Berengaria started life as SS Imperator, an ocean liner built for the Hamburg America Line. At the time of her completion in June 1913, she was the largest passenger ship in the world, surpassing Titanic’s sister ship, RMS Olympic.
During World War I, she remained in port at Hamburg. After a brief stint as a post-war troop ship, she was handed over to Britain’s Cunard Line as part of war reparations, sailing as the flagship RMS Berengaria.
Sir Arthur Rostron (former captain of Carpathia; of Titanic rescue fame)) took command of Berengaria in July 1920. The following year, she was sent to Armstrong Whitworth shipyards to be converted from coal firing to oil.
In later years, Berengaria was used for discounted Prohibition-dodging cruises, which earned her the jocular nickname “Bargain-area”. Cunard-White Star opted to retire her in 1938. She sailed for the River Tyne and was scrapped.
Vintage News – In February 1948, distress calls were picked up by numerous ships near Indonesia from the Dutch freighter SS Ourang Medan. The chilling message was, “All officers including captain are dead lying in chartroom and bridge. Possibly whole crew dead.” This message was followed by indecipherable Morse code then one final grisly message… “I die.”
When the first rescue vessel arrived on the scene a few hours later, they tried to hail the Ourang Medan but there was no response to their hand and whistle signals. A boarding party was sent to the ship and what they found was a frightening sight that has made the Ourang Medan one of the strangest and scariest ghost ship stories of all time.
Cruel Sea Flickr pool – Outside Lillesand, in WWII the German Vorpostenboot (patrol boat) V1605 was escorting a tanker, when the small convoy was spotted from British Mosquito pilots of the Banff Fighter Wing, The ships stood no chance, the V1605 ex “Mosel” was sunk still firing with all hands but one. orig
Most Vorpostenboote were pre-war fishing vessels, yachts or harbour craft. Such vessels were ideal because they were plentiful, and were of simple and robust design, (which made them) advantageous in rough waters. They were the German equivalent to the trawlers of the Royal Navy. Several hundred Vorpostenboote were active during both World Wars.
Vorpostenboote typically carried one or two medium-calibre guns (e.g. 88 mm), many light automatic anti-air artillery pieces (20-40mm), and a varying number of machine guns. For anti-submarine warfare they were also fitted with depth charges. Crewed by sixty to seventy men, (most of whom were weapons personnel taken from the naval reserve) the Vorpostenboote became particularly feared by the Royal Navy for their firepower and efficiency in battle. more
Researchers have excavated ship sheds in the city of Piraeus that held triremes from the pivotal Battle of Salamis
“We have identified, for the first time, the 5th century BC naval bases of Piraeus—the ship-sheds, the slipways and the harbor fortifications,” says Bjørn Lovén, director of the Zea Harbor Project, which led the excavations.
Lovén adds that the naval fortifications at one time housed about 400 fast and maneuverable triremes. These vessels (would have been) tended to by 80,000 sailors and soldiers. The sheds were huge—spread between the three ports of Piraeus (Mounichia, Zea and Kantharos), they covered 110,000 square meters or more than 1 million square feet, according to Lovén. To put that number in comparison, that’s the size of approximately 17 football fields. keep reading on Smithsonian
News travels fast in small towns — especially when it involves huge footprints of a rumored mythical creature.
The sleepy island of Nantucket, Massachusetts is no stranger to reported sightings of slithering beasts. In 1817, a fisherman in nearby Gloucester insisted he had seen a giant, turtle-shaped, horn-headed creature swimming about the chilly Atlantic waters.
At the time, scientists thought that the creature might be Scoliophis atlanticus, otherwise known as an Atlantic humped snake. Townspeople weren’t convinced, and over the years sightings kept trickling in. keep reading
Cruising the Past – RMS Empress of Ireland was an ocean liner that sank in the Saint Lawrence River following a collision with the Norwegian collier SS Storstad in the early hours of 29 May 1914. Of the 1,477 people on board, 1,012 were lost.
The wreck lies in 40 metres (130 ft) of water, making it accessible to most divers. more
Atlas Obscura: A stunning set of 32 celestial charts manufactured in the 1820s was attributed only to a mysterious “lady,” and if you held them up to the light you could see the stars. Most enjoyable, however, are those constellations that have fallen out of favor, such as Officina Typographica, which was indeed depicted as a little easel work stand, and the Musca Borealis, or “Northern Fly,” the insect.
