The Clyde puffer is a type of small coal-fired and single-masted cargo ship built mainly on the Forth and Clyde canal and which provided a vital supply link around the west coast and Hebrides islands of Scotland. These stumpy little steamboats achieved an almost mythical status thanks largely to the short stories Neil Munro wrote about the Vital Spark and her captain Para Handy, which produced three television series.
When publication of the Vital Spark stories began in 1905, the ship’s wheel was still in the open, but later a wheelhouse was added aft of the funnel giving the puffers their distinctive image. Their flat bottom allowed them to beach and unload at low tide, essential to supply remote settlements without suitable piers. Typical cargoes could include coal and furniture, with farm produce and gravel being brought back.
The original puffer was the Thomas, an iron canal boat of 1856, less than 66 ft (20 m) long to fit in the Forth and Clyde Canal locks, powered by a simple steam engine without a condenser. Once steam had been used by the engine, it was simply exhausted up the funnel in a series of puffs as the piston stroked. As well as the visual of a string of steam puffs following the boat, the simple engines made a characteristic puffing sound. Clyde Puffers on wikipedia
The Ballast Trust is a charitable foundation that provides a rescue, sorting and cataloguing service for business archives with an emphasis on technical records such as shipbuilding, railway and engineering plans, drawings and photographs. website
“It Came from Beneath the Sea” is a 1955 American science fiction giant monster film written to showcase the stop motion animation effects of Ray Harryhausen.
A nuclear submarine on maneuvers in the Pacific Ocean comes into contact with a massive sonar return. The boat is disabled but manages to free itself and return to Pearl Harbor. Tissue from a huge sea creature is discovered jammed in the submarine’s dive planes. A team of marine biologists are called in and identify the tissue as being a small part of a gigantic octopus. Military authorities scoff, but are finally persuaded after receiving reports of missing swimmers and ships at sea being pulled under by a large animal.
Both scientists conclude the sea beast is from the Mindanao Deep, having been forced from its natural habitat by hydrogen bomb testing in the area, which has made the giant creature radioactive. and really pissed off.
Much of the filming was done at the San Francisco Naval Shipyard, including interiors aboard the submarine USS Cubera (SS-347). more
The opening ceremony for Feng Shaoxie’s Maritime Silk Road Oil Painting Exhibition took place at United Nations headquarters at 6 p.m. on June 21. The”Maritime Silk Road” large oil paintings were exhibited, including Reminiscence – Huangpu Ancient Port, The Last Voyage of the Götheborg in 1745 and 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, which vividly depict the various customs and cultures along the ancient trade route.
As one of the oldest routes for seaborne trade in the world, the Maritime Silk Road had a deep and lasting impact on both economic and cultural exchanges that took place between the East and the West, and was a major contributor to the transformation of human civilization through the centuries. Mr. Feng was born in 1964 in Puning, Guangdong Province. more
This picturesque island graveyard is the final resting place of dozens of notorious pirates.
For around 100 years, Ile Sainte-Marie was the off-season home of an estimated 1,000 pirates. A recently discovered map from 1733 refers to it simply as “the island of pirates.” Situated near the East Indies trade route, the beautiful tropical island’s numerous inlets and bays made it the perfect place to hide ships. Pirates from all over the world lived in wooden huts, adorned with flags that signified which captain’s “crew” they belonged to. It was a pirate’s paradise.
When one of them died, they were buried on a scenic, palm shaded hilltop cemetery overlooking the water. Today, 30 headstones remain, including a few sketched with a skull and cross bones. keep reading
Bootle-based Hugh Baird College and its partners have officially opened the new multi-million pound maritime training facility at the Port of Liverpool. The Academy has been built at the Port of Liverpool’s world famous docks; also the home port of Capt Johnnie Walker, hero of the Battle of the Atlantic during World War II.
Hopes are high that a state-of-the-art £2.5m maritime training academy will mark the start of a new era in Liverpool’s close and historic links with the sea. Port Academy Liverpool (PAL) will provide training for students aged 14 through to adults looking to follow a career in all areas of the maritime sector. The first students will start will arrive in early September. keep reading
The location of the academy at the Port of Liverpool is historic as it was the homeport for Capt Johnnie Walker, the Royal Navy officer famed for his exploits during the Second World War. The historic link was celebrated by presence of Johnnie Walker’s grandson Capt Patrick Walker, along with four Royal Navy veterans, one of whom is aged 92 and remembers the WW2 hero after joining the Navy in 1942. +see also:Look inside
“Let who will speak against Sailors; they are the Glory and Safeguard of the Land. And what would have become of Old England long ago but for them?“+
Captain Frederic John Walker (3 June 1896 – 9 July 1944) was a Royal Navy officer noted for his exploits during World War II. Walker was the most successful anti-submarine warfare commander during the Battle of the Atlantic and was known more popularly as Johnnie Walker (after the whisky).
