NATIONAL MARITIME HISTORICAL SOCIETY
THE ART, LITERATURE, ADVENTURE, LORE & LEARNING OF THE SEA
Celebrating the Life and Art of Os Brett U-Boat Attack on the Diamond Shoals Lightship Sailing Around the World...in 2018 Carrying WWI Troops “Over There” Learning the Ropes
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10 National Maritime Historical Society Annual Awards Dinners, by Burchenal Green Get the full report on the NMHS annual awards gala at the New York Yacht Club in October, and learn all about the 2018 National Maritime Awards Dinner in our nation’s capital.
The National Maritime Alliance—Advocating for Maritime Heritage, by Dr. Timothy J. Runyan Chair of the National Maritime Alliance, Dr. Runyan shares the organization’s origins, successes and failures, and the path ahead, advocating for our nation’s maritime heritage.
nhhc, us navy
14 The 11th Maritime Heritage Conference, by Burchenal Green The National Maritime Alliance is joining forces with the National Maritime Historical Society, Tall Ships America, and the Steamship Historical Society of America to host the triennial Maritime Heritage Conference, 14–17 February 2018.
18 “We Built Her to Bring Them Over There”—The Cruiser and Transport Force in the Great War, by Salvatore R. Mercogliano, PhD German ocean liners interned in American ports proved a windfall for the US military, which used the passenger liners to carry American doughboys to France to fight in WWI. 24 Learning the Ropes, by Dr. Louis Arthur Norton Sailors use rope for just about every aspect of their work. Take a look at how this ubiquitous material is made and manipulated into both functional and beautiful works of art. 30 A Celebration of the Life and Art of Oswald Brett, Seafarer and Marine Painter, by Stan Stefaniak, with John Stobart Os Brett spent his life musing about, sailing on, and painting ships of the sea. He left a legacy in art that brings to life the maritime world from the Age of Sail to the ships of WWII.
46 Around the World Under Square Sail—Setting Out, The Skipper’s View by Captain Daniel D. Moreland Wonder what it was like to set out on a deep-sea voyage under sail? Captain Dan Moreland shares his thoughts as he prepares to take his barque, Picton Castle, on its 7th circumnavigation, and there might be a berth for you.
38 Diamond Shoals No. 71: The Only US Lightship Sunk by Enemy Action, by C. Douglas Kroll, PhD In the summer of 1918, the lightship stationed out on Diamond Shoals broadcast a warning over the radio about a U-boat in the vicinity, only to become the Germans’ next target.
Cover: Daniel McAllister and Manga Reva, circa 1915. oil on canvas, 24 x 36 inches, by Oswald Brett. (See pages 30–34 for more on the artist.)
DEPARTMENTS 50 Ship Notes, Seaport & Museum News 57 Calendar 58 Maritime History on the Internet 59 Reviews 64 Patrons
Sea History and the National Maritime Historical Society Sea History e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; NMHS e-mail: email@example.com; Web site: www.seahistory.org. Ph: 914 737-7878; 800 221-NMHS MEMBERSHIP is invited. Afterguard $10,000; Benefactor $5,000; Plankowner $2,500; Sponsor $1,000; Donor $500; Patron $250; Friend $100; Contributor $75; Family $50; Regular $35.
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4 Deck Log 7 Letters 10 NMHS: a Cause in Motion 36 Marine Art News 42 Sea History for Kids
46 SEA HISTORY (issn 0146-9312) is published quarterly by the National Maritime Historical Society, 5 John Walsh Blvd., POB 68, Peekskill NY 10566 USA. Periodicals postage paid at Peekskill NY 10566 and add’l mailing offices. COPYRIGHT © 2017 by the National Maritime Historical Society. Tel: 914 737-7878. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Sea History, PO Box 68, Peekskill NY 10566.
NATIONAL MARITIME HISTORICAL SOCIETY
Deck Log Navigating the World of Marine Art with J. Russell Jinishian
NATIONAL MARITIME HISTORICAL SOCIETY
“Water is the essence of all life, the universal basis of human development, and an unending source of inspiration to artists everywhere.”
(For more on the ASMA conference, see Marine Art News on page 36.) 4
OFFICERS & TRUSTEES: Chairman, Ronald L. Oswald; Vice Chairman, Richardo R. Lopes; President, Burchenal Green; Vice Presidents: Deirdre O’Regan, Wendy Paggiotta, Nancy Schnaars; Treasurer, Howard Slotnick; Secretary, Jean Wort; Trustees: Charles B. Anderson; Walter R. Brown; William S. Dudley; David S. Fowler; William Jackson Green; Karen Helmerson; Richard M. Larrabee; Guy E. C. Maitland; Capt. Brian McAllister; CAPT Sally Chin McElwreath, USN (Ret.); Michael W. Morrow; Richard Patrick O’Leary; Erik K. Olstein; ADM Robert J. Papp Jr., USCG (Ret.); Timothy J. Runyan; Richard Scarano; Philip J. Shapiro; Capt. Cesare Sorio; William H. White; Trustees-elect: Christopher J. Culver, CAPT James A. Noone, USN (Ret.); Chairmen Emeriti: Walter R. Brown, Alan G. Choate, Guy E. C. Maitland, Howard Slotnick FOUNDER: Karl Kortum (1917–1996) PRESIDENT EMERITUS: Peter Stanford (1927–2016)
photo by dave farabaugh
Kim Shaklee, president of the American Society of Marine Artists, answered me thusly, when I audaciously asked her, “Why is maritime art important today?” We were at the 2nd American Society of Marine Artists National Conference in Mystic, Connecticut, where the best of America’s maritime artists were demonstrating techniques—in C. W. Mundy’s case, upside down, (the painting—not the painter!); discussing color and value, lecturing on the state of the marine art business; and letting us question them and get to know them during a plein air session against one of the greatest backdrops for our maritime past. We owe a great debt to our maritime artists, past and present. Sea History would certainly be less vivid without them, as many of our covers and marine art features, not to mention illustrations for history articles, are generously provided by this group. It was enthralling to watch, hear, and talk to artists John Stobart, Len Tantillo, Don Demers, Russ Kramer, Patrick O’Brien, Len Mizerek, and Lisa Egeli, among many others. It is easy to be awestruck in the company of such talent, but it was equally exciting to hear Fred Calabretta, curator of the vast collection at Mystic Seaport, discuss the millions of items they steward. In addition to the artists themselves, there are talented and educated curators, dealers, and restorers who play an equally significant role in the promotion and preservation of maritime art. So, full disclosure: I really went to the conference to have the pleasure of seeing J. Russell Jinishian receive the American Society of J. Russell Jinishian accepts the American Society Marine Artists Lifetime Achieve- of Marine Artists Lifetime Achievement Award ment Award in recognition of “his at the 2nd National Marine Art Conference in positive influence and dedication Mystic, Connecticut. to the development of the field of marine art and its artists for the past 35 years.” Author of Bound for Blue Water, considered the definitive guide to contemporary marine art, and publisher of Marine Art News magazine from 2001 to 2016, Russ Jinishian operates the J. Russell Jinishian Gallery in Fairfield, Connecticut, and represents many of the artists at the conference. In the words of Kim Shaklee: “Russell Jinishian is regarded as the single most important individual in the overall field of maritime art.” Russ serves on the NMHS Advisory Board and has been an invaluable resource. It is not just that he devotes immense efforts to champion the cause of promoting maritime art in America; it is that he does it with passion and humor, with knowledge, grace, and friendship. Congratulations, Russ—well deserved. —Burchenal Green, NMHS President
PUBLISHER’S CIRCLE: Peter Aron, Guy E. C. Maitland, Ronald L. Oswald
OVERSEERS: Chairman, RADM David C. Brown, USMS (Ret.); RADM Joseph F. Callo, USN (Ret.); George W. Carmany III; James J. Coleman Jr.; Clive Cussler; Richard du Moulin; Alan D. Hutchison; Jakob Isbrandtsen; Gary Jobson; Sir Robin Knox-Johnston; John Lehman; Capt. James J. McNamara; H. C. Bowen Smith; John Stobart; Philip J. Webster; Roberta Weisbrod NMHS ADVISORS: Chairman, Melbourne Smith; George Bass, Francis Duffy, John Ewald, Timothy Foote, Steven A. Hyman, J. Russell Jinishian, Gunnar Lundeberg, Conrad Milster, William G. Muller, Stuart Parnes, Nancy Hughes Richardson, Bert Rogers, Joyce Huber SEA HISTORY EDITORIAL ADVISORY BOARD: Chairman, Timothy Runyan; Norman Brouwer, Robert Browning, William Dudley, Daniel Finamore, Kevin Foster, John Jensen, Joseph Meany, Lisa Norling, Carla Rahn Phillips, Walter Rybka, Quentin Snediker, William H. White NMHS STAFF: Executive Director, Burchenal Green; Membership Director, Nancy Schnaars; Membership Coordinator, Jean Marie Trick; Marketing Director, Steve Lovass-Nagy; Comptroller, Anjoeline Osuyah; Staff Writer, Shelley Reid; Director of Development, Jessica MacFarlane; Membership Assistant, Irene Eisenfeld SEA HISTORY: Editor, Deirdre O’Regan; Advertising, Wendy Paggiotta Sea History is printed by The Lane Press, South Burlington, Vermont, USA.
SEA HISTORY 161, WINTER 2017–18
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OWNER’S STATEMENT: Statement filed 9/30/17 required by the Act of Aug. 12, 1970, Sec. 3685, Title 39, US Code: Sea History is published quarterly at 5 John Walsh Blvd., Peekskill NY 10566; minimum subscription price is $17.50. Publisher and editor-in-chief: None; Editor is Deirdre E. O’Regan; owner is National Maritime Historical Society, a nonprofit corporation; all are located at 5 John Walsh Blvd., Peekskill NY 10566. During the 12 months preceding October 2017 the average number of (A) copies printed each issue was 25,527; (B) paid and/or requested circulation was: (1) outside county mail subscriptions 7,613; (2) in-county subscriptions 0; (3) sales through dealers, carriers, counter sales, other non-USPS paid distribution 6,849; (4) other classes mailed through USPS 466; (C) total paid and/or requested circulation was 14,928; (D) free distribution by mail, samples, complimentary and other 8,960; (E) free distribution outside the mails 676; (F) total free distribution was 9,643; (G) total distribution 24,571; (H) copies not distributed 957; (I) total [of 15G and H] 25,527; (J) Percentage paid and/or requested circulation 61%. The actual numbers for the single issue preceding October 2017 are: (A) total number printed 25,054; (B) paid and/ or requested circulation was: (1) outside-county mail subscriptions 7,686; (2) in-county subscriptions 0; (3) sales through dealers, carriers, counter sales, other non-USPS paid distribution 6,588; (4) other classes mailed through USPS 482; (C) total paid and/or requested circulation was 14,756; (D) free distribution by mail, samples, complimentary and other 9,500; (E) free distribution outside the mails 350; (F) total free distribution was 9,850; (G) total distribution 24,606; (H) copies not distributed 448; (I) total [of 15G and H] 25,054 (J) Percentage paid and/or requested circulation 60%. I certify that the above statements are correct and complete. (signed) Burchenal Green, Executive Director, National Maritime Historical Society.
SEA HISTORY 161, WINTER 2017–18
Letters Jones Act in the News From the Editor: In the previous two issues of Sea History, we’ve looked at the Merchant Marine Act of 1920, a.k.a. the Jones Act—its origins, benefits, and controversies. The Jones Act is an important and complicated piece of legislation and one misunderstood by most Americans, even by many who work in the maritime industry. No time has this been more evident than this fall, when a series of hurricanes in quick succession devastated American shores, from the US Virgin Islands to Puerto Rico, to the mainland at Florida and Texas. Suddenly the Jones Act was on everyone’s lips, and most times it was oversimplified and misinterpreted. The aspect of the Jones Act on everyone’s minds was not so much the components that we covered in Sea History, but about the cabotage laws and restrictions on shipping within territorial waters. Commissioner William Doyle of the Federal Maritime Commission, the independent federal agency responsible for regulating the US international ocean transportation system, explains here the role that Jones Act compliant companies and ships played in the recovery efforts during the 2017 hurricane season. Commissioner Doyle will contribute to our series on the Jones Act in the next issue of Sea History by looking at cabotage laws, manning requirements for Jones Act vessels, and domestic shipbuilding. —DO’R With the storms Harvey, Irma, Maria and Nate, it has been a tough 2017 hurricane season, but the US Merchant Marine has once again answered the call. Now that there has been time to reflect on the recovery efforts, one thing is certain—the Jones Act played no role in slowing down relief aid to Texas, Florida, and Puerto Rico. US-f lag and Jones Act sealift performed exceptionally. Recent US-flag maritime actions demonstrate the importance of Jones Act shipping. American-owned Jones Act companies like Crowley Maritime, Trailer Bridge, SEACOR Marine, TOTE, and FOSS Maritime are some of the US companies leading the response efforts. Additionally, US government-owned ships have been
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dispatched, including those operated by the private sector and crewed by American mariners. In the early 1990s, when the American military began operations in the Persian Gulf, the United States needed ships to support our troops overseas, and a massive effort was launched by the US government to break out mothballed ships from the National Defense Reserve Fleet. We needed skilled, experienced mariners to operate those ships, and we needed US companies to fly the US flag in support of American efforts overseas. During this period, the federal and six state maritime academies were called on for support. The cadets— college students—were asked to sail ships. Cadets relieved seasoned mariners so that they could be dispatched to the war zones. Further, the maritime academies were asked to release cadets to their respective regional US shipyards to break out ships for the war effort. Upon conclusion of Desert Shield/ Storm the Ready Reserve Force Fleet of prepositioned vessels was further developed and the Maritime Security Program was enacted. The Ready Reserve Force Fleet consists of ships owned by the US government, prepositioned around the US, contracted to the private sector and crewed by US mariners. The Maritime Security Program consists of vessels owned or operated by domestic and international
companies that domicile part of their business operations under US Department of Defense protocols, register their ships under the US flag and are required to crew their vessels with American mariners. Additionally, American companies have continuously worked to re-capitalize the Jones Act fleet of tankers, tugs, barges, container ships, container-roll on/roll off vessels, dredgers, and ferries, investing billions of dollars in American shipyard construction and modernizing ports and marine terminal operations. Over the past two decades, the US Merchant Marine and its Jones Act companies have responded effectively to every major maritime-accessible conflict and disaster that challenged the United States. Recall that horrific morning on September 11th sixteen years ago, when nearly 500,000 people were trapped in Lower Manhattan. The US Merchant Marine went to work. In fewer than nine hours, Jones Act vessels had rescued hundreds of thousands of people desperate to flee the area. It was the largest boat lift evacuation in history—moving more people by boat than in the 1940 evacuation of Dunkirk, France. This year’s devastating hurricane season has been no different. Crisis after crisis, the US Merchant Marine is on duty. Under pressure from the general public, the Administration did waive the Jones Act
Join Us for a Voyage into History Our seafaring heritage comes alive in the pages of Sea History, from the ancient mariners of Greece to Portuguese navigators opening up the ocean world to the heroic efforts of sailors in modern-day conflicts. Each issue brings new insights and discoveries. If you love the sea, rivers, lakes, and
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under what is known as a Department of Defense Waiver (DOD Waiver) for short periods of time, but, once the waivers lapsed, the Administration did not renew or extend the waivers. During these periods when ships from any nation were free to engage in transport to and from the island and the Gulf Coast in almost any capacity, for the most part foreign-flag ocean carriers did not race in to deploy their ships into the Jones Act trade. Instead, the overwhelming majority of ocean-borne fuel and other goods entering Texas, Florida, and Puerto Rico were carried in Jones Act vessels. Let’s take a look at the Jones Act and types of waivers. Ever since Hurricane Katrina devastated Louisiana and other areas on the Gulf Coast, actions and discussions related to waiving Jones Act have become commonplace during and after natural disasters. What kind of Jones Act waivers are available? The Jones Act prohibits the “transportation of merchandise by water, or by land and water, between points in the United States…either directly or via a foreign port” unless the vessel was built in the United States and is US-owned and registered under the US-flag. In order to waive the Jones Act, the general rule is to demonstrate that it is “necessary in the interest of national defense.” There are two types of Jones Act waivers. One type, requested by the secretary of defense, is the DOD waiver; there is no discussion or review, it is automatically granted. The other type of waiver may be granted by the secretary of homeland security. It is discretionary and may only be granted if the administrator of the Maritime Administration (MARAD) first determines that no American-flag vessels are available. The temporary waivers granted during 2017 hurricane season are considered DOD waivers. In 2009, Congress tweaked the Jones Act with respect to the discretionary waiver. Waivers requested by the secretary of homeland security are not automatic. The secretary of homeland security cannot grant a waiver unless and until MAR AD determines that no Jones Act-qualified USflag vessels are available and capable of providing the needed service. Only after MARAD makes this vessel availability determination, can the secretary of 8
homeland security determine whether the proposed transportation service is “in the interest of national defense.” Even with the Jones Act waivers in effect for short periods of time, it is important to highlight the US Merchant Marine’s role to date this hurricane season. •Crowley Maritime, a Jones Act carrier, loaded a fleet of electric utility trucks on vessels to help restart Puerto Rico’s electric grid. The trucks are being used by Jacksonville Electric Authority linemen who were sent to the island. By the week ending 14 October 2017, more than 6,500 loads of FEMA and commercial cargo from twenty Crowley Maritime ships had been delivered since Hurricane Maria struck the island. Crowley had dispatched more than eighteen Jones Act vessels loaded with gasoline and diesel in response to fuel shortages in Florida caused by Hurricane Irma, and was projecting another nine vessels, carrying between 2,500 and 3,000 loads, would arrive in Puerto Rico by the following week. •The Jones Act company SEACOR Marine loaded its Louisiana-designed and -built ship Liam J. McCall with equipment destined for Puerto Rico, including ten work trucks, two generators, and two containers of relief goods, as well as a dozen construction, maintenance, and security workers. •Jones Act carrier Foss Maritime sent three vessels on behalf of FEMA to support the relief and rebuilding efforts in Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands following Hurricanes Irma and Maria. The vessels are serving as floating hotels, providing bunks and cafeteria services for emergency responders. Foss has the capacity to feed and temporarily house 729 people. •TOTE Maritime continues to coordinate with the Red Cross and other relief organizations to ensure the timely arrival of goods to Puerto Rico. The San Diegobuilt Isla Bella arrived with more than 1,040 forty-foot containers of cargo. Additionally, TOTE’s San Diego-built Perla Del Caribe arrived with 1,060 forty-foot containers. These shipments include bucket trucks, electrical poles, food, water, ice, and fuel amongst other critical items needed across the island. •Immediately after Maria passed over Puerto Rico, Jones Act carrier Trailer
Bridge began shipping relief goods on their multiple weekly sailings from Jacksonville, Florida, to San Juan. Trailer Bridge increased its liner fleet capacity by 300 containers per week, equating to an additional 13.5 million pounds of relief goods, on top of what was originally sent. •US government-owned ships dispatched this season provide drinking water, electricity, housing, humanitarian aid, helicopter platforms and hospital services— all crewed by US mariners. The DOT’s Maritime Administration activated the Ready Reserve Force vessel SS Wright, which called on the island of St. Thomas. The vessel was loaded with FEMA containers, vehicles and other stores. Among the cargo was a replacement radar system for the Federal Aviation Administration to get the airport up and running to capacity. •Our nation’s maritime academy training ships were also called into service. The Massachusetts Maritime Academy training ship TS Kennedy was sent to Texas in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, and was subsequently dispatched to Puerto Rico when its services were needed there. MARAD also dispatched the New York State Maritime Academy (SUNY Maritime College) TS Empire State VI to Puerto Rico. These ships are each capable of housing more than 650 people. The US Navy’s hospital ship Comfort was sent to Puerto Rico to provide hospital services. The vessel is crewed by civilian US merchant mariners. I am proud of the US Merchant Marine, its efforts this hurricane season, and its service throughout history. When the bell rings, the US Merchant Marine answers the call. We climb the ladder—we don’t ask why, we ask how high. William P. Doyle is a commissioner with the US Federal Maritime Commission. He is a 1992 graduate of the Massachusetts Maritime Academy, where he worked as a cadet in shipyards in Rhode Island and Massachusetts breaking out ships for Operations Desert Storm/Shield. He also served ten years as an officer in the US Merchant Marine, including Jones Act and international trades. The thoughts and comments expressed here are his own and do not necessarily represent the position of his fellow commissioners or the Federal Maritime Commission. SEA HISTORY 161, WINTER 2017–18
