(c) A M T Reading 2022
is a Master Mariner currently sailing in command of a small cruise vessel in the highlands of Scotland (Lord of the Glens).
Anthony’s employment has been almost entirely at sea in the merchant navy with several companies and on a variety of ship types. In January 1973 Anthony was taken on by the British and Commonwealth Shipping Company and sent to, what was then called, The School of Navigation in Warsash on the Hamble River. After 3 months at Warsash he joined his first ship, Clan Malcolm, in Avonmouth Docks in May 1973 as a deck cadet. B & C Shipping included Clan Line, Union & Castle as well as some other shipping companies. Anthony continued his cadetship with B & C and then as a 3rd Officer once he passed his “2nd Mate’s Foreign-going Certificate of Competency“. Apart from one Union Castle vessel Anthony served mainly in Clan Line vessels sailing to India, South & East Africa, the Mediterranean, as well as extensive time on the UK coast. Ships included Clan Malcolm, Clan Maciver, Clan Macgillivray, Clan Alpine, Clan Menzies, Southampton Castle, Winchester Castle (formerly the Clan Ramsey) and finally Clan Macilwraith. The longest period on one ship was the Clan Maciver which was just two weeks short of a year when the ship, after loading in London partook on a voyage described in B & C parlance as “a double-header”. This involved a voyage from London to Angola, South Africa, Mauritius, Mozambique, South Africa, Spain, Italy, France, South Africa, Mozambique, South Africa, Northern Ireland and finally Liverpool.
In October 1977 Anthony left B & C and joined the British Antarctic Survey as Fourth Officer on RRS Bransfield. He remained with British Antarctic Survey until January 1998 serving as 4th, 3rd, 2nd and Chief Officer, mainly on R R S Bransfield but also with periods on R R S John Biscoe and her replacement R R S James Clark Ross which was his last ship with BAS.
After a period ashore and a brief one month stint on the research ship Corystes, Anthony joined Hoverspeed on their cross channel fast craft in April 1999 until the end of 1999. Most of the service with Hoverspeed was on the Hoverspeed Great Britain, a wave piercing, 74 metre catamaran on the Folkestone to Boulogne route. Crossing the Dover Strait, the busiest shipping route in the world at up to 36 knots was very different to the previous 12 – 14 knots in the virtually empty Antarctic.
In January 2000 Anthony joined the Centre for Environment Fisheries and Aquaculture Science on their research vessel Corystes as First Officer and then as Master. In April 2001 CEFAS contracted out the management of their two research vessels, Corystes and Cirolana, to Smit International (Scotland) Ltd a subsidiary of Smit BV of Rotterdam, all permanent sea staff were transferred to the employment of Smit International (Scotland) Ltd. In 2003 CEFAS were about to take delivery of a new research vessel Cefas Endeavour being built at Fergusons’ yard on the Clyde. Anthony was seconded to the builders as the trials Master. He was both the delivery Master when the vessel was delivered from the Clyde to Lowestoft at the end of March 2003 and then its first operational Master as it began science operations. The Cefas Endeavour replaced the Cirolana and until January 2005 the Corystes continued to be operated for CEFAS.
In January 2005 the Corystes was transferred to the Northern Irish Government and Anthony delivered it from Lowestoft to Belfast via dry dock in Liverpool. Following a week of training up the new crew in Belfast Anthony returned to Lowestoft to resume command of the Cefas Endeavour. Smit remained the managers of the vessel until the end of March 2009, when after eight years of a supposedly seven year contract they were replaced by P & O Maritime Services, a company owned by Dubai Ports, based in Melbourne Australia and running the CEFAS vessel via their office in Galway, Eire. In December 2009 Anthony ceased to work for P & O Maritime Services.
In July 2010 Anthony began working on the Lord of the Glens in Scotland, first as Chief Officer and from late 2013 as Master. The Lord of the Glens carries up to 54 passenger for mainly seven night cruises from Inverness through the Great Glen (Caledonian Canal, Loch Ness and Loch Lochy) and enters the western seas at Corpach just north of Fort William and then on to Kyle of Lochalsh (where the Skye Bridge is situated) via Oban, Isle of Mull and the Small Isles. Anthony has also had very short periods on Spirit of Chartwell, owned by the same owners which was used to carry the Queen on the Thames during her jubilee. The Spirit of Chartwell was sold to Portuguese owners in August 2012 and Anthony was in command during her last voyage from Chelsea Harbour, London to Ramsgate before she was taken over.
The Lord of the Glens returned to Inverness from drydock in mid February 2020 and then went into “cold layup” as the pandemic developed. In mid 2020 the owner, Magna Carta Steamship Co, sold the ship to Hebridean Island Cruises.
The Lord of the Glens was able to resume trading with passengers on 19th July 2021 and continued until October 2021 when the normal season finishes.
Clan Line Steamers vessel Clan Macilwraith departing from London Docks, date unknown.