Any idea of the date of this picture?
Very interesting to note that they are not wearing white cap covers ( as was the norm in the past - white covers only worn when tropical rig of the day). For many years the cloth white covers have been replaced by permanent "plastic" even in the RN. White tops now being required for all rigs.
Yes pilot it was the docking telegraph connected to the "docking bridge aft" . The Southern Cross still had the "luxury" of seven decl officers plus the Master! So there were 3 JOOWs plus an executive Chief Officer (sometimes a Staff Captain in the final SSA years). The wheelhouse did not look a lot different in 1968/1970 when I served on her. The Large Coir Mat was often removed so the deck could be scrubbed! The Docking Telegraph was still used at the time but as a back up to the walkie talkie radios!
The commands on the telegraph are from For'd "Hard" "Port" "Steady" "Course"
(in the upright position) "Steady" "Stbd" "Hard". Surely a docking telegraph would be let go, all clear, heave up etc.etc.
To quote a good friend of mine who did his time with SS&A and met his wife while serving on the Southern Cross.......
"The picture must have been taken no later than 1956 because that is when the White Cap Covers came into force for all year round use, and not just the tropics or should I say warmer parts of the world where the sun shines."