Saturday, 21 April 2012

Australian National Line 1978 - 1985 (Post 4)

Lake Sorell (1978)

In 1978, after completing my Second Mate (Foreign Going) Certificate, attracted by the much superior salary and leave entitlements on offer on Australian ships (compared to British ships at the time), I applied to and was accepted by ANL. Subsequently I signed on the coastal bulk carrier Lake Sorell as Third Mate at Woolloomooloo, Sydney on 18th. August 1978. She called at various coastal ports, such as Gladstone, Thevenard, Bell Bay, Melbourne, Newcastle etc., loading and discharging a variety of bulk cargoes. Though an old ship, nearing the end of her days, I enjoyed my time aboard her, especially the coastal navigation, lengthy stays in port and her easy-going style. I left the ship at Port Kembla on 27th. November 1978 and returned home for leave.

At South Wharf, Melbourne. We often berthed here to discharge gypsum from Thevenard, South Australia. (Photo: John Bone)

Late one afternoon in August 1978, the cruise ship Marco Polo berthed at an adjacent Woolloomooloo wharf at the end of her final cruise in Australian waters. I went aboard her that evening for a look around. From here she sailed to Hong Kong where she was acquired by a company called Aquamarine International, renamed Aquamarine and began cruising between Hong Kong and Japan.

Rolling our way across the Southern Ocean.
A Soviet general cargo ship overtaking Lake Sorell off the South Australian coast.

Me with the forward mooring crew at Melbourne. (Photo: ANL)
Iron Duke berthing at the BHP terminal, just up river from Lake Sorell.

Lysaght Endeavour (1979)

 On 30th. January 1979 I joined Lysaght Endeavour at Hastings, Victoria as relieving Third Mate. She was a roll-on, roll-off ship (RoRo) built for the Port Kembla, Westernport, Adelaide steel products trade. Although my time aboard her was brief (I left her at Port Kembla on 23rd. February) I was glad to disembark. I found the Port Kembla crew to (mostly) be uncooperative and some of the regular officers there to be unwelcoming and complacent. Such is life.

Lysaght Endeavour at Hastings (Vic) on 30th. January 1979

The view from the bridge.
The bridge.
The stern door through which steel products or steel slabs were loaded and discharged.

Townsville Trader (1979)

I joined Townsville Trader in Melbourne on 24th. February 1979, the day after disembarking Lysaght Endeavour in Port Kembla. The Townsville Trade was engaged on a new service, carrying cars from Melbourne to Fremantle, with a call at a Northern Tasmanian port (typically Burnie) on the return voyage. It was a pleasant trade (in summer at least) but short lived as, through political pressure, the railways regained the cargo we'd been carrying. I left the ship back in Melbourne on 10th. March for leave then returned to her twice more, from 29th. March until 7th. April and 5th. May until 19th. May that year.

Alongside at Burnie.

The ship at Fremantle, WA.
The Russian cruise ship Fedor Shalyapin alongside the Fremantle passenger terminal during one of Townsville Trader's calls.