Whittles, Caithness, 1st.ed., 2004. Vi + 249 pp., many photo-ills. Pict. c.c., 24 x 17cm. FINE. A boyhood visit to the battleship NELSON fired up in the author an ambition to be a midshipman in the Royal Navy and to be in charge of a steam picket-boat with a brass funnel. His sea-going career, however, began as a cadet in the Merchant Navy aboard British-India Line ships. With the outbreak of war in 1939 he entered the Royal Navy, progressing from midshipman to lieutenant during ten years spent in eight different classes of warship. Upon leaving the Navy and spending several years on shore, he returned to the Merchant Navy and joined tankers as a junior officer, quickly rising to become master of large Texaco tankers ' but never a picket-boat with a brass funnel !