Maritime Monday for August 27th, 2012: Happy Birthday Panama Canal

Monkey Fist
Total Views: 41
August 26, 2012


Mermaid 1- 8×10 – Gouache on paper – bearhatstudio


Cigarette Cards: Torpedo Gunners MateSick Berth Attendant

see also: Captain 1805RN Officer During The Great War
Marine During the Reign of Queen AnneGunlayer 2nd Class



New Yawk, NY: art show on the lighthouse tender Lilac!

Ships of New York Harbor
oil paintings by Frank Hanavan and illustrations by Christina Sun

On view until 31 August
Mondays and Thursday,  4 to 7 PM — Saturdays and Sundays,  1 to 6 PM

Reception: Thursday, August 30, 6 to 10 PM.
Music by the Jug Addicts!

Lilac is berthed at Pier 25, Hudson River Park
at West Street and N. Moore Street

LILAC is a 1933 lighthouse tender that carried supplies and maintained buoys for the U.S. Lighthouse Service and the U.S. Coast Guard. More information about her here.

Dazzling Map Shows More Than 150 Years of Hurricanes

A new map done up in glowing colors reveals the swirling paths hurricanes and tropical storms have tread across our planet since 1851.

If it looks a little odd at first, it’s because this hurricane map offers a unique perspective of the Earth; Antarctica is smack in the middle, and the rest of the planet unfurls around it like the petals of a tulip. +


Left: A closeup of Robert McGinnis’ spectacular poster for THUNDERBALL

Right publicity poster by Robert McGinnis mixing two different scenes in THUNDERBALL

Bond and Domino underwater


Edison Marshall – Forlorn Island
Dell Books 1949



imageThe TSS PASTEUR; a great ocean liner that was officially never in service…

The “TSS Pasteur” was a special case in ocean liner history. The great liner was never officially in service. It arrived just in time for World War II and saw little passenger service.  The Pasteur was one of the least-documented great liners of its era, yet its interiors were truly magnificent.

In 15 February 1938, she was christened after the scientist Louis Pasteur on the names Pasteur. A fire in March 1939 delayed her completion. So, she had to be launched in August 1939, one month before the World War II broke out.

more on Cruising the Past

inset image


Blub, blub, blub…Demise of the Pasteur in the Indian Ocean, 1980
from Ocean Liners and Classic Cruise Ships on

RMS Titanic menu sells for $70,000 at auction – The first class menu is dated April 10, 1912


Frank G. Slaughter: Sangaree 1956 — Wade Miller: The Tiger’s Wife 1957

Crew Boat Chronicles:
Getting to the Meat of the Matter


Boat cuisine is what you make of it. Sometimes it’s sandwiches; sometimes it’s a slow-roasted whole chicken stuffed with onions and peppers that just falls apart on the fork.

Sometimes it’s microwaved burritos or a quick bowl of cereal.

On this boat, we get $375 every week to purchase food, drinks and some of our cleaning supplies. Some companies offer more, some less. One company I worked for gave us $250 (also for four people) every week, which meant a lot of white and blue Great Value packaging.

This week I did the grocery shopping. As I was mulling the meat choices, the butcher walked out and said: “Baby, what you looking for?”

“Steaks for the boat,” I replied.

“You want steaks, don’t look out here, just tell me what you want and I’ll cut them for you.”

Well, damn…

keep reading


The Kiss of the Oceans 1915 vintage postcard


Aero view of the Panama Canal, looking southwest, The world’s greatest engineering feat to be realized 395 years after first proposed / Copyright, 1912, by Poole Bros., Chicago. on Big Map Blog


A photo of the S.S. Ancon, (formerly SS Shawmut) the ship that made the first official transit of the Panama Canal. Dated the day of the event, 15 August, 1914. Note the array of signal flags decking her out for the occasion. This photo was found at St. Lawrence Market in Toronto. more:

Happy Birthday, Panama Canal (1912)

This month marks the 98th anniversary of the opening of the Panama Canal.

keep reading on Big Map Blog

see also: Three maps illustrating the French plan for a proposed Panama Canal between Nueva Gorgona and Panama City; 1895 (Map from the Canal Zone Library-Museum)


In terms of loss of life, the Panama Canal was the most expensive civil engineering project in history, and by the time the first ship – the SS Ancon – completed the passage on 15 August 1914, the bill to the US tax payer was getting on for $10 bn in today’s money.

