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Captain Nick Bates
Born in Northern Ireland, Captain Nick Bates is the offspring of two traditional seafaring families. His father spent most of his adult life at sea and his grandfather, on his mother's side, was a traditional sailing shipmaster. He was brought up in the small fishing village of Ardglass and educated in the farming town of Downpatrick. His academic achievements could at best be described as average but following the seafaring tradition, Nick went on to attend the Nautical College in Belfast, where he graduated top of his year.
Not long after leaving college, Nick joined the cargo ship subsidiary of the legendary Cunard Line, Port Line and began learning his trade on the UK to Australia/New Zealand run. Nick obtained his "Masters Ticket" in the winter of 1975 and shortly after, was offered a position onboard the luxury cruise liner Queen Elizabeth 2. This short - term contract turned out to be the start of a lifetime commitment to the Cunard Line.
He received his first command in 1995, onboard the Cunard Countess, cruising around the Caribbean. He also went on to take command of the Crown Majesty, the Seabourn Goddess II, the Caronia (where he met his wife,) and completing the circle, the legendary Queen Elizabeth 2..
In 2006, during a short secondment, Nick transferred to Princess Cruises, where he commanded their then largest and newest ships, the Sapphire and Diamond Princess. However, in 2008 he returned to Cunard, to take command of the flagship of the world's most famous luxury ocean liners, the Queen Mary 2, an appointment considered to be the pinnacle of his career.
During his time with the QE2 the main "Bread and Butter" run was the Transatlantic voyage between New York and Southampton. This route would often take him over the exact position marking the final resting place of the famed Titanic. Each time the ship passed over the area and as a mark of respect for those who lost their lives the ship would generally conduct a brief memorial service.
In the late 1990's Nick had the privilege of carrying Malvena Dean from Southampton to New York. Malvena was then the last living survivor of that great disaster and was a delightful unassuming lady who even then enjoyed talking about her adventure, or at least the little bits she recalled and the impact it all had on herself and her family over the years.
Having retired from his outstandingly successful career at sea, Nick now spends much of his time preparing for and giving, a wide variety of presentations and after dinner talks, throughout the UK and Ireland. With his natural, confident delivery and a treasure trove of fabulous, often hilarious tales, Captain Nick is in great demand on the speaker circuit. He has also published a very funny book "With a Pinch of Salt" which explains, in his own unique fashion the origin of many every day expressions, that can be traced back to our nautical heritage.
Now based near Edinburgh, Captain Nick has brought some of his supreme seamanship skills to the Seagull Trust, a Scottish charity giving adults, children and their carers a day out on one of the Trusts specially equipped barges, on the Union Canal. Surprisingly, he now has to undertake an examination before the MCA (UK Maritime Safety Body) will actually allow him to skipper one of these barges - Health and Safety at work?
Nick lists his hobbies as golf, scuba diving (warm water only!), art, sports of any kind, gardening and editing a local pet lovers' newsletter called, The Dog Watch.
Further information can be had at Captain Nick's own web site here: Captain Nick Bates
Video of Captain Nick Bates
Captain Nick demonstrates the iCap
Audio of Captain Nick Bates
Nick Bates interview with Sian Williams and Rev Richard Cole on BBC Radio4
Find out how to book Captain Nick Bates as the travel speaker for your next event by calling Speak Out on 0131 440 9226 or clicking here.
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