Maritime Monday for June 11, 2012

Monkey Fist
Total Views: 54
June 10, 2012



Gun Wharf Gate HMS Vernon decorated for Queen Victoria’s diamond Jubilee 1897

HMS Vernon was a shore establishment or ‘stone frigate’ of the Royal Navy. Vernon was established on 26 April 1876 as the Royal Navy’s Torpedo Branch and operated until 1 April 1996, when the various elements comprising the establishment were split up and moved to different commands. second ship to be called HMS Vernon ended her career laid up in Chatham Dockyard as a floating coaling jetty. In 1872 she was moved to become a tender to HMS Excellent for torpedo and mining training. In 1874 she was joined by HMS Vesuvius, an iron screw torpedo vessel. Vesuvius was attached as an Experimental Tender for the conduct of torpedo trials, and remained in the role until 1923.

On 26 April 1876 Vernon was joined by the former steam frigate HMS Ariadne and the lighter Florence Nightingale. These were then commissioned as HMS Vernon, and became the home of the Royal Navy’s Torpedo Branch.

In January 1886 HMS Donegal replaced the original Vernon as a more spacious torpedo school ship. Donegal was renamed Vernon, the original Vernon was renamed Actaeon and took over as the practical workshop.

On 23 April 1895 the hulks were moved to Portchester Creek. Ariadne was replaced as an accommodation hulk by the old HMS Marlborough, which was renamed Vernon II and was connected by bridges to Actaeon and Vernon, jointly named Vernon I. In 1904 HMS Warrior joined the establishment as a floating workshop, power plant and wireless telegraphy school.

inset image: HMS Vernon Figurehead; Portsmouth


and again; “In celebration of the French Fleet August 1905”

History of HMS Vernon
– loads more info and photos –


The Gunwharf Quays is now a yuppiefied shopping center

image Pics Web Site

see also:


Two More Biplanes Leroy J.Prinz & Carl Fisher; Confessions of a Bookplate Junkie

see also: Biplanes and Trout Tickling Part OneMore Biplanes


Totally Unexpected: Massive Under-Ice Bloom on Discovery News

Don’t you just love it when nature dishes out something scientists have never seen before?

Take phytoplankton, for example. Satellite images tell us that these microscopic marine plants (which, by the way, produce half the oxygen we breath) absolutely love icy coastlines…

see also: Tsunami Debris: Boats, Bikes and Bones
and Tsunami Dock Washes Ashore: Gotta-See Videos


Arbeid med synkemine; National Archives of Norway — via kurhaus

Beskrivelse: Norsk konvoi til Murmansk høsten 1943. En av gastene i arbeid med en synkemine. Fotograf: Ukjent — Arkivreferanse: Riksarkivet, PA-1209 NTBs krigsarkiv Uf-118


A Shuttle For Houstonoriginal (1624 x 1080)

The Ross Sea, towing a barge with the shuttle mockup, on it’s way to deliver the shuttle to the Johnson Space Center. Photo by OneEighteen

see also: Slideshow and video – Space shuttle Enterprise is carried by barge underneath the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge on June 3, in New York City. Enterprise was on its way to the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum, where it will be on permanent display.


The Last Moorage on EnglishRussia

There were built 49 of them – river motorships of project 588. They appeared in the middle of the XX century, in the German Democratic Republic, in Wismar. Most of them are still used and give joy to those who like river trips. Half a century is not a venerable age for motorships. Especially of they are taken care of, painted, modernized… But some of them were not that lucky…


Visitors on board the battleship HMS Hannibal in 1902

Visits to ships of the royal Navy have always been popular. In this photograph from 1902 these ladies have brought their parasols to protect themselves from the sun as the naval band plays some tunes on the quarterdeck.

HMS Hannibal (1896)

HMS Hannibal was a Majestic class pre-dreadnought battleship and the sixth ship to bear the name HMS Hannibal. In 1906 she underwent a refit, which included a conversion from a coal burner to using oil. She was placed in reserve from 1907, only to be mobilised in July 1914 as a precautionary measure prior to the outbreak of World War I.

