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Eastbank, Colombo harbour

Eastbank, Colombo harbour

Bankline's Eastbank, Colombo harbour, August '53

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Bank Line ships 1953 to 1968, Apprentice to Master
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1,485 Posts
Every time you counted on an out-and-back Copra run, you were disappointed! At maximum count, Copra Boats amounted to 21 units so the chances of getting'bunched up' around the Islands were very possible and required 'filling in' voyages to spread the ships. Even then, it was surprising how it was sometimes neccesary to comandeer an non-Copra Boat to fill in a loading slot. In early times, a phosphate run was very likely as a 'filler' but as time went on and the phosphate began to run out, sugar to Singapore and Malaysian ports became a good contract 'filler'. I once took bulk barley from Oz to a brewery in Japan as a 'filler, then light ship back to start loading in Kavieng. Made the 'guaranteed' six month voyage eight months! Which for a perennial two-year tripper was still a short voyage!
 

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Registered
Bank Line ships 1953 to 1968, Apprentice to Master
Joined
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1,485 Posts
After the earlier "Irisbank" Class from Workman Clark and, I think, the "Foylebank", and "Laganbank" from Harland's Belfast at the beginning of the 1930s the next Copra Boat was the "Eastbank" from Doxford's in 1947 which was the first post war Copra Boat. But inevitably, even a new ship was slotted into whatever trade route was calling for a sailing and many Copra Boats went walkabout before finding themselves in the intended Copra Run.
I myself was on the maiden voyage of the "Fleetbank" a Copra Boat from Harland's in Belfast in 1953. We did two outbound voyages from Point Fortin with drummed pitch for India, two India-River Plate and two India-Chile runs, and two tramp cargoes, the first from Seattle to India with bulk wheat and the second, River Plate to Port Sudan, also with bulk wheat. Eight cargoes in two years and not a copra bug in sight!
 

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