My Hometown, Greenwich, UK–Where Time Begins!
I’m a native of the Royal Borough of Greenwich, England, home of the Cutty Sark, Royal Observatory , the marine chronometer and the prime meridian of longitude “where east meets west.”There’s a lot more history in Greenwich, but it’s also the new home of Trinity College of Music, the birthplace of 20th century English film stars like Daniel Day-Lewis and Jude Law, and pop singers Marty Wilde, Ginger Baker, Bill Wyman, and the 1970’s band Squeeze.
My True Brit Upbringing in SE London 1947-71
Growing up surrounded by maritime history may not explain my fascination with the sea– this has been a traditional part of history and culture in Britain. But when seasickness forced me to quit the Tilman Arctic voyage in Iceland in 1971, I was finally forced to face reality, and admit the very obvious truth. Part 1 pf my biography continues here: England 1947-72
Getting My Act Together in the Pacific NW 1972-79
In fall 1971, I set off on my own voyage of discovery in a 36′ catamaran I had built in a backyard. I crossed the North Sea with two crew and we reached Amsterdam. We had more adventures on shore and began to learn how the Dutch lived. Finally, I set off for London and met the young American woman who changed my life. Part 2 of my biography continues at North America 1972-79
Something Entirely Different! USA 1980-2017
Eventually, I accepted that there was more to life than sailing the seven seas and found all the challenge and sport I desired in outdoor activities in the Pacific Northwest. But small boat cruising suited me just fine! After eight years of summer sailing, I started writing seriously and haven’t ever stopped. At that point, I suppose I could say I really was “getting my act together.”
Part 3 of my biography continues here: USA 1980-2017
Since 2002, I’ve lived in Astoria, Oregon, at the mouth of the mighty Columbia River–notorious as a graveyard for ships. Hundreds were wrecked in the days of sail and steam. Lewis & Clark and the Corps of Discovery spent a wet winter here in 1805-1806 complaining about the rain. (This is still a popular pastime.) Fort Astor was established in 1811 making this small city “the oldest American settlement west of the Rockies.”
In 2007, I made my contribution to the area’s history by organizing an assortment of fish-processing equipment, fishing gear and boats into the Hanthorn Cannery Museum at Pier 39. The goal of this non-profit is to preserve the history and lives of the cannery workers.
I was soon voted into the position of chairman in 2008; in 2014, we were awarded the Clatsop County Cultural Heritage Grant to upgrade lighting, etc. I directed the organization until a memorial stone was erected on the waterfront at the end of 2016. This may come to be known as a “Monumental Error.”
However, the canneries that lined the river for 100 years are long gone. in popular culture, Astoria is now best known as the location of the children’s film “Goonies.” Fans of the film still visit from all over the world, and in 2013, the city held a festival weekend to celebrate the film’s 30th anniversary.
What’s Happening?––My Occasional Diary Entries in 2017
What might or might not be happening in my life as full-time writer, cyclist, dancer, sailor, historian etc.