From August 1914 to February 1915 Hannibal was a guard ship at Scapa Flow. Later that year, her main armament was removed and she was converted to a troopship, serving in this capacity during the Dardanelles campaign. From November 1915 to the end of the war, she served as a depot ship based in Alexandria, Egypt. She was disposed of in 1920 and scrapped later that year.

more on wiki

Music for Airports Soothes the Savage Passenger

imageGoethe famously described architecture as “frozen music.” One shudders to think of a true physical manifestation of cacophonous airport noise: canned voices mumbling over an intercom, the incessant clicking of heels on tile floors, alarms, horns, the blaring of canned television news segments, the general hum of people and technology that exists in these strange liminal micro-cities of departure and arrival…

It is with this anathematic environment in mind that in 1978 musician Brian Eno created the seminal album Ambient 1: Music for Airports. Eno’s project began while waiting for a flight at an airport in Cologne, Germany, on a beautiful Sunday morning. “The light was beautiful, everything was beautiful,” Eno recalls, “except they were playing awful music. And I thought, there’s something completely wrong that people don’t think about the music that goes into situations like this. They spend hundreds of millions of pounds on the architecture, on everything. Except the music.”

keep reading on SmithsonianMag


PIRACY 7 Issues ~ Nov/1954-Nov/1955 on Golden Age Comic Book Stories

This Week’s Pirate: John Crabbe

Flemish pirate best known for his successful use of a ship-mounted catapult. Once won the favor of Robert the Bruce and acted as a Naval Officer for England during the Hundred Years’ War (after being captured by King Edward III.)

read the pdf


Alien Corn, WPA, Los Angeles 1938; anon artist.

Sidney Howard (1891-1939) was an incredibly prolific playwright and screenwriter, becoming the first person to win both the Pulitzer Prize (for his 1924 play They Knew What They Wanted) and the Academy Award (posthumously, for Gone With the Wind). –source

bio on wiki: Howard wrote the stage adaption of Humphrey Cobb’s novel Paths of Glory which played on Broadway in 1935. The play was a flop because of its harsh anti-war scenes that alienated the audience, as a WWI veteran Howard wanted to show the horrors of war.

Convinced that the novel should be filmed, Howard wrote, “It seems to me that our motion picture industry must feel something of a sacred obligation to make the picture.” In 1957 Stanley Kubrick did just that with his film Paths of Glory. Howard’s screenplay for Gone with the Wind echoed, perhaps, Paths of Glory, with an unflinching look at the horrors of war.

A lover of the quiet rural life, Sidney Howard died in Tyringham, Massachusetts while working on his 700-acre (2.8 km2) hobby farm. Howard was crushed to death in a garage by his two and one half ton tractor. He had turned the ignition switch on and was cranking the engine to start it when it lurched forward, pinning him against the wall of the garage. Apparently an employee had left the transmission in high gear.

Alien Corn is based on a short story by Somerset Maugham

Kenya to build Africa’s first underwater museum

Kenya is on the brink of building Africa’s first underwater museum, which will be dedicated to studying marine life and shipwrecks.

imageDesigns of the proposed museum, which is expected to be open in 2014, have already begun with the help of US architects and a budget for construction costs is being discussed at government level.

be one of the few countries in the world to have an underwater museum. The US and the United Kingdom have such facilities as well as China, which has the world’s largest underwater museum. Egypt is carrying out studies to also construct an underwater museum but it has not advanced its initiative like Kenya.

The museum will be located in the shores near the town of Malindi, a popular tourist destination. “Shipwrecks attract a lot of fish which feed on micro-organisms on the wood [of the ships] and they are also a habitat for the fish and several other aquatic species. We will partner with many organisations in the study of marine life,” said Bita.

see also: Galapágos menaced by tourist invasion on The Guardian


Jacob Bratland (Norway, 1859-1906) Boy with sailboat


The Disappearing Aral Lake and the Ship Graveyard of Moynaq


US Navy, Prison Ship Southery, Portsmouth Navy Yard (see full size)

USS Southery (IX-26): a steamer built in 1889 by R. Thompson Sons & Co. at Sunderland, England, was purchased by the United States Navy on 16 April 1898. She was converted to a collier at the Boston Navy Yard and commissioned there on 2 May 1898.

