Sunday, June 24, 2018
This Noble Ship and Others

One of the delights of being editor of Sea Breezes is the connections it gives me with readers around the world.

In recent months, I was pleased to make contact again with Captain John Anderson who now lives in Canada. It was way back in 1962 when we sailed together as midshipmen on Blue Funnel's MV Dolius (Captain FN Curphey) in a six midshipmen halfdeck. We sailed from Birkenhead on the 4th April 1962 on a typical Blue Funnel trip to the Far East, returning to Liverpool at the end of July 1962.

It was good to talk together again, of a time when we were young lads learning our trade, living and working with our fellow midshipmen of a similar age in a still strong, vibrant British merchant navy. Little did we know then that containerisation lay just around the corner and with it, the decline and indeed eventual end of many of the then famous shipping companies, including our own. The way of life at sea we knew in the early 1960s was soon to be lost too.

I remained with Blue Funnel until I gained my Master's FG Certificate in 1970, but after taking his 2nd Mate's FG, John sought adventures and experience elsewhere. He went on to have a very successful career which included break bulk ships in world wide trade, towing, offshore oil-drill ships and supply boats (Arctic), hydrographic survey and oceanographic research (North Pacific and Arctic).

John has also been the author of several books having had a life-long interest in 19th century sailing ships. His latest book, This Noble Ship and Others, is the story of seventeen Canadian built sailing ships. I had not realised that so many of the sailing ships built in Canada during a large part of the 19th century were exported to Britain and that mid century a large part of the British fleet of sailing ships were actually Canadian built. This is an important work giving a good insight into the shipping history of Canada in that period.

Returning to the midshipmen of the Dolius Voyage 18, 1962, the six midshipmen were : JM Anderson, NC McKie, PWJ Norbury, AJ Molle, K Moss and HAC Ross. I wonder where they all are now.

More on this and other news in Sea Breezes Magazine - March 2017 Issue
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Top 10 Books and DVDs 2017

Maritime Log

  • Runaway Barge Crosses North Atlantic +

    Malik I The Ballyglass RNLI lifeboat had an unusual vessel to deal with on the evening of May 14. Read More
  • Search for Wreck of Shackleton’s Endurance +

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North America

  • Appeal Over Developing New Master Plan +

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    Enterprise In April, the Newport News Shipbuilding division of Huntington Ingalls Industries completed the inactivation of the former US Navy aircraft Read More
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  • Giant Cranes Pass Through Puget Sound +

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Asia-Pacific

  • Kotug Takes Over Joint Venture Australian Tugs Firm +

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Naval Focus

  • HMS “Astute” in Cat-And-Mouse Pursuit by Russian Ships +

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Ferry World

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Sail Review/Coastal Comment

  • RFA Pearleaf +

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  • Focus on Freshspring +

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From the Lookout

  • Isle of Man Steam Packet to be Taken Into Public Ownership +

    Ben my Chree Manannan The news of the Isle of Man Government’s acquisition of the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company announced in May, Read More
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  • ITF Inspectors Help Repatriate Ukrainian Seafarers +

    Avonmore Crew In this, the second decade of the 21st century, I am still often astonished, saddened and angered by the treatment Read More
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  • Wight Shipyard Co Wins Second Export Order +

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Cruise News/Superyacht News

  • Dutch Superyacht Yards Set New Records +

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    New Australia With the cessation of hostilities after the end of WW2 in 1945, a number of Immigration Schemes were introduced by Read More
  • Symphony of Light Hong Kong +

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  • "QE2" Comes to Life Again +

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  • Supersub "Migaloo" +

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Ships, Ports and Places

National Maritime Museum of Ireland Interior

Taikoo Dockyard & Engineering Co

On 1 January 1867, John Swire & Sons, having been established as merchants in Liverpool since 1816, opened the first Read More
HMS Hood

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Companies, Events and Other Features

Wahine

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RMS Tayleur

Mrs Janet Taylor - Mistress of Science

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