For the last year or so I have been working with my father on a little project – transcribing his logbook from his time as a Apprentice Midshipman at Blue Funnel Line (Part of Alfred Holt & Co.)
The book is going to be released mid-November, which will be 62 years after he went to sea.
This logbook is arguably a historic document, as these are not widely known about or still exist . For Blue Funnel Line, they required apprentice midshipmen to keep a record of there time at sea and in port, but as soon as your apprenticeship was completed, then you did not keep a personal log – as it my contradict the ships slate or official log.
This book also is to give us children and grandchildren an insight into what it was like for a 16 year old to go to sea and the trials and tribulations of life on board.
The log has lots of information on the voyages and gives an insight into the mind of an apprentice midshipman. From going to Australia and spending Christmas on board outside Brisbane to sailing across the Pacific and dealing with his fathers death just after crossing the international date line.
In this day and age of instant communication, where you can video call anyone around the world, the challenge of waiting for mail ships to come into port is also detailed.
The book is out in a couple of weeks and is called “Tales from the Halfdeck”