Category: Hong Kong

OTD: Remembering HMS Repulse and HMS Prince of Wales

Amongst the long list of ships lost during the two World Wars are two battleships that were literally sent to their doom on this day in 1941.  The sinking of HMS Repulse and HMS Prince of Wales is well documented and I won’t repeat all that is written about them, suffice to say a better account of the battle may be read at the relevant Wikipedia page. Technically HMS Repulse was a battlecruiser, and if anything even more vulnerable to air attack due to the bad design. 

Memorial at the National Memorial Arboretum

Many of the survivors of the sinking would become prisoners of war in the subsequent battles that put South East Asia into Japanese hands, they too would loose their lives as a result of their captivity.

HMS Prince Of Wales in Singapore

HMS Repulse leaving Singapore

The loss of these two ships was yet another nail in the coffin for the big gun ship, and a display of how vulnerable they were to air attack. The image below was taken from a Japanese aircraft during the initial high-level bombing attack. The battlecruiser Repulse, near the bottom of the view, has just been hit by one bomb and near-missed by several more. The battleship Prince of Wales is near the top of the image, generating a considerable amount of smoke. The Japanese writing in the lower right states that the photograph was reproduced by authorization of the Navy Ministry.

Japanese high level bombing attack on HMS Prince of Wales and HMS Repulse on 10 December 1941(NH_60566)

Japanese high level bombing attack on HMS Prince of Wales and HMS Repulse on 10 December 1941(NH_60566)

 

DRW © 2019 – 2020. Created 10/12/2019.

Image of HMS Prince of Wales in Singapore: Abrahams, H J (Lt), Royal Navy official photographer. Post-Work: User: W.wolny / Public domain.

Image of HMS Repulse leaving Singapore: Adams W L G (Captain), Commanding Officer, HMS CORINTHIAN. Post-Work: User: W.wolny / Public domain

Image of HMS Repulse and Prince of Wales retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Repulse_(1916), image is in the public domain, Unknown author   – U.S. Navy photo NH 60566

Updated: 09/03/2020 — 19:59

Cruise Ships in Hong Kong

2008

When I visited Hong Kong in 2008 I was hoping to see at least one cruise ship because it is a very popular destination. The cruise ship terminal is at the Kowloon waterfront, with the ferry terminal right next to it.  I recall that shortly after we had checked into our hotel we headed towards Admiralty on the MTR, but once we got there I branched off and headed for the ferry terminal because I really wanted to ride a ferry and hopefully see a ship or two or three.

And I hit the jackpot

 
The vessel in front is the Silver Whisper and the one behind the berth is SuperStar Aquarius. During our stay there were 7 cruise ships in port, literally a new one every day, so I made it my business to visit the harbour at least once a day.

Silver Whisper

I saw Silver Whisper once again in Southampton in 2013. 
 
SuperStar Aquarius is a regular and I saw her every day, she seems to come and go on short junkets all the time. She is not the sort of vessel that stands out amongst the crowd though.
 
SuperStar Aquarius (2010)

SuperStar Aquarius (2010)

Judging by the file numbers the next caller was Hapag Lloyd’s Europa. She is the 4th iteration of ships using this name, and a 5th one entered service in 2013.

Europa

It was probably later that day when yet another oldie arrived, and I have to admit my first pics of her were terrible, the pollution levels in Hong Kong can really make for poor photography, especially in the late afternoon.  The Ji Mei is the former Scandinavian ferry M/s Princess Ragnhild of 1966.

Ji Mei late afternoon arrival

I saw her on a number of occasions so did manage better images of her. 
Ji Mei in 2010

Ji Mei in 2010

The next group of arrivals I only got to see in the evening. Bear in mind that we were attending a course so morning jaunts down to the harbour did not happen; they only happened after we were done for the day.  There is a light show every night at the waterfront, and when it was finished we headed to the terminal to grab some pics of anything that may still be alongside. On this occasion there were two arrivals. The first being MS Nautica, and she was getting ready to sail. I was fortunate enough to see Nautica once again in Southampton in 2013.   
 
