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nautical tattoos; history and art

illustrations by Bowsprite

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Something England DIDN’T Expect:

Friday, December 16th is the 238th anniversary of the Boston Tea Party.  Map: Anniv of Boston Tea Party, Boston Harbor (1905) originally posted to the BIG Map Blog.

see also: 1906: Boston Harbor & waterfront. Panorama of two 8×10 glass neg »

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GOLDEN GROVE by Frank Allen (more images)
One of the three storeships of the First Fleet built in Whitby. In 1780 this ship had the distinction of carrying on board the Reverend Richard Johnson, Australia’s first Chaplain, to our shores.

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UK forces beef up Olympic security »

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Christmas in 17th-Century England and Virginia »

Along with their friends and relatives in England, the Englishmen who came to Jamestown in 1607 considered Christmas to be one of the most special times of the year.  In England, the season lasted about two weeks, from December 25 to Twelfth Day, January 6.  During this period, festivities abounded and little work was accomplished.

When the first colonists left England to find the riches of the New World, they took with them the culture they had known in England.  The travelers to Virginia spent their first Christmas of 1606 on board their ships en route to the New World. Christmas of 1608 found the colonists in desperate straits – sick, hungry and impoverished.  Captain Smith and his men left Jamestown at the end of December to find the Powhatan and acquire some food.  Inclement weather forced them to stay at Kecoughtan (Hampton) for “6 or 7 daies.”

There, “the extreame wind, raine, frost, and snowe, caused us to keepe Christmas amongst the Salvages, where wee were never more merrie, nor fedde on more plentie of good oysters, fish, flesh, wild foule, and good bread…”

keep reading »

50 best photos from The Natural World; The Big Picture: Boston.com

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In 2004 i started an assignment for an investment banking house, based in Hamburg, Germany. The termination of the project was, to take pictures of container vessels and oil tanker. They where used to illustrate the ship investment brochure of the bank. The pictures where taken in the harbour of: Hamburg, Kiel, Bremerhaven, Wilhelmshaven, Germany and in Rotterdam, Netherlands.

Ships and Vessels 2004 – 2010 (more: Christian O. Burch)

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Painting of the Battle of Flamborough Head by Dean Moser (FULL SIZE) – via thingsihappentolike

The Battle of Flamborough Head was a naval battle that took place on 23 September 1779, in the North Sea off the coast of Yorkshire between an American Continental Navy squadron led by John Paul Jones and the two British escort vessels protecting a large merchant convoy. It became one of the most celebrated naval actions of the American War of Independence despite its relatively small size and considerable dispute over what had actually occurred.  MORE ON WIKIPEDIA »

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The Seven Gods of Good Fortune (Shichifukujin) are depicted here as humorous deities gathered together in their Treasure Ship (Takarabune). A picture of the Treasure Ship along with the Seven Gods became an essential part of the New Year celebrations. It was placed under the pillow in order to promote lucky dreams, for legend has it that the original ship sailed at this time of year bearing its treasures. The sail of the ship depicted here carries the character Ju, meaning longevity, and the print features other symbols of longevity, such as the crane, the long-tailed turtle and branches of pine.

The Treasure ship; Takarabune; woodblock, Japan, ca. 1840, by Hiroshige
Far Eastern Collection, Victoria & Albert Museum

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Art of the Luggage Label »

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Map: Parsons and Atwater’s Chicago, Illinois (1874) on the BIG Map Blog.

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ca. 1850-55, [mourning bracelet woven from hair, with portrait of woman] –full size
via the Nederlands Fotomuseum, Daguerreobase (drtuesdaygjohnson)

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ceramic plate: Sailing Ship; 1625-1650; Islamic Middle East
see also »

see also »

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Image from TeamTom’s Facebook page showing Tom Sauer, left,
and Tom Fancett before their transatlantic attempt

Transatlantic rowers rescued after boat is
struck by “enormous wave”

Briton Tom Fancett and Dutchman Tom Sauer rescued from life-raft by cruise ship 500 miles south-west of Canary Islands

Tom Fancett, 23, from London and his Dutch friend Tom Sauer, also 23 and a student at St Andrews University, were picked up by a cruise ship nearly 500 miles south-west of the Canary islands, eight days after departing for Barbados in the 2011 Atlantic Challenge race.

In a message to race organisers Sauer told how the pair were changing places in the boat when disaster struck on Tuesday evening. “The ocean was quite calm. We were in great spirits after the first eight days in the race. Suddenly our boat was rocked by an enormous wave, the size of which we’ve never seen before. Our boat was thrown over and capsized. The cabin flooded.

more on The Guardian »

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Thames Wharf »

Oil painting, London, ca. 1757 Samuel Scott (artist) — London began in ancient times as a small settlement next to a crossing point of the Thames, and until the mid-19th century the river was still the main route through which all the trading wealth flowed into the City.

