Ever since I could remember, I wanted to go to sea. My father, who was in the Royal Navy during the war, used to regale me with stories of ships and places. Of course, he never talked of the bad bits, just the good things he remembered.
I was taught to sail at the age of seven in Falmouth where my father put me with an old shipmate of his and every day I was out sailing.
I went to a very good public school but even there, I used to cut classes to go out on a nearby boating lake. I wrote my first novel there at the age of 11. It was an interesting story about the Latin master's wife. I made my first royalties from this by renting it out to boys to read until it was confiscated.
It was after this and a few more incidents that both the school and my father decided that maybe Oxford and I were not destined to meet and, at last relenting to the inevitable, I was packed off at the age of 14 to the naval cadet training ship HMS Conway.
This was a shock. It had one objective, to take in children and turn out men without very much regard for personalities! When we were not in the classrooms, we spent our time out on the water in boats, cleaning, and polishing, or marching. Bugle calls and discipline controlled our lives and at the end, after two years we were turned out to join our ships heading out to far horizons.
Then followed fifty years of sailing the world's oceans and seas, on all types of ships both Merchant Navy and Royal Navy. The day eventually came when it had to end and I was asked by a marine publisher to become their seamanship adviser and in-house author, writing and co-authoring over 10 seamanship books.
On my retirement, I decided to write novels of the sea based on events that had occurred to my shipmates and I during a life at sea, and this continues to this day with 5 novels published and two more under way.
Having had the pleasure of 4 grandchildren and seeing their love of reading, I then decided to write my first children's book, 'The Pirates Children'. I even had their pictures on the cover as it is about children like them. It will be published shortly.