Shark Week 1778: John Singleton Copley, Watson and the Shark
motherjones — Via the National Gallery’s website, the story behind the painting: Watson and the Shark’s exhibition at the Royal Academy in 1778 generated a sensation, partly because such a grisly subject was an absolute novelty. In 1749, fourteen-year-old Brook Watson had been attacked by a shark while swimming in Havana Harbor. Copley’s pictorial account of the traumatic ordeal shows nine seamen rushing to help the boy, while the bloody water proves he has just lost his right foot. To lend equal believability to the setting Copley, who had never visited the Caribbean, consulted maps and prints of Cuba.
The rescuers’ anxious expressions and actions reveal both concern for their thrashing companion and a growing awareness of their own peril. Time stands still as the viewer is forced to ponder Watson’s fate. Miraculously, he was saved from almost certain death and went on to become a successful British merchant and politician.
Although Copley underscored the scene’s tension and immediacy, the seemingly spontaneous poses actually were based on art historical precedents. The harpooner’s pose, for example, recalls Raphael’s altarpiece of the Archangel Michael using a spear to drive Satan out of heaven. The oil painting’s enormous acclaim ensured Copley’s appointment to the prestigious Royal Academy, and he earned a fortune selling engravings of its design.
Herman Melville stamps – (August 1, 1819 – September 28, 1891) A 20-cent commemorative stamp honoring American author Herman Melville was issued August 1, 1984, in New Bedford, Massachusetts, the setting for his novel Moby Dick. The First Day of Issue ceremony was held at the Whaling Museum there. The stamp was an addition to the Literary Arts Series. It was designed by Bradbury Thompson of Riverside, Connecticut
A team of U.S. archaeologists study the wreckage of a ship they believe to be part of pirate captain Henry Morgan’s lost vessel. The dive team discovered approximately 52×22 feet of the starboard side of a 17th century wooden ship hull and a series of unopened cargo boxes and chests encrusted in coral. MORE »
A. Merritt – The Ship of Ishtar – Avon Books, Published 1956 – Cover Artist: Richard Powers
Ship Garthsnaid, ca 1920s – National Library of New Zealand
12-in. guns amid ships HMS INDOMITABLE (Dread Cruiser) – Original (1024 x 742)
HMS Indomitable was an Invincible-class battlecruiser of the British Royal Navy. She was built before World War I and had an active career during the war. She tried to hunt down the German ships Goeben and Breslau in the Mediterranean when war broke out and bombarded Turkish fortifications protecting the Dardanelles even before the British declared war on Turkey. She damaged the German battlecruisers Seydlitz and Derfflinger during the Battle of Jutland and watched her sister Invincible explode. Launched: 16 March 1907; Sold 1 December 1921 for scrap. Maritimequest HMS Indomitable Photo Gallery
Length: 567 ft – Beam: 78 ft 7.75 in – Draught: 25 ft – Four-shaft Parsons direct-drive steam turbines, 31 Babcock & Wilcox boilers – Speed: 25.5 knots – Range: 2,270 nautical miles – Crew: 784-1000 (in wartime) MORE ON WIKI
The Rangitiki (16,698 grt, 553 ft. long), one of three sisters (the others were the Rangitata and Rangitane) completed in the late 1920s. She survived WW2 service as a troop transport and was back on her original run until broken up in 1962. New Zealand Line; Sailings May 1938 – July 1939 – New Zealand to England via Panama; 4 weeks (sailing schedule)
Harland and Wolff shipbuilding yard – posted by TimWebb
Original (1268 x 766) – The ship in the foreground is a 4-pipe destroyer, in the background a cargo ship of some sort. This is a small snapshot that I purchased with other First World War items on eBay. Snapshots from people taking part in the convoys, rather than just stock postcards — Ships in Dazzle Camoflage posted by Bob Swanson
Shark’s Lionfish Lunch – Photograph by Antonio Busiello: National Geographic Daily News
Working with park officials, local divers are attempting to give sharks a taste for the alien reef species, which are native to the Pacific and Indian Oceans. With no natural predators, lionfish populations have exploded throughout the waters of the Caribbean and U.S. Southeast since their accidental introduction by aquarium hobbyists a decade ago…
See also: The Lionfish Invasion By: Jessica Wurzbacher, MSc on Sailors for the Sea
thewidowflannigan: animated wenches
