Maritime Monday for 03 February 2013 — The saga of 1805, the year of Britain’s danger

copyright Gcaptain pictures linked only
a lot of things in the above link to read
he and his wife spent the rest of their lives living and writing aboard a series of yachts until his death in 1997.

- Bibliography – (including non-fiction titles)

Rediscovering Nicholas Ramage on Age of Sail - all Dudley Pope posts on Age of Sail -


left: Full text of Ramage’s Prize (#5 in Ramage series) right: DUDLEY POPE Governor Ramage RN

image_thumb.pngENGLAND EXPECTS  (1959) The saga of 1805, the year of Britain’s danger, and the great victory at Trafalgar by Dudley Pope

AT TWO a.m. on a foggy November morning in 1805 a bedraggled young naval officer strode into the Admiralty and told the startled Secretary to the Board: ‘Sir, we have gained a great victory; but we have lost Lord Nelson!’ Thus Britain heard the news of the Battle of Trafalgar. Now Dudley Pope tells for the first time the complete story of the year 1805, ending with the victory at Trafalgar, and seen through the eyes of the seamen, soldiers and civilians of Britain, France and Spain. He describes the events leading up to the engagement: the building of the vast French invasion fleet to carry the army of 150,000 with which Napoleon planned to crush England; the rude measures taken for our Island defence. He gives a complete picture of the appalling conditions aboard an English man-o’-war…

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Ramage and the Saracens painted by Paul Wright (Cover Image for the Dudley Pope Book Series) J. Russell Jinishian Gallery
a lot of things in the above link to read

Maritime Monday for January 14th, 2013: 7 Days of Unalloyed Delight; Das Segelschiff Preußen and Soo Locks

Copyright Gcaptain

Maritime Monday for December 24th, 2012: May Saint Nicholas Hold the Tiller

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Christmas at Sea 

A Visit From Saint Nicholas, 1862


St Nicholas Blessing the Sailors (full size)

Mosaics and Stained-Glass Nuremberg, Germany – Circa 1500, Workshop of Mikhael Wolgemut

imageSaint Nicholas is the patron saint of sailors, merchants, archers, children, and students in Croatia, Greece, Belgium, Romania, Bulgaria, Georgia, Russia, the Republic of Macedonia, Slovakia, Serbia and Montenegro. The historical Saint Nicholas is honored by Catholic, Orthodox Christians and by various Anglican and Lutheran churches. He is also the patron saint of Barranquilla (Colombia), Bari (Italy), Amsterdam (Netherlands), Beit Jala in the West Bank of Palestine, Liverpool (England) and Russia. In 1809, the New-York Historical Society convened and retroactively named Sancte Claus the patron saint of Nieuw Amsterdam, the Dutch name for New York City. In Germany survivors of shipwrecks traditionally brought patches of sailcloth to Saint Nicholas as votive offerings. He was also a patron of the Varangian Guard of the Eastern Roman Emperors, who protected his relics in Bari. So beloved is St. Nicholas by Russians, one commonly heard saying is “if God dies, at least we’ll still have St. Nicholas.”source


This mosaic of St Nicholas is in Westminster Cathedral in London photo by Fr Lawrence Lew, O.P. – (4333 x 2911)

Saint Nicholas of Myra, whose feast is on the 6th of December, is the patron saint of sailors and is often called upon by mariners who are in danger of drowning or being shipwrecked. According to one legend, as a young man Nicholas went to study in Alexandria and on one of his sea voyages from Myra to Alexandria he is said to have saved the life of a sailor who fell from the ship’s rigging in a storm.


image: How It Goes Down: Mad Men As Prophecy & Postmortem


St. Nicholas’ prayer calming seas Artist: Elisabeth Jvanovsky

Nikolaos is the patron saint of Greece, where his primary role is as the protector of sailors and seamen.
At Christmas small fishing boats honor him, especially in the islands, with decorations of blue and white lights. Tradition has it that his clothes are soaked with brine, his beard always dripping with seawater, and his face covered with perspiration because he has been fighting storms to reach sinking ships and save men from drowning. imageGreek ships carry an icon of St. Nicholas, as he is regarded as master of wind and tempest. Sailors light a candle before the icon, a small model of a ship, praying for safe passage. When a ship is in danger the captain prays making a solemn promise to bring a tamata, a model of a small ship of silver, gold, or carved of wood, if they make port safely. On return from such a voyage, the captain and sailors take the model (or painting), representing their ship, to church. In thanksgiving for their safety, they place it before a St. Nicholas icon. It is given as testimony to protection received, not as intercession for future aid. The Greek Navy pays tribute to the patron saint of sailors with a special ceremony at the Hellenic Naval Academy.

