Author: Steve Box (Not old enough to really appreciate it!)
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Date Posted:14:43:08 04/06/11 Wed
Eye, eye, Shipmates! Just read the story of the SS Uganda and it almost brought me to tears. It was so sad to see the photo of her on her side after the hurricane. What a great ship that had such a wondeful life.
I sailed on her either in 78 or 79. It's hard to remember the year. But we flew from Gatwick on a wonky old DC 10 to Venice. We had a day in Venice then excitedly set of down the Grand Canal only to run a-ground on a sandbank and after a long wait be tugged back into Venice for checks. So we stayed a second night. Next stop, Yugoslavia was cancelled but I remember stopping somewhere in Greece, then Cyprus and then Jurusalem. We missed out on Egypt because the sea was so rough and headed back across the med for several days to Sicily. On the way from Sicily to our final port of Naples we passed Stromboli in the night which still has to be one of my greatest memories. We were all dancing away in the disco to 'Green Onions' (which was re-released that year), when the Captain announced we had pulled up alongside the active volcano. To see it erupting at night was a truly incredible vision.
I remember a guy on the boat that everyone called, Action Man - I remember the Indian crew, who called us all Charlie and we called all them Charlie too - and I remember I was in a dormitary way down at the bottom of the ship called, 'Wingate'.
I was at Speedwell School in Bristol and felt very priviliged to go on this trip of a lifetime for something like £150. Truly amazing.