Places We've Been To

Charlie Stitt
26th March 2009, 14:33
Bank Line ships have been just about everywhere in the World including Pacific Islands where the B/L 's own pilot book made interesting reading. have you an interesting or humorous story to share ? Can anyone recognise the Island ports in the photos, I am trying to title them but can't remember where they were.

Alistair Macnab
26th March 2009, 18:21
A couple of ports that I visited that were out-of-the-way even on the Oriental African Line were Sihanoukville in Cambodia and Jose Pangbanigan on Luzon in the Philippines.
Then there are the 32 ports on the West Coast of South America which I will not bore you with repeating. Just look up maps of Ecuador, Peru and Chile and any bump on the coastline with a name written against it was a Bank Line port-of-call.
Did anyone ever go to Moulmein in Burma? "By the old Moulmein pagoda, flowing eastward to the sea...." (Rudyard Kipling) We did!

Charlie Stitt
27th March 2009, 18:38
On the Ernebank in 1958/59 we loaded the usual copra etc at Suva, Apia and my favourite Nuku'alofa where a group of us were invited to a great feast in among the cocanut trees. The feast was a big fat wild hog done on a spit, just as lovely as the young Tongan ladies present, who unfortunately I did not get the chance to get familiar with, as I was too busy fighting off two nice Tongan men who were trying to get familiar with me. :sweat: The most interesting of the islands we went to on that trip was "Tarawa". We went ashore for a scout around and come across a Japanese fighter plane in among the trees which was a casualty of the war, and then we found this great big gun, the barrel was obout 12 feet long and wider than my body, I have photos of both. The story was , the Jananese occupied the island during the war and the gun or guns were captured from the British in Singapore. I did the copra run quite a few times but never ever went back to Tarawa Island.

TonyAllen
27th March 2009, 18:54
Charlie.Tarrawa was the site of a major battle to recover the island for the american forces, they lost a lot of men taking the beach.There use to be magazines covering the war in the pacific, I had a lot of them when I was at sea but all gone now.Tony Allen

K urgess
27th March 2009, 20:12
Tarawa was the place to go if interested in that sort of thing.
I did hear that Bankboats had been known to load scrap there.
The places still existed in the 60s and 70s and numerous visits to Guadalcanal (Honiara), Noumea, New Britain, New Ireland and New Guinea gave plenty of scope for visits to the sites of conflict.
Milne Bay (on the mainland not far from Samarai) was where the Americans disposed of their war materiel by driving it all into the sea because nobody wanted it and they couldn't be bothered to take it all home.
Cheers
Kris

David E
28th March 2009, 00:40
On the Ernebank in 1958/59 we loaded the usual copra etc at Suva, Apia and my favourite Nuku'alofa where a group of us were invited to a great feast in among the cocanut trees. The feast was a big fat wild hog done on a spit, just as lovely as the young Tongan ladies present, who unfortunately I did not get the chance to get familiar with, as I was too busy fighting off two nice Tongan men who were trying to get familiar with me. :sweat: The most interesting of the islands we went to on that trip was "Tarawa". We went ashore for a scout around and come across a Japanese fighter plane in among the trees which was a casualty of the war, and then we found this great big gun, the barrel was obout 12 feet long and wider than my body, I have photos of both. The story was , the Jananese occupied the island during the war and the gun or guns were captured from the British in Singapore. I did the copra run quite a few times but never ever went back to Tarawa Island.

I remember Tarawa,ten years earlier,1949, in the 'Myrtlebank'. At that time there were still bits and pieces of Japanese troops to be found. Sparks brought back a skull,complete with all its' teeth.It sat in the Radio room until a vote decided that it should be dumped.I think Vavau was the most beautiful of the Islands, clear blue water as you came up the long bay to the berth. We were lucky to see these islands before they became tourist resorts.

David E

TonyAllen
28th March 2009, 00:52
Kris, Am I right in thinking that in the 80s a lot of salvage boats with modern gear had a good few years making a lot of money picking up special pieces to sell on to collectors as well as the scrap,I did read somewhere that they recovered a lot of whylies jeeps that had been dumpted and they fetched good money when the were restored back in the states,What say you!! regards Tony Allen

K urgess
28th March 2009, 01:18
Tony,
The wharf boss at Rabaul, whose name escapes me at the moment, had a special stash of jeeps out in the jungle on the Gazelle Peninsula. He used to do one up and then pop out and pick up another one. Sold each one before he'd fettled it.
He supplied me with a couple of Japanese helmets. He had sacks of them.
I was in Rabaul when a Zero was lifted out of the harbour, loaded on a ship and went off to the States for renovation. It was flying again not too long after.
There are pictures in my gallery of some of the stuff lying around. The Zero at Kavieng in some of them (complete with Fubar pilot) is now in an air museum in Oz.
My comment (the last one) on this picture describes some bits found on Guadalcanal. http://www.shipsnostalgia.com/gallery/showphoto.php?photo=36380
Cheers
Kris

TonyAllen
28th March 2009, 17:17
Kris.what got me interest in war in the pacific was that my eldest brother now long passed sailed the pacific for about two years in the late 40s before he came home,we had move house and it took awhile to find us,my twin brother and I were fascinated by the stories he told of the things he saw on the islands,They were still clearing the islands and troops where still on some of them the clearing up I remember him saying he watched them dumping
jeeps and tanks into the ocean and the british crew salvaging bits and pieces
but they were taken of them when they got home,good to see all your photos it just confirms his tales.Regards Tony Allen

K urgess
28th March 2009, 17:31
I remember my father telling me about the souvenirs that they all had when they came back from Belgium and France in 1944.
Rumours went around the ship that the customs were going to do everybody so it was all dumped over the seaward side as they were tying up in Dover harbour.
There were strict rules about enemy equipment. My Dad's little booklet issued during the relief of Norway in May 1945 has an extract from standing orders that reads under the heading "The Following are Forbidden" in large black type -
"12. The taking or retention of any article of enemy equipment for private purposes." Dated 1st May 1945.
The Pacific was an interesting area and an interesting time to visit, Tony.
Cruisin' with Bankline as I'm fond of saying.
I was lucky that I sailed for four trips on two Bankboats for about 25% of my time at sea and each one was a joy. But there again they were all copra runs.
Cheers
Kris

Charlie Stitt
28th March 2009, 20:09
Pat Roberts made a fortune from some of the relics including the old submarine we come alongside to load the oil. You could pick him out standing beside the old pickup long before you got alongside, as broad as he was tall wearing his big brimmed hat he wore to keep his cash register brain cool. I last saw him in 1966 but no doubt he kept going for many more years. A real character, and Rabaul would not be Rabaul without Pat Roberts. So here's to you Pat. (Pint)

K urgess
28th March 2009, 20:25
Pat Roberts is facing the camera and Captain Alan (Dad) Newton has his back to the camera. The guy on the left is the Burns Philp stevedore, I think and the two natives are a couple of Pat's boys waiting for the boss.
The submarine tank can be seen between the ship and the wharf. Used to carry fuel they were towed behind submarines down from Japan. Pat used them for fresh water to supply the passie boats that visited Rabaul.
Pat's beaten up old pick-up truck is off picture to the right. I think the white car belonged to the stevedore.
Pat was supposed to be the richest man in the islands but always dressed for "comfort" rather than fashion. [=P]
I'm not sure if this is Toboi or not. Taken 28th April 1970 from the Weirbank.

Charlie Stitt
28th March 2009, 20:39
Thanks for posting the photo Kris, just as I remember it, did not enjoy that berth on my last visit though as I was Mate on the Forresbank and that berth usually meant loading oil at night. Not a handy berth to nip back and forth ashore to check the ships trim for ullage calculations either. :sweat:

Charlie Stitt
30th March 2009, 23:11
A Pacific Island of a different kind of course is Nauru, where Bank Line called for phosphate since the early days. If a Bankboat in the Pacific area had nothing better to do, then the company would send it to Narau to load for Aussie or New Zealand. On the Inverbank we loaded phosphate three times during that trip, first, complete discharge at Noumea May 62, up to Narau , drift for 2 days awaiting swell to subside, then load 11800 tons in 5 hours for Albany. Second complete discharge Melbourne Jan 63 to Nauru, drift for 1 day 13 hrs due to swell then 5 hrs to load for New Plymouth. Third ,complete discharge in Yokohama Aug 63 to Nauru, load in 5 hrs for Albany.I never ever set foot on this Island and the only photo I have is the loading shoot showing a lot of dust. So Mr Hugh Grant you are privileged at having spent some time ashore on Nauru Island. The good thing about loading in Nauru was, next stop was Aussie or NZ.(Thumb)

jimthehat
30th March 2009, 23:48
I think the best thing about Nauru was for the apprentices hosing down from the monkey island downwards ,lots of fun and water water everywhere.
whilst in the copra islands did anyone ever get to the RSL clubs?had some great nights there
JIM

Macphail
31st March 2009, 00:18
1965. I visited Tarawa on the Larchbank, Captain Freddy Feint, over the weekend we went off in the lifeboat with hacksaws and chisels to the Singapore guns, Bob Birse in charge, chopped off a lot of scrap for sale in Aussie. I found two cannon shells in the sand on the beach. Took them home to Scotland and gave them to my elder brother, who was ex Black Watch and had an interest in all things military. He polished them up and had them in pride of place on the mantle piece above the fire place. An army friend visited and he noted that the shells where LIVE.!!

John

Charlie Stitt
6th April 2009, 19:38
I'm sure many of you had the experience of lying at Sandheads waiting for a cargo. Will it be East Africa? Hope its not West Africa, please let it be Monty and BA. I was lucky to visit BA/Rosario a few times late 1950's early 60's and would say without a doubt it was my favourate place ( I think), a great night ashore for a couple of pounds of tea, and those Latin American Ladies were stunning. Another good thing about BA was you could expect a good long stay there, two weeks discharge, then usually load grain for Home, although the last time I was there we loaded sugar for Gramercy. One had to be careful not to draw attention to oneself while walking past the guys in uniform holding guns at the ready, needless to say each time I was there some of our Engineers spent at least one night in the jailhouse. And those BIG steaks.(Eat)

Alistair Macnab
7th April 2009, 06:28
Charlie...Charlie....Charlie....

You old romantic you! When at Sandheads you should have been thinking of your Dusky Princess waiting for your just 100 miles away instead of your senorita more than 8500 miles into the future! And what about Sheila and Judy in Sidney and Melbourne? Michiko in Kobe? Rose in Houston?

A good sailor never limits his options!
Cheers!

BASHER
7th April 2009, 11:33
A couple of ports that I visited that were out-of-the-way even on the Oriental African Line were Sihanoukville in Cambodia and Jose Pangbanigan on Luzon in the Philippines.
Then there are the 32 ports on the West Coast of South America which I will not bore you with repeating. Just look up maps of Ecuador, Peru and Chile and any bump on the coastline with a name written against it was a Bank Line port-of-call.
Did anyone ever go to Moulmein in Burma? "By the old Moulmein pagoda, flowing eastward to the sea...." (Rudyard Kipling) We did!
Yes i went to moulmein. i think it was the port for Rangoon.

I remember it as i very nearly cought myself alight. I had a burma sharoot.

but when i lit it it just burned, full of newspaper. BASHER.

BASHER
7th April 2009, 11:39
I remember Tarawa,ten years earlier,1949, in the 'Myrtlebank'. At that time there were still bits and pieces of Japanese troops to be found. Sparks brought back a skull,complete with all its' teeth.It sat in the Radio room until a vote decided that it should be dumped.I think Vavau was the most beautiful of the Islands, clear blue water as you came up the long bay to the berth. We were lucky to see these islands before they became tourist resorts.

David E

Here here BASHER

BASHER
7th April 2009, 11:51
I'm sure many of you had the experience of lying at Sandheads waiting for a cargo. Will it be East Africa? Hope its not West Africa, please let it be Monty and BA. I was lucky to visit BA/Rosario a few times late 1950's early 60's and would say without a doubt it was my favourate place ( I think), a great night ashore for a couple of pounds of tea, and those Latin American Ladies were stunning. Another good thing about BA was you could expect a good long stay there, two weeks discharge, then usually load grain for Home, although the last time I was there we loaded sugar for Gramercy. One had to be careful not to draw attention to oneself while walking past the guys in uniform holding guns at the ready, needless to say each time I was there some of our Engineers spent at least one night in the jailhouse. And those BIG steaks.(Eat)

YES YES. but what about the MIssions to seaman BASHER

Charlie Stitt
7th April 2009, 12:18
Alistair, I was thinking of all those fine ladies. They were Sunday School Teachers who went to the Missions to Seamen that Basher mentions, right? (Thumb)

Johnnietwocoats
8th April 2009, 02:36
I'm sure many of you had the experience of lying at Sandheads waiting for a cargo. Will it be East Africa? Hope its not West Africa, please let it be Monty and BA. I was lucky to visit BA/Rosario a few times late 1950's early 60's and would say without a doubt it was my favourate place ( I think), a great night ashore for a couple of pounds of tea, and those Latin American Ladies were stunning. Another good thing about BA was you could expect a good long stay there, two weeks discharge, then usually load grain for Home, although the last time I was there we loaded sugar for Gramercy. One had to be careful not to draw attention to oneself while walking past the guys in uniform holding guns at the ready, needless to say each time I was there some of our Engineers spent at least one night in the jailhouse. And those BIG steaks.(Eat)


By far the best ports other than maybe Valpariaso. Did the BA run a few times.
Fell in love in BA and she followed me to Montevideo. Lovely girl........
Never did go home from there. Always ended up somewhere else.
Valpariaso was another great trip. Via Punta Arenas and all the way up the Coast.
Fumigated in Valpariaso and had to spend the night ashore. Tough job but somebody had to do it.......Johnnietwocoats

roibaird7
8th April 2009, 07:17
Bander Shapuur and Khoramshar up the Gulf past Abadan---------during the war----------i think the cargo was for the Russians and pipes for oil fields

BASHER
9th April 2009, 11:32
By far the best ports other than maybe Valpariaso. Did the BA run a few times.
Fell in love in BA and she followed me to Montevideo. Lovely girl........
Never did go home from there. Always ended up somewhere else.
Valpariaso was another great trip. Via Punta Arenas and all the way up the Coast.
Fumigated in Valpariaso and had to spend the night ashore. Tough job but somebody had to do it.......Johnnietwocoats

IFIRBANK, also fell in love in B A and Val. Must have been the same girl. B

also fumigated in VAL stayed in a HOTEL well sort of could this be the same ship ?? BASHERASHER

BASHER
9th April 2009, 11:39
IFIRBANK, also fell in love in B A and Val. Must have been the same girl. B

also fumigated in VAL stayed in a HOTEL well sort of could this be the same ship ?? BASHERASHER



I made a mistake, this would be Nov 1961. Dartbank {not firbank}

BASHER

Charlie Stitt
9th April 2009, 18:06
Bromborough Dock.--I get out of the taxi and my nostrils fill with the smell of Copra and Expeller Meal, a distintive smell never to be forgotten---Ahhh good to be back, Wonder who the Old Man will be?(==D)

Alistair Macnab
9th April 2009, 23:01
Can't stand the smell of dessicated coconut to this day. I immediately break out in a sweat and start scratching immaginary insect bites.
But the overpowering aroma arising from a tweendeck of bagged cloves is almost an existential trip and who can forget cargo tallying from a locker filled with cinnamon?
Mmmmmm! even writing about these pungent fragrances brings on nostalgia!

