In the fading glory days of the legendary Age of Sail, a slip of a girl fulfilled her dream to sail across the world on two of the last windjammers, L’Avenir and Parma, recording her passionate love of the sea, the ships and the men who sailed in them. On Tuesday 1 April, the Cruising Division of Sydney's Cruising Yacht Club of Australia (CYCA) will be presenting her story in a celebration the Golden Age of Sail with presenter and author Sue Vader.
Sue is the author of 'To Sea in a Sailing Ship' which recounts the adventures of Mary Lang who followed her dreams and sailed off around the world via Cape Horn in Windjammers in the 1930s.
Born in the Monaro district of NSW and educated at the Sacred Heart College at Rose Bay, Mary was just 20 years old when she was the only female onboard the four-masted barque, L’Avenir, in January 1935.
Sue will describe what life was like aboard L’Avenir, which was laden with 3,700 tonnes of wheat as it sailed around Cape Horn, from the evocative diaries which her aunt Mary kept.
Mary’s return voyage to South Australia was made aboard 'Parma', another four masted square rigger that experienced a 'hurricane-in-the-grand-manner' that destroyed most of the sails.
CYCA's long time Cruising Captain John Keelty says the evening should be electric. 'This a wonderful true story that has been hidden too long,' he said, 'and what an inspirational evening it will make.' The book was launched at last year’s Byron Bay Writers Festival.
This evening free and open to all and, says Keelty, is not to be missed. Scroll down the photos at the end of this article, all supplied by Sue Vader, and you will agree.
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At Sea with Mary - .. .
To Sea in a Sailing Ship - .. .