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A CAUSE IN MOTION
photo by allison lucas
photo by joseph rudinec
The gathering together of esteemed tall ship captains and sailors, Chesapeake Bay conservationists, great shipping families, and maritime heritage organization leaders, writers, artists, and yachtsmen brought an unparalleled excitement and energy to this year’s NMHS Annual Awards Dinner at the New York Yacht Club. Award-winning yachtsman Richard du Moulin, NMHS overseer and master of ceremonies, commented he was most impressed by the maritime experience and credentials of the three recipients— quite a statement, considering the breadth of maritime experience in one room. The National Maritime Historical Society honored four most worthy individuals at its annual awards gala. Annual Awards Dinner Chairman George W. Carmany III, a previous recipient of the NMHS Distinguished Service Award, declared the evening a vastly successful event. He particularly thanked event Marquee Sponsor Brian D’Isernia and Eastern Shipbuilding Group, and Fleet Sponsors The Artina Group, Howard Slotnick, and William H. White for their generous contributions. Admiral Robert J. Papp Jr., USCG (Ret.), presented the NMHS (l-r) Richardo Lopes, Christopher Culver, Brian D’Isernia , Richard Distinguished Service Award to Brian D’Isernia—fisherman, shipdu Moulin, Philip Webster, Captain Bert Rogers, Admiral Robert builder, maritime industry innovator, sailor, and maritime heritage preservationist—whose career spanned nearly fifty years. Today, Papp, George Carmany and Ronald Oswald stand behind BurchEastern Shipbuilding has a portfolio of more than 350 vessels, enal Green and Deirdre O’Regan in preparation for the evening. including a departure from the commercial and military vessels they typically build, a steel-hull recreation of Columbia, the historic 141-foot Gloucester fishing and racing schooner designed by William Starling Burgess and built at the A. D. Story Shipyard of Essex, Massachusetts. In the launch and subsequent sailing of Columbia, D’Isernia fulfilled a lifelong dream of bringing a significant piece of maritime history back to life. In introducing him, Admiral Papp spoke of family as the central theme in Brian D’Isernia’s life. It was not that he and his beautiful wife, Mimi, had ten children, but that the D’Isernia children were raised by two parents with commitment, love, and loyalty, teachNMHS trustees, staff, and members—some ing character and work ethic and all of whom have been involved with the Society those things that make one successful for many years—have become an extended in life. All ten children traveled to family of sorts. Here, Margherita Sorio New York for the dinner, and it was watches with trustee Rick Scarano as bidders a pleasure to see them together. Every try to outdo one another for a private charter one of the D’Isernia children had aboard Scarano’s yacht Manhattan. The an- worked in the shipyard at some point, nual awards dinner features a spirited live and six of them continue to work there. Family shipping companies auction that benefits the Society. were the unofficial theme of the night, as also in attendance were the McAllisters, Weeks, and Wronowskis. In accepting The D’Isernias can fill a room just with immediate his award, Brian D’Isernia reiterated the importance of family and described his family. It was moving to see this tight-knit family children with mud on their boots, degrees on the wall, and an unbreakable resolve of ten children and spouses, all gathered together to protect the legacy of their name and the reputation of the shipyard through to honor their father, awardee Brian D’Isernia. quality work and integrity in business. Our own Deirdre O’Regan, editor of Sea History, presented the NMHS Distinguished Service Award to Captain Bert Rogers, executive director of Tall Ships America. Before Captain Rogers took over administering sail training programs from ashore, the two were shipmates over tens of thousands of sea miles running sail training programs for youth and college-at-sea educational programs. She remarked that Rogers is both colleague and a collaborator in the mission to preserve our maritime heritage, but also a shipmate. Shipmates, she reminded our guests, are those who can be counted on, fellow mariners who work side by side in all kinds of condi-
photo by allison lucas
Pomp and Circumstance—and a Lot of Fun—Honoring This Year’s Awardees at the National Maritime Historical Society’s Annual Awards Dinner
SEA HISTORY 161, WINTER 2017–18
photo by joseph rudinec
photo by allison lucas photo by allison lucas
tions in the service to a ship and its mission. Captain Rogers, she explained, was indeed a devoted shipmate, the kind who would dash from his bunk in the dead of night when he heard the watch on deck striking sail and knew they might need a hand, the kind of shipmate first to scramble aloft to wrestle in a topsail flogging in a squall. As captain, Bert Rogers would just as eagerly show you how to splice and set up the rig or drill his crew and students on coastal piloting. He could be a demanding captain, but one dedicated to his crew and students in every capacity. In his role running sail training programs from ashore, she acknowledged that Captain Bert Rogers has an unwavering passion for sailing ships and the sea, and keeping the experience of shipping out under sail assessable to all. Captain Rogers was gracious in acknowledging Swapping out Carhartts for formal wear, the tall ship sailing community turned the many people who helped him in his career, from out in force to celebrate Bert Rogers (front row, far left), who was being honored Captain Arthur Kimberly, with whom he first went to for his many years at the helm of sail training ships and of Tall Ships America. sea and around the world in the brigantine Romance, to Alix Thorne of Ocean Classroom Foundation, to Michael Rauworth, chairman of Tall Ships America and a decades-long shipmate and collaborator, and so many others. Sail training, he mused, is a cornerstone of the maritime heritage movement. When a young person goes aboard a sailing ship run by a competent and organized captain and manned by a ready and able crew, when the lines are cast off and everything you knew before recedes beyond the horizon and everything you are about to discover comes from the horizon ahead, that’s when maritime history comes alive for the student. Dinner chairman George Carmany, the most experienced member of the NYYC regarding Americas Cup protocol and diplomacy, presented the David A. O’Neil Sheet Anchor Award to Philip J. Webster. He called Mr. Webster’s contributions to the Society and to the field of maritime heritage and education practically endless, from working to save USS Massachusetts to serving leadership roles at Sultana Education Foundation, the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, the Miles River Yacht Club Foundation, USS Sequoia Preservation Trust, Scholarship America, and, of course, the National Maritime Historical Society. Carmany pointed out that everyone who had served as chair of the National Maritime Awards Dinner in Washington, DC, of which Mr. Webster was the founding chairman—Irmy Webster, Donna and Dr. William Dudley, CAPT Jim Noone USN (Ret.), and Dr. Timothy Runyan—were in the room to honor him. Mr. Webster comes from a long line of mariners; his great grandfather was a clipper ship captain, his grandfather was the author of the 1927 Old Sailing Ships of New England, and his Phil and Irmy Webster father served as a military officer in World War I, searching for German U-Boats in the North Atlantic. Love for the sea was a strong motivating factor in his life, and the benefits to our maritime heritage have been enormous. Finally, Linda and Admiral Papp presented a surprise award to Dr. Robert G. Newton, director of the US Coast Guard Academy Cadet Chorale, who for decades has brought the cadets to perform at the NMHS awards dinner. He was recognized for his extraordinary talent, unwavering dedication, and selfless inspiration to America’s future leaders. The dinner was such a success thanks to our chairman, George Carmany; dinner vice chairman, Christopher J. Culver, who gave a compelling introduction of the New York Yacht Club and its history to our guests; master of ceremonies Richard T. du Moulin; Richardo Lopes, who manages each year to mesmerize the audience and bring the history of the recipients to life with the video tributes of the awardees he so masterfully produces; and our chairman, Ronald Oswald, who somehow manages to condense all the projects and yearly accomplishments and goals of the Society into a three-minute presentation. No mean feat, that. —Burchenal Green, NMHS President Dr. Robert Newton (at right) and the USCG Academy Cadet Chorale perform for guests in the fabulous Model Room of the New York Yacht Club.
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The 2018 National Maritime Awards Dinner Mayflower Hotel • Washington, DC • 25 April 2018
It is with great excitement that Dr. Timothy Runyan and Denise Krepp, co-chairs for the 2018 National Maritime Awards Dinner, announce that the National Coast Guard Museum Association is our new partner in the gala event. The dinner will be held once again in the historic Mayflower Hotel in Washington, DC, next April, and, with the new partnership, it will have the added benefit of supporting the development of the new museum, which will tell the incredible history of the US Coast Guard. Ground has been broken for the facility on the New London waterfront in the same homeport as the US Coast Guard Academy and its square-rigged training ship, the barque Eagle. Additionally, holding a prestigious maritime awards dinner in the nation’s capital gives us an opportunity to advocate for federal funding for the many and diverse maritime heritage organizations—so we are indeed excited. We will honor three extraordinary people at the dinner, and I do not use that term lightly. J. Willard Marriott Jr. served as executive chairman and chairman of the board of Marriott International, Inc., after serving as CEO for forty years, before stepping down in March 2012. He built the company into a global business with more than 4,200 properties in eighty countries, and approximately 365,000 employees. Mr. Marriott served as a supply officer aboard USS Randolph during the Vietnam War, which he calls a great learning experience that helped launch his hospitality career. Marriott International has a “Spirit to Serve” philosophy, fostered by Bill Marriott, to provide extensive corporate support to America’s returning veterans.
J. Willard Marriott
William C. Baker is the president and CEO of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, the largest non-profit conservation organization dedicated solely to preserving and restoring the Chesapeake Bay. With more than 200,000 members, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation is a fierce advocate working to protect and restore a national treasure and integral part of America’s maritime heritage through advocacy, education, litigation, and restoration. Mr. Baker is focused on one goal— “Saving the Bay”—by achieving a clean, healthy, and productive estuarine system that will serve as a model for other marine conservation organizations worldwide. Mr. Baker is the recipient of the Washingtonian of the Year Award, as well as the 1992 Presidential Medal for Environmental Excellence, the nation’s highest environmental honor.
Donald T. “Boysie” Bollinger, chairman and CEO of Bollinger Shipyards, Inc., will receive the National Coast Guard Museum Association’s Alexander Hamilton Award. After a long career providing quality construction of vessels for both military and civilian use, Mr. Bollinger continues to be recognized for his generosity and philanthropic giving to maritime William C. Baker heritage preservation and organizations. His influence and dedication have benefited many groups, most especially the United States Coast Guard Foundation and the National World War II Museum. For his unwavering support, the National Coast Guard Museum Association is honored to recognize this icon within the maritime industry. Former United States Secretary of Homeland Security and Governor of Pennsylvania Tom Ridge will present the award to Boysie Bollinger. Gary Jobson, America’s Cup champion and America’s “Ambassador of Sailing,” will be master of ceremonies. Video introductions about the recipients will be produced by Rick Lopes and XXL Media. Founding dinner chairman Philip Webster recommends that guests make their reservations at www.seahistory.org or 914 737-7878, ext. 0, right away, since he predicts this dinner will sell out especially early. Tickets are priced from $275, with sponsorship opportunities available. Donald T. Bollinger 12
SEA HISTORY 161, WINTER 2017–18
Now you can own this fabulous limited-edition, signed and numbered print, available exclusively through NMHS...
Young America by Christopher Blossom
A young Christopher Blossom went to sea in the brigantine Young America, just as he was starting his training and career as a marine artist. Today, Mr. Blossom is an award-winning artist, whose paintings continue to attract an eager audience. From his early training at the Parsons School of Design and his work at Robert Bourke’s famous industrial design studio, Mr. Blossom became an expert at interpreting blueprints of all kinds, particularly ships’ plans. He developed the rare skill of being able to visualize a ship from any angle, by studying its blueprints. This skill, combined with a lifetime love of the sea and his talents as an artist, is clearly seen in his paintings. Image size: 17 1/2” x 30” • Sheet size: 23” x 35” • $150 each now just $75!* To Order: call 1-800-221-NMHS (6647), ext. 235; or email firstname.lastname@example.org. To view this and other art prints available through NMHS, visit our Ship’s Store online at
*(Add $20 s/h in the US)
SEA HISTORY 161, WINTER 2017–18 13
Eleventh Maritime Heritage Conference
Nathaniel Philbrick: New York Times bestselling author and historian Nathaniel Philbrick will be the keynote speaker. He is best known for In the Heart of the Sea, which won the National Book Award for non-fiction and was later made into a blockbuster movie directed by Ron Howard. His new book, Valiant Ambition, looks at the relationship between George Washington and Benedict Arnold and the fate of the American Revolution. A prolific writer, Philbrick is also the author of Sea of Glory; Mayflower; The Last Stand; Why Read MobyDick?; Bunker Hill: A City, a Siege, a Revolution; Abram’s Eyes; and Away Off Shore. Philbrick lives on Nantucket, where he was the founding director of Nantucket’s Egan Maritime Institute and where he is a research fellow at the Nantucket Historical Association. 14
courtesy nathaniel philbrick
Kenneth Stewart is the founder of Diving With a Purpose, an AfricanAmerican-led program that for over a decade has involved hundreds of youth and adults in training to assist in underwater archaeology projects. He established formal agreements between DWP and NOAA and the National
courtesy kenneth stewart, dwp
“Our Maritime Communities—Stronger Together” is an apt theme for the upcoming Maritime Heritage Conference, as it ably describes the power of exchanging ideas and information, programs and projects, building friendships, and collaborating with colNew Orleans, February 14-17, 2018 leagues among a maritime heritage field more than 1,000 organizations strong. If you are an established leader, or even more so if you are new in the field, we hope to see you in the Big Easy in February. The 11th Maritime Heritage Conference will also serve as the 55th annual meeting of the National Maritime Historical Society, the 45th annual conference on Sail Training and Tall Ships—Tall Ships America, and the 82nd annual meeting of the Steamship Historical Society of America. Also participating are members and leaders of the Historic Naval Ships Association, the Council of American Maritime Museums, the North American Society for Oceanic History, the US Lighthouse Society, plus independent scholars, writers, docents and volunteers. This year we’ll have artists joining us from the American Society of Marine Artists. We were delighted to learn that RADM Michael Alfultis, USMS, president of SUNY Maritime College at Fort Schuyler, will be sending cadets to attend. The list grows. During the four-day event, Tall Ships America will announce the winners of their prestigious awards for Lifetime Achievement, Sail Trainer of the Year, and Education Program of the Year. Did I say awards? The National Maritime Alliance will present four Maritime Heritage Conference awards of distinction:
courtesy kenneth stewart, dwp
14–17 February 2018 • New Orleans Join Us!
Ken Stewart and members of Youth Diving with a Purpose, heading out to a dive site in Florida. Park Service, and has contributed more than 15,000 volunteer hours. His early adventures in scuba led to the idea of forming an organization of African American divers that would meet, travel, and support a youth program to expose those least likely to have these kinds of experiences to the underwater world and maritime heritage. This led to the co-founding of the Tennessee Aquatic Project and Development Group, Inc., (TAP) with the assistance of Willie Sweet. Since 1994, TAP has influenced the lives of hundreds of young people. Of those who participated in the program for more than one year and became certified open water scuba divers, all have attended college. He serves as program director, scheduler, mentor, and spokesperson for both Diving With a Purpose and Youth Diving With a Purpose. He is responsible for planting the seeds for the National Association of Black Scuba Divers Youth Educational Summit (YES). YES encourages young people to achieve their potential through programs organized by the National Association of Black Scuba Divers. Mr. Stewart’s work has been recognized by awards from the US Department of the Interior and the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation. SEA HISTORY 161, WINTER 2017–18
courtesy channing zucker
Burchenal Green: I was surprised and overwhelmed to learn from National Maritime Alliance chair Timothy Runyan that I will also be given an award for my work in bringing together the organizations promoting our maritime heritage, and to honor NMHS and Sea History, which are dedicated to preserving America’s historic ships and promoting how our maritime herit a ge ha s shaped the culture of this country. I became interested in maritime heritage spending summers on my family’s islands in Pointe-au-Baril in the Georgian Bay of Lake Huron, traveling everywhere by wooden boats. In 1998, as then-vice president of NMHS, I was the director of a project that brought the only parade of tall ships up the Hudson River in the twentieth century, and I served as the assistant parade marshal. As president, I served on the National Advisory Board for the Commemoration of the Bicentennial of the War of 1812 and the Star Spangled Banner, and have served on the steering committee for the 9th and 10th Maritime Heritage Conferences. NMHS actively promotes events around the country that bring the maritime community together and highlight its importance to the country. We work as a strong group effort—the board, our staff, advisors, and members—and I accept this award on behalf of everyone at NMHS.
photo by bob rozycki, courtesy wag magazine
CAPT Channing Zucker (USN, Ret.) served as executive director of the Historic Naval Ships Association for eleven years (1992– 2003), increasing its membership from twenty-five museums and memorials with thirty-five vessels to 101 organizations with 152 ships and watercraft. Thanks to his efforts, HNSA is recognized as a leader in the naval history and preservation community. In 2003 he received the association’s highest honor, the Casper J. Knight Jr. Award. He currently serves as HNSA treasurer. As an officer of the National Maritime Alliance, Chan Zucker worked extensively on efforts resulting in the passage of the National Maritime Heritage Act. He currently serves as the Alliance’s secretary/treasurer. His service over many years in the maritime heritage community reaches far and wide, and is ongoing. He has served as a member of the Secretary of the Interior’s National Maritime Heritage Grants Program Advisory Committee; as vice president of the North American Society for Oceanic History; as president of Tin Can Sailors, Inc., the National Association of Destroyer Veterans; and as treasurer of the US Navy’s Cruiser Sailors Association—a position he still holds. He is the author of numerous articles on historic naval ships.
