Tall ships provide a career high point

Harbor pilot, Captain Paul RInge: “You get to do the best part – berthing and unberthing.- Picture: Greg Scullin

Piloting the polish tall ship Dar Mlodziezy into Princes Pier last week was, according to Captain Paul Ringe, one of the high-lights of his 25 years at sea.

“I was quite emotional, “says the 44-year-old-harvour pilot. “It was very special to stand on the deck and have the masts towering above you.

“Modern ships are so technologically advanced and are run in a very businesslike manner; they lose a lot of the romance of the sea. The tall ships have that romance.”

Piloting the tall ships in and out of the Bay was a labor of love for Paul and other members of the Port Phillip Sea Pilots. They worked for free in their time off. “It was very special and I don’t think it is something we will ever see again.”

Paul joined the Por Phillip Sea Pilots eight years ago. “it was the culmination of a career at sea. It was a nice next step to take.”

His career began as a cadet navigating officer on British ships – an unlikely stepy for a Bendigo-cred boy. “I have no idea why I decided to go to sea. It was just something I had always wanted to do.”

After the three-year cadetship, Paul worked with a Hong Kong company and then with the Australian National Line for 12 years. His final three years with ANL were spent in command of bulk container ships off the Australian coast.