Sea History 099 - Winter 2001-2002

Page 38

SHIP NOTES, SEAPORT & MUSEUM NEWS 234-9 153; web site: ... A fleet of 208 racing yachts co nverged on the Isle of Wight in England for the America's Cup Jubilee celebrating the l 50th a nni ve rsa ry of the inau gur al America's C up Race. Among the vessels,

Vintage yachts crossing (Photo: Jo n Nash! Louis Vuitton Media Center) which included an impressive roster of previous America's C up co ntenders and winners, were the venerable J-class yachts Endeavour, Shamrock V and Velsheda. For complete information on attendees and race results, check out the web site ar . ... The East lndiaman Friendship became the official flagship of Essex Coun ty, Massach usetts, at a commissioning ceremony on 14 July, rhe highlight of three days of maritime festivities. T he fo llowing month, however, rhe mainmas t was split by lighming and will have ro be replaced before sails can be bent on next spring .... Plimoth Plantation is making a new vessel the old-fashioned way. U nder the direction of shipwright Peter Arenstam, and using l 7thcentury tools like rhe broad axe and adze, artisans are building a shallop co mmissioned by the Pilgrim John Howland Society. (PP, PO Box 1620, Plymouth MA 02362; 508 746- 1622, web sire: www .; PJHS ,Jabez H owland House, 33 Sandwich Ave, Plymouth MA 02360 ; 508 746-9590) . .. The World Ship Trust has recognized rhe fo llowing vessels wirh Maritime Heritage Awards : the Liberty sh ips j ohn W Brown and Jeremiah O'Brien, the H anse Cog, rhe Cap San Diego and HMS Trincomalee. (WST, 202 Lambeth Road, London SE l 7JW, UK; (20) 7385 4267; e-mail: ws r@callneruk. com; web sire: ... In October, rhe New Bedford Whaling Museum accepted the gift of the Kendall Whaling Museum collection, an action which brings rogerher rwo complementary museum col( Continued on page 39)


The 6th Maritime Heritage Conference The 6th Mari rime H eritage Conference, held 25-28 October 2001 in Wilmington, North Carolina, hosted by the Bartleship North Carolina, amacred more than 300 parricipanrs from across the country, as well as a few from abroad. Organizers, sponsors and hosts came from a wide range of fields and included rhe National Park Service, the Historic Naval Ships Association, the American Lighthouse Coordi nating Committee, theAmerican Sail T raining Association, the Council of American Mari rime Museums, the National Maritime Alliance, rhe National Maritime Historical Society, and many others. The enthusiasm of the speakers and attendees and the quali ty of the presentations was a resrament ro the vitality, breadth, and growth of the maritime heritage field. Each of the three plenary sessions provided valuable info rmation as well as topics of interest ro everyone working in maritime history today. T he session on the work being done to recover, preserve and analyze the remains of the Confederate submarine Hunley shows us what can be done when a variety of organizations with different missions come together to develop and fund a project that has captured public interest. Peter Stanford, president emeritus of NMHS, gave us an overview of the history of maritime preservation in this country, and Tim Runyan, directo r of the National Maritime Alliance, outlined rhe steps that have been raken to secure a source of funding for the National Maritime Heritage Act of 1994.

T he rest of the weekend was packed with presentations by leaders in myriad areas of maritime preservation and research, ranging from local North Carolina history, including the excavation of the ship that might be Blackbeard's Queen Anne'.r Revenge, to the highly technical sessions typical of the Ship Preservation Conference, incorporated into this event. Lighthouse sessions abo unded, as did presentations on specific ship saves, educational and outreach programs, and museum management and development. In addition to the simple sharingofknowledge across the field, we hope that some more general discoveries were made during this excellent conference. First, that there are underlying maritime themes unique to America's past and present that fo rm the basis for all our individual projects and local histories, tharwemust understand and promo re to our audiences. Second, that we must work together to build constituencies for the maritime heritage. T hird, as has been shown in such recent successful projects as the excavations of H unley and Monitor, working across disciplines with government, corporate and grassroots organizations can work wo nders. Speakers are submitting their presentations and illusrrarions to be put on a web site that will be accessible ar www.barcleshipnc .com/6 rhmaritime. We will ler yo u know when this link comes online. Plans are currently underway for rhe 7th Maritime H eritage Conference, in 2003, and we will keep yo u informed as decisions are made. - JA

Shooting Torpedoes at the 6th Maritime Heritage Conference At the 6th Maritime Heritage Conference, I attended a wide variety of sess ions on topics thar I wo uld have expected ro have covered ar such an event, bur rhe lasr session of the event was unique-"Automating Fire Control and Navigation Aboard USS Pampanito." As a one-time submariner, I rhoughr I'd give rhis presentation a rry. Terry Lindall, a volunteer, and Richard Pekelny of rhe San Francisco National Maritime Park have resto red to working order the Torpedo Dara Computer (TDC) and gyrocompass of rhe sub marine Pampanito (SS 383). T he TDC is an analog computer th at calculated the gyro angle fo r a straight running World War II torpedo so rhar it would hir rhe rarger. Ir rook more rhan three years to resto re the TDC, equivalent to working fu ll time for about rwo months. To complete their wo rk rhey had to find technicians and engineers who plied rheir trade fifty or more years ago, technical manuals rhe Navy no longer kept, and companies rhar fulfilled governm ent co ntracts in WWII. T he Torpedo Dara Computer is now operating ar wartime specifications and rhe gyrocompass is providing usable output for navigation. All rhis work was put inro perspective when in thei r summary Terry and Richard pointed out that, just as Karl Kortlilm's wo rk saved marlinspike seamanship for future generations, at Pampanito they have documented what needed to be done for the TDC and gyro ro preserve the skills of rhe WWII era fo r the future. I learned many lessons at this conference. Perhaps t!he m ost important was that maritime history comes in many dimensions. -BRADFORD D. SMITH, NMHS Trustee