Nautical (Nostalgia B)log

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  • A eventful locomotive day out

    31 January, 2024

    In September we took the opportunity to visit family in Kent. It would be the first time we'd seen them…

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  • Campania

    30 January, 2024

    The Cunarder “Campania” was the first of two liners completed in 1893 for the prestigious North Atlantic route. Built at…

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  • Q3

    30 January, 2024

    As the 1950s came to a close, Cunard was forced to appraise the future of their express North Atlantic service.…

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  • John Biscoe

    21 September, 2023

    I first went to sea as Cadet with Ellerman City Line in 1965, aged 16. Ellermans operated a fleet of…

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  • New model – HMS “Warrior”

    21 September, 2023

    I’ve got a new project for the winter. Model Boats magazine has asked me to do a kit review of…

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  • Waratah

    24 July, 2023

    Waratah's second voyage to Australia commenced in April 1909. On 27th July, she was sighted by the cargo steamer "Clan…

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  • Aberdeen Line

    28 February, 2023

    From the brush of David Bray Sea Breezes issue: March 2023 The paintings this month represent three phases in the…

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  • Empire Liberty

    27 January, 2023

    From the brush of David Bray Sea Breezes issue: January 2023 In 1960, my old friend Captain Peter Elphick found…

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  • Camosun

    15 December, 2022

    From the brush of David Bray Sea Breezes issue: November 2022 Mention the words "Union Steam" and the Union Steamship…

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  • Turmoil

    22 July, 2022

    From the brush of David Bray January this year (2022) marked the 70th anniversary of a maritime event that briefly gripped…

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  • Good Hope Castle

    21 June, 2022

    From the brush of David Bray “We’re NEVER late….we’re the Mail Boat” I was very interested to read the article…

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  • Royston Grange

    21 May, 2022

    From the brush of David Bray In 1973 I was sailing as Second Mate on the RRS “John Biscoe”, a…

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  • Arlanza and Penang

    23 February, 2022

    Published in Sea-Breezes magazine by David Bray and Simon Adams We have a breakfast bar in our kitchen, but it…

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  • Arlanza

    29 December, 2021

    From the brush of... “Arlanza” was one of three ships built by Harland and Wolff, Belfast, for the Royal Mail…

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  • The Great Western

    24 November, 2021

    From the brush of... In the development of merchant and naval shipping, the ocean-going paddle steamer was ultimately a dead…

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  • Big Ships Need Big Tugs

    25 October, 2021

    From the brush of... “Big ships need big tugs” said Sir William Hoy, Chairman of the South African Railways and…

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  • Alondra in the Mersey

    26 September, 2021

    From the brush of... When I was about 11 I started reading “Sea Breezes”. At that time the most interesting…

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  • Royal Archer

    10 July, 2021

    From the brush of... Almost forgotten nowadays is the fleet of small passenger-cargo vessels running regular services around the UK…

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  • Yellow Peril

    28 April, 2021

    From the brush of... As a kid in Great Yarmouth, the coasters of F T Everard were a familiar sight.…

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  • Saga Ruby

    12 March, 2021

    From the brush of... Delivered in 1973 for Norwegian American Line, and originally named “Vistafjord”, the “Saga Ruby” was the…

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  • Larpool

    24 January, 2021

    From the brush of... The “Larpool” was a tramp steamer built in 1924 by Pickersgill’s in Sunderland for Headlam &…

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  • Sirdhana on the Hooghly River

    19 December, 2020

    From the brush of... The Apcar company was founded in 1819 by the Armenian Apcar brothers. Originally based in Bombay,…

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  • The Tale of “Teapot”

    5 December, 2020

    First published in the NWT Journal, Spring 1989 by “Leveret” (David Bray) The wherry lay on the White Swan quay in…

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  • Random Jottings of a Skipper

    23 November, 2020

    First published in the NWT Journal, Autumn 1986 Author: Admiral Elsan (David Bray) I would like to take space in these pages to…

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  • Breydon Days

    22 November, 2020

    On 28th June 2019 “Albion” and “Maud” sailed in company across Breydon”.  I would guess that this was the first…

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  • Wherrying with Nat

    12 November, 2020

    I have often been asked the question – “How did you learn to sail Albion?” Well, it’s a long story, and…

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  • Sea Breezes – Otranto

    11 November, 2020

    From the brush of David Bray The venerable ‘Sea Breezes’ magazine which celebrated its centenary in 2019, is featuring some…

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  • Footsteps of Arthur Ransome

    3 November, 2020

    First published in the Spring 1984 NWT Journal. Author: Leveret (David Bray) Some things are precious, and among our most priceless…

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  • Dynamic Positioning

    22 July, 2020

    DP Operator's Handbook - 3rd Edition A major update of this definitive work is now available after a major update.…

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  • A Visit to Sydney

    6 June, 2020

    It was 1970. I was 2nd Mate in a cargo ship, the “City of Canberra”, sailing on the MANZ line…

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  • Nautical Health and Safety

    17 May, 2020

    I had always wanted to join the Merchant Navy. And here I was, cadet with Ellerman Lines. Joined my first…

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  • Ten and a Chinaman

    12 April, 2020

    (Why nautical speed is measured in knots) Ship speed is measured in “knots”, a knot being a speed of one…

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  • Queen Mary’s Whistle

    18 March, 2020

    In November 2014 I had a speaking appointment aboard Queen Mary 2. Very pleased finally to get to lecture on board…

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  • Small World – The People You Meet…

    14 February, 2020

    One of the joys of serving as a cruise-ship speaker is talking to the members of the audience after a…

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  • An Old Friend – John Biscoe Launch

    3 January, 2020

    From 1972 till 1975 I served as Navigating Officer in the RRS (Royal Research Ship) “John Biscoe”. This was an…

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