Classic engineering – Panama Canal


Spillway in Gatun Dam Illustration by W.B. Van Ingen for “The Building of the Panama Canal” by George W. Goethals. Scribner’s Magazine, March 1915. Original (1799 x 1177)


Construction of locks on the Panama Canal, 1913
Full resolution ‎(3,453 × 733 pixels) panorama

imageWork on the canal, which began in 1881, was completed in 1914, making it no longer necessary for ships to sail the lengthy Cape Horn route around the southernmost tip of South America.

One of the largest and most difficult engineering projects ever undertaken, the Panama Canal shortcut made it possible for ships to travel between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans in half the time previously required. The shorter, faster, safer route to the U.S. West Coast and to nations in and along the Pacific Ocean allowed those places to become more integrated with the world economy.

inset image from Panama Canal Redux: An Expansion Project Beyond Compare


SS Kroonland is seen on 2 February 1915 at the Culebra Cut while transiting the Panama Canal. Kroonland was the largest passenger ship at the time to make the crossing.


February, 1923: Ships pass through the Pedro Miguel Lock, less than a decade after the canal’s completion. CREDIT: U.S. Naval Historical Center.
View full size image

Although new construction is built to withstand seismic shrugs, some researchers wonder if the older locks can withstand a beating from a major earthquake.



Panorama of Pacific entrance of the canal. Left: Pacific and Puente de las Americas (Bridge of Pan American Highway); far right: Miraflores locks.
Full resolution ‎(10,557 × 1,248 pixels)

The Panama Canal was finished two years ahead of time and formally opened in August 1914, coinciding with the outbreak of the Great War. Today, a ship sailing from New York to San Francisco need only sail 6,000 miles, rather than the 16,000 miles required before. The American Society of Civil Engineers has named the canal one of the Seven Wonders of the World. +

Panama Canal
on wikipedia

Panama Canal live cam


A Good Natured Map of Alaska (1934)



Alaska Steamship Co. on Maritime Timetable Images


Map of the Second Byrd Antarctic Expedition (1934)


August, 1949, Sir Donald Campbell’s ‘Blue Bird K4’, Coniston Water, Lancashire
Original (1400 x 1051) –


Lancashire Constabulary Police Constable Raymond Windle on Patrol Protecting Sir Donald Campbell’s World Record Breaking Speedboat

Blue Bird K4 was a powerboat commissioned in 1939 by Sir Malcolm Campbell, to rival the Americans’ efforts in the fight for the world water speed record.

It was built by Vosper & Company with the same Rolls-Royce R engine as the Blue Bird K3.

K4 set the world water-speed record on 19 August 1939 on Coniston Water, Cumbria, England.

more on wikipedia


Clyde shipyards – Sept 1962

see also: SS Claymore at GairlochA Greenock tug
Pilot BoatScottish fishing boats


Cigarette Card – Mary Escapes From Lochleven, 1568

Mitchell’s Cigarettes “Scotlands Story” (series of 50 issued in 1929)
#27 Mary escapes from Lochleven, 1568 ~ after being imprisoned there and forced to abdicate, Mary attempted to escape twice. The second time she was successful and headed to Hamilton Palace where an army of 6,000 supporters waited for her. A few days later they were routed by the army of the Regent and Mary fled to England

see also: The Young Pretender, 1746“Bonny Prince Charlie” 1745Norsemen Invade Scotland


Cigarette Card – Steamship, City of Berlin

Ogden’s Cigarettes “The Blue Riband of the Atlantic” (series of 50 issued in 1929). #19 The “City of Berlin” ~ Inman liner built at Greenock in 1874. The first Atlantic liner to be lit by electricity.

