Thursday, 19 April 2012

Blue Star Line 1974 - 1978 (Post 3)

ACT 1  (1976)

On 6th. February 1976 I joined the containership ACT 1 at Swanson Dock, Melbourne for a three month, round world voyage. Ports of call were Sydney, Wellington, Auckland, Panama Canal (transit only), Tilbury (UK), Zeebrugge (Belgium), Liverpool (UK) and back to Melbourne, direct via Cape of Good Hope. Because I was due to attend a six month mid-cadetship course in Sydney for the second half of 1975, I was only required to serve one voyage aboard this ship instead of the usual two. I paid off the ship back in Melbourne on 25th. April 1976. The ship's accommodation was of a far superior standard than that aboard the older, conventional ships but I preferred the older ships because of their much longer port stays and the usually daytime-only cargo work.

ACT 1 arriving Melbourne (Photo: WSS -Vic)

The ship at anchor off Auckland, taken from the starboard lifeboat.
Looking forward from the monkey island.
Looking over the bow.
The bridge (David Adams, one of the other deck cadets in the chartroom).
Mike Chinn 2/O

One of the ABs.

Timaru Star (1976 - 1977)

On 17th. December 1976 I joined Timaru Star in Lyttelton (NZ). Like Canterbury Star, this ship was on a very popular trade and again, quite the party ship. Usual ports of call were Auckland, Wellington, Lyttelton, Napier, Auckland, Honolulu, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Tacoma, Vancouver, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Suva and back to Auckland. I did two voyages, the latter part of my time aboard as acting 3rd. Mate, disembarking in Tauranga (NZ) on 13th. July 1977.

Timaru Star at Lyttelton 17th. December 1976

Collecting some guests from Auckland's north shore via lifeboat.

A blustery day crossing the Pacific Ocean.
Alongside in Honolulu.

Approaching San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge.
In San Francisco bay, the SF pilot in the foreground.

Looking into the No.3 hold from the mast.

Vancouver in the background.

Another ship berthing in Tacoma, Washington, on a freezing and foggy day.
Alongside at Suva, Fiji.
The ro-ro ship Dilkara berthed ahead.
Sitmar Line's Fairsky (1) berthed in Suva during a South Pacific cruise from Sydney.
Departure Suva.
(L - R) Third Mate Tim Kershaw and Second Mate Mick Fleming taking noon sights.
My 21st birthday, celebrated at anchor off Auckland, 30th. May 1977.

(L - R) Gladstone Star and Timaru Star at Napier.
Every captain's and chief engineer's nightmare - oil overflowing from P&O's Wild Fulmar (under charter to Lauritzens) while bunkering in Napier.

Gladstone Star alongside during another call at Napier. Timaru Star was loading onions here for discharge in USA.

Rockhampton Star  (1977 - 1978)

I joined Rockhampton Star as Third Mate in Auckland on 19th. August 1977. The ship was loading frozen lamb for Novorossiysk, USSR (in the Black Sea). We sailed direct from Auckland to Russia via an unscheduled week long stop in Adelaide for engine repairs then Suez Canal and the Bosphorus Strait (Istanbul). After completing discharge in Novorossiysk, we sailed light ship for Avonmouth (UK) where we loaded general cargo for Australia and Fiji. From Avonmouth we sailed to Falmouth to load amunition, at anchor, for Point Wilson (in Port Phillip Bay). From Falmouth we sailed to Point Wilson and Melbourne via Capetown where stopped overnight for bunkers. Following Christmas in Melbourne we sailed for Suva, Lautoka and Nelson where I disembarked on 17th. January 1978.

Rockhampton Star in Auckland on 20th. August 1977.
Transitting Suez Canal.

Passing Istanbul.

Passing Gallipoli.
Rockhampton Star in Avonmouth 1977 (Photo: Blue Star Line)
Departure Capetown.

Other shipping in Yarra River, Melbourne, December 1977.


  1. Wow! Some interesting shots and exotic locations here, Tim.

  2. Great shots, I liked all of them, Tim.