Subtitle

South Pacific Nostalgia Trip

Posted by mike stanford agate on March 28, 2015 at 8:15 PM

Just returned from 3 weeks cruising from New Zealand around the Copra Run.   We called at New Caledonia, Fiji, Samoa, American Samoa, Bora Bora, Moorea & Tahiti.  Suva has not changed one bit in 40 years.  The streets are the same, including the Sweet Waters Bridge  & The Golden Dragon still remains.  Lautoka had developed more than Suva, as sugar is still the big employer in the district.  The only difference is the proliferation of Tourist Resorts around the Island.  I was looking forward to visiting Apia and  Aggie Grey's for a couple of beers,  but that did not happen as it was closed for renovations.  Also as they do not now export Copra to the same extent as they did, the sweet smelling odour was missing.  However, memories came flooding back.  Next trip Rabaul, New Guinea. 

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6 Comments

Reply Cliff Cocker
11:18 AM on July 15, 2016 
Have great memories of my last Sopac run, it was the last time that my late wife was fit enough to come with me, great memories of fish and chips at the Seafront restaurant in Honiara and the deck apprentice (Alfie) who came to stay with us in Woodbridge whilst waiting to go up for Second Mates. Was too frightened to ride a bicycle in Woodbridge but regaled us with stories of wild pig sticking with just a spear, and dragging carpet sharks up the beach by their tails to knock their teeth out for presents for girl friends.
We couldn't transit the Suez Canal initially due to Radioactivity (Yellow cake from Darwin as deck cargo) but the instruments were re-calibrated after suitable contributions of whiskey and cigarettes!!
The days of SOP (standard operating practise)
Didn't get the chance of a run ashore in Apia, too much swell and we had to move off after breaking mooring ropes and demolishing lamp standards with a container hanging over the side. Left the cook ashore (off chasing nooky) still the wives and Chief Steward cooked breakfast, much better without the usual lashings of oil.
Reply Cliff Cocker
10:35 AM on July 9, 2016 
Still remember trying to get a nights sleep whilst night working with a derrick heel attached to the bulkhead attached to my bedhead!!
Reply Mike Taylor (Mickrick)
9:00 PM on July 9, 2015 
Rabaul is going to be a bit of a shock. The port is still there, as is the Rabaul Hotel, but most of the town is buried under about 2m of volcanic ash. The airport is now out at Kokopo, which is an hour away. And Tavurvur continues to belch smoke and ash - sometimes very active, and sometimes just a plume. I'd check with the local volcanology website before booking anything.
Reply mike stanford agate
8:49 PM on April 7, 2015 
Duncan Cameron says...
Afraid I went to Aggie Greys about 2000 and was sadly disapointed, the bar was a stainless steel confection in the foyer, the one down the stairs on your right as you went in had gone. How did you do the trip though?
Reply Duncan Cameron
10:52 AM on April 7, 2015 
Afraid I went to Aggie Greys about 2000 and was sadly disapointed, the bar was a stainless steel confection in the foyer, the one down the stairs on your right as you went in had gone. How did you do the trip though?
Reply Charlie Stitt
12:15 PM on March 29, 2015 
Mike, you lucky sod, three weeks around the Islands and not a deep tank to be seen. Hope you took a few photos to share with us poor souls who can only dream of doing that cruise. Aggie Grey's? not a name I recall, I don't remember a pub being there in 1957 when I called at Apia on the Westbank, did we call there on the Foylebank ? It's good to hear you are enjoying your retirement Mike, make the most of it, you deserve it for serving your time with Weirs LOL. Cheers, Charlie.