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My first ship to sea in September 1959 and a lovely old ship too - she was a beautifully built and finished, for example she had teak laid decks throughout, and was said to have been completed as the commodore of the day's ship! The photos of her above are trials photographs - her livery was altered slightly later, the top edge of her "pacific grey" hull colour being lowered full length by the depth of the bulwark/fashion plate at the forward end of No.2 hatch. For general info on her, can't do better than the red-duster site quoted above.

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Mike
 

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I can remember visiting her one weekend in the Royal Docks in the late 50's. She was looking her age but appeared to be in very good condition overall. The teak decking certainly was most impressive!!.
 

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Something else about her too - she was the first Port Line vessel to have her No.3 hatch on the boat deck, all vessels prior to her had been "flush deckers" with No.3 on the main deck between the funnel and the bridge housing. No.4 hatch was on the saloon deck, also a first. She was also the first Port Line vessel with a "soft-nose" stem (as opposed to a stem bar) and the first to have the company crest on her stem - she was the pioneer of a change in style for Port Line vessels!

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Mike.
 

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Spent 6 months on the Jackson in '66 on it's penultimate voyage. She buckled her shaft whilst transiting the Panama Canal and we had repairs done on the Pacific side. The Phoenix bar in Panama City was a great attraction for several days. Hmmmm. Then she broke down mid Pacific, then the Sparkie had a serious accident and we detoured, first to rv with the Queen Elizabeth for a Doc to assess and then onto Tahiti to drop him and take onboard a replacement. That was the longest passage I took across the Pacific.
 

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m.v. "Port Jackson".

Further to previous comments related the lowering of the upper edge of the hull grey - comparing the attached photo with the photo taken on trials shows the effect. Not sure of the location of this photo, however from the look of the courtesy ensign on the starboard yardarm, it might well be a Belgian or French port. Photo credit: Stuart Chambers - VintagePort website.

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Mike.
 

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Port Jackson

The only things that I would add to the technical description provided by R58484956 is that her length oa was 521 ft and of course that she followed the Port Line tradition and was twin screw.
Port Jackson was one of those very fortunate ships, where very little happened to them throughout their life. The only WW2 incident was that on 27 August 1942 in the Atlantic, U-516 managed to miss her with 3 torpedoes then surfaced and hit her with 2 shells but failed to prevent her escape. After the war Port Jackson needed to call into Table Bay in 1952 to obtain help to extinguish a smouldering cargo fire, but that they are the only references I can find to her activities until she was scrapped in 1967.
I believe that her bell was presented to the Sydney Marine Underwriters & Salvage Association.

Fred
 

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G'day all
I was 3rd mate in PORT JACKSON during the fire at sea which ended in Caprtown. Capt. P.S Ball,,darkie Finch (I think- was it ?) Geoff Ballinger 2/0.
We kept the fire under control at sea with co2, but after berthing in Capetown, the Chief of the local Fire Brigade took over, and insisted having the hatches removed against Capt. Ball's judgement. He told me to follow him everywhere, and write down everything that was said to him, and his reply!
As soon as they opened the hatch, the flames burst upwards, funnel-high, as Capt. B had predicted. Fire-fighting tugs filled the hatch up to the upper tween deck, and the ship touched bottom. Capt B told me to read the draft.
I went back to him saying the draft marks had disappeared. "Well- calculate it"he roared. So we measured from the deckline to the water & consulted the ships plans....
We had a good cricket team in that ship, and lots of fun on the coast playing other ships and GibbsBright in Brisbane.
Apart from the fire, that was how life at sea was meant to be, even under such a rigourous master. At the end of the voyage, after many bollikings from the old man, he said to me"Dont worry mister- I only bollick the people who are worth bollicking"- so he remained always high in my esteem-and I learned plenty from him.
I wish I could remember for sure who was Mate that voyage- was it Hazleworth? Anyone there who remembers? Maggie waugh would..
cheers, RonKing
 

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She also had a more serious encounter, she collided with the Indian cargo ship'Jalavikram"in the Elbe in March of 1959 and was very seriously damaged, and it was neccessary to ground her ,but she was refloated and docked for repair.As a foot note she was powered by two four cylinder Doxford engines
 

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If I can recall correctly, on my first or second trip to sea on the M.V. Port Phillip, there was an Engine-room Store-keeper who had a tatoo of the M.V. Port Jackson on one of his arms.

