The only post you may get from me: hello!

graceo
3rd March 2007, 05:28
Hello everybody,

The reason why I may be a rare contributor is twofold. Once I start I go on and on and the clock gets devoured. (Never say one word when a thousand will do!) Also I have a range of psychiatric difficulties which, coupled with a professional job and family, make for a pretty frenzied existence.

In my profile I described my sole reason for joining, but after writing that I started to think about some other motives. First the overwhelmingly significant reason. My parents, sister and I set sail from Liverpool 5 April 1957 on MV Britannic to arrive in New York 14 April 1957. (The voyage usually took fewer days but the ship had to change course to maneuver around icebergs.) This remains an enchanting memory despite pretty pervasive mal de mer and the berth in what amounted to steerage. I was 8 y/o then, am 58 now but there's something compelling about this one formative experience even so long ago.

Two more reasons. First one of my best friends ever, Rob Cook, died 28 October 2006. He was a merchant mariner until a devastating injury, the result of his employer's negligence. He wasn't supposed to survive but did and also miraculously survived hep C, pulmonary hypertension, and liver cancer. He finally died of what he called "boat cancer," mesothelioma, which comes from asbestos exposure at shipyards. I don't suppose loading freighters is all that nostalgic but with my crossing, I was happy to question him eagerly about how life was on merchant ships and he would go on in great detail. He traveled the world but most of his career was on Great Lakes tankers in the US. During his convalescence he took class from me and explored in it the prospects for maritime history as a multi-disciplinary field of scholarship. Things such as the legal power women had--when women could not legally transact business--when husbands were gone for months or years, the way cultural trends circulate through mariners going port to port, country to country, and the unique sociology of port cities. He got a history BA from the University of Michigan and pursued his passion for maritime history in an MA program. Besides Rob, I always get a rush out of seeing the newspaper Port of Toledo/Detroit River listings of what ships are expected to pass through during the day.

Finally, for various reasons I have no connection with an aunt and cousin. (My Aunt Gwen saw us off in Liverpool when we emigrated.) I have a cousin named Tony Kearns who made his career on the Cunard Corona (Caronia?). He was already a teenager when we left so I reckon he's long retired by now. I wouldn't mind hearing from/about him.

I use graceo as my sig after someone in my mother's family's past, anglicized as Grace O'Malley, authentic name Grannuaile, a pirate queen off the west coast of Achill Island, County Mayo, Ireland, which I guess is yet another maritime connection. My real name is Jean. (Hippy)

flyer682
3rd March 2007, 08:46
Welcome aboard graceo/Grace/Jean. Enjoy the site and all we have to offer.

non descript
3rd March 2007, 08:54
Jean, a warm welcome to you; enjoy the Site and all the many things it has to offer. Bon Voyage

R58484956
3rd March 2007, 10:43
Greetings Jean from the south of England,an interesting first thread you wrote.Enjoy the site, most of us left the sea years ago but our minds are still there. Bon voyage.

Gulpers
3rd March 2007, 11:32
graceo/Grace/Jean,

A warm welcome to the site from Anglesey!
I hope you thoroughly enjoy the SN experience and get many happy hours entertainment from your membership. (Thumb)

ddraigmor
3rd March 2007, 14:53
Jean / Graceo / Grace,

Ditto all the above - and do post; it's an open house here!

Jonty

mcook
3rd March 2007, 15:26
You have a fine flair for writing; please keep it up!

I also sailed on the Britannic with my family in 1952, but I was
only 2 years old and have no recollection of it, although I still
officially consider it as my 'First Trip'!

malcolm

Syd young
3rd March 2007, 16:20
Welcome aboard Jean,enjoy the trip(Thumb)

benjidog
3rd March 2007, 18:50
Welcome to SN Jean from the North of England.

You have come to the right place if you want to learn more about life at sea.

I hope you enjoy the site.

Regards,

Brian

tanker
4th March 2007, 14:46
Welcome aboard from Italy .
Gp

graceo
5th March 2007, 01:12
Hey Ray,
Your post and location reminded me of yet another sea event. In 2002 I took my teenagers "home" (England & Ireland) so they would get to meet relatives, see everything and all, and I arranged our itinerary so we could take the Ulysses back to Dublin and our flight back. This put us in Holyhead for a night and day during which my dghtr had her belly button pierced (Anglesey souvenir). We used to go to Ireland on an earlier ship out of Holyhead when we were kids and my mother remembers going home on holiday from work in England for many years on some of the ricketiest [<--??], sickiest, most uncomfortable boats ever. What a grand update the Ulysses was! My favorite part was sitting in the very quiet lounge and watching through this massive front window as we lost Wales and in due time started to see the Irish coast appear from just a little sliver, then the specks that were smaller craft, then more, and more detail the closer we got. The whole trip was lightning fast (and I hear the Swift is faster) so the emergence of the Dublin coast happened over a short time. Irish sea is not that scenic but I swear that bar's forward window would make anything a look marvelous!
jean

Keith Adams
5th March 2007, 02:40
Hello Graceo, Welcome to this site. My older brother was Quarter Master on the
"Britannic" 1956-1958. Snowy

Coastie
5th March 2007, 21:08
Hi Graceo.
And a warm welcome from me also on Anglesey, in fact at Holyhead. For me, the Ulysses is THE best ferry and having sat in that bar with the big windows, I can understand exactly what you mean.

Gulpers
5th March 2007, 22:25
Jean,

I'm glad you enjoyed your Irish Sea crossing on Ulysses - as Coastie has already said, she is a fine vessel. (==D)
However, if you were on board her at the moment, the atmosphere wouldn't be quite as serene as your crossing was. We are currently experiencing a Storm Force 10 with gusts exceeding 70 knots! [=P]

Coastie
5th March 2007, 23:34
Aye, think she'll be bouncing around tonight, right enough.