Monday, 4 June 2012

Australian National Line 1978 - 1985 (Post 8 - final)

Lake Eildon (1985)

My final engagement as a merchant seaman was to the Lake Eildon on 11th. June, 1985. Although she was only seven years old, she had been sold to new owners and was laid up at dolphins in Sydney harbour prior to us taking her to Brisbane for dry dock and handover. I left her in Brisbane on 6th. July 1985.

Lake Eildon laid up in Sydney.

Another relatively new ship, Iron Duke was only 11 years old and also laid up for disposal.

Lake Eildon, looking new again, now as QCL's Cementco. Seen here in Brisbane dry dock, just prior to embarking on her new career, it was ironic that when I took this photo, I too was leaving to also embark on a new career.

Saturday, 5 May 2012

Australian National Line 1978 - 1985 (Post 7)

Baron Murray (1984 - 1985)

I first joined the bulk carrier Baron Murray at Geelong on 28th. July 1984, leaving her back in Geelong on 23rd. October 1984. She was previously built and owned by the British Phosphate Commission (BPC) for the phosphate trade between Australia and Nauru, in later years also loading at Christmas Island. During this three months, we loaded at Nauru twice and discharged at Geelong, Adelaide and Newcastle. I next joined the ship in Hobart on 31st. January 1985. After part discharging in Hobart, the ship proceeded to Geelong to complete discharge then to Gladstone to load coal for India (Visakhapatnam and Haldia). After discharging the coal in India the ship returned to Geelong via Christmas Island to load phosphate. I left the ship, again in Geelong, on 19th. April 1985.

While the ship, waiting to load, drifted off Nauru some the crew whiled the time away by fishing.

Nauru airport.
Approaching the loading berth at Nauru, early in the morning.

Some of the mooring gang approaching the ship in a work boat.

The Nauru mooring gang (mostly Gilbert Islanders) making the ship fast to buoys, under the phosphate loader.

Running a headline.

Loading in progress.

The island's enticingly named fish and chip shop.
Fully laden with phosphate, the ship sails from Nauru back to Australia.

Early morning in Geelong.

The chartroom.
A newer and smaller ANL bulk carrier, Lake Hume.
A BHP bulk carrier berthing at BHP's Newcastle steelworks.
Another bulk carrier on the phosphate trade, Nauru Pacific Line's Kolle D, also berthed in Newcastle.

BHP's Iron York arriving in Newcastle in evening sunlight.

After sailing from Newcastle the night before, Baron Murray moored in Sydney harbour to take bunkers before continuing on to Christmas Island.

Baron Murray loading coal in Gladstone for discharge in India.
Baron Murray's purser, waiting for shore officials to board upon our early morning arrival off Visakhapatnam.

Discharging coal at Haldia.

During our call at Haldia, the ship's agent arranged a day trip to Calcutta for any of the ship's complement who wanted to go. The journey took approximately 2 hours each way by taxi and our cabs had to travel in convoy because of fears of bandits on the rural roads, especially when returning at night.
A roadside vendor and his stall.
A rural bus stop.
The ship's 2nd Engineer smoking his pipe while our cab (background) is being refueled.

Our cab driver.
Calcutta street scenes.

Early morning arrival at Christmas Island.

The Administrator's residence.
Christmas Island work boats.
Manoeuvring to moor  under the loader.
The shore mooring crew making the ship fast.

Loading begins.

A container taken to be loaded aboard the East Crystal.