerenaissance.wordpress.com/

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s