I shipped on the "Oldenburg"
during the semester vacation in the summer of 1965 as Assistant electrician.
The shipping firm was "Oldenburg-Portugiesische Dampfschiffahrts Reederei."
(Oldenburg-Portuguese Steamship Co.)
The "Oldenburg" was built in 1950, and the main engines were two old U-Boat diesels. The route was Hamburg, Rotterdam, La Coruna, Gibralter, Tangier, Ceuta, and back.
In the Bay of Biscay I was seasick for two long days. The ship travelled without a radio operator, legally, while under 1600 BRT. The captain quickly learned that I was in radio school, and much to the annoyance of the chiefs, I had to regularly copy weather reports from Monsanto Radio in the empty radio room. "Smooth sailing and light winds..."
The Chief had much fun with me, as I was an apprentice Electric-Machine Builder; while at sea I had to rebuild the generators and run the so-called "Megger Test."
On the Oldenburg was the first time in my life that I confronted "direct current." I was on the ship only two hours, and was repairing a wall outlet, and wondered why there was only one wire. The Chief explained that the minus lead was the body of the ship. I could hardly believe it. After the next four weeks of work, I received a Service Certificate, and felt that I was fully competent to do anything...