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This is the story of Emily and her grandad, Jim.
It's a tiny tale about Jim's life
and the things he used to do when he was younger.
Now it's time for Jim to share his memories
and take Emily on a journey of discovery.
Where will they go and what will they do? Let's find out.
-What's the sea like today, captain?
-Nice and calm!
-Very calm, is it?
-Can you see any pirates?
-I can't see that far!
-Try looking through these, then.
-What are these?
These are binoculars, they help you see further.
What can you see now?
-One, two, three, four, five boats!
-Five boats, can you?
I used to use those a lot when I was a sailor in the Merchant Navy,
travelling the world on big ships, delivering all sorts of things.
-What did you deliver?
-What did we deliver?
Timber, big logs, cars, even cocoa beans.
I spent a lot of time on oil tankers,
delivering oil that keeps cars running.
What an interesting job!
They went for a walk to talk some more and find out
what it was like back then.
-What's that? Is that the ship coming by?
-I think so.
Yes, that's right.
-Shall we give it a wave?
-If you like, yes.
-Let's give it a wave, shall we?
Grandad Jim was only 16 when he joined the Merchant Navy.
Look, here he is when he first went to sea!
I was always interested in ships at school.
When it came time to get a job,
I decided that going to sea
in the Merchant Navy would be quite a good idea.
So, at 16, I got employed as a cadet.
So, Grandad Jim became a cadet in the Merchant Navy,
where he learned how to be a sailor, just like these cadets here.
As a cadet, we had to learn everything.
We had to learn how to chip rust off, sometimes put paint on,
wash paintwork, scrub the decks,
do all the general maintenance around the ship.
If you were going to be an officer you had to learn every job
so you could tell somebody else how to do it properly.
It took four years' training to become an officer.
Now that's a long time!
But Emily only has a day to learn how to be a sailor.
So Grandad Jim is taking her to sea school for a quick lesson.
-Do you know what this place is?
This is where they control the ships coming in and out of the harbour.
All the ships on the outside there, and if they need a pilot...
So, Emily, what do you think of this?
Very complicated! What does all this mean?
This is a chart and it tells us how to get from one place to another.
You see these little crosses here? Those are rocks.
The problem is you can't see them because they're underwater.
We had to know where they were so we could steer a course
so there was no danger of the ship getting stuck.
-So, what do you think of that?
-You had a very important job, Grandad.
It was important to stay off the rocks!
These sea charts have been used for hundreds of years
to help ships sail around the world.
Way long ago, before trains, planes and lorries,
tall ships like these would cross huge oceans,
to bring us things we needed and wanted.
Their crews would leave port for years at a time
and bring home tea from India and coffee from Colombia.
Even animals were brought across the world on ships.
As the years went by, other things were traded.
Coal and steel were taken from Britain,
while big cargo ships brought cotton from North America
and cocoa beans from Central America to make chocolate.
Nowadays, sailors learn how to steer a ship using a special computer.
Now you're at a place where you can try steering a big ship.
-Yes. Are you ready?
-Now I am.
-Now you're ready? OK.
Emily is looking at a pretend ship going into harbour.
Her job is to steer it to the side without bumping into anything.
Can she do it?
Pull it back and the engine stops.
Then use this one, which steers it, and push that round a little bit.
-Left. Not too much.
And then we'll go in to where the oil tanks are.
-Can you see us coming closer?
-Can we go full speed ahead?
If we went full speed ahead, we'd go right into the shore!
So we can't do that.
We're nearly here now. You did a very good job.
-Well done! And you know what?
-You can be my shipmate any time.
-Well done, Emily!
Now Grandad Jim is taking Emily to see a real ship.
It's a cargo ship!
It brings all sorts of things across the world for people to buy.
-So, what do you think of this ship?
-It is, isn't it?
-It has to be big to carry cargo. Do you know what cargo is?
It's all sorts of things we need,
anything from food to spare parts, bits of machinery.
There's even bigger ships that this carrying cargo round the world.
There is another reason they're big. Can you guess what that might be?
Once you get to the ocean, the waves are very big.
-If the ships weren't big enough, they couldn't get over them.
Look at these cargo ships here. They are enormous!
They travel all over the world,
bringing things to us that we need.
In the olden days, lots of the cargo was new and exciting food and spices
that we couldn't get in this country.
When I first went away, it was to Africa.
We took cars and came back with wood, cocoa and peanuts.
Then we started going much further afield.
We went across the Atlantic, all the way through the Mediterranean
to India, and all the way to Japan and back again.
Wow, what an amazing way to see the world.
When we were at sea, we had to be smart all the time,
even when we'd been at sea for days.
You wore a uniform, like you wear for school.
Look at Grandad Jim, all dressed up.
-Do you think you'd like to go and smarten up a bit?
Wow - looking good, Emily!
Hello, Emily. You look really smart.
I've got something for you.
What about this?
This was a captain's uniform. I'll take your hat.
-Let me help you.
It's a bit big for you, yes.
Hat on, too!
Right. Don't you think that's lovely?
-Can you put your arms up?
You'll have to grow!
All ready for life on the ocean waves.
-Can we sing our sailor song?
-How does it go?
# A sailor went to sea, sea, sea
# To see what he could see, see, see
# But all that he could see, see, see
# Was the bottom of the deep blue sea, sea, sea. #
Lots of things have changed since Grandad Jim's days at sea.
When he was a sailor, many months at sea meant many meals at sea.
When I was at sea, there wasn't as much fresh food as there is now.
We would get fresh fruit and vegetables in port.
But when you'd been at sea for weeks they would run out.
There was lots of tinned fruit and vegetables.
The bread was made on board ship, too.
The thing that was different is we never had fresh milk.
Fresh milk to drink was most unusual at that time.
The longest I was away from home was just over a year,
just after I got married.
That's a long time away from home.
Oh, look. Here's Grandad Jim with Gran, Cynthia, and Mummy, Karen.
They must have missed each other so much.
Now it's time for Emily to take her place on the captain's seat.
Right, Emily, you're sitting at the seat where the captain sits
when he watches everything.
It was different when I went to sea. We didn't have comfortable chairs!
We had to stand up and watch out the windows.
What did the captain do?
He's in charge of everything on board, of all the people,
making sure the ship goes in the right place
and that things get done properly.
From here, we've got the controls which control where the ship goes.
-What do those do?
-Those actually make the ship go sideways.
There's a propeller at the front and back.
There's one special button I'll get you to press.
Press that button.
That horn tells other ships to get out the way.
What an adventure for Emily!
She found out about Grandad Jim's life at sea
with the Merchant Navy and why he has special binoculars.
She discovered what cargo ships are for
and why Grandad Jim travelled all over the world.
She learned to read a very complicated sea chart
and she became captain for a day.
Oh, and she used her new sailing skills
to avoid crashing her pretend ship
while taking pride of place on the captain's seat.
Right, let's see. Turn this one over.
Hooray! Not bad for a grandad.
-Anyway, have you had fun?
-Have you enjoyed learning a bit more about my story?
-And what have you enjoyed the most?
-Honking the horn on the big ship!
Honking the horn on the big ship?
Well, I've really enjoyed doing it with you, Emily. Give me a big hug.
What a fabulous heap of fun.
That was Emily and her Grandad Jim's tiny tale
about the things he used to do and places he visited
when he was a sailor.
Now that Grandad has shared his story with Emily,
it's time for Emily to start her own story.
Do you know someone who has a story to share?
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd