Merchant Shipping. Page Three


  • Steam Titans
  • Oriental Endeavour
  • Rats, Rust & Two Old ladies
  • Chasing Conrad
  • DVD The Great Liners - The Queen Mary Episode 13
  • Cargo Liners
  • A Tasman Trio
  • Those in Peril
  • Shaw Savill's Magnificent Seven

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    By William M Fowler. Hardback. 0.68 kg, 358 Pages Colour & Black / White Photos. Published 2017.
    The story of the epic contest between shipping magnates Samuel Cunard and Edward Collins for mid-19th century control of the Atlantic.

    Between 1815 and the American Civil War, the greatest invention of the Industrial Revolution delivered a sea change in oceanic transportation. Steam travel transformed the Atlantic into a pulsating highway, dominated by ports in Liverpool and New York, as steamships ferried people, supplies, money, and information with astounding speed and regularity. American raw materials flowed eastward, while goods, capital, people, and technology crossed westward. The Anglo-American “partnership” fueled development worldwide; it also gave rise to a particularly intense competition.

    Steam Titans tells the story of a transatlantic fight to wrest control of the globe's most lucrative trade route. Two men--Samuel Cunard and Edward Knight Collins--and two nations wielded the tools of technology, finance, and politics to compete for control of a commercial lifeline that spanned the North Atlantic. The world watched carefully to see which would win. Each competitor sent to sea the fastest, biggest, and most elegant ships in the world, hoping to earn the distinction of being known as “the only way to cross.”

    Historian William M. Fowler brings to life the spectacle of this generation-long struggle for supremacy, during which New York rose to take her place among the greatest ports and cities of the world, and recounts the tale of a competition that was the opening act in the drama of economic globalization, still unfolding today.

    NZ$35.00 + Delivery

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    By David Creamer. 0.44 kgs, Paperback, 170mm x 240mm, 178 pages, some full colour photgraphs. Published 2015.
    As a sequel to the successful Rats, Rust and Two Old Ladies (see below), the story of Oriental Endeavour begins when the author delivers a tugboat from Avonmouth to Buchanan in war-torn Liberia. Four years later, he is asked to command one of two tugboats for delivery from West Africa to Singapore and, despite being renamed, he soon realises this is the same boat. Along with its sister, Oriental Tug No. 2 has been terribly neglected whilst in Liberia and requires extensive repairs at Las Palmas. The 11-day trip becomes particularly memorable due to a funnel fire, the discovery of a stowaway, a wheelhouse that is no longer water-tight and bad weather.

    En route to Malta they are battered by a violent storm and Roland, the unfriendly rat, is sighted. After a short stay in fly-infested Djibouti, they successfully avoid Somali pirates in the Gulf of Aden and attempt their first crossing of the Indian Ocean which is thwarted by further machinery failure and partial flooding of some cabins.

    After 13 weeks they arrive in a muddy backwater creek in Singapore where the owner mysteriously declines to show his face. Before sailing from Buchanan the ships were visited by employees of timber companies involved in gun-running and the illegal stripping of Liberia’s hardwood forests. Were blood diamonds from Sierra Leone concealed on board? Ex-President Charles Taylor of Liberia is on trial at the Hague – will the truth ever be known?

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    By David Creamer. 0.54 kgs, Paperback, 170mm x 240mm, 230 pages, some full colour photgraphs. Reprinted 2015.
    Delivering two 38-year-old Mississippi river tugboats halfway around the world from Bahrain to Trinidad would not be every ship master's dream employment. However, for Captain David Creamer, the seven-week voyage of the Justine and Martha was not only unique, but a memorable experience he was unlikely ever to forget or repeat.

    As the author relates the day-to-day problems that the twelve crewmen encountered while living onboard, the reader is drawn into their world. The discovery of a plague of rats, steering problems, running out of fresh water and running aground in the middle of Sitra port, Bahrain are just some of the difficulties the two old boats encountered on their way to the Caribbean. Rusty water, fuel oil in a toilet, and a fire onboard in the Gulf of Suez were some of the setbacks experienced on the first leg of the voyage.

