Gulf of Carpentaria

Since we are already OT, a little anecdote:

When I was sailing in the area (late 1960s-early 1970s) the east side of the Gulf of Carpentaria was marked “Reported to be … miles West of charted position” while the west side was reported to lay… miles East. (IFAIR. It could have been the other way around)

Nothing said about the coastline at the south end of the gulf though.
In 1972 I called at Kurumba at the bottom of the gulf to load frozen prawns .
When approaching I was in doubt about which “side” applied, if any.

The coastline is low and featherless, with shallow water extend quite far out from the coast, with no marking of the approaches to the river mouth. No visible building or landmarks and no Pilot service available.

I decided to sail slowly along the coast, keeping at safe distance from the coast line, looking for any indication of “civilization”.
As the sun got lower there was a flash of reflection from a tin roof, indicating that there were something other than sand, scrubs and low trees.

Then I could see the river mouth, but no indication of a marked approach channel.
I tried to attract some attention by light and sound (No VHF) and eventually a small boat appeared, heading out towards us. One person climbed on board and said he knew the river and would guide me on the way up river to the prawn processing plant. We got there without any problems.

PS> Jo-Tor, (499 GRT/ 860 DWT as open shelterdecker) was the biggest vessel that had called at Karumba at the time. Seen here as Tor:

Karumba at a later date:

I understand it has changed now:


I had similar experiences. The local knowledge came forth in a canoe.

Looks like a Reefer. ex Scandinavian or German?

Close. She was a film star. She made a brief appearance in "*The French Connection * while alongside in Marseilles. Last seen rotting away in Papeete.
3Hatch 3 deck reefer Florida to Marseilles with orange juice. In the pacific we carried a variety of frozen and general cargo.

Very similar to Jo-Tor. 3 hatches, two decks. #1 & 3 Reefer holds, #2 Dry cargo.
Built in Germany 1954 for Swedish AB Svea for the paper and bacon trade, Scandinavia to UK.
Last know name; Hamid. Iranian owned. Said to have been hit by Iraqi rockets in the Iran/Iraq War and beached near Bushehr, Iran. (Not confirmed)
I was Ch.Off Dec.1970-May -71 and Master May 1971 to July -72 when owned by Globus Shipping & Trading, S’pore and trading for Lian Soon, S’pore - East Indonesia.