I joined my first ship in the sixties, at the age of 17, as an Apprentice Deck Officer. During my career at sea as Deck Officer and Master, I served on vessels ranging from a coal powered Steam Tug to cargo and passenger ships, bulk carriers and oil tankers.
In those days (before GPS), Mariners used Celestial Navigation with Sextant and Chronometer to establish their position. The daily noon position “fix”, was the main event of the day. However in bad or overcast weather, when the sun or stars were not visible, the noon position was established by means of estimation, calculation or Dead Reckoning. As a result, Mariners relied heavily on the use of the ship’s Compasses (both Gyro and Magnetic), and their understanding of Magnetic fields, and the workings and adjustment of Compasses was essential.
I hold a Certificate of Competency as MASTER of a foreign going Ship.
I am a Full Member of the Master Mariners Association of Tasmania and a Full Member of the Society of Master Mariners of South Africa.
I have been an authorised Adjustor of Compasses for Marine and Safety Tasmania since April 2009.