David E
10th April 2009, 00:17
Do you remember that you could smell the cloves four or five miles offshore Zanzibar and Pemba as you came in to load there?
I didn't mind the smell of copra and got used to the bugs. The "nasties" I still remember were Bulk Sulphur and Carbon Black loaded in the Gulf,particularly cleaning holds and tween deck after discharge : bagged Magardi soda loaded in Mombassa that combined with sweat would rot clothes and raw asbestos in Beira and Lourenco Marques where you spent a cargo watch surrounded by floating fibres.

Ian Harrod
10th April 2009, 04:54
Bank Line ships have been just about everywhere in the World including Pacific Islands where the B/L 's own pilot book made interesting reading. have you an interesting or humorous story to share ? Can anyone recognise the Island ports in the photos, I am trying to title them but can't remember where they were.

I reckon the 1st photo is Suva and the 2nd Lautoka in Fiji.

Charlie Stitt
10th April 2009, 13:18
Yes Ian, I also think the first photo is Suva but not sure about the second one. It is a short berth for two ships as the Forresbank's headlines went all the way to the shore, and I think that other ship may be Japanese. At the time I took these photos I would have rubbished any suggestion that I would ever forget where the places where. Thank you Ian for your response.(Thumb)

Charlie Stitt
10th April 2009, 13:34
David E, The sulphur cargo was certainly unpleasant at the best of times, but I will never forget discharging about 8000 tons of it in Bluff NZ during a very cold winter there. The sulphur made our eyes water which froze and caused very painful cracked skin at the corner of our eyes, sleep impossible

K urgess
10th April 2009, 13:40
Loaded urea at Gibson Island, Brisbane, on the Sprucebank in February 1972.
The only mitigating factors were that it took 5 days to load and we took it to Penang where it took 4 days to unload. Plus we got a night in Singers on the way up to Samarai. (Thumb)
I think I could put up with the smell if I could do that again. [=P]

The Captain
11th April 2009, 01:00
Yes, I think you might be spot with the 1st photo Ian, well done. I only got to Suva twice and Lautoka once in my time. BTW How is that brother of yours doing, is he still teaching at Launceston? It has been many years since we first met in Mombassa 1966, I think.
Just a thought could the 2nd one possibly be Nukolofa (I hope I have the spelling right) - it's just a thought.
John S

Charlie Stitt
15th April 2009, 12:00
I suppose it did not really matter where we went, more who we went there with. I must have been very lucky during my 12 years with Bank Line, except for a couple of dipsticks, who got the cold shoulder from everyone else, I shared my experiences with the best bunch of friends one could wish for. Colombo, standing on the jetty in the early hours looking out to our ship at the moorings, no problem says big Jim an Engineer as he fires up the engine of a motor boat lying alongside,or in one of the US Gulf ports, coming back to the ship on a diesel road roller, sailing with a big WE Sell Green Shield Stamps sign flying high aft. Yes these were great places to visit with the kind of shipmates I was privileged to sail with. Treasured memories, cheers.(Pint)

JoeQ
17th April 2009, 12:17
I also think the first photo is Suva, when 3rd Mate of the Willowbank in 1977 I took a short cut back from The Golden Dragon (I think the place was called) and fell in the dock. I had to swim under the quay to the ship on the next berth rather than risk shouting for help from my own ship and having the p1ss taken out of me for the rest of the trip. As it happened I needn't have bothered as I got caught by the duty engineer walking up the gangway soaking wet. Still it didn't last long as someone else fell in the next night and several had to be assisted back to the ship by the local police the night after that ... happy days

R396040
17th April 2009, 15:02
Other OUnusual ports/

In 1964 joined Cunard Meddie boat "Pavia" in Eilat,Isreal on a Zim Line charter.Very tight security as it was in sight of Aquaba by sea and land borders too just minutes away and Arab/Israeli relations very fraught. One a great fish type restaraunt near docks (Blue something ?) and the more up class Queen of Sheba hotel which was the only one in those days. Now whole line of them according to torist brochures. The mate Peter Brush and I had many good nights ashore there,beer OK but A/C really efficient. It was a place of good memories for me.
Stuart H
France
Other entries re Tarawa reminded me of when I applied for post with Crown agents 60s/70s ? at the new Merchant Navy acadamy there. It was a catering instructor and I believe they had a small steamer used for training too afloat.
I got shortlisted and then pipped at post by an ex Royal navy candinate. I think my wife was more dissapointed than me when I failed,tropic islands etc etc.

Windy
21st April 2009, 21:41
New boy, coyly chipping in from the back here - we went to Pitcairn Island to drop off two Environmental Biologists we picked up in NZ. Fascinating experience, meeting the entire population of around 50 people, all called Fletcher and Christian (even the girls). Can't remember many facts about it (as you can tell) or which Bank boat, but it was around 1979 or 1980.

Cheers!

Windy Dave Baboulene

boatlarnie
3rd May 2009, 09:03
In 1963 on the Oakbank we were sent to Nauru to load phosphate; sailed from tauranga on 8th Oct, arrived Nauru 14th but did not load until 18th Nov!! 34 days drifting about without a beer in sight as the Old Man was Charlie Howe. At Nauru we loaded 11800 tons phosphate, 2 Aussies, 2 suitcases and about 50 cases of beer. The Aussies sat in their cabins for 12 days just drinking the beer, when we arrived at Albany they left us about 2 bottles when they went ashore from the ancchorage whilst we stayed there for another 2 days!! So we spent 55 days at sea with vry little food and no beer. Still, it was an experience and I still spent another 8 years with bank Line.

Alistair Macnab
3rd May 2009, 21:27
Alan/Boatlarnie.....
Talking about running out of beer. If I were to be cynical I would say that the U.S.Navy who were attempting to salvage the "Lindenbank" at Fanning Island seemed to loose interest in their job when the beer ran out because it was only a couple of days later that we were instructed to abandon the effort and leave "Lindenbank" stuck on the coral head under the after deeptank.

Sailing away to "Tarawa" to catch the C-130 to fly home, we looked back to see a beautifully painted "Lindenbank" lying against the palm trees and pivoting gentry on that fateful coral head looking like she was still afloat.

Incidentally, the Americans stripped all the souvenir-worthy items off the ship.
I wanted the forecastle bell but when I went for it, it was already gone!

david harrod
8th May 2009, 10:10
The left hand one looks like Kavieng...Singapore for the other?

Charlie Stitt
8th May 2009, 13:09
Not Singapore David as we did not go there that trip on Forresbank.I am sure it must be at one of the Pacific Islands.

jimthehat
8th May 2009, 14:01
charlie,standing on the quay in the early hours at Columbo,do you and anybody else remember the goat that was a permanant feature there ,it would eat anything including cigs.I wonder if nowadays the isipingo and Inchange would be targets for the pirates,never saw a pirate in my life ,even on numerous trips down the straits.

JIM

Charlie Stitt
8th May 2009, 14:50
I don't remember any goat Jim, pink elephants more like.Pirates of sorts West Africa, anchored off Port Harcourt I think it was,we had to keep crew standing by 24 hrs with deck hoses. These guys would come alongside on fast skiffs, hook a grapnel over the bulwark and shin up a rope, take what they could find and away like lightning. We lost many guy ropes. They carried knives to cut the guy ropes so it was not recommended to try and be brave.
Bankline as you well know, gave out no medals.

Alistair Macnab
8th May 2009, 18:33
Mentioning pirates reminds me that I was "attacked" three times. Once off Chittagong and again in that port where they left us tied up with what was already being used for mooring, the remainder of the manilas and wires gone.
And the third time in Manila Bay where we were moseying in to make a daylight arrival. This time buckets of old bolts and fire hoses fended them off.
Each time I was "on duty" and responsible for the outcomes. Twice fooled but third time prepared!

Charlie Stitt
14th August 2009, 19:01
I don't remember which monsoon brought us those humid, sticky, sweaty atmospheric conditions in this charming place, but I do remember on the older ships it was impossible to sleep indoors even if you were lucky enough to have a fan that actually worked. On the old Myrtlebank and Ernebank, our cabins were on the main deck,we would throw our mattress down in the allyway and turn in with a sheet pulled over our head, then tried to go to sleep with the old steam winches rattling and banging for about three minutes every half hour or so. If that wasn't bad enough, we then had the mossies trying to eat through our necks while the night gangs chattered away and spat their beetlejuice close to our luxury resting place. At 0700 hrs we were then expected to be ready and able to do a good days work, is it any wonder we choose to stay ashore until the wee hours, at least, when we were unfit for work in the morning we knew we enjoyed the night before.Funny then, I wish I could turn the clock back and again experience those awful conditions. Is it just me that's looney??(?HUH)

Burned Toast
14th August 2009, 20:45
Port Sulphur on the Mississippi was the worst place we loaded sulphur Early 60s still had the segregation on between the coloured and the superior white folk(Cloud) other port Chittagong Fish Meal.(MAD)

simomatra
14th August 2009, 22:58
Great memory for me was India to the west coast of South America through the Magellan Straight, Oh to do that trip again. Ship was the Pinebank from memory.

The cargo super used to give us win to stop the pilfering of the cargo.

Hope to find some picture when I get my gear out of storage.

John Campbell
14th August 2009, 22:59
I don't remember which monsoon brought us those humid, sticky, sweaty atmospheric conditions in this charming place, but I do remember on the older ships it was impossible to sleep indoors even if you were lucky enough to have a fan that actually worked. On the old Myrtlebank and Ernebank, our cabins were on the main deck,we would throw our mattress down in the allyway and turn in with a sheet pulled over our head, then tried to go to sleep with the old steam winches rattling and banging for about three minutes every half hour or so. If that wasn't bad enough, we then had the mossies trying to eat through our necks while the night gangs chattered away and spat their beetlejuice close to our luxury resting place. At 0700 hrs we were then expected to be ready and able to do a good days work, is it any wonder we choose to stay ashore until the wee hours, at least, when we were unfit for work in the morning we knew we enjoyed the night before.Funny then, I wish I could turn the clock back and again experience those awful conditions. Is it just me that's looney??(?HUH)
You certainly painted a vivid picture Charlie. I remember those nights in Kidderpore well. On the Eskbank. 1954, we had an Irish Chief called Doyle who somewhere about midnight decided to shush the babble outside his cabin and got into an altercation with one of the baboos and gave him a good kick up the backside - then a riot ensued all the gangs came out of the holds and the chief had to lock himself in his cabin to save his life. It took ages to quieten the crowd of Baboos and dockers and it was not until Captain Gale came down in the morning thst work resumed. The Chief was transferred sometime later.
It was a great expereince and I share your memories-many thanks. Jc

rcraig
15th August 2009, 13:54
I think my favourite berth was lying at the buoys on the Hooghly, the blowers cut back to minimise the cooling effect and to conserve fuel (well, that's what we thought!), out at 0700 in the morning to soojie (sooji?....you try it!) the outside of the lifeboats and watch the corpses drifting down the river, bandages undone at the head as the shitehawks pecked away....you'll know the rest.
And then in for breakfast, hardened 17 year old apprentices to eat our fried eggs and breakfast.
I'll leave you to guess whether I am serious about Calcutta being a favourite berth.
Or lying alongside the sunken Japanese berth loading up copra in Rabaul (I think, therefore I am probably wrong) in the attached shot. If I have managed to actually attach the photo despite my every effort, (and I do hope that any photograph which may be attached is one that meets due standards of decency).
I think that my favourite port was Kobe and Noriko Yamashita had a lot to do with that. She had a lot to do too with having only 15 at the end of a 25 month trip. Ahh, but it was worth it.

jimthehat
15th August 2009, 14:31
is this thread on memorable ports or favourite ports??i think it all depended on what ship we were on at the time.
What could beat 6 weeks in calcutta??with only the swimming club and Isassics Bar to break the boredom?
two years on the Durban japan run was great as was weeks on the OZ/Kiwi coast,never had cause to regret my ships,shipmates or any of the runs in my 14 years with bank line,and would do it all again.

JIM

K urgess
15th August 2009, 15:00
To attach use the green "Post Reply" button not the quick reply window.
If you're already doing that and you've found the "Manage Attachments" button below the text window then you will need to make sure your picture is a JPG and at or below the size shown in either pixels or kilobytes. The forum software doesn't resize pictures the way the gallery does.
Regards

rcraig
15th August 2009, 15:41
This should have been with my comments above..........Hopefully attachment attached. All nowadays seems to be about hope!

rcraig
15th August 2009, 15:50
Again

Was this Raabaul. Eastbank c. 1954

K urgess
15th August 2009, 16:40
Yes that's Rabaul, a longtime before I was there.
http://www.pacificwrecks.com/ships/maru/komaki.html
Kris

John Campbell
15th August 2009, 20:25
Again

Was this Raabaul. Eastbank c. 1954

Well done Ray - that was a sight I thought I would never see again - I remember it so well - thanks for your efforts - trust you are well- JC

rcraig
15th August 2009, 22:12
Thanks, John. Reasonably well and still working. Hope you are OK too.

