Liked the photos, recognised lots of faces but couldn't put a name to any! But I can do that with people I met last week, so nothing surprising there.
The trip from Glasgow to Philadelphie took 11 days because Capt Wortley was afraid that we might run into a low (remnants of a hurricane) that was travelling across the Grand Banks from the USA. All the mates were very critical of his 'prudence'. On that trip we went to Newark, not NY, where it was well below 0 degrees Celsius and snow-covered, but several of us took the bus into the Big Apple and amongst everything else, enjoyed the delights of the Merchant Navy Officers club. Went to a dance there and a few nights later entertained the young ladies from there back on the ship. Great time was had by all.
Amongst the cargo loaded in the USA for Oz were pop records including the latest hit in the USA by the Four Seasons (think it was 'Big Girls Don't Cry'). About 2 weeks after we arrived in Oz it went into the hit parade there. There were also a lot of sweets which seemed to find their way around the ship - almost every cabin had a bowl of them. I remember the P2V Neptune's buzzing us on our way down to Panama and the regular interrogations on the radio from the USCG radio stations when passing OBS reports. This was in spite of our AMVER reports. We did the Panama Canal transit on 02 December 1962.
On the Aussie Coast we did a little more than the ports you mentioned. We arrived in Gladstone on the 23rd Dec 1962. On Christmas Day, the Old Man allowed a couple of the lifeboats to be used for a trip to one of the islands off Gladstone where the available officers and selected apprentices had a beach party with adequate supplies of booze. I got horribly sunburned that day (the last time I let that happen to me - we redheads burn easily).
We left Gladstone on 27 Dec for Brisbane and thereafter the itinerary was:
Dec 31 /Jan 04 Sydney (Pyrmont). Spent NewYear's Eve ashore and saw in the New Year at King's Cross getting well oiled.
17/22 Port Pirie
25/28 Newcastle NSW
Jan 29 /Feb 03 Sydney
March 05 Aden for Bunkers
09/10 Suez transit
15/16 Genoa discharging wool and other cargo
Mar 30/Apr 02 Bremen
Apr 05 Liverpool where I signed off.
Great trip, great memories.
Never regret growing older. It is a privilege denied to many. Don't worry about old age - it doesn't last.