Decking DOULOS PHOS, Part Three

Peter Knego “Decks!” the DOULOS PHOS, starting with a look at the 98-year-old ship’s upper deck areas: Bridge Deck, Captain’s Deck and Sun Deck.

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All photos by and copyright Peter Knego 2012 unless otherwise noted.

Friday, November 16, 2012

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Eric Saw aboard the DOULOS PHOS.

Were it not for the incredible kindness and trust of DOULOS PHOS’ devoted owner, Eric Saw, this report would not have been possible. Not only did Mr. Saw provide unfettered access, he allowed us a generous amount of time to fully document one of the world’s oldest and most fascinating passenger liners. By the way, the ship’s current name, DOULOS PHOS is Greek for “Servant of Light”, slightly revised from her last name, DOULOS, or “Servant”. The renaming was inspired by a verse from the Bible, ISAIAH 49:6, which reads:

“It is too small a thing for you to be my servant to restore the tribes of Jacob and bring back those of Israel I have kept. I will also make you a light for the Gentiles, that my salvation may reach the ends of the earth.”

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MV DOULOS PHOS at Singapore.

I would also like to extend my gratitude to Reuben Goossens of ssmaritime.com for putting me in contact with Mr. Saw. Thanks to Reuben’s efforts in persuading Operation Mobilisation to not immediately have the ship scrapped, Mr. Saw had time to intervene and rescue the DOULOS from the breakers. It is my sincere hope that this important ship will find a suitable home to enjoy a long and restful afterlife after traversing the seven seas for nearly a century.

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Flanks of PHOS.

DOULOS PHOS is currently tied up at the vast STM Shipyard in Singapore and attended by a small crew. When Mr. Saw purchased the ship, the then DOULOS was in immaculate condition. Unfortunately, equatorial Singapore is a rough climate with oppressive heat, humidity and torrential rains. Additionally, due to shipyard restrictions, only the most basic of maintenance can be performed by the crew without incurring exorbitant fees. These factors considered, after three years of layup, our subject is still in remarkably good condition.

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Counter stern.

One feature that has all but disappeared from the high seas is the counter stern. DOULOS PHOS is one of the last passenger ships in existence with this elegant bit of architecture.

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Classic rudder.

Her lovely rudder is not unlike much larger fixtures that graced the sterns of the MAURETANIA, AQUITANIA, TITANIC, LUSITANIA and scores of turn-of-the-20th Century liners.

Bridge Deck

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MV DOULOS PHOS, over bow from port wing.
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MV DOULOS PHOS, inboard from port wing.
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MV DOULOS PHOS, inboard from starboard wing.

The uppermost level, Bridge Deck, was added in 1948 when the ship was converted from the freighter MEDINA into the emigrant ship ROMA. The bulkheads and bulwarks are of wooden construction.

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MV DOULOS PHOS, aft from port wing.
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MV DOULOS PHOS, aft from starboard wing.

Open wings extend from the wheelhouse over the sides of the ship.

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MV DOULOS PHOS funnel from Bridge Deck.
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MV DOULOS PHOS Bridge Deck from base of funnel.

There is an open terrace on Bridge Deck immediately aft of the wheelhouse and chart room that extends to a platform and ladder that scales the forward portion of the funnel.

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MV DOULOS PHOS, Wheelhouse, facing starboard.
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MV DOULOS PHOS, officer’s cap.

Some of the navigation equipment (binnacle, compass, engine telegraph and many of the brass fittings) reportedly dates from 1914. Many of these items were removed by Operation Mobilisation when the ship was retired and subsequently returned when DOULOS PHOS was purchased by Eric Saw.

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MV DOULOS PHOS Chart Room, facing port.

A small chart room is immediately aft of the wheelhouse.

Captain’s Deck

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MV DOULOS PHOS, starboard wing from Captain’s Deck.

The next level, Captain’s Deck, was completely rebuilt from MEDINA’s Bridge Deck in the ROMA conversion.