PACVs were first deployed in 1966 to Vietnam. Often called “Pac Vees”, they were armed with a .50 caliber machine gun mounted on a rotational platform in the front, side mounted M60 machine guns, and often remote controlled M60s or grenade launchers in the stern. In addition, the crew, and often U.S. Army Green Berets and ARVN Rangers, riding on the side panels, employed assorted small arms such as M16 rifles, M79 grenade launchers, various other rifles, .45 pistols, M60s, claymores, and grenades. During PACV’s first tour in Vietnam some basic light armor was added to the hovercraft to give it some protection from enemy fire. PACVs conducted many successful missions on the Mekong Delta, Cat Lo, Plain of Reeds out of Moc Hoa in their initial tour. —via coldisthesea
Canadian National Steamships – Sailings April-December 1938
HMS Bermuda (pennant number 52, later C52) was a Crown Colony-class light cruiser of the British Royal Navy. She was completed during World War II and served in that conflict. She was named for the British territory of Bermuda, and was the eighth vessel of that name, the first was a Bermuda sloop purchased in 1795. Bermuda was built by John Brown & Company of Clydebank and launched on 11 September 1941. In the same year, the lead ship of the class, HMS Fiji, was sunk while participating in the evacuation of Crete. —more on wiki
above left: A Supermarine Walrus amphibian airplane being launched from the catapult deck of HMS Bermuda above right: HMS Bermuda; war paint
1831 painting of a three-masted Bermuda sloop of the Royal Navy, entering a West Indies port. Artist: John Lynn
The Bermuda sloop is a type of fore-and-aft rigged sailing vessel developed on the islands of Bermuda in the 17th century. In its purest form, it is single-masted, although ships with such rigging were built with as many as three masts, which are then referred to as schooners.
Its original form had gaff rigging, but evolved to use what is now known as Bermuda rig, which had been used on smaller Bermudian boats since the early 17th Century, making it the basis of nearly all modern sailing yachts. — full resolutionâ€Ž (2,992 Ã— 1,940 pixels)
left – Billy’s Famous Sweater: Knitted for him by his mother, 60 years ago when he was 17 using a pattern he drew out for her. right – Mermaid Lure; One of the artifacts in Billy’s museum.
New images uploaded this week by OneEighteen
One of the first ships to be built after WWII. Completed for Strick Line Ltd she was sold in 1964 to Lynnbrook Ltd of Bermuda and renamed Aquatic. Sold four years later to Natal Shipping of Greece becoming Heracles. Beached in the July of 1970 with a fire raging in her holds containing coal, refloated but declared a total insurance loss and broken at Whampoa see full size
H.M.S. ACHILLES (1905) on Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division’s Flickr page
HMS Achilles was a Duke of Edinburgh-class armoured cruiser built for the Royal Navy in the mid-1900s. She served with the 2nd Cruiser Squadron for most of the First World War. Achilles did not participate in the Battle of Jutland in 1916, but did sink the German raider Leopard in 1917. Achilles became a training ship in 1918 and was sold for scrap in 1921. —more on wiki
RED CROSS (ship)
USS Powhatan (ID # 3013), 1917-1919
Originally S.S. Hamburg (German Passenger Liner, 1899)
Later named Red Cross, Hudson and President Fillmore
USS Powhatan, a 18,026-ton troop transport, was originally the German passenger steamer Hamburg, which had been built in 1899 at Stettin, Germany. Caught at New York when World War I began in August 1914, she was soon chartered by the American Red Cross to take medical personnel and supplies to Europe. Renamed Red Cross, she left New York in mid-September and called at Falmouth, England; Paulliac, France; and Rotterdam, The Netherlands, before recrossing the Atlantic in October with American refugees on board. She remained at New York for the next two and a half years.
Lightvessel Sevenstones; circa 1950 — The Sevenstones light vessel was moored off the Sevenstones Reef, 10 miles north east of the Isles of Scilly. By the 1980s the vessel was unmanned. In June 1999, she broke free from her moorings and began drifting towards Land’s End. Ocean-going vessels rely on lightships being in the exact location as marked on their sea charts. The navigational calculations of a ship become unreliable and dangerous if the lightship has moved. It was for this reason that the Trinity House vessel ‘Mermaid’ was despatched to retrieve the drifting Sevenstones lightship.
