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By December 1980 almost all in our batch had passed as 2nd Mates and I returned home straight into the New Year party at home and into an affair with a beautiful 2nd cousin. (The affair lasted only 6 months - hazard of being at sea!)

I was assigned to the Lanka Kalyani as 3rd Mate and we saied a voyage to Europe. On arrival I was promoted to 2nd Mate (Back-dated as Ganesan had been placed as 2nd Mate on the Tammanna direct on an emergency call and the CSC policy was to keep the same seniority) So on record I was never a 3rd Mate.

After 6 months in August 1981 I was transferred to the Lanka Rani   as 2nd Mate under the command of late Capt Shanthi Gunawardena (Choppay) and we sailed Uk-Continent. Rani was the flag-ship of the fleet.

On the Rani we had a rollicking time. As junior officers we were rambunctious a gang. I still remeber the fun we had in Rouen, France. (At the time ships used to stay in port upto 2 weeks or so). We would go ashore every evening to drink beer and enjoy the French hotdogs in a baguette with hot French mustard.

One day we took my guitar and went. We were sitting on some steps in town, close to the hotdog cart and were singing.

All of a sudden we had a French audience and people started throwing francs to us.

After a couple of hours we had enough for our beer and hotdogs! From then on, this was a nightly feature and we never had to pay our own money for the Beer & Hotdogs!

The Rani's command was taken over by young Capt Noel Asirwatham (Canada) in December 1981. One of the smartest Masters I ever sailed with. I knew him from the Kalyani days and was one of his favourites.

I sailed on the Rani for 11 months, a month short of the required seatime of 18 months for Mates. As Rani sailed I had to complete this month on the Lanka Sagarika. I never sailed on it as the whole month she was in Colombo!

In August 1982 we were back in Bombay for our Mates. That is another story...

2nd mates time was the greatest I believe in my life. The world famous Beach Wadiya  was at it's infancy and I believe we the CSC 2nd Mates spent lakhs of money there. There were 2 or 3 CSC ships in port at any time. We in the batch would synchronize our night duties so that all of us get off duty together in the morning.

Then we collect our land lubber friends, schoolmates and spend the entire day Beach Wadiya until it closes and then go home sozzled to the gills!

Beautiful days!


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