Santas & Sailors on Aft Deck Musings . . . .


“Belles Heures” (The Beautiful Hours) of the Duc de Berry early 15th century illuminated manuscript

Suffrages of the Saints Saint Nicholas Saves Travelers at Sea, Folio 168r:  In one of the most dramatic scenes in this section of the manuscript, a ship veers wildly out of control in a stormy sea, its mast already broken and the sailors reacting emotionally. Saint Nicholas grasps the ship’s crow’s nest to steady the vessel, and already the stormy sky at right is resolving to the serene blue at upper left. The corkscrew waves painted in silver, white, and blue shimmer on the page.

- full size -

Belles Heures of Jean de France, Duc de Berry on wikipedia


St Nicholas of Bari Rebuking the Storm, Bicci di Lorenzo

When making a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, Nicholas‘ ship was caught in a violent storm off the coast of Lycia . The storm threatened to wreck the ship and the sailors invoked the aid of Nicholas. Nicholas calmly prayed. The storm tossed mariners were astounded when the wind and waves were becalmed, and the ship was able to make it safely to port. (from)


St Nicholas of Myra Detail from St Dominic’s priory church in London photo by Fr Lawrence Lew, O.P. — (2968 x 4034)

Maritime Monday for December 17th, 2012: Port of Preston

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original: Riversway Docklands, Preston


En Route to Manchester

port 2

Preston: Official Guide and Industrial Handbook; c. 1960 Published by J. Burrow & Co. Ltd., Cheltenham & Gloucester

canal map

Preston Docks; location map from 1972

- Preston Maps and Plans -

map of manc

The Manchester Docks Manchester Ship Canal Company G Falkner & Sons, Manchester, 1921

sur mer

A cartoon published in the satirical magazine Punch in 1882, ridiculing the idea that Manchester could become a major seaport

The idea that the rivers Mersey and Irwell should be made navigable from the Mersey Estuary in the west to Manchester in the east was first proposed in 1660, and revived in 1712.

The necessary legislation was proposed in 1720, and the Act of Parliament for the navigation passed into law in 1721. Construction began in 1724, undertaken by the Mersey & Irwell Navigation Company. By 1734 boats “of moderate size” were able to make the journey from quays near Water Street in Manchester to the Irish Sea.

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One Shilling Coupon

In 1825 an application had been made to Parliament for an Act to allow the construction of a ship canal between the mouth of the River Dee and Manchester at a cost of £1 million.

The navigation had by then fallen into disrepair, its owners preferring instead to maintain the more profitable canal;[10] in 1882 the navigation was described as being “hopelessly choked with silt and filth”, and was closed to all but the smaller boats for 264 out of 311 working days.

Dues charged by the Port of Liverpool and the railway charges from there to Manchester were perceived to be excessive by Manchester’s business community; it was often cheaper to import goods from Hull, on the opposite side of the country, than it was from Liverpool.

A ship canal was proposed as a way to reduce carriage charges, avoid payment of dock and town dues at Liverpool, and by-pass the Liverpool to Manchester railways by giving Manchester direct access to the sea for its imports and its exports of manufactured goods.



Menu for Banquet, Manchester Town Hall, 6 Oct 1885 in celebration of the passing of the Manchester Ship Canal Act

manc canal excav

A painting by Benjamin Williams Leader in 1891 showing excavation of the Manchester Ship Canal

The 36-mile (58 km) route was divided into eight sections, with one engineer responsible for each. For the first two years construction went according to plan.

flood of manc

Manchester Ship Canal Floods at Davyhulme, November 1890

The project suffered a number of setbacks and was hampered by harsh weather and several serious floods.


Opening of Manchester Ship Canal by the yacht “Norseman” 1894

Norseman headed a convoy of vessels at the canal’s opening in January 1894. Seen passing the Barton Swing Aqueduct, it carried the company’s directors.

The success of the new port was a source of consternation to merchants in Liverpool, who suddenly found themselves cut out of the trade in goods such as timber, and a source of encouragement to shipping companies, who began to realise the advantages an inland port would offer.

The ship canal took six years to complete at a cost of just over £15 million, equivalent to about £1.65 billion as of 2011. The Manchester Ship Canal enabled the newly created Port of Manchester to become Britain’s third-busiest port, despite the city being about 40 miles (64 km) inland.

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Once the canal was officially opened, Annie (shown above) was one of a large number of vessels that were brought to start sight-seeing cruises along its length.

