Maritime Monday for March 11, 2013: While You Are Away

Monkey Fist
Total Views: 10
March 10, 2013


Gentlemen prefer blondes…
but blondes don’t like cripples

image“The Yanks are ‘lend-leasing’ your women. Their pockets full of cash and no work to do, the boys from overseas are having the time of their lives in Merry Old England. And what young woman, single or married, could resist such “handsome brute from the wide open spaces” to have dinner with, a cocktail at some nightclub, and afterwards…. Anyway, so numerous have become the scandals that all England is talking about them now. Most of you are convinced that the war will be over in four months. Too bad if it should hit you in the last minute…“

This leaflet is actually rather clever. It mentions “Lend-lease,” a program where the United States sent weapons and materiel to Great Britain to be paid for after the war.

It talks about pockets full of money, which would remind the British of their saying about the Yanks, “overpaid. oversexed, and over here.”

from Weird World War II:

Swing over here and read a fantastic study on how sex was used in propaganda by most of the belligerents in WWII.  Herbert A. Friedman brings us a great insight on how numerous nation’s PsyOps were trying to sway the common enemy grunt in the trenches with outrageous stereotypes and serious depictions of what could be happening at the homefront.

Warning! These historical wartime images are sexually explicit


Parrots in captivity: London: George Bell and Sons, 1884-1887


Circa 1905 “C. & O. terminal piers, Newport News, Virginia”
The Kanawha in port. 8×10 inch glass negative
on Shorpy


Imperial Navy; 1893
“Columbian Naval Review. Ship’s company, Russian Navy”
8×10 inch dry plate glass negative on Shorpy

The True-Life Horror that Inspired Moby-Dick
on Smithsonian

imageIn July of 1852, a 32-year-old novelist named Herman Melville had high hopes for his new novel, Moby-Dick; or, The Whale, despite the book’s mixed reviews and tepid sales.

That month, he took a steamer to Nantucket for his first visit to the Massachusetts island, home port of his novel’s mythic protagonist, Captain Ahab, and his ship, the Pequod. Like a tourist, Melville met local dignitaries, dined out and took in the sights of the village he had previously only imagined.

And on his last day on Nantucket he met the broken-down 60-year-old man who had captained the Essex, the ship that had been attacked and sunk by a sperm whale in an 1820 incident that had inspired Melville’s novel. Captain George Pollard Jr. was just 29 years old when the Essex went down, and he survived and returned to Nantucket to captain a second whaling ship, Two Brothers. When that ship wrecked on a coral reef two years later, the captain was marked as unlucky at sea—a “Jonah”—and no owner would trust a ship to him again. Pollard lived out his remaining years on land, as the village night watchman… +

see also:The Essex on Murder Ballad Monday;
Reflections on the tougher side of old, weird America (and the British Isles)


Birdseye view of Paducah, Kentucky (1889)


J.J. Stoner’s birdseye view of Cedar Key, Florida in 1884


promotional map for the Pulse of New York, 1891
on BigMapBlog
see also: Birdseye view of South Bronx, NYC (1897)


snow on the Mary Whalen; Red Hook Container Terminal, Brooklyn, NY
Portside NY


Hugo Pratt and Corto Maltese
on 100 Years of Illustration and Design

Corto Maltese, a cult favorite in one of the best European graphic novels, is a veritable legend in twentieth century literature. He’s a traveler – a sailor who combines Mediterranean looks with Anglo-Saxon culture. Corto, meaning “quick” in Spanish, was created in 1967 by Hugo Pratt, a native of Venice.  He is a modern Ulysses who takes us traveling to some of the most fascinating places in the world…

see also: Hugo Pratt, More


Up Helly Aa: The Viking Fire Festival

imageEvery year, thousands of Scots gather for the Up Helly Aa fire festival in Lerwick on the Scottish Shetland Islands to pay homage to the country’s Viking heritage. The day long celebration consist of costumed parties and culminates in a torchlight parade and the burning of a Viking long boat.

At least 5,000 spectators come to watch more than 1,000 torch carrying “Vikings”, in silver plates and helmets, with heavy axes and shields, march the galley around the town. *see also

Read more on Amusing Planet »
In pictures: Up Helly Aa on BBC


at the docks! UK WWII
posted by x-ray delta one

robertodevido says: “He looks a bit different today, in his hardhat and reflective vest, 60 pounds overweight, pack of cigarettes in his pocket, and plotting his next labor action”


1958 … down with the ship

The Fenriswolf says: “Mayday! Mayday! This is the captain of the Pimpern… Pumperkin… Pineralin… oh Hell, hold on, let me go look again…”

see also:
1964 … World Aquanaut Security Patrol
and sharks can’t water-ski


The Dutch appeared in the Indian waters around Goa in the 17th century.  Although the colony was never conquered by the Dutch, it became the last remaining city under Portuguese control on the west coast of India.


