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Song Challenge: Ship in Limbo!

27 Jul 04 - 09:45 AM (#1234722)
Subject: SONG CHALLENGE: Ship in Limbo!
From: Charley Noble

This is a very sad story, even sadder since I sputtered coffee all over my morning newspaper as I was reading it. Here is the link for the skeptical:Click here!

And here is the story for those who can't figure out how to use a link:

"Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Ship, crew - and Scottish whiskey - still in limbo in Portland Harbor

By JOHN RICHARDSON, Portland Press Herald Writer

Copyright © 2004 Blethen Maine Newspapers Inc.

The cargo ship Shamrock, along with a crew of 13 and a load of imported liquor and other cargo, was still anchored in Portland Harbor on Monday, nearly a week after being detained because of a financial dispute between two European companies.

Local attorneys hired to represent the French owner of the vessel and the Dutch bank that holds the mortgage said the ship may be allowed to unload some of its cargo on the Portland waterfront within the next day or two. But the bank's demands for immediate repayment of $14.3 million had not been resolved, and it was not clear how soon container cargo would start moving through Portland again.

"We're still working on that," said Michael Kaplan, a Portland lawyer representing the vessel owner, Copropriete du Navire Shamrock.

"I assume the parties are talking in Europe," said Peter Plumb, the Portland lawyer representing Fortis Bank.

U.S. marshals arrested the vessel last Tuesday under the terms of admiralty law and the order of a federal judge in Portland. The action followed a legal claim by Fortis Bank saying it had not received any mortgage payments on the vessel since Sept. 2001. The bank is now demanding immediate payment of all outstanding principal and interest on the loan, and the vessel sits at a designated ship anchorage off Portland's East End.

The ship's owner has 10 days from the arrest to post a bond for the disputed amount of money, after which the bank can move to repossess and potentially sell it. Other creditors would then file for compensation. The city of Portland, which is owed about $11,000 in docking fees, would be among them.

While the crew and cargo are not technically under arrest, neither has been able to get off the 400-foot-long ship because of the legal action.

There are 13 people on board, including 11 professional crew and two Canadian cadets. The Shamrock's crew generally does not come ashore in Portland, and crews aboard foreign-flagged tankers that tend to stay in port for several days are often restricted to their ships because of new security rules. Shamrock's crew is used to making a weekly round-trip run between Halifax, Nova Scotia, and Boston and has essentially missed one circuit so far.

"If this goes on for a while . . . there's going to need to be some thought given about whether some (crew) can go home, but we're not there yet," Plumb said. Food and supplies can be taken to the ship in the meantime, lawyers said.

The movement of cargo appeared to be the bigger concern. The bank and the ship owner were seeking approvals to have the Shamrock unload Portland-bound cargo while remaining under arrest, lawyers said Monday. "That would not resolve the global situation, but at least it would help the shippers," Kaplan said.

That would be good news for Maine businesses such as White Rock Distilleries of Lewiston, which has a shipment of whiskey from Scotland sitting on board the ship. The delay hasn't caused any whiskey shortages yet, but the company is one of the local customers monitoring the situation closely, employees said.

Staff Writer John Richardson can be contacted at 791-6324 or at:"

One wonders what the crew of 13 could possible do to survive if their food supplies run short or if they grow bored waiting for the courts to resolve the legal issues involved. This is surely a "case" that will be studied in detail by apprentice sea lawyers for years to come, as they muse over their mugs at the local pub.

Possible song titles? How about "High and Dry aboard the Shamrock"?

Charley Noble

27 Jul 04 - 09:50 AM (#1234726)
Subject: RE: SONG CHALLENGE: Ship in Limbo!
From: Amos

I'd think you could craft something funny out of that chain of command-- "Oh, the Dutchman told the Frenchman to tell the Yankee judge to tell the Portland sheriff to tell the Newfie skipper that those Canadian cadets could not go home today.."...


27 Jul 04 - 10:39 AM (#1234762)
Subject: RE: SONG CHALLENGE: Ship in Limbo!
From: GUEST,MMario

It's a start at least...