New Orleans has so much to offer, and we particularly look forward to visiting the World War II Museum and getting out on the water on the Mississippi River steamboat Natchez. Register for the conference now and be sure to book your rooms as well. See you in February. —Burchenal Green, NMHS President
Register Today for the 11th Maritime Heritage Conference Last held in 2014, the Maritime Heritage Conference brings together individuals and institutions of the maritime heritage community to discuss topics of common interest. Join as many as 500 of your fellow maritime enthusiasts from the National Maritime Alliance, Tall Ships America, the National Maritime Historical Society, the Steamship Historical Society of America, the Council of American Maritime Museums, the Historic Naval Ships Association, the North American Society for Oceanic History, the US Lighthouse Society, and so many others! Registration is open now; be sure to book your room before 22 January to take advantage of the conference rate. All information on the conference, accommodations, events and program are available online at the NMHS website, www.seahistory.org, and on the Tall Ships America website at www.sailtraining.org. Updates will be posted as they become available. The full conference rate is $395 per person if registered by 15 December (increasing to $495 afterwards). The full rate includes all sessions, continental breakfasts, coffee breaks, lunches, the gala awards dinner (Saturday), and all meeting materials. Individual day rates are also available.
45th annual conference on
sail training and tall ships
The conference venue is the beautiful New Orleans Marriott in the French Quarter, at 555 Canal Street, New Orleans, LA. A block of rooms has been set aside for conference attendees at the special rate of $164 per night (plus tax) for the nights of 14–17 February. Rooms will be held at this rate, while available, until 22 January 2018. Please visit the conference websites to get hotel reservation passkey information and links to online registration. Phone reservations can be made by calling 504 581-1000 and be sure to provide the conference code “MHC” to book at the discounted rate. Further details on the venue, conference events and program are online. Be sure to check back as the date approaches for news and updates. SEA HISTORY 161, WINTER 2017–18 15
The National Maritime Alliance—Advocating for Maritime Heritage
by Timothy J. Runyan
ew challenges are as great as the start-up of a new organization. Like many small businesses, the failure rate is high. Ignoring those realities, in 1988 a small group of people established the National Maritime Alliance as a non-profit organization to promote America’s maritime heritage. Three decades later, the National Maritime Alliance continues its mission to serve as an umbrella organization to represent the interests of all segments of the maritime heritage community. A principal goal is to bring together the community to work toward the shared objectives of increased public support for America’s maritime heritage. Gaining that public support required the coming together of the many facets of the maritime heritage community to discuss these objectives and mobilize resources to achieve them. The first National Maritime Heritage Conference was held in Baltimore, Maryland, in 1977. This was followed by conferences in Baltimore in 1981 and 1984. The meetings were supported by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, a federally chartered agency with a designated maritime division and a director. The conferences pulled in people involved in a wide range of maritime heritage pursuits and offered presentations covering the many topics, projects, organizations, and research in the field, but also focused on the issue of securing federal support. This was a key driver in the establishment of a new organization to marshal and direct efforts to achieve that goal—the National Maritime Alliance. Three years later, the Alliance and the National Trust for Historic Preservation organized the fourth conference; they were joined by the National Park Service as hosts for a subsequent conference (the fifth) held in Boston in 1993. What emerged from these conferences was an initiative to secure federal support for America’s maritime heritage through an act of Congress, an effort led by the National Maritime Alliance. Federal Support for America’s Maritime Heritage After a six-year concerted effort by the maritime heritage community, the National Maritime Heritage Act became Public Law 103-451 (16 U.S.C. 5401) in November 1994. The preamble declares: “The United States is a nation with a rich maritime history, and it is desirable to foster in the American public a greater awareness and appreciation of the role of maritime endeavors in our Nation’s history and culture.” It goes on to state that the maritime historical and cultural foundation of the nation should be preserved as part of our community life and development; that national, state and local groups have been working independently to preserve the maritime heritage of the United States; that those historic resources are being lost; that the preservation of this irreplaceable maritime heritage is in the public interest so that its vital legacy will be maintained and enriched for future generations of Americans; that current government and nongovernmental historic preservation programs are inadequate to ensure appreciation of this heritage; “a coordinated national program is needed immediately to redress the adverse consequences of a period of indifference during which the maritime heritage of the United States has become endangered and to ensure the future preservation of the Nation’s maritime heritage,” and calls for the creation of a national maritime heritage policy. 16
The legislation was the first of its kind in the United States, and it provided public funding for America’s maritime heritage projects and initiatives through a grants program. Funding for the program is derived from a percentage of the sale or scrapping of obsolete vessels of the National Defense Reserve Fleet (NDRF), or “mothball” fleet. Fifty percent of the profit is retained by the Maritime Administration (MARAD), part of the Department of Transportation, 25% is to be used by MARAD to support the federal and state maritime academies, and 25% funds the National Maritime Heritage Grants Program. With millions of dollars for funding generated annually by ship scrapping and sales, supporters of the Act were elated that a solid stream of funding was identified and agreed upon. After a lengthy process of establishing the regulations for the Act, the first distribution was made in 1998 to non-profit organizations and state, local and tribal governments. The total available was about $652,000, and the response to a call-for-proposals was overwhelming—342 proposals requesting over $10 million were submitted. Clearly there was great need and interest. The twenty-one-member federal Grants Advisory Committee to review the proposals and make recommendations was appointed by the Secretary of the Interior and included seven federal members representing the US Navy, US Coast Guard, NOAA, MARAD, and other agencies, and fourteen members representing various areas of maritime heritage, such as historic ships, lighthouses, nautical archaeology, and museums. The grants support education and preservation projects designed to preserve historic maritime resources and increase public awareness and appreciation for the maritime heritage of the United States. Our committee worked hard to be balanced in its recommendations, which were all accepted by the Secretary of the Interior. Unfortunately, this opportunity for public participation and transparency in the grant awards process disappeared when the National Park Service submitted language to eliminate the federal advisory committee. It was replaced by an advisory body of federal officials. The grant program was administered by the Department of the Interior in partnership with the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and the State Historic Preservation Officers (SHPOs). Subsequently, the Trust withdrew from participation because staff expenses exceeded the overhead allowance provided by the Act. The Trust ceded its role in the grant program to the Department of the Interior/National Park Service’s Maritime Heritage office. Later, the Trust closed its maritime heritage office and became a privately funded non-profit organization. Since 1998, the National Maritime Alliance, the major catalyst for the passage of the Act, has devoted itself to advocacy. A principal reason was an Environmental Protection Agency ruling that banned scrapping of ships abroad without first removing hazardous materials. The result was a backlog of mothballed ships and Congressional subsidies to pay for scrapping. There would be no profits from ship scrapping, no money for the grants program. The Alliance responded by reviving the Maritime Heritage Conferences, organized with partner hosts, as a means of addressing these challenges, beginning in 2001 in Wilmington, North Carolina, with the Historic Naval Ships Association and the SEA HISTORY 161, WINTER 2017–18
courtesy mmsd courtesy nauticus
National Park Service. The renewed conference was well attended and supported, with subsequent conferences being organized and offered in locations across the country: Norfolk (2004) with fifteen organizations in the Hampton Roads area; San Diego (2007) with Maritime Museum of San Diego the Maritime Museum of San Diego and NOAA’s Maritime Heritage Program; BalMaritime Heritage Conferences have been held at museUSS North Carolina timore (2010) with Historic Ships in Baltiums and historic sites across the country: Battleship North more, Living Classrooms Foundation, and Carolina (2001), Maritime Museum of San Diego (2007), NOAA; Norfolk (2014) with Nauticus and and most recently at Nauticus in Norfolk, VA (2014). NOAA; and the upcoming conference—the eleventh—taking place in New Orleans, with Nauticus Tall Ships America, the National Maritime Historical Society, the Steamship Historical Society of America, and others, on 14–17 February 2018. Advocacy by the National Maritime Alliance leadership and friends resulted in the proposal of alternate funding sources in several Congressional bills, and even a direct appropriation request Congress supported language we proposed. It was included in supported by five leading senators, but without success. Neverthe- the National Defense Authorization Act for 2017 (signed by the less, because of a spike in scrap metal prices and the emergence president on 23 December 2016). The grants program was restored! of a domestic scrapping industry, funds once again became avail- This was a major victory for the maritime heritage community. able for the grant program. But a surprise move by the Maritime Also included in the Act were provisions to ensure accountAdministration threatened the entire grant program. A proposed ability by the Maritime Administration for ship recycling and amendment to the 2010 defense authorization bill initiated by the maritime heritage grant program. A new round of grants was the Maritime Administration gave control of the grant funds to announced in June, with proposals due 1 September 2017. $2.5 that agency to support its own maritime heritage needs. The million in awards will be announced in spring 2018. See: https:// public grants program would only continue at the whim of the www.nps.gov/maritime/grants/apply.htm. agency’s administrator. Our reaction was to counter with an intense The agreement made during the conference of House and advocacy effort to win Congressional support to stop the amend- Senate directed 18.75% of the profits of the recycling of ships by ment, but it was too late. the Maritime Administration to the grant program. We would Angry and frustrated, we began an effort to restore the Na- like that number to be raised to the original 25%. We are worktional Maritime Heritage Act grant program by changing the law. ing with Congress to achieve this increased allocation. $7M was A few years of walking the halls of Congress, letter-writing cam- awarded in maritime heritage grants in 2015–2017. The award of paigns and building alliances—including the ship recycling in- $2.5M in spring 2018 will bring the total awarded to $9.5M. dustry, produced the STORIS Act. It proposed to restore the NMHS received an award of $50,000 in 2015 to index and public grant program and provide new guidelines and procedures digitize Sea History. for the ship scrapping program within the Maritime AdministraThe National Maritime Heritage Act is a powerful statement tion, and was supported by members in the House and Senate. in support of the significance and value of America’s maritime This prompted the Maritime Administration to make $7 million heritage, supported by Congress and signed by the president. The available for the public grant program. A memorandum of agree- maritime heritage community succeeded in gaining support at ment with the Department of the Interior/National Park Service the highest levels of government. Properly funding the Act will was drawn up by MARAD, but then “slow walked” through the provide support to maritime organizations and assure fulfillment approval process for nearly two years. This was going on during of the promise of the original legislative preamble: “The United the first years of what was the greatest recession in the United States is a nation with a rich maritime history, and it is desirable States since the Great Depression. Obviously, the maritime heri- to foster in the American public a greater awareness and appretage community’s non-profit organizations’ need for financial ciation of the role of maritime endeavors in our Nation’s history support was greater than ever. and culture.” The first awards from the allocated $7 million were made in 2015, followed by grants in 2016 and 2017. About 100 awards Dr. Timothy J. Runyan is chairman of the National Maritime Alwere made to support maritime education and preservation liance and leader of the advocacy effort. He is a professor at East projects. But the law had to be changed to ensure continued Carolina University, and a trustee of the National Maritime Hisfunding for the grant program. Some key staff and members of torical Society.
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“We Built Her to Bring Them Over There” The Cruiser and Transport Force in the Great War
naval history and heritage command
SS Vaterland arriving in New York, 29 July 1914. that made up this fleet, was instrumental to American and Allied success during the First World War. When Congress enacted President Woodrow Wilson’s call for war, American customs officials—backed by Federal marshals and troops—seized the ninety-one German ships in port in American harbors. Included in this number were nineteen passenger liners; two of them had sailed as auxiliary cruisers—SMS Kronprinz Wilhelm and Prinz Eitel Friedrich. The latter had come into port at Newport News, Virginia, then a neutral port, for repairs after destroying the schooner William P. Frye on 27 January 1915 in the South Atlantic. The schooner was the first American merchantman lost in the First World War.2 Considered enemy combatants, the German ships were moved to the Philadelphia Navy Yard, under military surveillance,
and were taken over by the US Navy and converted into USS Von Steuben and De Kalb—named for two “good” Germans who had helped the United States obtain its independence during the American Revolution. The remaining seventeen vessels were scattered in ports such as the Philippines, Norfolk, and Boston, with the largest concentration along the docks in Hoboken, New Jersey, across from Manhattan. As commercial vessels, these liners were not as closely monitored, and their crews were afforded the time to sabotage the vessels to make them unavailable to the United States should it decide to use them in the war against the Kaiser. Shortly after America’s entry into the Great War, missions from Britain and France arrived in the United States to make appeals to their new ally. In early 1917, the situation appeared bleak for the Entente
naval history and heritage command
n 23 May 1914, German ambassador Johann Heinrich von Bernstorff hosted a luncheon reception on board the newest and largest transAtlantic liner upon its first arrival in New York City. It was just two short years since the catastrophic loss of the previous holder of that distinction, RMS Titanic, foundered in the North Atlantic. On this day, the second of three Imperator-class liners of the HamburgAmerica Line (HAPAG), under the leadership of its chairman, Albert Ballin, completed its maiden crossing. While the new ship could not compete with Cunard’s Mauretania for the Blue Riband, in terms of size, this contender was larger than even her sister ship. On board was an invited guest, US Navy Captain Albert Gleaves, commandant of the New York Navy Yard, who engaged in a discussion with one of the HAPAG officials. Gleaves inquired about the potential for the ship to carry troops in case of war. The German quickly touted the capability of the new liner: “Ten thousand, we built her to bring them over here.” Gleaves retorted, “When they come, we will be here to meet them.”1 Both men proved partially correct. The Americans were indeed there to meet the liner when she arrived back in New York in July 1914, and then interned the ship for nearly three years. The ship, SS Vaterland, did transport troops, and on several occasions carried more than ten thousand at a time. She did not, however, to quote the German official, “bring them over here,” but instead transported American doughboys to fight the Germans, in the words of George M. Cohan, “Over There.” Renamed USS Leviathan, she was one of forty-five American ships in the US Navy’s Cruiser and Transport Force, which delivered over the two-million-person American Expeditionary Force to France a century ago. Leviathan, along with the ships and crews
by Salvatore Mercogliano, PhD
1 Albert Gleaves, A History of the Transport Service
(NY: George H. Doran Co., 1921), 189–190. 2 Navy
Department, American Ship Casualties of the World War (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1923), 7.
A US Navy destroyer keeps a watchful eye on German ocean liners interned at Hoboken, New Jersey, 4 April 1917. SEA HISTORY 161, WINTER 2017–18
Transport (USAT) Grant, Sherman, and Sheridan, provided the US Army with experience in outfitting and operating troopships. When America entered the war in 1917, the ships of the Army Transport Service were concentrated in the Pacific, maintaining and rotating forces in the Philippines, Hawaii, and Alaska. Much as it did in 1898, the Quartermaster Corps once again chartered private ships—this time fourteen—to transport the first units of the American Expeditionary Forces (AEF), supplemented by the Navy’s only two trans-
ports and the refitted USS DeKalb, the first of the German liners. Unlike the SpanishAmerican War, a substantial threat to these ships existed in the form of German Uboats in the Western Approaches to the English Channel. Rear Admiral Albert Gleaves, promoted from commandant of the New York Navy Yard to the commander of all destroyers in the Atlantic Fleet, received a secret order from Chief of Naval Operations Admiral William S. Benson to escort the Army troopships, augmented by US Navy vessels carrying a regiment of Marines to France, and ensure their safe
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Powers. Germany was about to knock Russia out of the war, following a series of revolutions that led to the rise of Lenin and the Communists. The Italians suffered many setbacks, culminating with the Battle of Caporetto, that required Allied support. The French Army refused to conduct any offensive actions after the illconceived Neville Offensive. The worst was the decision that ultimately led to American entry, the German resumption of unrestricted submarine warfare on 1 February 1917. The German goal was not necessarily to provoke the Americans, but to force a British collapse by cutting them off from their empire and supplies before the US could respond. Almost immediately, German U-boats achieved their objective of sinking more than 600,000 tons per month. The Allied mission to America had many requests, but the most famous was that advocated by the head of the French delegation, General Joseph Joffre, the hero of the Battle of the Marne. His top three items were: “Men, Men, and Men!” For the United States, the issue was not just training and equipping an army of over two million—when its pre-war force numbered only 133,000—but the successful transportation of this new army across the Atlantic. The US Army immediately dispatched four regiments from the Mexican border and loaded them on railcars for the piers in New York. To transport the troops of the new 1st Expeditionary Division, the Army Transport Service of the Quartermaster Corps mobilized the commercial merchant marine. Nearly two decades earlier, when the nation found itself at war with Spain and needed to ship forces to both Cuba and the Philippines, it was the Quartermaster Corps that was tasked with finding suitable ships. To achieve this goal, the Army chartered sixty-one vessels of the American merchant marine, from companies such as Mallory, Plant, Ward, and Pacific Far East Lines, to meet its initial needs. With the decision to maintain a presence in these lands when the war with Spain ended, and as the commercial companies withdrew their ships from charter, the Army purchased vessels and renamed them for famous Civil War Union generals. The operation of craft like US Army
Rear Admiral Albert Gleaves, by Alphaeus P. Cole; c. 1920 (oil on canvas, 40” x 31”) In this portrait, the point of Admiral Gleaves’s pencil is on the French coast in the vicinity of La Rochelle, the arrival point for many of the troops of the American Expeditionary Force.
SEA HISTORY 161, WINTER 2017–18 19
The merchant officers of the transports were, on the whole, a highly efficient and capable body of men. Of the crews, little good can be said. These men were mostly the sweeping of the docks, taken on board just prior to sailing. They were shipped as regular merchant crews, and were not enlisted in the Army Transport Service. Men of all na-
naval history and heritage command
arrival.3 Convoying proved the solution to thwarting individual attacks by German U-boats. Under the leadership of American Admiral William S. Sims, the Allies adopted this tactic and substantially reduced ship losses. The first commercial transport came on hire on 24 May and the last, US Army Chartered Transport (USACT) Finland, on 2 June. Initial orders called for the transportation of 12,000 troops and 3,000 horses, with a goal to be underway by 3 June. Due to the delay in bringing ships on charter and the need to modify these ships with berthing areas in the cargo holds, the inclusion of washrooms and water closets, cooking facilities, and armament, the first of the four convoys were not ready to depart New York until 14 June. Three of the four convoys departed that day, with the last putting to sea three days later. Each sailed to a rendezvous point with the tanker USS Maumee in the central Atlantic Ocean, so that escorting destroyers could replenish their fuel. Completing that task, each of the four convoys followed different tracks to their port of debarkation, St. Nazaire, France. As they neared the European coast, they were met by American destroyers that had been sent ahead, operating from a new base in Queenstown, Ireland. All the ships arrived safely, although there were numerous reports of submarine and torpedo sightings, particularly as they neared Europe. There is some debate if these attacks occurred, or were the result of false sightings. Rear Admiral Gleaves sailed with the first convoy on board his flagship, the cruiser USS Seattle. Upon the safe arrival of the last convoy, he wrote a glowing report on the transit, except for one topic.