Southery steamed out of Boston on 6 June and, for the remainder of 1898 and into 1899, she cruised the Atlantic coast from Boston to as far south as Jamaica. On 18 February 1899, the converted collier was placed out of commission at the Norfolk Navy Yard and converted to a prison ship.

Southery was moved to Boston on 6 April 1902, where she resumed duty as a prison ship. In early July 1903, the prison ship was shifted to Portsmouth, New Hampshire. In February 1913, she became station ship at Portsmouth.

Her name was struck from the Naval Vessel Register on 1 September, and her hulk sold to Boston Iron and Metal Co. of Baltimore, Maryland on 1 December, 1933.



US Navy Ship Postcard, US Receiving Ship Reina Mercedes, Pre WWI (see full size)

Spanish cruiser Reina Mercedes: Reina Mercedes was captured by the United States and later salvaged and commissioned into the U.S. Navy. (wiki)

The Spanish-American War Centennial Website: Reina Mercedes


The sunken Reina Mercedes in the channel at Santiago de Cuba

Reina Mercedes, a 3042-ton Alfonso XII class cruiser, was launched at Cartagena, Spain, in September 1887. By 1898, she had become nearly inoperational and was stationed in Cuban waters. During the Spanish-American War, she acted as guardship at Santiago. Partially disarmed to provide guns for coast-defense batteries, she was scuttled to block the Santiago harbor entrance following the great naval battle of 3 July 1898. Raised by the U.S. Navy following the war, she became the USS Reina Mercedes. Never restored to operational condition, the ship was converted to a barracks ship. From 1912 until she was scrapped in 1957, she served as station ship at the U.S. Naval Academy.
Naval Historical Center


Kodak ads, 1940s; HOW TO BE A RETRONAUT


vintage postcard: Receiving Ship Wabash, Boston Navy Yard

USS Wabash (1855) – laid down on 16 May 1854 by the Philadelphia Navy Yard; steam screw frigate of the United States Navy that served during the American Civil War.  Post-war she continued to serve her country in European operations and eventually served as a barracks ship in Boston, Massachusetts. Sold 15 November in 1912.

Wabash captured the brigantine Sarah Starr off Charleston, South Carolina, on 3 August 1861, and recaptured the American schooner Mary Alice, taken earlier by CSS Dixie. By this date, she had also captured the brigantines Hannah, Balch, and Solferino, along with 22 Confederate prisoners from the four vessels.

Wabash departed Fort Monroe on 29 October 1861 to spearhead the Federal assault on Port Royal, South Carolina. The assembled invasion fleet was the largest yet organized by the Navy, containing 77 vessels and 16,000 Army troops. The combined force secured Port Royal Sound on 7 November 1861 after a furious four-hour battle. Wabash led the battle line in this major strategic Union victory.

Wabash departed the Boston Navy Yard on 17 November 1871 and served as the flagship of Rear Admiral James Alden, commanding the Mediterranean Squadron. She arrived at Cadiz, Spain, on 14 December 1871 and cruised throughout the Mediterranean until 30 November 1873 when she departed Gibraltar, bound for Key West, Florida.

decommissioned on 25 April 1874 at the Boston Navy Yard. In 1875, she was placed in ordinary and served as a housed-over receiving ship from 1876 to 1912. Sold to Boston Iron and Metal Company on 15 November 1912; burned to facilitate salvage of her metal parts.

The Steam Frigate USS Wabash on

Horizontal Steeple Engines of the U.S.S. Wabash; 2 views
By Merrick and Sons, ca. 1854– Pencil, ink, and colored wash on paper
National Archives and Records Administration, Records of the Bureau of Ships

USS Wabash as receiving ship, fully rigged although her sails have been removed


Crew and Officers at Aft Pivot Gun; USS Wabash (1856-1912)


USS Wabash (1856-1912)- Wash drawing in grey tones by Clary Ray, circa 1900, showing the ship under steam and sail. Navy Art Collection, Washington, DC. More on Naval Historical Center


left: (candy sticks) – Junior Service Sweet Cigarettes c1950’s middle: Hudden’s Cigarettes “Types of Smokers” (series of 25 issued in 1903) right: Ralph Rackstraw (HMS Pinafore)_Player’s Cigarettes