National Maritime Museum‘s flickr site; see also: Repairing a Trinity House Buoy — Training of lighthouse personnel at Orchard Yard — Pilot hoist on a Union-Castle vessel — Trinity House pilot vessel no 15 — Two Egyptian children on a small rowing boat off Alexandretta
Philadelphia Naval Ship Yard on 1 June 1940; launch of the USS Washington (BB-56)
Washington and twenty other American ships were the first to be equipped with fully operational radar. She has the distinction of being the only American battleship to sink an enemy battleship during World War II in a “one on one” surface engagement. MORE ON WIKI
SS Normandie, 1942 (still the most powerful steam turbo-electric-propelled passenger ship ever built)
During World War II, Normandie was seized by the United States authorities at New York and renamed USS Lafayette. In 1942, the liner caught fire while being converted to a troopship, capsized and sank at the New York Passenger Ship Terminal. Although salvaged at great expense, restoration was deemed too costly and she was scrapped in October 1946 – posted by x-ray delta one
Deep Sea News: Back from the Sea – Hi internet! I just spent the month of July sailing (yes! sailing!) from Honolulu to San Francisco aboard Sea Education Association’s vessel SSV Robert C. Seamans. (I went out with them last year as well). SEA’s main mission is education, and for students seeking an incredible, life-changing introduction to seafaring and ocean science I can’t recommend their programs highly enough. But you don’t have to take my word for it – check out the student blog.
This cruise, I was aboard as a visiting researcher, riding along so I could work my evil bidding on the zooplankton of North Pacific Subtropical Gyre and Subtropical Convergence Zone. I also helped sail the ship and run science operations as part of B Watch, and did my best to indoctrinate the students into the glories of the planktonic universe…
Original (2607 x 1474) – New Jersey‘s initial training in Atlantic and Caribbean waters was highlighted by her review by President Theodore Roosevelt in Oyster Bay in September 1906, and by her presence at Havana, Cuba from 21 September-13 October to protect American lives and property threatened by the Cuban Insurrection. From 15 April-14 May 1907, she lay in Hampton Roads representing the Navy at the Jamestown Exposition.
In company with fifteen other battleships and six attendant destroyers, New Jersey cleared Hampton Roads on 16 December, her rails manned and her guns crashing a 21-gun salute to President Roosevelt, who watched from Mayflower this beginning of the dramatic cruise of the “Great White Fleet“.
Mayflower as Presidential yacht – President Taft boards Mayflower on October 14, 1912
The loss of the Pennsylvania New York packet ship; the Lockwoods emigrant ship; the Saint Andrew packet ship; and the Victoria from Charleston, near Liverpool, during the hurricane […] Jany. 7th & 8th, 1839 – Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division
U.S. to have world’s greatest ship-testing basin. Carderock, MD., March 21
Work is rapidly going forward on the new U.S. Navy ship- testing basin now under construction here. It will be the largest ship-testing basin in the world and will have cost three million dollars when completed, 3/21/38 –see full size »
David Taylor Model Basin – (DTMB) is one of the largest ship model basins, test facilities for the development of ship design, in the world. DTMB is a field activity of the Carderock Division of the Naval Surface Warfare Center.
In 1896, David Watson Taylor designed and supervised construction of the Washington Navy Yard‘s Experimental Model Basin (EMB) which was at that time the best facility in the world. That facility was a significant design testing capability before, during, and after World War I. Inadequacies in that facility led the Navy to look for a new model capability.
The new Navy modeling facility — named for David Taylor — was built in 1939 in today’s community of Carderock just west of Bethesda, Maryland in Montgomery County. The Carderock facility contains multiple test basins designed for a variety of testing capabilities. DTMB has been a pervasive influence on naval architecture for 70 years. –more »
Washington Navy Yard lithograph 1862 – Colored lithograph published by E. Sachse & Company, Baltimore, Maryland, circa 1862. It depicts the Navy Yard as seen from above the Anacostia River
The Washington Navy Yard is the former shipyard and ordnance plant of the United States Navy in Southeast Washington, D.C. It is the oldest shore establishment of the U.S. Navy. The Washington Navy Yard was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1973, and designated a National Historic Landmark on May 11, 1976. —MORE »
Original newspaper ad from the Independent Press Telegram, Long Beach, California – Friday July 15, 1955 (via vintagegal) – click image to see full size
N. C. Wyeth Illustrations for The Ladies Home Journal 1920-31
Remember, Smoking Stacks Attract Attacks »
Maritime Monday is compiled by 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 and The Scuttlefish
Submit story ideas, news links, photographs, or items of interest to her at MM@gcaptain.com. She can also out-belch any man.