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 The good old days
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The good old days

I remember tankers coming into Lyness in the late fifties and through till 1977. It was great to see them berth without the aid of tugs, The pilots being Capt John Hourie and Capt John Gray and Capt W Sinclair. Latterly tugs from Invergordon used to come up for the berthihg and departute. I seem to remember the Aberdeen tugs SEA TROJAN AND SEA GRIFFON coming up for the job. The Invergordon tug would most likely be the KESTREL or perhaps the KENLEY. I think the last tanker came up in the spring of 1977 to take the draigs away.Lyness was olso used frequently by naval ships of the time.
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Picture added on 22 January 2008
The RFA Pearleaf (pennant no. A77), a sister to six other 'Leaf' class tankers, served the Royal Fleet Auxiliary between 1960 and 1985. Together with RFAs Plumleaf, Appleleaf and Brambleleaf, she was leased to the MoD on a long-term charter by her civilian owners employed on fuel freighting duties between oil terminals. 'Pearleaf' also saw service during the South Atlantic Conflict and was sold to Saudi Arabia in 1985.
Added by David Dawson on 24 January 2008
excellent photos as usual Allan, Can you tell me anything about the Moon boats, they were like small supply boats, I mind them lying at Longhope pier in the 70s. I think thats what they were called ?
Added by Keith Dempsey on 25 January 2008
Mind the moon boats up here in the spring of 1975. They appeared about the time the oil pipes were being laid, Think they were built in America about 1973 and PAN registered. About 50 mtr long 10 or 11 mtrs beam they looked fairly squat, the superstructure being fairly low. I think they were blue in colour with the superstructure white. Not sure, but think they had names like HIGHLAND MOON, VICTORY MOON. They were certainly small in comparison to the likes of the Norwegians and the Danes- also mind them lying at Lyness at times. Hope this is of some help.
Added by Allan Besant on 27 January 2008
The moon boats were around when I worked with SEA MUD at LYNESS they came over
from GALVESTON we had them at lyness a few times. Names I remember was
Added by Jimmy Hamilton on 29 January 2008
Many thanks Allan.
Added by Keith Dempsey on 30 January 2008
Just found eleven moon boats on miramar index, dont know if they were all over here but by the law of average half of them were. Jimmy do you remember the night they were all set to pump seamud ashore and they started the pumps and went for a cup of tea the only problem being was that they forgot to open the valve to the discharge pipe- made some mess when it gave way. The names are EASTERN MOON. APOLLO MOON. TROPIC MOON. EKOFISK MOON. NORTHERN MOON. LIBERTY MOON. AMERICAN MOON. VICTORY MOON. HIGHLAND MOON. WESTERN MOON. PACIFIC MOON.
Added by Allan Besant on 30 January 2008
Yes, a a lot of mess, and a lot of shouting, not a happy skipper.
Added by Jimmy Hamilton on 31 January 2008
I seem to mind a supply ship coming to Flotta called Ocianic Moon around mid 1970's
Added by Brian Robertson on 10 February 2008
Oceanic Moon*
Added by Brian Robertson on 22 February 2008
The Moon boats (mostly straight supply) were operated by American Company Jackson Marine (JMC) which was a subsidiary of Brown & Root who operated pipelay barges and Crane Barges e.g. Barge 324 & Barge 323 and DB Hercules in the North Sea in early 70s. They did also have anchor handling tugs with names like Mr Mac, Mr Pete etc. Brown & Root were a subsidiary of the Halliburton Group. I think it was actually their competitors J.Ray Mcdermotts barges LB27 & LB 28 which laid the pipeline from Piper & Claymore in to Flotta. In addition to barges these companies built Platforms notably Brown & Root had the Nigg construction yard and Mcdermotts at Ardersier on the Moray Firth.
Added by Willie Mackay on 06 June 2011
I was on the Pearleaf and yes we picked up the dregs of fuel and then went and refuelled the Ark Royal(the one before the latest) which promptly broke down,
Added by Chris Riley on 29 June 2015
I remember the Moon boats well, my first trip out to the Ekofisk Tank in 1975 from the Wimpy Quay at Gt. Yarmouth.
I was sick as a dog, I remember crawling all over pipe spools on the back deck, which were fabricated in the Eumech Yard in Southdown Rd, to reach the Billy Pugh and stand on the outside to be hoisted onto the Tank.
I have also fond memories when I was on the Hugh W Gordon, waiting for the Ekofisk Moon to come alongside, just hoping that there was a letter in the mail bag from the wife.
"O yes those were the day's, very fond memories
Added by John Furlong on 19 March 2016
Hi,,two more to add to your list which immediately come to my mind are the Viking Moon, and True Grit,,i worked on the Hugh Gordon,Hercules,323,324,and 279 (the rat),between 73 and 76,,,
Added by Trev Brown on 17 November 2018
Worked on the barges mentioned would appreciate any photos or memories
Added by Roger lark on 30 March 2020
I just found this thread. I worked for B&Root and worked in Great Yarmouth. Barges 316, 323,324,265 Hercules, etc. I was involved in the radio, communications side. I was hoping to find some photos etc on the web.

Added by Graham Gollings on 21 November 2021
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