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    #31
    Another problem we had was that some of the older crew members were Opium smokers who enjoyed their pipe of Opium in the evening. This was not a problem when trading in S.E.Asia, but there were no supply of Opium in PNG. We actually had to give out Opium pills from the medical chest to a couple of them who got withdrawal symptoms.

    On one trip in Sydney Customs found Opium smoking paraphernalia in the Crew Cook's cabin and proceeded to just about tear the place to pieces to look for the Opium. One of them came to me, as the Chief Officer and DEMANDED that I tell him where the Opium was hidden. I told him; "Look, the problem is that there IS no Opium onboard. "They are just waiting for you to get finish with your search so they can go ashore to buy Opium in ****son Street". (****son Street was the center of Chinatown in Sydney at the time)

    We eventually had to send the Crew Cook home as he was harassed at every port in Australia after that.

    Comment


      #32
      In earlier posts the peril of navigating the Coral Sea and Great Barrier Reef has been mentioned.
      It is now no more, it has been regulated and controlled to where the Australian Maritime Safety Authorities (AMSA) will know within a few meters where every ship are within an area of over 1/2 Mill. Sq. N.miles of ocean in their extended EEZ: http://gcaptain.com/imo-sub-committe...content=261222
      Somewhat different from "my days" in the area.(We didn't even know where we were, half the time)

      Comment


        #33
        In the news these days we hear that Obama want to lift the Cuban embargo after over 50 years and remove Cuba from their list of "states sponsors of terrorism".
        That remains me of regular visits to Antwerp back in 1961-62 and again in 1964-65, when the Cuban Embargo was supposedly fully enforced.

        In 1964-5 I was 3rd Mate on a ship chartered to Fred Olsen on the Antwerp to Eastern and Southern Norway trade. We would be spending a few days loading and discharging at the Fred Olsen Terminal about every 10 - 12 days. Next to us was what was popularly known as the "Cuba Pier", where American flag Lykes Line, State Line and others would be discharging goods from the good ol' USA on one side and Soviet ships loading the same goods on the opposite side, bound for Cuba. It just through the open doors of the sheds without touching the ground some time.
        I have no idea how long this was going on for, because I didn't call at Antwerp much after that, but I assume containerization would kill that trade sometime in the 1970s.

        As for Cuban support for terrorism and meddling in the affairs of Central and South American countries, that was true in the 1960s and 1970s, but CIA/America was the main sponsor of authoritarian military dictators in the region then and well into the 2000s. (For some reasons they do not appear on that same list)

        Then you had the Cubans fighting a proxy war on behalf of the Soviets in Angola and the Americans and South Africans supporting the rebels, who were called 'terrorists" by the Angolan Government of the time.Every year the rebels promised to take Luanda "by x-mas", but the war dragged on for many years. Here is a link if you want to know more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Angolan_Civil_War

        I was a regular in Angola from 1980 to 1987 at the height of that civil war. This time as Rigmover, working mostly for American Drilling Contractor and American Oilcos operating there.
        In the enclave of Cabinda, to the north of Congo River mouth, the Operator was Gulf Oil (now part of Chevron) Their base was at Malongo. The only way in there was by plane from Kinshasa to Banana in what was then in Zaire, an American client state with a kleptomaniac as President. (Now D.R.Congo)

        From Banana to Cabinda Town we flew by fixed wing charter operated by a French company, where we switch to American operated Helicopter to Molongo, which was piloted by "Vietnam Jokeys". The airport in Cabinda Town and the base at Molongo was protected by Cuban soldiers and anti-aircraft guns, while most of the people working there were Americans.

        Return was the same route in revers. One time while on the way home we were told that there had been a rebel attack on the airport, but not to worry, the Cubans had managed to chase them away and the airport was functioning as normal.

