Welcome to our latest ‘Meet the Director’. This time it is our incredibly well travelled, newly appointed Vice President who steps into the spot light! Alistair hails from a long line of sea-going predecessors and so the sea is in his blood although in 2015 he opted to come ashore to experience shipping management and took up the position as Operations Manager with Western Ferries (Clyde) Ltd. As you will see his answers are sensitive and thought provoking and some of the images are simply mind blowing – enjoy!
Thank you so much Alistair for sharing all of this with us.
- A recent find?
Old black and white photograph of my mother’s great uncles, 3 brothers, pictured in Uniform all having survived the First World War.
- What is your favourite website or APP?
The weather Apps I monitor a lot especially XCW.As a seafarer and working in the Shipping world, keeping abreast of Mother Nature is always important.
- In which place are you happiest?
On the Water. From a very early age I was brought up with boats, being brought up in the Oban area, and my father being a Master Mariner, it was in my blood to go to sea, so enjoyed 30 odd years sailing the globe. So yes, on the water is my favourite place to be.
- Which object that you have lost do you wish you still had?
My father gave me an old Stamp from Pitcairn Island, in the Pacific, the home to the Bounty Mutineers. He got it on visiting in the 50’s. I was lucky enough to take my ship on a few Occasion to Pitcairn Island and have the newer stamps but have mislaid my father’s one. I would like to find it as it was the story of this stamp and the history of the Island and the adventure that started my thirst to travel by sea.
- Who was or still is your mentor?
My father was a great mentor to me. I actually sailed with him as Master when I was a cadet then briefly as 2nd Mate when working for Harrison’s (Clyde) Ltd. He taught me about how to look after your crew, show humility, and how to make important decisions. I have his old Captain’s Hat which I wore when I was Master on SAGA Cruise Ships.
- Ambition or talent, which matters more to success?
Ambition, I think, because you can always learn any talent.
- The best gift that you have given or received recently?
I was given a lovely watch, engraved with some poignant words, by my parents for my 50th Birthday. I received it shortly and sadly before my Mother passed away so it holds great sentimental value.
- On a boat for a year – what 3 things would you want to have with you (other than what is necessary to survive)?
Music; my family (as they love sailing and would enjoy the experience as much as I would); and my grandfather’s old sextant which was bequeathed to me . I love using it for Celestial Navigation as the art of position fixing by Sextant is very rewarding.
- Best maritime memory?
I took the Saga Cruise Ship, Saga Rose to the Antarctic for its inaugural voyage. We had to work with the Foreign Office to ensure we did everything environmentally correct and to ensure all our procedures were safe.. With my team, we successfully navigated through icebergs, pack ice and fog. We witnessed the most amazing scenes of Mother Nature on this planet. It was probably the most challenging navigation I have ever had to do, but having successfully landed passengers ashore at the likes of Half Moon Island, Lemaire Channel, Waterboat Point and Port LockRoy and giving the passengers the opportunity to have a swim in the warm waters of the cauldera of Deception Island has to go down in my book as something I will never forget.