Bird’s eye view of Tayouan [Taiwan] and Fort Zeelandia
Atlas Blaeu-Van der Hem

imageOne of the finest collections of 17th century cartographical prints and drawings in existence. Joan Blaeu’s original ‘Atlas Maior’ (Great Atlas) from the 1660s was substantially expanded into something of a personal world geo-encyclopaedia in the following decade by the Amsterdam lawyer, Laurens van der Hem, while continuing a visual style established by Blaeu.

The gargantuan ~50 volume series — housed today in the Austrian National Library in Vienna — includes more than 2400 maps, charts, sketches and birds-eye-views of towns, buildings and harbours, seascapes and landscapes, with the occasional portrait of significant historical figures.

on BibliOdyssey

see also: To cut the Nails of the Toes in the Water


Launch of FV Silver Lining (BA-102) at Fairlie; 1950
Scottish Maritime Museum

Launch of BA-102 FV Silver Lining at FairlieFV Silver Lining just after launch
FV Silver Fern and BA-102 FV Silver Lining
Carradale based Silver Lining crossing Campbeltown Loch


The Art Daily reports that these gorgeous medals are up for auction.

Even more interesting are the quoted extracts from letters written by Admiral Nelson and the original owner of the medals, ship’s surgeon Sir George Magrath.

George Magrath was born in County Tyrone in 1775 and he began his naval career on 2nd January 1794 as Surgeon’s 3rd Mate to H.M.S. Theseus. He served close on three years on Theseus and spent time in the West Indies, where he contracted Yellow Fever, which led to the loss of vision in his left eye.

In spite of this handicap, he was promoted to Surgeon and after four months recuperation, he joined H.M.S. Adamant.

After some years aboard Adamant and other vessels, he was appointed Flag Medical Officer for H.M.S. Victory, joining on the 31st July 1803 to serve with Lord Nelson “… by whom I had the special honour of being personally selected… from the commencement of his Command”.

Sadly, Margrath’s sense of triumph was short lived. In 1804 there was an outbreak of yellow fever in Gibraltar, killing almost 6,000 people. Nelson left Margrath in charge of the Naval Hospital to try and limit the spread of the deadly disease – and sailed off to his date with destiny, at Trafalgar.

Four medals awarded to Horatio Nelson’s personal surgeon, Sir George Magrath, will be offered at Bonhams next sale of Coins and Medals on March 27th in Knightsbridge.


St. Helena made an almost perfect prison for Napoleon: isolated, surrounded by thousands of square miles of sea ruled over by the Royal Navy, nearly devoid of landing places, and ringed with cliffs

The Secret Plot to Rescue Napoleon by Submarine

Emilio Ocampo, who gives the best account of this collection of half-baked plots, writes that “Napoleon’s political ambition was not subdued by his captivity. His determined followers never abandoned hopes of setting him free.”

imageNor did the Bonapartists lack money; Napoleon’s brother, Joseph, who was at one time the King of Spain, had escaped to the United States with a fortune estimated at 20 million francs.

The emperor’s popularity in the United States was such that–Ocampo says–the British squadron taking him into exile headed several hundred miles in the wrong direction to evade an American privateer, the True Blooded Yankee, which sailed under the flag of the revolutionary government of Buenos Aires and was determined to effect his rescue.

This escape was to be effected in an incredible way–down a sheer cliff, using a bosun’s chair, to a pair of primitive submarines waiting off shore…

keep reading


Man’s Life, September 1958

see also: Amazing Stories Quarterly, Spring 1930 on Pulp of the Day


They that go down to the sea in ships


Down to the Sea in Ships (1922) – Lobby Card

Starring Clara Bow (in her film debut). Directed by Elmer Clifton / Silent
Story of the lives of the people in a small Quaker community
and the adventures of a whaling ship. +
filmed on location in New Bedford, Massachusetts, USA

plot summary and more on wikipedia


Charles W. Morgan at Colonel Green’s Estate “Round Hill” in Dartmouth
(see full size) on


 Charles W. Morgan (built in 1841) was one of the
whaling ships used in the film. (image)

imageThe climactic whaling sequence appears to be completely genuine – with the star in the thick of the action. If there is any trick photography here it is well ahead of its time, because nothing looks phony at all. You really feel you are there on that little boat being pulled along by a giant sperm whale. How the shots were achieved I cannot imagine – the story of the making of this film must be fascinating.