On each of these 8 by 5.5 inch cards are star perforations so that if you held one up to the light, the constellation would shine out as if in the night sky. keep reading
Boating on the Columbia River Gorge, separating the states of Oregon and Washington
In 1797, a small merchant vessel went down off the coast of Tasmania, Australia, in the treacherous Bass Strait. Known as the Sydney Cove shipwreck, the ship was travelling from Calcutta, now Kolkata, India, to Port Jackson, Australia, with a cargo of food, textiles and livestock.
It also had plenty of beer on board. Some of the bottles survived for centuries at the bottom of the sea until they were retrieved in the early 1990s, according to a statement from the Queen Victoria Museum in Tasmania.
David Thurrowgood, a conservator at the museum, along with a number of scientists, say they have taken live yeast from a surviving beer bottle and turned it into a brand new batch. keep reading
Maine Brewers Are Selling Lobster-Infused Beer
Because of course they are
Beer tastes great with a good lobster roll. But why drink a regular beer with your lobster roll when you can drink lobster-infused beer? That’s right: one intrepid local brewery is taking Maine’s notorious obsession with lobsters to a new level. keep reading
The 19th century glassblower’s intricate sculptures of marine life are a window on the ocean 150 years ago
The Guardian – Over three decades, using techniques that still baffle experts, Leopold and his son, Rudolf, handmade about 10,000 marine sculptures, each one rendered in minute detail: impossibly delicate anemones, livid orange cuttlefish – creatures at once alien and unnervingly lifelike.
In a world before scuba diving, underwater photography or ocean life surveys, the Blaschkas’ models proved an invaluable educational resource, with universities worldwide purchasing collections of glass specimens. One of the largest, with 570 models, belongs to Cornell University in the US, where until recently it was all but forgotten, stowed in a warehouse in a state of disrepair. keep reading
Extremely rare c.1910s image taken off the shoreline of San Francisco’s Cliff House and Sutro Baths showing “Bridge Shaped Wave Motor #3” (foreground) and “Wave Motor #4…Surf Power Pump” (structure on top of rock). Mile Rock Lighhouse visible in the background. They were built at a time when electricity was still a fairly new phenomenon and the idea of electricity from the ocean was not considered impossible. keep reading
The Isle of Man is located in the middle of the northern Irish Sea, almost equidistant from England, Ireland, Scotland (closest), and Wales (furthest). It came under the feudal lordship of the English Crown in 1399. The lordship revested into the British Crown in 1765, but the island never became part of the Kingdom of Great Britain or its successor the United Kingdom, retaining its status as an internally self-governing Crown dependency.
The island’s parliament, Tynwald, has been in continuous existence since 979 or earlier, making it the oldest continuously governing body in the world. Isle of Man holds neither membership nor associate membership of the European Union.
Peel is on the west coast of the Isle of Man, on the east side of the mouth of the River Neb. Before 1765, the town had a busy import-export trade importing goods from ports such as Amsterdam; in the mid to late 19th century the town was a busy fishing port. Peel is a popular seaside destination for Manx residents and visitors in summer. It has narrow streets of fishermen’s cottages and a Victorian promenade. For many years the main industries in the town were fishing, trading and shipbuilding.
In the 19th century, schooners built in Peel traded around northwest Europe and Peel fishing boats fished around the island and further afield to the southern coast of Ireland and near to Shetland. The harbour and breakwater were gradually improved, with much of the local income derived from the export of salted herring.
Fishing from Peel has seen periods of upturn and decline. For a number of years the annual Viking Festival has attracted visitors to the resort. In 1979, Odin’s Raven, a replica of a Viking longship, sailed from Norway to Peel to commemorate the Manx millennium of the 1000th annual sitting of the Isle of Man’s Parliament. Peel on wikipedia
Steam dredge at work during the construction of the Cape Cod Canal
Nina Heald Webber Cape Cod Canal Collection (more photos)
The Met Office supplies the forecasts to the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, which in turn provides the material for the poetic programme. When the BBC last year broke its ties with the Met Office – which had provided it with weather forecasts for the past 93 years – concerns were raised by Peers over the future of the iconic broadcast. keep reading
A former fisherman’s hut deemed too small for habitation is now a delightful tourist draw.