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MV DOULOS PHOS, forward Captain’s Deck, facing starboard.
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MV DOULOS PHOS, forward Captain’s Deck, facing port.

An open terrace fronts Captain’s Deck. Note the pronounced camber (downward curvature to either side).

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MV DOULOS PHOS Captain’s Suite (500) sitting room, facing aft.

The Captain’s Suite occupies the forward portion of Captain’s Deck. On the port side, there is a sitting room with a desk that dates from the ROMA conversion and on the starboard side, there is a bedroom.

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MV DOULOS PHOS, Captain’s Deck Cabin 502, facing aft.

The aft portion of Captain’s Deck houses Cabin 502, a narrow staircase and a small vestibule.

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MV DOULOS PHOS, port Captain’s Deck, facing forward.

Very narrow promenades continue aft on either side of the deck housing on Captain’s Deck, leading to a small platform at the base of the funnel.

Sun Deck

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Forward Sun Deck, facing aft from port.
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Forward Sun Deck, facing starboard.

Sun Deck begins with an open, teak-lined terrace forward of the superstructure.  The center portion of this deck houses a canvas-covered stores and work shop.

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MV DOULOS PHOS Staff Library, facing forward.

The interior portion of Sun Deck begins with the Staff Library, which is lined with book shelves and fronted by a bulkhead with portholes that overlook the bow.

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MV DOULOS PHOS, Sun Deck cabin.
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MV DOULOS PHOS Sun Deck — Chief Mate’s Cabin 508.

A small block of officer’s accommodation is adjacent to the Staff Library on Sun Deck.

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MV DOULOS PHOS, port Sun Deck, facing aft/up.
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MV DOULOS PHOS, port Sun Deck, facing aft.
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MV DOULOS PHOS, port Sun Deck, facing forward.
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MV DOULOS PHOS, starboard Sun Deck, facing forward.

The external portion of Sun Deck continues aft on either side via teak promenades that are inboard of the lifeboats.

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MV DOULOS PHOS, Sun Deck stairs, facing starboard.

At the aft end of the Sun Deck superstructure, there are stairs that lead down to Lounge Deck. A melamine decorative panel by Enrico Paulucci dating from the ship’s (then sailing as Costa Line’s FRANCA C) 1959 rebuilding by Nino Zoncada was removed at one point in the DOULOS’ latter day career and is now part of the Costa family archives in Genoa.  The original Zoncada-designed railings remain.

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MV DOULOS PHOS, aft Sun Deck, facing aft.

The aft portion of Sun Deck, once the sprawling lido on the FRANCA C, was turned into an outdoor book shop when the ship was converted into the DOULOS.  A large awning was  built over the pool area to provide shelter from the elements.

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MV DOULOS PHOS, aft Sun Deck, facing forward.

The pool basin was covered up but not removed, so DOULOS PHOS, should she become a hotel ship, could feasibly get her lovely lido back.

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MV DOULOS PHOS, over stern from Sun Deck fantail.

This portion of the DOULOS tour will end at the very stern of the ship.

End of DOULOS PHOS Decked!, Part Three

Go to DOULOS PHOS Decked!, Part Three

Much More to Come…
Very Special Thanks: Jonathan Boonzaier, Martin Cox, Reuben Goossens, Mike Masino, Eric Saw

To show your support for DOULOS PHOS and to get updates on the ship, please “like” the DOULOS PHOS Facebook Page

Peter Knego

Peter Knego

Having documented over 400 passenger ships and taken more than 200 cruises, MaritimeMatters’ co-editor Peter Knego is a leading freelance cruise writer, a respected ocean liner historian and frequent maritime lecturer both on land and at sea.  With his work regularly featured in cruise industry trades and consumer publications.  Knego also runs the www.midshipcentury.com website which offers MidCentury cruise ship furniture, artwork and fittings rescued from the shipbreaking yards of Alang, India.  He has produced several videos on the subject, including his latest, The Sands Of Alang and the best-selling On The Road To Alang."
Peter Knego
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