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My first trip on Oriana in 1970, as a very unworldly 21 Year old Sydney boy was a real eye opener for me. I had only done a two week coastal on Pando Point when I joined Oriana. The whole thing was a great adventure for me and the highlights below of that trip remain very fondly in my memory. To see all these places that I had seen in books and on TV was unreal to me.
Southampton - The boiler room fire at the start of the trip has been described previously.
Panama Canal - This was amazing to me to be actually going through this icon. I eventually traversed the canal 10 times in my time on Oriana.
San Pedro, Los Angeles - Steve Wedd called down and asked me to come up to meet his Australian girlfriend, Roslyn and her twin sister, Sandra who were living in Los Angeles. I stood there in my boiler suit and engine room socks and we exchanged pleasantries. To cut a long story short, two years later, I left P&O to go back to Sydney with Roslyn to be married.
San Francisco - I remember coming up from standby to see Alcatraz out the port hole of our bib alley. I went ashore alone and walked the streets and stumbled across Lombard street.
Honolulu - I came up from watch at 08:00 as we approached Oahu, to see Diamond heat out of the Engineers mess port hole. I went ashore with Dave Betts, Bill McCandless and Mark Gardiner. We rented a big chevvy and drove around the island. I did all the driving.
Suva - I bought a stereo record player & speakers for my cabin, much to the displeasure of the S2E, Maurice Tate in the cabin next to mine.
Sydney - I came up from standby to see all my family up on the international terminal. The S2E give me the whole two days off so I could spend time at home. I brought all my Jimi Hendrix, Cream, John Mayall, etc records on board, more to the displeasure of the S2E.
Vancouver - I had met a very nice girl outward from Soton to Vancouver. She was traveling first class with her mother and wanted to see me again. Her father was the manager of P&O in Vancouver. On the return trip, it was snowing heavily and the streets were deep in snow. The first time I had seen snow. I caught a bus to the girl's house in West Vancouver and had to trudge through knee deep snow to her front door. We met up again several times.
Acapulco - I couldn't believe how far the kids swam out to the ship to dive for coins thrown into the water. Went ashore with Dave Betts. We saw the "High Diving Act" and ate red hot tamales in a restaurant. We noticed all the Mexican people were eating steaks.
Southampton - I was amazed how the mood of the crew changed in the last two days before arrival after three months. They called it "The Channels" and it got a bit testy on watch.
These were the highlights of a very eventful trip for me.
Where are you from: Bilgola - Sydney Northern Beaches