Maritime Monday for April 16th, 2018: Cunk on Nautical History

VIDEO: Life on board Sir Francis Drake’s ship: Philomena Cunk imagines what life must have been like at sea, on the deck of The Golden Hinde; which in Tudor means Ass of Gold.

More videos

Jaw bone belonging to ‘one of world’s largest animals ever’ found in Somerset, UK: Ancient jaw suggests animal was enormous, say palaeontologists. At 26 metres in length, the researchers noted the ichthyosaur (a gigantic, prehistoric, predatory, underwater reptile (yeah, no)) was approaching the size of the blue whale – the largest animal to have ever lived. MORE
How a Naval engineer’s mistake led to the invention of the Slinky, one of the world’s top-selling toys.
Richard T. James, a Naval engineer from Philadelphia, was working on a means of suspending delicate shipboard instruments that would keep them in check even during rough seas and bad weather. While working on these elastic springs, he accidentally dropped one… READ on Vintage News
Smithsonian: Antarctic Research Ship to Search for Wreck of Shackleton’s ‘Endurance’ The ship sunk in pack ice in 1915, setting off one of exploration’s most epic survival tales.

Jonathan Amos at the BBC reports that a team of scientists will attempt to locate the wreck when they visit the area to study the Larsen C Ice Shelf, the mega-iceberg that broke off the continent last July.

The South African polar research and supply vessel S.A. Agulhas II will be used for the expedition. MORE
MarEx: The famed ocean liner Queen Elizabeth 2 has been refurbished and shifted to a permanent berth at Port Rashid, Dubai, where she will enter a new phase of life as a floating hotel. READ

The Queen Elizabeth 2 ship first set sail in 1967 and was considered to be an engineering marvel. Over the years, the ship has welcomed guests including Nelson Mandela, Elizabeth Taylor, Buzz Aldrin and David Bowie. In her lifetime the QE2 would complete 1,400 voyages before retiring in 2008.  MORE

Well-preserved rope was discovered at an archaeological site in Egypt dating to almost 4,000 years ago. Photo courtesy of the Joint Expedition to Mersa/Wadi Gawasis of the Università “L’Orientale,” Naples and Boston University

The Long, Knotty, World-Spanning Story of String

Museum of Found Photographs: HMS Resource billiard team, 1932-34.

HMS Resource was a Royal Navy fleet repair ship built by Vickers-Armstrongs; launched in 1928. Served in the Second World War. Scrapped Inverkeithing in February, 1954. Photo

COMING SOON: Another ripping t-shirt design by Monkey Fist! (Uhm, Mike… I need the log-in)

Maritime Monday shirts by Monkey Fist in the gCaptain shop:  Mermaid (Best Seller) & Jolly Roger

Sittin’ On The Dock of the Bay turns 50 – Redding was playing a six-night residency at Basin Street West in San Francisco and had been staying at a houseboat owned by rock promoter Bill Graham that was docked in Sausalito. It was here where he saw the ships rolling in from San Francisco that inspired “(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay.”
The Revenue Cutter Harriet Lane forces the merchant steamer Nashville to show its colors during the attack on Fort Sumter, April 13, 1861; by Coast Guard artist Howard Koslow.  IMAGE

Commissioned in 1858 and named for the niece of unmarried President James Buchanan, the revenue cutter represented one of the most technologically advanced steamships in federal service in 1861.  MORE

The Life Line, 1884; by Winslow Homer (Philadelphia Museum of Art)

For nearly two years, beginning in the spring of 1881, beloved Boston-born American artist Winslow Homer (1836–1910) lived and worked in the remote northern English fishing village of Cullercoats. This decision to abandon the American art world at the height of his fame for an isolated English hamlet dramatically altered Homer’s life and art. The paintings, drawings, and prints of Homer’s English period bear the mark of the influences he encountered there and focus on the hardships and joys of life along the waterfront. 

Winslow Homer in England at the Milwaukee Art Museum

Researchers find mass grave off the Cape Cod coast that could be that of pirate Black Bellamy’s crewBlack Sam Bellamy was history’s most effective pirate, amassing a fortune said to be worth $120 million in today’s terms and looking pretty smart as he went about his treacherous work.

America’s largest mass pirate burial ground has been discovered and it contains the remains of the crew of Captain Black Sam Bellamy, the revolutionary “Robin Hood of the sea”, researchers believe.

The site on the shores of Cape Cod may contain the bodies of as many as 102 men whose corpses were washed ashore after their ship, the Whydah, sank while still carrying much of the treasure that had made Bellamy the highest-earning pirate of all time.  MORE

Smeaton’s Tower, the South West’s most well-known landmark – left: photo by danielmarkiewicz  – right: illustration by Ben Langworthy

Smeaton’s Tower is a memorial to celebrated civil engineer John Smeaton, designer of the third and most notable Eddystone Lighthouse. A major step forward in lighthouse design, Smeaton’s structure was in use from 1759 to 1877. It stands today on Plymouth Hoe in Plymouth, Devon, UK.

The British coastline is littered with well over 300 lighthouses, each with its own unique story. Illustrator Ben Langworthy has recently embarked on a project in which he researches and draws each one, starting with Smeaton’s Tower.  READ on Caught By the River (via Maritime Monday intern Simon Egleton)

Portland Maine History 1786 to Present: The USS Maine in Portland Harbor, August 1897. Six months later, an explosion sunk the ship at Havana, Cuba. Fort Gorges to left. See full size on Facebook
Heligoland
Museum of Found Photographs – Take it to the Bridge –  vintage selfieNassau 1978 with the sailing ship Fantom – photos by Leifskandsen
Man Proposes, God Disposes; a painting by Edwin Henry Landseer (1864) was inspired by the fate of Erebus and Terror on the Franklin expedition
AMC’s The Terror: Based On A True Story, But With A Dead Creepy Supernatural Twist

Inspired by a true story, The Terror centers on the British Royal Navy’s perilous voyage into uncharted territory as the crew attempts to discover the Northwest Passage. Faced with treacherous conditions, limited resources, dwindling hope and fear of the unknown, the crew is pushed to the brink of extinction. Frozen, isolated and stuck at the end of the earth, The Terror highlights all that can go wrong when a group of men, desperate to survive, struggle not only with the elements, but with each other. Season One Trailer

The British Royal Navy has a nearly 500-year history, but one of the most fascinating — and terrifying — journeys ever made was Franklin’s lost Arctic expedition. The new AMC series The Terror is inspired by the true story of the failed exploration captained by Sir John Franklin, but is actually based on the novel The Terror by Dan Simmons

Painting by Admiral Sir George Back (1796–1878) showing HMS Terror anchored near a cathedral-like iceberg in the waters around Baffin Island
Fjordcruise: Oslofjorden 1985, sailing from Sandvika to Oslo to get passengers. The Museum of Found Photographs.
Museum of Found Photographs: Using a signal lamp on board an armed merchant cruiser (AMC) during World War II. Posted by Steve Given.

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