High and Dry aboard the Shamrock (Stealing charley's suggestion)

The 'shamrock' sat in harbour
an' it sure was "growin' old"
the bank that held the mortgage
said we never could unload
But the owners didn't want to pay
(for they didn't have the gold)
so we'll have to drink the whisky
that's filling up the hold!

We are the best of cadets
That the 'Shamrock's ever seen
We hale from Mighty Canada
the fairest land that's ever been
We asked our Newfie skipper
"Please sir, May we go home?"
Or else we'll drink the whisky
that's filling up the hold!"

Then the captain asked the Sheriff
If the cadets could debark
The lads, I fear, are getting bored
a-sitting here at the dock
For the owners they will have my head
and the bank will scream and scold
should my cadets drink the whisky
that's filling up the hold.

Then the sheriff to the judge he went
a decision for to get
He didn't want to be the cause
of drunken under-age cadets
A ruling please, your Honor
May we send the cadets home?
Or else they'll drink the whiskey
that's filling up the hold!

27 Jul 04 - 11:30 AM (#1234808)
Subject: RE: SONG CHALLENGE: Ship in Limbo!
From: Cuilionn

Forget "Whiskey Galore" & the wreck of the "Politician." Forget the Boston Tea Party. This situation demands an immediate local response-- history in the making!!!


27 Jul 04 - 05:55 PM (#1235049)
Subject: RE: SONG CHALLENGE: Ship in Limbo!
From: Charley Noble


The ship owner's attorney Peter Plum is an old political friend of mine. Maybe I'll give him a call.


A great start!


We're working on that! We don't call our sea music group "Roll & Go" for nothing. We're in the process of refitting our sloop for emergency response as I'm posting.

Here's another start, adapting the old shanty tune "Whup Jamboree":

Twas on the good ship Shamrock,
Anchored in old Casco Bay,
The U.S. marshals boldly boarded her,
And ordered her crew to stay,
And ordered her crew to stay.


The next to speak was our Bosun bold,
Who feared neither fish nor fog ?
"'Tis dreadful to die, but 'tis worse to go dry,
And I move we pipes to grog,
I moves we pipes to grog!"

Fill in between the above verses.

Charley Noble

27 Jul 04 - 09:24 PM (#1235216)
Subject: RE: SONG CHALLENGE: Ship in Limbo!
From: The Fooles Troupe

Reminds me of The Goon Show - one plot involved The Goons Major Bloodnok in the British Army having to drink the booze to stop the enemy capturing it...

28 Jul 04 - 07:06 AM (#1235421)
Subject: RE: SONG CHALLENGE: Ship in Limbo!
From: Flash Company

It was Friday morn In Portland-by-the-sea,
With our ship standing hard by the land.
When our Captain he spied a Sheriff coming up,
With a big arrest warrant in his hand>

Now the raging seas may roll,
And the stormy winds may blow,
But we must stay anchored in Portland-by-the-sea
While our Whisky is fermenting down below, below, below
While our whisky is fermenting down below!

Then up spoke the Captain of our gallant ship,
And a fine spoken man was he,
This pesky landlubber has told me of our doom,
And I fear we will never put to sea!


Then up spoke the Mate of our gallant ship
And a wily Sea lawyer was he,
Said he 'We must cable our owners off in France,
And tell them we'll drink all their Whisky!'


Then up spoke the Cook of our gallant ship,
And a crazy old Chef was he,
He said ' It works out at one container each,
And I fear that it's too much for me!


The up spoke the Cadets of our gallant ship,
The two wildest Cannucks in sight,
They just said, 'HIC!, we're feeling a bit sick,
A brandy might just put us right!'


Now there ain't any whisky on our gallant ship
And the Cadets have passed out on the bed,
And the Bank and the Owner can argue all they like,
And the Sheriff can go and boil his head!

And the raging seas can roll,
And the storm winds blow again,
And our ship can stay anchored in Portland-by-the-sea
'Cos we're all going home on the train, the train, the train,
'Cos we're all going home on the train.