These included the Falmouth Castle, former Clyde steamers Eagle and Shandon (as Daniel Adamson), Manx Fairy, Fairy Queen (From Douglas), and the John Stirling from the Forth.

In 1894 they were joined by the large chartered Clyde steamer Ivanhoe, as shown here. Smaller boats included the Irlam, Mode Wheel and Annie, the latter later serving at Maldon for cruises to Osea Island. None of the services were profitable, and all vessels moved on to further employment elsewhere.

Preston Excursion Steamers Excursion services from Preston were never very successful, although Blackpool steamers often ran from there during the annual Wakes holiday weeks. The Ribble Passenger Transport Co had two vessels named Ribble Queen based in Preston. The Ribble Queen was a twin-screw steamer built in 1903, which was used between 1903-1905. The second attempt came in 1922, when the 1896-built paddle steamer Ribble Queen 2 was tried until 1925.

- Excursion Ships of the North West -


paddle steamer Ribble Queen

see also: Made in Preston – The Paddle Steamer ‘Nelson’


(1777 × 1157)

Port of Preston Lancashire, UKport image rt: Port of Preston Brochure 1949 Underlying much optimism was the construction of the Albert Edward Dock – Preston Dock – in the years 1884-1892. Up to this time Preston’s riverine location had been a rather marginal assett navigable, in Dr. Kuerden’s words, only with ‘a knowing and well-skilled pilot’. A series of Ribble Navigation companies were floated in the 19th century, but when Samuel Horrocks was asked to invest, he replied that if he wanted to put money into the Ribble he would go upon Penwortham bridge and throw it in! By the 1880s Preston’s largely textile based economy was apparently faltering, and the development of a Port of Preston was seen as a necessary investment in the town’s future.  + image

- Excavation of the Preston Docks - (see full size)


The Docks, Preston tinted postcard


Preston Docks tinted postcard

see also The Docks Preston (multiview) Sepia postcard

Preston Docks, Preston Sepia Postcard by Tuck


New Lock Gates, Preston Dock c. 1892


postcard Riverside Preston - Preston Digital Archive -

see also: What they say about Preston… and what It’s really like! Sepia Postcard c.1927


A New Way of Buiding Concrete Ships – The Ritchie Unit System

Due to a shortage of steel during the first world war, several experiments were made in the construction of ferro-concrete ships. The method of construction adopted was the ‘Ritchie Unit System’ of pre cast sections assembled on the slipways. The first ship completed was the ‘Cretemanor’ (PD110) launched in September 1919. After the cessation of hostilities the scheme was abandoned and the yard fell into disuse. No trace remains today of this enterprise other than a few bricks and the odd bit of concrete on the river bank.



ferro concrete shipbuilding(1024 x 773)


Workers moulding the concrete members in wooden troughs. During World War I the shortage of labour meant that women had the opportunity to demonstrate their abilities in areas that had previously been reserved for men. Here a woman is involved in shipbuilding, a traditionally male preserve.

English Heritage has assembled a number of photographs depicting the ferro-concrete shipbuilding activity that occurred at the docks here:

Concrete ships: short-lived episode in English shipbuilding

The Ritchie Unit System, ferro concrete shipbuilding, Fiddlers Ferry

- Cretemanor, Preston Dock. September 1919 -

-abandoned concrete boat on the banks of the Ribble - Remains of a concrete hulled boat on the banks of the River Ribble near Freckleton; looking towards Preston – June 2005


Aerial View of the Docks, Preston colour postcard c.1949


The “Manxman” Entering Preston Dock

To see a short film of the Manxman arriving at Preston click Here As of July 2011 The vessel was being scrapped in the Pallion dry dock facility in Sunderland. Click Here to view.
TSS Manxman (1904) was a packet steamer which was owned and operated by the Midland Railway before the outbreak of the First World War. In 1916, she was commissioned by the Royal Navy as HMS Manxman and saw action as a seaplane carrier during the First World War, after which she was acquired by the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company. Manxman was built at the yards of Vickers Sons and Maxim at Barrow-in-Furness and her keel was laid in 1903. She was a steel; triple-screw turbine vessel, which had an original tonnage of 2030 GRT; length 330 feet; beam 43 feet; depth 18 feet. Her engines produced a boiler pressure of 200 pounds p.s.i. and generated 10,000 indicated horsepower. This gave Manxman a service speed of 22 knots. Manxman was certificated to carry 2,020 passengers and had a crew complement of 80. Manxman was converted for her wartime role at Chatham Dockyard. The conversion included two aircraft hangars and a flying-off deck. She was commissioned as HMS Manxman on 17 April 1916. Her operating aircraft included Sopwith Baby, Sopwith Pup, Sopwith Camel and Short Type 184. She served with the Grand Fleet until October, 1917. Manxman was purchased by the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company from the Admiralty in March 1920. Known as a reliable ship, she enjoyed a trouble free life until she once again found herself at war.

