WELCOME TO THE SITE OF PUBLISHED AUTHOR
Fiction and non-fiction from William Gilbert,
the best-selling author of Supertanker Memoirs.
WILLIAM GILBERT first experienced professional seafaring as a teenager on a tramp tanker out of sweltering Houston for a thrilling voyage through Panama to the Far East and then Saudi Arabia and the Mediterranean and back to the United States, fuelling at Gibraltar, and then crossing the Atlantic in a massive storm and threading through the oil rigs of the Mexican Gulf to the same berth at which he’d joined six months’ earlier; a trip described in his top seller, Supertanker Circumnavigation.
After qualifying as a third officer, he spent several years on cape-size bulk carriers, during the crisis period when one of this type of vessel was sinking every few weeks, due to a combination of wear and tear, poor design and poor loading practices.
Having survived this, he spent ten years in the home trade around Europe, obtaining his Master Mariner’s licence, before the decline of the British merchant navy finally overtook him.
This was followed by fifteen years’ service on the superyachts of the mega rich.
In a brothel in an Australian mining town in the nineteen-seventies, four women face crises while, outside the premises, the town’s major employer deals with the stresses of an election and tries to cope with his wayward daughter’s fascination with the youngest of them.
PORT OF CALL
In the mid nineties, William Gilbert was mate on a little freighter trading between Santo Domingo, Vera Cruz and Havana. Having signed off, he decided to spend some months living in Cuba just when it was beginning to emerge from its Soviet supported era of oppression and open up a little to the world.
London in the nineteen-eighties: Gordon Gecko wanabes; small time criminals, homesick tax exiles; teenage mothers; bargemen; dilapidated Victorian architecture; Stalinist council estates; and a pensive tube train driver.
In the nineteen-eighties, William Gilbert joined his first tramp tanker as a trainee officer in Houston. The trip turned out to be a five month circumnavigation via the Panama and Suez canals. This is the story of that journey and of the tight knit society on board as it passed through far flung and exotic locales.