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Australian White Ensign

Navy helicopter towing an enormous white ensign

The Australian Navy White Ensign was introduced in 1967, replacing the previous practice of flying the Royal Navy’s White Ensign on Australian Navy vessels.

White ensign and tall ship Lord Nelson

On 4 October 1913, the first Royal Australian Navy fleet entered Sydney Harbour. To commemorate the 100th anniversary of that event, an International Fleet Review was held in Sydney Harbour in October 2013. Ships came from around the world — not only military vessels, but other types. One of those ships was the tall ship Lord Nelson, owned by the Jubilee Sailing Trust and home-ported in Southampton, England. (And now, sadly, retired, leaving the JST with only Tenacious.) I’d been involved with the JST and ‘Nellie’ since 1993, so was thrilled to be aboard once again, although the mixing of my old UK life and my new Aussie life was odd!

White ensign and tall ship Lord Nelson

Life in Colour (White)

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Washing Lines 3: rubber gloves

I always smile when I see this photo.

What does “Happy Hour” mean to you? Reduced prices on wine and cocktails? Well, on the Jubilee Sailing Trust’s two tall ships, it means the hour spent each day cleaning the ship. You can imagine how many rubber gloves end up wet both inside and out! Here they are after a Happy Hour on Tenacious, Atlantic Ocean, 2004.

Monday Washing Lines

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Washing Lines 1: at sea

Hanging up the washing, Indian Ocean, somewhere between Durban and Mauritius.

On a long sailing voyage (this one was about five weeks long, from South Africa to India), clothes washing day for your group is keenly anticipated. You can hand-wash socks and, ahem, unmentionables, and drape them around the accommodation area to dry (such as my socks, in the feature photo) — but that can’t match clothes run through the washing machine and hung outside to dry in the sun and the clean fresh sea air.

Monday Washing Lines I’ve been seeing other bloggers’ posts for this challenge, but I thought I didn’t have any photos of drying laundry. Wrong!


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Not happy with heights?

Lord Nelson

Looking up, Lord Nelson

Very few people react with glee to the idea of climbing up the mast on a tall ship. I certainly never did! Looking at these photos, it seems like a mad thing to do.

Tenacious

Tenacious: look at all those narrow, wobbly ladders to climb …

In the photo below, you don’t get a sense of the height but you do get a sense of the scale.

Tenacious, with a person for scale

Not happy with heights? Nah! These crew members going aloft on Tenacious have already had four weeks to get used to it, sailing from Bermuda to Southampton.

Going aloft to harbour stow the sails! (tip: don’t look down)

Posted for One Word Sunday: Vertiginous


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Tied up

The grand old lady QE2 tied up in Zeebrugge

Among the many uses for the verb “tie up” I’m going with the nautical interpretation: to tie a boat to something with a rope, chain etc (synonym: moor). (Although I do keep thinking of the title of the 1989 Pedro Almodóvar film “Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!” — but I have no photos for that!)

Lord Nelson’s mooring lines around a bollard, keeping the ship tied up in Galle, Sri Lanka

This is what happens when a number of ships have tied up together — and one wants to leave (us, in this case). (Galle, Sri Lanka)

Do you think this dockworker in Mauritius is pondering the accomplished way we tied up Lord Nelson?

Queen Mary 2, tied up in Sydney. This is the only cruise ship that ties up here ‘stern first’ so that its bow sticks out into the harbour.

Tenacious, tied up in Sydney (with the hideous “blot on the landscape” towers of Barangaroo behind)

Tenacious tied up in Fiji.

Voyager of the Seas, tied up in Sydney.

Posted for Becky’s SquareUp challenge. I’ve gone with “playing around with the word up”.

As always, a big thanks to Becky for organising all this square madness!


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Two uppers and a scupper

The upper mess on Tenacious is where the permanent crew and the ongoing watch eat. (The ‘lower mess’ is where everyone else eats.)

Time for some nautical ups!

Taken from the platform above the upper topsail on the mainmast of Tenacious, this photo is a view looking forward (and down!). The whiter sail at the top of the photo is the upper topsail on the foremast.

A scupper is an opening in a ship’s side that allows water to run off the deck. In a big sea, when a ship is rolling, it also allows water to run onto the deck!

Tenacious, Atlantic Ocean

Posted for Becky’s SquareUp challenge. I’ve gone with “playing around with the word up”.

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Pelicans and petrels

One wingtip drags in the water

I photographed these petrels in the Indian Ocean while sailing from South Africa to India on Lord Nelson in 2013. After leaving Durban, we swung south (way, way south) and east, giving a wide berth to Madagascar and any lurking pirates, before eventually heading northeast, back on track. The weather at 35deg South was not what we expected from the Indian Ocean — grey, chilly, spitting with rain. The bonus was the company of petrels and even albatrosses, following the ship. They never seemed to flap those long wings: a feather lifted here, a wing tilted there. Such effortless flyers. I watched them for hours (frankly, there was little else to do!).

Banking to turn

The pelicans were photographed in Cairns, not quite as exotic a destination as the southern Indian Ocean.

Birds with Long Wingspans is the Bird Weekly theme.

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Travel Memories 7: QE2

On deck, Zeebrugge.

I always wanted to do those two iconic modes of travel: Concorde, and QE2. Although I missed out on Concorde, I did manage a long weekend on Queen Elizabeth 2 in 2006, just two years before the liner was retired from Cunard service. A friend and I did the trip from Southampton to Zeebrugge and back (with optional excursion to Bruges), just for the experience. This photo, taken at Zeebrugge, always makes me smile: it’s just so typically British! There’s nothing but a working port to look at, it’s cold enough to need jackets and blankets, but these people were determined to get their deck chair time.

Travel Memories: a single photo from a trip — one that always makes me smile, or reflect, or want to go back.


click here for a larger version of the map below

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Me and my shadow

My shadow on the deck of Lord Nelson, 2013 (Indian Ocean)

This week’s Photo Challenge assignment is “focus on the shadow of your subject rather than the subject”. Here are two photos of my shadow back in my intrepid sailor days.

Shadows of me (at left) and other crew members on Tenacious, 2004 (leaving Jersey)