The Return of the Mayflower, by Bernard Gribble; c. 1920 (watercolor, 10.5” x 16”) The first division of US Navy destroyers on their approach to Queenstown, Ireland, in May 1917. Leading the line of destroyers of Division 8, Destroyer Force, is USS Wadsworth (DD 60), flagship of Commander Joseph K. Taussig. The other destroyers of the division include USS Porter (DD 59), USS Davis (DD 65), USS Conyngham (DD 58), USS McDougal (DD 54), and USS Wainwright (DD 62). tionalities were shipped, and it is extremely probable that many spies were among the number. In one case a member of the crew of Momus of German extraction, openly threatened the safety of the ship. The crews of these transports at all times formed a serious menace to the safety of the convoy.4 It appeared that Gleaves was not overly fond of the Army’s method of hiring merchant mariners. His view was echoed by Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniels, as demonstrated when he removed the civilian crews from the colliers and oilers of the Naval Auxiliary Service on 7 May 1917. Shortly thereafter, on 12 July, when the issue of the German passenger liners arose, Admiral Benson and Secretary Daniels, along with the Army Chief of Staff, the Secretary of War, and with the concurrence of President Wilson, agreed that the Navy, in lieu of the Army, would operate these ships. The Navy oversaw the repair of the
ships, the fitting out and crewing, and then controlled their movement from port to port. The Army’s mission entailed the movement of troops from fort to port, and from port to front. Specifically, the sixteen liners were designated for operation by the new Cruiser and Transport Force (CTF), under the command of the newly promoted Vice Admiral Albert Gleaves. They joined ships of the American merchant marine and the Army Transport Service, until those vessels could also be commissioned into the CTF in early 1918. Before this could happen, German crews sabotaged the liners by smashing pumps and cracking cylinder casings. At a cost of almost $7 1/2 million dollars, US Navy yards repaired the damage by utilizing electric welding, a new technique. Elements of the Army’s 26th Division marched up the gangways of the former German ships SS Friedrich der Grosse and Prinzess Irene, renamed USS Huron and Pocahontas, and departed on 7 September. This was less than two months after the Navy took over
3 https://www.history.navy.mil/research/publications/documentary-histories/wwi/june-1917/rear-admiral-william-3/_jcr_content.html# 4 Senate.
66th Congress, 2nd sess., Naval Investigation (Washington, 1921), 2125–2135.
SEA HISTORY 161, WINTER 2017–18
the vessels. Each of the ships could carry more than 2,000 troops. The last of the sixteen German liners, SS Barbarossa— renamed USS Mercury—sortied on 4 January 1918. One other German liner and an Austrian ship joined them, along with the two German auxiliary cruisers. These twenty ships were instrumental in carrying over a quarter of the American Expeditionary Force, 557,788 personnel, in a total of 164 voyages. The smallest of the ships, USS DeKalb, could transport 800 troops; the largest, USS Leviathan, handled a maximum of 12,000. Within the US Navy, the CTF ships proved unique. First, the ships were not renamed until after their commissioning. So, for a brief period, the US Navy fleet included a ship named USS Kaiser Wilhelm II. It is unlikely the Navy would react well today to having a ship in its ranks named for the political leader of the nation’s enemy. Next, the ships’ names did not follow any set pattern. Some retained their original names, such as President Lincoln, President Grant, George Washington, and Martha Washington. Some received only minor revisions, Amerika became America, and Cincinnati—because there was already a cruiser with that name—was redesignated Covington, the name of the city located across the Ohio River from Cincinnati. There was a mix of geographic and historical names, such as Madawaska, Susquehanna, and Mount Vernon. Early American historical figures appeared, such as Powhatan. Some received the names of Greek mythological figures, including Aeolus, Antigone, and Agamemnon. The last was the name assigned to Kaiser Wilhelm II, and it portrays a bit of humor. Agamemnon was the leader of the Mycenean Greeks who led his people into a long and protracted war against Troy for the innocuous reason that his sisterin-law ran off with the Prince of Troy. The king was willing to sacrifice his own child to achieve a favorable wind to set sail; it took ten years to finally achieve his goal, but in the process, he laid waste to both sides. It was upon his return home that he found that his wife had fallen in love with a suitor and had Agamemnon killed. It would be interesting to note Kaiser Wilhelm’s reaction to the renaming of the ship.
By the end of the war the Cruiser and Transport Force included twenty-four cruisers, forty-five transports, 3,000 officers, and 42,000 enlisted sailors on its rolls. The entire pre-war US Navy had only consisted of 60,000 personnel. The ships, larger than any dreadnought in the fleet, garnered the attention of some of the best and brightest captains in the Navy, including William Leahy, captain of USS Princess Mataoika, the last of the German liners taken into American service. She completed six voyages and transported 21,216 men. Leahy continued to advance in rank until becoming the first five-star Admiral of the Fleet in 1945. Among the ranks was a young eighteen-year old sailor, who enlisted in the spring of 1918. Later in his career he would run a nightclub in Morocco, sail as chief mate of a Liberty ship on the dreaded Murmansk run, and command a destroyer minesweeper through a Pacific typhoon that led to a mutiny. Of course, this was after Humphrey Bogart left the Navy and became an actor in Hollywood, but during World War I he was an enlisted sailor on Leviathan. By Armistice Day, 2,079,880 American troops had landed in Europe from America. Cruiser and Transport Force ships transported forty-five percent of that total, with American allies, predominately the British at forty-nine percent, carrying the rest. A quarter of all troops travelled across the Atlantic aboard the twenty interned liners. The transport effort was not without casualties. While no American ships were lost in the transit to Europe, several were lost on the return, including two of the ex-German liners. On 30 May 1918, a day after departing Brest, France, and after shedding their destroyer escort, USS President Lincoln and three other transports were attacked by the German submarine U-90. She fired three torpedoes at the ship. The first two hit on the port side under the bridge, and the third about 120 feet forward of the stern. Within five minutes, the fate of President Lincoln was sealed and Captain Percy Wright Foote ordered the ship abandoned. She sank twenty-five minutes after the first explosion with most of the crew escaping into lifeboats. After a harrowing confrontation with the U-boat, Foote removed all indication of rank from his clothing to avoid being made a prisoner, but the
Germans removed a lieutenant from one of the other boats. Later that night, destroyers arrived and rescued the crew. Out of 715 on board, four officers and twenty-three enlisted were lost from the ship’s company. A month later, on 1 July, USS Covington, under the command of Captain Raymond D. Hasbrouck, was in a convoy with seven other transports and a like number of destroyers when U-86 attacked. On the bridge, the executive officer, Lieutenant Commander Marshall Collins, sighted a torpedo 200 yards off the port beam and ordered the helm hard right. The torpedo struck on the forward engine room bulkhead. The ship quickly took a 20-degree list to port, and with the threat of foundering, or another torpedo, the captain ordered the crew to the boats. Out of 780 crew, only six were lost in the initial explosion. After the rescue of the crew, a salvage team boarded the ship and took her in tow. Captain Hasbrouck remained aboard the destroyer, but the following day the list increased and the rescue team abandoned the effort shortly before Covington sank. Captain Hasbrouck’s actions became a point of controversy after the war; he was the only commanding officer of a troopship not awarded a Navy Cross, raising some doubt about his actions. To assist in the repatriation of the AEF, nine German ships augmented the CTF. Included was USS Leviathan’s sister ship, Imperator. The British, devoted to returning their troops and those of the dominions home, and the need to reestablish themselves along the world’s trade routes, diverted many of their ships from transporting the AEF. This left Vice Admiral Gleaves in a dilemma, as without those ships, it would take much longer to return the two million doughboys. Gleaves pressed into service his cruisers, backed by pre-dreadnoughts, and impressed seventy-one freighters from the Naval Overseas Transportation Service as makeshift transports. In the span of a year, he repatriated 1.9 million Americans, eighty-seven percent aboard ships of the CTF. The eighteen remaining German and Austrian liners, supplemented by the nine war prizes, transported a total of 590,142 troops in 173 voyages. For his actions, Gleaves received a promotion to command the Asiatic Fleet and, while in the Philippines, pen his wartime history in
SEA HISTORY 161, WINTER 2017–18 21
a rather one-sided account, titled A History of the Transport Service: Adventures and Experiences of United States Transports and Cruisers in the World War. With the return of the AEF, demobilization in full swing, and prospect of the United States being an active part of the League of Nations, the need to move troops again appeared a likely prospect. With the disbanding of the CTF in 1919, the Navy transferred control of the former German liners, and other ships, to the Army. The Army Transport Service intended to lay the ships up in anchorages around the United States and maintain them in a reserve capacity ; however, the cost proved prohibitive and many of the ships were made available to the US Shipping Board for commercial service. The three large Kaiser-class liners, Agamemnon, Mount Vernon, and Von Steuben, were all laid up. The last was scrapped in 1923, and the other two remained at anchor off St. Michael’s, Maryland, until 1940, when they also were recycled. The five Barbarossa-class liners—Mercury, Huron, Pocahontas, Powhatan, and Princess Matoika—all were used by commercial firms, but most not for long. Huron, re-
named City of Honolulu, caught fire on her maiden voyage under the new name; after her crew and passengers were rescued, she was sunk by the Coast Guard to avoid the hulk becoming a hazard to navigation. Princess Matoika, after stints with United States Lines and American Palestine Lines, was renamed City of Honolulu (II). After three years of operations, she too caught fire, this time in Honolulu harbor, and was deemed a total constructive loss. Pocahontas, after a very dubious and eventful commercial career, was sold to the North German Lloyd Company, the only one of the ships that returned to the German flag. She sailed as SS Bremen until relinquishing that name for a new transAtlantic liner being built, and was later scrapped. Other ships also met their ends after only a few years of service, such as Aeolus, Antigone, Susquehanna, DeKalb, and Martha Washington. A few of the ships remained active until the Second World War. Two were used throughout the interwar period by the Army Transport Service as USAT Republic (ex-President Grant) and USAT US Grant (ex-Madawaska). America, after being laid up in St. Michaels, and George Washington resumed operations as USAT Ed-
mund Alexander and USS Catlin. All told, the nineteen German liners and auxiliary cruisers and single Austrian liner proved a tremendous resource for the United States during the First World War, in the inter-war period, and even into World War II. Leviathan remained the most famous, sailing as the flagship of United States Lines, until she was scrapped in 1938. Her replacement, SS America, lost her commercial name and sailed during the Second World War as USS West Point. The interned liners proved a windfall for the United States and were instrumental in the successful transportation of the AEF to France during the First World War. Salvatore R. Mercogliano is an associate professor of history at Campbell University in Buies Creek, North Carolina, and an adjunct professor at the US Merchant Marine Academy in King’s Point, New York. He received a BS in Marine Transportation from SUNY Maritime College, an MA in Maritime History and Nautical Archaeology from East Carolina University, and a PhD in Military and Naval History from the University of Alabama. He sailed as a 2nd Mate (Unlimted) in the US merchant marine.
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SEA HISTORY 161, WINTER 2017–18
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SEA HISTORY 161, WINTER 2017–18 23
Constituents Though it is so ubiquitous aboard ship that it can seem like a simple common shipboard tool, rope is a carefully thought-out and constructed product. It begins as plant fibers spun into yarn and, in turn, twisted into strands. In most examples, fibers are twisted to the right, yarns to the left, and strands back to the right. Individual strands are then wound into a right-handed spiral to form a given circumference, then turned together into a left-handed or clockwise “lay,” ultimately forming a length of finished rope. Thus, when a line is pulled apart or begins to unravel, the next layer twists more tightly. How the direction of the twist and lay became standardized is unknown, but its consistency proved beneficial to sailors. Regardless of what ship they were on and where its rope had come from, they could depend on the direction of the lay in fibers, yarns, and strands without having to study individual lines and cordage, especially important in emergencies, when 24
safe and rapid splicing might be required. Sailors are notoriously superstitious, thus perhaps they avoided the Sinister (left twist) and universally chose the Dexter (right-hand twist) for the opening turn. Prior to the mid-twentieth century, rope was made from plant fibers such as hemp, sisal, manila, coir (fibers surrounding the coconut palm seed), and jute. Each fiber imparted specific characteristics to a rope. Hemp is hard and smooth; it was the
costly and difficult to obtain. Coir rope, also known as grass-line, was rough in texture and weak in performance, about one quarter the strength of hemp rope of equal diameter, but it could float and was used to control heavier lines. Inexpensive jute was weak but ideal for twines, whipping material, and matting.
material of choice for running rigging but easily deteriorated by overuse, chafe, and rot. Therefore, it was often tarred by dipping strands into vats of boiling pitch. Sisal, similar to hemp, was not as strong per weight and diameter as hemp, and its unruly fibers did not run smoothly through blocks. Strong and springy manila was
The most favored ropemaking material during the Age of Sail was hemp. The plant was cultivated thousands of years ago in China for making rope, clothing, and paper. Its value was so great that it was used as tribute to rulers. During the Middle Ages, this same plant became popular for making rope and cord across Europe. In
digital commonwealth, lesley jones collection
n the Age of Sail, a large sailing ship was rigged with miles and miles of rope. Before the introduction of steam engines aboard ships, wind provided their only means of propulsion, powering sails controlled by a complicated web of lines. Whether scrambling outboard along footropes aloft or manning the deck under straining canvas and rigging, seamen’s lives depended on quality rope and developing skills in how to manipulate it with knots and splices to turn it into a working rig. With time on their hands during long seagoing voyages, sailors before the mast— veritable experts in marlinespike seamanship—made good use of the available materials aboard ship by fashioning their own tools, gear, clothing, and even art—unknowingly creating a rich and lasting folk art tradition much recognized and valued today. Some was practical, some decorative—many were both. The most recognizable and perhaps abundant form of sailors’ art was decorative knotwork, developed from the regular knots, bends, hitches, and splices they used in their everyday work in the operation of their ships.
by Dr. Louis A. Norton
Dipping rope yarns in pitch helped the final product last longer in a saltwater and sea air environment. These rope yarns are being pulled through a tar trough at the Charlestown Navy Yard ropewalk in Boston. The quarter-mile-long granite building is the last ropewalk of its kind in existence in the United States. Between 1838 and 1970, most of the cordage for the Navy was produced here. SEA HISTORY 161, WINTER 2017–18
digital commonwealth, lesley jones collection
national park service
Rope up to a quarter of a mile long could be manufactured inside the 1,325 x 45-foot ropewalk at the Charlestown Navy Yard in Boston. (left) Interior photo of a ropemaker laying up four-strand rope. (right) The exterior of the building as it looked in 1930. Production at the ropewalk was terminated in 1971. The building has been vacant since then and is being considered for redevelopment by its owner, the Boston Redevelopment Authority, within the protocols of the National Park Service and the Massachusetts Historical Commission guidelines. America, hemp was cultivated in Salem, Massachusetts, in 1640. Like the Chinese, American colonial tax collectors would accept quantities of hemp as payment. Hemp fibers are strong, smooth, and resistant to stiffening when wet and later dried, a constant situation aboard ships at sea. Over the eighteenth century, Kentucky, North Carolina, and Missouri became major American hemp producers. Foreign varieties from Russia and the Baltics were popular, but many ship outfitters considered the Italian strains the best. Color is an indication of age in buying rope. “New is like spun gold, but as time runs on this fades to a dull yellow, and with age eventually it loses all color and turns a dull lifeless grey.”1 Pristine rope was so valuable that some navies wove colored jute threads into the yarns to identify the composition of materials. It also discouraged theft; selling stolen navy property to merchant captains was made unfeasible by this practice. Production Historically, ropemaking evolved through four major stages: twisting or braiding; manipulating components by way of simple mechanical tools; using compound machine-like tools; and employing powered machinery. The earliest ropes were made
of plant fibers and natural materials that were braided or twisted by hand. Ancient Egyptians tied the ends of papyrus to fixed objects and then twisted a stick to provide torsion. The resulting strands were combined into a three-twisted aggregate and then twisted together in a counter direction. The length of rope was limited by the length of the area in which it was being constructed. Outdoors, racks and stands could be built at just about any distance apart, but this practice was, of course, weather dependent. By the end of the twelfth century, Europeans were making rope indoors in long narrow buildings called “ropewalks” that allowed specially trained workers to construct ropes up to 300 yards long. These purpose-built complexes enabled yarns to be stretched in a long unbroken line between rotating hooks. As the hooks rotated, the yarns would be entwined together. Longer rope could be made by splicing lengths together. Splices, however, typically doubled the diameter of the rope at the join, thus making it useless for passing through blocks or fairleads of running rigging. Shortly after the first Europeans arrived in North America, they began making hemp cordage. Rope was used to rig their vessels, but also for myriad uses ashore. The frequency of supplies arriving from
Europe was unpredictable, and settlers were keen on making their own rope, along with other commodities for day-to-day living. In 1641, John Harrison, a ropemaker from Salisbury, England, built a ropewalk in Boston, using both Salem-grown and imported hemp as raw materials. Harrison controlled Boston’s ropemaking business for years, as evidenced by a 1663 order from local authorities demanding that a fellow “twine twister,” John Heyman, stop making rope and promptly leave town. When Harrison died, his quasi-monopolistic advantage died with him, and the number of ropewalks rose dramatically. In 1792, British entrepreneur and inventor Edmund Cartwright modified his power loom invention to mechanically assist making rope.2 This apparatus enabled ropemakers to produce multiple twists of the ropes with each turn of the complex tool. The mechanism was based upon an oversized wheel that linked smaller wheels via leather or rope belts. For each revolution of the center wheel, smaller wheels would turn from as few as four, to as many as ten, revolutions simultaneously, allowing the ropemaker to twist strands faster and tighter. Cartwright’s machine included a clutch mechanism, which could be used to reverse direction for right or left-hand turnings. As the
1 Hervey G. Smith, The Marlinespike Sailor, (New York, NY: The Rudder Publishing Company, 1952). 2 The
device was called the “Cordelier” after the knotted cord that girded the Franciscan friars’ habit.
SEA HISTORY 161, WINTER 2017–18 25
courtesy mystic seaport museum
Ropemaking machinery at the Plymouth Cordage Company ropewalk, now on display at Mystic Seaport Museum. Yarns were wound onto wooden bobbins, which were put onto a large rack. The yarns were then pulled from the bobbins through a metal plate called a register, and twisted into a long strand. The forming machine (pictured above on its track and a close-up view, below) traveled along a track in the floor, twisting the yarns to make a strand as long as the ropewalk. Three strands were put on a laying machine—a cart that also ran along a track. As the cart moved down the track, it twisted the strands into rope.3
Industrial Revolution progressed, wooden wheels and pulleys were replaced with metal-geared machines that rarely slipped, were less prone to breaking, and required only minor adjustments during the manufacturing process. Once the operation had been moved indoors, the maximum length rope that could be made in one piece was determined by the length of the ropewalk building. The only intact American ropewalk still in existence is at the Charlestown Navy Yard in Boston, near where USS Constitution is docked. The quarter-mile-long granite and brick building produced most of the rope for the US Navy between 1837 and 1971, when the ropewalk was officially closed. The Charlestown Navy Yard’s ropewalk has survived all these years, in part because of its stone construction, which has survived fires, which destroyed many a ropewalk from that era. The majority of commercial ropewalks were not made of stone, nor were they as long. The practice of dipping hemp fibers in hot pine tar to slow rope’s deterioration in the harsh sea environment proved beneficial in the quality of the finished product, but flammable fibers and wooden buildings were a volatile mix. The risk of fire was significant enough that ropewalks were often built outside of town or right along the waterfront. While demand for cordage of all sizes during the Age of Sail remained high, there was a large market for rope in many other trades. This generated a robust competition and, in time, corporate consolidation for production and cost efficiency. The business of ropemaking in the United States required substantial capital and large inventories of
courtesy mystic seaport museum
courtesy mystic seaport museum
Plymouth Cordage Company
Strands: Simple Machines and Rope Making in the Charlestown Navy Yard (Boston National Historical Park, 2005), 19.
