COLUMN | Fish auctions: an ancient solution for modern times

Commercial fishing is an industry rooted in tradition. The Fish Mammas of Ghana are honoured for the generations that they have acted as the rightful middlemen between the canoe borne fishermen and the public or retail markets. In Chennai, India, graceful rafts bring catches ashore from anchored boats. Designated woman standing at the water’s edge to conduct lively auctions meets the rafts.

Vale: Tan Sri Dr. Frank Tsao Wen King

Low-key shipping legend Frank Tsao Wen King died last weekend in Singapore aged 95. He had been ill for some years.

He was a leader of the hugely successful group of Shanghai ship owners who, based in Hong Kong, dominated Asian shipping for the seventy-five years since the Second World War. He was a founding member and later chairman of the powerful and forward thinking Hong Kong Shipowners Association.

BOOK REVIEW | A Carrier at Risk – Argentine Aircraft Carrier and Anti-Submarine Operations Against the Royal Navy’s Attack Submarines During the Falklands/Malvinas War, 1982

By Mariano Sciaroni

A most interesting and thought-provoking book that valuably describes an important but largely forgotten small war. Because that war utilised comparatively modern weapons and doctrine, this description is of particular value to the current generation of naval officers. It is equally of value to naval history enthusiasts.

BOOK REVIEW | History of the World – Map by Map


Edited by Rob Houston

A magnificent and beautifully illustrated book in the best of DK (or Dorling Kindersley) tradition. From the detailed credits, It can be assumed that much of the first rate artwork was undertaken in India where the publisher obviously maintains a large and very talented staff. That artwork is simply brilliant.

BOOK REVIEW | RMS Adriatic (II) – White Star Wonder Ship in Old Picture Postcards

By Ben Smith

An interesting approach to maritime, or at least ship, history. This is a little book comprising some 33 very briefly but well captioned postcards.

However brief, the technique captures and describes well the ship and life aboard her. The Adriatic was launched in 1907 and plied the North Atlantic run until 1934. A luxurious and popular ship, she had a good and useful career despite the comparatively low speeds she operated at.

The postcards selected are remarkably clear. They evoke the era beautifully and clearly show the ship’s quite unusual bridge arrangement.

Available from Helion & Company, Warwick, UK.


REMINISCENCES | Ice, isn’t that nice

In our Commonwealth liners, we were blue water sailors, accustomed to the odd storm and occasional monsoon, but largely unprepared for anything too extreme. Ice was something you read about in seamanship text books and accounts of the loss of the Titanic. I saw my first iceberg on a voyage into the St. Lawrence, and although it wasn’t a very big one, it was the source of huge excitement, all hands crowding the rails while the Master looked terribly worried, even though it was several miles off.

FEATURE | Hong Kong’s evolving PLA Navy flotilla

The early hours of July 1, 1997 saw a flotilla of PLA Navy warships enter the waters, of what had just become the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) of China, and make their way to the Ngong Shuen Chau naval base, a facility which had recently been constructed by the departing British Administration.

BOOK REVIEW | The Catalpa Rescue

By Peter FitzSimons

Peter FitzSimons is an Australian “celebrity” journalist and TV personality who affects a red bandana. He was also, apparently, once a champion rugby player. He has, by producing histories on a production line basis, become a prolific creator of “novelised” Australian history.

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