The WebMaster

Here I tell you a bit more about me, The Captain's Log,
what made me create it and what to do next.

Show Picture Full Size Hi there, I'm 'Captain' Mark and I'm your WebMaster. This is one of my friend Gerry's pictures of me and I guess it pretty well sums up how most of my family and friends see me, especially when we're on holiday. So this should give you a clue as to why I decided to build a website.

I've been interested in photography since I was a kid and I was given my first 'Brownie Vecta' when I was about 13. In those days, you put 'real' 127 roll film in the back and had to take the film out in the dark (or under a blanket) to stop the light from ruining your pictures!

My Dad also took pictures as long ago as I can remember but by this time he had started taking 'colour slides' or 'transparencies' and he continued right up until 2007, when he got his first digital camera. His collection of colour transparencies was quite an archive.

Around 1965, we visited Southampton while on holiday and Dad took this picture of my Mum and me sitting on a capstan in front of the original Queen Elizabeth. There was no 'Health & Safety' legislation in those days and security was much lower profile. Queen Elizabeth was alongside the Ocean Terminal, opened in 1950 (and demolished in 1983); that same quayside saw the departure of Titanic in 1912. From the viewing gallery, we watched as Queen Elizabeth sailed for America.
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Me & my Mum and the Queen
Elizabeth, Southampton 1965.

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RMS Queen Elizabeth departs for New York while the faster
SS United States leaves the Western Docks ahead of her.
Also leaving for New York that day was the much sleeker SS United States, holder of the Atlantic Blue Riband record of 35.5 knots, unbeaten to this day by any passenger liner.

Seeing these liners was one of those pivotal moments in life and I'm sure it was then that I made up my mind I wanted to go on one of them one day. But it would be nearly 20 years before I would realise that ambition.

Read Story First Inklings
However, probably an even more significant day was an earlier one in 1961 when I made my first 'sea voyage' across the Irish Sea from Llandudno to the Isle of Man in a howling gale. That voyage was made on the 'St Tudno'. Read the story of how I discovered my sea-legs at 'First Inklings' >>

The Website
With the growing group of friends travelling with me and my family, it seemed a better way of letting them see pictures of holidays and ships without having to wade through heavy photo albums. But I wasn't satisfied with uploading pictures to one of the many photo-gallery sites on the Internet; I wanted to write about things and give a bit of background, as well as create a record (or 'Log') of each journey and detailed reviews of all the ships. I hope you think the idea has worked.

I began the website in September 2007, using self-taught HTML rather than a ready-made website tool, partly because I began learning HTML as a hobby but also because none of the ready-made sites seemed to satisfy the look that I wanted. Unfortunately, everything was based on Microsoft's Internet Explorer, which has since been superseded and other advances in the field of website-design have overtaken me, so while I am still adapting pages to display correctly, you may find the website looks a little odd in places!

For the more recent cruises, where I have digital photos, I have uploaded quite a few pictures for you to see - and there are some extra Galleries of "goodies", if you care to follow the trail! With the earlier cruises, scanning of the conventional 35mm negatives was necessary and the results vary in quality, so in some cases I have made just a selection of the best ones. In all cases, I have tried to balance the pictures with some explanatory narrative.

If anything doesn't work properly (eg. if a link doesn't do what you think it should), please do let me know. And if you have any comments or suggestions, I would be glad to hear them. In any event, if you would like to contact me to let me know what you think of the site, click on the link below.

Captain Mark

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