The entire film, both on sea and land, is magnificently photographed, with great use of light and shadow, and very advanced camera movement. Elmer Clifton directs with a sure hand, and the result is a hugely entertaining and often spectacular epic. –IMDb


Clara Bow and James Turfler


left: Coming attraction slide for Down to the Sea in Ships (1922)
rt: Clara Bow in her first screen appearance, Elmer’s Clifton’s whaling adventure Down to the Sea in Ships (1922) +


Photo Gallery


Films of Henry Hathaway: Down to the Sea in Ships (article)

The film was re-made by 20th Century Fox in 1949. The 1949 version was directed by Henry Hathaway, starring Richard Widmark, Lionel Barrymore and Dean Stockwell.

Down to the Sea in Ships is in fact one of the finest movies ever to come out of the Hollywood studio system, and almost nobody has ever heard of it. I know I run the risk of overselling the product here, but I simply don’t understand why Down to the Sea in Ships isn’t one of the best-loved movies of all time.

When the talk turns to the great seafaring stories of the screen — Treasure Island, Mutiny on the Bounty, Captains Courageous, Moby Dick et al. — it’s a mystery to me why Down to the Sea in Ships never comes up. If there are such things as flawless movies, and there surely are, Henry Hathaway’s Down to the Sea in Ships is one of them.

Fox chief Darryl Zanuck first set out to produce Down to the Sea in Ships in 1939 — if not this picture precisely, at least one with this title and setting. Things got as far as sending a second unit crew into the waters of the Gulf of California to shoot background footage. But when World War II made it impossible to shoot on the open sea, or even in California’s harbors, the picture went on a back burner. +


design sketch for Down to the Sea in Ships, 1949


“… Other than the fact that they both deal with whaling ships out of New Bedford, Mass., and they both take their title from Psalm 107:23, ‘They that go down to the sea in ships, that do business in great waters’. These aren’t two versions of the same story, they’re two different movies with the same title…” +


The movie does not skimp on action and high adventure. There are scenes of whale chases and boats lost at sea, suspenseful and beautifully shot and edited, with excellent special effects.

Capping it all is a climactic sequence in which the Pride of New Bedford runs aground on an iceberg in the fog near the horn of South America, with the crew desperately struggling to free themselves and repair the damage before the sea pounds their ship to splinters against the unforgiving ice.

Not to mince words, it’s an absolutely brilliant action/suspense set piece. Amazingly enough, it was shot entirely in a soundstage tank on the Fox lot, but it’s spectacularly convincing and harrowing for all that. +


original press still. Richard Widmark; Dean Stockwell and Cecil Kellaway

Child actor Dean Stockwell practically steals the film with an Oscar-worthy performance as the orphan boy who learns about life, love, loyalty and friendship the hard way aboard a 19th century whaling ship

see also

Down to the Sea in Ships (1949) on Turner Classic Movies

An appetite for salt horse; Life Aboard a Whaling Vessel
on The New Bedford Whaling Museum website


Image gallery – “Down to the Sea in Ships” (1949)
on filmaffinity

Whaling Voyage

video: “A Whaling Voyage”
Narrated excerpt from 1922 silent movie “Down to the Sea in Ships”
Run time approx. 23 minutes. Produced by the Education Development Center with support from National Endowment of the Humanities and New Bedford Whaling Museum


They that go down to the sea in ships,
that do business in great waters,
They mount up to the heavens, they go down again to the depths
their soul is melted because of trouble. They reel to and fro,
and stagger like a drunken man, and are at their wit’s end.

Then they cry unto the Lord in their trouble, and he bringeth them out of their distresses. He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still. Then are they glad because they be quiet; so he bringeth them unto their desired haven.


 Down to the Sea in Ships (album)
Burl Ives and the Ralph Hunter Singers
released in 1956

from Bob’s Beats; First LPs, flamenco dancers and sea shanties

The two Burl Ives records we had were Junior Choice and Down to the Sea in Ships. This collection of sea shanties has been responsible for the course most of my work has taken in recent years. I came across a paperback from 1956, Burl Ives Sea Songs of Sailing, Whaling, and Fishing, and started singing some of them to my children at bedtime. Then came the desire to illustrate a book of them, something I still haven’t done, but talking over the idea led to the Dutch picture book Het Zeemans-ABC (A Sailor’s ABC) and my current sea monster project for Nobrow Press.

Project Gutenberg’s Thrilling Stories Of The Ocean
by Marmaduke Park

From Authentic Accounts Of Modern Voyagers And Travellers;
Designed For The Entertainment And Instruction Of Young People


artist: Walter Baumhofer
Neues systematisches Conchylien-Cabinet
An ordered new systematic Conchylien Cabinet described by Friedrich Heinrich Wilhelm Martini, and under whose supervision were drawn from nature and illuminated with vibrant colors. Nürnberg: Bey Gabriel Nikolaus Raspe, 1769-1829
– click through for link to view full set on The Ernst Mayr Library

Adventures of the Blackgang on tumblr
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