Wednesday 7 October 2015: Capt Mike Dale: A Life at Sea
Capt. Dale shared with members that in the course of his career in the merchant navy he had sailed over 1,500,000 nautical miles. His interest in the sea took hold when, as boy age 7, he had travelled to South Africa on a passenger ship with his parents. Back in the UK he enrolled as a pupil in HMS Worcester, an English public school for boys who wanted to go to sea. Despite his 2.5 years in a prestigious naval college he still had to serve an apprenticeship at sea, scrubbing decks and keeping watch in dense fog in the North Atlantic. An early posting was as Second Mate on the Cruise Liner a job in which the novelty of putting on a fresh uniform three times a day and being nice to old ladies quickly wore off. Thereafter he stayed with the merchant fleet, gradually gaining rank as he gained experience. Capt Dale illustrated his talk with photographs of the many ships on which he has served – mail packets, car ferries, coastal tankers, bulk carriers, supply vessels to name but a few. His final posting before retiring in 2014 was a Master of a Diving Support Ship in the North Sea where he was required to keep his vessel on station within 10 cms of the spot on the seabed where the divers were working. He was thanked for his fascinating talk by Probus Vice-President, Paul Gallagher.