I enjoyed another interesting article that appeared in the February 2014 edition of Sea Breezes; Ships We Forgot to Remember - The Arafura, by Andrew Bell.
Perhaps the following lines might also interest readers; Arafura (3) 37,902/1991, built by Ishikawajima- Harima Heavy Ind, Co Ltd (IHI) Kure. Main engine; Sulzer 6RTA84C, 18 knots, 2440 TEU.
My wife and I joined Arafura at Botany Bay Container Terminal on 16 September 2001 for a 35 day round voyage to Japan and South Korea. The itinerary was as follows; Botany Bay to Melbourne, Botany Bay (2nd call), Brisbane, Yokohama, Yokkaichi, Nagoya, Osaka, Hakata, Shimazu and Busan, returning direct to Botany Bay. The Master was Peter D Sheppard, a very socialable man who joined us for breakfast each morning. He was an ex Pat, as were the 3rd Officer, Terence J Dunkley and the Scots Ch/Eng John W Miller. Total crew numbers were 23, of whom 11 were Officers, the remaining 12 from the Philippines. One further passenger, Graham Waters, a late middle-aged man joined us at Brisbane.
We enjoyed a very comfortable cabin on the Port side, just aft from the C/ Eng quarters and also shared a combined pantry/laundry with the Chief, who never ate in the saloon. There was a TV room for the passengers and we were welcome to use the officers’ bar. Saturday evenings were BBQ affairs, usually big steaks and salads. The food was excellent all through the voyage and the cooks and stewards very attentive to our needs. Being in our early 70’s at this time, going sight-seeing was limited to the ports where the towns were near at hand.
We were most impressed by all the wonderful bridges; my previous visit occurring in early 1950 when delivering a cargo of grain to Kobe aboard ss Dallas City from Engineiro White, Argentina. We both thoroughly enjoyed our voyage (Strand Voyages) and realised that the Far East has advanced in similar ways to western countries.
J D FILLER
St Briavels, 60 Morfa Maen
Kidwelly, SA17 4UF