Walker sank more U-boats during the Battle of the Atlantic than any other British or Allied commander and was instrumental in the Allied victory of the Battle of the Atlantic. Walker suffered a cerebral thrombosis on 7 July 1944 and died two days later at the Naval Hospital at Seaforth, Merseyside aged 48; his death was attributed to overwork and exhaustion. wikipedia
Condé Nast Traveler – Bye-bye to the boys’ club at sea: As of late, the cruise world is opening up its most coveted position—the captain’s seat—to more and more women. In particular? Regent Seven Seas, Windstar, and Celebrity are the latest major cruise lines to join ranks by putting female captains at the helm of mega-ships.
Kate McCue charted new territory over at Celebrity Cruises in September, when she earned the title of the industry’s very first American female captain; she now navigates the 2,158-passenger Celebrity Summit between Bayonne, NJ, and Bermuda and the Caribbean. The 38-year-old San Francisco native has a degree from the California Maritime Academy and 16 years of maritime experience under her belt, and says she’s been dreaming of this role for even longer still. keep reading
SEATTLE (AP) — Capt. Eric Haroldson calls the research ship he commands “the Buddy Hackett of oceanographic research.”
“It’s kind of boxy,” he said of the gray, 274-foot-long Navy-owned ship, the R/V Thomas G. Thompson. “It fits together kind of weird.” What the Thompson lacks in style, it makes up for in utility: It’s the workhorse for the University of Washington’s School of Oceanography, and has had a starring role in groundbreaking oceanographic discoveries in the Pacific Ocean. keep reading
Three Amigos – traditional costume of the fishing village of Volendam in The Netherlands
The seashore used to be a scary place, then it became a place of respite and vacation. What happened?
This summer, millions of Americans will flock to the beach, taking advantage of long days, warm weather and the end of classes. From Coney Island and Venice Beach to the shores of Lake Michigan and the Gulf Coast, bags will be packed, coolers dragged, sunscreen slathered, and sandcastles built. Similar scenes will be repeated around the world. In Rio de Janeiro, Sydney, Barcelona, and Beirut, children will be splashing in the waves while sunbathers doze on the sand. A day at the beach is a cultural ritual.
But it hasn’t always been this way. From antiquity up through the 18th century, the beach stirred fear and anxiety in the popular imagination. The coastal landscape was synonymous with dangerous wilderness; it was where shipwrecks and natural disasters occurred. keep reading
HMS Broke was a Faulknor-class destroyer leader of the Royal Navy, initially built for the Chilean Navy as the Almirante Lynch-class destroyer Almirante Goñi. She was purchased by the Admiralty in August 1914 shortly after her launching, renamed HMS Broke, and readied for action in World War I. Every member of her class were present at the Battle of Jutland on 31 May to 1 June 1916 where Broke, out of control after hits from German ships, collided with the Acasta-class destroyer HMS Sparrowhawk leading to the latter’s loss. more
Moored proudly on the waterfront of Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin the tug John Purves is the pride of the Door County Maritime Museum. Lovingly restored, she now serves as a floating macro-exhibit and shrine to tug sailors everywhere. Visitors to her decks enjoy a unique docent guided tour through essentially every space on this massive tug, magically transporting them back to the early 1960s and Purves’ glory days as one of the most famous wrecking tugs to sail the Great Lakes.
Profits from the sale of this book support the preservation and celebration of the maritime history and heritage of the Door Peninsula through the work of the Door County Maritime Museum. Please enjoy this remarkable story about my grandfather, his company, his friends, and the rugged ships that served them so well. – John Roen Asher CEO, Roen Salvage Co.
After spending more than 300 years on the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico, a 17th-century French ship that went by the name La Belle, or “The Beautiful,” has finally found a new resting place at a museum in Texas. keep reading
The River Dart Steamboat Co Ltd (RDSC) and its predecessors, the Dartmouth Steam Packet Company and the Dartmouth and Torbay Steam Packet Company, were the major ferry and excursion boat operators on the River Dart in South Devon for 120 years, until the company’s demise in 1976.
In its early years the service was a true ferry, connecting Dartmouth with the markets and main line station at Totnes, and carried mail until 1929. As the years went by, it became more of a tourist cruise service. The company was famous for its distinctive paddle steamers, which were a familiar sight on the river until the late 1960s. more
THE IRISH coast guard has today issued a nationwide warning for the East Coast as hundreds of thousands of British refugees risk their lives to cross the Irish sea in an attempt to flee the impoverished and unstable nation.
Dinghies overflowing with desperate migrants are so far half way through their journey, many with women and children aboard, wishing to make a new start on the Emerald Isle. keep reading
In his new book "Leadership Is Language, The Hidden Power of What You Say and What You Don't", former submarine commander Captain L David Marquet (USN Ret) dives deep into one of the most thoroughly investigated marine disasters, the sinking of the El Faro, and surfaces with new ideas on leadership and language.
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