        The coast of Cabinda consist of a fairly high cliff face with dense jungle on top so the "jokey decided to fly below the cliff height and following the cliff face contour as close as he dared, which was VERY close. The end of the airstrip at Cabinda Airport comes close to the sea, with the jungle cleared and Cuban guns guarding the approach. When we got in line with the airstrip he lifted the chopper just above cliff level, made a sharp turn and landed as close as possible to the terminal building, which had only minor damages. Not much talking and joking during that chopper ride.

        Off Angola proper Esso and Agip were the early Operator, sharing a base at Soyo, on the south side of the Congo River mouth.
        This base was regularly threatened by the rebels. If protection money was not paid on time they would lob a few rockets in direction of the base as a reminder.

        One time while I was on an American rig, but drilling for Agip, an Italian company, when the rebels threatened to take Soyo Base. The Italian Base Manager called out and wanted me to release both towing vessels and send them in to Soyo to evacuate Agip personnel to Lobito, (South of Luanda and with an airport that was regarded as safe)
        I agreed to send in one boat but keep the other to be able to head out to sea in case they actually managed to take the base and get hold of a boat.

        In this case the rebels didn't manage to take the base, but a few months later they took it for a while, with the help of South African mercenaries. It was re-taken by Cuban soldier.
        In that incident Agip was better prepared and had a Crew boat on stand by at all times.
        I was listening in on the exited chatter as they got out and headed south. You could almost hear the hands flapping.

        What has all this got to do with sea stories?? Well, aside from it being a story about the Cuban and American differences, it does contain something from Offshore life and the difficulties you can get yourself into as a Rigmover working world wide.

        Comment


        • nari
          nari commented
          Editing a comment
          You have had a varied and somewhat challenging life, ombugge. Thanks for your stories. Did you ever hear much talk about Che Guevara??? I have been interested in his history ever since the Motorcycle Diaries, which I really liked. An intelligent and caring person who went off the rails in his pursuit of justice for the poor. Well, that's my theory....

        • ombugge
          ombugge commented
          Editing a comment
          I don't have any special knowledge of Che Guevara, but there are a lot available on the internet. Here is the basics: http://www.biography.com/people/che-guevara-9322774

          And here the long version: http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/the-t...f-che-guevara/
          "Truth" as stated in the title may be influenced by the CIA view of the world and what is good for it.

        • nari
          nari commented
          Editing a comment
          I have four of the many books about him, including his own that he wrote. Thanks for the links. I was swayed by his tenacity and potential, all of which did not amount to much in the end except a lousy reputation.

        #34
        Yes, it does contain something from Offshore life but, Ombugge, I wouldn't care if it contained nothing offshore - your accounts are fascinating replays of the experiences you have had and are well worth reading any day. Thank you.
        Ivy

        "To thine own self be true.......
        Thou canst not then be false to any man."

        Comment


          #35
          OK one more from Africa and chopper rides, but not in Angola.
          In 1980 I was attending on a rig off the southern part of Gabon as Rigmover, with a Brit as the Warranty Surveyor. We ended up spending a couple of days in Port Gentil waiting on the rig to get ready to move. As is necessary in many parts of the world, the Drilling Contractor had engaged a "Mr. Fix-it", who was a Greek, but with 20-25 years working former French African colonies.
          He took us for a ride to see the sights of Port Gentil. (there is the Post office, the police station, the supermarket and so on) When we came to the Hospital he stated; "you go there, you die".

          The Brit was an avid gardener so, when walking around the gardens at the hotel, I pointed out the various tropical scrubs and flowers that I could name. When he got home he tried to impress his wife with his new found knowledge. She asked; "How did you come to know so much tropical plant"? "I learnt it from a Norwegian Captain". Phaaah!! "He lives in Singapore" Oooh, OK??

          We eventually got on a Twin Otter to fly down closer the rig location, landing on what was popularly known at "Mayumba International Airport", which was just a dirt strip across an inlet from Mayumba Town. The facilities were simple; Total's Airport Manager and his helpers would arrive in a dugout canoe with an outboard motor, carrying the "Tower" (Portable Aero radio) in one hand and the "Restaurant" (Cooler with soft drinks) in the other.

