Crossing the Pacific on the Marine Phoenix probably around mid 1947

February 16, 2012


I have been reading with interest memories of crossing the Pacific on the Marine Phoenix. I was 9 and found it quite an adventure  at the time. My  Mother did not and was horrified at the conditions. It is a long time ago so perhaps my memory is blurred but I do remember eating at trestle tables but nothing of the food which came from an open galley
just behind where we sat.

The toilets had canvas curtains and horrid children that we were we would have fun exposing whoever was seated within. Heavens knows what wrath would have descended on me had my Mother been aware of such a going on. I think she was aware however of our favourite afternoon pastime of playing in the showers, also with canvas curtains and deserted at that time of day. We  would strip naked, set off a couple of showers, sit on our bottoms and slide
from side to side of the area as the ship rolled. Easily achieved because of the large gaps under the bottom of each shower wall and a really fun way to spend a bit of time.

I also remember that there was a circus? troupe on board and they would often practise acrobatics on the upper deck and if any of us children were about they would encourage us to have a go with them. My proudest moment was when I stood unaided on the shoulders of either Vince or Ed. The one and only time I ever made it to such dizzy heights.

Any stairs inside were open tread metal and of course noisy. No recollection of anywhere that offered relaxation but there may have been and in retrospect I can understand how difficult it must have been for anyone other than a child.  There were two nuns in our “cabin” who draped blankets round the lower berth and only emerged fully dressed. Or
maybe they never got undressed.

Perhaps I am one of the few who have happy memories of crossing the pacific on the Marine Phoenix to New Zealand sometime probably around mid 1947.



Thank you for sharing your memories.


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