Category Archives: Ships

USS Houston Wreck, Popular Dive Site for Years, Finally Confirmed by US Navy

This week, US Navy divers confirmed the location of the wreck of the USS Houston in Banten Bay off the Java Sea.   The heavy cruiser was nicknamed the “The Galloping Ghost of the Java Coast,” and sank along with the Australian light … Continue reading

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From Lakes Freighters to Lake Houses — Benson Ford & John W. Boardman

Great Lakes freighters are known for their longevity. Compared to their salt water sisters, lakes boats, as they are called, rust slowly and tend to be around for a long time. Here are two lakes freighters, Benson Ford and John W. … Continue reading

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Italy Bans Largest Cruise Ships from Venice

We posted in June 2012 about protests over the docking of large cruise ships in Venice, Italy.  The arrival of the MSC Davina at 139,400 GT, almost 1,100 feet long, about 125 feet wide and carries up to 5,329 passengers and crew, … Continue reading

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The Last of the Caballito de Totora, the Little Reed Horses of Peru

For the last thirty five hundred years, Peruvian fisherman have paddled boats called caballito de totora, the little reed horses, out through the surf to cast their nets offshore.  At the end of the day, they ride the waves back to shore … Continue reading

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Concordia Yawls — An Appreciation

The recent sinking of the Concordia yawl, Winnie of Bourne, brought to mind just how remarkable this class of boats indeed is.  Winnie of Bourne was raised from the bottom near the entrance of Nantucket harbor just two days after she sank, … Continue reading

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The Super Moon on the Schooner Pioneer in a Frenetic New York Harbor

Last night, my wife and I took to a two hour sail on the schooner Pioneer to watch the “super moon” rise over New York harbor.   The “super moon,” is in scientific terms referred to as a “perigee moon,” a … Continue reading

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Capt. Schettino Lectures on Emergency Procedures? Really?

Captain Francesco Schettino recently gave a two-hour lecture on emergency procedures to criminal science masters candidates at Rome’s Sapienza University. Yes, this is the same Capt. Schettino who ripped open the side of the cruise ship Costa Concordia on a reef, then … Continue reading

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Two Ships from the River Clyde — Glennlee & Falls of Clyde

In the press, they have been described as “sister ships” which is not literally true. Falls of Clyde, an iron-hulled four masted ship built in 1878 in Port Glasgow, is older and larger than Glennlee, a three masted steel-hulled barque, also built in … Continue reading

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Draken Harald Hårfagre, a Broken Mast and Why They Didn’t Row to Port

In early July, the 114-foot long  Draken Harald Hårfagre, the largest Viking replica ever built, was sailing across the North Sea,  from Haugesund in Norway.  Three days out, in high seas, the ship’s mast failed and went over the side.  No one … Continue reading

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Update: The 18th Century World Trade Center Ship May Have Been Built Near Philadelhia

Four years ago, workers excavating at the new World Trade Center site in lower Manhattan uncovered the remains of an 18th century wooden merchant ship. The ship was found 20 feet below street level,  is roughly 30 feet in length and was probably buried intentionally as land … Continue reading

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Schooner Ernestina Will Sail Again — Private Donors Contribute $2.8 Million

Great news, for a change.  The historic schooner Ernestina, ex-Effie M. Morrissey  will sail again. Private donors, Bob Hildreth and Gerry Lenfest, have committed to contribute $2.8 million to the restoration of the historic schooner.   The new donations more than match the State … Continue reading

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The Demise of Ocean Classroom Foundation

Ocean Classroom Foundation, a non-profit organization based in Maine, has run educational programs for students aboard schooners for almost 20 years.  Sadly, it will be closing down at the end of the summer; it’s three schooners will be put up for sale … Continue reading

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HMS London Shipwreck — Glimpsing a 300 Year Old Disaster

In 1665, HMS London, a 64-gun second-rate ship of the line of the English Royal Navy, exploded in the Thames Estuary off Southend.  Recent dives on the wreck have recovered a wide range of artifacts and remains.  As reported by the … Continue reading

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Schooner Virginia Cuts Season Short, Will Be Put Up For Sale

The bad news just keeps coming.  The Virginia Maritime Heritage Foundation has announced that the schooner Virginia will be suspending the remainder of her 2014 season and will be returned to Hampton Roads in August, where she will be put up … Continue reading

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Ocean Classroom’s Spirit of Massachusetts, Harvey Gamage, & Westward to be Auctioned

The rumors had been dire for some time and now they appear to be confirmed.  Marlinspike Magazine is reporting that  the Ocean Classroom Foundation‘s three vessels, the schooners Spirit of Massachusetts, Harvey Gamage, & Westward will be auctioned.  As reported by Marlinspike: … Continue reading

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New Dory for Tall Ship Gazela

Tall ship Gazela Primeiro, the official tall ship of Philadelphia, carried 30 dories when it fished the Grand Banks of the Atlantic Ocean. A dory is a small wooden boat used by a solo fisherman who tended a long line … Continue reading

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Update: Sewol Ferry Disaster — Ferry Owner Yoo Byung-eun Found Dead

Last April, we posted about the capsizing and sinking of the South Korean ro/ro ferry Sewol with the loss of over 300, dead and missing.  Yoo Byung-eun, the effective owner and manager of Chonghaejin Marine Company, which operated the ferry, had been the … Continue reading

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PortSide’s “Heavy Metal” Fundraising Sale!

PortSide New York, the organization behind the historic tanker Mary A. Whalen,  is having an amazing marine hardware fundraising sale.  From their press release: If you think a full-sized bollard makes the perfect doorstop, or that a collection of shackles … Continue reading

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LaSalle’s Freeze-Dried Shipwreck La Belle on the Move

Two years ago we posted about how a team of scientists at the Texas A&M University Center for Maritime Archaeology and Conservation were using freeze-drying to preserve large sections of French explorer’s Robert LaSalle’s flagship, La Belle, which sank in Matagorda Bay in … Continue reading

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Crow’s Nests : Part 2 — Floki, Ravens and Fighting Tops

The crows nest, as a shelter for the lookout on whaling ships sailing the icy waters of the Arctic, was by all indications, invented by Captain William Scoresby around 1807.  (See yesterday’s post:  Crow’s Nests : Part 1 — Melville & … Continue reading

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