Maritime Monday for January 9th, 2017: Whistle-Belly Vengeance

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January 8, 2017

Drinking in Colonial America on NPR. More below.


BBC:  The Conversation; Alone at Sea

Steering a small boat across oceans by yourself – why do it? Kim Chakanetsa meets two women who have been alone at sea for months – and they chat about encountering sharks, avoiding pirates and having to call their mums. 

Listen on BBC World Service

Drawing on rich historical sources and long-forgotten images, professional mariner Dr. Bolster traces the story to the period after the Civil War. Blacks actively contributed to the Atlantic maritime culture shared by all seamen in the age of sail (while still being seen as) outsiders within it.

Black Jacks: African American Sailors in the 19th Century at Brooklyn Borough Hall

knopfOld Salt Blog: Mark Knopfler — So Far from the Clyde

Not many lead singers from an 80’s rock and roll band could write a compelling song about ship scrapping, but then Mark Knopfler is not just any singer/songwriter. Knopfler was born in Glasgow, Scotland on the River Clyde, which was once a major shipbuilding center. In the early 1900s, a fifth of all ships in the world were built on the banks of the River Clyde in Glasgow.

Lyrics and video on Old Salt

A security guard walking down US Highway 101 where there are towering stacks of hollow iron floats from which the iron antisubmarine nets were suspended to protect the US ports during the last war. LIFE Magazine photograph by Hank Walker; 1953.

In the Grand Scheme of Things

Monterey Bay Aquarium video: Watch a baby sea otter being born! (Spoiler alert: the miracle of life is graphic!)

via Facebook: It’s not every day you get to watch a sea otter pup come into the world! But when a pregnant wild otter took shelter in our Great Tide Pool Saturday, we had a unique opportunity to see it happen.  More

Cadborosaurus, nicknamed Caddy, is an alleged sea serpent reported to be living on the Pacific Coast of North America. Its name is derived from Cadboro Bay in Greater Victoria, British Columbia, and the Greek root word “saurus” meaning lizard or reptile.

What was the Naden Harbor Carcass?

In the summer of 1937, men flensing a sperm whale at the Naden Harbour whaling station located in the Queen Charlotte Islands made a remarkable discovery. As described in Dr. Paul LeBlond and Dr. Edward Bousfield’s 1995 Cadborosaurus: Survivor from the Deep, the remains of an unidentifiable animal were removed from the whale’s stomach and laid out on a five foot table to be photographed.

The carcass possessed a discernable head said to “bear resemblance to that of a large dog with features of a horse and the turn down nose of a camel”, a smooth (although one witness described it as being covered by a “fur-like material”) elongate body stretching around twelve feet in length, signs of a dorsal crest or vertebral column, short foreflippers, and a fluke which was “spade-shaped” or resembled “a single blade of gill bone as found in whales’ jaws”. The individuals at the whaling station claimed that the body was not that of any marine fauna previously pulled from the stomach of a sperm whale…  keep reading

Cadborosaurus on wikipedia

The statue of Neptune in Bologna’s Piazza del Nettuno that was deemed “sexually explicit” by Facebook (photo by Cassinam/Wikimedia Commons) – Facebook blocked a photo of a 16th-century statue of Neptune that stands in Bologna’s Piazza del Nettuno for being “sexually explicit” and revealing the human anatomy “to an excessive degree.”  Read article on The Guardian

Coffins were stacked in the street outside Snow and Co., Undertakers, in the aftermath of the Halifax Explosion

How would you like to dine in the same room where some of the Titanic’s victims were embalmed?

There is a seafood place near Halifax Harbour that was once home to the city’s oldest mortuary. It’s now the Five Fishermen Restaurant, but was once Snow & Company Undertakers, who tended to the bodies of not one, but two major tragedies of the early 20th century.  Keep reading

Video: Haunted Restaurant: Titanic Disaster Ghost and Halifax Explosion Spirits

Top 15 Quotes by Apsley Cherry-Garrard

This Catastrophic Polar Journey Resulted in One of the Best Adventure Books Ever Written

worstApsley Cherry-Garrard’s memoir of a miserable Antarctic expedition, The Worst Journey in the World, was ranked number one on National Geographic’s list of the 100 greatest adventure books of all time. “As War and Peace is to novels, so is The Worst Journey in the World  to the literature of polar travel: the one to beat,” wrote the magazine.

Born in 1886, the explorer was only in his twenties when he volunteered to go to the Antarctic with explorer Robert Falcon Scott and his men. Their mission: to be first to make it to the South Pole.

