Starting his maritime career as a schoolboy yachtie in Auckland the author then spent more than twenty years in the Royal New Zealand Navy including several years under training or on exchange with the Royal Navy. During this period he served in all manner of naval vessels, aircraft and submarines specialising, after a short flirtation with the Fleet Air Arm, in underwater operations.
When only shore appointments loomed ahead he resigned and started again as a third mate on merchant ships. Within five years he was again in command serving in bulk carriers, roll on/roll off cargo vessels, general cargo vessels, a collier, oil tankers, one small passenger vessel, oil field support ships, ferries, salvage tugs, landing craft and indeed anything that floated. Now, after a further thirty-eight years in merchant ships he still feels unready for retirement.