Ray

boatlarnie
18th August 2009, 09:04
Just opened up this thread and read the story from jimthehat and Charlie Stitt in respect of Nauru. I am not sure whether anyone claimed any records for drifting off Nauru but in 1963 whilst on the Oakbank (Captain Charlie Howe) we managed 34 days off the damn place. Ran out of just about everything, Bank Line kindly sent supplies up via another vessel; this consisted of MK mutton, dehrydrated cabbage and butter so we were on starvation rations virtually the whole trip which totalled 55 days from Auckland to Albany. At Nauru we picked up a couple Aussies going home; their luggage consisted of a suitcase each and many, many cases of beer as we were a dry ship. Sat in their cabin all day consuming this beer; when they left there were 2 bottles left which they gave to us as we had to spend the weekend at anchor. Those beers were rationed out amongst 12 of us!!??

Johnnietwocoats
19th August 2009, 04:43
Just opened up this thread and read the story from jimthehat and Charlie Stitt in respect of Nauru. I am not sure whether anyone claimed any records for drifting off Nauru but in 1963 whilst on the Oakbank (Captain Charlie Howe) we managed 34 days off the damn place. Ran out of just about everything, Bank Line kindly sent supplies up via another vessel; this consisted of MK mutton, dehrydrated cabbage and butter so we were on starvation rations virtually the whole trip which totalled 55 days from Auckland to Albany. At Nauru we picked up a couple Aussies going home; their luggage consisted of a suitcase each and many, many cases of beer as we were a dry ship. Sat in their cabin all day consuming this beer; when they left there were 2 bottles left which they gave to us as we had to spend the weekend at anchor. Those beers were rationed out amongst 12 of us!!??

So how did you like sailing with Charlie Howe.....I endured 14 months with him....What Rank were you?.....(Smoke)

jimthehat
19th August 2009, 15:37
Dont know if i could beat 34 days anchored off,but do remember a few weeks swinging off the hook at sandheads,and once on the isipingo we were anchored off Colombo for a long time due to political unrest then we were brought in and loaded up with a 1000 odd refugees and took them round to the north of ceylon then back for another load.

jim

boatlarnie
20th August 2009, 09:45
So how did you like sailing with Charlie Howe.....I endured 14 months with him....What Rank were you?.....(Smoke)

Hi Johnnietwocoats,
I was with Charlie Howe in '63 on the Oakbank as 2nd Mate. Joined her as a newbuild in Sunderland and when the 3rd Engineer heard Charlie Howe was coming as Master, he took off saying he had sailed with him before and never would again. When we paid off some 14 months later that was the verdict of the majority of guys on that trip, including myself.
Alan

Johnnietwocoats
20th August 2009, 18:08
Hi Johnnietwocoats,
I was with Charlie Howe in '63 on the Oakbank as 2nd Mate. Joined her as a newbuild in Sunderland and when the 3rd Engineer heard Charlie Howe was coming as Master, he took off saying he had sailed with him before and never would again. When we paid off some 14 months later that was the verdict of the majority of guys on that trip, including myself.
Alan

One would wonder why a Shipping Company would give a new ship to someone like him. In fact it never ceases to amaze me why he was ever in command.

It was pointed out to me when I first came on the forum that I shouldn't speak ill of people in case their family members would maybe see the remarks.

I was senior Appentice with him on the "Fleetbank" 61/62. He made our lives hell. He also made the Mates life hell. A decent chap called Ray.

The 3rd Engineer obviously made the right decision. Can you remember his name?

(Smoke)

Charlie Stitt
20th August 2009, 18:27
Just thinking about the India-Natal run, what a contrast between the ports at either end. Calcutta,Chalna, Chittagong etc at one end, LM,Durban, PE, EL Capetown at the other, Two different Worlds really. A place in Durban called The Playhouse has just come to mind, Cinema with large foyer/lounge bar and live music, I seem to remember spending a lotta, lotta time there, yes you guys on the white ships really had the best of both Worlds while the rest of us poor sods had to put up with BA, Aussie etc. No justice.

Johnnietwocoats
20th August 2009, 21:24
Just thinking about the India-Natal run, what a contrast between the ports at either end. Calcutta,Chalna, Chittagong etc at one end, LM,Durban, PE, EL Capetown at the other, Two different Worlds really. A place in Durban called The Playhouse has just come to mind, Cinema with large foyer/lounge bar and live music, I seem to remember spending a lotta, lotta time there, yes you guys on the white ships really had the best of both Worlds while the rest of us poor sods had to put up with BA, Aussie etc. No justice.


That's a good one Charlie......LOL(Smoke)

Charlie Stitt
20th August 2009, 21:55
It's the way I tell em John.[=P]

jimthehat
20th August 2009, 23:23
Charlie,
The playhouse ,i remember it well,relaxing at the cane tables with an ice cold beer at the ready looking up at all the Star constellations in the ceiling,then it would be off to the dance on a saturday night at the officers club.
2 years on the isipingo ,great ,but so was two years as senior app on the natal /far east run,on the clydebank,with a further two years on the Ettrickbank.
there seems to have been a little sniping on the site about certain masters in the fleet,but I must honestly say that tho there may have been a few oldfashioned/strict/miserable old men, there were none who made my life ,either as app or mate intolerable,I enjoyed every minute of my life on board all my ships.

JIM

jimthehat
21st August 2009, 17:41
14495

Hi all,
Photo is not in best condition,but it is my first xmas ,first trip apprentice on maplebank.Capt. Thorne he joined in Brisbane after our original oldman Capt. mountain was lost overboard whilst crossing the pacific.
have struggled trying to get the photo attached ,hope it works.

jim

Charlie Stitt
21st August 2009, 17:53
Jim, my first trip Apprentice was also with Capt Thorne, who treated everyone with the greatest respect. That was on the Myrtlebank 1955.

Johnnietwocoats
21st August 2009, 18:20
Charlie,
The playhouse ,i remember it well,relaxing at the cane tables with an ice cold beer at the ready looking up at all the Star constellations in the ceiling,then it would be off to the dance on a saturday night at the officers club.
2 years on the isipingo ,great ,but so was two years as senior app on the natal /far east run,on the clydebank,with a further two years on the Ettrickbank.
there seems to have been a little sniping on the site about certain masters in the fleet,but I must honestly say that tho there may have been a few oldfashioned/strict/miserable old men, there were none who made my life ,either as app or mate intolerable,I enjoyed every minute of my life on board all my ships.

JIM


Now Jim so as you understand........I was not sniping about Captain Charles Howe. I posted my genuine opinion of him and it still stands 48 years later.

Did you ever sail with him?

If you did you would realise what I was on about. If you didn't, you were very fortunate.

A Master on a Deep Sea vessel who didn't know the basic morse code leaves somthing to be desired.

Enough said........

I will not ever mention Charlie Howe again..........Way too many bad memories.

Now someone like Captain McLean (Foylebank, Cedarbank) made life bearable.

Cheers TC (Smoke)

jimthehat
21st August 2009, 18:37
Now Jim so as you understand........I was not sniping about Captain Charles Howe. I posted my genuine opinion of him and it still stands 48 years later.

Did you ever sail with him?

If you did you would realise what I was on about. If you didn't, you were very fortunate.

A Master on a Deep Sea vessel who didn't know the basic morse code leaves somthing to be desired.

Enough said........

I will not ever mention Charlie Howe again..........Way too many bad memories.

Now someone like Captain McLean (Foylebank, Cedarbank) made life bearable.

Cheers TC (Smoke)

HI TC,
No never had the pleasure of Capt.Howe,my masters were...
Mountain,lost at sea...Thorne (Maplebank)...Rj Warne (Etivebank)...B Holland(Clydebank)...Mendus(Eastbank)...Thorne(isi pingo)...DIC Robertson (Fleetbank)....JR Lynch(Ettrickbank)....Angle(Forresbank)....TS Robertson(Taybank).
No burstups with any ,tho on the Taybank I did have words over the old man saving all the pencil stubs in a round cig tinand trying to get us to use them.

JIM

Johnnietwocoats
21st August 2009, 18:52
HI TC,
No never had the pleasure of Capt.Howe,my masters were...
Mountain,lost at sea...Thorne (Maplebank)...Rj Warne (Etivebank)...B Holland(Clydebank)...Mendus(Eastbank)...Thorne(isi pingo)...DIC Robertson (Fleetbank)....JR Lynch(Ettrickbank)....Angle(Forresbank)....TS Robertson(Taybank).
No burstups with any ,tho on the Taybank I did have words over the old man saving all the pencil stubs in a round cig tinand trying to get us to use them.

JIM
Thanks for staying in touch Jim.......
To put the record straight. I've said it before and repeat it again. I would not change my four year Apprenticeship with Bank Line for anything. Warts and all.
Sometimes one has to sail with the worst to see what the best or those that try are really like.
My Masters were:-

Lidstone........Eastbank..60/61
McLean.........Foylebank 61
Howe............Fleetbank 62
Williamson......Streambank 62/64
McLean.........Cedarbank 64

All men trying to do their best........Some tried harder than others.

I understand Lidstone went on to become a Super. I think the Eastbank was his first trip as Master.

BTW. What was the story on Captain Mountain who was lost at sea........?.....Anything suspicious?
TC (Smoke)

sidsal
21st August 2009, 22:45
The Playhouse Durban !!!!! What memories.
In 1944 I was apprentice on the Fort Camosun - 8 months out of Blighty - USA - Port Said - Safaja - India - Durban. We were fumigated there and then loaded a cargo of cement for Colombo and sailed alone. Lots of messages from ships being sunk by Jap subs and raiders.
We used to go to the Playhouse and booze in the big lounge which led to the cinemas. The battleship Queen Elizabeth arrived and thousands of matelots descended on the Playhouse. They were in their blues and one day an American destroyer came and their matelots in gleaming whites went into town. We were pretty well oiled when a group of the Yanks came into the Playhouse and took chairs from other tables which it so happened had been occupied by matleots from the QE and who were visiting the bogs. On their return altercations erupted and fighting broke out. We thought the enourmous odds against the Yanks needed sorting so we made for the melee. As I crossed the main aisle a couple of bouncers grabbed me and my mate, the beer had been shut off. I was propelled out of the door and hurled outside onto the bonnet of a parked car and I slid off it into the gutter, quite dazed. A naval police patrol from the QE came along - piked me up by the collar and dropped me back again - muttering - "He's a merchant seaman"
When I got back to the ship my nose was bleeding and pointing in a southwesterly direction. It was broken by I dare not admit the fracas as shore leave would have been stopped , so it healed itself -and it still points that way.
Happy days !

jimthehat
21st August 2009, 23:47
HI TC,
no there was nothing suspucious about the incident,bearing in mind that i was a first tripper and very green.myself and another first tripper (Willoughby) were in acabin on the aft port side of the bridge deck ,very close to the old man.
We had suffered a major e/r fire just before picking up the pilot for port sulphur,ship was run aground and fire crews came down from new orleans.After the fire was extinguished we were towed up to Todd Johnson Drydock in new orleans and stayed there for 3 weeks before resuming our voyage.
this was apparantly preying on the mind of the old man and he used to come into our cabon and have a chat and told us of his concerns,and wondered if life was worth living and then about 15 days out the old mans tiger reported to the mate that he could not find the old man,i remember a search taking place and then we turned round and retraced our steps for twice the time since the old man had been last seen.
there was an inquest when we arrived in brisbane and my mate and myself got torn apart by the coroner for not informing the c/o re what the old man had said,but as i said we were green and did not think.(he was only 42)
i dont like coroners ,I also got torn apart by a coroner in preston when a docker was squashed against the stern door which i was lowering when a un manned tugmaster took off down a sloping ramp,but thats another story

jim

Johnnietwocoats
22nd August 2009, 01:16
HI TC,
no there was nothing suspucious about the incident,bearing in mind that i was a first tripper and very green.myself and another first tripper (Willoughby) were in acabin on the aft port side of the bridge deck ,very close to the old man.
We had suffered a major e/r fire just before picking up the pilot for port sulphur,ship was run aground and fire crews came down from new orleans.After the fire was extinguished we were towed up to Todd Johnson Drydock in new orleans and stayed there for 3 weeks before resuming our voyage.
this was apparantly preying on the mind of the old man and he used to come into our cabon and have a chat and told us of his concerns,and wondered if life was worth living and then about 15 days out the old mans tiger reported to the mate that he could not find the old man,i remember a search taking place and then we turned round and retraced our steps for twice the time since the old man had been last seen.
there was an inquest when we arrived in brisbane and my mate and myself got torn apart by the coroner for not informing the c/o re what the old man had said,but as i said we were green and did not think.(he was only 42)
i dont like coroners ,I also got torn apart by a coroner in preston when a docker was squashed against the stern door which i was lowering when a un manned tugmaster took off down a sloping ramp,but thats another story

jim

Thank you so much for the information Jim.

Probably a decent man who took his responsibilities seriously. I would wonder if he had got a rollicking from Bury Street....?

It wasn't his fault the ER fire took place but having to run a Ship aground for whatever reason could prey on a decent man's mind.

Glad you got through it as well.

Take care
TC(Smoke) (Smoke)

Sarky Cut
22nd August 2009, 02:28
I have been to Ango Ango, does that count?(*))

And Immingham nearly forgot.

sidsal
23rd August 2009, 17:57
In 1944 I was apprentice on Fort Camosun. In ballast Middlesborough to Boston (after she had been repaired after 2nd torpedoing by Jap subs). Loaded war things for Port Said where, after discharge we crept through the double bottom tanks cleaning and cement washing them. We then loaded fresh water in them and in the deep tanks and sailed down the G of Suez to Safaja which is now a busy port and place where cruise ships call to send their passengers across the desert and mountains to Luxor on the Nile.
At that time there was just one bert for one ship to load phosphate from the mines in the hills. A railway line ran there and the steam train had Arabs in long robes driving it.
Now before the battle of Alamein the Germans got to within 60 miles of the Canal and the Brits hastily decided to make Safaja into a port to take ships via the Cape. They sent a dredger from Suez which the jerries promptly sank with bombs. When we called there was just a garrison of about 30 soldiers. The Royal Engineers had built a road across to Luxor and it is this road which is used today.
There was a ship loading at the berth so we anchored off and spent about 2 weeks having a great time exploring the beaches and islands. Eventually we got alongside and pumped out the water with pertable pumps. Took an age.
We cadged lifts in the steam train to the mines in the hills. Great time!
Whenthe war ended life became very boring !

