World Update: This past Friday, Dan Damon (broadcasting from the Southampton Docks) looked back to 1797 when sailors anchored in ships at Spithead and the Nore mutinied over inhumane working conditions for seamen in 18th century England. The mutinies happened in the wake of the American and French revolutions, triggered the first of several outbreaks of maritime radicalism in the Atlantic World, and the development of working class consciousness among sailors. Listen / download
Commercial fishing boats are scrambling to catch as many Atlantic salmon as they can after a net pen broke near Washington’s Cypress Island. Fishers reported thousands of the non-native fish jumping in the water or washing ashore.
A fish farm’s net pen failed Saturday afternoon when an anchor pulled loose. The pen, in the state’s northwestern San Juan Islands, contained about 305,000 Atlantic salmon. keep reading
The $300m Christophe de Margerie carried a cargo of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Hammerfest in Norway to Boryeong in South Korea in 19 days, about 30% quicker than the conventional southern shipping route through the Suez Canal.
On its maiden voyage, the innovative tanker used its integral icebreaker to cross ice fields 1.2m thick, passing along the northern sea section of the route in the Russian Arctic in a record six-and-a-half days.
If ships’ logs and sailors’ diaries are to be believed, the gastronomic situation during early voyages across the Atlantic was dire. “Lady Sea will not tolerate nor conserve meat or fish that is not dressed in her salt,” wrote Spanish explorer Eugenio de Salazar in his complaint-filled 1573 letter that’s now dubbed “The Landlubber’s Lament.”
He described wooden plates “filled with stringy beef joints, dressed with some partly cooked tendons… so rotten and stinking that you’d be better off losing your sense of taste and smell just to get it all down.”
A group of archaeologists in Texas has just begun an unusual experiment to faithfully recreate the menu onboard a typical transatlantic sailing ship. keep reading
ALTHOUGH THE UNITED STATES commissioned a staggering 151 aircraft carriers during World War Two, it’s safe to say that none were as strange as the USS Wolverine and her sister ship the USS Sable. Together, Sable and Wolverine trained 17,820 pilots in 116,000 carrier landings.
Not only were the two flattops the only American wartime carriers powered by coal (most naval vessels of the era ran on fuel oil), both served their entire military careers on Lake Michigan – more than 2,000 miles from the Pacific!
Algonquin, Manning, Ossipee, Seneca, Tampa and Yamacraw. One hundred years ago, these were the six Coast Guard cutters selected for overseas ocean escort convoy duty during the United States’ participation in WWI. With the U.S. declaring war on Imperial Germany on April 6, 1917, the Coast Guard was assigned to the jurisdiction of the U.S. Navy for the duration of the war. Chosen for their long-range cruising capabilities and larger size, these cruising cutters were instructed to report to various east coast naval shipyards in New York, Boston, Virginia, and Charleston, South Carolina. After being rearmed and refitted for overseas service, they sailed for the British naval port of Gibraltar.