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Ribble Steam Railway: History of Preston Docks (more)


The Preston Docks Story


Threlfall’s  Whiskies; Preston Trade Advertisements 1870 – 1970

- Ferguson Brothers. Dredger suppliers to Preston Docks 1902 -

Friedenthals Ltd; Propellers of all sizes Each Designed for its own vessel

- The Port of Preston, brochure; rates and capacity - Lancashire Records Office, Bow lane, Preston

manc pink_thumb_thumb

Manchester – Famous British Docks; c. 1920


Dredging the Canal

Lantern Slide of American Navy dredging the Canal. Photo not dated but sometime before 1894


blue canal

Manchester Ship Canal postcards; 1-11 on


full image

see also here and here


Number 3 barge carrying limestone


The Textile Weekly Lancashire Cotton Fair Supplement

see also: Lancashire Cotton Fair Poster, Feb-Mar 1930


Preston Dock from the east. Aerial Image c.1950


Strike, Manchester Docks, 1955

Prior to the Second World War employment in British docks was casual:  workers would just turn up each morning, on the “stands”, and at this “Paddy’s Market”, as some called it, hope to be picked for work for that day. Needless to say health and safety didn’t get much of a look in, and if you were considered to be a ‘troublemaker’ for any reason – such as protesting against working conditions or wages – the chances of getting picked were much less.

Following the war the National Dock Labour Board was set up in 1947 to run the National Dock Labour Scheme (NDLS) to which all dockers had to be registered. Under this scheme work was allocated and wages determined, as well as providing training and medical care of dockworkers. stevedoresThe Scheme was a compromise between these demands from the dockers, the the Transport and General Workers Union (T&G) leadership, the union that represented most dockers, and the interests of the employers. The Dock Labour Board consisted of 50% union and 50% employer representatives.  The dockers themselves were not happy with their unelected union representatives. Although there was fallback pay, so workers got a wage for turning up to the hiring pen, gangs were tied to particular ships and so could be paid quite different rates. Between 1954 and 1955 10,000 dockers left the T&G union and joined the National Amalgamated Stevedores and Dockers (NASD). This included approximately 40 per cent of the dock workers in Liverpool, Birkenhead Manchester and Hull. In April 1955 the dock employers refused to recognise the registration cards of dockers who had left the T&G union, without which they would be unable to work.  The men of the Manchester and Birkenhead docks struck, together with 13,000 of Liverpool’s 17,000 dockers, completely paralysing the three ports. After a two-day strike the Manchester Dock Labour Board capitulated and the Merseyside Board followed suit.

London, Oct 25: Britain Paralyzing Dock Strike Spreads to Manchester

Dock Strike Spreads To Manchester


 - Key to the Industrial North -

see also: Port of Manchester Poster - Manchester Ship Canal Patriotic Song - (sheet music) - Little and large on the Manchester Ship Canal -


Preston Docks today © 2012 Tony Worrall

- The Transport Archive: Archive images of the Manchester Ship Canal -

You Tube: A documentary about the history of the Ship canal, in three parts

dock strike

New York Dock Strike 1953


International Longshoremen’s Association image

Bounty Rounds Cape Horn

Cape Horn (Dutch: Kaap Hoorn), Spanish: Cabo de Hornos; named after the city of Hoorn in the Netherlands) is the southernmost headland of the Tierra del Fuego archipelago of southern Chile, and is located on the small Hornos Island.

Although not the most southerly point of South America, (which are the Diego Ramírez Islands) Cape Horn marks the northern boundary of the Drake Passage; for many years it was a major milestone on the clipper route, by which sailing ships carried trade around the world. However, the waters around the Cape are particularly hazardous, owing to strong winds, large waves, strong currents and icebergs; these dangers have made it notorious as a sailors’ graveyard.


