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  • Peking

    PEKING returning to Hamburg

    Credit: hamburg-news; 18th July 2017

    The “Dockschiff Combi Dock III“ is bringing the run-down PEKING across the Atlantic from New York to the Elbehafen-Brunsbüttel in Hamburg where it is expected on July 31, 2017. The barque will then be towed to Peters-Werft in Wewelsfleth for extensive refurbishment.

    Built in 1911 by Blohm+Voss for the Hamburg-based F. Laeisz ship company, the PEKING took to the high seas on nitrate voyages between Europe and Chile. The PEKING rounded Cape Horn twice on each journey and there is evidence of 34 sailings. 


    More 141_photos











    The New York Times – 14 Novbember 2015
    Steely Veteran of the Sea to Make a Voyage Home


    Saying Goodbye to Peking —
    Windjammer Leaves South Street for the Last Time

    CREDIT:   Rick Spilman  September 7, 2016 // oldsaltblog.com

    This morning, the 1911 built, steel, four masted barque, Peking, left South Street Seaport, its home for more than 40 years, for the last time. For those of us who have known the ship for almost as long, it was both a sad and joyous day. The South Street Seaport Museum lacked the resources and even the berth space to support the Peking. The museum worked very 49hard to find a good home for the historic ship and they succeeded. Sometime next Spring, the grand old ship will be carried on a heavy lift ship back to Hamburg, Germany, its original home port and the city where it was built 105 years ago.  In the mean time, Peking has been moved to Caddell Dry Dock in Staten Island to be made ready for the voyage home.  Peking will be restored in Germany and serve as the centerpiece of a new Hamburg harbor museum for which the German government has allocated 120 million euros. A reported 30 million euros have been allocated to transport and restore the Peking.


    Arrival at the ship yard PETERS for an overhaul
    – enlarge image  – click –



  • 1941-1949

    PAMIR under New Zealand flag 1941 to 1949

    91_News reports PAMIR in Sydney

    90_1947- The Australian Women’s Weekly
    92_ 93_

    Here you find material when PAMIR sailed under the flag of New Zealand, as randomly collected, selected, compiled, and hopefully extended whenever possible. Enjoy!

    The full size of jpg-images
    is often only available by
    a click for enlagement.
    98grossClick here for Journal in PDF

    Content of Journal “Full & By”, 0ctober 2011 (in PDF HERE)



    A brief PAMIR History (jpg)

    96Three PAMIR events 1941, 1949, 1957 (jpg)

    97Full text to the right

    For details see:  http://www.if-9.de/zei_b150.htm .
    “PAMIR – The New Zealand Episode“
    © Peter Wells, Wellington, New Zealand
    “Dedicated to the 4 masted barque PAMIR and the men who sailed in her.
    The steel 4 masted barque PAMIR was German built in 1905 for F. Laisz’s “Flying P Line” of Hamburg. A powerful Cape Horn vessel she carried nitrate cargoes from Chile to European ports. In the 1930’s she flew the flag of Gustaf Erikson of Mariehamn in the Finnish Aland Islands and was mainly employed carrying grain from South Australian ports to Europe, again via Cape Horn.
    On 29 July 1941 PAMIR sailed into Wellington Harbour with a cargo of fertilizer from the Seychelles Islands and five days later was seized as a prize of war by the New Zealand Government.
    Managed by the Union Steam Ship Company and commanded and manned by New Zealanders PAMIR made five voyages to San Francisco, three to Vancouver, one to Sydney and one to London and Antwerp before being returned to her owners on 12 November 1948. Flying the Finnish flag once more but crewed by New Zealanders PAMIR left Wellington for the last time on 1 February 1949.
    As a German cargo-carrying auxilliary training ship PAMIR foundered in hurricane “Carrie” in the North Atlantic Ocean on 21 September 1957 with the loss of eighty of her crew of eighty-six.
    Erected by the New Zealand PAMIR Association Sponsored by the Union Shipping Group Limited.”


  • Preface


    Originally it was planned to make a picture book with many photos that were taken two years before sinking in the North Atlantic and during other periods. But then I remembered my notes in my daybook. My picture book now offers several reports.

