With regards to the June 2015 edition of Sea Breezes and David Thomson’s letter concerning his voyage to Australia on Orestes. Seeing the photograph of him at Woolloomooloo, reminded me of the only occasion I berthed at that wharf.
It was January 1950, and I was a first trip cadet on the Clan Maclennan. We had sailed outbound from the UK to Kenya, Tanganyika and Zanzibar and then light ship to Sydney, where we were to load a full cargo homewards. I always remember Woolloomooloo as it was the only port in my memory – apart from South Africa – where we were warned not to walk back to the ship after dark. Wasn’t that park area known as the Domain?
There was an apocryphal story doing the rounds that the previous voyage, when the Maclennan berthed there, that the pilot was not used to turbine vessels and that, by the time the vessel’s forward motion had been halted, that the Mate, Carpenter and the Serang had nearly landed in the bar of The Bells pub!
Believe the story or not, but the Maclennan was very slow to go astern. Seeing that Mr Thomson was with ‘Blue Flue’, I was wondering if he had been on Conway like so many of his colleagues.