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All At Sea: A Memoir


Alan Loynd


Dr Gillian Bickley


10 June 2021 (Thursday)


6:30 - 8:00 pm


2/F Multi-purpose Area, Main Library, HKU





About the Book


ALL AT SEA describes the career of a ship captain and salvage master from the time when he joined his first vessel to his present status as a marine consultant in Hong Kong. He writes of the remarkable changes he has seen and experienced in a career which has spanned more than half a century. By turns amusing and thought-provoking, this is an enjoyable tale of a most interesting life.


About the Speaker


ALAN LOYND left school at sixteen and joined the merchant navy as a deck cadet. At the time, the British merchant navy was at its peak and general cargo ships dominated the world’s shipping lanes. After six years with the Royal Fleet Auxiliary he joined the Swire Group and served with the China Navigation Company, Swire Pacific Offshore and Hongkong Salvage & Towage for the next thirty years. After serving on a wide variety of ship types, he obtained his master mariner’s certificate in 1980. For most of his career he was based in Hong Kong, where he still lives and works. In a career spanning more than fifty years, the author describes a period of remarkable change. From general cargo ships which loaded items of cargo individually and spent long periods in port, to the advent of the container revolution, and the introduction of the mega-ship, Alan Loynd has seen an industry transformed. For twenty years he was a salvage master, and became an expert in salvage and towage. Among his most interesting accomplishments was the recovery of a Boeing 747 from Hong Kong harbour in 1993, but he also describes many other salvage operations where he and his team battled fires or flooding to bring stricken ships safely back to port. He now runs his own marine consultancy where he specialises in towage and salvage, marine accident investigation, expert witness work, towage approval and supervising the construction of new tugs. He also writes a monthly tug column for an Australian publisher. Alan Loynd is a Fellow of the Nautical Institute and the International Tugmasters Association, and a Freeman of the Honourable Company of Master Mariners.


About the Moderator


Dr Gillian Bickley came out to Hong Kong from the UK in 1970 to join the English Department at the University of Hong Kong. From 1974 to 1977 she held appointment at the University of Auckland, New Zealand. Returning to Hong Kong, she retired as Associate Professor in the Department of English at Hong Kong Baptist University a decade ago. With her husband, Dr Verner Bickley, MBE, she is Co-publisher of Proverse Hong Kong, publishing fiction, non-fiction and poetry with some academic, sports and other titles. Also with her husband, she is Co-founder of the two International Proverse Prizes for writing previously unpublished in English (which may be in translation): founded in 2008, the Proverse Prize for unpublished book-length fiction, non-fiction or poetry and, founded in 2016, the Proverse Poetry Prize (single poems). Her academic specialty is Victorian Studies. Her own writing has two main streams, poetry and topics within the nineteenth-century history of Hong Kong.

She recommends, to all interested and curious readers, Alan Loynd’s memoirs, “All At Sea”, which give very a fascinating insight into a life spent very differently.