SEA HISTORY 161, WINTER 2017–18
Knotting as an Art Form Diverse maritime occupations spawned subsets of specialized rope workers. Naval 4
Mike Crowe, “Tons of Rope,” Fisherman’s Voice, vol. 15, no. 4, 2010. 5 G. Biddlecombe, The Art of Rigging (Salem, MA: Marine Research Society, 1925) introduction.
cable, marline, and cast-off resources indelicately called “junk,” would be picked apart strand by strand to make baggywrinkle, anti-chafing gear seen high up in the shrouds of sailing ships. Retired lines from the rigging could be weaved into rope mats, used as “thump mats” to protect the deck from heavy blocks. A wide variety of knots and hitches were used for lanyards, grips on rails, beckets for sea chest handles, or sennits for belts to hold up one’s breeches.
Ship Rigging Through the centuries, the complex web of a ship’s rigging has taken on its own romanticism. According to seafaring lore, everything on board a ship has a heart and soul, and the rigging was no exception. The mainstay was said to have the heart-yarn, the maritime symbol of constancy, as in, “Do you think your girl’s playing true to you Bill? True! As true as the heart-yarn of the mainstay.” But a hard-hearted person could be described as having “the heart [like]…a marlinspike, which instrument… is made of iron.”5 A ship’s rig was installed either at dockside or in shipyards. At sea, it needed constant maintenance, and the ship’s crew was tasked with its upkeep. A good seaman took pride in his work, and while any component of a ship’s rigging must first be functional and strong, it must also look neat and well crafted. While quick jury-rigged repairs fell into a different category, other repairs and rigging work done under more calm conditions often included intricate and complicated handiwork, both functional and beautiful. Sailors often turned a splice and its accompanying knots into fancywork known as a “flash packet.” While not exclusively a maritime practice, decorative knots and fancywork, nonetheless, became closely associated with life at sea.
vessels had gunnery crews that would knot and weave pliable potholders that could be used in handling heated cannon shot. Fishermen were adept at making and mending nets and crafting personal items for their comfort while at sea. Deepwater sailors usually had the most idle time on their hands; their handiwork included knitting, crocheting, needlepoint, and macramé. Few scraps of any material went unused. Remnants of old halyards and sheets,
A variety of needle hitches and turk’s heads on everyday tools: (top to bottom) utility knife, seam iron, needle case, fid.
photo by e. t. burckell, uscgc eagle
stock to meet demand on short notice. One of the nation’s leading producers, the Plymouth Cordage Company in Massachusetts, often sold its products below cost to maintain production. This contributed to the demise of businesses that at one time were as common on the coast as boatbuilding and chandleries. These business issues, the constant threat of fire, and the decreased demand after steam replaced the wind as the main propulsion for ships, likely explain why this once familiar coastal building is so uncommon today.4
Making baggywrinkle is perhaps the simplest knotwork to do and makes good use of worn-out rope that cannot be used in the rig anymore. A bit tedious, but good to do on a rainy day or when you have inexperienced deckhands looking for something to do, it involves a series of simple cow-hitches and a stretch of marline to tie it to. It is then wrapped around standing rigging to prevent chafe on the sails. In this photo, you can see a long section of baggywrinkle on the mainstay of the USCG Barque Eagle.
SEA HISTORY 161, WINTER 2017–18 27
courtesy new bedford whaling museum
Knot board: Born of necessity, the skill of working with rope, cord, and twine ultimately evolved into a sophisticated and attractive art form. In seaside communities, knot boards became a maritime equivalent of stitch samplers.
digital commonwealth, lesley jones collection
The range of a sailor’s creativity in the confines of a ship at sea knew few limits. Fancy knotting is a traditional art form that is still considered an integral part of seafaring and persists today. Naval vessels, merchant ships, yachts, and yacht club walls display prize examples of this virtuosity. Sailors liked to make knots on practical
objects, such as tools that they used daily, but they also spent plenty of off-watch hours making items purely for pleasure. Decorative knotwork, scrimshaw, ships in bottles, yarn paintings, corded baskets, and embroidered goods are just some of the examples of folk art made by deepwater sailors. Maritime museums have large collec-
tions of many of these items, which serve as keepsakes and remembrances of those who lived and labored at sea and the care and pride they took in developing their marlinspike seamanship. With the development of synthetic rope in the 1950s and the subsequent development of braided rope, knotting and splicing has become less universally taught and mastered by those who spend time on the water, but it still maintains popularity among sailors. To try your hand at the art, or just learn more about its intricacies, you can do no better than to pick up a copy of the bible of knotting by Clifford Ashley, The Ashley Book of Knots; Hervey Garrett Smith’s Marlinspike Sailor; and The Art of Knotting and Splicing by Cyrus Lawrence Day, amongst many other books published on the subject. If you are visiting Massachusetts this winter or spring, be sure to plan a trip to the New Bedford Whaling Museum before next June (2018) to catch their exhibition, Thou Shalt Knot: Exhibition to Celebrate Clifford W. Ashley. Rope vs. Line: To mariners, rope refers to cordage that has no specific use or job onboard (still on the spool, perhaps), whereas line is a rope that has a specific purpose. (left) Coiling a massive 12-inch cable made at the Charlestown Navy Yard ropewalk was a group effort.
SEA HISTORY 161, WINTER 2017–18
Thou Shalt Knot: Clifford W. Ashley: A new exhibition at the New Bedford Whaling Museum, now through June 2018. The exhibition displays Clifford Ashley’s personal collection of knots and knotwork, which was donated to the museum in 2016 by Ashley’s daughters. Many of the knots in the collection were used for the almost 7,000 illustrations in The Ashley Book of Knots, in print since 1944. Also at the museum is a permanent exhibit on New Bedford native Clifford Ashley, who, in addition to his work with knots, was an accomplished artist and illustrator. (New Bedford Whaling Museum, 18 Johnny Cake Hill, New Bedford, MA; www.whalingmuseum.org)
Dr. Louis Arthur Norton is a maritime historian and frequent contributor to Sea History. He is the author of Joshua Barney: Hero of the Revolution and 1812 (2000) and Captains Contentious: The Dysfunctional Sons of the Brine (2009). He is a professor emeritus of the University of Connecticut Health Center in Farmington.
Sea chest becket and toggle grip showing multi-strand round sennits, manrope knots, turks heads, and other decorative ropework.
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SEA HISTORY 161, WINTER 2017–18 29
On the deck of the 1885 Wavertree at South Street Seaport in late October, Captain Brian McAllister, chairman of McAllister Towing and NMHS overseer, stood in the wind to eulogize his old friend, acclaimed marine painter Os Brett, who died this summer at the age of 96. McAllister reminisced that he had first seen an Os Brett painting of the Wavertree in the old Whitehall Club. Recognizing Os’s talent, he would commission many paintings from the artist over the years and the two men became friends. McAllister, a lifelong New York tugboat captain in charge of a fifthgeneration towing company, found much to talk about with the artist, who had spent his younger days shipping out under square rig and aboard freighters and troop ships. From the same spot on Wavertree’s deck, artist John Stobart had just spoken of how much he learned The Full-Rigged Ship Wavertree of Liverpool, 1885 oil on canvas, 24 x 36 inches (1968) about merchant ships from Os. While both men had known success through their art depicting ships of a bygone era, it was Os who had the seagoing experience, and whom Stobart credits with having taught him much about merchant vessels and the way of a ship at sea. Through his long friendship with our long-time president Peter Stanford and our friend Captain Howard Hill, Os became a great friend to the National Maritime Historical Society. He attended many of our events over the years, and was very generous with his art to further the cause of preserving our maritime heritage. We have his prints gracing the walls at NMHS headquarters. One of his Wavertree prints has always been in my office; every time I look up, I see the ship powering through a storm-tossed sea, reminding me of the strength and meaning in our seafaring heritage and of those who have dedicated their lives to preserving it. —Burchenal Green, President, NMHS
oswald brett art images courtesy of halstead press, sydney
A Celebration of the Life and Art of Oswald Brett, Seafarer and Marine Painter
Oswald Longfield Brett (1921–2017) by Stan Stefaniak The measure of a good artist is usually determined in terms of considering his or her drawing ability, use of color and tonal values, and of course the structuring of compositions in their paintings. Oswald Brett did fulfill these criteria very well; however, Os was not just another good artist. He was an extraordinary artist who touched the soul and immediately made a deep connection with the viewer of his artwork. Oswald magically conveyed the narrative within his paintings and elicited an emotion that will be appreciated by generations to come. Born 3 April 1921 in Cheltenham, New South Wales, Oswald Longfield Brett spent much time sketching ships in Sydney Harbor and imagining the day when he could go to sea. He also drew inspiration for painting from his mother Estelle Brett (née Mutton), a talented amateur portrait and landscape artist. Both Estelle and Oswald’s sister Judith encouraged him with his painting from childhood. Os knew at an early age that he would be a professional artist, concentrating entirely on ships and the sea. As a teenager, Os was greatly inspired by the work of masterful Sydney marine artist John Allcot (1888–1973), who became his mentor and lifelong friend. Os’s great interest in marine painting and determination to become a professional artist were already firmly established, and, following Allcot’s example, he sought a berth on sailing ships to experience first-hand what he would spend his lifetime depicting in art. (continued on page 32) 30
SEA HISTORY 161, WINTER 2017–18
Artist John Stobart met Os Brett in 1965 and the two hit it off immediately; they remained fast friends for half a century. John recently shared some of his memories and reflections on Os’s life and art, on their relationship, and on the great artist’s legacy. While an admirer of many of his remarkable paintings, John particularly appreciates some of Os’s early efforts. The examples below, he notes, show his extraordinary natural talent as a young man who had no formal art education. After years of perfecting his craft through constant work sketching and painting everywhere he went, Os was already an established artist when John first met him. As a young man, trying to make it in the art world, John Stobart left Os Brett and John Stobart his home in England and eventually landed in New York City by way of Toronto. He had been advised to visit a gallery not far from Grand Central Station after he arrived in Manhattan by train with four canvases rolled up as his portfolio. Upon hearing that he sought to paint all the American ports, the gallery owner immediately sent him over to South Street Seaport to meet Peter Stanford, who was working to save the historic waterfront in lower Manhattan. John recalled: “Suddenly, I’m in a ramshackle office in a soon-to-be demolished building and not only meet Peter Stanford, but also serendipitously find Os Brett there. The whole place vibrated with enthusiasm, and now Peter had in front of him not one but two marine artists ready to do battle in painting pictures that will support his cause. The instant I met Os I felt a mutual understanding or what I call a blend of chemistry. Our friendship blossomed, and as my thirst for understanding shiphandling practice grew, Os became my savior. From his late boyhood to early manhood, Os had crewed on sailing ships in the last days of commercial sail and on freighters and troop ships during World War II. He had fond and strong memories of his time onboard the freighter MV Malaita and RMS Queen Elizabeth, the latter carrying 25,000 troops across the Atlantic, heading for the war in Europe.
courtesy captain howard hill
A Lifelong Friendship: John Stobart on Os Brett—
The Barque William Manson, 1878, oil on canvas, 5 1/2 by 7 1/2 inches Os painted this when he was just sixteen years old, having had no formal art education. He began painting ships in Sydney Harbor when he was a teenager and sold them for about five shillings a piece. “I never had to advertise,” he explained. “It was all word of mouth and there was no shortage of willing buyers.” By the time he was seventeen, people were approaching him with commissions. About this early work, Os said, “It was a boy’s work, but I had no difficulty in selling paintings like this.” “Os made it clear that my seeking out his firsthand knowledge would be no burden and that we could enjoy a lasting personal relationship. He told me a hundred stories about being at sea, the most harrowing—in my mind, not his—about his going aloft aboard the replica of Endeavour when he was in his late 70s. This wonderful friend became the catalyst in my lifelong mission to record with a modicum of accuracy the bygone age of the sailing era. Without his friendship and ever readiness to help, I would have been at a total loss. His influence proved an enormous factor in my success in my own career, for which I will be eternally grateful. I miss him greatly.” —John Stobart (right) Three-inch dual purpose gun, aft in MV Malaita, 1941. The RAN gunner stands abaft the emergency steering gear. He trained the crew from among the Malaita’s sailors. The gun dates from circa 1917; sketched on the spot. —OB Os had a pile of drawings from his time in MV Malaita. These were sketched underway during his off-watch time, on a deck often pitching and wet. This drawing gets to me very quickly because of the technical accuracy in the details, which is important to me in my own work. —JS Ships and the Sea: The Art and Life of Oswald Brett, (Halstead Press, 2014) is replete with images of his paintings, sketches, and personal photos. Limited copies are available through the NMHS Ship’s Store at www.seahistory.org. See page 35 for details. SEA SEAHISTORY HISTORY161, 161,WINTER WINTER2017–18 31 2017–18 31
australian war memorial collection
His dream to go to sea became a reality just before the outbreak of World War II; Os served on coastal steamers around Australia. He spent the war years aboard RMS Queen Elizabeth, mostly between New York and Firth of Clyde in Scotland. Many opportunities arose for Os to sketch onboard scenes whilst off duty. The 1985 book, Queen Elizabeth at War: His Majesty’s Transport, 1939–46, by Chris Konings and illustrated by Os, showcases his fine drawing skills and observation of technical detail. Late in the war, Os met his future wife, Gertrude Steacy (now deceased), when the Queen Elizabeth made a port stop in New York. They married in 1944, settled in suburban Sunrise at Suez, oil on canvas, 24 x 36 inches RMS Queen Elizabeth approaching the anchorage at Port Taufik, Egypt, with the last detachment of Australian troops to the Middle East, Monday, 24 November 1941. Her escort is the Indian navy sloop Sutlej. (left) Port Wing of the Bridge, RMS Queen Elizabeth at Sea, North Atlantic, Spring 1943 “Sketched from my lookout post high in the crow’s nest looking aft. The ship is westbound at 26 knots.”
(below) SS Burwah and the Sydney Pilot Steamer Captain Cook, gouache, 7 1/2 x 10 inches The Burwah is shown rounding inner South Head, Port Jackson, New South Wales, and standing to seaward in a southeasterly blow in 1939. The pilot steamer Captain Cook is running before a following sea as she heads towards her mooring buoy in Watson’s Bay. The red-and-white Hornby Light (at right) stands on Inner South Head. New York and raised two children, Walter and Elizabeth. During the decade following the war, Os perfected his skill as an artist; his paintings in this era became more alive and his sea and sky moved. Artist John Stobart wrote of Os Brett’s firsthand knowledge of ships and the sea: Os has developed a wonderful facility for accurately portraying sea states and in placing his ships in those seas with such realism that they always look as if they’re ready to sail right off the canvas. Oswald Brett is one of the finest marine artists of the 20th century. His historic ship portraits are always meticulously researched and technically accurate to the nth degree, but they also capture another quality that speaks of the painter’s long and often arduous experience at sea. 32
SEA HISTORY 161, WINTER 2017–18
The Barque James Craig (ex Clan Macleod) in the Tasman Sea, 1912, with the Freighter SS Burwah Off the Weather Bow oil on canvas, 24 x 36 inches Os Brett maintained a successful career working on private and corporate commissions. From 1971 to 2002, he traveled throughout the world as the official ship’s artist aboard Columbus Line vessels, embarking in New York and making twenty voyages to distant ports, each of about 12,000 nautical miles. His wife often flew to the port of destination to join him on the return voyage. It was his first such voyage that took Os home to Australia for the first time in twenty-five years. Although Os only staged one major Australian exhibition—in the new headquarters of the Bank of New South Wales, in 1976—his paintings are held by the Australian War Memorial and maritime museums in Australia, as well as the US Naval Academy and the White House, and maritime museums across the world, not to mention numerous private collections. Always vitally interested in ships and their histories, Os assisted in the public campaign in Australia to restore the tall ships Polly Woodside in Melbourne and James Craig in Sydney, and to build the Endeavour replica. He maintained friendships with Australian Society of Marine Artists member artists; visits to Australia provided an opportunity to catch up and talk about marine painting. As recently as November 2014, Os made his last journey to Australia to launch his wonderful memoir, Ships and the Sea— The Art and Life of Oswald Brett (Halstead Press, Sydney). It is most fortunate that such a publication eventuated, because it offers current and future generations insights into the highly skilled artwork of a true master of marine painting. In his book, he also explains the passion and dedication that characterized his experience in the so-called “Golden Era” of sea travel. It is all too easy these days to take for granted the sea trade, so instrumental in the economic development of Australia, which included sail transport right up until the end of World War II. The many images of Os’s art in this book bring to mind the paintings that I have come to know over the years. One such painting depicts the barque James Craig approaching Sydney Heads, the entrance to Sydney Harbor, circa 1910. Os’s draftsmanship is, as usual, without question particularly evident in the way the vessels and the water are drawn. The composition is constantly arresting, with the placement Barque James Craig Approaching Sydney Heads, Passing by the Pilot Steamer Captain Cook and the Steam Tug Bustler, c. 1910, oil on canvas, 24 x 36 inches SEA HISTORY 161, WINTER 2017–18 33
The Whaler Joseph Starbuck of Nantucket, Off the Coast of Hawaii, 1850, oil on canvas, 24 x 36 inches of the other two vessels and their funnel smoke wonderfully balancing the area of the canvas. Sydney’s North Head, just in view on the left, and the seagulls to the right complete this skillfully executed painting. The harmonious use of color, consideration of tonal values and light and atmospheric perspective are greatly appealing. Instantly, I am transported to another era and can virtually picture myself as a witness to this now-historic event. Another painting that I particularly admire depicts the whaler Joseph Starbuck of Nantucket off the coast of Hawaii, 1850. Whilst Os has masterfully captured a historic event by employing all of the already mentioned artistic elements, his creative use of color and balanced tonal values draw the viewer into the painting. Os’s seafaring experience, intimate knowledge of ship’s rigging, and sharp observation of weather and sea conditions perfectly narrate the scene. One can virtually smell the briny water and feel the breeze. And the fluttering flags add that special touch! Those who knew Os fondly remember him as very personable and always willing to talk about art and ships and the sea. I treasure the letters he wrote to me that included photos of his selected paintings with interesting commentaries written on the back, as well as the envelopes themselves that featured Os’s artwork, making them works of art in their own right. Os Brett died on 6 August 2017 following complications after a fall in his home on Long Island. He was 96. He is survived by children Walter and Elizabeth in New York, as well as by a nephew, Oswald Frizell, in Australia and a grandson, Samuel, in Buffalo, New York. Os’s contribution to the celebration of the maritime heritage of Australia and the United States, The Full-Rigged Ship Balclutha Beating Out of Bristol Channel through art, is most significant. in the Winter of 1894, gouache, 20 x 30 inches. Stan Stefaniak, FASMA, is President of the Australian Society of Marine Artists. 34
Balclutha escaped near disaster when her cargo of coal shifted at sea. She has been fully restored and is now a museum ship in San Francisco. SEA HISTORY 161, WINTER 2017–18
A Great Way to Support the NatioNal MaritiMe Historical society ... Own a fabulous print by acclaimed marine artist Oswald Brett
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Ships and the Sea: The Art and Life of Oswald Brett “This is a story you’ll find vibrant with the tang of salt air and the call of new horizons as seen by an artist who’s really been there.” —Peter Stanford, President Emeritus, NMHS 172pp, illustrated hardcover. $69.95 SALE $50.00 + $6.00 s/h. Shipping within USA only. Signed by Oswald Brett
To order by phone, call with your credit card 1-914-737-7878, x 0 Or visit our web site at www.seahistory.org NYS residents add applicable sales tax. For orders send outside the US, call the above number or email firstname.lastname@example.org for shipping information. SEA HISTORY 161, WINTER 2017–18 35
Marine Art News n October, marine artists of all stripes, plus collectors, curators, gallery owners, and admirers, gathered in Mystic, Connecticut, for the American Society of Marine Artists’ second national conference. After the resounding success of their first conference, held in fall 2016 in Williamsburg, Virginia, ASMA members had high expectations for the four-day event. They would not be disappointed. Impressionist Charles Warren “C W ” Mundy kicked off the first day with a demonstration on painting from an image turned upside-down. He worked from a photograph he had taken of the Maine windjammer ketch Angelique and explained that, by flipping it 180 degrees, you turn a specific nautical scene into an abstract form, which allows the brain to work through color, value, shape, and edges without the distraction of thinking about
Among the highlights of the conference was the morning plein-air paint-out on the grounds of Mystic Seaport. The artists spread out across the museum campus and were open to questions and comments from onlookers while they worked. That evening, artists and conferees met at the R. J. Schaefer Building at the museum to view the ASMA 17th National Exhibition.
photos by david farabaugh
American Society of Marine Artists–2nd National Marine Art Conference
Artist Don Demers talks to interested observers while at his easel during the plein air session at Mystic Seaport.
