Captain H. E. Greenstreet - Ninety times around the world

16th September 2009, 15:15
I came across this in The Times and thought it worth recording here:

The Times, Saturday, Aug 04, 1917
Captain H. E. Greenstreet, who is believed to have
made many more voyages round the world than any
other man, has, after bringing into port this week one
of the finest liners in the New Zealand service, retired
from the sea.
Captain Greenstreet has made 90 complete voyages
round the world, or, including two voyages through
the Panama Canal, 92 round voyages to the Antipodes
and back. He has rounded the Cape of Good Hope
95 times and Cape Horn 75 times, has passed through
the Straits of Magellan 14 times, and crossed the
Equator 192 times. He has travelled, approximately,
2,500,000 miles at sea, has never had a serious mishap,
and has never been off duty for a single day at sea
owing to illness. He was born in 1851 and joined
H.M.S. Worcester as a cadet on August 2, 1866 - just
51 years ago. Two years later he went to sea as a
midshipman, and then served consecutively as an
A.B., third, second, and first mate in a number of
sailing ships trading to Australasia and the Far East,
until he was appointed in 1881 master of the
barque Mataura - the first ship to be fitted with
refrigerating appliances. In those days of the
inception of the frozen meat industry the sheep were
collected at the bays of New Zealand and frozen on
board, the total capacity of the Mataura being only
4,000 carcases. The liners now employed in the
service carry 120,000 carcases, in addition to other
Captain Greenstreet served as second and first
mate of the Aorangi, one of the first mail steamers
to be built for the New Zealand Shipping Company,
and in June, 1885, was appointed master of the
Ruapehu. Then, as Commodore of the Fleet, he
was given command of a number of new vessels as
they were built. Fifteen voyages were made, how-
ever, in the old Rimutaka and 22 in the present
Rimutaka, one of the most successful liners ever
built for the Australasian trade.
The vessels commanded by Captain Greenstreet
have always been "happy ships." It has been said
that no man has ever been better known or better
liked in New Zealand. Certainly very many passengers
always chose to travel by the ships commanded by
him, and officers and crews were always glad to serve
under him. It was his custom every Sunday morning
at sea to read the Prayers and to deliver a little
homily. For many the effect of the simple, straight-
forward address spoken by this slight, weather-
marked, unassuming seaman, as the ship pounded
through the water, must have remained for years as
an inspiring impression. Captain Greenstreet's im-
munity from accident has been remarkable, and he
is firmly convinced that more than once the direct
intervention of Providence saved his ship and those
within his charge from disaster.
Captain Greenstreet was perfectly willing to go
to sea again. The strain, however, of navigation
and responsibility at sea under present conditions
is very great indeed, and the directors of the New
Zealand Shipping Company are convinced that he
is now thoroughly entitled to a rest. They would
be loth to think that a splendid sea career was being
brought to a forced close - for Captain Greenstreet
would necessarily be retiring before long - under the
harrassing conditions which now prevail.

There is a photo of Captain Greenstreet here:

16th September 2009, 15:17
So somethings never change.............all credit to him nevertheless.

17th September 2009, 01:12
Which things never change? I'm not sure what you mean.

Chris Isaac
17th September 2009, 10:04
I have no doubt that Bill Davies can top that!

17th September 2009, 13:27
great minds think alike ,Chris.........

and fools seldom differ.


18th September 2009, 01:08
All very illuminating.

22nd September 2009, 05:17

Thanks, at least, for reminding me why I tend not to visit this forum much any more.

Before posting that, I searched but couldn't find mention of Greenstreet, so thought it would be of general interest to this forum. No doubt his record has been beaten, perhaps some of it wasn't even true but surely there was enough to warrant a mention?

If it's not of interest or any value to the forum, at least say why it's not, instead of making snide comments to others like "somethings never change". And if you're going to respond to a post, at least have the decency to respond to the person who posted it.

If this is an example of how you've "earned" your 4000 odd posts, well done you.


22nd September 2009, 08:02
An interesting post Melliget, it was certainly an achievement considering the times and the earlier square rigged ships.

Like you I cannot follow the line of Sparkie's or Chris Isaac's comments in reply.I would suggest that they are lost in the wilderness of another current post or maybe just lost in the wilderness.


22nd September 2009, 08:19
and I found your post very interesting- I rarely read long posts but had read this one in its entirety before scrolling down the page and seeing the comments

Thanks !

20th November 2009, 21:44
A most interesting post, were we less cynical in those days.
Fisherman, ( if they are not biting they are not there )

20th November 2009, 22:41
Melliget :

I too found that article of great interest and I hope that you do not allow the subsequent 'strange' posts deter you from contributing more of the same. Your previous postings have also been of particular interest and well worth the posting, be assured.

Thanks !