Gilbert and Sullivan (Player’s Cigarettes) cards set –


Found Photos:

Guernsey seafront in the 1960’s St. Peter Port sea front in the late 1960’s, Bucktrouts  (wine merchants since 1830) can be seen along with a Herm (smallest of the Channel Islands) boat, next to the crown pier.

see also: Maseline HarbourCommodore ClipperHerm ferry late 1960’s


found photo; July 1970


Large 1024 (1024 x 762) cartoon by Dru Marland


lifeboat — cartoon by Dru Marland
see also: all at sea set


Havelet engine control room; by Dru Marland

SS Alert in Creux Harbour Sark 1903

Launched June 19 1885 — Built for the dual role of tug and passenger vessel, she had two holds, the forward able to carry 38 tons, and the aft 12 tons. There was a saloon aft and a ladies cabin, and she was used throughout the Channel Islands but in so doing had a number of “incidents”. On June 6 1892 when off Corbiere, Jersey in fog, she hit the Jailers reef and just managed to make St.Brelades Bay for repairs to be made.

On August 28 1899 when on a round Guernsey trip, she went aground near Lihou Island, then on March 24 1904 she grounded off Herm and in April 1910 she struck rocks in Rocquaine Bay when out on pilots examination.

On March 24 1904 the vessel was sold to the Guernsey Steam Towing & Trading Company, on July 14 1910 she was registered as SERK to release the name for a new vessel.

She remained in service until the end of the 1913 season and then sold to Hadji Husni, renamed HAIRDOULAH, sailing from Guernsey on October 15 bound for Turkey, and was registered at Constanpl. The new owner did not get much use from the ship, as she was sunk on July 27 1915 by the British submarine E 14 in the seas of Marmora, south east of Rodosto.

–posted by GNSYPETE


Channel Island Shipping through the years Flickr Group


Portuguese man-of-war
Manuel d’actinologie ou de zoophytologie /. Paris ;F.G. Levrault, 1834
full size (1786 x 3200) –

see also: Birds of America, (Audubon) 6 now-extinct birds; Great Auk


Lighthouses in Puerto Rico (1900s) on Big Map Blog

I like this map a lot, and I like this visualization. I’d be interested to see any other lighthouse maps that anyone can come across.

So, seafarers: the size of the circle and the distance quoted (“18 miles”, etc.) is what? How far you can see light from during normal conditions?

see also: Ruger’s birdseye map of Chicago (1868)
and Plan for a Hypothetical Nicaraguan Canal (1870s)


vintage postcard: US Navy, Call to Breakfast, Aboard Cruiser Buffalo

USS Buffalo (1892) (later AD-8; 1916) – Auxiliary cruiser of the United States Navy, and later a destroyer tender. launched on 31 May 1893 by Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company, in Newport News, Virginia, as El Cid. completed in August 1893 and sold to Brazil and renamed Nichtheroy. Purchased by the Navy from the Brazilian Government on 11 July 1898, and renamed Buffalo. Commissioned in ordinary a week later, fitted out as an auxiliary cruiser at New York Navy Yard; then placed in full commission on 22 September 1898.

1917-18: Conversion was completed in June 1918, and after loading torpedo equipment at Newport, Rhode Island, she departed for Brest, France, via Bermuda. She then proceeded to Gibraltar, where she operated as station and repair ship to destroyers and sub-chasers. Sold, September 1927.



USS Buffalo at anchor in San Francisco Bay during the Portola Week Festival in Oct. 1913
more photos


“Teddy” the USS Buffalo mascot, circa 1908; 6823×1849 px panorama (cropped)


vintage postcard: US Navy Cruiser Topeka (see full size)

USS Topeka (PG-35) The ship was built in 1881 as the steamer Diogenes by the Howaldtswerke at Kiel, Germany. Acquired by the Navy from the Thames Iron Works, London, England, on 2 April 1898, renamed Topeka and placed in commission the same day. Sold for scrapping, 13 May 1930.

