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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Built 1969 by Robb Caledon Shipbuilders Ltd., Dundee.
4,510grt 429' 9" x 63' 1" x 21' 5"
The second of two sisters (MAHENO being the first), MARAMA was built for the Trans-Tasman service and originally ran on a fortnightly schedule between Auckland, Wellington and Melbourne. These were the first roll-on/roll-off ships on the Tasman and revolutionized the service. Many more followed in their wake.
After a period of lay-up in Auckland in late 1977, she had a stern ramp fitted and for two years serviced the Pacific Islands on a fortnightly service from Auckland, replacing the smaller UNION SOUTH PACIFIC. 1980 saw her back on the Tasman again when she was replaced by ships of the newly formed Pacific Forum Line.
She was sold in early 1985, renamed MARADA and sailed off to the breakers in Kaohsiung arriving there on 23 March 1985.
The photos show her at Dunedin in January 1983, fresh from survey and a brief lay-up. She was relieving the COASTAL TRADER on the Auck-Lytt-Dun-Lytt-Auck run while that ship was on survey.
 

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Thanks for the photograghs of "Marama"

I had the honour of being her last Master and we laid her up at the Overseas Terminal Wellington On the short hop from the Container Terminal we had as to be expected had a howling Northerly to contend with but she was a great ship to handle with plenty of power to use.

I was also on her as Chief Officer with Alex Sommerville as Master on the Melbourne run.

Bill Ross
 

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I was Radio Officer on her for one trip Wellington/Melbourne over the Christmas/New Year period 1969. She was quite uncomfortable in a sea if I remember correctly due to frhd accommodation and relatively high speed. Unfortunately cannot remember many of the names of personell, though I think the Purser was Billy Goldsborough. I will have to get out the old discharge certificate and see who the Master was. I may have some photographs too.
 

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I sailed on Marama as cadet (wild guess- 1979?) when she was on the Pacific Island trade. There is a photo on Shipspotting.com of her in Pago Pago, and the the attached photo of her arriving Auckland.

Nice run, hard working ship!

Stuart
 

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I was there as cadet in 81 sometime, sharing a cabin with Gareth Partington. All I remember was the Seafreighters full of Cadbury Chocolate carried out of Dunedin. They made the twice-daily job of reading the reefer container temperatures less unpopular.
 

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Yes I must say I enjoyed my times in 'MARAMA', & 'MAHENO' as Apprentice served on both from May 1969 to January 1970 and in 1972 again as Third Mate . For the Xmas , New Year period of 1970 we took over from the 'HAWEA', and did the East Coast service . Master was Ray Stewart & the Mate Roy Gollogilly (who late went to Shipping Corp.) I think Roger Wincer & Billy Goldsbrough were there also. Both these ships could lift you from your bunk a good few inches if they were pitching heavily and were apt to pound heavily if not slowed down .I paid off late January 1970 in Auckland after a month as the solo Apprentice and was sent down to Wellington to join 'WAIKARE' as Uncertified Third Mate - a good crowd there nearly all 'village', lads like myself - Master was Joe Stoddart and Peter Phear Mate, 'Rocky', Lansdown Chief Engineer & Paddy Watson the Second.
Spent 6 months onher and then upgraded to 'KAREPO'.
I wonder if any one remembers when the 'MAHENO', loast I think it was the Port Anchor and all the cable enroute to Sydney from Wellington when the cable compressor failed . ( questions asked and was the anchor buoy attached ) - some hope of finding that !!!

Butters.
 

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was A.B. on her 1970 , one trip we hit bad weather and had to dry-dock in Melb. for repairs, had a good time ashore that trip!!!!
 

