Monthly Archives: September 2020


A loaded Bank Line liberty ship in all her glory- the ERICBANK. She was one of 12 that the Bank Line owned and managed. They were suited to the contract from the British Phosphate Commission to carry Phosphate rock. Hundreds of voyages were made between Ocean Island/Nauru/(Makatea to a lesser extent) and either Australian or New Zealand discharge ports. (See a first hand account of an interesting sistership voyage – the Maplebank, by searching with the ‘Q’ symbol)

The 1950’s Copra run

The special magic of the Pacific Islands – loading Copra sacks at anchor.

It doesn’t seem so long ago,
Joining sometimes in the snow,
But what a life on the Copra run,
Cruising round the Pacific sun!

First, a visit to Gulf Ports,
The hectic loading of all sorts,
Sailing down to the Antipodes
Then island hopping in Southern Seas.

There were those times, – a precious thing,
When island folk began to sing,
The natural lazy way of life,
Free from worry, free from strife.

It was a gift, we never thought,
Just a job that we had sought,
But looking back it was something special
Joining on that Copra vessel.


The first of the “Fish” class of 6 vessels. Built at Sunderland in 1979. 12,214 gross tons. Powered by a 4 cylinder Doxford engine giving a service speed of 16.5 kts. Part container ship with capacity for 372 teu’s. There was a 60 ton heavy lift derrick and the rest were 35 ton capacity. Sold to the Japanese after 8 years service when she became the DEVO and served for 14 years before scrapping.

LEVERNBANK – The sailing vessel

Plenty of headgear here!

The Master, Officers, and crew on the deck of the four-masted bark LEVERNBANK, Puget Sound port, Washington, ca 1904 

Alan Villiers, the famous author, ship owner, and Cape Horner wrote about incidents on the Levernbank a year after the above photo was taken. An extract is printed below, courtesy of his book called, ” The War with Cape Horn”.

This beautiful ship was abandoned at sea 5 years later when fully loaded with iron ore. She was in the Western Ocean 300 miles west of the Scilly Isles.