Man climbing the rigging with bagpipes
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Climbing the rigging

Crew climbing the rigging on 'Tenacious', 2006

Crew climbing the rigging on ‘Tenacious’, 2006

Three photos on the theme of Climb. If you’re wondering what’s poking from the bag in the feature photo, it’s bagpipes; don’t ask.

Me climbing the rigging on 'Lord Nelson', 1994

A rare shot of me going aloft! (Safely in port, you’ll notice.) ‘Lord Nelson’, 1994

Crew climbing the rigging on 'Lord Nelson', 1995

Climbing the rigging is hard enough in normal conditions — in unwieldy oilskins and wellies, it’s a real challenge! ‘Lord Nelson’, 1995


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Aside

Pointy masts

The masts and yards of “Lord Nelson” (seen here at anchor in the Bay of Islands, New Zealand) look spiky and pointy with no sails set.

March’s square theme is Spiky Squares (spiky, jagged, pointy, bristly, serrated, prickly, spiny, and/or barbed)

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Square Sky 12: A grey dawn breaking

A gloomy day at sea begins.

“a grey mist on the sea’s face, and a grey dawn breaking”
from Sea Fever by John Masefield

I wouldn’t want you to get the impression that every “sunrise” at sea is like the one in yesterday’s post! This is in the Bay of Islands, New Zealand, also taken while sailing on ‘Lord Nelson’.

Square Sky December

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Square Sky 1: Sunrise over Mauritius

Sunrise over Mauritius, 2013

Sunrise over Mauritius, 2013

Becky is back with another month of square challenges. 🙂 This time it’s skies for December — and I’m only a couple days late joining, which for me is remarkable. I’m kicking off with a stunner (if I say so myself): sunrise over the island of Mauritius, taken in 2013 while sailing across the Indian Ocean from South Africa to India on the tall ship ‘Lord Nelson’.

Be prepared for a lot of photos with sky and ocean, though I’ll try to throw in some non-sailing ones too!

Square Sky December

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Admiration: Captain Barbara Campell

Leaving Bermuda on Tenacious. Barbara often stands on top of the deck house to get a clear view ahead!

Leaving Bermuda on Tenacious. Barbara often stands on top of the deck house to get a clear view ahead!

This week’s Photo Challenge is to “depict something or someone you admire”. I’d like to introduce you to Captain Barbara Campbell, for whom I have immense admiration.

I first met Barbara about 20 years ago, and have since sailed with her on a number of voyages on the Jubilee Sailing Trust’s tall ships Lord Nelson and Tenacious. Among the JST’s thousands of voyage crew, she is known affectionately as simply “Captain Barbara”.

In a storm, Atlantic Ocean.

In a storm, Tenacious, Atlantic Ocean.

Barbara began her maritime career as a deck cadet with P&O in the 1970s, a time when a life at sea was not generally considered a career option for women. She worked her way up to deck officer and then in 1986 obtained her Master’s Ticket — the first woman in Scotland to do so. While working on ferries and cruise ships, Barbara also “moon lighted” on tall ships, doing odd voyages on Lord Nelson, for example, from 1992. She became captain of Lord Nelson in 1999.

In conference with the first mate, Atlantic Ocean.

In conference with the first mate, Tenacious, Atlantic Ocean.

Being a ship’s captain is not all about giving commands: Barbara does more than her fair share of rope pulling and mast climbing. She often makes me feel guilty! I remember one morning on Lord Nelson in the Indian Ocean, my watch was setting a sail before breakfast — with more duty than enthusiasm, it must be admitted. A little white blur shot out of the deckhouse and clapped onto the line with us. Yup, Captain Barbara. As you may imagine, our efforts suddenly intensified!

On long voyages such as ocean passages, there’s time for lighter activities, too. Each JST ship carries up to 40 paying “voyage crew”, and Barbara joins the fun.

As Neptune, King of the Ocean Waves, with consort and assorted members of 'his' court, for the Crossing the Line [Equator] ceremony, Lord Nelson, Indian Ocean.

As Neptune, King of the Ocean Waves, with consort and assorted members of ‘his’ court, for the Crossing the Line [Equator] ceremony, Lord Nelson, Indian Ocean.

Dancing a reel with the voyage crew, Atlantic Ocean.

Dancing a reel with the voyage crew, Tenacious, Atlantic Ocean.

Judging a kite flying competition, Atlantic Ocean.

Judging a kite flying competition, Tenacious, Atlantic Ocean.

Barbara Campbell is a true trailblazer and role model for women in what had been very much a man’s job. Physically petite, she has tremendous presence and authority: when you see her with first mates towering beside her, there’s no doubt who’s in charge! I’ll be sailing on Tenacious around Fiji for two weeks in June, and I hope Captain Barbara is onboard.

Leading a church service, Atlantic Ocean.

Leading a church service, Tenacious, Atlantic Ocean.

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