Tune, of course 'The Mermaid'

Enjoyed writing that one!


28 Jul 04 - 07:53 AM (#1235436)
Subject: RE: SONG CHALLENGE: Ship in Limbo!
From: The Fooles Troupe

Good Flash Company..

but whisky does not 'ferment'.... it is a stable product once it has been distilled - you must be a beer drinker.... :-)

how about 'lamenting down below'... :-)

28 Jul 04 - 08:09 AM (#1235444)
Subject: RE: SONG CHALLENGE: Ship in Limbo!
From: GUEST,weerover


If the booze is from Scotland it's whisky, not whiskey.


28 Jul 04 - 09:04 AM (#1235470)
Subject: RE: SONG CHALLENGE: Ship in Limbo!
From: Charley Noble

"Whisky/whiskey" not to worry as long as there's a shot left!

Flash Company- right on target!

Here's another verse with the nice internal rhyme:

Then up spoke our apprentice boy,
In a manner less than dour,
"As long?s we?ve here and there ain?t no beer,
Make mine a whiskey sour,
Make mine a whiskey sour!"

Here's the chords for how the above verse runs based on my arrangement of "A Sailor's Yarn" (copy and paste into WORD/TIMES/12 to line up chords):

?Twas on the good ship Fly-ing Fish
All in the Chi-na Seas;
With the wind a-lee, and the cap-stan free,
We set sail for Ca-diz,

Charley Noble
Yes, we set sail for Ca-diz.

28 Jul 04 - 09:06 AM (#1235473)
Subject: RE: SONG CHALLENGE: Ship in Limbo!
From: Flash Company

Foolestroupe : Lamenting would do, never thought of that!
Old proverb; The best whisky comes from the bottle of the bottom!
             I mean bommot of the bollock,
               That's not right either, hows it go?
                Girls who drink whisky have better bottoms?
                Something like that anyway! Bottoms Up!


29 Jul 04 - 10:05 AM (#1236312)
Subject: RE: SONG CHALLENGE: Ship in Limbo!
From: Charley Noble

Still no update on this story.

Here's a revised first verse for what I posted:

?Twas on the good ship Shamrock,
Anchored in old Casco Bay,
The marshals bold, her Captain told,
She?s impounded by admiralty law,
She?s impounded by admiralty law!

Charley Noble

29 Jul 04 - 11:53 PM (#1236837)
Subject: RE: SONG CHALLENGE: Ship in Limbo!
From: Amos



It has a recurring refrain and a fine chian of connections verse to verse. Nicel y crafted!!


30 Jul 04 - 09:13 AM (#1237073)
Subject: RE: SONG CHALLENGE: Ship in Limbo!
From: GUEST,MMario

High and Dry aboard the Shamrock (cont.)

The judge went to the bankers
and he said "Why must you sue?"
the cargo that's still loaded
could be worth a a mill' or two
But unless I make a ruling
and send the cadets home
They'll be drinking up the whisky
that's filling up the hold.

The lawyers for the owners
said "That will never do!"
Send those Canucks packing
or our business days are through!
We'll save on pay and benefits
and make sure that they are told
They can't be drinking whisky
that is filling up the hold.

Well the 'Shamrock' is still sitting
at the dock in Camsco Bay
And the Cadets and the crew
are still drawing their half pay
But the owners and the mortagers
On one thing only do agree
No one should drink the whiskey
that is filing up the hold

The lawyers they may argue
and the judge may hem and haw
the Cadet Canuck sailors
may be longing for their home
But they no longer really care
if they're not allowed to roam
for they've drunk their fill of whiskey
that's filling up the hold!

30 Jul 04 - 10:02 AM (#1237113)
Subject: RE: SONG CHALLENGE: Ship in Limbo!
From: Charley Noble


Lovely grist for the shanty mill!

