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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My grandfather and great uncle made several voyages aboard the Adda, Abosso, Accra and other ships operated by Elder Dempster Lines between about 1936 and 1956 between Liverpool and Takoradi in what is now Ghana and between Liverpool, UK and Lagos, Nigeria and Liverpool. Although the different voyages includes some other stops on the way such as Freetown and Las Palmas, I am interested in how long such a voyage would typically take. Does anyone have and ideas where I could find this out?
 

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This will give you a start:
On the page, enter the name of the ship, use the reference BT and enter the dates, and lots of information will come up.

Dave W
 

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I did similar trips in the 80s on a Stena ro-ro the Stena Hispania I joined in Hamburg 1/9/84 and left in Immingham in 27/11/84, we did a few ports in Europe and then Monrovia, Takoradi, Abijan and Lagos and Monrovia a second time from memory I think we did two complete round trips during this time. So it looks like it took us about six weeks for the round trip and that was spending at least one night in every port. We took mainly second hand cars and trucks with a few new ones down and brought timber back on trailers.
 

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Paddy Henderson's Kumba 1964 double header too many surf ports, creeks etc.to mention here, 5 months and sixteen days.
 

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"Adda"(1922), "Abosso"(1935), "Accra"(1926) etc were passenger liners on scheduled services between Liverpool and West Africa. Each ship had its own regular itinerary which varied over time. Pre WW2 "Abosso" sailed Liverpool, Madeira, Las Palmas, Freetown, Monrovia, Takoradi, Accra, Lagos, Calabar, Victoria. Generally calls were short with ships arriving and departing the same day. Post WW2 the service was run by "Accra"(1947), "Apapa"(1947) and "Aureol" (1951) with simplified itineraries, Liverpool, Las Palmas, Freetown, Takoradi, Lagos in the case of "Accra" and Aureol"; “Apapa” ran Liverpool, Bathurst, Freetown, Takoradi, Lagos. Ships departed Liverpool fortnightly and the run to Lagos was scheduled to take 13 days.
 

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I concur with about 6-8 weeks round trip. The voyages were short and regular. However, it is from word of mouth - I never went on a W. Africa trip.

Rgds.
Dave
 

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Makko

You certainly didn't miss much. On an ED job we took in Dakar (O&H), Conakri, Freetown(O&H), Monrovia, Takoradi (O&H), Lome, Lagos /Apappa (O&H), Doula, Sapele, Warri and Fernando Po all on one trip of 5 months and 2 days. Long delay at anchor (HB) off Lagos. We lifted Cocoa beans, cattle cake (whatever that was) sawn timber & logs for H.B.

EDs O class were decent ships as were the F class liners. Palm Line "Bamenda Palm with similar port calls was a good crowd and feeder too.

Shoreside - nothing attractive at all but "up the creeks" was entertaining enough.

BW

J:cool::cool:
 

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I sailed with a number of W. Africa "veterans" - They thought that they died and gone to heaven, having got at last to the final M boats on the Barber Blue Sea Liner service! Although they would occasionally complain about the average trip being four months and not being able to nip home for some TLC when docked in Liverpool! No pleasing some people!

One anecdote that I found highly amusing was regarding the "larva" parties. Just for those who don't know, there are insects that bite and deposit their eggs under the victims skin. The larva grows there until finally emerging as an adult insect. A risk when bronzying.

Larva parties involved sitting around the affected party, usually drinking beer. They would put a gob of vaseline over the site of the larva, forcing it to emerge to breathe. The participants were armed with split toothpicks. When the larva stuck it's head out, they would trap it with the toothpick and slowly twist it, bringing the entire little bugger out. They would then stub a cigarette into the hole to seal it, apparently. I was told that it was an effective cure.

Well, that is what I remember! The tales of filth, garbage and insects on the coast made me happy that I never sailed down to W. Africa!

Rgds.
Dave
 

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Paddy Henderson's Kumba 1964 double header too many surf ports, creeks etc.to mention here, 5 months and sixteen days.
I sailed with a number of W. Africa "veterans" - They thought that they died and gone to heaven, having got at last to the final M boats on the Barber Blue Sea Liner service! Although they would occasionally complain about the average trip being four months and not being able to nip home for some TLC when docked in Liverpool! No pleasing some people!

One anecdote that I found highly amusing was regarding the "larva" parties. Just for those who don't know, there are insects that bite and deposit their eggs under the victims skin. The larva grows there until finally emerging as an adult insect. A risk when bronzying.

Larva parties involved sitting around the affected party, usually drinking beer. They would put a gob of vaseline over the site of the larva, forcing it to emerge to breathe. The participants were armed with split toothpicks. When the larva stuck it's head out, they would trap it with the toothpick and slowly twist it, bringing the entire little bugger out. They would then stub a cigarette into the hole to seal it, apparently. I was told that it was an effective cure.

Well, that is what I remember! The tales of filth, garbage and insects on the coast made me happy that I never sailed down to W. Africa!

Rgds.
Dave
I believe that what you are referring to is the legendary 'mango fly', and it was that they laid their eggs on a persons uncovered foot whilst bronzying or asleep, laid an egg under the skin, and emerged after it's cycle inside the body, and emerge, to start it's life all over again. Nasty little buggers !
 

