Saluting, 7 April 1919: While awaiting the arrival from Europe of his father, Admiral William S. Sims, who was en route on the SS Mauretania.
Note his small-scale Sailor’s suit, with peacoat and “flat” hat featuring a cap band from USS Melville (Destroyer Tender # 2), which had been Admiral Sims’ flagship as Commander of U.S. Naval Forces in European Waters during and shortly after the First World War. –U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph
image via sailorgil
USS Melville (Destroyer Tender # 2)– Ship’s motor gig underway, circa 1916-1919
USS Melville (AD-2) was a United States Navy destroyer tender that saw service in both World Wars. Laid down by the New York Shipbuilding Corporation of Camden, New Jersey, on 11 November 1913, she was launched on 2 March 1913, and first commissioned on 3 December 1915; Comdr. Henry Bertram Price in command. Decommissioned 9 August 1946, and sold for scrapping, 19 August 1948 –wiki page
11 February 2012 Last updated at 06:42 ET
New video footage has been released showing confusion on the bridge of the command deck of the cruise ship Costa Concordia in the hour after it hit a reef.
Workers Begin Removing Fuel From Italian Shipwreck; Voice of America (blog) – Posted Sunday, February 12th, 2012 at 7:40 pm
The Paddle Steamer SS Larchmont
On 12 February 1907, the paddlewheel steamship Larchmont sank off Block Island, Rhode Island after a collision with the schooner Harry Knowlton. An estimated 150 persons of the 200 on board died.
The paddle wheel steamship Larchmont was built in 1885 in Bath, Maine. Originally named the Cumberland, she was 252 feet long, a 37 foot beam and displaced 1,650gross tons. In 1902 she was purchased by the Joy Steamship Line and re-named Larchmont.
Block Island, Rhode Island: Larchmont Disaster; February, 1907
150 PERISH IN NIGHT-TIME SEA DISASTER
Either by Drowning or Freezing to Death After Collision
Survivor, Insane from Cold, Commits Suicide
48 BODIES are RECOVERED
Believed Passengers and Crew of Steam Larchmont, Struck by Schooner Harry Knowlton, Numbered 200, of Which Only 19 Have Been Found Alive – Accident Off Rhode Island Coast – Thinly Clad, Panic-stricken Passengers Rush to Decks – Many of Those Who Take to Lifeboats Are Killed by Zero Weather.
Vessels Blame One Another – Survivors Unable to Tell Detailed Stories – Passenger List in the Pursers’ Safe in the Sunken Ship
right: snapshot taken the morning after; shows the Harry Knowlton aground on Weekapaug Beach Rhode Island. sent to a Mrs Titmas of Westerly, by the presumed photographer, J.Weir.
Evacuation of survivors
… In the boat were several bodies of men who had died from the effects of long hours of exposure to a death-dealing temperature. In the boat were also eleven men whose suffering was so intense that they seemed oblivious to the fact that death was with them and that they had escaped only by virtue of their ability to withstand the rigor of zero weather in an open boat at sea… –(100 Years Ago Today)
CAPTAIN’S COURAGE QUESTIONED: Today’s Post-Standard includes a wonderful map (left) that shows the spot at which the liner Larchmont collided with the schooner Henry Knowlton. Now that the few survivors have thawed out from the chill of the 50 mph winds, one is talking about the cowardice of the captain of the Larchmont. Evidently, he was on the lifeboat that was the first one to leave the sinking ship. The critic is 18-year-old Fred Hiergesell. Others are saying the captain behaved well after the collision. Beforehand, it looks as though each captain was at fault in the disaster. –(Feb. 14, 1907 (Thursday) 100 Years Ago Today)
Photo from an old post card. Copy reads: Wreck of the Steamer Larchmont. Victims of the Disaster in New Shoreham Life Saving Station, Block Island. Photograph and Copyright 1907 by H. Ladd Walford.
Diorama: The Larchmont, RI. Mixed Media; Later 19th Century
At 7 PM on the night of 11 February 1907, the side-wheel steamer Larchmont left her berth in Providence, RI for a routine voyage to New York City. However the trip proved to be anything but routine.