The docks were literally the gateway to the world, filled with a huge mass of shipping. London has changed so much since the 18th century that it is now difficult to identify the exact location shown in this picture. There is some evidence that it represents the Old East India Wharf, as there is the mark ‘UEIC’ (United East India Company) on a bale. Therefore the traditional title of this painting may be correct. There were many such wharves on the Thames, with their wooden treadmill cranes for the unloading of merchandise.

Samuel Scott was a marine painter and a drinking companion of William Hogarth (1697-1762). He was commissioned by merchants, sea captains and naval officers to paint pictures of riverside and sea scenes and naval engagements.

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England Expects, the Great Naval Card Game »

The First and Second World Wars generated a lot of games some of which were meant to be fun and others had an educational purpose. These cards are divided into four suits indicated by a Crown, Anchor, Lifebelt and Pennant, and are numbered from one to eleven with the exception of the Crown suit which is numbered from one to ten. The crown is always the Trump suit. The game was devised with the help of Francis E McMurtrie, who was, at the time, editor of Jane’s Fighting Ships.

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Vintage WWI Poster – Remember! “England Expects; The Need is Great Today” (on ebay)

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Flags Spelling Out ‘England Expects That Every Man Will Do His Duty’ »

Nelson’s Signal to His Fleet: from: Welcome to “The Life Of Horatio Nelson”. This video tells the story of how a young seasick boy grew up to be a national hero. We follow his progress through the naval ranks. We also find out about his great love Emma Hamilton and the national outpouring of grief after his death in battle. (A 6-minute video on Tales of Curiosity)

Poster available on AllPosters.uk »

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England expects every man to do his duty. Lord Nelson explaining to the officers the plan of attack previous to the Battle of Trafalgar, engraved by James Godby, published by Edward Orme, 9th January 1806; William Marshall Craig (Royal Naval Museum, Portsmouth, UK)

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A Correct Representation of the Funeral Barge which conveyed the Body of the
Late Lord Nelson from Greenwich to Whitehall Jany. 8th. 1806

Picture transfer-printed on glass depicting Nelson’s funeral barge, shown on the Thames, flying the Royal Standard, white ensign and a flag with Nelson’s coat of arms. Inscribed below the image: ‘A Correct Representation of the Funeral Barge which conveyed the Body of the Late Lord Nelson from Greenwich to Whitehall Jany. 8th. 1806′

Made by W. B. Walker; Fox & Knot Court, Cow Lane, London; March 1806. See full size »

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England expects – and England must not and will not be disappointed… (1915)
Recruits wanted for the Royal Naval Division; Andrew Reid & Co., Ltd., 50, Grey Street, Newcastle-on-Tyne. SEE FULL SIZE — Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. World War I Posters »

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Fletcher’s Yard, Limehouse – FULL SIZE

Fletcher’s Yard was the site of one of the oldest firms on the Thames, as Fletcher had set up a shipbuilding business at Shadwell in the 18th century. They moved to Limehouse in 1818. As Fletcher, Son and Fearnall, they became pioneering steamship builders, and eventually switched to ship repairs.

This scene is of a ship in dry dock. Workmen are shown chopping wood, and pushing wheelbarrows. Piles of timber beams lie on the side of the dry dock. To the right is a large chimney. The dry dock is surrounded by warehouses and other buildings. In the background ships can be seen on the Thames with housing on the far bank. The English landscape painter Charles Deane lived and worked in London. He exhibited in almost all Royal Academy exhibitions between 1815 and 1851 and specialised in views of the Thames and Bristol.

National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London

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John Boydell’s view of the riverside at Limehouse in 1751 shows respectable houses and
shipyards crowding onto the riverfront

From its foundation, Limehouse, like neighbouring Wapping, has enjoyed better links with the river than the land, the land route being across a marsh. Limehouse became a significant port in late medieval times, with extensive docks and wharves. Although most cargoes were discharged in the Pool of London before the establishment of the docks, industries such as shipbuilding, ship chandlering and rope making were established in Limehouse.

more »

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Map of Wapping from Charles Booth‘s Labour and Life of the People.