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Marama's delivery voyage

I hope what follows is a fairly accurate recollection, if not, well its been a few years!
In 1969 I was a 22 and newly married to a Kiwi girl and we were living in the UK. We needed to get to NZ to start a family (didn’t waste time in those days).
Problem was, only enough money for one air fare so I was trying to get a one-way passage as supernumerary.
I wrote to Union Company who wrote back regretting they had nothing, then a week later another letter arrived saying I could sail on Marama’s delivery voyage as supernumerary engineer at 1/- a month.
Few days later another letter saying I should join in a couple of weeks as a Junior Engineer on full pay.
A few days later a telegram saying join next week as Fourth Engineer, then the following day join immediately as Senior 4th with the 8 -12 watch. I didn’t really think I had the experience but what the heck!
Apparently several Kiwi’s had been flown over but somehow got lost in London – Wardour Street or somewhere.
Anyway, I stood by during the last few weeks of her build in Dundee and we did sea trials down to the Tyne if memory serves.
She had two Pielstick 14PC2V? Anyway, low slung medium speed V14’s, 7000 hp each and with high pressure common fuel rails.
Then North about Scotland and into the Atlantic.
A few days out, on my watch around 10pm I looked out of the control room window to see the engine room apparently in thick fog, a glance at the fuel rail pressure on the port engine showed me it was diesel mist.
A welded bracket holding the high pressure fuel rail had broken loose causing the pipe to burst (may have been a connection coming loose – strange but I don’t remember) and a nice big cloud of diesel mist.
The motorman was sitting on his box in the control room having his tea break when I told him to ring the bridge and tell them the port engine was stopped and the starboard half ahead. I was busy panicking as you can probably imagine. He didn’t move and when I asked him for a second time he said “after he had had smoko” … having only sailed British ships I wasn’t used to that!
The second incident came about in Panama after bunkering.
Alongside in Balboa a few of us were sitting on the starboard main deck idly watching the Chippy taking bilge soundings. He turned to us and said the starboard car deck bilge was full, something wasn’t right and a quick feel of the “bilge water” told us it was actually diesel.
Down to the car deck to find it almost a-swill with diesel fuel oil.
Only place it could have got in was from the starboard wing tank which had just been filled for the first time. The tank itself appeared intact but the bilge suction ran through the tank and a bit of judicious paddling showed the fuel was running out of the bilge suction pipe.
With some clever pumping the other engineers managed to pump out the bilge into a fuel tank until the leaking stopped while I went for a shower! I never did get to find out the actual cause, that investigation took place when we got to NZ and I had paid off but I have always assumed a joint or weld in the bilge suction where it ran through the wing tank was the cause.
One last I think funny episode occurred after I had paid off and I had been sent to see an immigration officer in the old Custom House building.
I explained I had signed articles on a New Zealand registered ship in Scotland and had now paid off and intended to live in New Zealand. OK says he “Can I see your passport?”, “Sorry” says I, “I don’t have one – only a British Seamans Card”.
“Well you can’t enter New Zealand without a passport” says he “You will have to go back on the ship”. “But the ship is not going back” I explain.
I said I thought that when I signed on a NZ ship in Scotland I had really “entered” New Zealand at that point so it wasn’t that easy to kick me out.
He looked at me for a long moment then said “Bugger off” so I did.
 

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An unusual entry Finn but immigration was pretty casual in those days compared with now.
Couple of tales I can tell,
A Chief freezer jumped off a British ship in the 60's for the love of a Kiwi girl and a couple of years later he had established himself with a Christchurch based freezing company to the extent that he was the project engineer in charge of a major works expansion.
Suddenly the Immigration department laws caught up with him and in spite of the company's endorsements and guarantees he was flown back to the U.K.
Meantime the company had made application to the Department of trade and industry to reimploy the man in order to ensure the expansion , essential to our export earnings, went ahead without delay.
Final outcome was virtually a turn around at Heathrow and a first class trip back to job and family.

In the 50's after completing military service a lad from Cottingham near Hull and a mate decided to ride their AJS motor bikes from home down to NZ via Europe ,Asia , India then ship to Australia for the great circle ride and finally arrival in Auckland .
Their plan was to stay a while then buy a yacht to sail home. Tradgedy struck when the mate was killed while piloting a Tiger Moth aerial top dressing aeroplane which put paid to their plans and Les later courted my sister to become a brother in law.
Time went by , three children and almost forty years and a trip back to the UK was planned. Dicey moments for a while when immigration questioned his earlier arrival as a temporary visitor but his years of credit won through and he was cleared as a permanent citizen .
Nothing as lienient as that these days as we clamp down on all but the essentials.

Bob
 
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