Captain on the High Seas

“Only sixty candidates were to be selected from more than fifty thousand boys who had written the qualifying examination. One hundred and twenty candidates who got the highest marks in the examination would be called for interview in Bombay out of which sixty unfortunate boys would have to return home. Two seats were booked for boys from Ceylon – Sri Lanka. Our state of Travancore-Cochin of those days, later named Kerala, had a quota of six cadets.”

In 1957, author Augustine Varghese was one of those boys chosen for a career in the Indian Merchant Marine. His life from the time of getting selected on the merchant training ship Dufferin covers his life through the ranks from apprenticeship as officer cadet, to getting Certificates of Competency, passing the final Master (Foreign-Going) Certificate, working on merchant ships as junior officer, senior officer, and finally as master (captain).

The ship Dufferin was named in honour of Lord Dufferin, who had been a highly respected viceroy of the British Government to India.

After being chosen from those fifty thousand applicants so many years ago, the author says, “It was almost miraculous that I stepped on that ship.” Here then is his exciting story of his life spent at sea.

Capt. Augustine N. Varghese was born on the southern tip of India in the State of Kerala. He retired from his life at sea in 2008, but still loves to travel. This is his fourth book.

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