Staying the right way up: wind and knots

I have just downloaded the US Sailing Directions to Antarctica, a weighty tome full of dark warnings. The British would call it the Pilot Book, the detailed description of the coastline and sailing conditions of the area. (The Admiralty Pilot is not available electronically and costs at least £60.)  In addition to … 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

Feeling seasick: throw up and carry on

I get seasick. Not just a little nauseous, but aggressively, stomach-emptyingly, endlessly sick. I can be seasick in a puddle. Over several thousand sea miles I can grade key trips by their vomit quotient. Top of the list remains Sines to Sines in Portugal when we beat for hours in … Continue reading

Picturing the Far (far) South

There are thousands of pictures about the Far South but many of them are more or less incidental or ‘amateur reportage’. They are stunning because the scenery is amazing, or historically interesting. I wanted to explore how people, particularly women, are present and represented, how we see ‘science being done’ … Continue reading