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ALAN SMITH spent some years with the Geest Line which operated cargo ships between the UK and the Caribbean, before becoming an international shipping journalist, mainly covering the Far East, West Africa and the Middle East, then later North America, finally becoming a director of corporate communications. Since 2016 he has been a Volunteer at the National Museum of the Royal Navy in Portsmouth, as a guide on Nelson’s HMS Victory and a historical researcher for the Diving Deep: HMS Invincible 1744 Project. Married with three children, he lives in Godalming, Surrey, the birthplace of Admiral Sir John Balchen.