          From there we would normally be picked up by a Helicopter and flown out to the rig, but this time the two of us was asked to re-board the Twin Otter, to be taken even further south, close to be boarder with P.R.Congo. (Congo Brazzaville).

          After a short flight we came in to land at a grass strip in the jungle, first making a low pass to make sure there where no cows or whatever on the strip.
          When we landed the French pilot told us to get out; "Tse Coppeer will come in alf our, or maybee one our". So we stepped out into knee high grass with our bags.
          The Twin Otter turned around and took off. There were nobody to be seen, but we spotted a small hillock that had shorter grass not too far away, so we headed there.

          While waiting for the chopper the gardening Brit spotted some seed on the grass and plants around us, which he decided to pick and take home to his wife to plant in their hot house.
          After some substantial time a chopper arrived to pick us up and we got out to the rig eventually.

          A couple of months later I received a fax; "We now have a hot house full of African weed, what do we do now"??? I can't remember if I answered.

          Comment


          • nari
            nari commented
            Editing a comment
            I understood that seeds which are designated weeds from outside any country could not be brought in - surely?
            And yes, I meant 9/11.

          • nari
            nari commented
            Editing a comment
            Thanks, Mark.
            Yes, I think I am used to our rigorous customs where Brisbane beagles run around spying on any potentially illegal smells. Also I think we may be the only country which fumigates the entire plane three times before landing at Sydney.
            Last time, the Swedish woman next to me was horrified and put her nose into a sick bag. It has been normal procedure for so long nobody takes too much notice anymore.

          • ombugge
            ombugge commented
            Editing a comment
            I assume he walked on green and didn't tell anybody.

          #36
          Had a look at the rules - nothing particularly onerous in there for nearly everything apart from some types of tree. For nearly everything there are only weight restrictions as far as I can understand the rather wordy description on the government website. We don't have the same rules as Oz - I remember the very attentive sniffer dog at Brisbane airport who got very excited by my rucksack which had previously contained a packet of very common (in the UK) pressed mint sweets with a great name.

          Obviously there is one type of 'weed' which our customs folk look most carefully for!
          Cheers,

          Mark.

          www.pologlover.co.uk

          Comment


          • wherrygirl
            wherrygirl commented
            Editing a comment
            Yes, Mark and the RHS site is quite helpful, going on to say, broadly, that even plants which would normally require a "health check certificate" from their country of origin can be brought in provided they are in small quantities, intended for private use only, and not an endangered species in their own country.
            And again, even endangered plants are OK if nursery grown in their country of origin.
            Movement within the EU is, of course, even easier.

          #37
          My pet subject of Australian Immigration and Quarantine rules has come up again.

          Australia does have a special flora and fauna and is free of some pests that plague other countries, so it is understandable that they want to protect against foreign imports that can affect their cattle, fruit and agriculture production, but sometime it can be brought to the extreme, even laughable, limits.

          That bring back a lot of memories and some second hand stories. Where to start??

          Well, let's start at my very first trip to Australia, in 1959; I was Deckboy on a tanker arriving at Kwinana to discharge oil from Abadan, Iran.
          Besides us at the tanker terminal was a Greek tanker who had stopped outside Colombo for a medevac on the way from PG.
          When they left Colombo a Ceylon Crow had taken residence on board and followed them across the Indian Ocean, being treated as a pet by the crew, according to reports in the press.
          It left when they got close to shore, never to be seen again.

          That would not cause too much problem if nobody knew, but somebody must have had a big mouth. We noticed a lot of commotion around the Greek tanker.
          Enclosed vans with "Quarantine" marked on the side arrived at the end of the pier and people in protective suites were seen boarding the ship to spray it from "top to bottom".
          Lucky it was a tanker not a cargo ship, otherwise the entire cargo would probably have to be destructed. Nobody from our ship was allowed to step on the pier before it had been disinfected.
          Even though no craw had been on our ship, a tray of disinfectant was put at the bottom of the gangway for people to step into, just in case.