The ship's still there, the newspapers report this morning, anchored in Portland Harbor off old Fort Gorges. The people who are really getting restless are those awaiting their shipment of liquor and other essentials. There are tanks of base vodka aboard awaiting further processing by White Rocks Distelleries, in addition to the bottles of scotch. A Jotel stove manufacturing company in Portland is running out of parts and aboard the Shamrock are 13 trailer-sized containers stuffed with stove parts and stoves. There are also containers aboard stuffed with frozen seafood: fish, shrimp and snow crabs.

However, shipping agent John Hudson reports that morale for the 13 sailors stuck aboard the Shamrock is still good!

Charley Noble

30 Jul 04 - 10:17 AM (#1237122)
Subject: RE: SONG CHALLENGE: Ship in Limbo!
From: GUEST,MMario

of course their morale is good - they have vodka, whisky, the makings of seafood chowder and the stoves to cook it on! Life must be good!

30 Jul 04 - 10:19 AM (#1237124)
Subject: RE: SONG CHALLENGE: Ship in Limbo!
From: The Fooles Troupe

hmmm... sounds like a sailor's job, you'd want to 'hold' on to...

31 Jul 04 - 11:45 AM (#1237847)
Subject: RE: SONG CHALLENGE: Ship in Limbo!
From: Charley Noble

Sad to report. No the Shamrock is not "on the rocks" so to speak. The parties involved managed to agree to unloud the cargo while the legal "case" is being resolved. In the meanwhile another ship has been chartered to fill in her duties while the Shamrock remains in limbo. No word on what's to happen with the crew but I bet they're pissed.

Charley Noble

01 Aug 04 - 12:49 AM (#1238112)
Subject: RE: SONG CHALLENGE: Ship in Limbo!
From: The Fooles Troupe

Maybe 'pissed off' , but by the sound of it, definitely not 'pissed'.... :-)

01 Aug 04 - 01:24 AM (#1238127)
Subject: RE: SONG CHALLENGE: Ship in Limbo!
From: JennyO

Robin, I think that's an American thing. When they say pissed they mean pissed off.

01 Aug 04 - 01:34 AM (#1238130)
Subject: RE: SONG CHALLENGE: Ship in Limbo!
From: Amos

On this side of the water, to be pissed means (often) to be pissed off. One is encouraged to believe it is better to be pissed off than to be pissed on". On the other hand, to GET pissed by drinking alcoholic beverages is more of UK expression, only occasionally found in the States.


01 Aug 04 - 01:39 AM (#1238134)
Subject: RE: SONG CHALLENGE: Ship in Limbo!
From: JennyO

Yes in Oz, pissed off is angry, pissed is drunk, as well as pissed as a newt, pissed as.., and a whole range of other expressions which have been covered before on other threads. And pissed on is definitely not good.

01 Aug 04 - 04:58 AM (#1238193)
Subject: RE: SONG CHALLENGE: Ship in Limbo!
From: The Fooles Troupe

.. of course, drunks can be angry ...

Hmmm, seperated by a common language again.... :-)

01 Aug 04 - 08:05 PM (#1238587)
Subject: RE: SONG CHALLENGE: Ship in Limbo!
From: Charley Noble

Haven't heard "pissed as a newt" in a long time but back in the 1960's we used to sing:

On our toots we're pissed as newts!

Charley Noble

19 Aug 04 - 04:22 PM (#1251242)
Subject: RE: SONG CHALLENGE: Ship in Limbo!
From: GUEST,Andre Lafargue


Could someone tell us if the boat is still at anchor or is it docked?

We've heard that it might be put up for sale... might be some bargain and cheap booze no?

Top o'the morn

19 Aug 04 - 04:45 PM (#1251270)
Subject: RE: SONG CHALLENGE: Ship in Limbo!
From: Charley Noble

There was a brief update recently that indicated that the ship was indeed for sale by the creditors and the crew was still aboard and getting restless. Most of the interesting cargo had been unloaded, although I'd like to think the crew managed to lose a shipping container or two full of booze to console themselves with.

Charley Noble

19 Aug 04 - 09:20 PM (#1251527)
Subject: RE: SONG CHALLENGE: Ship in Limbo!
From: GUEST,Andre Lafargue


Can you do me a favour?