C W Mundy starts on his painting of an upside-down windjammer. this specific boat, where it was and what it was doing, or your experience with the subject. While his plein-air contemporaries might not have the advantage of turning their subjects upsidedown, Mundy introduced us to an unusual technique that he’s found useful in his own work. His painting, once turned right-side up, was indeed a successful effort and found a buyer on the spot. Following C W Mundy came a more traditional demonstration by Don Demers on “Conception and Development of a Marine Painting.” A veteran art instructor, Demers explained that he very rarely works from a photograph and that he likes to convey “something that has just happened, something that is happening, and something that is about to happen.” For his subject, he chose a New York pilot schooner and discussed how he balances his thorough understanding of ship anatomy—schooners in particular—with needing, at times, to forget what the thing is and work on assigning shape, lines, color, and value. Many artists emphasized the importance of knowing one’s subject, from those who study naval architecture to better understand ship design, to others who immerse themselves in the history of seaports and waterfront scenes to ensure their works on historical subjects and scenes are portrayed accurately. Artists more focused on the natural environment include seascape painters who have spent a lifetime studying the littoral zone and sculptors who recreate marine life in stone and bronze. 36
The American Society of Marine Artists supports its members through national and regional exhibitions of their work and through many workshops throughout the year. By attending the conference and presentations where the artists we’ve come to admire are present, we get the rare opportunity to talk with them about their work, their approach, and about what we might have to offer them. ASMA also supports up-and-coming artists through its Young Marine Artist Search competition. The winning youth art pieces are exhibited alongside those of the masters in the national exhibition. Mystic Seaport is the last venue for the 17th National Exhibition; it is on display through 21 January 2018. (You can view the works online through the ASMA website at www.american societyofmarineartists.com.) The National Maritime Historical Society is a long-time supporter of the American Society of Marine Artists, and ASMA artists are regular and generous contributors to Sea History, sharing cover art, marine art features, and illustrations for maritime history articles. Recent cover art by ASMA artists include works by Robert Semler (Sea History 160), Russ Kramer (Sea History 158), and Daven Anderson (Sea History 157), and past covers by artists such as John Stobart, Patrick O’Brien, Don Demers, and Peter Rindlisbacher. —Deirdre O’Regan, Editor, Sea History
Hammerhead, by Scott Penegar (onyx, 10” H x 7” W x 7” L) Before turning to art full time, sculptor Scott Penegar studied marine science in college, and now puts his knowledge of marine animals to use in his sculptures. Penegar gave a demonstration using power tools, picks, and rasps to show some of the process of turning blocks of stone into exquisite sculptures. SEA HISTORY 161, WINTER 2017–18
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Tour the Historic Ships of Britain Explore one of the finest collections of preserved ships in the world under the guidance of acclaimed maritime historian Brian Lavery, author of more than 30 books including Nelson’s Navy, Ship of the Line, Churchill’s Navy, and many others. This 7-day tour will visit Henry VIII’s sunken and recovered Mary Rose, Nelson’s Victory, Brunel’s Great Britain, the ironclad warship Warrior, the clipper Cutty Sark and the cruiser Belfast, famous for her role in World War II and the Korean War. There is much more to see besides—visits to museums and galleries, historic sites, boat trips in rivers and estuaries and some of England’s loveliest countryside, as well as the possibility of shopping in London, Portsmouth or Bristol. Dates: 26 August to 2 September 2018. To find out more, contact: Lavery Maritime Tours +44 776 215 4426 E-mail: Lavery.email@example.com Website: www.brianlavery.co.uk
SEA HISTORY 161, WINTER 2017–18 37
Diamond Shoals No. 71: The Only
US Lightship Sunk by Enemy Action
ne of the most monotonous, arduous and dangerous duties performed by the Coast Guard and one of its predecessors, the US Lighthouse Service,1 was manning stationary vessels positioned in shallow water or near shoals, where, because of the difficult location, it was impossible to build a lighthouse. Quite frequently, these vessels marked the approach to a port or the outer limits of outlying dangers. Occasionally, they were used in inside waters. The primary purpose of a lightship is to serve as a beacon by day, a platform for a light by night, and a sound signal in time of fog. Moreover, with radio equipment, lightships are invaluable relay stations. Lightship duty was considered the most dangerous duty in the Lighthouse Service. Real danger generally came from two sources: stormy weather or collision with another vessel. Many a lightship was sunk by both over the years, and one, the Diamond Shoals lightship (No. 71), would be the only one sunk by enemy action!2 Great Britain’s first lightship took station at the Nore Sandbank in the Thames River estuary in 1731. In the United States the first recorded use of a lightship, then known as a “lightboat,” was at Willoughby
by C. Douglas Kroll, PhD
Spit in Virginia in 1820.3 America’s first true “outside” lightship—anchored in the open sea instead of within a bay or inlet— entered service in 1823 off Sandy Hook, New Jersey. The station’s name changed to Ambrose Channel in 1908. The first Diamond Shoals lightboat, built in New York in 1823–1824, assumed its station some thirteen miles ESE of Cape
Hatteras, North Carolina, in late June of 1824. The following February, a powerful storm ripped the vessel from its mooring and did considerable damage to the lightboat itself. It was forced to sail to Norfolk for repairs. Because there were no relief lightboats to take her place, the treacherous Diamond Shoals went without a beacon for the entire ten months that its lightboat was being repaired. Back on station in late December, the vessel remained there just five months, when another storm the following May snapped her moorings. With no spare anchor or chain, she had to put in to Norfolk again. The Diamond Shoals lightboat did not return to its station until November 1826. Nine months later, in August 1827, another storm parted her moorings again, and then drove the vessel up on the beach south of Ocracoke Inlet along North Carolina’s Outer Banks. She ended up so far aground that she was impossible to refloat and was broken up for salvage. Seventy years would pass before
Lightships served an important role in the safe navigation of shipping, but the life of a lightship crewmember serving aboard a ship that stayed anchor far from shore for months at a time was fairly boring. Here, a lightship crew passes the time playing cards down below. 38
SEA HISTORY 161, WINTER 2017–18
us navy photo
U-140 was a Type U 139 German submarine, designed for long-range missions, launched in November 1917. She only served at sea for six months, but in that time she destroyed more than 30,000 tons of Allied shipping. This photo was taken after the U-boat had been turned over to the United States after the war. Diamond Shoals saw another lightship.4 The use of lightships grew steadily, and by 1917 there were 53 lightship stations in United States territorial waters. One of those lightships was first stationed off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, in 1889. That year, Congress had appropriated $200,000 for the construction of a lighthouse on Outer Diamond Shoal. Efforts to build the lighthouse at that location were unsuccessful, so the remaining funds were diverted to construct lightship No. 69 and establish a lightship at what would be called Diamond Shoals. That lightship was swept off station by a hurricane in late summer 1899, and grounded near the Creeds Hill Life-Saving Station. The crewmembers all survived and were taken to the station, and lightship No. 69 was later refloated and placed back in service. Lightship No. 71 was built at Bath Iron Works Ltd. in Maine in 1897. Just under 123 feet in length with a beam of 28.5 feet, she had a steel frame and topsides and a wood bottom. She carried two masts with lantern galleries and a stack amidships. Her original station was to be off Overfalls Shoal in Delaware Bay; however, when LV No. 69 on Diamond Shoals needed repair, lightship No. 71 took her position. Lightship No. 71 would alternate with lightship No. 69 on that station until 1900. From 1900 to 1918, No. 71 would alternate with lightship No. 72 at three-month intervals. She would serve as a floating lighthouse, sound signal station, and navigation beacon for twenty-one years, marking the treach-
erous waters of Diamond Shoals off North Carolina to ensure other vessels could navigate safely. She was equipped with a wireless telegraph in 1904, and an eighteen-inch searchlight was added in 1905. In 1912 lightship No. 71 was modernized again and fitted with a two-way radio. When the United States entered World War I on 6 April 1917, five days later LV No. 71 became one of four lightships to come under the control of the US Navy. Besides her usual mission as an aid to navigation, the lightship was tasked to maintain a lookout and report by radio. In July of 1917, lightship No. 71 received equipment from the Navy and the US Weather Bureau for recording and reporting weather observations twice daily by radio. The United States became concerned about the possibility of German submarines reaching the Eastern Seaboard and the Gulf Coast. The Germans had demonstrated that their submarines were capable of distances up to 12,000 miles, and shortly before the war the Deutschland, Germany’s first large merchant submarine, had visited the east coast of the United States. No German submarines had been sighted off the East Coast until 21 May 1918. On that night, U-151 became the first enemy ship to invade US waters since the War of 1812, as it cruised on the surface at the mouth of Chesapeake Bay. U-151 had departed Germany in April and was well supplied with mines, ammunition for her two deck guns, torpedoes, and a cable cutting device. Af-
ter depositing her mines and completing her cable cutting assignment, U-151 headed south to inflict what damage she could on coastal shipping. Other large, heavily armed German submarine cruisers would also sail to American coastal waters. The Kapitänleutnant Weddigen (U-140), one of the very few German submarines to receive a name, was named after the commander of U-9, who had startled the world at the outbreak of World War I by sinking three British cruisers in quick succession. She was more generally known simply as U-140. She carried thirty-five torpedoes and 4,000 rounds of ammunition for her two deck guns—a six-inch gun forward and a four-inch gun aft. With an overall length of 302 feet and beam of almost thirty feet, U-140 could reach 15.8 knots at the surface and 7.6 knots submerged. She carried a complement of sixty-two men. U-140 was commanded by Korvettenkapitän (LCDR) Waldemar Kophamel, who had entered the German Navy in 1898 and the submarine service in 1906, serving in U-1. At the outbreak of WWI he had been assigned to command SM U-35 until November 1915, when he was appointed commander of the submarine flotilla at Pola. From July 1917 until March 1918, he commanded the large cruiser U-151, which would later be the first U-boat to enter US coastal waters. He had commanded U-140 since its commissioning on 28 March 1918. Departing Germany’s Baltic coast on 2 July 1918, U-140 reached
SEA HISTORY 161, WINTER 2017–18 39
us navy collection
the coastal waters of North America, just south of Newfoundland, on 26 July and opened her campaign against Allied shipping. Her initial attacks failed and the ships escaped, but on 1 August U-140 sank her first merchant vessel, using both a torpedo and her deck guns. More sinkings would follow. On 5 August she stopped the American sailing ship Stanley M. Seaman, sailing from Newport News to Santo Domingo with a cargo of coal, and sank her with explosive charges. She then headed south off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. There she sighted the American cargo ship SS Merak, underway from New York to the West Indies. U-140 fired at the 3,000-ton steamship with torpedoes, but one of Merak’s crewmen spotted the wake of a torpedo allowing time for the ship to take to evasive maneuvers. Despite missing the initial torpedo attack, Merak ran aground in the process. The Germans surfaced and began bombarding the American merchant sailors with its deck gun. The cargo ship was destroyed, but her crew successfully escaped. This attack took place near the Diamond Shoals lightship, moored at her station off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. In command was a born-and-bred North Carolinian, First Mate Walter L. Barnett. Born in October 1871 and raised in Buxton, a tiny fishing village in the wooded dunes on the backside of Hatteras Island, Barnett had previously served as second mate aboard lightship No. 80 at Cape Lookout Shoals just to the south and west, and lightship No. 72, which had been on Diamond Shoals prior to the arrival of No. 71. Witnessing the attack on Merak at 2:50pm on 6 August 1918, Barnett ordered the lightship’s anchor raised and steamed to the area to rescue the survivors. As the Diamond Shoals lightship steamed slowly towards the scene, Barnett sent out a radio message warning ships in the area that a U-boat was nearby. Unfortunately, despite its good intentions to warn friendly ships, the radio call also alerted the enemy aboard U-140, which then raced back to the site of the Merak wreck. Upon arrival, U-140 surfaced and Korvettenkapitän Kophamel ordered six shots to be fired near the lightship at 3:25pm and demanded that the Americans evacuate the
Korvettenkapitän Waldemar Kophamel lightship. LV 71 was unarmed, so Master Barnett and his eleven-member crew —an engineer, cook, three firemen, four seamen, and two radio operators—had no choice but to row ashore in their lifeboat. They unlashed the oars of a twenty-three-foot open lifeboat and rowed for Hatteras Island. Safely ashore, the lightship crew watched as the Germans sank their ship with deck gunfire. “We were three miles away,” said Barnett, “when the old ship stuck up her nose and went under.”5 Neither side suffered any casualties in the incident. Reports at the time said it appeared that about twenty-five other vessels took refuge in Lookout Bight as a result of the radio warning sent out by the lightship.6 LV 71 was the first and only American lightship sunk by enemy action during the Great War. After its sinking, the Lighthouse Bureau decided not to risk another vessel on the shoals as long as hostilities continued. Its station was temporarily marked by a gas and whistle buoy for 7½ months, until relief light vessel No. 72 was established at the station on 30 March 1919. U-140 encountered bad luck after sinking the Diamond Shoals lightship. On 10 August she tried to stop a Brazilian steamer, only to have a US Navy destroyer happen upon the scene, forcing the Germans to make an emergency dive as they were being depth charged. The depth charges caused leaks in her pressure hull and in her fuel tanks, severely limiting her operations.
Finally, on 17 August, after losing 9,000 gallons of fuel, U-140 began her long voyage home. On her cruise home she scored her final victory, sinking a British merchantmen, SS Diomed, in a gun battle. U-140 reached Kiel on 20 September, ending an 81-day cruise during which she claimed to have sunk over 30,000 tons of Allied shipping. She spent the remainder of the war in Kiel and was turned over to the British in February 1919 and interned at Harwich, England. In the meantime the US Navy had expressed a desire to obtain several former German submarines for use in a Victory Bond campaign during the summer of 1919. An American crew took control of U-140 in March, arriving in New York during May. She was opened for a time for public viewing at New York and at the end of summer was laid up at the Philadelphia Navy Yard until the summer of 1921, when she became a naval gunnery target, being sunk by USS Dickerson (DD-157) on 22 July 1921 off Cape Charles, Virginia. Korvettenkapitän Kophamel remained in command of U-140 until it was turned over to the British. He was one of the most successful German U-boat commanders of World War I, sinking or capturing fifty-six ships and damaging five others. He ranks 11th of all German World War I submarine commanders and was awarded the Orden Pour Le Mérite, Prussia’s highest military award, also known as “Blue Max,” for repeated and continual gallantry in action. He remained in the German navy after the war and retired in August 1920 with the rank of Fregattenkapitän. He died in Plon on 4 November 1934. The German submarine support ship Waldemar Kophamel, launched 15 May 1939, was named in his honor. In World War II it was sunk in the British air attack on the port of Gotenhafen (now Gdynia). With the sinking of the Diamond Shoals lightship No. 71, Walter Barnett was put on temporary assignment to the lighthouse tender Arbutus. In October 1918 he became second officer in the lighthouse tender Columbine, a position he would hold until December 1922 when he briefly became the keeper of the Cape Henry Light Station in Virginia. Less than a year later, he would return to another lightship, SEA HISTORY 161, WINTER 2017–18
Diamond Shoal lightship WLV-189 was replaced by a “Texas Tower” light in 1966. The last US lightship in service was the Nantucket lightship, WLV-612, which was decommissioned in 1985.
Mulitbeam image of the Diamond Shoals lightship, on the seafloor. The wreck of lightship No. 71 lies in 180 feet of water off the coast of North Carolina. recreational divers better interpret the wreck site, which is managed jointly by NOAA and the US Coast Guard. NOTES 1 The Lighthouse Service was merged into the Coast Guard in 1939. 2 The relief light vessel off Rattlesnake Shoal (off Charleston, SC) was seized and sunk by Confederate forces during the Civil War, but they are not considered a “foreign” enemy. 3 Shortly after the Lighthouse Board took charge of the nation’s lighthouses in the 1850s the vessel designation was changed from “lightboat” to “lightship.” 4 Francis Ross Holland Jr., America’s Lighthouses. Brattleboro, VT: Stephen Greene Press, 1972. 5 Dennis Noble. Lighthouses & Keepers: The US Lighthouse Service and Its Legacy. Annapolis: Naval Institute Press, 1997. 6 Calvin D. Jarrett, “Sub Sighted—Sighter Sunk” in the Bulletin of the USCG Acad-
emy Alumni Association. June 1971 7 Willard Flint. Lightships of the United States Government: Reference Notes. Washington, DC, US Coast Guard Headquarters: US Coast Guard Historian’s Office, 1989. C. Douglas Kroll, a US Coast Guard Academy graduate and a former Coast Guard officer, holds a master’s degree in history from the University of San Diego and a PhD in history from the Claremont Graduate University. He is the author of numerous articles in Coast Guard and maritime journals and in maritime encyclopedias, as well as author of Commodore Ellsworth P. Betholf: First Commandant of the Coast Guard (Naval Institute Press), Friends in Peace and War: The Landmark Visit of the Russian Navy to Civil War San Francisco (Potomac Books) and A Coast Guardsman’s History of the US Coast Guard (Naval Institute Press). An emeritus professor of history at College of the Desert in Palm Desert, California, he now resides in Keizer, Oregon.