          Just about everything available was thrown into the hunt for the missing craw, incl. "the army, navy and the air force". How many crows, ravens and other gray or black birds of the native variety were killed in the process is anybody's guess. We left on completion of discharging our cargo so I have no idea if they got the crow, or just gave up.
          I also don't know if the Master of the Greek tanker was fined for bringing in the crow, but the ship was still there when we left.

          OK, to be fair, I don't think the possibility of the single crow somehow becoming a pest, or mixing with the local crows, was the problem, but what kind of parasites and seeds could be hiding in it's feathers.
          Last edited by ombugge; April 14th, 2015, 07:16.

          Comment


          • ombugge
            ombugge commented
            Editing a comment
            We had a regular Stevedore Foreman in Brisbane who was known as Kookaburra, because he laughed like one.

          • wherrygirl
            wherrygirl commented
            Editing a comment
            With respect to bird life it has been determined that every bird known to man originated in the supercontinent Gondwana (or earlier, Pangaea?) that later became Australia.
            Well, let's say that it has been determined "so far"! There is the possibility that fossils of the appropriate age have just not yet been found in South America.

          • nari
            nari commented
            Editing a comment
            The laughing stevedore sounds like a good Aussie. (he was probably born in ireland or somewhere). I sometimes haunted (with whatever boyfriend was around at the time) the wharves at Hamilton on the Brisbane River and on several occasions asked to go aboard. Never a problem, always happy to indulge the locals. The Theben was one such ship which I think you know. Another was one of the Port Line's but can't remember which one. Anyway, I digress...

          #38
          Another little story dating back to the early 1950s -and a mystery that has never been solved satisfactorily; The Joyita Mystery.

          Ombugge, I bet you have heard of this converted fishing vessel -cum-private yacht, owned by an anthropology professor in Honolulu called Katharine Luolama. Joyita did a regular service around the southern and northern Pacific with her skipper Dusty Miller (can't recall his first name, not many knew what it was. He was a highly skilled navigator who never said much but did a lot for research into fish and other marine life.

          In 1952 we had to leave our island rather quickly as I was very anaemic, and we knew Dusty by then, so my mother asked if he could drop into Fanning and take my mother, my sister and me to the Phoenix Islands, specifically Canton Is (now called Kanton) to catch a plane to Sydney from California.

          He obliged, as he would, and his crew of about 9 all slept in tiny narrow bunks above the open engine room. Three men were turfed out so we could sleep under cover (they went on the deck). Fascinating start - rough seas, pitching and rolling with engine fumes pouring up through the hatch. All doors were kept open because of the fumes, so Joyita shipped some waves over the gunw'l into the room itself. Can't remember how they were stopped from pouring down onto the engine....! Anyway we reached Canton Is and after a 2 hour launch trip across the lagoon to the US airport...we did reach Sydney.

          Anyway, in 1957, going from the Tokelau group to Samoa, Joyita vanished from radio contact and a search was begun. Eventually she was found, lying on her side, moderately damaged, food on the table, tumbled around due to the list to port, no rafts launched, no sign of any crew or the skipper . The newspapers went berserk and proposed it was due to: 1) Alien attack 2) Japanese piracy 3) mass suicide. None of these made any sense; Somerset Maughan's son wrote a long book about it all. Those who knew Dusty well stated he would never abandon his beloved vessel willingly.
          As for me, the doc reckoned I would do fine on iron tablets, so we spent a month going home by freighter....such was the way of living in isolation!

          Comment


          • ombugge
            ombugge commented
            Editing a comment
            No I have never heard about this little vessel, or the mystery of her disappearance. (If I have, I had forgotten)
            Interesting reading though. Sever damages on one side sounds like she was rammed, but why abandon a boat that float on cork, even if holed?
            To take to the rafts, which at that time would not be the inflatable type of today, sounds like a last resort. Why has no rafts, life jackets or bodies been found? A mystery indeed.

          #39
          I Googled the Joyota Mystery and amongst many old "accounts" and attempts to resolve the case I found this one, dated only last year: http://tauranga.kete.net.nz/new_zeal...semary-francis
          Ivy

          "To thine own self be true.......
          Thou canst not then be false to any man."