Charlie Stitt
23rd August 2009, 19:45
Corr Blimey Sidsal, and some of us young fellows thought we were hard done by, as Apprentices.Can you remember what your wages were as Apprentice ? or did you have to pay them for the privilege

sidsal
23rd August 2009, 21:36
Charlie: Wages were 3 10shillings per month and I got 6 pence a day because I had gunnery qualifications ( sightsetter of 4.7" big gun and Oerlikon gunner for AA). The 6 pence a day enabled me to paint various towns red however - it was quite a good supplement to my wage.I have my indentures framed on the wall wher it states that I must not frequent alehouses and places of ill repute ( as if !!).

boatlarnie
24th August 2009, 12:27
Thanks for staying in touch Jim.......
To put the record straight. I've said it before and repeat it again. I would not change my four year Apprenticeship with Bank Line for anything. Warts and all.
Sometimes one has to sail with the worst to see what the best or those that try are really like.
My Masters were:-

Lidstone........Eastbank..60/61
McLean.........Foylebank 61
Howe............Fleetbank 62
Williamson......Streambank 62/64
McLean.........Cedarbank 64

All men trying to do their best........Some tried harder than others.

I understand Lidstone went on to become a Super. I think the Eastbank was his first trip as Master.

BTW. What was the story on Captain Mountain who was lost at sea........?.....Anything suspicious?
TC (Smoke)
Hi Johnnietwocoats,
See you mentioned Cederbank (Capt McLean) in 1964: i was there June 64 to Jan 65 as 2nd Mate; I mentioned to Abbeywood the other day, how things jog your memory, now start remembering that trip. The Mate was WW Davies and 3rd Mate Peter Cleife. I remember getting rather p----d in Brisbane as I received a Dear John letter from my girlfriend. Also on way home we called in at Massawa (Sudan) to pick up groundnuts which had been booked by my father. He did his nut when they were discharged as they were full of copra bugs and cost him an arm and leg having them fumigated.
Were you on that trip??
By the way, I still have my indentures, although not framed on the wall and, until recently, had all my old pay slips. Still remember as a first trip Apprentice in 1957 was paid the princely sum of 9 pounds, 3 and 4 pence a month but one could do a lot with that!!?? My years with Bank Line, all 14, were great; some bad times but all in all I have very good memories of those years; saw the world, met lots of people from everywhere and had a thorough grounding in seamanship, navigation, the works. Hard work never hurt anyone and there was always play time afterwards.

Regards,
Alan Smaldon

Johnnietwocoats
25th August 2009, 04:17
Hi Johnnietwocoats,
See you mentioned Cederbank (Capt McLean) in 1964: i was there June 64 to Jan 65 as 2nd Mate; I mentioned to Abbeywood the other day, how things jog your memory, now start remembering that trip. The Mate was WW Davies and 3rd Mate Peter Cleife. I remember getting rather p----d in Brisbane as I received a Dear John letter from my girlfriend. Also on way home we called in at Massawa (Sudan) to pick up groundnuts which had been booked by my father. He did his nut when they were discharged as they were full of copra bugs and cost him an arm and leg having them fumigated.
Were you on that trip??
By the way, I still have my indentures, although not framed on the wall and, until recently, had all my old pay slips. Still remember as a first trip Apprentice in 1957 was paid the princely sum of 9 pounds, 3 and 4 pence a month but one could do a lot with that!!?? My years with Bank Line, all 14, were great; some bad times but all in all I have very good memories of those years; saw the world, met lots of people from everywhere and had a thorough grounding in seamanship, navigation, the works. Hard work never hurt anyone and there was always play time afterwards.

Regards,
Alan Smaldon

Hi Alan: We terminated our voyage on the 30th June 1964 in Liverpool. That is when you must have joined her. I was going home to do my 2nd Mates.
I have a full crew list of the people who paid off.
Take care
TC(Smoke)

Abbeywood.
25th August 2009, 14:55
Hi Alan: We terminated our voyage on the 30th June 1964 in Liverpool. That is when you must have joined her. I was going home to do my 2nd Mates.
I have a full crew list of the people who paid off.
Take care
TC(Smoke)

This thread has been most enjoyable and hopefully it will extend into 5 or more pages.
As to Nauru, I was there in the 'Marabank', I remember that after drifting for a few days, don't think it was too long, we moored up to the buoys, huge beasts, and all fans shutdown, and fire-flaps secured for the load, to prevent the ingress of phosphate dust into the electric motors.
The E.R. and accomodation were like saunas.
After washing down normality was restored. Thank G.
Incidentally I think I read in a Guiness Book of Records that the mooring buoys at Nauru were secured by the Worlds deepest anchor cables. Something like 2500 fathoms, (or maybe more). Can anybody confirm.

sidsal
25th August 2009, 17:48
You guys in Bank Line seem to have seen more interesting places than most.
HOWEVER the most enjoyable port in my book was none other than Barrow-in Furness !!
In 1947 I was 3rd Mate of the F J WOLFE - Anglo American tanker and she had rougue engines (MAN) and she was taken to Barrow because engineers from the MAN works in Germany were there developing hydrogen peroxide propulsion for submarines. It didn't develop very far because atomic power came into fashion.
We were there for 3 months and had a great time. The girls were lovely and the beer outstanding. Narrowly missed getting hitched up.
When we left the engines were as bad as ever but it was OK as we spent about a week in port everywhere whilst the engines were tickled. However the poor engineers had a hard time. It's the only ship I was on where the deck crew assisted in drawing cylinders to replace piston rings etc. On one occasion we rowed piston rings over to a sister ship - the D L HARPER which was wallowing in the Arabian Sea broken down.
I was in a convoy from NY during the war with the D L HARPER next astern and she had great difficulty in keeping station - critical speed and all that .

trotterdotpom
26th August 2009, 01:23
Sidsal: "....HOWEVER the most enjoyable port in my book was none other than Barrow-in Furness !!..."

Admit it, Sparkie2182 paid you to say that~

John T.

Charlie Stitt
27th August 2009, 21:22
Yokohama, April 1963,I was enjoying an evening ashore with some of my shipmates,we were sitting in this TEA house in the company of some lovely young ladies, drinking tea while talking to the ladies in sign language. The place was beautiful, typical Japanese, rice paper walls, lanterns, air heavy with perfume etc, really up market, May I use the toilet I asked, in sign language, I was directed with such grace to a door through which I entered expecting a plush bathroom, cor blimey, what a smell. I was in a small room which had this big square piece of wood with a hole in it, I looked down the hole and felt sick, it was a dry toilet which was due a clean out like last week, I held my nose and had a pee down the hole and got out the door pronto, still feeling sick.... Yes you are right, I made a very speedy recovery and was soon sitting with the others sipping my tea and again enjoying the beautiful Japanese furnishings. Can't have everything I suppose.[=P]

John Briggs
27th August 2009, 23:49
You mean there were Tea Houses in Yokohama!
Damn it, I kept going to those bar places!

trotterdotpom
28th August 2009, 12:21
Charley. how did you ask for the toilet in sign language in such genteel company?

John T.

Charlie Stitt
28th August 2009, 13:28
John T, I found it very difficult indeed, and being such a quiet, sheepish kind of guy, I really was embarrassed, however I managed to do it ok using only one hand.:rolleyes:

Alan Rawlinson
28th August 2009, 13:29
Can recall playing ' strip poker ' in the Bar 9 of Hearts, Yokohama with young ladies, and cheating like hell! It was the old ' ERNEBANK ' - Capt. Stewart, and we were discharging bagged sugar from Cuba. It took a while, so us apprentices were working night on and night off. As I recall, we were ' hot sheeting ' with the same young dolly. Magic, it was!

Getting home and relaying the fact that we had been in Japan, my old Mum said '' Did you see Mount Fuji ?'' and I replied '' Is that what it's called '' !
AL

trotterdotpom
28th August 2009, 14:07
John T, I found it very difficult indeed, and being such a quiet, sheepish kind of guy, I really was embarrassed, however I managed to do it ok using only one hand.:rolleyes:

Yours or hers?

John T.

Charlie Stitt
28th August 2009, 22:02
From Yokohama we sailed the short distance to Tonda to discharge the remaining 2000 tons of salt, we were only going to be here for two days, so no time to waste correcting charts and the like. Now I had a shower in the morning as usual and another after dinner, before getting my shore clobber on. I reckon I was as clean as a new pin, so why oh why did this young lady from the first bar take me to an hotel and insist I soak for half an hour in a very hot bathtub ? Personal Hygiene gone mad or did they think Bankboats still had the water pumps and buckets and we were unclean? To this day, I don't understand why she become very annoyed when after the hot bath I got straight back into my clobber and hurried back to my mates in the bar, after all I got the first round in and did'nt want to miss out.(Pint)

jimthehat
28th August 2009, 23:26
Do any of the 50s lads remember the Fleet club in Hong kong where apps were taken for a slap up meal and then the organisers wrote to our parents stating that we were upstanding young lads and were not frequenting bars or other places of ill repute.

JIM

rcraig
29th August 2009, 01:33
No, but I remember the "mutton" boats coming alongside when we were at the buoys in Hong Kong with the accommodation ladder pulled up and the OM giving strict orders that they were not to be allowed on board. The strictness of the order was marginally undermined by hearing him engaged in discourse not long after they arrived alongside.
I swear they climbed up the ropes from the buoys. They were so organised and so precisely on time that the second mate could have, and possibly would have, checked his chronometer by them, once he had found the time to do so, of course.
My recollection was that 2000 hrs was the time they boarded. Anyone out there with a computer illiterate wife who can confirm this important point?

Charlie Stitt
29th August 2009, 11:55
Yes Ray, I remember going easy on the soap while having a shower in the weeks prior to arriving Hongkong etc, it was worth trying to save a bar or two, Why? ah, don't you remember how precious a bar of scented Lux toilet soap was in that part of the World ?[=P]

rcraig
30th August 2009, 12:43
Ahh. The romantic memories. Where would we be without them?
As I dream (my wife says its spelt "drool") on about Noriko Yamashita and think on her charms, I often wonder how she is now. About 73, says my wife, showing that women are the more vicious of the human species.
I trusted her implicitly, so I sent her money for the train to Yokohama (?). Now, these were the days before the bullet trains. So she obviously caught a slow train. A very slow train.
Despite her every effort (I am sure....yes, I know there are cynics amongst you) she just did not manage to make it. She may still be at the station yet, pining for me.
I can see her yet in the mind's eye....OK, I'll be honest, not actually at a station....
And the widow in Uraga who spoke no English....fortunately we were not doing guided tours...who came up with the phrase..."Shipu Japanese side go by tomorrow tomorrow, ni? " which is etched on my memory, despite the fact that I have difficulty remembering now when I last passed wind. Which increasingly requires only a very short memory span.
No, you can work it out for yourself. You will all have had a lot of practice

Alistair Macnab
30th August 2009, 21:45
I remember being instructed by the Master (Jim Williams from Durban) to stand at the gangway and not to allow any of the sew-sew women aboard. This I did. I officiously signaled them away from the bottom of the gangway only to have my attention distracted by a lovely slender arm around my neck and a sweet little voice whispering nothings into my ear as I was lead gently away from the top of the gangway. Apparently grapling irons on the end of a heaving line were more effective than a gangway.
Talking afterwards about the whole thing, the Master laughed uproariously at the whole episode and I rather think I was set up to the whole thing! I was Acting 3/M at the time, very gullible and easily duped. Aren't all 19 year-olds?

Charlie Stitt
31st August 2009, 14:01
Yes Alistair, '' a sweet little voice whispering sweet nothings in my ear'' sounds about right, or when ashore, ''drinkie for me''. Point Fortin has been mentioned quite a few times in the 50's thread, I thought I was the only one who went there,but it appears everyone has been, in my case it was on the Myrtlebank in 1955 to load drums of bitumen for Karachi. What I remember most about that place,, was the deafening chirping noise an army of male crickets made as we sat outside at the Shell Club sipping rum and coke cola. Whatever happened to the bitumen trade in which I'm sure the great trader Andrew Weir had interests in, other than shipping it that is? perhaps it was later shipped in tankers.In order to refresh my memories of Point Fortin, and for no other reason I promise, I occasionally partake in a wee glass of vat 19.

Alan Rawlinson
31st August 2009, 16:25
Was in Point Fortin a few times loading for NZ and Australia, visited the bitumen lake too, which was fascinating. In the hold, the drums made a most satisfying splatt when they were nudged out of the can hooks passing over the hatch coaming, and fell to the tanktop like ripe plums. ( providing they missed all the men below)

Point Fortin was my first port outside of the UK, and it was marked by some of our lot diving naked from the board at the Shell club, lit up by the spotlights, and later throwing all the poolside furniture into the pool and trying to set it up on the bottom.

Believe there was a ban on ships personnel for a while after that...

It was welcome to life at sea.

Also loaded sugar twice in Cuba, and I have never drunk rum again to this day. The clear rum in small bottles was swigged like coke by the locals in San Ramon and I foolishly tried to copy them. This was a fascinating little port with the sugar railcars fed down the hill from the factory by gravity alone. A terrified looking brake operator crouched over the screw down brakes and tried ( sometimes unsuccessfully) to stop the heavy waggon before it crashed into the ships side. We had an extra day off on one visit due to a man being killed in this operation.
Cheers//AL

Joe C
31st August 2009, 17:12
In the midfifties on the Levernbank we spent two days in Shanghai.We were met at the river mouth by a navy ship sporting an enormous radar scanner,to our relief it was H M S Cossack(someone will correct me if I'm wrong). She wished us Bon Voyage then steamed off at a rate of knots,well faster than the Levernbank anyway.We picked up the pilot,an eastern European for some strange reason then sailed upriver between what looked like landing craft accompanied by martial music where we moored at buoys almost opposite the Bund.Overnight there was'nt a light to be seen ashore,creepy!When we sailed the pilot managed to take us downriver sideways over a good few mooring buoys.Happy ending though,had to dry dock in Japan for repairs.