Edward Gennys Fanshawe (1814-1906) HMS Daphne off Cape Horn 28 May 1852

Admiral Sir Edward Gennys Fanshawe GCB (27 November 1814 – 21 Toller Bericht über die Bounty leider Opfer des Hurricane Sandy image

Mutiny on the Bounty (1935)

The film was one of the biggest hits of its time but contains several historical inaccuracies. Bligh is depicted as a brutal, sadistic disciplinarian. Particular episodes include a keelhauling and flogging a dead man. Neither of these happened. Keelhauling was used rarely, if at all, and had been abandoned long before Bligh’s time.

imagePrior to the mutiny the Bounty had only two deaths—one seaman died of scurvy (not keelhauling) and the ship’s surgeon died apparently of drink and indolence and not as a result of abuse by Bligh.

Likewise the film shows the mutineers taking over the ship only after killing several loyal crewmen when in fact none died although one crewman came very close to shooting Bligh until stopped by Christian. Lastly Christian is shown being inspired to take over the ship after several crewmen have unjustly been put into irons by Bligh; this is fictional license.

  image image   image   Zur Abwechslung  mal was lusiges

Maritime Monday for October 29th, 2012: What Shall We Do With A Drunken Sailor?

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 –image source


Gordon Grant (American, 1875-1962),The Drunken Sailor”, c.1940

imageAlthough typically conceived as a song originating in British vessels, the evidence describing it in its earliest appearances come from America.

The first published description of the shanty is found in an account of an 1839 whaling voyage to the Pacific Ocean out of New London, Connecticut. It was used as an example of a song that was, “performed with very good effect when there is a long line of men hauling together.”

-History of the sea shanty “Drunken Sailor”

Robert Shaw Chorale; Sea Shanties on Amazon

imageAfter Miss Monkey’s delightful experience with Loose Cannon a cpl weeks ago,  she eagerly snatched up a six of Shipyard’s Monkey Fist IPA when it appeared at her local retailer’s. The delight was short lived however… her brew-phoria dashed upon the rocks of disappointment after the (brief and violent) sippage of said tonic.  I’d sooner suck the moisture from a high and dry piling barnacle than to have that swill cross my lips again. Patooey! Having lived in Portland the last 8 years, I was an enthusiastic consumer of the Shipyard product, but DAY-UM this one needs a keel-haul. Now, before I get assaulted with a barrage of patronizing emails deriding my Neanderthal palette, Miss Monkey knows her beer.  She likes her the bitter goodness of IPA, with hops so strong they reach up out of the glass and claw yer cheeks.  But this just ain’t got the stuff. An onslaught of liquid aspirin and none of the expected follow through. Should change the name to Monkey Fodder. Sorry guys, but the label art is way sub-par too.  You should have hired a moderately famous local blogger and graphic artist to design your product identity before you jacked her nom de plume for your latest release. Monkey Fist IPA by Shipyard Bewing - image source image image httpv:// image Beer bottle opener  

Maritime Monday for October 15th, 2012: Take Your Ass to School (Ships)

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Take Your Ass to School (Ships)

A jolly piece of artwork by Per Beckman for the 1955 Swedish Childrens Day


US postage stamp, 1953 issue, 3cents


Savannah, First Steam Atlantic Crossing 1944 Issue-3cents


Don Winslow of the Navy (18 readable issues))

image Don Winslow of the Navy was an American comic strip distributed by the Bell Syndicate from 1934 to 1955. The title character was a spychasing Lieutenant Commander in Naval intelligence. The comic strip led to a radio adventure serial that began in 1937, as well as a film serial that began in 1942. Original comics stories also appeared in Fawcett comic books starting in 1943. The idea for Don Winslow was conceived by Lieutenant Commander Frank V. Martinek USNR, himself a storied veteran of World War I Naval intelligence, after Admiral Wat T. Cluverius complained to him about the difficulties of recruiting in the Midwest. Ruminating on the challenge, Martinek decided that a comic strip that focused on Naval tradition and courage would educate and fascinate America’s youth. Don Winslow was a veteran of the first World War and a member of the agency of naval intelligence. The agency had Don handle threats such as villains with names such as Dr. Centaur, the Dwarf, the Crocodile, Dr. Q, and the Scorpion. He also battled Singapore Sal a villainous pirate who also fought fellow sailor Lance O’Casey. He was assisted by Lieutenant Red Pennington and dated nurse Mercedes Colby. Mercedes was the daughter of Don’s commanding officer Admiral Colby.
GUTEN MORGEN Maritime Monday for September 16th, 2012: Gasbags; A blog about (air) ships, Part 2 | gCaptain - Maritime & Offshore News Maritime Monday for Sept17, 2012: Happy Birthday Panama Canal

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  image image image

NC Wyeth Illustrations for The Ladies Home Journal 1920-31


N. C. Wyeth The Courtship of Miles Standish by Longfellow (1920)

The Courtship of Miles Standish is an 1858 narrative poem by American poet and Maine-nave Henry Wadsworth Longfellow about the early days of Plymouth Colony, the colonial settlement established in America by the Mayflower Pilgrims.