No. 72, the relief lightship for the 5th district, which spent part of her time at Diamond Shoals. In 1925 Barnett returned to Diamond Shoals as first mate of the new Diamond Shoals lightship, No. 105, launched in 1922. In 1926 he was appointed master of Cape Lookout Shoals lightship, also off North Carolina. His final assignment came in 1930 when he was sent back to LV No. 72, assigned to the Chesapeake Station in Virginia. Walter Barnett retired on disability in 1933 and died in 1957. Lightship No. 105 remained on station at Diamond Shoals, except during World War II, when she was sent thirty miles off Cape Henry, Virginia, as an exam vessel in 1942. She was rammed and sunk at that location on 20 July 1944 by two large steel barges that broke loose from the seagoing tug P.F. Martin during a storm. After World War II, lightship No. 189 served at Diamond Shoals and remained in service there until 1966, when it was replaced by a “Texas Tower” lighthouse. The US Coast Guard assumed responsibility for all lighthouses and lightships in 1939 when it merged with the US Lighthouse Service. Lightships were gradually replaced by large navigation buoys and Texas Towers; the last lightship on station, the Nantucket (WLV-613), was decommissioned in December 1983. This ended the era of lightships as navigational aids in the US, which lasted for more than 150 years. LV 71, the only US lightship sunk by enemy action, now rests on the seafloor in approximately 180 feet of water where she sank off the coast of Hatteras, North Carolina. In August 2015, teams from NOAA’s Monitor National Marine Sanctuary, in partnership with the US Coast Guard and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, began a survey of the historic wreck of Diamond Shoals lightship No. 71. The expedition documented the wreck site, which was added to the National Register of Historic Places that same month. Information from the survey was also used to create educational exhibits and materials to help
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SEA HISTORY for kids Careers in the Marine and Maritime Field
courtesy mystic seaport
photo by warren barker
n the 21st century, you don’t find a lot of kids dreaming of becoming shipwrights when they grow up. A couple of centuries ago, coastal towns would have had a whole bunch of kids aspiring to do so, but that was because it was a common occupation in the days when wooden boats provided livelihoods for much of the country. Fishing vessels, cargo ships, passenger boats, and even warships were built in shipyards large and small, in just about every coastal community. Kids’ uncles, fathers, and older brothers worked as carpenters, sailmakers, riggers, and blockmakers, and as the mariners who went to sea in their work upon the water. In 2017, it isn’t necessarily a popular occupation, but it is still a viable career for individuals who develop the skills in carpentry, boatbuilding, and repair. Krityavijay Singh—Krit for short—is a shipwright at Mystic Seaport Museum. He specializes in the construction and restoration of wooden yachts and ships. At Mystic, he works on all the museum ships and boats that need regular maintenance and repairs, but he also works on ships from other places that come to the shipyard for repairs big and small. Right now, Krit’s main job at Mystic Seaport is working with a crew of shipwrights and volunteers on a major restoration of the Mayflower II, from Plymouth, Massachusetts. So… how does a kid from Connecticut end up choosing a career that is almost unheard of in the age of smartphones and cybertechnology? “Boatbuilding as a career path is something I sort of fell into. I always enjoyed building and creating things with my hands. While I realized that I drew a lot satisfaction from these sorts of tasks, I was a total novice when it came to woodworking skills. What I lacked in experience, I made up for with eagerness.” Krit was at a point in his life when he had to choose what path to take for a career. “When the time came to look for a school that would further my hands-on skills, I was torn between fine furniture making and boatbuilding programs. I ultimately chose boats because I knew less about them!” Krit rationalized that because boatbuilding required mastering working with curved surfaces, it would be more difficult…and that’s what drew him in. “I was convinced that once I had the know-how to make complex things out of wood, designing my own furniture would be easy.” Krit applied and was accepted into the two-year Boatbuilding and Restoration Program at the International Yacht Restoration School (IYRS) in Newport, Rhode Island. As a student, he built two boats from start to finish, a 22-foot Krit (in the red shirt) learned firsthand Hinckley roustabout and a about carpentry and boat construction as small Beetlecat sailboat. In the a student at IYRS. process, Krit was trained in all aspects of boat construction, from drafting to varnishing and finishing details—and everything in between. His job at the shipyard at Mystic Seaport is a perfect match for Krit’s interests and newly learned skills. “The most unique aspect of our work at the shipyard is that we take pieces from tree to boat. Nothing is pre- Krit works with other shipwrights replacing the massive frames milled or fabricated. We start with a tree trunk and do all the milling and knees inside the Mayflower II. right here at the museum shipyard. My skills have gone far beyond basic ship’s carpentry. One day, I’m fitting a timber inside a big wooden ship, the next I am operating the sawmill outdoors, and the day after that we are on to something else. There is never a dull moment here.” (To learn more about IYRS, visit their website at www.iyrs.edu. You can follow the restoration of the
courtesy krit singh
Shipwright Krit Singh
Mayflower II and other vessels in the shipyard at Mystic Seaport at www.mysticseaport.org/shipyard/.)
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That Ship Looks Old … Is it? Replicas vs. Historic Ships The Mayflower II that Krit Singh is working on is not the original ship that brought the Pilgrims to Massachusetts in 1620. The original Mayflower was last heard of in the historical record in May of 1624, when its owners had the ship appraised back in England. The ship was inspected and deemed to be “in ruinis,” Latin for being in pretty rough shape. We can assume the ship was scrapped. The Mayflower II in these photos was built in the 1950s as a replica vessel so that people could see first-hand what the ship looked like, go down below and see how crowded it would have been carrying more than 100 people across the Atlantic, and, for a lucky few, get to set sail and feel what it was like to sail in such a vessel.
maritime museum of san diego
Reading about sailing ships in books is one thing, hauling on lines to raise sails, heaving in the anchor, learning to walk across a pitching deck is another. People build replicas of historic ships for a number of reasons, but usually it is because that type of vessel no longer exists and, without a full-size ship to explore, under- Mayflower II was built in 1957 as a replica of the original ship that carried the Pilgrims standing what it was like is hard to do. Not to the New World in 1620. all ships you see at tall ship festivals are replicas—some are the real deal, others are somewhere in between, depending on how much they have been repaired and rebuilt.
The 212-foot Star of India is the real deal. She was built in 1863 to carry cargo. This historic ship has sailed around the world 21 times! Today, she is a museum ship in San Diego.
How can you tell the difference between a historic ship and a replica? In many cases, you can’t tell just by looking at it—you’ll have to ask the crew. How close do replica ships represent the originals? That depends on the individual ship as well. Some replica vessels are built from the same plans (blueprints) as the originals, and will closely match the ships from history, although modern safety and environmental regulations require some modifications, especially for vessels that take people out sailing. With a few exceptions, we don’t have the original plans of specific ships from history that sailed centuries ago, so they are designed to closely match ships of that era engaged in the same sort of activities—exploration, military, fishing, or trading vessels. Researchers use ships’ log books and sailors’ journals to fill in the gaps. Sometimes shipwrecks of vessels from the same time period can reveal details on size, materials used, cargoes carried, and shipbuilding techniques. Contemporary paintings and drawings can help, too.
Pride of Baltimore II was built in 1988. She is not a replica of any specific vessel in history, but rather a re-creation (or reproduction) of a type of schooner that was important to the history of the Chesapeake Bay.
tony hisgett cc by sa
While historic ships have obvious value as artifacts from our past, replica and re-created vessels allow us to experience ships that do not exist anymore or might be too delicate to sail without making major repairs or modifications. Want to see one for yourself? Visit a maritime museum that has ships and boats in its collection, or sign up for a daysail or multi-day sailing program with one of the many ships and organizations through Tall Ships America. You can even do a high school- or collegelevel full semester at sea. Find a maritime museum near you through the Council of American Maritime Museums at www.councilofamerican maritimemuseums.org. Look up sailing programs aboard tall ships through the Tall Ships America website at www.sailtraining.org.
Some vessels you might see sailing into port are neither replicas nor historic ships, even though they might look like ships from a bygone era. These vessels are not based on a specific ship, but are inspired by a type of ship that was common to a time and place. We refer to these as a re-creation or reproduction of that historic ship type.
SEA SEAHISTORY HISTORY161, 161,WINTER WINTER2017–18 2017–18 43
Animals in Sea History
by Richard King
n the early evening of 27 July 1854, the American clipper ship Shooting Star was sailing toward Java, Indonesia, from the southwest. The sailors on deck noticed that the ocean’s surface had become entirely white. The men summoned their captain, W. E. Kingman, who, upon looking over the rail and seeing the odd color of the water, decided to stop the ship to take a sounding in case they were way off course and sailing over dangerous, shallow water. Satisfied this was not the case, he continued sailing through what he later described in a letter as “a plain covered with snow.” Kingman measured the slick of milky-looking water to be some twenty-three nautical miles long, interrupted by only a half-mile dark strip in the center. In all his years at sea he had seen “nothing that would compare with this in extent or whiteness.” He had his crew fill a sixty-gallon tub with the glowing seawater and, in part by using the magnifying glass of his sextant, Kingman identified among the glow what we’d describe today as a dense bloom of a variety of clear jelly-like zooplankton, some circular and some thin, like long hairs. If you’re thinking this was bioluminescence—the microscopic marine organisms well known for making seawater glow at night when disturbed—you would be right. But the phenomenon the crew of the Shooting Star witnessed was an exceptionally rare event, in which the surface was completely glowing without any agitating motion. What they saw that night was full coverage of the surface, opaque and consistent, as if lit up from below. This was not only flickering bluegreen light from the organisms Kingman
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Laboratory sample of the luminous bacteria strain, Vibrio fischeri.
haddock (monterey bay aquarium research institute)
47 images and captions courtesy of steve miller (colorado state university) and steve
could see, but also light created by something far more numerous and far smaller than what Kingman could identify, even with some magnification. The crew of the Shooting Star had described in 1854 what has since been classified as a “milky sea.” In the 1980s, scientists on a research cruise sampling in the Arabian Sea powered through milky seas and identified the likely cause of this constant glow: bioluminescent microscopic bacteria by the gazillion! In 1993 two British scientists took up the riddle by looking into historical records from mariners. They found a few descriptions from sailing ships in the 1800s, of which Captain Kingman’s was one of the most detailed. Then they located at least 235 reports of other milky seas since 1915, most commonly appearing in the Arabian Sea. The second most common area was off Indonesia, where Kingman and the Shooting Star had made its observation. Inspired by these two studies, a small group of scientists based in Monterey, California, went back into the records of satellite images. They found the day and location from an account of milky seas in 1995 by the captain of a British merchant ship, the Lima. He was steaming through the Milky seas off the coast of Somalia, as projected on this image made waters of the Arabian Sea when the ship was “com- from earth atlas information and milky-sea data collected from satelpletely surrounded by a sea of milky-white color lites and confirmed by observers aboard ships in the area. The biolumiwith a fairly uniform luminescence…from horizon nescent feature (lower right) is to scale, but it has been colored and to horizon.” Using special satellite instruments enhanced, so it appears much brighter than it would in nature. capable of sensing extremely low levels of light, the scientists in Monterey found a bright patch in the image that matched this massive bioluminescent glow. The milky seas blanketed more than 4,375 square nautical miles. The scientists believe this, too, was primarily formed by a bloom of bacteria that had colonized algae. If you’ve been lucky to see bioluminescence at sea, or even if you’ve seen the recent Disney movie Moana (2016), you’ve experienced some of the joyous and inspiring magic of how ocean organisms make light. But for sailors in the 1800s, bioluminescence, or phosphorescence, as they used to call it, didn’t always suggest the beautiful magic of the sea—especially when the pale green-blue light suddenly blanketed the entire surface of the ocean. Both Herman Melville and Jules Verne wrote about milky seas in their novels. Neither author wrote of it as simply beautiful. Milky seas were more about the mystery of its source and the alarm and confusion it caused for sailors. For his part, on the appropriately-named Shooting Star, Captain Kingman wrote: “The scene was one of awful grandeur, the sea having turned to phosphorous, and the heavens being hung in blackness, and the stars going out, seemed to indicate that all nature was preparing for that last grand conflagration which we are taught to believe is to annihilate this material world.” To read more about bioluminescence or to see other entries in “Animals in Sea History,” go to www.seahistory.org or educators. mysticseaport.org.
“SSEA ea HHISTORY istory for161, K ids ” is sponsored by the Henry L. & Grace Doherty Charitable Foundation WINTER 2017–18 45
Around the World Under Square Sail by Captain Daniel D. Moreland, Barque Picton Castle
have spent most of my life in the service to ships and seafaring. A long time ago, in my early twenties, I signed off the beautiful Danish brigantine Romance after four years as part of her crew. Her captain, Arthur M. Kimberly, was a master mariner trained in the last commercial square-riggers in the Age of Sail. Long before GPS and radar, Captain Kimberly navigated across the world’s oceans and coastlines with sextant, lead line, and charts still credited to Captain Cook. He was as capable a seafarer as has been to sea—all of us who sailed under him respect the gift of experience he and his ship gave us, which we strive to pass on to the next generation of sailing ship mariners.
and do it again. With another gang or two of young people having the times of their lives—quite literally—and let them try to explain the experience of a voyage around the world under square-sail afterwards. In spring of 2018, from the historic waterfront of Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, the
photos courtesy of picton castle
Setting Out—The Skipper’s View
Captain Moreland and his crew transformed the Picton Castle from what was once a freighter (in this view, above, she was working as a minesweeper for the Royal Navy during World War II) to a lofty three-masted barque, capable of sailing around the world.
Capt. Kimberly aboard Romance I went to sea in other fine—and not so fine—vessels afterwards. At sea and ashore, folks often wanted to know what a world voyage was “like.” I found this difficult to explain. Still do. Much later, accepting that I could not adequately convey what being crew under sail on such a voyage meant to me, under able old-school ship masters, sailing with the tradewinds through the islands of the South Pacific, the Far East, the Indian Ocean, the coasts of Africa and the West Indies, over all those blue-water ocean miles, I figured that the best answer was just to put together the finest square-rigged ship I could imagine, 46
barque Picton Castle will set sail with a new gang manning the ship, outward bound on a grand voyage around the world under square rig—the ship’s seventh circumnavigation. Some will be with us for the whole voyage, some will join for shorter three- or four-month legs from ports such as Rarotonga, Bali, or Cape Town, South Africa. I remember when we set out on our first world voyage in the Picton Castle, back in the bitter cold autumn of 1997. This was after a huge refit in Lunenburg. It was an ambitious and exciting project just getting the Picton Castle rigged up and into shape as a square-rigger for deep-sea passagemaking, converting her from a freighter (before that, she was built as a trawler, converted to a minesweeper during World War II, and then worked as a freighter after the war). The effort began in 1991, first searching for the perfect vessel that could be transformed into a square-rigged sailing ship, and finding it up a fjord in Norway. We steamed her across the North Atlantic to Nova Scotia by way of Denmark, England, Spain, Madeira, Bermuda, Connecticut, and Pier 15 South Street Seaport Museum, Isla Manhattoes—New York City, and finally into what would become
our new homeport in Lunenburg. We did the big job in that salty port, rigging and fitting out this 300-ton riveted steel vessel into a sailing ship reminiscent of a bygone era. We essentially took over all the shipyards in town for most of a year, and that was a story in itself. What a project! Finally, all the work was done—or done enough, anyway. We would polish her up at sea while sailing ever westward in the warm tropical tradewinds. There would be plenty of time for all that along the coming lengthy sea passages. It came time to set sail. We had a keen crew aboard, ready to haul braces, steer their ship, get good and warm in the sun, roll with the blue ocean swells, set and stow canvas, tar the rig, eager to see what was over the horizon, sail the seas, explore tropical islands and these amazing storybook ports and remote islands. As we cast off from our wharf, there were folks in town who harbored the notion that we would not get past Cross Island at the mouth of Lunenburg Bay, never mind through the Panama Canal and beyond. I didn’t blame them; they had seen a few dreamy projects drift in their midst, only to die at the docks in Lunenburg. I also did SEA HISTORY 161, WINTER 2017–18
not pay them too much mind. Joshua Slocum got the same skepticism before setting out in Spray, and none of that would affect his success or failure in any capacity, nor would it affect ours. I knew we had a great ship, an excellent crew, and warm sailing winds were just on the other side of the Gulf Stream not so far away. After sweeping snow from the pine decks, off we sailed. It blew hard in the North Atlantic and was frigid for a few days, but soon we were peeling off sweaters and getting into shorts and t-shirts. That epic ocean voyage was well under way. Tradewinds, flying fish, rolling blue seas, palm studded islands, exotic Far East, Cape of Good Hope, blue sky and sunshiny days, squalls, starry nights at the wheel or on lookout, one day after another. You knew you were doing something extraordinary when the complaint of the day was that we were staying in Tahiti too long. Some years later, with the ship back in Lunenburg all snugly moored, after the doubts of the shore “experts” had been long dismissed, an odd thing happened. Occasionally young families would be pushing their strollers down our dock on a balmy summer’s day, a smoky southwesterly breeze blowing, and might comment to me that, when their bambino was old enough, he or she was going to sail with me around the world in Picton Castle. I was charmed. My thoughts have wandered to those days just before our first voyage and I would wonder. I really did not think that I would still be setting out like that again, twenty years on. But I am, and we are, and this wonderful ship is making one more world voyage under my command. I am as excited as anybody. Why? Why climb Mount Everest? Why run a marathon? Why mix it up with islanders on remote Pacific atolls? Why learn to dance the tamure in the sand under the palm trees? Why learn to steer a big windjammer across the world’s oceans? Why take a longboat into the surf of Bounty Bay? Why splice rope and make your own sails? Why bargain for carvings in Bali? I am telling you that for all its challenges—and there are plenty—our voyage has got to be more fun than freezing at Base Camp 1 waiting for your turn at the escalator to the summit. And warmer. Better food...and by the way; SEA HISTORY 161, WINTER 2017–18 47
someone told me when we started out that there were more men alive that had walked on the moon than there were folks alive who had sailed around the world in a square-rigger like Picton Castle in the last fifty years. After six world voyages that has changed, of course, but there are still more people today that have been dragged up to the top of that highest mountain of the world in the Himalayas than have sailed a square-rigged ship like Picton Castle on a global circumnavigation. Think about that. Again, why? I, and many others, have already written in past issues of Sea History about the many rich life-long rewards a crewmember reaps from such a voyage under sail: skills, strengths, meeting folks and experiencing cultures in far distant ports, the joining of the ranks of that rarified fraternity of deepwater sailing ship seafarers in time, and just the accomplishment itself, so I won’t go on about it here. But the “why?” question remains for me, the seasoned captain, who has that circumnavigation box pretty well ticked. Good question. For one, if I knew that I could make this voyage happen for a new generation of adventurers one more time and chose not to, well, then, that would be a crying shame. Even though I have now sailed around the globe seven times, every voyage is its own unique odyssey. A voyage around the world is never ever quite routine.
