Retainer - April 1964
Drydock: April 1964 ?
Voyage from Mombasa to Singapore, half way the engineers noticed that the oil tank feeding the stern tube was having to be topped up on a regular basis. This was unusual in that it was only topped up once a month. We were also leaving a trace of oil in our wake.
On arrival in the naval dockyard it was decided dry docking was necessary to strip out the stern tube for renewal of the lignum vitae bearing. Being an ammo ship, the cargo had to be removed to the ammunition store ashore - this took several days.
The dock used I believe was the King George V ( maybe VI ) - great to see the dockyard mateys scrambling for the marooned fish.
Whilst the work was carried out, the ship was closed down and fumigated to try and rid us of the cockroaches. We had a day at the officers club Terror, or so Mike Jameson and I (Engineer Cadets) thought!
We were called back mid morning and told to push out the emulsified oil into the dock as the local workers refused - boy what a stink and very messy. Our overalls were burnt later.
Did you know that the Retainer carried a spare cast iron propeller in the hold for her and Resurgent?
-contributed by Reg Barrett, ex:RFA Eng.