The Courtship of Miles Standish was a literary counterpoint to Henry Longfellow’s earlier Evangeline (1847), the tragic tale of a woman whose lover disappears in a colonial war. Together, Evangeline and The Courtship of Miles Standish captured the bittersweet quality of America’s colonial era, still only the recent past.

The Pilgrims grimly battle against disease and Indians, but are also obsessed with an eccentric love triangle, creating a curious mix of drama and comedy. It was published in book form on October 16, 1858; it sold 25,000 copies after two months. Reportedly, 10,000 copies were sold in London in a single day.


The Complete Poems of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow at Project Gutenberg (includes this poem)


Cover painting by NC Wyeth; Botany Bay a 1941 novel by Charles Nordhoff and James Norman Hall

By On

Mermaid 1- 8×10 – Gouache on paper – bearhatstudio


Cigarette Cards: Torpedo Gunners MateSick Berth Attendant

see also: Captain 1805 -RN Officer During The Great War Marine During the Reign of Queen AnneGunlayer 2nd Class


New Yawk, NY: art show on the lighthouse tender Lilac!

Ships of New York Harbor oil paintings by Frank Hanavan and illustrations by Christina Sun

- On view until 31 August - Mondays and Thursday,  4 to 7 PM — Saturdays and Sundays,  1 to 6 PM

Reception: Thursday, August 30, 6 to 10 PM. Music by the Jug Addicts!

Lilac is berthed at Pier 25, Hudson River Park at West Street and N. Moore Street

LILAC is a 1933 lighthouse tender that carried supplies and maintained buoys for the U.S. Lighthouse Service and the U.S. Coast Guard. More information about her here.

Dazzling Map Shows More Than 150 Years of Hurricanes

A new map done up in glowing colors reveals the swirling paths hurricanes and tropical storms have tread across our planet since 1851.

If it looks a little odd at first, it’s because this hurricane map offers a unique perspective of the Earth; Antarctica is smack in the middle, and the rest of the planet unfurls around it like the petals of a tulip. +


Left: A closeup of Robert McGinnis’ spectacular poster for THUNDERBALL

Right publicity poster by Robert McGinnis mixing two different scenes in THUNDERBALL

Bond and Domino underwater


Edison Marshall – Forlorn Island Dell Books 1949



imageThe TSS PASTEUR; a great ocean liner that was officially never in service…

The “TSS Pasteur” was a special case in ocean liner history. The great liner was never officially in service. It arrived just in time for World War II and saw little passenger service.  The Pasteur was one of the least-documented great liners of its era, yet its interiors were truly magnificent.

In 15 February 1938, she was christened after the scientist Louis Pasteur on the names Pasteur. A fire in March 1939 delayed her completion. So, she had to be launched in August 1939, one month before the World War II broke out.

- more on Cruising the Past -

- inset image -


Blub, blub, blub…Demise of the Pasteur in the Indian Ocean, 1980 from Ocean Liners and Classic Cruise Ships on

RMS Titanic menu sells for $70,000 at auction – The first class menu is dated April 10, 1912


Frank G. Slaughter: Sangaree 1956 — Wade Miller: The Tiger’s Wife 1957

Crew Boat Chronicles: Getting to the Meat of the Matter

imageThursday Boat cuisine is what you make of it. Sometimes it’s sandwiches; sometimes it’s a slow-roasted whole chicken stuffed with onions and peppers that just falls apart on the fork. Sometimes it’s microwaved burritos or a quick bowl of cereal. On this boat, we get $375 every week to purchase food, drinks and some of our cleaning supplies. Some companies offer more, some less. One company I worked for gave us $250 (also for four people) every week, which meant a lot of white and blue Great Value packaging. This week I did the grocery shopping. As I was mulling the meat choices, the butcher walked out and said: “Baby, what you looking for?” “Steaks for the boat,” I replied. “You want steaks, don’t look out here, just tell me what you want and I’ll cut them for you.” Well, damn…

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The Kiss of the Oceans 1915 vintage postcard


Aero view of the Panama Canal, looking southwest, The world’s greatest engineering feat to be realized 395 years after first proposed / Copyright, 1912, by Poole Bros., Chicago. on Big Map Blog


A photo of the S.S. Ancon, (formerly SS Shawmut) the ship that made the first official transit of the Panama Canal. Dated the day of the event, 15 August, 1914. Note the array of signal flags decking her out for the occasion. This photo was found at St. Lawrence Market in Toronto. more:
Happy Birthday, Panama Canal (1912)
This month marks the 98th anniversary of the opening of the Panama Canal.