I am from the FRENCH ISLANDS of St Pierre et Miquelon - ( where you guys got your booze during the Prohibition!!)

I am running another Forum in French where we follow the whole story behind this "International Intrigue"... because the boat that's impounded in your harbour belongs to a company from St Pierre - ( I guess it carries the tradition of bringing you the booze!! ha!) Well It did until it got in MEGA trouble with not paying debts... anyway

News out of Portland are pretty hard for us to get and to verify...

The latest we have on this is that the judge is supposed to make a decision next week on whether the boat can be sold or not - but it's not really verified...

Do you have any connections among the journalists of teh PORTLAND HERALD PRESS? Could you find out for us EXACTLY what is the situation with this SHIP?

Like : is it ACTUALLY FOR SALE NOW? or Are there still some legal ramblings that must be worked out? If so WHAT and WHEN DO THEY EXPECT A DECISON TO BE MADE?

Thx man!

Love them songs!


20 Aug 04 - 11:27 AM (#1252101)
Subject: RE: SONG CHALLENGE: Ship in Limbo!
From: GUEST,Andre Lafargue


Link to St Pierre Forum

20 Aug 04 - 04:39 PM (#1252425)
Subject: RE: SONG CHALLENGE: Ship in Limbo!
From: Charley Noble


A serious inquiry! I'll try to get you an update from the Portland news contacts. You might try the initial link in my first post on this thread, poke around and see if you can find the follow-up story that I briekly summarized.

Charley Noble

20 Aug 04 - 04:50 PM (#1252430)
Subject: RE: SONG CHALLENGE: Ship in Limbo!
From: Charley Noble

I could only access a fragment of the most recent August 13th update:

"Creditor wants to sell seized container ship
Published on August 13, 2004    Page: B1

© 2004- Blethen Maine Newspapers, Inc.

Byline:    GREGORY D. KESICH Staff Writer A 400-foot container ship anchored in Portland Harbor for the past three weeks may soon be put up for sale.

And its 11 crew members may soon be able to bring the ship to a dock.

Lawyers for Fortis Bank of the Netherlands are requesting permission to sell the Shamrock, which was seized by federal marshals last month over an alleged $14 million loan default by the ship's French owner.

The owners have until Monday to tell a judge in writing why the ship shouldn't be sold."

Charley Noble

20 Aug 04 - 05:28 PM (#1252449)
Subject: RE: SONG CHALLENGE: Ship in Limbo!
From: GUEST,Andre Lafargue

Thx Charley

We already had that News from the Herald website - The Update is that there is supposed to be a DELAY - and that's why we'd like to know what's up. WHY the delay? and how long will she be forced to stay in your Harbour?

Some sources in St Pierre have reported that at least one member of the CREW who is from St Pierre ( there were two on board) is back home so the Feds have let some of the Crew off and they have flown back home - The ship must be tied up on the docks unless she is still at anchor?? Can you see her from your home? ( at great cost mind you!).

I guess all the booze of now!

Speaking of BOOZE - have you heard the one about the 50000 BEER which disappeared in NewBrunswick off a TRUCK on it's way from Staint John to MEXICO?... They found the Truck in Grand Falls NB - No sign of the driver - and all the BEER is gone -

Problem though as the Labels on CANS of BEER are written in SPANISH and ENGLISH!

SO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! If you guys in Maine see some MOOSEHEAD beer with ENGLISH / SPANISH labels - Chances are they are Bootleg and come from that stolen shipment!!!

How's that for a NEW SONG???????

Cheers - Am having a Cutty Stack!


20 Aug 04 - 05:33 PM (#1252453)
Subject: RE: SONG CHALLENGE: Ship in Limbo!
From: GUEST,Andre Lafargue

Police come up dry in case of missing suds
WebPosted Aug 20 2004 01:39 PM EDT

FREDERICTON — Dos mas cerveza, por favor! The moose is truly loose – 54,000 cans of Moosehead lager have gone missing on their way to Mexico.