David E
1st September 2009, 00:15
Did a couple of sugar runs from Cuba-both of them to Alexandria and back.We arrived in ballast but for some reason, possibly clearance,we started off in Santiago before going up to Neuvitas to load. Do you remember the approach to Santiago-a run in between the forts on the headlands towards sheer cliffs and a last minute turn to starboard into the huge landlocked bay.
Some memories of Neuvitas-land crabs as big as your feet crawling all over the jetty road once it got dark and sharks.Frantic yells from two Apps,over the bow,painting draft marks,who looked down and saw three of the monsters waiting for breakfast.The rum there was just as lethal.

rcraig
1st September 2009, 00:49
I remember at Fanning working the winches at #2 hatch with the cheerful islanders and trying their diet of raw fish and coconut. Must have been an early example of sushi. Which I like as much now as I did then. Not much.
We used to lower the accommodation ladder down (is that what we called it?) to a few feet above sea level at night with a cargo cluster immediately above it. We would stand there with a stick in our hand and club the flying fish as they shot by attracted or disturbed by the light. It was not unusual to have a bucket of fish ready for breakfast next morning. I remember them tasting like haddock although I am damned how we could remember that as I doubt if we had had haddock for the previous two years on the ship.
I had picked up a souvenir bow and arrows when we were in Apia (I think) and was determined to be able to say for future generations (who would obviously be impressed) that I had caught a flying fish using a bow and arrow.
One night, seeing one fish buzzing around below in the water and not looking too well, after possibly a mere 461 and a half attempts I got it right between the wings and hauled it up. From the main deck no less. I can hear the buzz emanating from an obviously deeply impressed audience.
It is perhaps my only claim to fame.
I have the bow to this day. Should have kept the fish for proof.

rcraig
1st September 2009, 01:21
David,

We had an engineer who kept catching crabs despite us never having been to Neuvitas. I wonder if they were not exclusive to that place?

rcraig
1st September 2009, 16:55
I think this was Fanning.

David E
1st September 2009, 23:57
David,

We had an engineer who kept catching crabs despite us never having been to Neuvitas. I wonder if they were not exclusive to that place?

Think not.We experienced the Yokohama variety in the Weybank-caught and well spread by the first trip App.

David

rcraig
2nd September 2009, 20:47
Ahh, the romantic memories of Port Moresby. We arrived on a beautiful day with the dark grey black tropical clouds in the distance. You could see the bright multi coloured roofs with brilliant orange and red splashes of the bougainvillea trees interspersed amongst them.
We came alongside, did our work and were shortly greeted by a request from a rather sweet Scots customs officer who offered to take the two young apprentice lads on a run ashore. Somewhat warily, having to our surprise got clearance for shore leave, we set off in his car not entirely sure what enticements we might be offered and for why.
Indeed, despite our finely tuned and experienced (well beyond our age) suspicions we arrived at a cricket match. The throb of excitement!
But this was a cricket match with a difference. You will know that most of the area is essentially populated by Melanesians. But at the edge of Port Moresby there was, and presumably still is, a Polynesian enclave.
There were two teams of bare breasted girls in their mid teens...although in truth we were not counting.....clad in grass skirts with a large audience of similar girls, similarly clad, who promptly surrounded us in the car laughing and giggling and pointing, a behaviour pattern I have noticed too often in the company of women. Although I thought they were actually picking me out.
They were absolutely gorgeous, even allowing for the exaggeration that comes about after 2 yrs on a ship. To this day I sometimes sit back with glazed eyes and pretend to my wife its the drink that is in me.

Rabaul was a different kettle of fish. My main memory there was that whilst acting 3M on the Westbank, I was approached by one of the senior Aussie docker foremen and asked if I was prepared to jump ship and take over as skipper on a schooner he owned searching for trochus shells amongst the sounds and inlets in the islands. These were the shells used for mother of pearl buttons. The native crews free dived for them and the money offered was very good. As was the price per ton for the shells.
It was the stuff of a Joseph Conrad novel and a very tempting offer. But I also knew that like some of his novels, you might not survive the experience. It was known that if you were not liked, there was a risk that you might not come back from a trip. But still tempting. I chickened out, mainly because I had only a few months to do to complete my time. And because I was yellow.
And then Kavieng. Acting 3M with Capt. Williamson we had sailed from Samarai towards Kavieng. Because the regular pilot was on leave we picked up a retired pilot who had retreated to his plantation. The chart was the primitive smudged Japanese chart commonly used there and run off on whatever was used in those days for photo copying.
It was a still, calm day with not a ripple on the water as we cautiously and warily picked our way through the reefs.
We slowly approached a particular buoy at dead slow ahead. The pilot and the Old Man started debating which side we should go and one of them won as we drifted cautiously past a few feet off it. As the telegraph rang for slow ahead I watched from the port bridge wing the buoy come to a halt. Being acting 3M did tend to make me just a little diffident in imposing my 19 yr old wisdom on the two in the wheelhouse but as I looked up to tentatively suggest we were aground, I saw the look on the OM's face as he seized his hair with both hands and I thought he was going to tear it out.
We had grounded and we did get off without damage. It was just as well as the nearest tug was in Brisbane about 1600 miles to the south and the OM was well aware of that in his anguish. I believe too that he may have been involved in a grounding before.
He was a nice guy to sail with and I felt for him.
And the girls with the bare breasts? Two years later, my cousin dodged his National Service by doing medical work in isolated places, arrived at Port Moresby and found them all wearing Maidenform bras. How did he know? He never said but as a doctor presumably he had some perks.

Cisco
6th September 2009, 23:05
From Yokohama we sailed the short distance to Tonda to discharge the remaining 2000 tons of salt, we were only going to be here for two days, so no time to waste correcting charts and the like. Now I had a shower in the morning as usual and another after dinner, before getting my shore clobber on. I reckon I was as clean as a new pin, so why oh why did this young lady from the first bar take me to an hotel and insist I soak for half an hour in a very hot bathtub ? Personal Hygiene gone mad or did they think Bankboats still had the water pumps and buckets and we were unclean? To this day, I don't understand why she become very annoyed when after the hot bath I got straight back into my clobber and hurried back to my mates in the bar, after all I got the first round in and did'nt want to miss out.(Pint)

That was good old fashioned Japanese contraception... interferes with the temperature control in the goolies.... same thing happens to young men who wear 'budgie smugglers'... they often have trouble making babies...

Abbeywood.
7th September 2009, 06:18
Did a couple of sugar runs from Cuba-both of them to Alexandria and back.We arrived in ballast but for some reason, possibly clearance,we started off in Santiago before going up to Neuvitas to load. Do you remember the approach to Santiago-a run in between the forts on the headlands towards sheer cliffs and a last minute turn to starboard into the huge landlocked bay.
Some memories of Neuvitas-land crabs as big as your feet crawling all over the jetty road once it got dark and sharks.Frantic yells from two Apps,over the bow,painting draft marks,who looked down and saw three of the monsters waiting for breakfast.The rum there was just as lethal.

Spent 3 weeks alongside at Neuvitas. God it was ''awful', but somebody had to do it. Loaded bagged sugar for Valparaiso, (Another port of sheer charm and sophistication).
Remember four of us got a battered old Chevy' taxi up to Camaguey, about 50 miles, ($20), got separated, Can't think how that could of happened. !!
'Sparky' and I had sufficient funds to get the train back to Neuvitas town and following the tracks back to the port, hitched a lift from a passing sugar train, which stopped for us. Jolly Jack hanging on to the side of a box-car, a la Wild West style
Back on board for breakfast.
The name of the ship. Abbeywood, (ex-Rippingham Grange)

Naytikos
7th September 2009, 08:03
Honiara: Inverbank, 67, anchored off the hospital for a few days awaiting berth. There was a rosta for use of the jollyboat to row ashore and chat up the nurses through the fence (as a starting point). Then someone discovered that many of them walked to work across a steel lattice footbridge spanning the small river close by. For the rest of the daylight hours, the boat could be found, in between trips back and forth to the ship, moored directly beneath the bridge.........!

rcraig
7th September 2009, 11:41
First time ever I heard of Navlakhi was lying alongside in B.A., well laden with grain. First time Capt. Holbrook had ever heard of it too, they said, and he was supposed to take us there. Great disappointment when someone actually worked out where it lay, somewhere in the Gulf of Kutch, although that did not give us much of a clue either. We constantly slavered over the dream of getting off the gunny/grain run and on to the Natal-Japan run.

Navlakhi turned out to be an anchorage so far off a low lying shore that nothing could be seen. Stevedores were obtained by simply threatening the local populace with the stopping of survival rations unless they worked the ship. Complete families came on board and lived on us using the one traditional latrine over the stern usually given an extremely non PC name which I certainly won't repeat here! Well, they used it most of the time but frequently used the tween decks too.

Definitely not one of these places where if you had had a European crew there would have been a fear of jumping ship.

Don't know what it is like now but I see on one website (which may be out of date) that particular wharves etc., damaged in a storm in 1998, had still not been repaired.

jimthehat
7th September 2009, 13:14
Cant remember what ship,possibly the Etivebank ,but we loaded a full cargo of salt in the gulf of kutch for Japan,by the time we got to our discharge port the salt was rock solid and we got an extra week there.
jim

rcraig
8th September 2009, 21:18
On the S. America-India run, a pretty tedious grind over the S. Atlantic being my main sea-going memory of it (alleviated only by the albatrosses) there was always the hint of a diversion to Tristan da Cunha on the east bound part of it. Alas, it never came about. Is there anyone around who did call in by? It could never have been a commercial venture for the company.

One of the rare outstanding events on that seemingly ever grey, ever bleak, ever rolling sea was to experience violent rolling one day, being so severe that life lines were rigged and we were given the afternoon off for studying. At one point, as I sat reluctantly at the desk in my cabin, we rolled so far over that I felt that if I crashed over with the seat that would be just about the last straw and she would go over. (Yes, I know!). Immediately after, course was altered into wind and we slowed down sharply. The 3M Banks said that she had rolled so far, that the inclinometer couldn't record it. I think the limit for the bubble was about 30% and perhaps a bit. Even the Old Man got a bit of a "fleg".

We had loaded with bulk grain and without longitudinal bulkheads fitted as was required when sailing from "Commonwealth" countries, and relied on a few layers of bagged grain on top to reduce the risk of the cargo shifting.

Whatever, it was not until working anchor handling supply vessels in the North Sea 20 yrs. later that I experienced rolling to match and exceed it. These vessels, which worked predominantly with a deck cargo, had a considerable GM and until you got used to it, could roll with a violence and sharpness which was very disconcerting. They were bloody uncomfortable.

The other place which I missed out on was a passage through either the Magellan Straits or around Cape Horn. I hold the sister ship the Westbank wholly responsible for that as we were due to sail from B.A. etc., to the West Coast but the Westbank found Juan de Nova island at high speed and that was the end of that dream and more trips on that bloody run. But India and B.A., Montevideo, Rosario, etc., did help to make up for the tedium of the run

Abbeywood.
11th September 2009, 11:45
Thing I remember most about the Straits was the total silence, but for the echo of the M. Eng exhaust, from hills in the deep fjord-like passages.
The Fuegan Indians coming aboard to barter shell-fish for old clothes.
And of course, the 3M getting his 'naughties' in Punta Arenas, though he would probably have a better memory of it, than I.

John Campbell
11th September 2009, 19:30
Ray, we got to Tristan on Eskbank in 1956 going from Calcutta to B.A . via Capetown-with gunnies. At Capetown we loaded a Nissan hut for The Duke of Edinburgh's forthcoming visit in 1957 as part of a world tour onboard the royal yacht Britannia .We had everything but the kitchen sink in the way of stores which we carried on deck. We also took three U.K. passengers a Dr and his newly wed wife - they lived in the Pilot,s cabin and I being senior apprentice had to move from my cabin and give it to another passenger a middle aged lady who was a nurse and midwife for the Island - I moved into the double berth apprentices cabin to share with Malcolm McLeod the other Apprentice.
Leaving Capetown we had rough weather for some five days and the ship rolled something awful so much so that the Doc was very seasick and we never saw him for the voyage. His wife, on the other hand, was very flirty and took a shine to the Captain which was quite embarrassing.
When we got to the Island we had to anchor off in deep water and the natives came out in very flimsy boats to load the cargo. I remember they were very weak and feckless souls speaking in an odd oldie English dialect. No one got ashore except the Sparks as we had to do all the cargo work. We lost a few gas bottles though in inept slinging but otherwise OK. We each got a gift of delicious tinned crayfish and a set of stamps for our work.
The Island rises to quite a hight and is visible for miles to seaward. There were at least two South African fish factory vessels there harvesting crayfish.
We had quite a time of it when we came to heave in the anchor as the cable was festooned with kelp and we had to hack it off with fire axes.
several years later the inhabitants were all evacuated in 1961 when the volcano exploded.
The headlands and promontories all had odd names - one I, from the Admiralty Chart, most remember was " The beach where the minister landed his things"
JC

rcraig
11th September 2009, 21:00
John, I had assumed that cargo for Tristan would have been from B.A. on the great circle track back but obviously it would have been "serviced" from S. Africa. Interesting story...I had often wondered what it would have been like and how often the ships called there because there was hardly a surplus of ships on that route at the best of times.

Interesting story about the doc's wife and the embarrassment for the Old Man. I was never lucky enough at sea to suffer such embarrassment.

We carried a couple from Buenos Aires who lived in the hospital as supernumeraries (remember these?). She was 26 and he was twice her age and apparently he lived on a higher non-physical plane which his wife could not match. They were going to India for some sort of spiritual experience.

She being less other-worldly would lock him in the hospital at night whilst she went up to the bridge to learn the mystic art of navigation from the 3M before then putting it into practice during the 12-4 in his cabin. At least, we think that is what they were doing.

He had a marvellous trip all the way to Cochin, more than happy to indulge in social intercourse (I may have the adjective wrong here). We on the other hand were racked with envy, seeing her in her light skirts an ever present object of our desire. The bass. that he was!