East London (London: Macmillan, 1889). The streets are colored to represent the economic class of the residents: Yellow (“Upper-middle and Upper classes, Wealthy”), red (“Lower middle class – Well-to-do middle class”), pink (“Fairly comfortable good ordinary earnings”), blue (“Intermittent or casual earnings”), and black (“lowest class…occasional labourers, street sellers, loafers, criminals and semi-criminals”)

The area was first settled by Saxons, from whom it takes its name. John Stow, the 16th century historian, described it as a “continual street, or a filthy strait passage, with alleys of small tenements or cottages, built, inhabited by sailors’ victuallers”

Wapping’s proximity to the river gave it a strong maritime character for centuries, well into the 20th century. It was inhabited by sailors, mastmakers, boat-builders, blockmakers, instrument-makers, and representatives of all the other trades that supported the seafarer.

Wapping was also the site of ‘Execution Dock’, where pirates and other water-borne criminals faced execution by hanging from a gibbet constructed close to the low water mark. Their bodies would be left dangling until they had been submerged three times by the tide.

Said to be England’s first, the Marine Police Force was formed in 1798 by magistrate Patrick Colquhoun and a Master Mariner, John Harriott, to tackle theft and looting from ships anchored in the Pool of London and the lower reaches of the river. Its base was (and remains) in Wapping High Street and it is now known as the Marine Support Unit.

The area’s strong maritime associations changed radically in the 19th century when the London Docks were built to the north and west of the High Street. Wapping’s population plummeted by nearly 60% during that century, with many houses destroyed by the construction of the docks and giant warehouses along the riverfront.

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A woolwork picture depicting a warship at anchor, dressed overall with sails furled. A similar vessel is shown in full sail behind it. A small steamer with two funnels is placed in the foreground wearing the Admiralty flag. The embroidery is sewn in long and short stitch with button thread used for the rigging.

The maker Charles Weedon was born at Portbury, Somerset in November 1833. He entered the Royal Navy on 23 February 1859 after serving in the merchant service. He was rated Able Seaman on HMS Algiers and transferred to Leader on May 1863, also having spent a brief period on Duke of Wellington.

Although he had been promoted to Leading Seaman, then to Barge Cox, in July 1865 he was disrated to Able Seaman. He was discharged to HM Dockyard Sheerness in 1868 where he worked as a rigger. In 1869 in Bristol, he married Rosa Alberta Cook, age 27. The embroideries were donated by his daughter.

see full size »

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Winston Churchill ironically portrayed as a propagandist hammering home his lies to the British people  -via greatestgeneration

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Ten Weirdest Life-forms of 2011: Editors’ Picks on Nat Geo Top 10 Lists »

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SS Mercator in Antwerp harbour; Edward Pellens (1872-1947) MORE on Linosaurus »

The barquentine Mercator lies at anchor in Ostend, Belgium She was named after Geradus Mercator. (1512-1594), Flemish cartographer. She was designed by the Antarctic explorer Adrien de Gerlache (1866-1934) as a training ship for the Belgian merchant fleet. She was built in Ramage & Ferguson, Leith, Scotland and launched in 1932. Besides being a training a ship, she was also used, mainly before World War II , for scientific observations, or as ambassador for Belgium on world fairs and in sailing events.

She participated in several races, winning the Oslo-Ostend race. During World War II she was commissioned into the Royal Navy as HMS Mercator. Based in Freetown Sierra Leon where she was used as a support ship for submarine forces in the area.

In 1961 she became a floating museum, first in Antwerp,and finally from 1964 in the marina of Ostend, just in front of the city hall. During all this time, she has become perhaps the best-known ship of Belgium.

MORE on Leith Built Ships »

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Portsmouth paper archives describe secret departure of Edward VIII

imageIt happened 75 years ago, when Edward VIII abdicated the British throne, leaving the making of history to his brother, the shy, inarticulate Duke of York.

The archives of Portsmouth’s Evening News newspaper reveal the details of how the former king slipped silently away from Britain.

One eye-witness, George Hale, 36, told the paper how he was asked for directions to the navy base by one of the drivers…

MORE »

see also: A female surgeon in the days of sail »

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Kaiser Wilhelm II’s Urinal Discovered In Baltic Sea Shipwreck

Last week German archaeologists announced the discovery of a urinal once sprinkled by Kaiser Wilhelm II. The “porcelain potty,” as the Huffington Post reports, was discovered in the wreck of the Udine, a light-cruiser equipped with a special lavatory for the emperor’s convenience that was sunk by the Royal Navy in 1915…

keep reading »

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New York. June 17, 1918. “Stokes stretcher on Comfort.” facilities aboard the World War I hospital ship.
FULL SIZE on Shorpy »

Pup Therapy: 1918Queen and Commoner: 1906Million-Dollar Pier: 1907Steamboat Annie: 1904

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Positive copper plate of Royal Observatory, Greenwich, seen from the east. Shows the Shepherd Gate Clock and Porters Lodge with Flamsteed House in the background. ca.1890 – FULL SIZE »

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Burgee of Pirate Yacht Club, Bridlington

Used as a sledge flag by William Colbeck RNR on the Borchgrevink Antarctic Expedition 1898-1900.