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Paddy Henderson's Kumba 1964 double header too many surf ports, creeks etc.to mention here, 5 months and sixteen days.
I was on the Kumba, back in 1961/2, and we did a double header down the coast, then over to the States eastern seaboard, back to the coast, and then home. I reckon it was about 5 1/2 months for the trip.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
My grandfather and great uncle made several voyages aboard the Adda, Abosso, Accra and other ships operated by Elder Dempster Lines between about 1936 and 1956 between Liverpool and Takoradi in what is now Ghana and between Liverpool, UK and Lagos, Nigeria and Liverpool. Although the different voyages includes some other stops on the way such as Freetown and Las Palmas, I am interested in how long such a voyage would typically take. Does anyone have and ideas where I could find this out?
From the site sea-distances.org, I've found that the voyages, assuming a cruising speed of 12 knots a little slower than the ships' top speed of 14-15 knots, would have taken 14 days from Tokoradi and 15 days from Lagos, longer if they made stops along the way.
 

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From the site sea-distances.org, I've found that the voyages, assuming a cruising speed of 12 knots a little slower than the ships' top speed of 14-15 knots, would have taken 14 days from Tokoradi and 15 days from Lagos, longer if they made stops along the way.
I reckon it this way. The 'K' boats used to toddle along at a reasonable 11.5 to 12 knots, depending on how laden they were. It gave us about 240 to 250 miles per day, if the engineers were in a good mood. Not only did it make a difference as to which US port we were going to, the weather, ships loading and where we were sailing from, usually Freetown as a last port, then to Stateside, could vary our passage by two or three days sometimes. By the way, NEVER NEVER NEVER try to have a joke with US customs ossifers !
 

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I believe that what you are referring to is the legendary 'mango fly', and it was that they laid their eggs on a persons uncovered foot whilst bronzying or asleep, laid an egg under the skin, and emerged after it's cycle inside the body, and emerge, to start it's life all over again. Nasty little buggers !
Thanks, Grizzpig. Nice to know that they weren't pulling my plonker! My impression of the ex-WA engineers was that they were very pleased to be on runs through the Middle East, Far East, West Coast, US Gulf and East Coast. On the M's, we also went to S. American ports. Very good and enjoyable voyages.

A real character that I remember was John Williams, 3/E from Blackpool. I, being 6'1" and 98 Kg. of muscle, was known as "Humungous" from the "Mad Max" Thunderdome movie. John, being 5'6" and (exaggerating!) 49 Kg., was "Mini Mungous"!. We got on like a house on fire. I remember his lurid stories - I won't go into them now. John had served his entire time on the West Coast and, rightly, felt he had won the lottery, finally!

Rgds.
Dave
 

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My grandfather and great uncle made several voyages aboard the Adda, Abosso, Accra and other ships operated by Elder Dempster Lines between about 1936 and 1956 between Liverpool and Takoradi in what is now Ghana and between Liverpool, UK and Lagos, Nigeria and Liverpool. Although the different voyages includes some other stops on the way such as Freetown and Las Palmas, I am interested in how long such a voyage would typically take. Does anyone have and ideas where I could find this out?
My dad sailed to those detentions with same company from 1964 until the folded
 

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I just remembered, reading my post, John had served his time in Rolls Royce, at Crewe, building radiators! He told me that they were concave on the sloping tops because, when chromed and polished, they would look "wonky" to the eye!

Rgds.
Dave
 

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This is 'Up the Creeks' enroute to Sapele, Lokoja Palm circa 1965. I expect many of you will be able to say just exactly where. At Sapele as the RO I did cargo tallying but only after keeping the first 30 minutes of each watch to act as the local Coast Station. I usually had the Agents runner to take any messages that came in.

David
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A famous bend, even though I never went up! What was it known as? The knuckle or elbow spring to mind, setting the bow into the bank and using full rudder to bring the ship to the current. See, you do learn things from the many learned and colourful postings by members over time!

Thanks, David.

Rgds.
Dave
 

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BP Vigour Bonny River Nigeria 1987 throwing bars of soap in the river and watching the kids diving for them.
Water Boat Vehicle Watercraft Boats and boating--Equipment and supplies


Water Boat Boats and boating--Equipment and supplies Lake Watercraft


Drilling rig known as a swamp barge it was towed into posititon and then the ballast tanks were flooded and it sat on the bottom and basically became a land rig.
On a creek near the Bonny River 2001, no real problems working there apart from the bugs.
Water Plant Bridge Tree Waterway


Water Water resources Vehicle Vertebrate Boats and boating--Equipment and supplies
 

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DASH ME-O ! was the cry from the 'cay-nose, as these little bum-boats manouvred alongside for , as you say, bars of soap or foos=d to be dropped down to them. A pitiful existence. Port Harcourt was a place I enjoyed, and back in the 60's the 'Holland Bar' was the night spot to get hammered, and getting back to the ship was a challenge, arriving back covered in mud head to foot from falling in a ditch trying to catch fire flies. Happy daze !
 
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