One of the gratifying things about writing KWANGCHOW - Freddy Everard on the China Seas, is that it has brought me in touch with many people from those days 1959-61. Some I never knew and others were in fact old friends and colleagues long lost in the mists of time.

One such person is Geoff George. We sailed together for about a year on the HUPEH, he as chief officer and me as second officer. He heard of the book and wanted a hard copy that I finally managed to get to him late last year. The period I wrote about is actually earlier than my time with him on the HUPEH but some of the bits in KWANGCHOW were written from memories of or time together.

Like most of us he left the sea and had another career, his was with the Australian Government. So it was with some trepidation that I waited for his views on the book. After all he was there and he knew me well. What if he thought it was rubbish? Today I received his reply - he had been gone for some time in Asia.  Here is what he wrote to me (about the book).

"I enjoyed KWANGCHOW greatly. It certainly brought the old days to life in all its gory details. You have an easy writing style, which meant I finished the book rather more quickly than I usually do. My only slight reservation is about the main character, who is just a bit too perfect for me. I prefer somewhat more flawed heroes. That aside, I can see you have what it takes to be a writer. Thanks again for giving me the opportunity of re-living my life with China nav all those years ago. Good luck with the Roosevelt/Panama Canal work."

I did intend the main character to be likable, in line with advice gained from writing seminars and conferences I have attended. And after all Freddy is my alter ego. But of course Geoff knew me well and knew that I was never "too perfect" and I certainly can't argue with that.

But all in all another happy reader so my day was made. Thanks Geoff.

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