Tag Archives: Michael Sparkes

Freak wave hit trawler ‘like a cannon’

Here Michael Sparkes shares another tale of the sea. Michael told us that he found it easy to record this account as it was the coldest voyage to the Arctic that he ever made. After our last trip to the White Sea we’d enjoyed our time in dock. I especially enjoyed an outing which a few of us had gone on the day we landed from the old Clee Park pub. We’d had a journey out into the country to the Black Bull at Horncastle, where they’d laid on a buffet and music especially for the crew. But now with all that behind us we found ourselves back on the cold and wintery North Wall getting ready to sail again. click here to read the story 10:01

Former deep-water fisherman reveals the tough, basic and disciplined life he had at sea

After my last trip on the Black Watch as relief bosun I found myself ashore with some time to myself for a change. However, like I thought, it was not long before offers of another ship came along, leaving me with some really good choices. Some of them I turned down for genuine reasons, like the Northern Crown, because that offer had come far too soon after my last voyage to Greenland, which would not have allowed me even 72 hours in dock. Also I had offers from the very first company that I’d ever sailed in when I left school at the tender age of 15. On that occasion I left school on Easter Friday and went to sea the following Tuesday aboard the Alfred Bannister owned coal burner Loch Park (GY 259). Life aboard those grand old ladies of the sea was so tough, basic and disciplined from the salty old characters who sailed in them, you just couldn’t help but learn the job pretty fast. Michael Sparkes click here to read the story 13:56