          Comment


          • nari
            nari commented
            Editing a comment
            Thanks, Ivy. Nothing really new except the phrase 'abandon ship' - they would have used the liferafts, surely.
            So it remains unsolved and probably will always be. Dusty M had said to my mother the last time they left our island to return to the south: "We will meet one day walking down Swansea.." (a town in Wales, from memory)
            Those words had a chilling effect on her for years afterwards.

          #40
          Since Nari is reluctant to post pictures on CVF of her childhood island home I have done a little search and found some pictures from Fanning Island, some old and some not so old.
          I take the liberty to post them here, since this is where she has posted about her exploits there and in the South Pacific. (Hope you don't mind Nari)

          First some old pictures, which may bring back memories?:






          Comment


          #41
          Then some from NOAA Album, taken in 1968








          Comment


            #42
            Not sure about the date of this picture:

            (Or the caption; "Plantation Manager's house")

            This is fairly recent:


            And this is something you probably hoped never to see:

            This is from when Norwegian Cruise Line had weekly calls there, but there are still the occasional cruise ship calling.

            If anybody got curious about the place, here is a link to one of many sites with info and pictures about Fanning Island: http://www.janeresture.com/kiribati_line/fanning.htm

            Comment


            • nari
              nari commented
              Editing a comment
              Yes, you can call me too chicken to try "floating" photos in the ether - one day I will get over it.
              The two photos showing cows on the grassy fields is pre-war - I think around 1930 or earlier. Some bright spark
              must have thought it would be good to have walking beef and milk, which is fine in principle but simply naive.
              The low rainfall, poor grass of low nutrition and lack of any supplements meant they did not survive.

              The NOAA photo show the entrance to the lagoon with a strong tidal current (up to 7 knots) which mad navigating interesting. Our house was on the far side beside the passage and it got interesting when Hawaii had bad weather and we copped heavy surf coming up over the raised beachhead and flooding.

              The two white houses shown belonged to the Cable station folks and were abandoned when the station was closed down.
              They are still there, 50 years later, according to what I have read, and must look totally dilapidated.
              Fortunately we never copped the NCL's monster ships but they did assist the locals by raising money for a school and improved their welfare. Then NCL decided to opt out and not waste fuel for no good reason (three days in, three out) and if it rained, a waste of a day for the tourists. Holland-America now goes there once a year or so.

              Anyway, thanks for posting a bit of the Pacific which is about as isolated as it gets, in terms of getting there and back.

            • ombugge
              ombugge commented
              Editing a comment
              Crystal Cruises is announcing a call in 2016

            #43
            OK, back on topic. Since it is 17th of May today I remember an episode from this day in 1972, when I was Captain on a small half-reefer vessel called the Jo-Tor.
            We were in a small prawning port called Karrumba in the bottom of of the Gulf of Carpentaria, near Normanton in North West Queensland: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karumba,_Queensland
            We had arrived there from Sorong in what was then Iran Barat (Now Papua) in Indonesia to load frozen prawns for transshipment in Singapore.

            We did not have any small scale charts of this part of Australia, only a large scale chart for the entire gulf, from Torres Strait to Arnhem land. Karumba did not show up on that chart, but I had been told it was at the mouth of Normanton River. Since I had been trading there from 1968 - 1970, I knew that the coastline of the Gulf of Carpentaria was not well charted, with the coast of the York Peninsula was reported to be off by several miles in the West direction and the coast of Arnhem land on the other side to the East (or the other way around), but I had no idea how this affected the bottom of the gulf.