    There were two fascinating voyages to South America on board “Pamir” from June 1955 to May 1956. In Germany many people just like me had never or seldom tasted a luscious steak, a yellow banana or oranges, let alone have set foot on France, Italy nor even other continents. For the ships boys coming on board in Hamburg, a lot was unfamiliar and some things were very  surprising.

    I signed on June 23, 1955 and after two journeys signing off on May 11, 1956. Many impressionsa_ and incidents were somehow written down. Here I tried to repeat my notes as close as I could even though some of my reports seem somewhat adventurous to me today.

    Deviating from my original script I omitted real names instead using aliases. Naming ranks should not be connected to certain persons. Nobody of those taking part – in heaven or on earth – should feel being treated unfair or indulgent.

    These 40 reports will therefore not lose their authenticity. While the text is exclusively from me this does not apply to the photos. These somehow came together over time. The collection was improved by my “Pamir”-associates and very good friends ‘ever since’ Sigurd Stabenow and Juergen Waechtler, from their stock some are included as well as further Pamir-photos before and after 1955/56.

    The selected pictures do not serve a special theme or order except for massive showing when there is enough space. Where they are presented is as I thought best. Connected with best wishes to all those readers obsessed by the sea, from the elderly ships boy,

    D’boy Arnd

  • 28 – Visit on Christmas Eve 1955

    Report 28: Visit on Christmas Eve 1955

    The day before Christmas we had accomplished it, we had sailed past the Canary Islands. After1_ scrubbing the deck and hoisting the summer set of sails, the trade winds set in three days ago, and sunshine gained supremacy in the sky. This was fine for the atmosphere on board after six gray weeks in Europe. Nevertheless, the young crew was nervous because the Christmas tree lights hanging over the masts had not yet been prepared entirely.

    2_In Bremen, we had already taken some pine trees on board, already losing some needles, but on a square-rigger you can display illumination particularly good, the ship’s boys said to themselves and obtained the approval from above. Although some 30 oil lamps were on board for emergency measures, we had acquired other inexpensive ones from a huckster behind the pub “silver bag” and stowed them in the Bosun’s locker (cable 3_storage) in accordance with the instructions of the boatswain. Now we began to work hard on the Christmas lights.

    Moreover, because the boatswain, the sail maker and the machinist stood by our side in word and deed, we were now able to complete the preparations on Saturday December 24, 1955. After the galley had reported the plan-fulfillment, a festive dinner, scheduled at 7:30pm, illuminating lights and then to sing together sitting on top of hatch 3.

    The festive meal was good: there was more roasted meat than usual and home-made ice cream with strawberry gravy. Then, the lit oil lamps were placed in the top and put into prepared brackets on all of our yardarms and four were taken up to the royal yards. Here, the lamp base was put in a halved box, on their bottom (with two holes through them), a thin wire was pulled through the holes, with the can placed safely on the yard in good distance to the attached sail.

    4_Soon all masts shone in the glow of over 45 shining lights over a height of 50 meters which produced a dim white shining light in the wind filled sails. From deck, we admired our creation from all sides, and then singing began on hatch three. Quickly one turned away from “O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree” and eventually arrived at singing: “What shall we do with the drunken sailor” and then all of a sudden a ship on port side and right after that another one on starboard side disturbed our songs with a powerful toot.

    On our left a Russian and on the right side there came an American warship – with us sailing in the middle with 3 knots. The second officer came in contact using a signal lamp in Morse-Code with the U.S. Navy – the radio operator contacted the Red Fleet. Shortly thereafter, we were overwhelmed by praise for our beautiful “Christmas Tree song” and asked by the commanders of both warships whether we would like to have 25 men from each ship on board for two hours, strictly separated, no alcohol and no collaboration. The Cold War did not soften up the fronts, not even on this evening.

    Permission was granted immediately and with a great “Welcome” or “Добро пожаловать”, we helped the sailors either to port or starboard on the deployed accommodation ladders (tall ladders with wooden rungs) to come on board. They acknowledged it sympathetically, carefully watching not to stain their white tropical uniforms. The procedure was decided on quickly and without big words: No speeches, just song after song, a Russian, an American, a German, so that each group could sing and the others sang or hummed along. The mother ships of our sailors came closer and closer toward us. Finally, they steamed only 50 meters away from us right and left. On deck, the crewmembers of the Great Powers were from the east and west and sang along. In this peaceful atmosphere, carried by the mild trade wind Christmas had arrived..