The expedition did not go as planned—at all.

Keep reading on Smithsonian


Outdoor Revival: The Lost Art of Whistling Loudly with Your Fingers – If Stranded, it Could Save You

Calm waters – Klarenbeek, Middelburg, Zeeland (photo by Wouter de Bruijn)
video and more on

Gullnado on the Cuyahoga River

looking aft on flight deck; USS Hancock CV19, approx 1946 – Museum of Found Photographs

Hancock (one of 24 Essex-class aircraft carriers built during World War II) was commissioned in April 1944, and served in several campaigns in the Pacific Theater of Operations, earning four battle stars. Decommissioned shortly after the end of the war, she was modernized and recommissioned in the early 1950s as an attack carrier (CVA).

In her second career she operated exclusively in the Pacific, playing a prominent role in the Vietnam War, for which she earned a Navy Unit Commendation. She was the first US Navy carrier to have steam catapults installed. Hancock appeared briefly in the movie “The Deer Hunter”, depicting her role in Operation Frequent Wind.

Decommissioned in early 1976, she was sold for scrap later that year.  more on wikipedia

Some of the gold coins found amidst the wreckage of the ship – most of which are in mint condition. (Dieter Noli)

Miners in Namibia discovered a ship carrying $9 million worth of Gold

The ship was first identified and discovered by the geologists working for the mining company De Beers; the geologists discovered the ship off the coast of Namibia near Oranjemund in April 2008. The Bom Jesus left Lisbon sometime in 1533 under the supervision of Sir Francisco de Noronha, but vanished without any trace on its way to India… its precious cargo lost.  More

Popular Science Video: How to make a sextant from random junk

Navigate like it’s ye olden tymes

Colonial Americans drank from breakfast till bedtime (Old Sturbridge Village)

A Survival Guide To Colonial Cocktails

bookcoverColonial Spirits: A Toast to Our Drunken History  tells the story of a time when water was full of deadly bacteria, making alcohol the safest liquid to consume. Author and spirits entrepreneur Steven Grasse says, “this book is about survival.”

“Before democracy, there were spirits, and from spirits we created taverns,” writes Grasse in the book, “it was in those taverns that we laid out the blueprint for a new kind of country. … In other words, we got drunk and invented America.”

(In it’s pages you will) find stories about Ass’s Milk, Cock Ale, and Lambswool (only one of which does not actually involve farm animals) A tongue-in-cheek history of each concoction in question and modernized versions that sound, actually, quite palatable.  Keep Reading

5 Colonial-Era Drinks You Should Know About (

porto antona; vintage advert – posted by agence eureka

Vinho do Porto (also known as Porto, or Port Wine) is a fortified wine produced exclusively in the Douro Valley in the northern provinces of Portugal. It is typically a sweet red, most often served as a dessert wine.

The wine produced is fortified by the addition of a neutral grape spirit known as aguardente in order to stop fermentation, (leaving residual sugar in the wine) and boost the alcohol content. The wine is then stored and aged, often in barrels stored in a Lodge before being bottled. The wine received its name, “port”, in the later half of the 17th century from the seaport city of Porto at the mouth of the Douro River, where much of the product was brought to market or for export to other countries in Europe. Traditionally, the wine was taken downriver in flat-bottom boats called ‘barcos rabelos’ to be processed and stored.  more

traditional barcos rabelos; photo by Matthieu Cadiou on visitporto

The British had it made to screw the French

Way back in the 1600s, when England went to war with France, the British boycotted French wines. They then started getting it from Portugal, and in order to prevent the wine from spoiling during transport, they added Brandy to it. 

4 Reasons To Drink Port Wine

photo by Derk Remmers

The German Warship UJ-2216 was actually a luxury yacht, built in Leith (UK) for Henry de Rotschild, named Eros. She was taken over to the Marine Nationale Francaise during 1939, when she was at Le Havre, and renamed to serve in Meditarranean as AD 196. At the end of 1942 she was captured by the Kriegsmarine, and transformed in anti submarine corvette with the name of Uboot-Jäger UJ 2216. More

Historic Vessel Vega – This was one of those days when it would have been best to stay at home with a warm mug of something and a good book. Enough to have you searching the want adds for a potato farm to buy. Hope you enjoy…. I know it gave me the shivers. (from Facebook via The Working Waterfront; Rockland, Maine)
Glass Negative; Gray’s Casino on White Lake, Bethel, NY; 1909 – Museum of Found Photographs

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