Shipmates & Mateship

 Freddy and the Hawkesdale 

a burlap sack, possibly containing a seafaring felineThis tale of courage and friendship is a timely reminder that while worse things happen at sea, it also brings out the best in man and his seafurring shipmates. On this occasion, the true grit award goes to the volunteer RNLI boatmen from Clacton and Margate who risked their lives in heavy seas to save the Hawkesdale’s crew.   Read more


 Joining ship 

The Jolly Roger flag with a cats skullHow do seafurrers become seafurrers? The real deal on joining ship from Able Sea-cat Bart along with Tubby’s true tale of Tom the Seafarer in another action-packed instalment including five kittens.   Read more


 Better together 

The Jolly Roger flag with a cats skullAble Sea-cat Bart shares a heart-warming, better together ship’s cat story that hits the trifecta in one action-packed episode – friendship, kittens and escaping a shipwreck.   Read more


 Baby boom 

A knitted toy kittenWithout any fuss or bother, the ship’s cat calmly delivered a litter of nine healthy kittens in a cosy corner of the chart room while BHP steamer Iron Monarch was riding through a storm off Wilson’s Promontory and huge seas were breaking all over the ship.   Read more


 Eating etiquette 

Vintage flatwareTrim dined well thanks to his (mostly) good manners as almost every officer and man on board fed him. Able Sea-cat Bart reveals Trim’s successful table strategy and the fact that Matthew Flinders may have trimmed a couple of years off his age and shares Bruce Watson’s musical tribute to Trim the circumnavigating cat.   Read more


 Friend or foe? 

Charles Darwin's study of emotions in animals - an angry ships' cat and a submissive sea dog.When ships’ cats met seadogs was it war or peace? Depends, says Able Sea-cat Bart sharing happy families snaps of shipboard life plus Matthew Flinder’s Trim being rather a troublemaker to prove he was the undisputed master of the dogs onboard. Read more


 Warming up 

Able Sea-cat Bart looks at a war-time photograph in Warming Up showing the ship’s cat on HMAS Australia tucked in a shipmate’s vest. Seafaring felines, the sailors’ pest controllers, shipmates, mascots and pets, always had to be ready to perch on a shoulder or sit on a hat for photo opportunities.   Read more