It should be Harbour Mistress.... the title for IlfracombeHarbour Master Captain Georgina Carlo-Paat MBE, who impressed her Coastwise audience with her determination to get to the peak of her chosen profession in the merchanr fleet.

She has worked her way up the industry from casual ship's cook to Master Mariner over the years, accumulating a very diverse range of sea-going experience from the Mediterranean via the Caribbean to the Antarctic, with UK dredging thrown in along the way, and gaining her theoretical qualifications from spells at Fleetwood College, where she later worked as a lecturer.

All this was rewarded with an MBE, received from the (now) Prince of Wales in 2022.

While working on dredging, the opportunity arose to become Ilfracombe Harbour Master (not allowed to be Harbour Mistress), which is convenient for her home in Croyde.

Since appointment Georgina has been working to iimprove the harbour facilities, including the fendering arrangements for the Oldenberg and fishermen, for which 75% funding was obtained from the Marine Management Organisation.

Also, the old toll booths have been replaced by booths for the commercial tour operators, and what will be a decorative arch.

The job has a big routine element requiring administration and maintenance. This includes checking mooring chains, inspecting stored kayaks, fuelling arrangements for commercial vessels, maintaining oil spill containment measure, managing the stored lobster pots in winter, repairing general damage and collecting dead fish from fishing activities.

The major cyclical task is lfting the moored pleasure boats out for the winter, and returning them to the water in spring.

One big project coming to fruition after a very long gestation is the Watersports Centre to the south of the harbour. This will be used by many local schools and water-based organisations, and will be a real asset to the area when in operation.

[Pictures courtesy of Captain Georgina Carlo-Paat MBE - Gorgina receiveg her MBE from Prince William, penguins seen on an Antarctic trip, with Windstar in the Caribbean as a Chief Officer, with her treasured quad bike]

Copyright Coastwise