Blue funnel in U.S. Gulf of Mexico port 1967 or so

clydesiderman
11th March 2013, 21:03
A chance meeting with an old shipmate brought back a memory of seeing a Blue Funnel ship in a U.S.A. Gulf of Mexico port, possibly Houston, Galveston, New Orleans, or the like, around 1966/7/8. I never saw a Bluey there, or elsewhere in USA ports at any other time. Did Holts regularly visit the Gulf of Mexico ports?

holland25
11th March 2013, 22:10
1960, Ulysses, Brownsville,Lake Charles,Texas City,Houston,New Orleans. Part of the Indonesia - East Coast US service. Called at Havana for sugar for Hong Kong.

makko
12th March 2013, 03:03
Holland, which were the others? It was the regular Round the World Service, always eastwards. First Blue Sea then Barber Blue Sea. I believe it was part of the old East Asiatic Service by the Scandinavians.

Seatlle surprisingly was aeons ago a BF port with their own berth (the old big goal poster ocean vessels). The ships never came back to the UK, in fact, I never sailed into or from a UK port, always joining/leaving in New York.

In the eighties we did:Vancouver, Seattle, Tacoma, Port Angeles, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Houston, New Orleans, Savannah, Miami, Charleston, Norfolk, Baltimore, New York, occasionally Philadelphia/Camden, Boston, St. John (I think that's all!). I remember well doing the Chesapeake & Delaware (C&D) canal on the Barber Priam.

The smaller ships (M's) also did La Guaira, Maracaibo and Puerto Cabello before going back on the U.S. coast. Some went down to Ecuador (Menestheus).

Trans shipment point for boxes was Bilbao in Panama.

From Houston to Houston (circumnavigation) was just under two months, US coast was almost 1.5 months. Coming up from Panama we did Houston, Miami then New York, crew change (coasting) and back down to Houston to load and then around the coast and smaller ports finishing back up in New York and thence deep sea again and Suez then the Far East. Great runs, especially if you got the chance (like me) to do a double header - Circumnav, coast, circumnav.

So, the short answer, yes. They were regular BF ports!

Regards,
Dave

Samsette
12th March 2013, 03:22
Holland, which were the others? It was the regular Round the World Service, always eastwards. First Blue Sea then Barber Blue Sea. I believe it was part of the old East Asiatic Service by the Scandinavians.

Seatlle surprisingly was aeons ago a BF port with their own berth (the old big goal poster ocean vessels). The ships never came back to the UK, in fact, I never sailed into or from a UK port, always joining/leaving in New York.

etc. etc. etc.

So, the short answer, yes. They were regular BF ports!

Regards,
Dave

Early post-war reinstatement of this, or similar run, saw crew changes effected in Gibraltar. No big and fast jet planes then.

I beleve one ship lost a large part, or maybe all, of its Chinese crew in a US port, and BF had to pay up some kind of bond money. Maybe somebody else could enlarge on it, if they like.

richardwakeley
12th March 2013, 04:05
G'day Clydesiderman,

As per the other posts above, the US Gulf was indeed a regular service for Blue Funnel in the 60s, 70s and well into the 80s. It was the round-the-world service, we called it "The De la Rama run" because of a previous partnership with a Filipino outfit but it was officially the "Blue Sea Line", a partnership with Swedish East Asiatic. The BF ships on the service when I joined in 1970 were the "Silver Boats" - ships originally built for Silver Line but taken over at the shipyard by Blue Funnel. Names were "Telamon" etc, they didn't have the standard appearance of Bluies. I guess the ship you saw was one of them. They were sold in 1971 and replaced on the service by "Laomedon", "Memnon" and others. As Makko says above, the service later became "Barber Blue Sea" with calls at US West Coast ports also. My first trip on this service in 1973 was on Laomedon: Straits-HK-Taiwan-Japan-Panama-Kingston-Tampa-Houston-Mobile-New Orleans-New York-Newport News and back to the Straits, always Eastbound.

richardwakeley
12th March 2013, 04:13
Re Samsette's post above, we regularly "lost" Chinese crew in the USA on the Blue Sea Line in early 70s. Usually they jumped at the last port (Newport News) but their bags had already gone ashore at New York. But this was almost the end of Chinese crews in Bluies. Laomedon had the first African (Sierra Leone) crew on this service in 1973.

holland25
12th March 2013, 04:25
The trip I did was not the De la Rama. The run was the East Coast of the US/Canada from Halifax calling at most of the major US East Coast ports,down as far as Brownsville and then return to New York. From New York we headed west calling at Algiers,Alexandria,Jeddah,and then the usual far East ports in Indonesia,Malaya, Singapore,and the Philippines. We then turned round and went back to Halifax, calling at Cochin,Colombo,and Genoa.At the end of my second circuit I was relieved in Hong Kong and she then took up what I suspect was the De la Rama run,that was at the end of 1960. Ulysses was one of the Silver Line ships and during my time with B/F had been doing the run I was on for a while.The Chinese were not allowed ashore in the US and there was a bond attached to them We did a side trip to Havana were they were not restricted and I believe they had a good time.

holland25
12th March 2013, 04:26
Spot my deliberate mistake should read we headed East.

clydesiderman
14th March 2013, 12:55
Thanks very much to all. You have cleared up the mystery for me.