On arrival at Cochin we anchored off and they went ashore and away, but not before the husband in the presence of his wife showed the 3M the revolver he was carrying in order to protect his wife on shore if things turned difficult. As the 3M put it, he was crapping himself when he produced the revolver.

I think this part of the story fits into the places I would have liked to have been.

robparsons101
15th September 2009, 14:32
I was a 6th engineer aboard the lossiebank joining in January 1978, after flying out to Panama we waited 3 days for her to arrive. a very lively boat trip out to the anchorage was my first view of my first ship. what followed was a bit of an eye opener for a 20 year old recently finished fitter and turner apprentice from Portsmouth dockyard. A month across the pacific with scavenge fires and pulling liners at sea, not to mention finding an upturned lifeboat from a ship that had sunk a month before with all hands on a non ac ship with dc electrics to find a place called (i hope I spell this right) Lienyunkang in China where we spent three weeks at anchor before the tug that was sent to escort us in collided with us and ripped 80 feet of bulkwark off the side. The place itself was like a walk through the dark ages, discharging bulk sugar into rickshaws with old men running them down the wharf and loading them into steam trains. I did take a trip to a commune with the 3m and 2nd leckie which was again a totally different world to what I was used to, they even planted trees and named them after us. I only spent five years with bank line mostly in new guinea but it was an experience that could not be bought and as I get older the memories seem better.

436lp
16th September 2009, 10:45
Bank Line ships have been just about everywhere in the World including Pacific Islands where the B/L 's own pilot book made interesting reading. have you an interesting or humorous story to share ? Can anyone recognise the Island ports in the photos, I am trying to title them but can't remember where they were.


one on the left looks like the old berth in Lae, one on the right looks like rabaul

lester

Alan Rawlinson
4th October 2009, 19:04
Here's a pic of Southbank lying at Apia, back in 1961 - happy days. She had nice lines, and a slightly oversized funnel to my eye, but it made for a pleasing appearance. She was lost, of course, in the Line Islands a few years later.

jimthehat
4th October 2009, 20:17
Here's a pic of Southbank lying at Apia, back in 1961 - happy days. She had nice lines, and a slightly oversized funnel to my eye, but it made for a pleasing appearance. She was lost, of course, in the Line Islands a few years later.

Alan,
when you were in Apia was "King Billy and his canoe still the official shore boat??

jim

johnb42
5th October 2009, 01:01
Here's a pic of Southbank lying at Apia, back in 1961 - happy days. She had nice lines, and a slightly oversized funnel to my eye, but it made for a pleasing appearance. She was lost, of course, in the Line Islands a few years later.


Alan,
I can't see an attachement.
Rgds
John

Alan Rawlinson
5th October 2009, 09:11
Alan,
when you were in Apia was "King Billy and his canoe still the official shore boat??

jim

Can remember the locals using their money to joy ride around in the only taxi at that time. Also the second mate going native and living in one of the huts dressed like a Samoan!

Sorry about the image - removed by the site police

K urgess
5th October 2009, 12:33
Can remember the locals using their money to joy ride around in the only taxi at that time. Also the second mate going native and living in one of the huts dressed like a Samoan!

Sorry about the image - removed by the site police

There's nothing to stop you adding it here as an attachment, Alan.
Use the green "Post Reply" button and below the text window there's a "manage attachments" button.

Simples. (Thumb)

K urgess
5th October 2009, 13:19
Anyone wanting to see what TPNG is like now and lives in the UK should watch Charley Boorman's "Sydney to Tokyo by any Means" episode 2 on BBC Iplayer.
From Lae to Madang via Goroka and then on to Wewak and Atape via the Sepik River.
Worth it just to see the sunrises, sunsets, mountains and beaches.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00n850m/Charley_Boorman_Sydney_to_Tokyo_By_Any_Means_Episo de_2/

Alan Rawlinson
5th October 2009, 16:13
Thanks - here it is - I hope!

Alan Rawlinson
5th October 2009, 22:24
As the Apia shot was mainly palm trees, I append another closer view of Southbank in an unknown location, but same year

Ron Stringer
5th October 2009, 23:47
Can anyone point me to a report of the stranding of the Southbank (2) in 1964?

I know someone that was on her at the time but is reluctant to talk about it. I didn't think that there was anything to be shy about, but Google comes up with nothing except posts from SN (and they only refer to the fact that the grounding happened - no details).

From what I understand, everyone got off without even getting their feet wet, which makes me curious about the general lack of information.

Alan Rawlinson
6th October 2009, 08:47
Hallo Ron,

The second mate was tragically killed when the Southbank was lost - believe it was an accident with one of the boats - He was buried ashore on the island - was it Fanning, or Washington? The memory is a bit unreliable...

I have a full packet of the press clippings some where amongst all the stuff I have accumulated, but can't lay my hands on it just yet.

At the time of the stranding - Boxing Day? - I was in Liverpool waiting to start a radar course, and had left the Southbank as mate a couple of years before, so my interest was quite intense and I gathered up anything I could find. It was frontpage news at the time.

There was a development many years later, when a successful salvage was mounted for the copper bars (loaded in Australia) which had laid in the lower holds for some years. As I recall, a bloke called Fairfax had ' rowed ' the Pacific and had been at the wreck site, vowing to return with a salvage team which he did.

Ron Stringer
6th October 2009, 13:33
As I recall, a bloke called Fairfax had ' rowed ' the Pacific and had been at the wreck site, vowing to return with a salvage team which he did.

Alan,

Thank you for that. Google searches suggest that it was Washington Island.

Your linking my query about the Southbank with John Fairfax is one of those many odd coincidences that continue to surprise me, even after many years.

I flew out to Las Palmas to fit the battery-operated HF R/T to John Fairfax's rowing boat 'Britannia' prior to his single-handed trans-Atlantic rowing attempt. His sponsoring London newspaper required him to keep in contact during the trip. Everything about the organisation of the attempt was somewhat amateurish but he succeeded.

He was born in Argentina, the son of a local-born mother and an English father. Raised in Argentina he eventually came to London with the intention of rowing across the Atlantic and making his fortune. He certainly achieved the former objective but I don't know whether or not he became rich as a result - I rather doubt it. Strange that his name should come up again in connection with an enquiry about a Bank Line vessel.

Do you have any ideas why there seems to be no information on the internet about the stranding of the Southbank?

Alan Rawlinson
6th October 2009, 15:15
Hi Ron,

Not sure about your internet search - there may be something there under an obscure heading. I will also try and find the press cuttings. As I mentioned it was filling the front page of the dailies at the time, so the back issues may be some use. As I had recently been to the same location on the same ship, and we had also loaded copper in the LH, it was of great interest to me at the time. Somewhere else in these threads, there is a reference to a repaired crack and subsequent strapping on the foredeck of the Southbank, something which escaped me when I did my trip. Whether it was a weakness that contributed to the break I can't say. She did crunch down on the reef, I believe.

I have a recollection of the pic of the grave stone of the young 2/0 ashore at the time. Believe he got crushed against the ship's side, when getting the boats away, but there may be somebody out there with the accurate story.

Strange about Fairfax as you say. I was always sceptical about someone allegedly ' rowing ' the Pacific, but of course by utilising the 2 or 3 knots sometimes available in the currents, I can see how it might be done, especially with a bit of sneaky windage on favourable days. Good luck to him anyway. The wreck had about 4,000 tons of valuable copper , probably from Townsville, so I imagine he made a bit as a result of the big and successful salvage operation.




Alan,

Thank you for that. Google searches suggest that it was Washington Island.

Your linking my query about the Southbank with John Fairfax is one of those many odd coincidences that continue to surprise me, even after many years.

I flew out to Las Palmas to fit the battery-operated HF R/T to John Fairfax's rowing boat 'Britannia' prior to his single-handed trans-Atlantic rowing attempt. His sponsoring London newspaper required him to keep in contact during the trip. Everything about the organisation of the attempt was somewhat amateurish but he succeeded.

He was born in Argentina, the son of a local-born mother and an English father. Raised in Argentina he eventually came to London with the intention of rowing across the Atlantic and making his fortune. He certainly achieved the former objective but I don't know whether or not he became rich as a result - I rather doubt it. Strange that his name should come up again in connection with an enquiry about a Bank Line vessel.

Do you have any ideas why there seems to be no information on the internet about the stranding of the Southbank?

Ben Masey
6th October 2009, 17:38
Tony,
The wharf boss at Rabaul, whose name escapes me at the moment, had a special stash of jeeps out in the jungle on the Gazelle Peninsula. He used to do one up and then pop out and pick up another one. Sold each one before he'd fettled it.
He supplied me with a couple of Japanese helmets. He had sacks of them.
I was in Rabaul when a Zero was lifted out of the harbour, loaded on a ship and went off to the States for renovation. It was flying again not too long after.
There are pictures in my gallery of some of the stuff lying around. The Zero at Kavieng in some of them (complete with Fubar pilot) is now in an air museum in Oz.
My comment (the last one) on this picture describes some bits found on Guadalcanal. http://www.shipsnostalgia.com/gallery/showphoto.php?photo=36380
Cheers
Kris

Pat Roberts or Gerry Squires Rgds Ben Masey

China hand
6th October 2009, 19:18
Gerry Squires.

Al W
8th October 2009, 03:29
Alan,

Thank you for that. Google searches suggest that it was Washington Island.

Your linking my query about the Southbank with John Fairfax is one of those many odd coincidences that continue to surprise me, even after many years.

I flew out to Las Palmas to fit the battery-operated HF R/T to John Fairfax's rowing boat 'Britannia' prior to his single-handed trans-Atlantic rowing attempt. His sponsoring London newspaper required him to keep in contact during the trip. Everything about the organisation of the attempt was somewhat amateurish but he succeeded.

He was born in Argentina, the son of a local-born mother and an English father. Raised in Argentina he eventually came to London with the intention of rowing across the Atlantic and making his fortune. He certainly achieved the former objective but I don't know whether or not he became rich as a result - I rather doubt it. Strange that his name should come up again in connection with an enquiry about a Bank Line vessel.

Do you have any ideas why there seems to be no information on the internet about the stranding of the Southbank?

The following links give some detailed information:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USCGC_Winnebago_(WHEC-40)

http://www.255wpg.org/index2.php?option=com_content&do_pdf=1&id=24

Ron Stringer
8th October 2009, 10:47
Al, many thanks for that.

It still seems odd to me that, in spite of the presence of reporters on the 'Winnebago', the reported Press uproar and keenness to get film away, there seems to be so little information turn up on searches. If it was such a big deal, I don't understand why there isn't more info around - after all it was 1964, not 1864.

Thank you anyway for providing the most informative link I have read about the incident (or, more accurately, the aftermath of the incident.)

rcraig
11th October 2009, 15:46
I would suggest there is nothing odd about any perceived lack of news.
I spent many years dealing with cases involving fatalities mainly in the offshore industry but including fishing/maritime.
Have no illusions about it, people at sea in whatever capacity will hit the news headlines only when there is something peculiarly dramatic about the event or if there is a bad news week on at the time for the media. A bad news week is, of course, a week without any really bad news in it.
Mariners and offshore workers are the amoebae of the news kingdom.
If the Southbank loss and fatality had been connected with, say, an aircraft crash, that would have made a difference. Or crashed into a London bridge....or when you pump out palm oil into the sea with a satellite overhead!
(see below!)

Alistair Macnab
11th October 2009, 17:45
The wrecking of the "Lindenbank" on nearby Fanning Island made headlines when we pumped out the deeptanks of palm oil in order to lighten the ship and make another try to pull her off the reef. A spy satellite quickly observed the spreading red tide of oil and we received a citation from the USCG to cease and desist the pumping action. Needless to say, the pumping was over by the time we received the message and the reduced deadweight only succeeded in carrying the ship further onto the reef. A lee shore is a lee shore and from sailing ship days, something to treat with absolute caution.

ernhelenbarrett
12th October 2009, 06:45
On Tweedbank the worst part of loading was sulphur in Coatzacoalcas. Mexico,
everything turned green on the long indirect voyage to Australia, can also remember that Zero at Kavieng and who can remember that crash-landed
Liberator bomber just bulldozed off the runway on Henderson Field, Guadacanal, still complete with guns, ammo, and the Mae Wests draped over the Joysticks. We attended the Governors Ball there,ny evening wear consisted of a blazer with the brass buttons removed, white shirt, navy Uniform pants and a black bow tie made from a navy blue hanky!! After the first few grogs nobody seemed to notice!! Owen Owens was the "Old Man"
later became Super in Sydney.
Ern Barrett

tom roberts
12th October 2009, 18:03
Places I have been to well the sadest place ive just recently visited was Stanley Dock Liverpool Having been invited to a trip on the new canal thro the new passage from the Leeds Liverpool canal to the Salthouse Dock the derelict state of the area was heartbreaking to see The American Tobaco wharehouse the largest building in Liverpool I believe is in a sad state the docks as far as the new developments just north of the pierhead are wasteland so sad to see and the glass monsters going up to the southend of that wonderfull three graces do nothing to compensate for the eyesore that has become of the Stanley Dock area To the planners of that great city I say remember what is lost is not only buildings but history and heritage.

TonyAllen
12th October 2009, 19:47
Tom .Just to let you know that peel holdings have just been given planing permission to develope the stanley dock arera that you speak about, to create a city within a city using the water as an open space.that should be a talking point for the future.We will see what transpires.Regards Tony Allen

Alan Rawlinson
4th November 2009, 15:59
Here is the Southbank in Sydney circa 1961. Was it Pyremont? - an old wooden slatted deck of vast proportions situated ' round the corner ' from the main circular Quay area, I seem to remember.

Ben Masey
4th November 2009, 16:31
Bromborough Dock.--I get out of the taxi and my nostrils fill with the smell of Copra and Expeller Meal, a distintive smell never to be forgotten---Ahhh good to be back, Wonder who the Old Man will be?(==D)

Hi Charlie,
Different aroma at Bromborugh dock now! It was drained and became a landfill site.
regards,
Ben Masey

Charlie Stitt
4th November 2009, 20:00
Hi Ben, well that dos'nt sound so pleasant, I hate to see or hear off a dock lose its commercial use, but if it has to happen, then I would prefere it lose it to a marina, or something still connected to the sea. I suppose they will fill it full of rubbish, pile it and build luxury appartments on top, more money to be made doing that. Makes good business sense for the owners, and for all I know, Liverpool is full of marinas. Ah, do you know what, I still remember the smell of the copra, expeller meal etc etc. that's all that matters really, I think.(Thumb)

simomatra
12th November 2009, 20:03
I joined the Pinebank in Townsville Qld in 64 and Kym McKlennan was senior appro This was his first ship back after surviving the Southbank at Washington Island.

