Dos diversos tipos de navios que me foi dado conhecer com os anos, os navios mistos de passageiros e carga, os chamados Paquetes Mistos, estão no topo da lista de favoritos. Apesar de praticamente terem desaparecido, eram navios bonitos, esforçados e muito úteis. O meu amigo Bill Miller recorda neste texto dois antigos paquetes mistos ingleses da companhia Furness, os gémeos NOVA SCOTIA e NEWFOUNDLAND, que na década de 1960 trocaram o Atlântico Norte pela Austrália com os nomes George Anson e Francis Drake:
"Sir Hamilton Sleigh, owner of the Australian 'Golden Fleece' petroleum brand and a shipping magnate in his own right, purchased two small cargo liners in 1962," recalled Dr John McMichan, ship's doctor with the Dominion-Far East Line. "Called the Nova Scotia and Newfoundland of Furness Withy Lines, these ships, built in 1947 by Vickers Armstrong in Newcastle, were well known on the Liverpool to Boston run. After extensive refurbishment in Glasgow, they were christened the Francis Drake and theGeorge Anson respectively, for the Dominion Navigation Company and entered service in 1963. Each was of 7,438 tons, capable of 16 knots and catering for 120 passengers in luxury and all while sailing from Australia to South East Asia & the Far East. Leather settees, sterling silver cutlery and bone china crockery set the tone for first class service provided by a staff mainly from Hong Kong. Entertainment was standard for the time – the Chief Radio Officer's color slide show, a reel-to-reel out of date movie courtesy of the Purser, coffee and petit fours after dinner in the Forward Lounge while the Dining Room was cleared for dancing or a spirited game of "horse racing". The company name was changed to the Dominion Far East Line in 1965 in conjunction with Jardine Matheson of Hong Kong. Each ship had an 8-week itinerary starting in Melbourne and stopping in Sydney, Brisbane, Townsville or Cairns, Manila, Hong Kong, Kobe, Yokohama, Keelung, Guam, Rabaul, Sydney and then back to Melbourne. This was a very successful and popular venture in the latter 1960's, but by '70s the effect of jet travel and a diminishing market forced the sale of the two ships to the breakers in Taiwan. The company struggled on, however, and acquired theMarco Polo, the former Brazilian Princesa Isabel, of 9,696 tons and carrying 375 passengers. After a refit in Glasgow, she sailed from Sydney to Asia and the Pacific before being sold off in 1978." The splendid painting attached is by the ever-brilliant Stephen Card.
Texto e imagens /Text and images copyright L.M.Correia. Favor não piratear. Respeite o meu trabalho / No piracy, please. For other posts and images, check our archive at the right column of the main page. Click on the photos to see them enlarged. Thanks for your visit and comments. Luís Miguel Correia