Very nostalgic , spent 7months on her as 3rd. Mate in 1970 and in late seventies stood by her in Auckland until she was sold .
Our longest trip was to Fremantle from Tauranga , then loaded Kwinana and Busselton (believe we were last Union Co., vessel to call at that Port) back to Whyalla (this was cancelled) and instead we spent four days in Adelaide before returning to Wellington , Lyttelton & Bluff. Quite a hectic western voyage , weather was gale SW most of the way , the sewerage overside valve ceased to function and the holding tank of effluent errupted in the Motormens washroom and moved up the alleyway and into cabins - yuck. Then when we were almost landfall near Albany the radar scanner developed a hiccup (again) this time revolving at about 150 RPM which the sparkie and leckie tried in vain to correct before the motor burned out . More smoke from that than the funnel. Later in the voyage we bent a hatch lid ram 90 degrees when closing as the ship had a list and one wheel jammed on the track.
I can always remember the master (Ray Warriner) who was on the bridge with me when the delegates arrived up just prior to midnight to advise that their alleyway was full of S---T , it is unprintable . I had to remove myself I was laughing so much an so was the helmsman Chad Kearney from Dunedin.
Next morning we 'hove to' and the Mate & 3rd. Engineer went over the side on a stage and rectified the problem with a large hammer & piece of pipe.
Regarding her look, it was just the design and while she may appear to look top heavy she was in my opinion a good "sea boat" The other thing to remember is that she was built in 1964 when the manning scale on the NZ coast was high when compared to today so these men had to be accommodated somewhere and sharing a cabin was not an option.