Johnnietwocoats
14th November 2009, 04:03
I joined the Pinebank in Townsville Qld in 64 and Kym McKlennan was senior appro This was his first ship back after surviving the Southbank at Washington Island.

Can someone tell me the story of the Southbank. Was there an Apprentice killed then?
TC

Alan Rawlinson
14th November 2009, 09:35
Can someone tell me the story of the Southbank. Was there an Apprentice killed then?
TC

The second mate died tragically in a boat accident during the evacuation. The only account on the internet seems to be about the events after the incident when the USC ship '' Winnebago '' assisted and took the personnel off the island.

Johnnietwocoats
16th November 2009, 03:11
The second mate died tragically in a boat accident during the evacuation. The only account on the internet seems to be about the events after the incident when the USC ship '' Winnebago '' assisted and took the personnel off the island.

Thank you Alan. I have read the report of the Winnebago. Does anyone know the Second Mates name? Was he an ex Bank Line Apprentice?

Take care

TC(Smoke) (Smoke)

Alan Rawlinson
16th November 2009, 09:19
Hallo JTC

Somewhere else in these threads there are exchanges about the Southbank loss on Washington Island, but an irritating lack of detail! At the time I cut out and 'kept' all of the press cuttings which included an account of the accident to the second mate and a picture of his grave ashore. The cuttings are in a brown envelope somewhere, but have been unable to locate them amongst all of the stuff in the loft/garage etc. Will have another search..................



Thank you Alan. I have read the report of the Winnebago. Does anyone know the Second Mates name? Was he an ex Bank Line Apprentice?

Take care

TC(Smoke) (Smoke)

Ron Stringer
16th November 2009, 12:26
Do any of you recall the name of the Marconi Sparks on board at the time of the grounding of the Southbank on Washington Island? I think I saw something about it back in the 1970s in a draft article submitted for the Mariner magazine but which, for some reason, was not published. It's a long time ago and I can't recall the details.

trevor page
16th November 2009, 15:03
A couple or three ports we went to on British Hazel. Tamatave and Majunga in
Madagasqar and Port Lois Mauritius.

Ben Masey
16th November 2009, 15:29
A couple or three ports we went to on British Hazel. Tamatave and Majunga in
Madagasqar and Port Lois Mauritius.

+Port Louis and Majunga were regular ports on Bank Lines Oriental/Africa Line service southbound from the far east.
regards,
Ben Masey

McMorine
16th November 2009, 16:06
+Port Louis and Majunga were regular ports on Bank Lines Oriental/Africa Line service southbound from the far east.
regards,
Ben Masey

We also did Reunion on the Orient/Africa run, very difficult harbour to get in and out of if I remember rightly. Also called at Tamatave occasionally

Alistair Macnab
16th November 2009, 20:26
We loaded 100 kilo sacks of wheat in Saigon for Reunion on the Oriental African Line and once arrived, the longshoremen went on strike and we were told that the strike was likely to last a long time as the workers could get work in the sugar cane fields so wouldn't be short of a sou or two.
We thereupon decided to discharge the 1500 tonnes ourselves making three gangs in three hatches, one drawn from the crew, one from the deck department and one from the engineers.

Starting off in high spirits, breakfast was soon spewed all around the tweendecks as the unaccustomed physical work took its early toll, especially amongst the deck department. Heaving and hauling 100 kilo sacks of wheat to make up slings then union purchase them to the dockside and dolly them into the shed was much more difficult and body wrenching than any of us had ever thought. This was the nearest I ever got to six-pack abs at the end! Took us a week! Productivity: 63 tons per gang per day or 9 tonnes per hour! Predictably, the deck gang were the worst performers!
I don't remember getting anything for this noble feat other than a jar containing some stemens of vanilla bean.
Ah! Bank Line!

rcraig
5th December 2009, 22:01
Was it Brownsville where the dockers loaded up the cotton bales with their bale hooks with great skill? Jamming them in with deft movements and making it look quite easy.
My introduction to the States as acting 3M where I really felt the bees knees dressed in the high quality khaki GI type gear and gaudy coloured socks, supping from the hitherto undiscovered ice cold Coke machine on the quayside, which in addition to icy drinks also gave an electric shock. Don't think it was part of a sales gimmick.
The real novelty was that on 8 a week and overtime, I actually could afford it.

Ian Harrod
6th December 2009, 02:48
Cotton bales! We loaded a full cargo of cotton in Galveston in 1973 on the Taybank for Shanghai. The longshoremen did a great job and made a really tight stow by leaning the last two bales in each tier against each other and then 3 or 4 (very) large men would jump on them to force them down level.
Thought no more of it until we got to Shanghai and 3 or 4 (very) small men tried to break the stow!

The USA was not trading with China at that time so all relevant documents were sent ashore in Panama and reissued showing that the origin of the cargo was Panama. Never knew they grew cotton in Panama.

jimthehat
6th December 2009, 12:59
Cotton bales,you guys seen nothing until you have loaded gunnies in calcutta,3 bales to the ton if memory serves me right.and 5-6 little blokes with hooks throwing them into every tight space.

jim

Charlie Stitt
6th December 2009, 13:26
Yes Jim, but those guys in Calcutta were not so keen on a tight stow,remember having to go down hatches non stop to check their stow. When told off, they would make such a racket, digging their gunny hooks into the bales with such force,making believe it was me they were attacking no doubt. Never did risk turning my back on them, I must have been a wimp.:sweat:

rcraig
6th December 2009, 17:26
Year + on the BA-India run and don't remember them being that tight. Mind you, I can now barely remember that we carried gunnies on the gunny run.
Carried coal on one of the runs but cannot remember if it was to or from Durban (did they have coal mines in S. Africa?).
Push the perforated tubes into the coal, lower the thermometer down and check it out.
Turn on the blowers on the bridge fire detection unit, check the light and smell the stale air coming out.
Were they ever checked out in "anger" ?

jimthehat
6th December 2009, 17:46
the old fire detection box on the ettrickbank certainly proved its worth.
Four days out from singapore glanced at the box and noticed grey smoke coming frome one of the little nozzles.called the old man and sent one of the apps to get the mate and go check out no1 hold.
result ,we had a major fire in lower holdblasted in co2 and carried on to singapore as fast as we could.
To cut a long story short we spent over 3 weeks digging out the cargo from two t/decks every so often blasting in co2 from a manifold rigged on deck,unfortunately lost one of the singapore fire service whose primitive ba went wrong,it was the second fire we had on that ship .

jim

Alistair Macnab
6th December 2009, 20:13
During my stint as a stevedore, we loaded a medium-sized ro-ro on charter with a full cargo of cotton in Galveston bound for Shanghai. The ship's staff seemed totally at a loss when it came to handling a homogeneous cargo aboard their specialist ship and this became somewhat obvious when we had loaded her up to the gills and on pulling her off the wharf, she flopped over with negative stabliity! We had to discharge practically all of the car deck cargo before she seemed to be steadily upright. Never occurred to the Mate or Master to harden up the double bottom tanks despite suggestions to do so.
End result was an 8000 dwt charter only carried 5000 dwt and we got paid for 11000 dwt. Couldn.t have been a profitable voyage!

boatlarnie
3rd January 2010, 12:10
Hallo Ron,

The second mate was tragically killed when the Southbank was lost - believe it was an accident with one of the boats - He was buried ashore on the island - was it Fanning, or Washington? The memory is a bit unreliable...

I have a full packet of the press clippings some where amongst all the stuff I have accumulated, but can't lay my hands on it just yet.

At the time of the stranding - Boxing Day? - I was in Liverpool waiting to start a radar course, and had left the Southbank as mate a couple of years before, so my interest was quite intense and I gathered up anything I could find. It was frontpage news at the time.

There was a development many years later, when a successful salvage was mounted for the copper bars (loaded in Australia) which had laid in the lower holds for some years. As I recall, a bloke called Fairfax had ' rowed ' the Pacific and had been at the wreck site, vowing to return with a salvage team which he did.

Just as a matter of interest; my sister, who was living in the Solomons Islands at the time, was due for leave so her possessions were shipped back to the UK on the Southbank. When I gave her the news about the grounding she thought she would never see them again but a couple of years later 2 of her suitcases suddenly pitched up at her home in London!! Good old Bank Line.

Alan Rawlinson
10th March 2010, 09:02
Chilling out - Durban...........

I remember drinking a tiny bit too much in one of these sessions and waking up on the beach freezing cold, with a heavy dew on me ( no, not that sort...) Such an experience would see me off, today.

Round the table were - Yours truly; James? Garnham ( App);Chippy and friend;S African Engineer;Jimmy Scobbie;Lecky Walsh ( making an important announcement)

Alan Rawlinson
12th March 2010, 09:35
Chilling out - Durban...........

I remember drinking a tiny bit too much in one of these sessions and waking up on the beach freezing cold, with a heavy dew on me ( no, not that sort...) Such an experience would see me off, today.

Round the table were - Yours truly; James? Garnham ( App);Chippy and friend;S African Engineer;Jimmy Scobbie;Lecky Walsh ( making an important announcement)

Here's another snap taken in the same venue - on the extreme right is the 4th Engineer, and next to him Jimmy Haig, App, . I bumped into him in a bar in Liverpool around 1974 ( 20 years later) when he was proud to be Ops Manager for Sealand or possibly Seatrain ( the memory blurs) He had an interesting story to tell - how he had ' won ' a small island in the Indian Ocean as part of a gambling debt!

randcmackenzie
14th March 2010, 00:27
Seatrain, it was, he was king of the swingers in Greenock. He would have been in Liverpool for one of the occasional displacements from Greenock.

Last heard of I think he was in the Gulf somewhere.

Alan Rawlinson
14th March 2010, 09:57
Seatrain, it was, he was king of the swingers in Greenock. He would have been in Liverpool for one of the occasional displacements from Greenock.

Last heard of I think he was in the Gulf somewhere.

Many thanks - he was quite tame as an apprentice!

Come in, Jim, if you are copying.

Charlie Stitt
21st March 2010, 21:42
You had to be on a Bankboat to get the privilage of calling into the many small harbours of the Solomon Islands in the 1950's and 60's. I remember, taking a real interest in the pilotage when I was a brand new Certificated 3rd Mate on the Laganbank, on the way up from Aussie, the Bank Line pilot book appeared on the chartroom table,all made up from notes and advice from Masters who had been there, done that, etc, I wonder how the Master of the first Bankboat found his way in safely to some of those places. It is all a very vague memory to me now, but I do recall the Laganbank, going like a steam train through a channel between small islands, 6 or 7 knot current from behind, Captain R A Leach, as cool as a cucumber standing at the middle window, giving continuous orders to the seacunny. Then there was a place where the advice was to aproach when the sun was in a particular position, so that the narrow channel would be conspicious between the coral reefs, no port or starb hand buoys here, but yes there was always that small building with the red roof which you should line up with the clump of trees, etc etc. No I don't remember much about it the last time I was there on the Forresbank, I was Mate then, so the novelty must have worn off some, but still a great experience, and yes, we would be Home in a couple of months.(Thumb)

John Dryden
22nd March 2010, 01:27
I too think it was a privilege to voyage round the South Pacific islands with Bank Line.I did two trips discharging general round the islands as an apprentice,long hours and scorching heat,climbing up and down the hatch ladders with a lot of rain in between and rushing about covering the hatches.
I also remember going to one port in the Solomon Islands which I think was Ringi Cove.The chart was hand drawn on a piece of A4 paper probably as you say,done by a previous Master of the Olivebank.It was the only time the lead line was used during my short time at sea.I was delegated the task of swinging it and shouting out the depth and what was on the bottom as a few days before arriving at Port Moresby I had renewed the markings on the lead line.Captain Wigham was the master and we got in and out with no problems.I wonder if ships still carry lead lines?

Johnnietwocoats
22nd March 2010, 03:48
I recall as Senior apprentice on the Fleetbank going into some small dock in some small Port with CH as the Master........No Pilot.......OMG

I was on the Foc'astle with a heaving line to get the first line ashore.

Even though I say so myself I was the best "Heaving Line" thrower Bank Line ever had........LOL[=P]

First throw....long and straight....Hit the dock.......Dock worker running to get a hold of it........Panic Stations....Too Fast.......Hard a Starboard and whatever else......Line slips off the dock.......

2nd attempt at docking...3rd attempt at docking and finally I get another one on the dock....slips off again but a shoreside dock guy dives in and swims to the line....and heads for the dock....

We let the headline out fast and he managed to get our line on the dock.....Happy Days......

I think I got my shore leave stopped for some misdemeanor later that day......Save a Ship and pay the price......

JTC(Read)

jimthehat
22nd March 2010, 09:45
those far away places with strange sounding names,cannot remember the island ,but it was where one sailed into the bay,dropped the anchors and then ran away stern lines to the shore(palm trees?)
i was 2/0 and whilst lowering the mooring line into the boat the old man came astern and the rope took a few turns round the prop,so it was down with the lifeboat and with the turning gear engaged a long slow process to unwind the rope,of course it was me who took the blame nothing to do with the old man who came astern without checking that all was clear down aft.
great days.

jim

kwg
22nd March 2010, 10:41
These days it's easy to revisit the countries, ports and islands of our youth...'Google Earth'...Even better 'Street View' if it has visited, my, how some have changed over 50 years.

boatlarnie
22nd March 2010, 11:07
those far away places with strange sounding names,cannot remember the island ,but it was where one sailed into the bay,dropped the anchors and then ran away stern lines to the shore(palm trees?)
i was 2/0 and whilst lowering the mooring line into the boat the old man came astern and the rope took a few turns round the prop,so it was down with the lifeboat and with the turning gear engaged a long slow process to unwind the rope,of course it was me who took the blame nothing to do with the old man who came astern without checking that all was clear down aft.
great days.

jim

Got a feeling that was Gizo where one entered between 2 reefs in the early morning, hard a port when the Mate saw the nigger head in the lagoon then full astern and hard a satrboard when the anchor on the Burns Philp store bore 250 degree's (or something like that). Drop port anchor, then stbd anchor and run stern lines to the palm tree's. Oh, happy days!!

trotterdotpom
22nd March 2010, 13:11
Johnnietwocoats heaving line story reminded me of the "Iron York" going alongside at Auckland. We'd departed Newcastle NSW on the infamous Sunday when Trevor Chappel, under orders from his brother Greg, bowled an underarm ball at the New Zealand batsman to prevent him scoring the six required to tie the game. Four days later, the AB on the focsle tried to hit the wharf with the heaving line with the usual panache, two times it landed in the drink. "Try it underarm," called a wag from the wharf!

