O is for Officers and Oyster Farming

I know – it didn’t take long for me to break my own rule on having but one entry per day, but I couldn’t decide on just one, so porque no los dos?


The researches I’ve undertaken around officers have involved Australian Army and Navy ranks, and cruise ship officer ranks.

Defence force ranks are straightforward. In ‘A Baby Denied’ (under consideration), I wanted Nash (main male character) to be on a level promotional standing with Gillian (antagonist). He became an Army Captain and she a Naval Lieutenant. The defence forces sites were helpful.

I found the most informative sites for cruise ships, on the other hand, were those around shipboard employment opportunities. These provided not only detail about where people might fit in terms of the crew of any given ship, but also some insights into the type of work that each crew member might be required to undertake.  The most senior officer on board, logically, is the Captain, and responsibility for all areas on board is vested in that position. News that’s just a couple of days old has offered a different opportunity for one of the women in my cruise ship stories. Luc’s managerial sister is about to move onto the fast track to captain instead of taking over the board (for a while anyway). She won’t be the first female cruise ship captain the world has known, but she will break the mould for the Ricci’s cruise line, ECM. A news article on the recent promotion of  Captain Kathryn Whittaker  was a timely reminder for me.


A cruise ship captain? No way!
A female, she be.
Awake! the mould is broken.

Oyster Farming

Needing to know a little about oyster farming was one of those times when a character caught me unawares.

In “Loving the Celebrity Chef“, Angelique and Vincent take some time out to visit Dave. Dave had been a highway service station manager but decided to take on oyster farming at Mooney Mooney, just north of Sydney. He learns the craft by attending growers’ meetings and doing his own research. In the story, he explains to Angelique, the system of submerging the oysters so they can start growing and then leaving them on rafts to prevent bio-fouling. I think I learned more about oysters than I needed to know!


Algal bloom, bio-fouling
endanger oysters.
Vigilant farmers prevail.

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