Steamship PersiaCity of ParisCity of Brussels


S.S. Normandie postcard via (more)


SS NORMANDIE and RMS QUEEN MARY during World War 2 on Cruising the Past
1359 × 844

The war found Normandie in New York. Looming hostilities in Europe had compelled Normandie to seek haven in New York harbor, where the US government interned her on 3 September 1939, two days after Germany invaded Poland. Soon the Queen Mary, later refitted as a troop ship, docked nearby. Then the RMS Queen Elizabeth joined the Queen Mary. For two weeks the three largest liners in the world floated side by side. Normandie remained in French hands, with French crewmembers on board, led by Captain Herve Lehude, into the spring of 1941.

On 20 December 1941, the Auxiliary Vessels Board officially recorded President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s approval of the Normandie’s transfer to the US Navy. Plans called for the vessel to be turned into a troopship (“convoy unit loaded transport”). The Navy renamed her USS Lafayette, in honor both of Marquis de la Fayette the French general who fought on the Colonies’ behalf in the American Revolution and the alliance with France that made American independence possible.

Initial proposals included turning the vessel into an aircraft carrier, but this was dropped in favor of immediate troop transport.


profile as aircraft carrier; SS Normandie’s proposed life
– on Shipbucket Projects » Never-Built Designs


SS Normandie as a US troopship or aircraft carrier!
via The-SS-Normandie-as-an-aircraftcarrier-288232502


USS Lafayette (AP-53) (oops)
see also:
“T-6 The Latest Giant Of The Sea”, December 1932, Popular Mechanics early article on beginning of construction of what became the SS Normandie – andSmoke Over Manhattan: The Fate of the SS Normandie


The German aircraft carrier Graf Zeppelin after launching in December 1938
Full resolution ‎(1,867 × 1,295 pixels)

She was the only aircraft carrier launched by Germany during World War II and represented part of the Kriegsmarine’s attempt to create a well-balanced oceangoing fleet, capable of projecting German naval power far beyond the narrow confines of the Baltic and North Seas. Construction was ordered on 16 November 1935 and her keel was laid down on 28 December 1936 by Deutsche Werke at Kiel. Named in honor of Graf (Count) Ferdinand von Zeppelin, the ship was launched on 8 December 1938 but was not completed and was never operational. Sunk as a target ship on 16 August 1947.

On 12 July 2006 RV St. Barbara, a ship belonging to the Polish oil company Petrobaltic found a 265 m long wreck close to the port of Łeba (a BBC report says 55 km north of Władysławowo) which they thought was most likely Graf Zeppelin.

On 26 July 2006 the crew of the Polish Navy’s survey ship ORP Arctowski commenced inspection of the wreckage to confirm its identity, and the following day the Polish Navy confirmed that the wreckage was indeed that of Graf Zeppelin. She rests at more than 87 meters (264 ft) below the surface.



Golden Gate Park Model Yacht Club

From the earliest days of Golden Gate Park, tensions arose between model boat lovers and full-sized boat sailors competing for water space on Stow Lake. The inevitable nautical battle was averted in 1903 with the construction of the shallow, artificial Spreckels Lake, filled by diverting fresh water from the wells at the Dutch Windmill and dedicated specifically to model yachting… +

seymour: San Francisco Model Yacht Club – 2006 Year End Boat Float


model boat club @ Spreckels lake
– photo by sftrajan


vintage postcard:
Capt. Roald Amundsen’s Arctic Exploring Sloop San Francisco, CA


Ocean Beach From Cliff House, San Francisco
see also: Ocean Boulevard from Sutro Heights

more: old postcards of Golden Gate Park in San Francisco


Lifeboat Hotel

F.A.S.T (Free Architecture Surf Terrain) is an alternative surfing community that has a hostel, an all-summer beach party and a number of ‘survival capsules’. These originally came from an off-shore oil rig and are now available to stay in. First created as an art project, the Capsules have toured their one-of-a-kind experience all over Europe, with owner, Denis Oudendijk bringing permanent locations to Amsterdam, Belgium and France.



Illustration by Nicola Meiring

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. (twitter)

Submit story ideas, news links, photographs, or items of interest to her at [email protected].  She can also out-belch any man.

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