AFRICA 1973 MURUROA 1973 NEWS HOME

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Mauritius
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Kenya
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Seychelles

 

HMAS DERWENT
"Showing the Flag"

Indian Ocean February 1973 -
HM Australian Warships -
SUPPLY, DERWENT and PERTH

Early February 73 we started our workup trials off the coast with many trips to Jervis Bay accompanied by PERTH and DERWENT.

Then one day the skipper Captain Loosli, called the crew together after morning muster to announce that we would be taking a cruise to the steamy delights of Africa and all it had to offer. (What a Trip) we sure had some great runs ashore along with a few near misses like the time we were piled into a bus in Fremantle one day and were told to report to the Government Medical Officer in Perth for 'Yellow Fever' injections. I don’t know about you fellows but I was as crook as a dog for days after, at sea once the injections took effect.

Leaving Fremantle the Task Force was shadowed continuously by the ever present Russian Fishing Trawler on the horizon and a keen interest in the Russian's was heightened when the Comms Officer seconded "ABEMP Jankowski" for extra duty in the radio room each night to translate.

By the end of the voyage Jankowski was considered a fully fledged R.O. Highlights of our voyage were many, including great times stepping ashore on Mauritius Island.

Who can remember the Brewery tour while we were in Mauritius, gee's there sure were some sore heads the next morning, especially the lovable POQMG Pedro Jurd Esq. Incidentally anyone looking for Peter Jurd like a lot of old Tankermen he's now in QLD.

Monday morning we were off again heading to Mombassa with an hours delay in departure due in course to the Skippers compassionate nature and Inter Service co-operation. This delay was caused by the fact that a crew member aboard had a brother aboard HMS Chichester, the RN destroyer that entered harbour just before we sailed.

Eventually underway we had an eventful voyage outward bound towards Mombassa, about a day out we received a message from a US Navy Destroyer the USS NOA requiring fuel as she was on her way home via the Cape of Good Hope. As memory recalls our RAS took place about 2:30am one wet and windy morning to the utter distaste of those involved who were dragged from their bunks, still recuperating from the effects of the Brewery Inspection in Mauritius.

PO Mess 1973
Petty Officers Mess HMAS Supply 1973

Once this replenishment took place we headed for Mombassa and 7 days in port there on R and R, where we were forced to wear No6's for the first few days because of the so called threat of Yellow Fever. The best watering hole was the front bar of the Castle Royal Hotel Kilinindi Rd Mombassa, a haven to many thirsty sailors. Those of us that had it in their heads to make like the big white hunters of Africa and go on safari, did venture forth in a rented car to the disgust of the rental company. This band of merry gentlemen were non other than a bunch of blind drunk stokers led in part by the wildest of them all Bubbles Currin Esq. Needless to say they enjoyed themselves even if they did wreck the car and have to swim back to the ship from the harbour side.

Another story of note that has come to light recently is the one about a bunch of sailors racing Elephants yes Elephants down the main drag of Nairobi, needless to say once again these sailors were non other than stokers, this is fact people they actually had their photo splashed over the front page of the main Nairobe News with the title of "Drunken Sailors racing Elephants" I was hoping to be able to obtain a copy of that photo and insert it here for posterity but I have been threatened with bodily harm by several stokers if this happens. Even a Dibbie has to draw the line somewhere.

Mombassa
Mombassa Kenya 1973

After a week there we set sail for the Seychelles Is, to the northeast of Kenya for a stopover before turning our heads for home and some well earned leave. Later on in the year we were called together again, by the skipper and informed that we would be given the option of volunteering for the next deployment as we would be off to do battle with the nasty Frogs in the South Pacific.

That trip lasted just over 2 months and as someone was heard to remark that the Seamen have the edge in the Navy, men like the "old salt" himself (PO QMG Jurd) a man who is very hard to keep up with when on a run ashore and the specially imported "Buffer" Chief UW Dusty Millar Esq who because of his age, was rumoured to have served as a Chief under Lord Nelson at Trafalgar, no wonder Supply was recognized as the home of Seamen.

Chief UW 'Dusty' Millar
Chief UW 'Dusty' Millar

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