The tractor-trailor load of Moosehead beer hasn't arrived at its destination and police across Canada are looking for the driver – and the beer.

The lager is packed in plastic holders of six

Police were alerted after the truck failed to turn up Monday at a depot in Toronto.

The trailer was found – empty and running – in the McDonalds parking lot in Grand Falls.

There was no sign of the beer, nor the driver, 30-year-old Wade Haines. There are no signs of struggle or foul play.

One side of the label is printed in Spanish

The truck is owned by Brenway Transport of Fredericton, but the company has no comment.

Joel Levesque, spokesperson for Moosehead, describes the loss.

"Inside the trailer were 4,200 dozen cans of Moosehead lager. And because it was destined for Mexico, the labelling on the side was English and Spanish on the reverse side."

Levesque asks the public to be attentive. "If someone offers you a cold Moosehead in a can that has Spanish on it, the beer is hot."

RCMP Sgt. Gary Cameron says they want to hear from anyone who sees a Spanish Moosehead can.

"If it is here in New Brunswick, it will be detected very rapidly because of the Spanish writing on the Moosehead cans, which is a rarity."

"That's why we're saying, if it does stay in New Brunswick, if people do see it, to contact the RCMP immediately."

The beer is worth about $75,000.

Haines is described as a white male, 6-foot, one-inch tall and weighs 200 pounds. He has a medium build, a light/fair complexion, with hazel eyes, short brown hair and a brown goatee.

Police are not calling Haines a suspect, says Cameron. "At this time we consider Mr. Haines as a person of interest. We are trying to locate him to make sure that he's OK, he's safe and also to ask him questions about the circumstances surrounding the disappearance of the cans of beer."

Cameron says Haines has no fixed address, but lives in the Fredericton area and has worked for Brenway Transport for several months. Haines does have a criminal record.

It is the job of Pierre Vaillancourt of Criminal Intelligence Service New Brunswick to analyze criminal activity, including organized crime, and to look for trends.

Vaillancourt says with Haines still missing, he can't say for sure that organized crime is involved in the theft, but he says it does have some of the hallmarks.

"It kind of has that signature. That's a fairly big heist, I guess. Usually they're involved in things that are quite profitable and that would be, that would be the case in this instance."

Anyone with information is asked to call the RCMP or Crimestoppers.

15 Sep 04 - 11:47 AM (#1272509)
Subject: RE: SONG CHALLENGE: Ship in Limbo!
From: Charley Noble

Latest update on the Shamrock states that U.S. District Judge George Singal has ordered an auction of the ship and remaining cargo if the parties do not settle within 60 days. The auction date is for November 12th in Portland.

Meanwhile the crew is still aboard, somewhat worn down by their vigilent and arduous duties. A case could be made that they may have earned a long stay in an alcohol treatment facility. The crew is owed about $86,000 in back wages but probably some of their claim might be reduced due to the likely "shrinkage" of the cargo.

Charley Noble

15 Sep 04 - 11:59 AM (#1272529)
Subject: RE: SONG CHALLENGE: Ship in Limbo!
From: GUEST,MMario

roughly $2200 per crew person per month to sit on a ship full of liquor that isn't going anywhere?

14 Nov 04 - 10:00 AM (#1326366)
Subject: RE: SONG CHALLENGE: Ship in Limbo!
From: Charley Noble

Well, it's almost time for the parting glass for this song challenge. The Portland Press Herald, 11/13/04, reports that the Shamrock has been sold at auction for $11.05 million. If the bankruptcy judge approves the sale, the new owner can raise the mudhook from the heaps of whiskey bottles that the crew has been happily consuming from her cargo since July 20th. What a hangover they'll have!

The new owner by the way is a Canadian firm called Clark, Inc., based in Toronto that has no experience in maritime shipping; they do have experience moving cargo by truck and rail. Vrege Armoyan, the bidder who represented Clark, Inc., at the auction, made no commitment to employing the Shamrock on her regular shipping run between Portland, Halifax, and Boston. He did express interest in keeping the crew, assuming they were still on board.

Charley Noble