- keep reading on Big Map Blog -

see also: Three maps illustrating the French plan for a proposed Panama Canal between Nueva Gorgona and Panama City; 1895 (Map from the Canal Zone Library-Museum)


In terms of loss of life, the Panama Canal was the most expensive civil engineering project in history, and by the time the first ship – the SS Ancon – completed the passage on 15 August 1914, the bill to the US tax payer was getting on for $10 bn in today’s money.

- Classic engineering – Panama Canal -


Spillway in Gatun Dam Illustration by W.B. Van Ingen for “The Building of the Panama Canal” by George W. Goethals. Scribner’s Magazine, March 1915. Original (1799 x 1177) image

Construction of locks on the Panama Canal, 1913 Full resolution ‎(3,453 × 733 pixels) panorama

imageWork on the canal, which began in 1881, was completed in 1914, making it no longer necessary for ships to sail the lengthy Cape Horn route around the southernmost tip of South America. One of the largest and most difficult engineering projects ever undertaken, the Panama Canal shortcut made it possible for ships to travel between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans in half the time previously required. The shorter, faster, safer route to the U.S. West Coast and to nations in and along the Pacific Ocean allowed those places to become more integrated with the world economy.

inset image from Panama Canal Redux: An Expansion Project Beyond Compare


SS Kroonland is seen on 2 February 1915 at the Culebra Cut while transiting the Panama Canal. Kroonland was the largest passenger ship at the time to make the crossing.


February, 1923: Ships pass through the Pedro Miguel Lock, less than a decade after the canal’s completion. CREDIT: U.S. Naval Historical Center. View full size image

Although new construction is built to withstand seismic shrugs, some researchers wonder if the older locks can withstand a beating from a major earthquake.

- more -


Panorama of Pacific entrance of the canal. Left: Pacific and Puente de las Americas (Bridge of Pan American Highway); far right: Miraflores locks. Full resolution ‎(10,557 × 1,248 pixels)

The Panama Canal was finished two years ahead of time and formally opened in August 1914, coinciding with the outbreak of the Great War. Today, a ship sailing from New York to San Francisco need only sail 6,000 miles, rather than the 16,000 miles required before. The American Society of Civil Engineers has named the canal one of the Seven Wonders of the World. +

- Panama Canal - on wikipedia

- Panama Canal live cam -


A Good Natured Map of Alaska (1934)



Alaska Steamship Co. on Maritime Timetable Images


Map of the Second Byrd Antarctic Expedition (1934)


August, 1949, Sir Donald Campbell’s ‘Blue Bird K4′, Coniston Water, Lancashire - Original (1400 x 1051) -


Lancashire Constabulary Police Constable Raymond Windle on Patrol Protecting Sir Donald Campbell’s World Record Breaking Speedboat

Blue Bird K4 was a powerboat commissioned in 1939 by Sir Malcolm Campbell, to rival the Americans’ efforts in the fight for the world water speed record.

It was built by Vosper & Company with the same Rolls-Royce R engine as the Blue Bird K3.

K4 set the world water-speed record on 19 August 1939 on Coniston Water, Cumbria, England.

- more on wikipedia -


Clyde shipyards – Sept 1962

see also: SS Claymore at GairlochA Greenock tug - - Pilot BoatScottish fishing boats -


Cigarette Card – Mary Escapes From Lochleven, 1568

Mitchell’s Cigarettes “Scotlands Story” (series of 50 issued in 1929) #27 Mary escapes from Lochleven, 1568 ~ after being imprisoned there and forced to abdicate, Mary attempted to escape twice. The second time she was successful and headed to Hamilton Palace where an army of 6,000 supporters waited for her. A few days later they were routed by the army of the Regent and Mary fled to England

see also: The Young Pretender, 1746“Bonny Prince Charlie” 1745Norsemen Invade Scotland


Cigarette Card – Steamship, City of Berlin

Ogden’s Cigarettes “The Blue Riband of the Atlantic” (series of 50 issued in 1929). #19 The “City of Berlin” ~ Inman liner built at Greenock in 1874. The first Atlantic liner to be lit by electricity.

