Saturday, April 28, 2012


With "Coasting" awaiting edits and cover art, I turned to some of my other writing from my sea-going days and found one that was worth another look. It chronicles the death of an aging supply boat in the Timor Sea and begins with two survivors floating in the darkness after the ship has sunk. It was originally written in 1982 and is the product of twenty years experience in the industry, working with crews not all that different from the one in the story.
This is a picture of one about the right vintage and size.
They have a working crew of nine, a skipper, a mate, two engineers and five seamen and do everything, rig shifts, anchor work, towage and supplies. I've sailed through cyclones in them and spent endless days towing rigs and other things half way around the world.
A marvellous way of life when you're young.

Saturday, April 07, 2012

Back on my feet again

It seems to have taken forever, but I can now walk and cycle without real discomfort.
There were some benefits to my enforced sedentary ways, "Coasting" has been accepted by Eternal Press and we had a holiday down at Warrnambool, which allowed me to exercise along the beach to strengthen my knee.
We're continuing our cull of the accumulated "treasures" of thirty-four years of living in the same house for no other reason than it is necessary, discovering things we'd long forgotten and never missed. I'm not sure what will happen at the end of the process, but it has its own satisfactions.
The impending publication of "Coasting" feels strange. It was first written in the mid 1970s as part of my first exploration into becoming a writer and now has fourteen separate drafts/versions; ten hard copies typed labouriously on a portable typewriter in 1972-1975 and four electronic versions done recently. I am a little surprised at it being accepted because it is locked in the 1970s by circumstances and attitudes and focuses largely on the world of the Australian coastal shipping. My eldest daughter is ecstatic because it her favourite story of mine (I think she sees something of herself in the heroine).
Depending on how well it is received, I have a couple of other stories written during my time at sea that I may resurrect.