Saturday, 28 April 2012

Australian National Line 1978 - 1985 (Post 6)

Yarra River (1982)

 On  16th. May 1982, I flew to Gladstone, Queensland, to join the bulk carrier Yarra River. She was engaged on the Gladstone - Weipa run, carrying bauxite from Weipa. It was a very comfortable and picturesque trade as much of the voyage took place inside the Great Barrier Reef. After two voyages (the standard six week swing) I left the ship back in Gladstone on 4th. July 1982 to return home for leave.

Yarra River sailing from Weipa (Photo: source unknown)
At the dicharge berth, South Trees Wharf, Gladstone.
Passing the Whitsunday Islands in the Great Barrier Reef.

Passing Tolga, the other ANL ship on this trade at the time, bound for Gladstone.
Tolga alongside South Trees Wharf, Gladstone.

River Boyne (1982 - 1984)

My next appointment was to River Boyne, a coal fired bulk carrier for the Gladstone / Weipa trade, currently under construction in Nagasaki, Japan. I flew to Nagasaki, worked alongside the ship for several weeks, living ashore, as she was being completed. I then signed on the ship on 28th. September for her maiden voyage from Nagasaki to Weipa (to load her first cargo) then to Gladstone. I left the ship in Gladstone on 20th. October 1982 and flew home to take leave and study for my Master's ticket.

1982  Fitting out at Mitsubishi Heavy Indutries Shipyard, Nagasaki, Japan

River Boyne on sea trials off Nagasaki September 1982 (Photo: MHI Japan)

At Tokyo's Haneda Airport, waiting for my flight to Nagasaki.
Family groups at Haneda Airport,

Mt. Fuji from the air.

Flying over Japan's Inland Sea en route Tokyo to Nagasaki.
The hotel the ship's officers stayed in for several weeks until the ship was handed over.

This house, built by one of the early Portuguese settlers is now a museum.

The shipyard office building - we were based in a few offices in there.
The ship's stern section.

River Boyne moored in Nagasaki harbour prior to undertaking sea trials.

A shipyard crew prepares to take the ship out on sea trials.

It's late afternoon as River Boyne heads out of Nagasaki harbour and into the East China Sea to commence sea trials.

Returning ashore after overnight sea trials.
Other shipbuilding in progress at the yard.

1983 - 1984 Guarantee Dry Dock at Nagasaki, Japan

In 1983 after studying for and passing my Master's ticket written examinations (at the time I had insufficient sea-time recorded to sit the oral part of the examinations), I rejoined River Boyne in Gladstone on 12th. December. When I joined her she was loading coal, mostly for a power station in China's New Territories in Hong Kong harbour en route to Nagasaki but some also for bunkers on the return voyage. After the dry dock the ship sailed light back to Weipa where she loaded bauxite for Gladstone where I disembarked the ship on 23rd. February 1984. After this I rejoined and left the ship in Gladstone for one more swing from 13th. April until 27th. May 1984.

River Boyne in Gladstone, fully laden with coal for China, on 12th. December 1983.

My cabin.
The bridge.

The ballast control room.
The engine control room.
The Officers' Bar.

The bunker hatches.

River Boyne's identical, slightly newer, sister ship River Embley arriving in Gladstone as River Boyne sailed.

The power plant in China's New Territories where we discharged the coal.
In the dry dock in a freezing, winter Nagasaki.

The hotel we stayed in while the ship was in dock.
Fish anyone?

The inner harbour MHI shipyard River Boyne was built at.
The outer harbour MHI shipyard the ship was at for this docking. River Boyne is at a refit berth, closest ship (left of picture).

Other shipping in the shipyard.
The funnel of Canopus, a tanker being built for the Australian coastal trade.

The very large crude oil tanker Jinko Maru sailing from the dockyard after a refit.
A few of us got to have a walk around the Jinko Maru, the largest ship most of us had seen up to then.

The cargo control room.


  1. Great photos, Tim. Lovely scans that came up really well considering the age of these last century photos... :-)

  2. I think while looking at your photos, that it is very nice to work and travel.

  3. I was Deck Cadet on the River Boyne in '93. Great ship and great run. Did a docking on her as well at Sembawang in Singapore. I enjoyed seeing the photos.
    Andrew Carswell