Steamship PersiaCity of ParisCity of Brussels


S.S. Normandie postcard via (more)


SS NORMANDIE and RMS QUEEN MARY during World War 2 on Cruising the Past - 1359 × 844 -

The war found Normandie in New York. Looming hostilities in Europe had compelled Normandie to seek haven in New York harbor, where the US government interned her on 3 September 1939, two days after Germany invaded Poland. Soon the Queen Mary, later refitted as a troop ship, docked nearby. Then the RMS Queen Elizabeth joined the Queen Mary. For two weeks the three largest liners in the world floated side by side. Normandie remained in French hands, with French crewmembers on board, led by Captain Herve Lehude, into the spring of 1941.

On 20 December 1941, the Auxiliary Vessels Board officially recorded President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s approval of the Normandie’s transfer to the US Navy. Plans called for the vessel to be turned into a troopship (“convoy unit loaded transport”). The Navy renamed her USS Lafayette, in honor both of Marquis de la Fayette the French general who fought on the Colonies’ behalf in the American Revolution and the alliance with France that made American independence possible.

Initial proposals included turning the vessel into an aircraft carrier, but this was dropped in favor of immediate troop transport.


profile as aircraft carrier; SS Normandie’s proposed life - on Shipbucket Projects » Never-Built Designs -


SS Normandie as a US troopship or aircraft carrier! via The-SS-Normandie-as-an-aircraftcarrier-288232502


USS Lafayette (AP-53) (oops) see also: “T-6 The Latest Giant Of The Sea”, December 1932, Popular Mechanics early article on beginning of construction of what became the SS Normandie – andSmoke Over Manhattan: The Fate of the SS Normandie


The German aircraft carrier Graf Zeppelin after launching in December 1938 Full resolution ‎(1,867 × 1,295 pixels)

She was the only aircraft carrier launched by Germany during World War II and represented part of the Kriegsmarine’s attempt to create a well-balanced oceangoing fleet, capable of projecting German naval power far beyond the narrow confines of the Baltic and North Seas. Construction was ordered on 16 November 1935 and her keel was laid down on 28 December 1936 by Deutsche Werke at Kiel. Named in honor of Graf (Count) Ferdinand von Zeppelin, the ship was launched on 8 December 1938 but was not completed and was never operational. Sunk as a target ship on 16 August 1947.

On 12 July 2006 RV St. Barbara, a ship belonging to the Polish oil company Petrobaltic found a 265 m long wreck close to the port of Łeba (a BBC report says 55 km north of Władysławowo) which they thought was most likely Graf Zeppelin.

On 26 July 2006 the crew of the Polish Navy’s survey ship ORP Arctowski commenced inspection of the wreckage to confirm its identity, and the following day the Polish Navy confirmed that the wreckage was indeed that of Graf Zeppelin. She rests at more than 87 meters (264 ft) below the surface.



Golden Gate Park Model Yacht Club

From the earliest days of Golden Gate Park, tensions arose between model boat lovers and full-sized boat sailors competing for water space on Stow Lake. The inevitable nautical battle was averted in 1903 with the construction of the shallow, artificial Spreckels Lake, filled by diverting fresh water from the wells at the Dutch Windmill and dedicated specifically to model yachting… +

seymour: San Francisco Model Yacht Club – 2006 Year End Boat Float


model boat club @ Spreckels lake – photo by sftrajan -


vintage postcard: Capt. Roald Amundsen’s Arctic Exploring Sloop San Francisco, CA


Ocean Beach From Cliff House, San Francisco see also: Ocean Boulevard from Sutro Heights

- more: old postcards of Golden Gate Park in San Francisco -


Lifeboat Hotel

F.A.S.T (Free Architecture Surf Terrain) is an alternative surfing community that has a hostel, an all-summer beach party and a number of ‘survival capsules’. These originally came from an off-shore oil rig and are now available to stay in. First created as an art project, the Capsules have toured their one-of-a-kind experience all over Europe, with owner, Denis Oudendijk bringing permanent locations to Amsterdam, Belgium and France.



Illustration by Nicola Meiring

Monkey Fist is a smack-talking, potty mouthed, Yankee hating, Red Sox fan in Baltimore, Maryland.  In addition to compiling Maritime Monday, she blogs about nautical art, history, and marine science on Adventures of the Blackgang.(twitter) Submit story ideas, news links, photographs, or items of interest to her at  She can also out-belch any man.
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About The Author

Monkey Fist

Monkey Fist is a smack-talking, potty mouthed, Yankee hating, Red Sox fan in Portland, Maine.  In addition to compiling Maritime Monday, she blogs about nautical art, history, and marine science on Adventures of the Blackgang.Submit story ideas, news links, photographs, or items of interest to her at
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