Of Sailing Ships and Sealing Wax (Contd.)
merciless eyes of a Wandering Albatross, motionless on it's six-foot wings. The tip of one of them was so close that I could see the fleas jumping on it. Apart from nearly falling off the mast, I'll never forget those eyes; there was knowledge of a million square miles of empty, restless ocean somewhere down those two black tunnels. There can't be many who have stared an Albatross in the eyes on equal terms! Another step on to the CRAFTSMAN; this time, twin Stulckens, each one lifting more than the ADVENTURER's now-puny 180 tons, but with far less hassle. One man at flrst the Mate, but more recently anyone who was aroundportable box.
m v. CUSTODIAN, 8701 tons. Built in 1961, she was sold in 1979, re-named SEA PEARL and then MIGHTY PEARL last November. She ran aground off Inagua Island on Feb. 2nd and is considered a total loss.
could lift a theoretical 500 tons by manipulating a six-inch stick set in a
The CRAFTSMAN seems to have figured largely in my life; I was on her on four separate occasions. I have written about my aborted trip on her in other magazines, so I won't bore you with it again. She was also my last Harrison ship; or should I say, my last ship, period. An epic eight-month voyage (shades of the old CUSTODIAN!) during which we completely circumnavigated South America, Straits of Magellan and all, after previously taking in a good chunk of Canada. An eventful trip to say the least. I had a crack at the Container ships in the meantime, but I wasn't cut out for the Gantry-driving bit. I used to come out of the cab like a bag of rags at the end of an hour. A sad technological footnote for one of the Four Just Men. At the moment I'm enjoying finding out what it's like not to live out of a suitcase. Dunno how long that willlast,though; probably just about as long as the money does. I haven't many regrets; except perhaps that I didn't join the PAMIR. I might have been another Joseph Conrad by now! !