Making ready to sail

Making ready to sail

 

Nautica underweigh

 
Behind her was berthed Star Pisces and she sailed first, although I could not get a decent pic of her, but managed to see her the next day. She too is a former ferry
 
Star Pisces coming alongside

Star Pisces coming alongside

Berthed in front of Star Pisces was the Seabourn Spirit. I had seen one of her sisters in Durban in 1992
 

Seabourn Spirit alongside

 and the next day, which was also our last, saw the Crystal Serenity alongside.
 
Crystal Serenity

Crystal Serenity

However, I had been watching the internet for information about the QE2, I knew she was going to call in Hong Kong on her last world cruise, and I had hoped that she would have been occupying the berth that Crystal Serenity was now occupying when we got to the harbour. Unfortunately that was not the case, she was berthed up in the container area somewhere and a helpful cruise agent more or less pointed me in the right direction. It was literally as close to the end of the MTR line as you could get. My companions were not amused, but eventually we hopped the MTR and headed to the station. There was no sign of the ship, or any ship for that matter, you could not get into the waterfront area to even have a look and I was very disappointed when we returned to our hotel, the situation not being helped by the one co-worker who was becoming more irritating all the time.  When we boarded the bus to go to the airport I watched as we passed the container berth and suddenly I saw her!
 

A brief 10 second glimpse was all I had of her.  To this day I always regret not investigating that area closer, it was not far from where we had been either, but that was just how things worked out.

2010

When we revisited Hong Kong in 2010 I was hoping to be as lucky again. But much to my disgust there were no callers during the week we were there. The ships would all be calling in the next week instead. 

The only vessels that we saw were SuperStar Aquarius and Ji Mei

Ji Mei (L), SuperStar Aquarius (R)

 
However, it was only when I was processing my images back home that I realised that there were two other cruise ships that I could have seen had I realised it at the time.
 
Macau Success (L)  and  Starry Metropolis (R)

Macau Success (L) and Neptune (R)


The Macau Success was built as Golden Odyssey, while Neptune was built as Kareliya. 
 

Neptune at the furtherest extent of my lens


a bit of rooting around snagged me a better image of Neptune (By pete (Neptune at Hong Kong) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons)

 
Passenger Cruise Ship Neptune at Hong Kong

By pete (Neptune at Hong Kong)

as well as Macau Success. By Mk2010 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Macau Success Cruise Ship (Hong Kong)

By Mk2010 (Own work)

 

And that is how things go,  Hindsight is always so much better.

That concluded my cruise ship viewing in Hong Kong. Hong Kong as a destination is excellent but the air quality can make for poor photography at times. And of course, who knows what is hiding just around the buildings, or in the container berth?

DRW 2010-2019. Retrospectively created 05/06/2016

Updated: 09/04/2019 — 05:57

The Star Ferry Page (2)

 

 

The vessels are double ended with a wheelhouse on either end and a central engine room with an open lower deck and an enclosed upper. 
 
Rough dimensions are: Length Overall 36.28m, Extreme Breadth 8.57m, Net tonnage: 39.69, Gross Tonnage 164.01, Passenger capacity 551, Minimum crew 5.
They were all built at Hong Kong & Whampoa Shipyards. Golden Star and World Star were built in 1989 by Wang Tak Engineering & Shipbuilding Ltd and can carry 762 as opposed to 576 for the rest of the fleet. 
 
The debate is out as to whether the upper deck is better than the lower. From a price perspective the lower is more affordable, while from a view point perspective the upper is. But, the lower deck is so much nicer because you are so close to the water.
 
Mooring position
Lower Deck
Upper Deck
Steering Position
Northern Star Builders Plate
Upper Deck
Navigation Light, Life Rafts and Funnel
Central Ferry Terminal
Embarkation Point
Tsim Sha Tsui Terminal
Tsim Sha Tsui Terminal

DRW. ©  2008-2019 This page originally created in March 2008 and updated 15 April 2010. Moved to blog 21/12/2013, images recreated 10/03/2016

Updated: 09/04/2019 — 05:58
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