Dwarka

robbo37
25th June 2007, 09:06
Discussion thread for DWARKA (http://www.shipsnostalgia.com/guides/DWARKA). If you would like to add a comment, click the New Reply button

tom e kelso
28th June 2007, 08:43
Perhaps the only unusual happening during the almost 35 years of the vessel's operations occurred on 29th September 1953 when on passage from Gwadur to Karachi. Two deck passengers, both Somalis who had been involved in an argument over the purchase of food from the ship's vishi-wallahs, "ran amuck"

Before they were restrained, 3 members of the crew were killed and 11 injured, the latter figure including the Chief Officer, Mr Spedding, who was crippled for life.

Later, in 1961, as the vessel was leaving Muscat, there was a small explosion in the vicinity of No.1 hatch, one deck passenger being slightly injured and the minor damage was such that the vessel continued her voyage. Rumour had it that this was sabotage aimed at the Muscati authorities but I don't think this was ever proved.

(Details culled from Laxon & Perry's book "B.I.")

Tom

Pilot mac
28th June 2007, 10:28
Tom,
Gwadur was still in the 18th century in 1972. I remember it as an anchorage port where sailing dhows delivered your passengers, aided by ships lifeboats on a light airs day. The incident you recall probably accounts for the knife proof vests that were on board in the 70's. Most of the passengers boarding in Gwadur were male Baluchi's, dont know what they fed them on but they were enormous. Our security officer (RSM Royal Marines) used to give them the utmost respect, claiming that they were 'the strongest race on earth'!

Dave

tom e kelso
4th July 2007, 08:42
Tom,
Gwadur was still in the 18th century in 1972. I remember it as an anchorage port where sailing dhows delivered your passengers, aided by ships lifeboats on a light airs day. The incident you recall probably accounts for the knife proof vests that were on board in the 70's. Most of the passengers boarding in Gwadur were male Baluchi's, dont know what they fed them on but they were enormous. Our security officer (RSM Royal Marines) used to give them the utmost respect, claiming that they were 'the strongest race on earth'!

Dave

Dave,

My principal recollection of Gwadur, apart from the fiercesome Baluchis, was the cargo we loaded there for Bombay....bundles of dried fish wrapped in mats! Very penetrating! I believe that on occasion, the older ships on the run, "B's" and "V''s, if the swell was too high in the anchorage, anchored on the other side of the peninsula.

I understood that Gwadar, and neighbouring Gwatar,for a considerable time running into the 1900's was under the rule of the Sultan of Muscat, overseen by the British Agent. Indian stamps with a Muscat overprint were used there!

Even though it seemed to belong to another age, Gwadar had figured as a staging post when the Empire Airways were pioneering flights to India. It seems to have been developed into a modern port now (vide Google)

Another place which was still to some extent in the 18th Century when I was on Dwarka (12 trips 1947/48) was Muscat. At that time there were slaves (mostly of African origin) still in the keeping of the Sultan. In my time, the only ship's people who landed (or were permitted to land) were the captain and chief engineer on the maiden Gulf voyage. They were both personal wartime acquaintances of the British Agent. Back to the slaves! These could clearly be seen (through a telescope) on occasion, climbing the steps of the fort at the head of the "bay", carrying small barrels on their shoulders...presumably the next day's water supply.

Notwithstanding, the embargo on going ashore, a party in due course landed on the point of land at the eastern end of the bay and duly added the ship's name to the many others painted thereon...several from the late 1800's

A different world altogether!

Tom

znord737
4th August 2007, 09:49
I became very good friends with one of the Captains of the DWARKA, Capt Hank Hankin (now deceased) who at that time 1970/s lived in Fleet Hampshire.

When he got to telling yarns about his time at sea there was no stopping him (not that anyone would want to) and he always had an enthralled audience.

The BBC made an hour long Video of a typical voyage of the DWARKA largely featuring Hank but with the various unique characters also on board being interviewed. It was most interesting and very funny in parts . For those interested I believe that the BBC may still have copies of the Video for sale.

When Hank retired he took up Amateur Radio as a hobby , studied for the Radio Amateurs exam and passed it with flying colours. Most of his hobby time was devoted to the Radio Ameteurs Emergency Network. The RAEN was a voluntary organisation for providing essential emergency back-up communications to the Police ,Fire,Ambulance Services in the event of a major disaster.

Alas some 7 years after his retirement Hank suffered a massive stroke to the brain that left him unable to speak and virtually immobile without the aid of a specially adapted electric wheelchair.

Hank bore his illness to the end with dignity as befitting a Gentleman of the Sea.

Znord737