Hannah Lavery, Creative Director of Coastword, invited me to be part of ‘Journeys with Poets’ during Book Week Scotland 2015 which ran from 23-29 November. Recently appointed BBC Scotland’s first Poet-in-Residence Rachel McCrum cast us under a spell of performance poetry, whilst singer/songwriter Kirsty Law delighted us with a capella ballads, and songs accompanying herself on keyboard. I brought along my clarsach, and read a few of my sea -related poems.
In the second half I spoke of my voyage on a heavy-lift ship with the oldest surviving clipper ship City of Adelaide/Carrick as cargo ship from Rotterdam to Adelaide, South Australia over the winter of 2013/14. We had a delightful audience in the cosy environment in the Library in Bleachingfield Centre, Dunbar, with refreshments and warm hospitality provided by Hannah.
It was a grand night, thoroughly enjoyed by all, and a fantastic way to put Winter’s chill on the back burner.
I am feeling very nostalgic tonight. Celebrations are taking place tonight on board Bradley Barge on which sits the wonderful, oldest surviving clipper ship in the world, City of Adelaide aka SV Carrick with whom I voyaged on board MV Palanpur. I say “whom” because she is a living, breathing entity.
On our voyage I wrote a diary in tandem with that of someone who was on the maiden voyage in 1864. Her Day One was 12 August 1864, my Day One was 26 November 2013, leaving Rotterdam en route for South Australia. This is an extract for 7 November 1864. This was her day 87, the final one in her voyage from Plymouth, England to Port Adelaide, South Australia. Our diaries are the core of my up-and-coming book which I’m bringing to a conclusion now. Keep looking back for more news. You are most welcome.
“A beautiful day. I woke about 5am and saw land from the porthole. We went on Deck nearly an hour before breakfast. The land at first looked rather low and barren. We were busy packing in the morning. After lunch addresses were presented to the Captain and Doctor. We anchored about noon. The health officer came on board immediately ……..”