Inscribed on the mount: Burgee flown by Lieutenant Wm. Colbeck R.N.R, F.R.G.S, a member of the Pirate Yacht Club on Sledge journey across the Great Ice Barrier when in company with C. E. Borchgrevink F.R.G.S. the farthest south was attained Lat 78˚ 50΄ S. Long 164˚ 30́ W. on 17 February 1900.

The sledge was detached from S.Y. Southern Cross, during the expedition on which Lieutenant Colbeck was Chief Magnetic Observer. Previous farthest south 78Ëš 10΄ by Capt Ross. The burgee is made of red wool bunting printed with a black skull and crossbones. circa 1898 – see full size »

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Close-up view of lighthouse – World’s Transportation Commission photograph collection (Library of Congress)

The Rime of the Modern Mariner by Nick Hayes

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This graphic novel is a beautiful re-telling of Coleridge’s poem for our modern plastic-filled times. It carries a really chilling message about our consumer-driven lives and its consequences on our planet and the ocean in particular.

The book is also an object of great loveliness with stunning illustrations. In and of itself it is a beautiful thing to have, but the story is also very touching and poignant.

And it has lots of science in there. I love the way Hayes has used his artwork and poetry as a really imaginative way of telling the stories of the oceans and getting ideas across about the problems that we are causing…

MORE: Helen Scales’ five ocean books »

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It’s not too late to pick up a last-minute Christmas gift for one of your favorite bloggers…

Moby Dick (Das Spiel vom weißen Wal) – The board game

The game consists of an elevated round course with an underlying rotating cardboard disk – on their turn the players rotate the disk. Whenever a whale symbol appears, a small plastic whale miniature is put on the course. The players now try to catch the whale with their ships (reach the whale miniature), before it dives again (a hole in the rotating disk lets the miniature disappear into the game box).

The rotating disk also constantly changes the values for different whaling goods at a stock exchange. The player selling his cargo for the highest price wins. Sometimes a white (plastic) whale appears which cannot be caught, but the player “wounding” Moby Dick gets a gold doubloon worth $200.

Actually sounds like more fun that you might expect for a board game designed in 1962 and based on a 600+ page classic of American literature.

-via thingsihappentolike

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1972: The wreck of Seawise University, the former Queen Elizabeth – via larboardwatch

In 1968, Queen Elizabeth was sold to a group of Philadelphia businessmen from a company called The Queen Corporation (which was 85% owned by Cunard and 15% by them). The new company intended to operate the ship as a hotel and tourist attraction in Port Everglades, Florida, imagesimilar to the Queen Mary in Long Beach, California. The Elizabeth, as it was now called, lost money and was forced to close after being declared a fire hazard. The ship was sold at auction in 1970 to Hong Kong tycoon C.Y. Tung.

Tung, head of the Orient Overseas Line, intended to convert the vessel into a university for the World Campus Afloat program (later reformed and renamed as Semester at Sea). Near the completion of the £5 million conversion, the vessel caught fire on 9 January 1972. The ship was completely destroyed and the water sprayed on her by fireboats caused the burnt wreck to capsize and sink in Hong Kong Victoria Harbour.  More on wiki »

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marinera y tiburon by Poleta Art

8 Bells: Author, pundit Christopher Hitchens dies at 62 »

image“Christopher Hitchens, the author, essayist and polemicist who waged verbal and occasional physical battle on behalf of causes on the left and right and wrote the provocative best-seller “God is Not Great,” died Thursday night after a long battle with cancer.

“A most-engaged, prolific and public intellectual who enjoyed his drink (enough to “to kill or stun the average mule”) and cigarettes, he announced in June 2010 that he was being treated for cancer of the esophagus and canceled a tour for his memoir “Hitch-22.”

“Hitchens was born in Portsmouth, England, in 1949. His father, Eric, was a “purse-lipped” Navy veteran known as “The Commander”; his mother, Yvonne, a romantic who later kill herself during an extramarital rendezvous in Greece. Young Christopher would have rather read a book. He was a “a mere weed and weakling and kick-bag” who discovered that “words could function as weapons” and so stockpiled them…”

more on msnbc »


Monkey Fist

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. Submit story ideas, news links, photographs, or items of interest to her at MM@gcaptain.com.  She can also out-belch any man.

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