            As we approached the coast we got a good fix in the morning but no noon position. The area is shallow far out from the low laying land and there were no landmarks, no navigation aids of any kind and no radio station to call on MF. (No VHF then) When we were as close as we could safely go to the coast I decided to just steam parallel to the coast and hope that we would be able to see something, or that somebody would see us. After a while there was a flash of reflection from a tin roof, so we knew we were in the right place, but how to get into the river?
            After flashing with the morse lamp for a while a speedboat came out from the rivermouth. It was a person with local knowledge, not the "Pilot" I had been promised. In any case, he could show me the safest route over the bar and into the river. We were the biggest ship that had ever called at Karumba until then, so his knowledge got severally tested, however.
            Here is picture of Karumba Port, Rivermouth and town as it looks now:


            Karumba was not an entry port, but arrangement had been made to fly in Quarantine, Customs and Immigration from Cairns and a Health Inspector from Darwin to clear us in and approve the Freezer Holds before loading the prawns. Probably the most traffic there had ever been at the "Airport" in Karumba, which consisted of a large flat area near town, with a radio mast. beacon and a windsock in the middle. (Landing and takeoff was in whichever direction the Pilot chose)

            When we got moored up at the Prawn Factory wharf we were ready to receive the officials, but we obviously needed to set a safe gangway first. The Health Inspector refused to let the crew step on the wharf to rig it until somebody had arranged a tray with disinfectant they could step in first. It got a bit hilarious to watch the crew trying to hit the tray with the gangway, as none of all the onlookers and officials would help. We managed to get free practique after some time, but the Customs and Health Inspector stayed behind for the loading.

            What has this got to do with 17th of May?? Well, the next day was 17th of May and, although the ship was flying Singapore flag, I decided to invited all the dignitaries in town on board for a celebration in the evening and dressed her up with signal flags. She had been flying the Norwegian flag until 1970, so we had a large Norwegian flag left behind, which was hoisted on the foremast.

            Sometime during the day a person came on board and enquirer why we were flying a Norwegian flag (??)
            It showed up that he was originally a Norwegian seaman that had jumped ship many years ago. He was now the owner (or manager) on a cattle station not far away and had flown in in his private plane, with his wife, for a spot of shopping and to pick up mail. He had not thought of 17th of May and he had not met any Norwegians for many years, so I invited hit to come to the party that night, which he did. (I presume that the jackaroos would manage a night without him)

            We had Ringnes Export Beer and Linje Akevit on board and Cookie dished up a nice spread so everybody had a good time, but they were not aware of the strength of the beer and the effect that Akevit has on some people, where the head stays reasonably clear, but the knees give way. I had made sure the Health Inspector, who had given us a hard time throughout, got his fair share of both. When he couldn't stand anymore I called the Quarter masters to help him across the gangway, without stepping in the disinfectant tray.

            Lot more happened in Karumba, and on the trip back to Singapore, but that must be enough for now.

            Comment


            • ombugge
              ombugge commented
              Editing a comment
              SORRY, I got the Norwegian fellows a bit mixed up. The one that came on board in Karumba was working as an Engineer at the Prawn Factory there.
              He was from Bergen, if my memory serves me right. 43 years ago is a long time and my memory is not what it used to be.(Probably never was)

              The Cattle Station Owner/Manager I met at Groote Eylandt a few year earlier, while on the Slidre Timur. He did regular trips there in his plane, since it was the nearest Grocery Store and Post Office. His Cattle Station was somewhere in Arnhem Land, some 200 miles or so away.

            • nari
              nari commented
              Editing a comment
              One of my many nieces worked on the trawlers in the Gulf during her teenage holidays and loved it. Very good pay but long hours. According to my cousin who lives in SE Queensland, the state is full of Norwegians who escaped Norway's weather in the 19th and 20th century. As his mother was Norwegian, it should be true....

