Public Talks

The museum hosts a regular series of FREE public lunchtime talks. The talks are held on the FIRST Tuesday of each month EXCEPT January from 12.00 midday until 1.00pm in the Royal Society Rooms at the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery.

Tuesday 1 May: BORN AT SEA

At the beginning of the Twentieth Century, just before the decaying days of sail, a young Captain’s wife gave birth to three daughters at various times while at sea. This was aboard square-rigged ships, such as the barque Bengairn (illustrated) under often-difficult conditions. Captain James Learmont’s wife, Clara, wrote a log all the time she was at sea. Written with modesty, she described the hardships she went through.  Despite the difficulties, she had tremendous faith throughout her ordeals.  Her husband wrote about these experiences, which were included in a book and Sea Breezes. A friend of his, Alan Villiers, also wrote about some of these events in some of his own published works. Mike tells this story of a family’s strength under sail.  


Mike Webb first went to sea as a boy on Pilot Cutters in the North Sea during the Second World War. He served with the General Steam Navigation Company before taking an apprenticeship with Houlder Brothers. He left them as Chief Officer to take on further studies. He was then involved in maritime training, starting as the first Chief Officer of the Topsail Schooner Sir Winston Churchill, then HMS Worcester. After this, it was switching between being master of training vessels and developing maritime education in the Pacific and Asia and finally 15 years with the Australian Maritime College. In retirement he been a a volunteer Principal of Sailtrain and is still heavily involved with the Maritime Museum of Tasmania. He is Master Class 1 endorsed for square rigs.

Time: 12.00 – 1.00pm Tuesday 1 May 2018
Place: ROYAL SOCIETY ROOMS, Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, (Davey Street entrance).
Phone the Maritime Museum on 6234 1427 for more details