Never did the Bank Line thing in the Solomons, but did bounce off the river banks in the Nigerian Creeks under command of a Jungle Bunny pilot and his son, the 4 foot tall, 11 year old helmsman.

Also visited Thevenard, South Australia, where, if you didn't speak Greek - "Skatanafass" or something like that. Are you still with us Notnila?

John T.

johnb42
22nd March 2010, 13:57
boatlarnie,
Not much detail, but here is a photo I took of the older Beaverbank at Gizo in '68. I seem to remember that she had been aground in Gizo the previous voyage, did quite a bit of bottom damage and went back to the UK on her tanktops.

http://www.shipsnostalgia.com/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/183725/title/beaverbank/cat/all

Charlie Stitt
22nd March 2010, 14:18
Thank you John42, your photo refreshes my memories of how it was in Gizo, the lone Bankboat says it all.(Thumb)

Alan Rawlinson
22nd March 2010, 14:38
Johnnietwocoats heaving line story reminded me of the "Iron York" going alongside at Auckland. We'd departed Newcastle NSW on the infamous Sunday when Trevor Chappel, under orders from his brother Greg, bowled an underarm ball at the New Zealand batsman to prevent him scoring the six required to tie the game. Four days later, the AB on the focsle tried to hit the wharf with the heaving line with the usual panache, two times it landed in the drink. "Try it underarm," called a wag from the wharf!

Never did the Bank Line thing in the Solomons, but did bounce off the river banks in the Nigerian Creeks under command of a Jungle Bunny pilot and his son, the 4 foot tall, 11 year old helmsman.

Also visited Thevenard, South Australia, where, if you didn't speak Greek - "Skatanafass" or something like that. Are you still with us Notnila?

John T.

Never got to Thevenard to load grain, but some Bankline ships did, and I remember mates talking about it. The name comes from the French Admiral Thevenard, who was a mate of Nicolas Baudin, who competed with Capt. Cook for a while on the Oz coast, trying to plant the French flag, and named the port after his friend.

John Dryden
22nd March 2010, 22:14
I visited Thevenard,grain for India and remember everyone seemed to be Greek.Found a nice bar in Ceduna,Greek owner of course and his beautiful daughters in attendance.Also remember budgerigars flying about everywhere.We finished loading at Port Lincoln,another fine town,then off to the delights of Vizag!

johnb42
23rd March 2010, 02:57
This has turned into a very interesting thread for me. I joined the Beaverbank in Hamburg, sailed light ship to the US Gulf for the usual discharge in Aussie. On completion of discharge, however, instead of loading copra back through the islands, we loaded salt in Thevenard for Chiba, Japan. After leaving Japan, if my memory serves me right, we went to Gizo for copra followed by the usual "Islands tour" for more copra, coffee, expellers and coconut oil. The old Beaverbank was a lovely old ship.

Alan Rawlinson
23rd March 2010, 09:48
This has turned into a very interesting thread for me. I joined the Beaverbank in Hamburg, sailed light ship to the US Gulf for the usual discharge in Aussie. On completion of discharge, however, instead of loading copra back through the islands, we loaded salt in Thevenard for Chiba, Japan. After leaving Japan, if my memory serves me right, we went to Gizo for copra followed by the usual "Islands tour" for more copra, coffee, expellers and coconut oil. The old Beaverbank was a lovely old ship.

Did you join her in Hamburg at the end of August 1960, I wonder? I served as c/o on the coasting voyage round to Hamburg that year.

johnb42
23rd March 2010, 12:35
I was a bit later than that Alan. I joined the Beaverbank in March '68.
Regards
John

Charlie Stitt
27th March 2010, 00:22
Argentina, produce some of the finest wines in the whole world, like you guys, I was lucky enough to sample their produce in the various ports frequented by the Bankboats. The most vivid memory I have of this is, when, after enjoying a few happy hours supping the harmless ?? stuff, feeling like the night was still young, going out the door, and hitting the fresh air, WOW.:p Why was it, the Engineers always seemed to be ready for more, there was no way I could ever keep up with them. But then again, they often ended up in a cell, well you all know how the gun totting Argie law enforcers reacted to foreign seamen staggering down the street singing Maggie May at the top of their voices. Where else would you get it ? Yes we had some hard times, but nights ashore like this more than made up for it. Memories never to be forgotton.(Thumb)

duquesa
27th March 2010, 00:44
I got slung in jail down there and remained incarcerated for two days. I had neither staggered nor sung Maggie May. After a hard day painting aloft, I had a quiet beer at the "Mish" and was heading quietly uptown for a "Beefy Completo" when some swaggering uniforms poured out of a van, looked at my "Ficha Individual" and threw me in the wagon. B******s!! (MAD)

Charlie Stitt
27th March 2010, 12:34
Yes Duquesa, that sounds about right, if they could find no MERRY foreign seamen staggering around, then ANY foreign seaman would do.(Whaaa)

Charlie Stitt
17th November 2010, 17:08
Looking through my wee book, I note, that while on the Inverbank 2, loading Japan to South Africa, we called into Wallace Bay and Sandakan. I remember nothing about either of these places, probably never got ashore, I do however, recall loading logs and plywood somewhere around these parts, would that have been at these ports?? I think it was while at Sandakan we had a great party on board one of Jardine's( China SS) ?, funny the things we do not forget.

Alistair Macnab
17th November 2010, 18:34
Charlie....

You are quite correct. Sandakan and Wallace Bay are located in what used to be British North Borneo nowadays part of East Malaysia.
There was another logging location in that area - Boihan - which was an anchorage off an island in the gulf between Sandakan and Wallace Bay where barges came out with lumber cargo. We had a hand-drawn chart for the anchorage done by an earlier Bank Boat.

Wallace Bay is/was also on an offshore island where logs (floaters and sinkers) were loaded. It is located very close to the Indonesian border and north of the oil port of Balik Papan.

Sandakan is/was the main town in the area, usually the first port of call after the Philippine outports ending up in Mindanao then crossing the Sula Sea to Borneo.

A modern atlas is not much good to find most of these locations!

Charlie Stitt
17th November 2010, 20:05
Thank you Alistair. I have no recollection at all of these two places, unlike Saigon and Bangkok, I wonder why ?. As you say, the modern atlas with all the name changes, make it difficult, or should that be, more interesting to find some of our old ports of call. I still have a vivid memory of loading the bundles of plywood, the reason for that being, it was being thrown in any old way and not properly stowed. I was 2nd Mate and it was my watch, I would have reported to the Mate but don't remember the outcome. I have bought many sheets of ply since coming ashore, and every time I come across a bent,damaged sheet, I would remember the Inverbank loading.

Johnnietwocoats
17th November 2010, 21:47
Here you are Charlie...

Charlie Stitt
17th November 2010, 22:01
Thank you John. So Wallace Bay must be quite close as my records say, we sailed Wallace Bay on 12/4/63 and arrived Sandakan on 13/4/63, before proceeding on to Saigon. Were these two ports either anchorages or buoys ?

jimthehat
18th November 2010, 00:40
Looking through my wee book, I note, that while on the Inverbank 2, loading Japan to South Africa, we called into Wallace Bay and Sandakan. I remember nothing about either of these places, probably never got ashore, I do however, recall loading logs and plywood somewhere around these parts, would that have been at these ports?? I think it was while at Sandakan we had a great party on board one of Jardine's( China SS) ?, funny the things we do not forget.
sandakan,now that does bring back memories,went there on the Ettrickbank and spent xmas 1960 there.

Boxing day the agent took the old man,mate and c/e ashore for the dayfor a tour,sometime after 1200a fire broke out in the engine room,i as second mate was in nominal charge and immediately started Co2 and closed down the sky;lights ,got sparks to try and raise the signal station to get help and got one of the appys to hang on the whistle
Got no answer from the signal station until about 3 hours later the station oopened up as he was expecting an inward bound ship,we kept the E/r sealed up for a few hours ,and about 1700 the second eng went down and reported the fire out ,the old man and party came back at about 1800hrs,to find that he had missed out on a fair bit of excitement.
It turned out that a few people in Sandakan had heard the constant whistle sound but thought that it was just drunken brits celebrating christmas.
as far as i can remember the cause of the fire was a burst fuel pipe spraying fuel on a hot surface,not too much damage,but plenty of time to sort it as we were loading timber and logs ,so we had a few days there.

jim

Ben Masey
18th November 2010, 05:51
Thank you John. So Wallace Bay must be quite close as my records say, we sailed Wallace Bay on 12/4/63 and arrived Sandakan on 13/4/63, before proceeding on to Saigon. Were these two ports either anchorages or buoys ?

I remember both these ports on the "Forresbank" 1958 because I was on the leadline,yes leadline,taking soundings going in.Echo sounder not working!!
regards,
Ben Masey

Charlie Stitt
18th November 2010, 12:24
With a little help from my friend'' Google'' I have found Wallace Bay. It is situated on the NW corner of Sebatik Island , on the SW side of Sabah, and as Alistair says, very close to the Indonesia - Malaysia boundry. Looking at the sat image, there appears to be no harbour facilities there, so the logs must have been floated out to us at anchor. Why did I not take a photo or two ???. The faithful old leadline Ben, never broke down, next best thing to throwing pebbles forward and listening to hear the splash, or the sound of them hitting hard stuff.

jimthehat
18th November 2010, 12:27
With a little help from my friend'' Google'' I have found Wallace Bay. It is situated on the NW corner of Sebatik Island , on the SW side of Sabah, and as Alistair says, very close to the Indonesia - Malaysia boundry. Looking at the sat image, there appears to be no harbour facilities there, so the logs must have been floated out to us at anchor. Why did I not take a photo or two ???. The faithful old leadline Ben, never broke down, next best thing to throwing pebbles forward and listening to hear the splash, or the sound of them hitting hard stuff.

Ah yes pebbles,the old Para Handy sounding machine,the boy up fwd.

jim

Alan Rawlinson
18th November 2010, 17:12
Wasn't that the place where the bumboats sold you bottles labelled Whiskey, Gin, Rum, etc and the contents were all the same...?

Jacktar1
18th November 2010, 19:02
Cuba....Havana, Cayo Largo, Cienfuegos, Casilda and Santiago de Cuba. Based in Havana, we were the first cruise ship to be based and operating out of Cuba in 35 years.

It was a joint Cuban/Italian venture, three Cuban ports and Montego Bay, Jamaica on the East bound voyage and three Cuban ports and Cozumel, Mexico on the West bound voyage.

Cheers,
Glan

pete
18th November 2010, 19:11
Prior to joining Bankline as 3/0 I served my Cadetship with H.E.Moss & Co's Tankers Ltd and on one intermidable trip we spent Months carrying crude from Dumai to Palembang on the East coast of Sumatra. Every 4th trip we would pop into Singapore eastern anchorage to store and Bunker. Boring or what!!! The point of this is that she was a "Dry Ship" and on arrval in Palembang the Lads would stock up on bottles of Bells,Gordons or Navy Rum. It was real GutRot but the labels were good. Dry Ship??? Yeah Right!!!......................pete

Joe C
19th November 2010, 23:22
With a little help from my friend'' Google'' I have found Wallace Bay. It is situated on the NW corner of Sebatik Island , on the SW side of Sabah, and as Alistair says, very close to the Indonesia - Malaysia boundry. Looking at the sat image, there appears to be no harbour facilities there, so the logs must have been floated out to us at anchor. Why did I not take a photo or two ???. The faithful old leadline Ben, never broke down, next best thing to throwing pebbles forward and listening to hear the splash, or the sound of them hitting hard stuff.

Visited Wallace Bay in late '57 on the Levernbank.Anchored,blew the whistle,and a small tug turned up with several log rafts. The logs had to be loaded in the right order otherwise if the last logs were "sinkers" they sank!
Either there or at Miri or Sandakan went swimming in a pool which was deserted and found out why when we were attacked by giant stinging insects as we emerged from the water.Obviously we lacked local knowledge.
On the subject of "hooch"that could be exchanged for a bar of soap we were told it would be better for us to eat the soap!

Charlie Stitt
20th November 2010, 11:41
Joe C , we saved our bars of soap for Saigon. [=P]

McMorine
22nd November 2010, 11:56
Your 'lux in' with a bar of soap in Saigon.

Joe C
22nd November 2010, 12:27
Your 'lux in' with a bar of soap in Saigon.

Dia-carbolical!

McMorine
22nd November 2010, 15:15
Dia-carbolical!

I thought mine was bad!!!!!!!! I did visit Saigon on the Riverbank, 1961-63

Alan Rawlinson
22nd November 2010, 17:34
Your 'lux in' with a bar of soap in Saigon.

Remember the slogan for Lux ? - " Used by nine out of ten film stars " which got amended in certain circles to " Used by 9 out of 10 seamen "

Occasionally in Bankline we did see Lux soap.

Charlie Stitt
23rd November 2010, 11:14
I remember getting no other, but scented Lux Soap,and was pleasantly surprised to learn how much in demand it was in Saigon and Bangkok, it also opened''doors'', or something like that, in Singapore and Hongkong. [=P] My good lady asks, ''why were the dockers in these places so keen to get lux soap?

bri445
23rd November 2010, 11:31
Charlie, tell her the dockers liked it for its special qualities!

bri445
23rd November 2010, 11:36
Lux, made at Lever's, Port Sunlight, from that palm oil which you brought into Bromborough Dock!

Bri