M/S Balbina

"M/S Balbina“, call sign: 6ZXP, 43.450 GRT, started in service May 1967, sold 1983 as „Aghia Marina“ to Greece. After fire in the engine room the ship was towed off to Piraeus/Greece and 28.09.83 broken up.
Seafaring time: 27.05.67 – 29.11.68

Sea trial. Left the main transmitter ST1200C. Right the short wave receiver Siemens E311 mounted on the main receiver Siemens E566. No good resolution. Due to ship’s vibrations the metal supports of the E566 were broken. The receivers were later separated.

The E3311 is now mounted near the window, a better solution. Right and left two E566-receivers. 
Near the center the switch box for the receiving aerials and the in-build alarm keying device

The beginning was in May 1967 when I flew to Kure, Japan, a city near Hiroshima, a city well known in the shipping industry.  Here my shipping company, the Fritzen ship agency in Emden, had built an OBO-Carrier of about 85,000 loaded Tons. (OBO stands for Oil-Bulk-Ore).That is, the Balbina was a combination oil, bulk cargo, and ore carrier.  Here I made the "shakedown" cruise, and stayed 18 unbroken months on this ship.  The first three trips were from the Persian Gulf to European ports.  In Las Palmas we were the largest ship this port had ever seen, and were written up for three days in the local press.  Eventually we were chartered to a Japanese oil company, and put on line service between the Persian Gulf and Japan.  It was four weeks per round trip guaranteed work, and I took vacation in Japan, a very interesting and beautiful land.
The radio station on this ship was for the time very modern.  This was the first entry for SSB to be used in maritime communication.
The main receiving antenna was about 150 Meters from the transmitting antenna, so one could work duplex or full break-in, which made it fun to work DX. (long distance)  Speech-connection in A3J over Norddeich Radio from Singapore and Japan was not rare, and in their free time the crew members were inspired to standing in line at the radio station to talk to home. The 3 receivers provided optimal communications possibilities to: Norddeich Radio, Choshi Radio, and San Francisco Radio/KFS, which all gave their traffic lists at the same time. I could hear all three together at the same time, which was no problem.


  Liberia License

Note the difference between Greenwich Mean Time and the ship's local time. The ship's position is probably in the Indian Ocean near the Malacca Strait.


Break down of the ship's air conditioning and the main