            #44
            A short history of Karumba can be found here: http://karumba.qld.au/history
            The existence of an "Airport" on a salt pan at Karumba Point is mentioned. It is no longer in use, but is where the planes bringing in officials for clearance landed an took off. On a sightseeing trip with the Major of Karumba I was taken to see it. We stopped near the radio mast and windsock and he declared; "This is the Airport". "Where is the airstrip??" "Anywhere you like".
            PS> Not sure about the date of the picture in post #43

            The place was full of transient workers that stayed in their campers and VW Transporters on a camper lot near the Prawn Factory. A lot of the sorting and handling was done by the girls, while the boys were sitting in the campers smoking pot. The road to Normanton was only passable in the dry, so for two-three months of the year they were stuck there.
            Here is a recording of two of the people that worked in the Prawn Factory at the time, talking about the adventure: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2010-05-0...-about/6203540
            When we came in the customs officer asked me if the crew, being mostly Indonesians, had brought some pot with them. I took him out on the bridge wing and pointed out the blue cloud hanging over the campers. "If you are looking for pot, go there".

            There were no stevedores and the terms were "Free on Board" (FOB), so it was up to the Shipper to supply workers to load the prawn. I agreed to supply Foremen (Ship's Officers) and winch operators (Ship's crew), but they would have to pay them whatever they demanded. I could advise them on what we used to get at Gove a few years earlier.

            Stowing prawn cartons in the reefer holds were done by hippies hired from the campers. The temperature in the hold were maintained at -20C and checked regularly by the Health Inspector.
            Air temperature on deck during the day was above +30C, for a difference >50C. A bit of a "cultural shock" for the Hippies. (Not the temperature, having to work)
            They were given heavy jackets and hoods, but no shoes and socks. Kind of comical seeing long haired and bearded Hippies dressed for the occasion, but barefooted (or with slippers at best).

            We loaded 400 tonnes of Frozen Prawns and received the necessary Health Certificate and Port clearance so we could leave after some 4 days in Karumba.
            Now with a bit more draft we could only cross the bar at High Tide. I got the man with local knowledge on board to help guiding us to the deepest part and left on the rising tide.
            As we approached the river bar I slowed down to a crawl until we lightly grounded. Giving slow ahead to the engine room we inched across the bar as the tide was high enough to slip across the shallowest spot and into deeper water. (The river and bar has been dredged since then)
            Why not wait for highest tide? If we had grounded at highest tide the ship would have been sitting on the sandbar on low tide. With cargo in the Fwrd. and aft hold and nothing in the middle that could cause severe damages

            That was my first and last visit to Karumba, but a place I have always remembered.
            Last edited by ombugge; May 18th, 2015, 07:51.

            Comment


            • ombugge
              ombugge commented
              Editing a comment
              A little anecdote from Karumba.
              On the way there one of the Indonesian crew members were diagnosed with Gonorrhea. No problem, a high dose of Penicillin first and 7 days of pills.
              The problem was that we did not have any large gauge syringe needles, only the thin kind for intravenous injections. Trying to pump 1mmu of Penicillin into him with that tool was a painful process. (Not for me, for him)
              In Karumba there was a Nurse but no Doctor. I took him with me to see the Nurse and explained what had happened. She was a big girl with a sense of humor, so she brought out one of those big "syringes" used to wash out ear wakes and told him to drop his pants.He just took off out the door without a word.
              Luckily I had brought the 2nd Mate with me, also to see the Nurse for something. He run after him, managed to convince him that it was a joke and brought him back. Meanwhile, the Nurse just cracked up laughing. The story was first page news on the verbal circuit in Karumba for some time.

            #45
            Copra has been mentioned several times in the above,but not much explanation of it's production and merits as a trading commodity.
            I'll just throw in this link to an article about copra production in the Solomon Island which my answer any question not asked:
            http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-07-1...conomy/6630008

            Comment


            • nari
              nari commented
              Editing a comment
              This is a fascinating story, Ombugge. Thank you for posting it. A very different atmosphere then, compared with the colonial times where the local indigenous had good jobs and were cared for if their kids became sick. I always wanted to see Palmyra but the locals did not welcome visitors, especially after two murders done by passing yacht crew on a couple of residents. Not good policy. But the photos show a very different Fanning from the one I knew - rather neglected and slummy after all the Colonial buildings were burnt to the earth including our huge rather grand house of 40 squares...however attitudes do vary from time to time. Suicides by resident managers on isolated posts were not rare.
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