Category Archives: History

Working Harbor Committee Movie Night — MV Liemba

If you happen to be near New York City next Tuesday night, March 31st, be sure to stop by the Community Church to “take an epic journey down the longest lake in the world on Africa’s last surviving steamship…. the … Continue reading

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Lan Yu “Canoes”

We are very pleased to have a guest post from Joan Druett, who recently visited Taiwan. Joan is the multi-award winning author of more than 20 books, including her latest, Lady Castaways and Eleanor’s Odyssey. A priority for anyone from … Continue reading

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Commodore John Barry — the Other Father of the US Navy

This seems like a good day to celebrate birthdays.  So, happy birthday to Commodore John Barry, born on this day in 1745, in Tacumshane, County Wexford, Ireland.  He is considered by many to be the “father of the United States Navy.”  But … Continue reading

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Is Captain Mary Becker Greene Still Watching Out for the Delta Queen?

Some say that Captain Mary Becker Greene is still watching out for the riverboat Delta Queen. Captain “Ma” Greene served for almost sixty years as master and pilot of some of the finest steamboats on the inland rivers. She died in … Continue reading

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Did Saint Brendan the Navigator Sail the Atlantic?

On this St. Patrick’s Day, it seems worthwhile to recall the story of another Irish saint, Brendan the Navigator, who is said to have sailed off on a seven year voyage across the Atlantic, from Ireland to the “Isle of the … Continue reading

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Shinano — WWII’s Largest Aircraft Carrier and the USS Archerfish

We recently posted about the discovery of the wreck of the Japanese battleship Musashi, in the Sibuyan Sea off the Phillipines. The Musashi was the second of the Yamato class of battleships, which were considered by many to be the largest … Continue reading

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Musashi, Last Japanese WW II Battleship Found

After eight years of searching, a team lead by Microsoft founder and billionaire, Paul Allen, has discovered the wreck of the Japanese battleship Musashi, over 70 years after she was sunk in the Battle of Leyte Gulf. The wreck was … Continue reading

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Keep Off the Ice & Remembering Robert Fulton, Who Died 200 Years Ago Today

The Working Harbor Committee blog posted today, Keep Off the Ice! The post begins begins: The Hudson PD issued a warning for people to stay off the frozen river in Hudson, N.Y. after security cameras at the Hudson Boat Launch … Continue reading

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Hoard of Gold Coins Discovered in Caesarea Harbor

Six sport divers from a local club were scuba diving in the ancient Roman harbor of Caesarea in Israel, when one of them spotted a small tiny coin, which the diver thought looked like a toy coin from a game of some sort. On … Continue reading

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Blackbeard’s Medicine Chest & the Media

Sometimes the way the media reports a story about nautical history can be almost as interesting as the story itself. Near the end of last month, archaeologists examining artifacts discovered on the wreck of the pirate Blackbeard’s flag ship, the … Continue reading

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Apple, Microsoft and the Dutch East India Company

A recent article in Atlantic Monthly pointed out that Apple, the technology company, not the fruit, is now, in economic terms, the size of a small country. The world’s largest company with a market capitalization of $700 billion, it is … Continue reading

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Happy Valentine’s Day — A Great Day for Jarvis & Nelson, A Bad Day for Cook

Happy Valentine’s Day! The day is named for one of several martyrs named Valentine.  Valentine of Rome and Valentine of Terni both have feast days on February 14th. The day is also associated with an old Roman fertility festival Lupercalia.  February … Continue reading

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Eleanor’s Odyssey by Joan Druett — a Review

In 1799, Eleanor Reid was only 21 and newly married to Captain Hugh Reid, commander of the Honorable East India Company extra ship Friendship. It was her husband’s first command and he was under orders to carry a cargo of Irish convicts, the … Continue reading

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J-Boat Endeavour, an Amazing Survivor of Another Age

I recently saw an ad titled, “Endeavour Yacht for Sale,” from a high-end yacht broker. It caught my attention because I owned, sailed and lived aboard an Endeavour 32 sloop, a few decades ago. It seemed unlikely, however, that the … Continue reading

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Remembering the Forgotten MV Wilhelm Gustloff

Seventy years ago today, on January 30, 1945, the German passenger liner MV Wilhelm Gustloff sank in the Baltic after being struck by three torpedoes from a Soviet submarine. An estimated 9,400 died in the sinking, making it the largest loss of … Continue reading

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Peggy of Castletown, UK’s Oldest Yacht, to be Restored

Peggy, the oldest yacht in the UK and the oldest schooner in the world, is being restored. Sometime between 1786 and 1791, George Quayle of Castletown, on the Isle of Man, had a shallop built, which he named Peggy. A shallop is a … Continue reading

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Farewell to the Ferry Kalakala, Art Deco Icon Heads to the Scrap Yard

The ferry MV Kalaka is making its last voyage today, a short trip to the scrap yard. The 276′ ferry carried millions of cars in the Puget Sound between Seattle and Bremerton between 1935 and 1967 and was notable for her streamlined … Continue reading

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Salvatore Polisi 1935 – 2015

New York harbor has lost part of its living history with the passing of Sal Polisi, longtime volunteer and master carver at the South Street Seaport Museum. For three decades, Polisi carved everything from figureheads to wooden signs, using the time honored methods of … Continue reading

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Wind Power in New York Harbor — 1815 and Today

Recently, the NY Times and others have been reporting on the installation of the first commercial wind turbine in New York City. The Sims Municipal Recycling facility in Sunset Park on the Brooklyn waterfront has installed a 100 KW 160′ … Continue reading

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Harwich Mayflower Making Progress

As we posted in December, the Mayflower II, a replica of the ship which brought the Pilgrims across the Atlantic in 1620, is now undergoing a multi-year restoration in the Henry B. duPont Preservation Shipyard at Mystic Seaport in Connecticut. … Continue reading

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