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Life At Sea Sailor Stories

She Traveled 10 Days On Ship and Then

Read this interesting interview with Rose George, who is a famous book writer.

Can you please tell us about yourself little bit?
I’m an author and journalist based in the UK. I write about a wide range of subjects – whatever interests me – for a wide range of publications. I’ve written three books, on refugees, sanitation and shipping, and am working on my fourth.

Candid Interview With Rose George

How you got in to Journalism? For how many years you are doing it?
I have no formal journalism training. Instead, after finishing my degree at Oxford and then doing a master’s degree at the University of Pennsylvania, I did a three month internship at the Nation, which was pivotal. I’ve worked in journalism ever since (that was in 1994).

What made you to write Ninety Percent of Everything Book?
I went freelance in 1999 and my first assignment was a ten day passage on a Canadian container ship across the Atlantic in mid-winter. I was captivated by the strange, unique world that is a working ship at sea. When I came to think of writing my third book, I thought back to that orange ship – the Canmar Pride – and wanted to go back to sea.

What makes your novel interesting for the readers?
It’s not a novel. Novels are made-up. There’s no need to make things up when I write about shipping: there are enough fascinating details and stories to interest readers. Even the fact that ninety percent of all trade is carried by sea is stunning to some people: they think that everything magically arrives by plane. They have no idea that 1.5 million seafarers are out there in all weathers, bringing their cheap t-shirts and their televisions. I think my book is interesting for readers, because I try to tell stories. I tell the story of Captain Glenn, 42 years at sea, who has rescued drowning seafarers, loves the sextant, and despairs at how modern shipping has changed the life of a working seafarer, for the worse. It’s lonelier, faster, harder in many ways. Before, a seafarer would wonder whether he had time to go ashore for dinner. Now they don’t know if they have time to fetch a newspaper. And if they do, where are they going to get it from?

How was your journey to write this book (Above Book)?
It was great. I asked Maersk to let me go on one of their ships, as I knew Maersk operated the largest container shipping fleet, and they eventually let me spend five weeks on Maersk Kendal. We travelled from Felixstowe to Singapore. This was in 2010, when Somali piracy was a huge threat, but they still let me go through the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean. They thought our ship’s freeboard was high enough that pirates couldn’t threaten it. My response to that was, pirates can learn.

Did anybody help you in this?
Only Maersk.

sail, ship

How was your experience of knowing and writing about shipping?
There are no seafarers in my family. I don’t even know how to sail. I had the experience of 10 days on the Canmar Pride, and that was it.

Have you ever sailed on ‘Merchant Ships’
See above.

What you have to say about Sailor’s? (Seaman, Seafarers)
There are far too many to generalize about them. I’d guess that most of them feel undervalued, underpaid and pretty much ignored by the society that they supply with goods. The only thing I can guarantee about seafarers is that they’ll all have a story to tell.

What are your future plans? Are you planning to write any other book related to Shipping?
No, I’m writing something different now.

What upgrades, do you think needed in shipping right now.
Seafarers’ welfare is still pitiful. Some people think that the internet will just make life on board even lonelier, as seafarers retreat to their cabins, but I think it’s a disgrace that seafarers spend weeks at sea without being given the basic technological access to communication that the average five year old kid now takes for granted.

Apart from writing, what you like do?
I run a lot.

If you are given super powers for one day. What you will like to do first?
I’d give everyone a huge dose of kindness.

What do you do in order to keep up with latest tools and technologies?
I know enough about technology for my needs, and if my needs change, I research.

How is your daily schedule?
It varies. Some days are research, some library research, some interviewing, some travelling, some writing.

Your favorite, tourist destination, Recipe, Actor/Actress, car.
Any wild hill or mountain. Recipe: it varies. Actor/actress: I really don’t care. Car: I’d rather use my own feet.

Who is your role model?

Last Question- what you have to say about ☺?
I don’t know it well enough to comment☺.

MG Staff
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