Topeka cleared Falmouth, England, on 19 April 1898 and arrived at Tompkinsville, New York, on 1 May 1898. The following day, she moved to the New York Navy Yard to begin a two-month overhaul during which she received her armament and generally prepared for duty on the Cuban blockade. The gunboat departed New York on 30 June 1898 and, after a five-day stop at Key West, Florida, joined the blockading forces off Havana on 11 July 1898.


S.S. Southland; original configuration (full size)

built for the Norfolk and Washington Steamboat Co. between 1908 and 1911, Southland is probably shown on this post card in her early years. The vessel transpored passengers and freight on the Chesapeake Bay and the Potomac River between Norfolk, Va., and Washington, D.C., with stops in Alexandria and Old Point Comfort.

Southland was one of several light-draft, inland-water, steamers acquired by the War Shipping Administration (WSA) in 1942 for transfer to the British Ministry of War Transport. She was returned to representatives of WSA in England the following year. After conversion to accommodate 544 passengers by Thorn Tanahill and Sons in Glasgow, Scotland, she was chartered by the United States Navy, on a bare boat basis, and commissioned on 22 May 1944.

Southland was assigned to the 12th Fleet, formerly the United States Naval Forces in Europe, until early 1945. Since there was doubt that she was capable of crossing the Atlantic safely, she was returned to WSA at Falmouth, England on 24 July 1945. She was decommissioned the same day and struck from the Navy list on 13 August 1945.


USS Southland (IX-168) after major modification
Photographed on 14 July 1944, possibly at Cherbourg, France.


New York, 1935-38


Former President Harry S. Truman, Bess Truman, and Mrs. Samuel Rosenman near the Azores Islands, 06/18/1958

On their way to Italy and France, former President Harry S. Truman, Bess Truman, and Mrs. Samuel Rosenman on the bridge of the ocean liner USS Independence taking a look at the volcano on the Azores Islands, Portugal. Left to right are: Former President Truman, Mrs. Samuel Rosenman, Bess Truman, the Captain, and an unidentified photographer.

see also: at Naples, ca. 06/1958


New cars lined up at dockside terminal, June 1973 full size (3000 x 2057)

The Pirate

Upon its initial release, The Pirate (1948) divided critics, alienated most audiences, lost money, and became a project that all involved — stars Judy Garland and Gene Kelly, director Vincente Minnelli, and composer Cole Porter — preferred to forget. Porter, in fact, decried the fantastical mistaken identity farce as “unspeakably wretched, the worst that money could buy.”

The fact that Garland missed 99 of the 135 days of shooting speaks to her deteriorating mental and physical state, and undoubtedly contributed to the film’s uneven, awkward pacing; she was reportedly smoking four packs of cigarettes a day, and hallucinating from her drug use — sometimes requiring the crew to literally carry her off the set in hysterics.

keep reading


Celebrating 100 years of Chatsworth Movies:
1950s Cliffhangers (Serials)


“Pirates of the High Seas” with Buster Crabbe (1950)

Two ex-Navy buddies travel to a tropical island to help search for a fugitive Nazi and a fortune in diamonds stolen by him during WWII, and encounter multiple dangers at the hand of a gang also seeking the treasure for the island’s corrupt governor.



On Shooting the Serials:

They were fun because there was never a dull moment during the six or seven weeks. Always plenty of action and many times there were dangerous and close calls. Like once on ‘Pirates of the High Seas’ with Buster Crabbe they threw five or six of us baddies overboard from the ship we were trying to capture.

We were supposed to swim toward shore, the camera would cut and a motorboat would come out and pick us up—only the guy couldn’t get it started and we had to swim for shore. The ocean was cold as ice! I’m not a long distance swimmer and never could have made it except for the help of Rusty Wescoatt and another stuntman, Solly.”

“Playing a pirate one other time and stripped to the waist, a guy in back of me tripped and fell, shooting off his gun with 12 gauge shot wadding going into my back. That hurts and can be poisonous, you know! That’s what made them interesting or different, and worthwhile. Hard work, long hours and action!”


original (1329 x 1329) – posted by x-ray delta one

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.

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

Back to Main