The crew of the Joseph Conrad
The Australian National Maritime Museum has published a series of photos of Alan Villiers’ ship Joseph Conrad and it’s on Flickr.
Legendary writer, photographer and sailor Villiers bought the old square rigger, Georg Stage just as the training ship was about to be scrapped, renamed her the Joseph Conrad and set out from Ipswich on a circumnavigation in October 1934. The crew were mostly boys rather than men, as the photo above shows.
The ship crossed the Atlantic Ocean to New York City, then turned south to Rio de Janeiro, Cape Town, and across the Indian Ocean and through the East Indies.
After stopping at Sydney, New Zealand and Tahiti, Joseph Conrad rounded Cape Horn and returned to New York on 16 October 1936, having traveled a total of some 57,000 miles.
Villiers wrote three books about the trip: Cruise of the ‘Conrad’, Stormalong and Joey Goes to Sea.
For more on the Joseph Conrad, click here, and for more on Villiers click here.
My brother Matthew Atkin has sent over another batch of photos, this time from New Zealand – and once again there are some pretty special images in the collection.
Naturally, they appear here with his permission.
I just love the images he gets into his Leica, but fear it would probably not do the same for me! (For more of Matt’s shots, click here.)
These are from a trip aboard the R Tucker Thompson, a gaff-rigged schooner built in the late 1970s for sail training to a design based on the halibut schooners of the north west American coast.
A kind invitation from Rob Bull of the Leila Trust took us to see Leila in the shed at Southwold where Rob and his colleagues are restoring the old boat to sailing order.* She’s certainly impressive as she towers over visitors with that 8ft keel – the photo at the top of this post tells no lies.
Talking with Rob, one can’t help but be awed by his enterprise and determination, and that of his co-workers. For more about Leila’s story and the appeal, see a previous post.
If you like what you see and can offer the Trust money or help to get her back on the water to begin her new life in sail training, you know what to do!
*Special thanks to Derek Simpson for tea in bed and a killer breakfast.