Start of a Journey

20 01 2008

My passion for all things maritime began when I was about eleven onboard the M.V. Kimanis …

M.V. Kimanis

M.V. Kimanis

In those days, the Straits Steamship Co. Ltd. operated several general cargo ships plying between East and West Malaysia. The ships also carried passengers in cabins as well as on deck. My parents, looking for a different type of family holiday, in a time when cruise ships were not common in this part of the world, decided to bring the family on one of these ships, and there we found ourselves on a return voyage from Singapore to Port Sweetenham (now called Port Klang) , onboard the M.V. Kimanis, a 3000 ton motor ship.

The experience was certainly quite extraordinary …  particularly in the dining room. Having been brought up in a typical Singapore family, where dining meant eating a plate of rice with a small assortment of food shared by all at the table, and certainly with one set of cutlery. I was quite amazed confronting the dining table set for a multi-course dinner. The trick I discovered was to start with the cutlery on th outside and move your way in. Dinner was always promptly served by a stern faced steward (who I later discovered wore a very different expression outside of the protocol of the formal setting of the dining room).

The highlight of the voyage was a trip to the Bridge, courtesy of the very friendly Scottish Captain, when he allowed me to handle the helm (albeit for a few seconds) … it was that moment when my life changed … I had fallen in love with the charm of the sea and with ships …

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One response

11 10 2016
Brian Nelson

I sailed on this vessel in February 1964 from Kuching to Singapore travelling around the world overland where permitted, I was 26 years old then. I didn’t have the luxury of dining as you did, but I did eat Al fresco out on deck with sandwiches provided by kind Chinese people in Kuching. i hiked most of the way down Sarawak encountering a few perilous moments on the way.

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