(9 August) was Women's Day here in South Africa which was
doubly welcome because it was a public holiday. I was therefore
able to go down to North Pier to see a very unusual ship and
cargo entering the harbour [at 10am approx.]. The ship was
the heavylift vessel Tern and her heavyweight cargo was three
giant Liebherr gantry cranes destined for Durban's extremely
busy container terminal.
at 100m high and weighing in at 1000 tons each, are currently
the largest in the Southern Hemisphere and capable of handling
the largest container ships now in use. That includes those
vessels which are big to enter the harbour before the harbour
mouth is widened. The cranes were bought by South African
Port Operations from the Italian port of La Spezia for R180-million
and are expected to be commissioned in September.
vessel with an unusual sillouette appears off Durban.
pilot was taken out to the Tern to guide her into harbour.
Click image for enlargement.
came the Tern and what an amazing sight she was. I took
the picture from the end of North Pier.
Click image for a wallpaper-sized (1024x768 pixels)
moves past the Bluff with her attendant tugs, left,
while the shot on the right shows her having turned
into the bay, but dwarfing the buildings on the Point
and the conventional shipping moored there. <== Click
images to view enlargements.
through the trauma of moving this site to a place on the web
which will cost a good deal less than where it was before.
The site moved OK but there is a problem with mail. [Fixed
I've got a wonderful aerial picture for you showing much of
Durban, including Stamford Hill Aerodrome in the foreground.
The picture was apparently taken by Captain Steve Colvin through
the cockpit window of his Short Empire Class flying boat which
was on its way to land on Durban Bay, which can be seen in
the distance [see here
for details on the flying boats in Durban]. We haven't managed
to date the picture yet and any help on that would be appreciated.
Picture courtesy Mrs Colvin.
Click picture to view wallpaper-size enlargement (1024x768
shows the Country Club just to the right of the 1, the airport
terminal building [now the headquarters of the Natal Mounted
Rifles] to the left of the 2, and Natal Command to the right
of the 3. Stamford Hill was a grass field which is why there
are no runways visible behind the terminal building.
with my e-mail is thankfully
now fixed and I hope that Facts and I are now settling in
to a long and comfortable stay in our new web home. In the
printed version of Facts I included a list of aeroplanes that
have been called Durban. But now, thanks to John William Illsley's
wonderful book In Southern Skies, I have discovered
another one. The aircraft was a Junkers Ju52 [ZS-AFD] which
was named Sir Benjamin D'Urban after her delivery to South
African Airways in June 1935. She was the fourth Ju52 in the
SAA fleet and was fitted with 14 passenger seats and two bunks
in the rear.
courtesy Transnet Heritage Foundation. Click images
for wallpaper-sized enlargements (1024x768 pixels).
go, once more, to Transnet Heritage Foundation librarian Eurika
Deminey who supplied the picture. I would earnestly recommend
In Southern Skies to anyone who has an interest in
the history of aviation in Southern Africa. It is a fabulous
work and I finally bought a copy [despite the fairly hefty
price tag] after eyeing it covetously for six months in various
from this diary location concerning Scottish Ironwork,
Currie's Memorial Fountain and the Da Gama clock has
be moved to its own page
Derek Walker has contributed this picture of the sailing
ship Pogoria for my page of sailing ships which have visited
Durban since the age of sail has officially been over.
or on the image to view an enlargement and some details
Walker, incidentally, is the proprietor of the All
At Sea website which has a lot of interesting South African
maritime stuff, including history, and various other sections,
including a nostalgia trip through 1970s South Africa and
his experiences in the SADF during his stint of National Service.
an appeal for information about the whale-spotting flights
which were undertaken from Durban for many years.
courtesy Margaret Surmon
pic for wallpaper-sized enlargement (1024x768px)
feature of Durban's aviation history are the whale-spotting
flights which took place from 1954 to 1975 during the
offshore whaling season. In front of the original Aircraft
Operating Company [they also performed the first
aerial survey of Durban] aeroplane which was used
in spotting whales from the air are, from left, observers
Sid Rowe and Abraham Larsen and pilot Ken Pinkerton.
aircraft operated from Stamford Hill Aerodrome in Durban.
Two red and white Cessna 310H aircraft were later used
and whale spotting flights continued until the end of
the 1975 whaling season when whaling in Durban was halted.
with information and pictures on the flights is asked to contact
Allan. An article on
the history of whaling in Durban is under preparation and
will be published on this website when complete.
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