Public Speaking & Ship Lecturing
"I give history a voice"
History of the Royal Navy (Part 1 / Part 2):
The subject of this presentation covers approximately a thousand years of maritime history, from the embryonic concept of a fleet of warships to defend an island, to the latest developments in modern naval doctrine. This is a two part presentation exploring the development of naval armaments, warships, fighting seamen and women – a concise history of the naval standard of power.
Captain Cook: The Man Behind the Legend.
Between 1768 and 1779, Captain James Cook R.N. crossed oceans, charted new lands and discovered new peoples. He would secure his place in history thanks to this obsessive discovering genius but, his life’s journey was complex and in the end he was lost within himself. His wife Elizabeth would ensure his legend lives on unblemished.
Fitzroy & Darwin: The Captains of Evolution.
This is the story of the Voyage of HMS Beagle, under the command of Captain Robert Fitzroy, in company with his guest, Charles Darwin. These two men found themselves at the forefront of world exploration in the 1830s; both Christian men at heart, one would go on to question his place in the world, the other would help advance what we now call a ‘weather forecast’. In 1859, Charles Darwin published the ‘The Origin of Species’ and has never been out of print since.
When Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro marched into the Inca city of Cajamarca (Peru), by canon fire and the slash of sword he would trigger the collapse of the Inca Empire and the formation of new nation states. Over the course of 300 years, Europe would gain vast riches however it’s greed would ultimately lead to the cry of ‘Liberación!’ and the formation of the modern states of Chile and Argentina. This is a story of warriors, Gods, and the ongoing struggle for stability in South America.
By Reason or Force: The Guano War.
In the year 1879, the Chilean Republic would go to war with Peru and Bolivia as result of trade dispute. That trade drove an arms race that would shape the modern map and the borders between the three countries. The British Royal Navy watched from afar as the belligerents would attack one another, leading to the development of mighty warships that would ply the oceans far and wide.
The Aeronaut: The Greatest Explorer You’ve Never Heard Of.
This is the story of Sir Hubert Wilkins' expedition into one of the last uncharted places on Earth. He planned to travel by submarine underneath the North Pole for the first time from Norway to Alaska. The expedition would go down in history as one of the most daring and bizarre.
The Endurance Expedition:
In 1914, heroic age explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton would organise the best equipped polar expedition of the day: The Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition. Made up of two ships and over sixty men, they would set sail on a calamitous success. They failed to reach their geographical objectives, but would go down in history for their comradeship, devotion to their fellow shipmates, their loyalty and sense of duty. Hear Seb’s first-hand account of the most faithful recreation of the Voyage of the James Caird from Elephant Island to South Georgia. Shackleton’s boat journey was once quoted as ‘the greatest feat of seamanship in polar history’
Recreating Shackleton’s Boat Journey:
Join Seb for a first-hand account of the 2013 expedition led by polar explorer Tim Jarvis, and his teams quest to faithfully re-enact the ‘Voyage of the James Caird’, one small chapter within the epic story of The Endurance Expedition (1914-17). The subject of the highly acclaimed Discovery Channel documentary ‘Shackleton: Death and Glory’, Seb will explain how his team built a time machine and transported themselves back to April 1916 to relive Shackleton’s nightmare.
Fortress Falklands: The History of the Falkland Islands:
In 1982 the Argentinean ‘Junta’ led by Presidente Leopoldo Galtieri would set in motion a sequence of events that would lead to the invasion and subsequent occupation of the British South Atlantic Islands. Why would Margaret Thatcher lead the British Government to war over such an insignificant little group of islands, 8000 miles away from the homeland of the British people? The answer lies is a rather complex back story. Seb breaks down the story in a bitesize chunks, and tells the story of how the Falklands War, would reshape the Argentine Republic and the United Kingdom.
Human History of The Antarctic
The Antarctic is millions of years old, its natural history trapped within rock, ice and snow however, its human history is a mere 200 years old, perhaps a little older depending on which story you like the most. We know little about the first visitors to the Antarctic but their legend would lead nations to dispatch wooden ships and iron men to explore the Antarctic’s forbidden coast in the late 19th century. Brave souls, bitten by frost and fur seals, would lead to a period of imperial expansion that would see the Antarctic turned from beautiful ecology into profitable economy. After the visitation of many men and women who left their mark on the land, today the white continent is protected by one of the most successful pieces of international legislation ever written: The Antarctic Treaty. What is it? How is it enforced? What does it mean to you as a visitor?
Refugees from Civilization: The Life of an Industrial Whaler:
There was a time long ago when Antarctic waters ran red with the blood of whales freshly hunted down for their valuable blubber, bone and meat. This is the story of hard-working men and women who met the demand for valuable raw materials: lubricants that kept the world in motion, food to feed the masses, and explosives to shape nation states during times of war. The life of an industrial whaler is one of the misunderstood, with modern judgement passed without knowledge of the backstory. Seb will explain the differences between industrial whaling and modern commercial whaling with typical British tact and diplomacy.
"Many thanks for organising this presentation. I went to Antarctica in 2019, and hope to make it through the North West Passage later this month. I found Seb’s talk very interesting and the best encapsulation of the Shackleton legend - and its context - that I have heard! Please pass this on to him".
- Stephen B. -
A most fascinating story and so we well told! Thank you so much!!!
"A privilege to assist in such an exceptional presentation, so beautifully delivered - thank you!"