Irish-born Patricia Martinson served in the Royal Indian Naval Volunteer Reserve during World War II and between 1947 and 1980, was an officer in the British Merchant Navy. She finished her career as the Port Captain of the SS Golden Phoenix. She has assisted with operations for the Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo and is a member of the Canadian Naval Memorial Trust. A spry 94 years old, she is also one of the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic’s most active and valued volunteers, giving regular presentations on navigation at sea in the days before GPS.
Her career at sea was full of adventure and the odd mishap, including fouled propellers, a troopship passage aboard the P&O liner SS Strathallan and in April of 1944, she was in Bombay, India when the British tanker Fort Stikine, caught fire and then exploded, resulting in a massive inferno that swept through the docks of the port city and raged for fourteen days. Driving a station wagon as an improvised ambulance, Patricia provided support during rescue operations.
Flames and smoke from the fire at the wharves in Bombay - 1944
Travelling thousands of miles during her career has given Patricia a remarkable insight in the life of a sailor. She has recorded her musings in a series of prose verses that are by turns touching and amusing, with tales of adventure and odes to ships of a bygone era. Join her for an evening of reminiscences and anecdotes that will be sure to entertain and inspire.
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