Once she hit open waters the ship was caught in a brutal storm with winds over 40 knots and low visibility. Shortly before midnight the 250 foot long steamship was rammed broadside by the schooner Harry Knowlton. The schooner, carrying a load of 400 tons of coal penetrated halfway into the Larchmont’s 37-foot beam, rupturing her steam lines and flooding the ship.
more detail photos and history on Antique Associates
Side scan sonar image of the Larchmont
Courtesy Mark Munro, American Underwater Search and Survey
February 11th, 1907
The Larchmont left Providence, Rhode Island en-route to New York. A winter storm soon struck which caused high seas and reduced visibility. The Larchmont and the coal schooner Harry P. Knowlton collided in this blizzard. The Larchmont went down within 20 minutes, only three miles from Watch Hill, Rhode Island. According to the New York Times ” The schooner came on with a speed that almost seemed to equal the gale that had been pushing her toward Boston. Even before another warning signal could be sounded on the steamer’s whistle, the schooner crashed into the port side of the Larchmont.” Captain McVey claims he was the last to leave his sinking ship. Other survivors claim the Captain and his crew were in the very first lifeboat, leaving the frantic passengers to fend for themselves. Due mostly to the freezing winter weather over 143 perished.
now sits in 135 feet of water in the Long Island Sound, only 3 miles from Watch Hill. Captain Eric Takakjian reports that one of the Larchmount’s paddle wheels stands upright. The other is lying down. Her hull is intact with visibility averaging 5 to 10 feet. Diving is only recommended at slack high water. This wreck is loaded with artifacts.
Over a hundred years later the skeletal remains of the side paddles, a reminder of transportation of many days past, still rise proudly over 20 feet off the silty bottom of Long Island sound, a slowly fading monument to the unfortunate travelers that cold day in February.
In the chilly darkness it was quite eerie seeing the standing paddle wheel come up out of the gloom to greet us…
On the 3rd June,
the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee will be celebrated by the largest flotilla the Thames has seen for centuries…
Bargemaster Bob: This is Your Life…
The King’s/Queen’s Bargemaster is a subordinate officer of the Royal Household of the Sovereign of the United Kingdom. Until the mid-19th century, the Royal family frequently used the River Thames for, but the role is now largely ceremonial. The tradition of the Bargemaster dates back to 1215, with the signing of the Magna Carta at Runnymede
The Bargemaster is responsible for the Royal Watermen, chosen from the ranks of the Thames Watermen, who operate tugs and launches on the river. There are 24 Royal Watermen , each of whom receives an annual salary of £3.50.
The ceremonial duties include state occasions involving the Thames, and onshore duties, acting as footmen on royal carriages during State visits, royal weddings and jubilees. At the coronation the Royal Watermen walk in the procession behind The Queen’s Bargemaster. At the State Opening of Parliament The Queen’s Bargemaster and four Royal Watermen travel as boxmen on coaches, guarding the regalia when it is conveyed from Buckingham Palace to Westminster and back.
The privately-owned charter vessel, The Spirit of Chartwell, is to be transformed into a royal barge for the Queen’s use during her Diamond Jubilee. On 3 June 2012, the barge will carry the Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh and other members of the Royal Family, in a spectacular pageant on the Thames.
The Royal Nore has now returned with a top deck entirely rebuilt together with a lounge area and reception space on one level. The boat’s décor and furnishings feature Irish Ulster Wool carpeting, bespoke Lloyd loom armchairs, tan leather button back banquette and rich Cherry wood panelling throughout. The Royal Nore has been involved with Queen Elizabeth II’s state visits since 1971. When the Queen is onboard, the Royal Standard and Regalia are displayed and Her Majesty is always accompanied by her Bargemaster, along with eight Royal Watermen in full ceremonial dress standing on the fore deck. –keep reading
by R. G. Crouch;
Past Bargemaster to HM the Queen
When the Thames was the main highway through London and along the Thames Valley, many different types of vessels were developed to carry passengers. The choice for the ordinary citizen wishing to go from one place to another, was between a cross river ferry, which plied between fixed points on either side of the river or, on longer journeys, the wherry.
The wherry design, became standardised in the early fifteen hundreds and adopted as the vessel licensed for use by watermen and would ply for hire from the many landing stairs sited along the riverbanks. The equivalent today of the black taxicabs.
Over the prime years of oared craft, from the thirteenth century to the late nineteenth century, all rich families, official organisations such as the Navy Board and the City merchants, built their own Shallop. These Barges were the fastest means of water transport between business centres and residences, which were mostly built alongside the Thames.
–keep reading– on The Jubilant Trust
Canaletto’s famous painting, River Thames with St. Paul’s Cathedral on Lord Mayor’s Day, c.1747-48 (Giovanni Antonio Canal; 1697 – 1768, Venice)
Eastbourne RNLI Lifeboat Station’s new £2.7 million Tamar lifeboat – which will be named Diamond Jubilee in honour of RNLI Patron, Her Majesty The Queen – took to the water for the very first time yesterday (Monday 6 February); 60 years to the day that The Queen ascended to throne. The new lifeboat will also be among the highlights of the Diamond Jubilee River Thames Pageant this summer.
