Madang Night Nav Aid Early 60's

29th September 2011, 13:00
Anyone remember... palm tree's every 100m or so port side entering Madang...White 2m band painted round the trunk with 100's of empty beer bottles on nails forming a 1m collar, middle of the white band. One of the pilots idea we were told...They must have shifted a hell of a lot of beer, seemed to be 1000's of empty bottles used.

6th October 2011, 11:41
I don't recall the Madang nav aids but I remember John Sturgess taking Weirbank in and out of Vavau (Tongas) in March 1972 using transits of the various headlands and very effective it was too. There was a small harbour (Gizo) in the Solomon's where each visiting Bank Boat freshened the white paint on palm trees for nav purposes.

When master with the RMAS I recall using the middle section of a warehouse when going through what was called the 'boat channel' at Rosyth, it kept you clear of all the shallow bits at HW! Warehouse has gone now.

Also at Rosyth, when entering the Rosyth channel from the Forth in daylight, so long as you kept to the south of the 7th set of suspension wires of the road bridge out from the north side you would clear all dangerous rocks and shallow bits. Very unofficial but practical for all that. About 7 years ago a Forth Ports tug, allegedly, did hit the rocks there!

Also heard tell of using transits of the street lights at Fishguard when entering that port until official nav aids were visible. I've never been able to substantiate this.

China hand
6th October 2011, 18:25
Going thru the China Straits with John Appleby was a joy. He plonked himself on the stbd wing, facing aft. Best seacunny on the wheel, duty mate in the door, looking ahead and repeating to seacunny-sahib. Captain Appleby had his own transits ( which he handed on to me) and we went our happy way thru without problems. Did it lots of times, enjoyed it every time, even in the rain. That radar thing didn't put him off at all.B\)

8th October 2011, 05:49
We used the white paint on Gizo Island on the Tweedbank/GBYC, also going into Kavieng on New Ireland the only chart was a tissue paper job which had various shed roofs painted in different colours or signs on chart saying green roof now painted red etc. We hauled up a Zero on the anchor when there and also part of another aircraft in the Gizo Channel. The tissue paper chart was posted back to Sydney with any amendments ready for the next Bank boat to use