Karen has been beavering away over the last 18 months on a project set on the high seas. It started with a memoir written for family in 1911 by a master mariner, Captain Henry Rose. It needed a bit more research and interpretation to fill in the gaps in an otherwise fascinating life story. Why was Henry born in 1832 in what we know of today as Colombia, in Central America, and what were his English parents doing there in the first place? Starting as a sailor apprentice at the age of 14, Henry sailed around the world, delivering indentured labourers to Central America, prisoners to Hobart, and passengers to Lyttelton, and also loading and unloading cargoes as varied as spices and cotton, flax and wool. As a ship's captain he became well-known in early Canterbury before leaving the sea for a land based job in Wellington. There he was the branch manager of the New Zealand Shipping Company and a member of the newly formed Wellington Harbour Board. Now the manuscript of his story has been selected as part of the Perfect Pitch competition at the National Writers Forum in Auckland this weekend. Who knows, Captain Henry Rose's story may become more than a family record of an extraordinary adventure at sea.