The charity’s new lifeboat will be one of 1,000 vessels making their way along the River Thames on Sunday 3 June to celebrate The Queen’s 60-year reign. The Pageant is set to be the largest flotilla in modern times on the river, with boats of all shapes and sizes stretching for an estimated 12.5 miles. MORE
The flotilla, expected to close the river between 11am and 6pm, will begin at Putney with Her Majesty at its helm. The Royal Barge will be followed by VIP guests, possibly including younger members of the Royal Family. The PS Elizabethan, a replica of an 1890s Mississippi stern-wheeled paddle steamer, is being considered for the job. The Queen will sail to Tower Bridge where she will disembark to watch the pageant. It will end in Greenwich, a course of around 12 miles.
The flotilla will be seven miles long and take 90 minutes to pass a fixed point. –more
The procession from Wandsworth to Tower Bridge will be divided into ten sections interspersed with ‘music herald’ barges.
The procession from Wandsworth to Tower Bridge will be divided into ten sections interspersed with ‘music herald’ barges. Each vessel will travel at approximately four knots – a fast walking speed – meaning the fleet will complete the seven-mile route in around 90 minutes.
At its head will be a remarkable floating tower featuring eight specially-cast bells, each named after a senior member of the Royal Family. Their peals will be answered by chimes from riverbank churches along the route.
The first boat will be Gloriana, the hand-built 88ft Royal Rowbarge, followed by a fleet of paddled vessels including watermen’s cutters, skiffs, American whaleboats and dragon boats.
The second section includes craft carrying the flags of Commonwealth nations, realms and territories. Next will be the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh in their magnificent gilded royal barge. This is being adapted from an existing Thames cruiser, the Spirit of Chartwell, and will be garlanded with flowers from the royal estates.
Prince Charles, whose idea it was to hold a river-borne celebration in the first place, is to take a significant role as patron of the pageant. At the end of the route there will also be a spectacular mile-long ‘Avenue of Sail’ for the Queen to inspect, consisting of boats too big to go under Tower Bridge.
She will lead a thousand boats for seven miles through London: The crew will consist of some of the most ancient and exotic appendages to the Royal Household. The Queen’s Bargemaster will be at the helm while 18 of her Royal Watermen – all of them professional Thames boatmen – will do the heaving. (source)
Gloriana is nearly 90 ft long and will be rowed by 18 oarsmen, 17 of the Royal Watermen and Sir Steve Redgrave. The boat is gilded from end to end and the carvings include a mermaid and a sea serpent. The planking is sweet chestnut from the Duchy of Cornwall estate owned by Prince Charles. A discreet engine has been fitted.
The Queen won’t be aboard on the day – apparently it will be used for heralds and trumpeters – but it is expected she will use it in future events. –MORE
As with the national flagship, so Gloriana has been built with private money and will be run by a charity. Lord Sterling has met much of the 500,000 cost, along with a handful of other philanthropists. The plan is to hand her over to the Queen in the next couple of months, whereupon she will be placed in the care of the Maritime Heritage Trust.
An artist’s impression of the Royal Cruiser Spirit of Chartwell, (a converted sightseeing boat) which will be converted into a barge for the day to carry the Queen and Prince Philip down the Thames.
The owner of ‘The Spirit of Chartwell’ describes the changes his boat will have to go through before it carries the Queen down the Thames on June 3. A structure will be built which will be transparent so the whole world can see the royal family
The monarch and her husband will be seated on ornate chairs under a gold canopy as the vessel, the Spirit of Chartwell, cruises down the Thames. In a nod to the richly decorated royal barges of the 17th and 18th centuries, the sides of the craft will be decorated with red drapes, while the Queen’s cipher and a crown will be displayed on the bow.
The project to transform the Spirit of Chartwell into the royal barge is being led by designer Joseph Bennett. –more
The flotilla will be divided into 10 sections with music herald barges separating each group, playing music composed especially for the event, including church bells, herald fanfare trumpeters and an orchestra from the Academy of Ancient Music. -keep reading
Telegraph Slideshow: Diamond Jubilee to be marked with seven-mile long flotilla of 1,000 boats
George Frideric Handel on the Royal barge with King George I
George Frideric Handel was a German born composer (original spelling “Georg Friedrich Händel”) who moved to Britain and settled there, becoming closely associated with British baroque music and in particular the music he composed for the British morarchy.
