|About the Book|
Welcome aboard Bellatrix, a ragtag ship with a motley crew and a series of eccentric skippers. A crew augmented by a variety of wildlife from a seductive gibbon to a drunken piglet by way of a dog with ideas above his station, a flock of Java sparrows and a bunch of praying mantis, whose job it was to prevent the ship from being over-run by cockroaches.She was severely deficient in creature comforts and lacked all modern amenities, but she was unaccountably a happy ship with a disproportionate number of ‘odd-balls’ and ‘characters’ among her crew. Life aboard Bellatrix was informal, hectic and at times heart stopping, but above all else, it was fun. Many of the primitive ports she visited did not feature on the itineraries of mainline cargo/passenger ships and this led to some interesting and occasionally alarming experiences.Although ‘Swing The Lamp’ is light-hearted, it does highlight an important fact – the life depicted has now passed into maritime history. ‘Swing The Lamp’ is a very personal, colourful, often hilarious, sometimes thought-provoking but always honest account of sailing the Pacific and other oceans. Blair Chamberlin evokes a time of simpler pleasures and of a camaraderie that sadly no longer exists - a time when the ships themselves were as characterful as the men who crewed them.