Hinakura GVDS

MV Kinakura GVDS
Photo: Emmanuel Makarios, shipsnostalgia.com

“In 1955-61 I was a Radio Officer with NZ Shipping Co and while on MV Hinakura/GVDS tied up in Tilbury Docks, London the Captain came to the radio room and gave me a telegram for the NZ Shipping Co Auckland Office. No hurry, he said, as we were due to sail in a couple of days for Curacao/Panama/Auckland. I had nothing much to do and while we were not supposed to transmit while in port decided at 1800 hrs that day to give ZLB a call on 8 megs on the off chance of a reply. So… “ZLB ZLB ZLB de GDVS GDVS GDVS HW”. To my surprise an immediate reply at good signal strength, so I moved to a working frequency and sent the message for the Auckland office. After getting the QSL I told the ZLB operator of my location and he replied that that would be a record for communication on 8 Megs. I must have timed the call right to get darkness around half of the earth’s surface to assist the signal. Our Captain was impressed with the timing also. I had a lot of contacts with ZLB over my seven years at sea with NZ Shipping Co. I am now 86 in the Hibiscus Village Retirement Home with my wife Judy of 62 years and morse code is still imbedded in my brain.”
– Roger Jay (May 2023)