Sunday, October 7, 2007

Rabaul Wharf

It is great to see construction happening in Rabaul. This is part of the new wharf being built by local contractors with aid money. Rabaul has very important strategic importance because of its harbour.

Simpson’s Harbour is the flooded caldera of an ancient volcano which provides deep sheltered anchorage to shipping. All people and goods coming in and out of the province by ship come through Rabaul.

During the war the Americans dropped 20 000 tons of bombs on the Japanese bases around Rabaul. There are over 50 ships were sunk in the harbour.

Denton at Greenville Daily Photo is kindly looking after my blog and feeding the cat while I am away. Hope you can keep visiting and say hi.


Tom said...

That a fair few bombs, and a fair few wrecks as well.

M.Benaut said...

And, I guess that there are many good diving spots as a result of these wrecks.

Benson is busy today. He was over-fed yesterday and as yet, he hasn't stirred. He's dreaming of rats and ghekos and thinks that's puyssycat heaven.
He's actually correct; he's never wrong!

Anonymous said...

Hello Benson and hello to your wia wantoks too,
"The Luiza" was consulted and after much deliberation said she liked the idea pf a cat mouse pad and keyboard. She is also very partial to a pussycat heaven full of ghekos and rats. All she has to kill at the moment is Boo Boo the Russian Blue and Sophie the Italian Greyhound. As you can see she is not as privileged as you are Benson but she does get lots of loving from G and P.
Not long till your humans are home!
Cheers Pia

You Should Have Seen the Wharf in my Day!

My parents and I came to Rabaul in the later half of 1952. It had been a long journey from Shanghai via Sydney and finally coming to a stop in post war Rabaul. The town was still littered with war detritous though the infrastructure was being restored rapidly. One thing they were yet to work on was the wharf area which had been obliterated in the bombing.
The wharf that our boat tied up to was made up of floating petrol tanks welded together with chain. I remember the overall effect was that the whole "structure" rippled up and down with the movement of the sea; on bad weather days it heaved and clashed.
I used to spend a fair bit of time down there with my father because his job was as goods manager for a Swiss/Chinese import-export firm and he had to check manifests and cargo and such.
On one particular day the sea was rough and I'd trailed off as kids do. I was almost mesmerised by the movement of the heaving tanks and I suddenly lost my balance and fell between the space between tanks. What a sheer feeling of terror as well as the pain of rust and barnacle cuts. I was rescued before I slipped under by one of my dad's assistants. I do feel I experienced, in some small measure, the feeling of being keel hauled.
A stay in hospital and injections for the inevitable infection taught me to be fearful of moving platforms on the water. I hate small vessels to this day.
Rabaul has been destroyed by two volcanic eruptions and WW2 bombings yet it still comes back. It is a kind of magic in some ways.


Unknown said...

I lived in Rabaul, on and off for about 4 years.. I have been compiling some old photos of Rabaul's history..


Peter Lovell

Jules said...

Hi Peter
Had a look at your site and it has some great images on it. The photos will be very useful to the Senior students at the Rabaul international School for their local history research.

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