Maybe it was a tatoo of one of those life-bouys with the name Port Jackson on a ribbon across it.

I'll always remember this Store-keeper, he originally came from Capetown but at that time lived around Newcastle-upon-Tyne.

He was a big strong guy and could carry an oxygen bottle under each arm!

Anyway, I remember asking him about the tatoo and why would he be so fond of a ship as to have a tatoo in the first place.

He answered me by saying that it was where he first joined the Port Jackson that was unusual.
I responded with the question, where did you join her?
He quickly remarked, in mid-Atlantic!

Appearantly, he was rescued in mid-Atlantic by the Port Jackson after spending days on a life raft, his ship was sunk by a U-boat.

So, he said that he wore the tatoo out of gratitude and in remembrance of the ship that saved his life!

P.S. They never did have any welding gear onboard the Port Phillip, so I wondered at the reason for the oxygen bottles in the engineroom?

Well, I found out eventually. Some smart guy had cut the bottles in half and had a register machined so that they could fit together nicely to be held by socket-head lock screws.
The bottles were filled with cigarettes and spirits prior to the Kiwi or Aussie coast, for obvious reasons.
Both bottles were stood upright in the ER workshop and clamped to the bulkhead around the split, so that it couldn't be seen.
 

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Does anyone know any details of an explosion/fire in the engineroom of "Port Jackson" sometime in 1959, supposedly having occurred whilst she was in Hobart? I joined her KGV Dock, London September 10th 1959 and we didn't do Hobart on that voyage. According to the caption beneath a photo in a book I have, she left Hobart June 13th 1959 but there's no mention of any engineroom incident.

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Mike.
 

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I did my first voyage as a Port Line apprentice on her. Having spent a night on the Port Auckland in KG5, before meeting Captain Simmonds at '88', I trained down to Cardiff where the 'Jackson' was in a laying up berth. We thwen sailed to the Continent to load, sailing deep sea from Rotterdam on about the 20th December '63. Broke down in the Bay of Biscay and limped into Lisbon where we stayed for a few days and I had my first run ashore in foreign climes.....hmmmm Eventually arrived home after a straight run to Australia and back some five and a half months later after numerous further engine problems and gavbe up the ghost a couple of years later. Simon
 

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hi did 6 months in her back end of 62,NZ,and back, canny little trip, arrived back KG5,begining of dec,remember it freezing,tried to get the "supper" to give me a job on the Crusader, no go,but came home and met "Wor lass"
No Worries
Bilbur
 

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port jackson

She also had a more serious encounter, she collided with the Indian cargo ship'Jalavikram"in the Elbe in March of 1959 and was very seriously damaged, and it was neccessary to ground her ,but she was refloated and docked for repair.As a foot note she was powered by two four cylinder Doxford engines
21/5/57
 

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port jackson

joined port jacksonon 21/05/57 in rotterdam as junior engineer sailed round the coast loading cargo for capetown then across to australia arrived back in liverpool 15/11/57 she had twin 6 cylinder doxford engines
 

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Any more info on Port Jackson

My late mother sailed on the Port Jackson from 1943-1944. She departed from Liverpool, sailed via the Azores to Cape Town. She arrived in Cape Town on January 3rd, 1944. The Captain was a Captain Higgs. There was a steward called Helmsley.

Any further information on the ship, especially that voyage, would be most welcome.

Specific questions I have are:

--how many crew members were required?
--how many passengers did the ship accommodate?
--where could I find the manifest for this voyage
--would the ship have been part of a convoy, since it was during the war? How could I find this out?
--how long would the voyage have taken?
--what is the number and percentage of merchant ships that were sunk during the war? How could I find that out?

Thank you for any help you can give,

Laura
 

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Hobart

I was on the Port Jackson in Hobart in 1960. We were having engine trials, so all hands were at stations to tend the moorings. On starting the engine, there was a huge explosion and a bit of flame and smoke from the funnel...it was put down to an "engine backfire", and there was no damage.
Regarding the bow of the Port Jackson, most of the forecastle was replaced in Hamburg after the collision on the Elbe. Prior to that the "Jackson" has a straight stem. That was the trip before I joined her.
Also I remember Alex Hutchinson well, and sorry to hear of his passing...Peter.
 
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