Dennis joined the Elder Dempster line cargo boat
Onitsha in Liverpool on the 2nd of July 1957. Elder Dempster's run was
predominantly the West Coast of Africa, with some ships venturing to the
East coast of the States. West Africa then was like going back in time,
especially when you went up the creeks, which most of them did. Dug out
canoes mud huts and villages on the banks with many of the houses on
stilts. It was very hot and humid, and the Mosquitoes were rife. Some of
these rivers and creeks were very long and the ships would go hundreds of
miles inland, anchoring at night, as there were no buoys to light the way.
Dennis did five trips on the Onitsha, he paid off her in September 1958,
when he fell ill with Yellow Jaundice. He came home from Lagos as
passenger on the Aureol.
These photographs below are
amongst the best I have seen of these creeks, and they give you a good
idea of what it was like.