Ship Summary

Vessel

Masters

Journey

Arrive Date

Wednesday, January 18, 1961

Media

Comment

Things I remember about the voyage to Australia as a six year old: I remember the sunken ships in the suez canal with their funnels sticking out of the water. I remember Colombo with our guide David and my brothers and I sitting in a rickshaw. I remember a tiny piece of land in the ocean which grew bigger as we approached. Remarkably it was an island, although we didn't land there. We were always doing life drills. The engines broke down in the middle of the Indian Ocean with no lights either. I remember my father nearly drowning in the swimming pool onboard. Thankfully he was rescued and survived.

Things I remember about the voyage to Australia as a six year old: I remember the sunken ships in the suez canal with their funnels sticking out of the water. I remember Colombo with our guide David and my brothers and I sitting in a rickshaw. I remember a tiny piece of land in the ocean which grew bigger as we approached. Remarkably it was an island, although we didn't land there. We were always doing life drills. The engines broke down in the middle of the Indian Ocean with no lights either. I remember my father nearly drowning in the swimming pool onboard. Thankfully he was rescued and survived.

My father John R Cavanagh told me many stories of his trip to Australia. He used to steal biscuits off of the tea tray on the first class deck area. The kids had a big netted play area that my dad and his brother cut their way out of with a pocket knife and when and hide below deck, all the ships staff were looking for them with fear they were overboard. They stopped at a port and the children had to stay onboard, my grandfather bought my grandmother a brooch which at 92 years of age she still wears as a memory to the start of their new life.

I was 5 when we travelled from Tilbury Docks to Melbourne on the Strathaid's 2nd-last passenger trip. Strong impressions of the Suez Canal, the boats with land on either side - memories that surfaced when I saw "Lawrence of Arabia" decades later; sleeping in bunks - very exciting for the one who climbed the ladder to the top every night; the Crossing-The-Line ceremony - I was too young to be pranked, but still have the certificate issued to all passengers; the engines broke down mid-Indian Ocean, and we spent 2 very warm days bobbing around in the water aimlessly; the first landfall, arriving very early on a Sunday morning to a sea of white-gloved hands on the pier; a day off the boat in Adelaide, so my father drove us to the Barossa Valley and Seppeltsfield for the day - but I remember being land-sick; and finally, Melbourne.

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