In one of those curious twists of fate, Handel became “Kapellmeister” in 1710 to George, the Elector of Hanover (Prince of the region now part of German). Then the composer moved permanently to England in 1712 working among others for Queen Anne. When Queen Anne (the last of the Stuarts) died in 1714, it was her cousin George from Germany who became George I of Britain (the first Hanoverian King). So Handel ended up working for the same man in a different country.
One of Handel’s best known works, the Water Music from 1917, was composed to entertain the King and his guests on various occasions as the Royal party of barges journeyed on the Thames. It is royal commissions such as his “Water Music” and “Music for the Royal Fireworks”, still very popular today at concerts and events today, which more than any others have associated Handel with British music traditions, and a worthy successor to Henry Purcell.
Arrival of HM The Queen and the HRH The Duke of Edinburgh in the
Royal Yacht Britannia at the Pool of London, 15 May 1954 by Edward Seago
Signed and dedicated “To Lord Waverley”
The Royal Yacht Britannia is one of the world’s most famous ships. Launched at John Brown’s Shipyard in Clydebank in 1953, the Royal Yacht proudly served Queen and country for 44 years. During that time Britannia carried The Queen and the Royal Family on 968 official voyages, from the remotest regions of the South Seas to the deepest divides of Antarctica.
As 83rd in a long line of Royal Yachts that stretches back to 1660 and the reign of Charles II, Britannia holds a proud place in British maritime history. On 16 April 1953, Her Majesty’s Yacht Britannia rolled down the slipway at John Brown’s Clydebank Shipyard, on the start of her long and illustrious career.
Commissioned for service in January 1954, Britannia sailed the oceans for 43 years and 334 days. She travelled a total of 1,087,623 nautical miles, calling at over 600 ports in 135 countries.
more on The Royal Yacht Britannia website
The move was a calculated risk by experts at John Walker & Sons, as English oak is not often used for the delicate art of producing Scotch fit for the wealthiest people in the world. The stakes were extraordinarily high as this particular whisky costs £100,000 a bottle and only 61 have been created to mark the Royal milestone – with one destined for the Queen.
M is for Mermaids blog
LEELANAU COUNTY — A substantial hull piece that shipwreck experts believe comes from the schooner Jennie and Annie, which sunk in the Manitou Passage in 1872, has washed up on a remote stretch of Lake Michigan beach north of Empire in the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.
by Steve Duda, February 6th, 2012
Think energy-efficient vehicles have to come attached to words like “micro” and “mini”? Think again. Nissan—maker of the tiny, alt power Leaf—has launced a new energy-efficient vehicle, one a bit bigger than the Leaf. Nissan’s new ride is as long as one and a half football fields, weighs 11,400 tons and can haul 1,380 brand new Leafs (Leaves?) at a top speed of about 21 knots, or 24 mph.
Nissan’s new vehicle is a jumbo, sea-going car carrier called the Nichioh Maru…
The disaster that almost was: There were so many boats in the water — with fog and mist still impeding visibility (as pictured above) — that it is actually quite incredible that President Cleveland and the French dignitaries made it off of Bedloe’s Island alive. In fact, the president had to transfer to a smaller boat which successfully got him to the Penn Railroad station on the New Jersey side.
Podcast: Red Hook; Brooklyn on the Waterfront
While the rivalry between Boston and New York primarily manifests within the world of sports — the venue of modern warfare — it echos a spirit of competition that has existed between the coastal cities for over two centuries. But how did it begin?
– keep reading –
Kidd’s swanky new home on Pearl Street, which he shared with his high society wife and two lovely daughters. It was near the eastern gate to New York’s northern wall, later to become Wall Street. In later years, landfill will would extend east, removing old Pearl Street residences from the waterfront.
Kidd was an employee of the Crown, a privateer essentially hired to capture pirates and any foreign vessels that got in England’s way. He was based in New York for many of the same reasons more illicit sea captains were here — opportunities, money and a suitable harbor for his vessel (Kidd’s was called the Adventure Galley).
He came to New York in 1691 and soon married Sarah Oort, a woman with extraordinary bad luck. Her first two husbands had died, one at sea, and after Kidd’s execution, she would then marry a fourth time. William and Sarah would have two daughters who would marry well into New York society despite their father’s notoriety. Despite his career, Kidd was considered a respectable New York gentleman.
