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My Nevasa Scrap Run Story

I (Steve B) was one of the 69 men who took Nevasa on her final voyage to scrap. Specially for the trip I bought 2 Kodak disposable cameras but hadn't paid enough attention at the time of purchase and it wasn't until I went to pick up the prints that I found the cameras had contained film for 110 slides. Being unable to view them properly I stashed them in an old shoe box with my discharge book and a few other odds and sods. I've just found these two little boxes of slides (2009) and had them converted to digital and seen them myself for the first time in 34 years.

 

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Courtesy of Steve B

My discharge book has reminded me of the circumstances of Nevasa's demise. I'd joined her in Southampton straight off Canberra on the 29th September 1974 and we left on the same day for the Mediterranean School season.

 

Courtesy of Steve B

This was taken from Canberra as we arrived that morning. Sadly as it turns out it was the last time Nevasa would ever see Southampton. What a shame we didn't know that at the time.

  

Courtesy of Steve B

In the last 2 weeks of that 3 month stint in the Med I met Jen who's still my wife now, 39 years later. She was a phys ed teacher chaperoning the first ever contingent of Australians on a school discovery cruise. I was due to go home for Christmas, leaving in Ceuta on the 19th December 1974.   

 

Courtesy of Steve B

Jen was on the ship one more night and I'd left her in the good hands of Dennis Morris (left) and Jock Doig and it was that night when the news of Nevasa's scrapping was announced to all onboard. Jen then flew to London with her group to continue their European adventure. I'd only been home a week when there was a knock on the door and it was Jen who'd left her group in London and found her way on the train to Scunthorpe bearing the bed news. I was summoned back to Casablanca on the 7th January 1975 to take Nevasa back to her Mediterranean base of Malta then I went home again on the 14th January to continue my leave while P&O planned Nevasa's fate.

 

this is the start of the converted slide photos...

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Courtesy of Steve B

When I flew back to Malta on the 10th February 1975 she was rigged and ready to embark on her final voyage to Kaohsiung, Taiwan where the razor blade factory was honing it's tools of destruction. 

 

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Courtesy of Steve B

Here she is proudly displaying her Pay-Off Pennant which is the length of the ship plus one foot for every year of service. I wasn't able to get the whole thing in shot. 

 

Here it is again and that's Bob Scarrott sitting on the Yard Arm. 

 

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Courtesy of Steve B

What a great shot of her magnificent funnel and that's Bob Scarrott again, he's one person who had been hard to find and I haven't seen him since that trip in 1975. He has now found the site and has made contact. Sadly that's my bloody thumb in the left corner of the shot.

 

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Courtesy of Steve B

Rough seas and full ahead both steaming into the Atlantic heading for Dakar.

 

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Courtesy of Steve B

I'm only assuming this is Dakar.

 

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Courtesy of Steve B

Again hopefully someone might recognise where this is. 

 

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Courtesy of Steve B

Bob Scarrott enjoying the empty ship.

 

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Courtesy of Steve B

Me with my famous Tam O' Shanter flat cap with the fluffy white bobble on top and I'm holding the symbol of my entire life ... Amberfluid. 

 

Courtesy of Steve B

The Albatross.

 

Courtesy of Steve B

For those who of you haven't already read Nevasa's last Engine Room logbook, for the whole time we sailed down the west coast of Africa from Dakar to Cape Town a solitary Albatross joined us and stayed with us on the starboard bow the entire trip. Some days she was so close to the A Deck hand rail I could almost touch her. She had to be over 10 foot from wingtip to wingtip and hardly ever flapped a wing just glided in our slip stream the entire way. I took heaps of photos of her but won't bore you with them all. The morning I got up and she wasn't there really upset me. 

 

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Courtesy of Steve B

Cape Town and that's my first and best 2nd Engineer, Harry Ritchie, checking it out. Harry's one I'd love to contact but haven't seen or heard of since 1975.  

 

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Courtesy of Steve B 

 

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Courtesy of Steve B

Not sure where this was but it had to be Dakar or Cape Town as they were the only places we stopped at. After leaving Cape Town came my one and only encounter with the well known Nevasa Ghost, stories of which had been told over the years at many a cabin bonding session. 

 

Courtesy of Steve B

This is me at the helm on Nevasa's Bridge. After leaving Cape Town the boredom got to me and I decided to do my steering ticket so here I am actually steering the ship.

 

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Courtesy of Steve B

And here it is!


As we were sailing through the Sunda Straits (between Java and Sumatra) we were attacked by pirates and this occurrence has been doubted by some but this is my recollection of events which are still fresh in my mind today. Believe what you want but if you're interested you can read about it and hear a tape I made of it here. Just to hear Nevasa's emergency bells and the ship's whistle is well worth a listen anyway.

 

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Courtesy of Steve B

And this was our first sight of Kaohsiung.

 

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Courtesy of Steve B

We made it ... a very sad job well done and these were the 4-8 lads who did their bit;

L-R:

Bob Scarrott (aka Scratchit), Harry Ritchie (J/2nd Engineer), Bob Eden (JEO) and the amazing Duncan Kilgour (4th Engineer extraordinaire)(Deceased)  


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Courtesy of Steve B

During the trip our only emtertainment was the above 12 reel to reel movies showing the dates they were shown (1975). I was the nominated projectionist and as you can see I made a review on the left and a score out of 10 on the right. Walking Tall, The Tamarind Seed and White Lightning were the standouts. I've got no idea what happened with movie No 9???

 

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Courtesy of Steve B

And yet again the Sun sets on the death of another living breathing machine that was the home to many and like the good mother she was, she nurtured and cared for them carrying them safely across all corners of this world and went wherever she was asked without question giving her all with not a thought for herself. Landlubbers would and could never understand.   

 

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