So when this grand old lady motored past three weeks ago my heart beat just that little bit stronger. Very little wake, 8 knots, and the sound of ..... well, very little sound, except that very low growl that can only be a Gardiner diesel. I was hooked.
The Alfred Normandale is the official pilot boat here in Trincomalee. Researching her provenance I learned from the crew that "she is English Sir" and is named after one of the first Harbour Masters in Columbo. Trying to trace that has proved difficult, but with the help of Hans Houterman (www.unithistories.com) I suspect that he was Alfred Normandale, born in Scarborough UK in 1853. He is listed in the Captains Registers of Lloyd’s of London (Guildhall Library Ms 18567). He would be really proud to see this old girl still serving. This is certainly the oldest wooden boat I've seen in official government service.
We spoke of ships and pilotage, and he spoke of his education in Australia where he did specialist maritime studies. He also commented how comfortable the Alfred Normandale was at sea, even in big conditions. They don't make them like that anymore.
Captain Lakshi is one of the local officials who have worked hard to make cruising sail boats welcome here this year, for which we are very grateful.
For more images of the Alfred Normandale, click the link the link below. Further information on her history would also be appreciated....