– more –
This Week in Wrecks
1804: The HMS Hussar, a 38-gun, fifth-rate vessel launched in 1799, is grounded on a reef near Île de Sein, and burned by her crew to prevent French capture. Most escaped in fishing vessels commandeered from the islanders.
1862, February 10: The Confederate Navy loses 4 ships from its Mosquito Fleet in the Battle of Elizabeth City, including the CSS Black Warrior, Fanny, Sea Bird and Forrest. The Appomattox escapes but is too wide to pass through a lock in the Dismal Swamp Canal and is burned to prevent capture.
1945, FEB 9:HMS Venturer torpedos U-864 off the coast of Fedje, Norway in the first and only instance of a fully submerged submarine sinking another. Captain Launders fired where he thought the U-boat would turn next and made a successful hit.
2001, FEB 9: USS Greeneville surfaces during a demonstration exercise underneath the Ehime Maru and sinks the fishery high school training ship. 9 people are killed; the ship is later raised to recover the victims and the U.S. settles with their families.
1909, FEB 12: The SS Penguin strikes a rock in rough seas off Cape Terawhiti, New Zealand, and then explodes when cold water hits her boilers. 75 people on the ferry die, 30 survive.
1935, FEB 12: The US Navy’s last rigid airship, the USS Macon, ditches in Monterey Bay with the loss of 2 crewmen out of 76; a storm had caused the failure of unrepaired parts of the tailfin structure. The wreck site was located in 1991. (pictured, gas tank)
On 7 February 1910: The Dreadnought Hoax was a practical joke pulled by Horace de Vere Cole and five friends—writer Virginia Stephen (later Virginia Woolf), her brother Adrian Stephen, Guy Ridley, Anthony Buxton and artist Duncan Grant. Cole and his group tricked the Royal Navy into showing their flagship, the warship HMS Dreadnought, to a supposed delegation of Abyssinian royals. The hoax drew attention in Britain to the emergence of the Bloomsbury Group. (via coldisthesea)
James McNeill Whistler (1834-1903)
The Little Pool
Etched 1861, printed and published in 1871 as a series of sixteen entitled
Scenes on the Thames
In this daring composition, the two figures to the left are Whistler himself, drawing on a copperplate, and his friend and patron Sergeant Thomas, a rich lawyer who was involved in early plans for the publication of the ‘Thames Set’ etchings. The image was conceived as an announcement for the series, but the printers mistakenly erased Whistler’s original etched lettering. –(via yama-bato)
Pekin Tea Company Bill of Lading 1849 (detail views)
SCIENTISTS digging in a Namibia national park have uncovered sponge-like fossils they say are the first animals, a discovery that would push the emergence of animal life back millions of years.
The tiny vase-shaped creatures’ fossils were found in Namibia’s Etosha National Park and other sites around the country in rocks between 760 and 550 million years old, a 10-member team of international researchers said in a paper published in the South African Journal of Science.
That means animals, previously thought to have emerged 600 million to 650 million years ago, actually appeared 100 million to 150 million years before that, the authors say.
It also means the hollow globs – about the size of a dust speck and covered in holes that allowed fluid to pass in and out of their bodies – were our ancestors, said co-author Tony Prave, a geologist at the University of St Andrews in Scotland.
Australian scientists sequenced the DNA of samples of the giant seagrass, Posidonia oceanic, from 40 underwater meadows in an area spanning more than 2,000 miles, from Spain to Cyprus.
The analysis, published in the journal PLos ONE, found the seagrass was between 12,000 and 200,000 years old and was most likely to be at least 100,000 years old. This is far older than the current known oldest species, a Tasmanian plant that is believed to be 43,000 years old.
Prof Carlos Duarte, from the University of Western Australia, said the seagrass has been able to reach such old age because it can reproduce asexually and generate clones of itself. Organisms that can only reproduce sexually are inevitably lost at each generation, he added. –The Telegraph
Skaters take to the ice on the frozen Prinsengracht canal in Amsterdam. Many of the city’s canals also froze last year for the first time in more than a decade. –Photograph: Margriet Faber/ AP
Montreux, Genfer See, Hafen, Salondampfer Lausanne (Lake Geneva)
Great fun game for rum drinkers
Hey Android users! The Kraken App for Android is LIVE. Utilizing State-of-the-Art 19th Century Technology, this “Simulation Application for Nautical Maneuvering” tests your ability to Successfully Deliver a Shipment of Black Spiced Rum across the Darkest of All the Seas or be Devoured by The Mighty Kraken. (VIA kraken-research)
Mermaid Valentine c. 1960’s (vintagegal)
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.