    Designed principally for river work and not as ocean-going or deep-sea vessels, the hapless Justine and Martha encountered a short but violent Mediteranean storm on the passage from Port Said to Malta rendering conditions onboard extremely uncomfortable. On the leg of the journey from Malta to Trinidad, they hit more bad weather, partially flooding the Martha. It also became apparent that the fuel taken onboard by both vessels was biologically contaminated. Forced to stop at Gibraltar to clean the fuel tanks, the author and Chief Engineer visited Nerja in Spain, which coincided with the start of the Mardi Gras.

    Although blessed with good weather for their crossing of the Atlantic, this epic voyage almost ended in disaster just a few meters from the final destination. An explosion from the engine-room, followed by a high-pitched mechanical whining, signalled the end of both engines, leaving the Justine to drift helplessly towards the jagged edges of a ramshackle concrete pier...

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    By Simon J Hall. 0.51 kgs, Paperback, 170mm x 240mm, 198 pages, some black & white photgraphs. Published 2015.
    Simon Hall’s second book is set in the mid-1970s during the closing years of the golden age of British shipping, when cargo carriage at sea saw radical change and the romance of being at sea in old-style cargo ships came to an end. Hall’s account is of five years during which he worked as a junior officer in the Far East and South Pacific.

    This is no ordinary memoir; the prose is vividly expressed, often shocking, sometimes elegiac as evidenced by his description of a night watch in the Indian Ocean: alone on the bridge wing in the warm tropical night, I heard the wind sing through the stays as an Aeolian harp and I felt anointed by my good fortune. On loading rubber and timber in Sarawak he writes: The whole pace of life slowed, it felt as torpid as the idle Rajang river itself and we all slowed with it. Everything was so still, so unmoving, as if the whole world had lain down and gone to sleep.

    His descriptions of jaunts in forgotten parts of the world are strikingly expressed and there is added poignancyfrom the charting of Hall’s struggle against decline into alcohol abuse, expressed in a way that is in turn both sad and shocking: I ordered another cold beer and lit another cigarette, then sat with the ghost of my past dreams while the afternoon died around us and we surveyed the wreckage of all my hopes.

    This is an important work that captures an age now vanished, written in a style too rarely encountered.

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    By Snowbow Productions. DVD, 58 minutes running time.
    Producer/writer Des Cox has searched the world for over ten years to find the rare archive film necessary to make this most brilliant production.

    Now, using only moving film, most of which has never been made available to the public before, you can now step back in time to an age when England had pride in its achievements, and experience just what it was like to have sailed aboard the world's most famous ocean liner, - Feel the excitement as you arrive in Southampton to join her for her maiden voyage and a little later, on the voyage she captured the prized Blue Riband for Cunard White Star and for a whole rejoicing nation.

    You will share the joy and pride of those most momentous of maritime occasionsas if you were actually there in person, and see the ship as never been seen on video before: The bridge - decks - public rooms - restaurants - cabins - even crew working areas never seen before such as her secluded yet productive print- shop and her massive, cavernous engine rooms.

    Sadly, there will never be another great ocean liner quite like the "Queen Mary"

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    CARGO LINERS. an illustrated history
    By Ambrose Greenway. Hardcover, 248mm x 268mm, 176 pages, monochrome photos.
    For 100 years, between 1850 and 1950, the cargo liner grew to dominate the world's trade routes and, unlike the tramp steamer, provided regular services with advertised sailings and fixed dates that merchants, shippers and importers could rely on. They were the mainstay of maritime trade and carried much of the world's higher value manufactured goods to all the corners of the globe, returning to the industrialised countries with raw materials.

    The book begins with the establishment of routes around Europe and across the North Atlantic in the 1850s. Not until Liverpool ship owner and engineer, Alfred Holt, developed high-pressure compound engines were coal-powered vessels able to steam further afield, to the Far East and Australia. The opening of the Suez Canal in 1869 cemented the dominance of the cargo liner and only with the appearance of the first container ship in the 1950s was the dominance finally overthrown.

    With its informative text and a magnificent collection of more than 300 evocative photographs, here is a feast for ship enthusiasts and for all those who mourn the passing of the golden age of the steamship.

