Category Archives: Ships

Remembering Captain William A. Martin — Black Whaling Ship Captain From Martha’s Vineyard

As Black History Month winds to a close it seems worthwhile to recall Captain William A. Martin, the best remembered black whaling ship captain from Martha’s Vineyard. He is often referred to as the only black whaling captain from the island. … Continue reading

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Was Homo Erectus the First Sailor? Did Ancient Sailors Tell Sea Stories?

The timeline for when humans first took to the seas keeps getting moved back.  A few years ago, stone tools were found on the island of Crete which were dated to 130,000 years ago. Likewise, stone implements on the island of Flores … Continue reading

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‘Round the World Rum on the Picton Castle

When the barque Picton Castle embarks on its seventh circumnavigation this April, it will have a special cargo of four barrels of rum from Lunenburg’s Ironworks Distillery stored in the hold. If all goes well when the ship returns to Lunenburg in … Continue reading

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Wild Brawl on Carnival Legend Interrupts 10-Day South Pacific Cruise

Joseph Conrad once wrote about a conversation with an old sailor who had just signed off a ship. The sailor said something to the effect that “the ship was alright. The problem was the people on it.” The comment seems to … Continue reading

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Abandoned Yacht Sea Nymph Sighted by Volvo Ocean Racer

In October of last year, we posted about the rescue of two sailors and their dogs from the yacht, Sea Nymph. The two women were picked up by the dock landing ship USS Ashland roughly 900 miles southeast of Japan. … Continue reading

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Cruise Missiles on Icebreakers and Destroyers without Ammo

I sometimes wonder if the world is going a bit mad. Take, for example, the case of icebreakers with cruise missiles and destroyers with guns but no ammunition.  Despite the increased strategic importance of Arctic, the US has only one … Continue reading

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Sailing Oyster Sloop Priscilla at the Long Island Maritime Museum

Last July, we posted about Christeen, the oldest oyster sloop in the US, built in 1883, which is still sailing on Oyster Bay, NY. Oyster Bay is on the North shore of Long Island. Not far away on the South … Continue reading

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The Bones of Black Sam Bellamy — Captain of the Whydah?

The Whydah Pirate Museum announced this week, that last year human bones were found near the wreck of the pirate ship Whydah  on Cape Cod, Massachusetts.  The bones were located in an area close to where a pistol, which possibly belonged to … Continue reading

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Pride of Baltimore II Funding Shortfall May Threaten Sailing Season

In 2016, we posted about a public-private partnership between the State of Maryland and the replica Baltimore clipper, Pride of Baltimore II. It appears likely that the partnership may not be renewed, leaving a $500,000 shortfall in funding which may … Continue reading

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Red Sails — Thames Sailing Barge Documentary

Red Sails is a documentary by Michael Maloney about the remarkable Thames sailing barges, which continued to ply their trade well into the 20th century before being replaced by diesel trucks. The documentary interviews bargemen about their lives aboard the … Continue reading

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Cleaning Up Harbors and Seas — From the Driftmaster to Drones and Beyond

As the problem of trash and plastic in our waters gets worse, new (and a few older technologies) are being used to respond. They range from small and functional, like the Seabin, a sort of high tech floating bucket designed … Continue reading

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Paul Cuffee, African-American Captain, Shipbuilder & Shipowner

The Maritime Administration identifies Captain Hugh Mulzac as The First African-American Shipmaster. Mulzac was the captain of the Liberty ship Booker T. Washington in 1942. Without intending any disrespect to the memory of Captain Mulzac, he was not the first African American shipmaster, … Continue reading

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South Street Seaport Schooner Lettie G Howard Heading for Lake Erie

The South Street Seaport Museum‘s historic Georges Banks fishing schooner Lettie G. Howard will be spending the next two summers in Lake Erie at the Erie Maritime Museum in a collaboration with the Flagship Niagara League. The schooner will be partnering with … Continue reading

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A Sideways Launch — Shipbuilding in Faversham, Kent

A documentary about a shipyard in Faversham, Kent where over 1200 vessels were built and launched between 1916 and 1969. The narrowness of Faversham Creek was no barrier to the launching of such large ship. Vessels were simply launched sideways. The … Continue reading

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Guest Post by Robin Denny: The Five-Masted Full-Rigged Ship Preussen

We recently posted about the five-masted full-rigged cruise ship Royal Clipper, a modern sailing ship designed as an homage to the great five-masted windjammer Preussen. We are very pleased to have a guest post about the mighty windjammer by Robin Denny:  With the Peking now … Continue reading

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Clotilda & Cudjo Lewis — the Last Slave Ship & the Last Survivor

On Tuesday, a reporter in Alabama announced that he believed that he had found the burned wreckage of the schooner Clotilda, the last vessel to carry slaves to the United States. The wreckage was exposed following a winter “bomb cyclone” … Continue reading

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Fifty Years Ago Today — North Korea Seizes USS Pueblo

Fifty years ago today, on January 23, 1968, North Korea seized the U.S. Navy intelligence ship USS Pueblo while operating in international waters. One sailor was killed and 82 were taken prisoner. The Pueblo was commanded by Lloyd “Pete” Bucher. He and his crew … Continue reading

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Collision in Volvo Ocean Race Kills Chinese Fisherman, Nine Others Rescued

Around 30 NM from Hong Kong, the Volvo Ocean racer Vestas 11th Hour collided with a Chinese fishing vessel on Friday night around 1:20 a.m. local time, which resulted in the death of a Chinese fisherman. The Vestas 11th Hour … Continue reading

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Shipbuilding in Sturgeon Bay, Door County, Wisconsin

The Great Lakes are rightly referred to the United State’s “fourth coast.” Here is a fascinating short video about shipbuilding in Sturgeon Bay,  Wisconsin, off Lake Michigan. Historic Door County – Shipbuilding

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What Did Pirates Read? Blackbeard, Captain Cooke, and Woodes Rogers

A lump of paper wadding found in a cannon from the pirate Blackbeard‘s ship Queen Anne’s Revenge has been identified as containing scraps of paper from a book by Captain Edward Cooke written in 1712.  Researchers were able to identify … Continue reading

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