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Sometimes there was no one watching and he just made believe there was. We would rotate the watches in each port and I exchanged views on Joey with Barry and John: we all agreed he was a poor officer. LJ didn’t like him either and occasionally gave him a public roasting, which made us smirk. If you are going to be an ape, then the Far East on a Chinese crew ship is not a bad place to be. The Vexilla was a happy ship and our run was as far north as Japan, where we called at Yokohama, Kobe and Osaka, and as far south as Jakarta in Java. In between we called at Pusan in South Korea, several ports in the Philippines, Hong Kong, Sarawak and Singapore. Singapore was our home port and where we loaded for each voyage, dropping our cargo at the various places we then visited. Occasionally we would have a run across to India and Sri Lanka, calling into Bombay, Madras, Calcutta and Colombo. Once we went right across the Indian Ocean to southern Africa and docked in Lourenco Marques in Mozambique and Durban in South Africa. The weather turned wickedly cold in Japan and Korea in the winter months, though for most of the time it was warm and balmy and we wore tropical white uniforms.

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