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The Log of a Sky Pilot 1893           

The Log of a Sky Pilot
Thomas Stanley Treanor
Price including Postage
A4 80 Pages Stapled card cover 2006

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At sea a pilot a is seaman with specialist navigational knowledge of a particular place, he is paid to guide ships safely through its hazards. Seamen call clergymen sky pilots. As the Missions to Seamen Chaplain for the Downs and Honorary Secretary of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution for the Goodwin Sands, often visiting the seamen working in our local waters or out on a lifeboat call, Rev. Thomas Stanley Treanor was one of their best known “Sky Pilots”. His adventurous life working in the dangerous waters of the Goodwins is an exciting read.

The people of the southeast coast have a long history of offering various services to the ships in our waters. It is something that has been a considerable factor in making us who we are. Anyone who regularly puts to sea in a small open boat, powered only by sail and oars develops a healthy regard for danger.

We are very lucky that Treanor provided us with this record of what life was like for those who serviced the ships around the Goodwins and the Downs. Although he was ministering to the seamen the seafaring life of the pilots, hovelers and foy boatmen would have been similar in many ways.

Treanor originally from Achill on the west coast of Ireland could converse in many languages also a skilful seaman, he was Missions to Seamen Chaplain for the Downs for fourteen years and Honorary Secretary of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution for the Goodwin Sands and Downs Branch for ten years, he occasionally went out with the lifeboats of Deal and Walmer.  His drive and dedication are amazing, in one year he spent 250 days at sea, visited 400 homes and 890 ships.  Treanor died in November 1910.

My thanks are due to Patrick Marrin who convinced me of the importance of reprinting this book and Treanor's other long out of print work “The Call from the Sea and the Answer from the Shore”. Also to Gill Burge of Deal Library who kindly found me the article about Treanor from “The Lifeboat 1973” by Gregory Holyoake, that helped in writing these notes.