Category Archives: History

Wreck of “Chile’s Titanic,” SS Itata, Located

The wreck of the Chilean steamship, SS Itata, has been located in 650 feet of water off the port of Coquimbo, in Elqui Province, in northern Chile. The ship sank in a storm on August 28, 1922 with an estimated loss of … Continue reading

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Repost: On Armistice Day, Remembering the German High Seas Fleet Mutiny of 1918

In the US, today is Veteran’s Day, when we honor those who have served in the military.  It coincides with Armistice Day, the anniversary of the signing of the armistice which ended World War I, on the 11th hour of the … Continue reading

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The Unsolved Mystery of the Sinking of the SS Edmund Fitzgerald

SS Edmund Fitzgerald, an American Great Lakes ore carrier, sank in Lake Superior in a storm on November 10, 1975, 42 years ago today.  The crew of 29 were lost when the freighter sank loaded with 26,000 tons of taconite, iron ore pellets, in 530 … Continue reading

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HMS Warrior — Steam Powered Frigate of 1860

HMS Warrior is a fascinating ship. It may be heresy to say so, but when I visited Portsmouth, I spent more time on HMS Warrior than I did on Nelson’s Victory. Warrior is a 40-gun steam-powered armored frigate built for the Royal Navy in 1859–61. … Continue reading

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Earliest Astrolabe Recovered from Wreck of the Esmeralda

A year ago last March, marine archeologists determined that the wreck of a ship found off the coast of Oman was the Esmerelda, one of the ships in a fleet led by Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama in 1502. The wreck … Continue reading

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The Coffee Table and the Nemi Ships — Remembering Caligula’s Great Pleasure Barges

Part of one of Roman Emperor Caligula‘s ceremonial Nemi ships has been recovered from an unexpected location. The New York Times reports that a four-by-four piece of mosaic flooring from one of the ships has been “sitting in … the Park … Continue reading

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Stepping Stones Light & the Devil’s Stepping Stones

My wife and I were moving our boat last weekend from her summer mooring in Oyster Bay to winter layup in Cheesequake Creek in Raritan Bay and passed Stepping Stones Light as we rushed to catch a favorable current through Hell Gate. Even … Continue reading

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Will the Tallship Providence Sail to Alexandria?

I had kind of lost track of the replica Revolutionary War sloop Providence. In January 2015, she was blown off her jackstands by blizzard winds while on the hard in Newport, RI, incurring significant damage to her hull and rigging. … Continue reading

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Fridtjof Nansen, Exploring the Arctic and Saving Refugees

Today’s Google Doodle commemorates the 156th birthday of Fridtjof Nansen — arctic explorer, scientist, diplomat, humanitarian and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize. Nansen seems particularly relevant in these times as the polar ice cap continues to melt and as refugee … Continue reading

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TBT Repost: Wanderer — the Slave Ship Flying a New York Yacht Club Burgee

For Throw-Back Thursday (TBT) here is a repost of an unlikely bit of history which we posted three years ago.   The schooner yacht Wanderer was built in 1857 for Colonel John D. Johnson, a New Orleans sugar baron. At just over … Continue reading

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Danish Lighthouse Tender Gerda III & the Rescue of Danish Jews

Among the fleet of ships and boats that make up the fleet at the Mystic Seaport Museum, the Danish lighthouse tender Gerda III, built in 1926, is a ruggedly attractive double-ender. Nevertheless, she could easily be overlooked. That would be a … Continue reading

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Wreck of German WWI Submarine Found Off Belgium

The almost intact wreck of a German submarine that sank during World War I has been located in the North Sea off Belgium, in 98 feet of water. The type UB-II submarine is said to be in good condition, with … Continue reading

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Repost on 9/11: BOATLIFT, An Untold Tale of 9/11 Resilience

I watch this short documentary on the Great Manhattan Boat Lift of 9/11/01 at least once a year. In the face of natural and unnatural disasters, it is good to be reminded that when things are at their worst mariners will … Continue reading

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The Yachts of Alfred Mylne

Remarkably, Scotland’s Mylne Yacht Design was founded by Alfred Mylne I in 1896 and has been in continuous operation for more than 120 years. Alfred Mylne designed over 400 yachts in his career. Here is a short video of classic … Continue reading

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Time Short to Save Battleship USS Texas

For several years now, we have followed the progressive decline of the battleship USS Texas, commissioned in 1914. She is the only remaining World War I-era dreadnought battleship and is one of only seven remaining ships and the only remaining capital ship … Continue reading

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Dredging Portsmouth Harbor — Cannon, Anchors, Bombs and a Skull

When dredging a harbor with as long and rich a history as UK’s Portsmouth, there is literally no telling what you may find.  The harbor is now being dredged to deepen and widen a four-mile channel to allow the the navy’s … Continue reading

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Christeen — Oldest Oyster Sloop in the US

Last weekend, we sailed by living history in Oyster Bay. As we were heading toward the gas dock, a beautiful gaff rigged sloop sailed by. It was Christeen, the oldest oyster sloop in the United States.  Built in 1883 in Glenwood Landing, … Continue reading

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Captain Charles Fryatt: Executed for Ramming a U-Boat

One hundred and one years ago today, on July 27th, 1916, Captain Charles Fryatt was executed by the Imperial German Navy for attempting to ram the German U-boat, U33, with the 1902-built passenger ferry, SS Brussels, owned by the Great Eastern Railway. … Continue reading

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Movie Review — Nolan’s “Dunkirk,” Immersive Tour de Force, Incongruous Muddle, or Both?

Originally posted on gCaptain. Reposted with permission. Christopher Nolan’s movie, Dunkirk, opened Friday to rave reviews. The New York Times calls it “a tour de force …both sweeping and intimate.”  The Guardian calls it “utterly immersive” and predicts that the … Continue reading

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Happy 4th of July – A Toast to Madeira, the Wine of the Declaration of Independence and the Liberty Riots

A post from five years ago, which is still fitting for the day. Happy 4th of July!  Those of us in the United States celebrate the anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4th 1776. Immediately after declaring independence from Great Britain, the representatives in … Continue reading

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