    NZ$120.00 + Delivery

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    By Andrew Bell and Murray Robinson. Hardcover, 215mm x 304mm, 104 pages, monochrome photos.
    A Tasman Trio: Wanganella - Awatea - Monowai brings to lovers of good books the fascinating lives of the three best-remembered passenger liners that linked Australia and New Zealand in the golden era of sea travel, before the modern airline industry came on the scene. Sunlit promenade decks, cocktails in the First Class lounge, invitations to the captain's table, tennis on the sports deck, dining saloons with the finest haute cuisine, cruising the Fiordland sounds, streamers and "All Ashore!" on sailing day. The story of these three ships through the exigencies of war and the uncerainties of peace is told in a wealth of photos many of which have never been published before, all of them sourced from major collections in New Zealand and from around the world, including the publisher's own extensive archives.
    This book includes 189 black and white photos plus two maps, deck plans of each ship and paintings in colour.

    NZ$61.50 + Delivery

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    By Ian Cook. Hardback, 1.46kg, 187mm x 256mm, 338 pages, black and white photos. Published in 2010.
    This story covers fifty-six years of maritime history, from the last six months of the second world war until the year 2002.
    In December 1944, a young Scot began a seagoing career with one of Britain's oldest shipping companies. Alfred Holt & Company, the Blue Funnel Line of Liverpool, which took him around the globe to many remote places.
    From the Molucca Islands in Indonesia, to Matadi, one hundred miles up the Congo in Africa, to the creeks and thousand islands of Burma and Thailand, to New York, Sydney, Tokyo, Hamburg, Broome in West Australia, Jeddah in Saudi Arabia; to Shanghai, Yokohama and to little known parts of North Borneo; around the Pacific Islands and finally to New Zealand.
    After 14 years at sea, he began a new career as a marine pilot, which lasted for forty-two years, piloting ships in Penang Malaysia, three New Zealand harbours and in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
    Fifty-six years after boarding his first ship, Ian retired from the position of Harbour Master/Pilot in the port of Gisborne, Poverty Bay - where his namesake Captain James Cook first set foot on New Zealand soil.
    During this long and varied career, Ian experienced North Atlantic convoys in wartime, a hurricane off the coast of Florida, survived three hours in shark infested waters in Lagos, Nigeria, witnessed a murder in the Celebes and tracked a tiger in Malaysia.
    He played golf in unusual circumstances, with the sound of machineguns and mortar fire coming from an attack by Karen rebels in Moulmein, Burma, and then, in Labuan, North Borneo, found himself in the middle of an American 'invasion'.
    This book is an autobiography that will capture not only those with a love of the sea but also anyone who enjoys a well-told story of a life lived to the full.

    NZ$70.00 + Delivery

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    By Andrew Bell and Murray Robinson. Hardback, 1.1kg, 215mm x 305mm, 168 pages, black & white and full colour photos. Published in 2011.
    In May 1946, amid the hardships of post-war Britain, the splendid new passenger liner Corinthic was launched in the Mersey. vanguard of a class of seven, she offered first-class sea travel reminiscent of the halcyon days of the 1930s. Corinthic was followed by sisters Athenic, Ceramic and the Gothic, and by three cargo-only 'Big Ics', Persic, Suevic and Runic.
    Shaw Savill's Magnificent Seven not only gives full accounts of their careers, which in two cases were unusually notable, but offers much more besides. The authors have drawn together a treasure-house of memories, facts and photographs from those who designed, built and sailed 'the Big ics". They tell a fascniating story of ordering and constructing the ships, life on their bridges, in the pasenger lounges and the crew mess rooms, and work in the engine rooms and holds.
    The most famous of the class was the Gothic, which had the extraordinary distinction in 1953-1954 of serving as royal yacht for the very first visit by a reigning British monarch to the Commonwealth countries of the southern oceans. But each of the ships had their stories, including that of the stranding of the Runic on Middleton Reef and of the fires on the Corinthic and Gothic.
    By the authors of 'A Tasman Trio", Shaw Savill's Magnificent Seven is a masterly account which successfully summons up the immediate post-war era of sailing in and working on the last of the classic cargo-passenger ships. Co-author Murray Robinson lives on new Zealand's Kapiti Coast and this book is illustrated with his paintings of 'the Big Ics'

    NZ$80.00 + Delivery

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