Clive Spencer

Clive Spencer

Whilst attending the nautical training establishment TS Mercury on the Hamble River in Hampshire, Clive Spencer took summer holiday employment as an Ordinary Seaman aboard a paddle steamer operating in the Bristol Channel – he was 14 at the time.

He then went on to serve his four-year seagoing apprenticeship with the Hain Steamship Co. of London, and then worked for a variety of UK-based shipping companies.

He went on to pass his three professional examinations, namely: 2nd. Mate; 1st. Mate; and Master. He emigrated to New Zealand in 1966 and was appointed to his first command shortly thereafter. 

Having married late in life he came ashore as a harbour pilot at an Australian minerals exporting port where he remained until retiring in the year 2000. Since then he has returned to seafaring on a few occasions as a relieving ship-master.

REMINISCENCES | A bit of light on the subject

Back in the days when lookouts were posted on ship’s fo’csl’ heads and as well as keeping a good lookout the man had to repeat the time on the ship’s bell in response to the small bridge bell that was rung by the helmsman. When responding to the bell, it was also usual to call out “lights are bright” to indicate that all was well with the ship’s navigation lights.

In this context I was recently reading that of recent years it has become the practice to leave the nav lights on 24/7.  Having seen this I was reminded on an incident from my apprenticeship years during the early 1950s.

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