    But, as the bell ringing two double strokes was heard, the guests became hectic. The sailors had to be in line at the last post at 22:30, no matter if east or west. They thanked briefly but warmly, requested us to leave the lights on until midnight and went to their respective tenders, which were constantly nearby. All went fast. The guys were probably well trained. Meanwhile, we made sure that the illumination held another two hours. As our eyes wandered over the vast extent of the night’s Atlantic, we realized now, more than a dozen ships were in our vicinity. That inspired us to check through all the lights again and trim the flames optimally. By midnight, we were the center of many ships that slowly steamed south like an armada. Probably, none of us was below deck, we enjoyed the atmosphere. Well everyone enjoyed the view!

    Finally, there was an additional big surprise. At the four-time double strike of the ship’s bell at midnight our two warships set off huge tooting concert. It included all vessels in sight and hearing distance and us. It was like New Year’s Eve at the St. Pauli Landing Bridges in Hamburg.


    When switching off and dismounting the lamps an unusual Christmas eve came to an end. Sunday, the next day, we still were able to celebrate as well: We were off work except for keeping watch and had to serve the sails, but we were spared from chipping rust, washing paint, or painting etc. Some were sitting over a cup of coffee, chatting for some time even sitting beneath a real Christmas tree.


  • Report 11 – Brazil – Rail – Bananas

    Report 11: Brazil – Rail – Bananas

    Out of four days in Brazil, two were pitch black. Right after our cheerful welcome, all hands were on deck to open our four hatches. Already by 4pm, the land cranes and stevedores were in 1__action and cleared the thousand tons of coal with noise and dust until 11pm. However, silence lasted only until 6am in the morning, and then it all went on. Now with us as well, we should learn how to relieve a ship from carbon residues and coal dust. This day was dedicated to the steerage.

    We learned to swing a broom and bucket and practiced to in- and exhale coal dust. We made it joyfully, because that meant that already on the first day by 4pm was closing time for us. Then we just needed another hour of cleaning our body under salt-free shower water returning to fairly- white appearance.

    A small exploratory walk through a town with many flowers, shrubs and trees that were absolutely strange to me, was possible. I was traveling with a group that wanted to go into the 100 km distant and 1000-meter higher city of Curitiba in 12 hours by train. This meant to crawl into the hammock not too late, because at 5:30am it should be “all rise – all rise” for us.

    We trotted with 15 men up to the train station – together with nautical technical personnel (the second officer). Departure was at 08am, at 11am arrival was planned. We received lunch, a city tour, dinner, and accommodation, return flight, all within 28 hours. It was a train with three carriages, like those used on routes in Schleswig-Holstein, typical for the Wild West. Only a small degree of utilization on the train we left unspectacular. Tuk-tuk-tuk, we made slow progress with a steam locomotive. After about 45 minutes, we were on the open range. After some waiting and much palaver it turned out that the engine had broken down, and that in about two hours a replacement train would come.

    Finally time to explore Brazilian country. All was flat around us, harvested fields. Here and there a stem and stub. But these were few stubs were heaven on earth to me, because they hung full of ripe bananas! Till now I had only heard of it, and now they were hanging in front of my nose ready to be eaten. We harvested plentiful, and three instead of the announced two hours passed quickly.

    2_It continued with a railcar into breathtaking mountain scenery, combined with great technical railway building art. As we were only an hour from our goal, a small shunting locomotive came toward us to the single track. I was standing directly behind the train driver. There was no escape: We slammed together. Although our railcar had a significant amount of damage, but fortunately only one person was injured. Our colleague Paul had opened the car door before the collision, and had jumped out. Broken leg! On the shunting car no one was injured – they had come to meet us leaderless! We rolled back to a train station we already passed and waited another three hours for the clearance of the track and on a replacement railcar. Long after the sunset we reached Curitiba and enjoyed a generous dinner, topped with huge slabs, on which were heaps of peeled tropical fruit. Greedy as we were, we went about.

    Breakfast was short and excellent. Departure at 8am and arrival in Paranaque were on time. After that, I just swept and washed hatches and shoveled sand and ballast taken on board from one side to the other and cast off the lines for leaving port.

    Although we have seen little of the country and people, it was by far more than what I had imagined a few weeks ago.