With his ten hours at the helm of the MV Britannic completed the tenderfoot seaman acquired his Steering Ticket. In the meantime, Michael also added his Lifeboat Ticket to his haul. Still a deck boy he was now judged qualified to follow any course given to him by any ship’s commanding deck officer.
During Christmas Week, 1951, began an incredible sea story involving a WWII era cargo vessel named the Flying Enterprise and her captain, Kurt Carlsen. Captain Carlsen was a Danish-born seaman that began his sea career at the age of 14. He became master of his first ship at the age of 22 with the Danish-American company American Export-Isbrandtsen Lines which was a New York-based US-flag shipping company from 1919 to 1977, offering both cargo and passenger ship services. In 1977 it declared bankruptcy and was acquired by Farrell Lines.
Throughout the covid-hysteria stories emerge of pilots inexplicably falling ill. Pilots are the most rigorously health checked occupation on earth; pilots have to be super fit not just for insured passengers but for aircraft that cost $78 million each.
During the late 1950s, I attended a 12-week training course in seamanship at the Sea Training Camp situated in Sharpness, Gloucester. Having earned the first of my seafarer’s tickets, I then became one of the thousands of British seamen serving in the British Merchant Navy.
On the night of the 19th December 1981, in horrendous storm conditions, the small bulk carrier Union Star suffered engine failure east of the Wolf Rock.
On November 14, 1854, during a severe storm off the coast of Balaklava, the British frigate Prince did not have time to gain a safe haven in the bay, crashed on the rocks and sank to the sea bed. Of the 150 people on board, only six survived.
When on February 8, 1961, the MV King Arthur steamed out of Liverpool the sailors on-board the freighter couldn’t have known that one of their ports of call would be the scene of The British Empire’s Last Battle.
Since childhood, we know that dolphins are among the smartest creatures on the planet. There are many examples of dolphins saving the lives of distressed humans floundering in the seas and near beaches.
When during a televised skirmish President Reagan’s recently published memoirs came up, former president wryly remarked: ‘I hear it’s a terrific book. One of these days I am going to read it myself.’
The Audacity of Peter Tordenskjold: The Naval Captain Who Asked His Enemy For Ammo in The Middle of a Battle
On November 12, 1720 Peter Tordenskjold died in a sword duel. It will not sound familiar to most people, but he was one of the great national heroes of Denmark and Norway—countries that were once united, a daring sailor who would be the equivalent of what Nelson is to the British, Ruyter to the Dutch, Jones to the Americans or Bazán to the Spanish. Remembered in several popular songs and honored with several statues, streets, books, films and even a festival, a corvette of the Danish navy and a ship of the Norwegian navy are named after him. He is also cited in the Danish royal anthem.