A is for: an #antarcticalphabet

Antarctica lies hidden behind the cold-current fringes of the Southern Ocean, ancient lands shrouded in white and blue. Sleeping Beauty, bramble-fenced, breathing in rhythm with the tick of the clock, awaits the destined prince. Cold, storied emblems of passivity and pride. Amundsen and Shackleton have come and gone though Scott remained, … Continue reading

Women writing sea poetry? Not much of it about.

The sheets of my heart snapped taut to breaking, as a gale stronger than longing filled the sail inside me. There’s lovely, but more widely I find a dearth of strong poetry about the sea by women. There’s plenty of great poems by men of course, most famously John Masefield’s thundering … Continue reading

Pulchritudinous Pirates Women on tall ships (part 2)

Pirates always excite the imagination, at least the ones on tall ships in the Golden Age. Stevenson’s and Barrie’s fantasies played their part in the popularisation and Johnny Depp has a lot to answer for. Now there’s even International Pirate’s Day. The wicked, bare-breasted, cutlass-wielding woman pirate is an alluring … Continue reading

Women on tall ships (part 1)

Were there women on tall ships when they were the biggest vessels afloat? The wooden world is often seen as totally masculine, full of Russell Crowe types with their supporting cast of thugs and young gentlemen. Son of a gun It depends rather on both the work of the ship … Continue reading