Small boat handling is a key part of the experience in sailing Picton Castle. Here, the crew practice in the harbor at Suva Fiji, in a boat similar to the one Captain Bligh cast off from the Bounty in the South Pacific in 1789. With eighteen others crowded in an open boat, Bligh made it to the island of Timor, a voyage of almost 4,000 miles. Long ocean passages are all about the shipboard experience, but what about the ports? Panama and the Canal Zone: an amazing country overshadowed by its ocean bypass, that techno-marvel that gets us from the Caribbean to the Pacific in a single day. Galapagos: you have seen the documentaries—all true—but nothing beats the experience of visiting in person, having arrived from sea. Pitcairn Island: a tiny but magnificent island and last refuge
of the Bounty mutineers and their wives. These days, their descendants welcome our crew as family. The Polynesian islands of the South Seas, remote atolls, lagoons, pearl diving, feasts ashore under the palms. Picton Castle isn’t merely bringing in her crew as tourists; we also serve as an intra-island tramp vessel of sorts, carrying supplies from bigger island to smaller island. We even serve as shade-tree medical clinics in Melanesian bays for villagers who almost never see a doctor. Magical Bali—yes, it is still as magical and deep as you’ve read about. Exploring southern Africa: townships, safaris—you name it. Perfect tradewinds of the South Atlantic pull us to Napoleon’s last redoubt of St. Helena and onward across the equator to the sweet isles of the eastern Caribbean where traditional boatbuilding, regattas, BBQs alongside the road, steel drums and reggae music are abundant, and old friends and shipmates of the Picton Castle are almost everywhere we go. Finally, homeward bound, northwards for Nova Scotia, once again. I have been asked what it is like to realize one’s dream in this ship. I find I need to point out that this enterprise is really the dream of seafarers who came well Picton Castle anchored outside the reef off the atoll of Aitutaki, Cook Islands.
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before me. While hauling braces in ice water up to their waists off Cape Horn, how many tarry shellbacks dreamed of sailing a small barque across the warm South Pacific, making her way from island to island, maybe trading a little here and there and meeting friendly folks in every port? This was the dream of every Cape Horn sailor I have ever met, and I am pleased that our Picton Castle crew and I get to live their dream for them. Lucky us. And, of course, we sail in the wakes of Herman Melville and Richard Henry Dana Jr.; the deepwater fleet of the last Finnish barques, like Moshulu of The Last Grain Race; seagoing adventurers such as Captain and Mrs. Johnson in their famous pilot schooner, brigantine, and ketch, all bearing the name Yankee; Captain Alan Villiers and his full-rigged ship Joseph Conrad; as well as my sweet oaken brigantine Romance, and others less well known. All the way back to Drake and Magellan, we have in
Picton Castle the opportunity to experience the same blue ocean, same balmy tradewinds, same arching squalls and coral reefs. And so much more. It remains for me an incredible privilege—and indeed an honor—to be the master of such a fine staunch proven bluewater sailing ship, a ship that has never let us down in over 250,000 miles at sea, and to be called upon to lead such a grand bluewater voyage—the ultimate voyage—and an adventure for a new gang of Picton Castle seafarers. Captain Moreland and his crew aboard the barque Picton Castle will embark on their next world voyage in spring 2018. There are still berths available for the full circumnavigation and for individual legs. Visit them online at www.picton-castle.com or contact them through their shore-based office at: Barque Picton Castle, P O Box 1076, 135 Bluenose Drive, Lunenburg, NS B0J 2C0
Canada; Ph. 902 634-9984; email info@ picton-castle.com.
SEA HISTORY 161, WINTER 2017–18 49
Decker’s wheelhouse and aft cabin being lifted off the tug at Caddell Dry Dock and Repair in Staten Island. In addition to facilitating work on the superstructure, its removal will give access to the decking, which is also being restored. author George A. Matteson, will get the restoration of the tugboat W. O. Decker underway. Built in 1930 and given the name Russell 1, the Decker, renamed for Decker Towing Company’s William Oscar Decker, is the last working-order wooden New York tug. The overhaul will include removing and repairing the pilothouse, replacing the decking, and reinforcing the mooring bitts. Meanwhile, the City of New York has committed $4.5 million to stabilize and restore the Ambrose lightship, which lit the way for ships navigating in lower New York Bay from 1908 to 1932. (SSSM, 12 Fulton St., New York, NY; www.south streetseaportmuseum.org) ... The Maritime Museum of San Diego was also awarded a $200,000 Maritime Heritage Grant, for the restoration of the 1898 steam ferry Berkeley, which carried thousands of San Franciscans out of the city after the 1906 earthquake. Built by San Francisco’s Union Iron Works, the 279-foot Berkeley carried passengers between Oakland and San Francisco for 60 years. One of the last of its kind in existence, the 50
Steam Ferry Berkeley as she appeared in the early twentieth century. (below right) The ferry serves as the main hub of the Maritime Museum of San Diego, with the rest of the museum fleet moored to the ferry and floating docks surrounding it. ferry represents the transition to steampowered propulsion, with its triple-expansion engine. The vessel was notable for having been the first propeller-driven ferry on the west coast. The ferry was taken out of service in 1958 and was bought by the Maritime Museum of San Diego in 1973. The museum was awarded an America’s Treasures Grant for the Berkeley in 2001, which funded what was then a revolutionary preservation technique adapted from the offshore oil industry to coat the entire exposed outer surface of the hull with a ceramic/epoxy composite to eliminate further corrosion. This groundbreaking process proved successful, and subsequently has been used on other metal-hulled historic vessels in the museum’s fleet and on other ships throughout the United States. While the hull is thus in good shape, the ferry’s superstructure is an ongoing concern. “The entire superstructure is essentially a massive and ornate wooden building, not all that different from the showpiece Queen Anne Victorian buildings that grace the historic districts of many American cities.” The ship has been moored in her present location for more than thirty years, with its south side exposed to the cumulative effects of direct sunlight and weather, especially the southerly winds and rain typical of the region’s winter storms. The Maritime Heritage Grant provides the means to create a watertight, weatherproof, and much more durable structure for the Berkeley’s starboard side. The historic ferry’s role at the museum goes beyond its presence
south street seaport museum
South Street Seaport Museum, which is celebrating its 50th year of operations and just last year welcomed back the square rigger Wavertree after a $13 million restoration and $4.5 million in adaptations to improve accessibility, has received funding for two more vessels in its historic fleet. A $200,000 Maritime Heritage Grant administered by the National Park Service, along with a $200,000 challenge grant from Tugboats of New York
as a maritime artifact; onboard are the museum’s offices, a major maritime research library, workshop, model shop, the museum store, special events venue with room for 800 guests, and numerous dry storage and archive areas. The grant program funds maritime heritage education and preservation projects throughout the country. Funding for Maritime Heritage Grants require a 1-to-1 match with non-federal assets from non-federal sources. The Maritime Museum of San Diego has been awarded three Maritime Heritage Grants in recent years. (MMSD, 492 North Harbor Drive, San Diego, CA; Ph. 619 234-9153; www.sdmaritime.org. Read about the Maritime Heritage Grants program on pages 14-17 of this issue, online at the NMHS website at www.seahistory.org, or through the National Park Service website at www.nps. gov/maritime/.) ... Award-winning artist Marc Castelli and the Naval Academy Sailing Foundation, Inc., have announced a sale of limited-edition, signed prints celebrating the Corinthian spirit of intercollegiate yacht racing, to support SEA HISTORY 161, WINTER 2017–18
years with an all-volunteer crew. She was hauled out in 2013 in anticipation of repairs, which were begun in 2015. Nearly all of the ship’s frames, planks, and structural timbers were replaced, as well as some decking and a portion of the keel. The $400,000 restoration took place at the Riverport Wooden Boat School at the Hudson River Maritime Museum in Kingston, NY, and was completed in August of this year. (Beacon Sloop Club, POB 527, Beacon, NY 12508; www.beaconsloopclub.org) ...
Restoration work has been completed on the sloop Woody Guthrie, companion vessel of the Hudson River sloop Clearwater. Built in 1978, Woody Guthrie was Sloop Woody Guthrie, October 2017, on its first public sail since its restoration.
beacon sloop club
the US Naval Academy sailing program. Every autumn, the Naval Academy hosts intercollegiate and service academy teams in a series of regattas onboard the Navy’s 44-foot sloops. The culminating event, the Kennedy Cup, is the Intercollegiate Sailing Association’s (ICSA) national big boat championship. Castelli, long a supporter of the competitive sailing program at the Academy, has completed a series of five watercolors capturing spirit of this iconic Chesapeake Bay regatta. Fifty limitededition prints of Bringing the Wind, which depicts the fleet of Navy 44s on the downwind leg of the “K-Cup,” were donated by the artist; all proceeds will directly benefit the Naval Academy’s sailing program and its competitive and leadership development programs. The Naval Academy Sailing Foundation is a 501(c)3 charitable corporation, chartered in the state of Maryland in 1973. Its sole function is to further the mission of the US Naval Academy, primarily through direct support to its sail training program. In its fortyfour-year history, the Sailing Foundation has provided more than 200 racing yachts to the Academy under no-cost bareboat charters to support midshipmen’s athletic excellence and character and leadership development under sail. (www. navalacademysailingfoundation.org) ...
designed by Cyrus Hamlin, the naval architect who designed Clearwater, with the same overall lines, rigging, and sail plan, but on a smaller scale—47 feet overall, in comparison with Clearwater’s 106 feet. Pete and Toshi Seeger, the sloop’s original owners, donated her to the Beacon Sloop Club in Beacon, New York, which has sailed and maintained the vessel for the past forty
Bringing the Wind, a signed, limited-edition print by Marc Castelli, sells for $600, with 100% of the proceeds supporting the US Naval Academy sailing program.
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THE HISTORIC NAVAL SHIPS ASSOCIATION
within minutes. Of the 1,016 sailors and Marines on board, approximately 400 died in the attack, and those who escaped endured five days of dehydration, exposure to fuel oil in the water, and shark attacks. By the time they were spotted by a bomber flying overhead, only 316 men were left courtesy paul allen/vulcan inc.
us navy photo
The wreck site of the US Navy cruiser USS Indianapolis, 1939 Indianapolis, sunk by Japanese torpedoes in the waning days of World War II, was discovered in August. Following up on research provided by the Naval History and Heritage Command, a team led by Microsoft co-founder and shipwreck explorer Paul G. Allen located the remains of USS Indianapolis (CA-35) in the Philippine Sea at a depth of 18,000 feet. The cruiser had just completed a historic mis- Tinian Island in the Western Pacific. En route10:47:40 to LeyteAM Gulf, it was struck by torsion, carrying parts of the atomic bomb6/5/12 2.25x4.5_HNSA_FleetCOL#1085.pdf that was to be dropped on Hiroshima, to pedoes from a Japanese submarine and sank
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Underwater footage of the remains of USS Indianapolis (CA-35).
courtesy paul allen/vulcan inc.
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to be rescued. (Footage of the wreck, as well as recollections from survivors, can be found at www.paulallen.com.) ... Renovations have begun on Nobska Light, the Cape Cod lighthouse on the hill in Woods Hole, MA, overlooking Martha’s Vineyard Sound. Friends of Nobska Light, the non-profit that owns the light and caretaker’s house, contracted EnviroVantage of Epping, NH, to carry out extensive rehabilitation of the structure. Funding for the project comes from grants from the Falmouth Community Preservation Fund, the Falmouth Road Race, and donations from private foundations and individuals. The current structure—a replacement of the original 1828 wooden lighthouse—was built in 1876. It is a 40-foot tall cast iron lighthouse, manufactured in Chelsea, Massachusetts. The lighthouse keepers’s quarters was built on the four-acre parcel next to the light that same year. Improvements were added to the facility over the years, including construction of a fog bell tower in 1875. By 1919, electricity had come to SEA HISTORY 161, WINTER 2017–18
t. s. custadio cc-by-sa 3.0
Cape Cod and the light was electrified with a 150-watt bulb, making oil obsolete. The fog bell was replaced in 1948 by a compressed air diaphragm horn. In 2014, the Coast Guard advertised for bidders to assume responsibility for the lighthouse, tower, and land surrounding the structures. The Town of Falmouth, Massachusetts, was the successful bidder, becoming the licensee with the understanding that the property would continue to belong to the federal government; as public property, it must be open to the public for free. In March 2016, the town transferred responsibility for restoration, maintenance, and operation as a museum to the Friends of Nobska Light. The Friends anticipate that they will complete the restoration and open the museum and tower by 2020. (www. friendsofnobska.org) ... Researchers have confirmed that an artifact recovered from the remains of a 15th-century shipwreck site off the coast of Oman is the earliest known example of a marine navigation tool. Found by David Mearns of Blue Water Recoveries in 2014, the 17.5cm bronze disc appeared to be an astrolabe, but as there were no visible navigational markings, that conclusion was not definite.
Scientists used 3D scanning technology to produce a high resolution model of the artifact, revealing markings not visible to the naked eye. Scans showed etches around the edge of the object, each separated by five degrees, confirming its use as a navigational instrument. Professor Mark Williams of the Warwick Manufacturing Group (WMG), a department at the University of Warwick in the UK, scanned the object and created a highresolution 3-D model. The model revealed etched markings around the object’s edge at five-degree intervals, confirming that it is, indeed, an astrolabe. The artifact was recovered from the remains of the Esmerelda, part of Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama’s fleet, which sank in a storm in the Indian Ocean in 1503. The astrolabe is one of nearly 3,000 artifacts Mearns and his team recovered from the wreck site during a series of dives in 2014. According Mearns, this find is only the 108th astrolabe in existence. Researchers determined that it had to have been made sometime between 1495 and 1502, when the ship left Lisbon. The disc bears the Portuguese coat of arms and
photos courtesy david mearns, blue water recoveries. scans courtesy wmg, university of warwick
emblem of King Don Manuel I, who did not become king until 1495. (www.warwick.ac.uk; Blue Water Recoveries, www. bluewater.uk.com) ... Applications are being accepted for the Hodson Trust – John Carter Brown Library Fellowship between now and 15 March. The fellowship supports work by academics, independent scholars, and writers working on significant projects relating to the literature, history, culture, or art of the Americas before 1830. Candidates with a US history topic are strongly encouraged to concentrate on the period prior to 1801. The four-month fellowship is also open to filmmakers, novelists, creative and performing artists, and others working on projects that draw on this period of history. Fellows are required to spend two months conducting research at the John Carter Brown Library on the Brown University campus in Providence, RI, during the academic year and two months of writing at the CV Staff Center at Washington College in Chestertown, MD, during the following summer. The stipend is $5,000 per month for a total of $20,000, plus housing and university privileges. Details are available online at www. brown.edu (scroll down and click “Centers, Institutes, and Libraries). ... The Scottish Fisheries Museum’s flagship, the herring drifter Reaper, has been allocated £500,000 ($660,500) by the Scottish government. The award is part of Scotland’s 2017 Year of History, Heritage, and Archaeology and it will pay for a full refit,
SEA HISTORY 161, WINTER 2017–18 53
Historic Ships on a Lee Shore
Reaper FR 958
Sequoia on Hard Times Again—A Dispatch From Washington
national historic ships, uk
More than ninety years ago, the elegant, wooden Trumpy yacht Sequoia was launched as a private yacht in Camden, New Jersey, for a wealthy Philadelphian. Six years later in 1931, she was purchased by the US government to help enforce Prohibition. She was later co-opted by President Herbert Hoover who used her as his official presidential yacht, which came with a commission in the US Navy. With that change
photo by ann stevens
in status she became USS Sequoia (AG-23). The 103-foot yacht was subsequently used in this capacity by Presidents Roosevelt, Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, and Ford, but in 1977, President Jimmy Carter ordered her sold into private hands. Three years later, the Sequoia was discovered in a deteriorating condition in Florida and was bought by a small group of concerned citizens who founded the Presidential Yacht Trust. The Trust’s goal was to restore and return the vessel to the Washington for eventual use by the White House; they secured use of a private dock for her on the Washington Channel alongside Potomac Park. Sequoia was fully restored in Norfolk, Virginia, and put back into service, operating on the Potomac River for the next five years, cruising with VIPs to and from the Washington Navy Yard, to Alexandria and Mount Vernon; she spent the winter months each year in Florida. In 1986, under my command, Sequoia made a 6,000-mile tour on American waterways. The Presidential Yacht Trust later succumbed to financial troubles and laid the vessel up for the next decade. In 2000 Sequoia was acquired by a private owner and remained in Washington, DC, and the Chesapeake Bay area. After disputes between owners and lenders, a 2015 lawsuit ensued, leaving the yacht laid up in a Virginia boatyard awaiting a court decision over her future ownership. During this time in the yard, she was exposed to the elements with very little attention given to her Sequoia, 2008 maintenance. The 2016 court ruling included this report on the vessel’s condition: “The Sequoia, an elderly and vulnerable wooden yacht, is sitting on an inadequate cradle on an undersized marine railway in a moribund boatyard on the western shore of the Chesapeake, deteriorating and, lately, home to raccoons.” The court recently awarded her to a Washington bank. The bank has not announced its plans for her, but it is clear she is in need, once again, of a major overhaul. —Captain Giles M. Kelly, USNR (Ret.) 54
photo by tcy wkipedia.com cc-by-sa 3.0
Sequoia underway in the 1980s.
the most comprehensive restoration performed on the vessel since 1903. For the past thirty years, Reaper has sailed as outreach ambassador for the museum, the Fife region, and for Scotland, and in the past few years the vessel has visited more than fifty locations in the UK and received nearly 180,000 visitors. Eagle-eyed fans of the popular television series Outlander will recognize Reaper as a backdrop for that program. Reaper is a Fife sailing herring drifter, an example of the most popular design of fishing boat on the East Coast of Scotland for the greater part of the 19th and early 20th centuries. She was built in 1901 as a two-masted sailing lugger by J. & G. Forbes Ltd of Sandhaven. She continued fishing until the outbreak of World War II, when she was requisitioned by the Admiralty and saw service in the south of England. After the war she returned to fishing until 1957. Between 1959 and 1974, renamed Shetlander, she carried general cargoes. The vessel was acquired in 1975 by the museum, which restored the vessel to her original 1902 rig and renamed her Reaper FR 958. Considered part of National Historic Ships UK’s core collection, she is a rare example of such a vessel kept in seagoing condition. The restoration is scheduled to be completed by May 2018. (www.nationalhistoricships.org.uk) ... Following the completion of a new state-ofthe-art shoreside gaming facility, the Tropicana Riverboat Casino departed the waterfront of Evansville, Indiana, on 30 October, making room for the SEA HISTORY 161, WINTER 2017–18
arrival of LST 325, the lone remaining landing ship, tank, of her type from World War II. The vessel’s board reports that an engineering firm is working with the Army Corps of Engineers in hopes of moving the vessel by the fall of 2018. Whereas the riverboat casino had crew available 24/7 to adjust to varying water levels, the LST currently relies on a passive mooring system, and a new system will have to be put in place to ensure a safe berth LST 325
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in the new location. The move has long been in the works; an agreement was forged between the city of Evansville, Tropicana, and the board of the USS LST Ship Memorial, Inc., in 2014 outlining the departure of the casino boat and the plan to have the LST take her place. Included in the deal is a $1-million pledge from Tropicana towards the naval vessel’s moving costs. Launched on 27 October 1942 and commissioned on 1 February 1943, LST 325 served in operations overseas, including Operation Husky (the invasion of Sicily), and the invasions of Salerno and Normandy. After the war, she was reactivated for service in Military Sea Transport Service Arctic operations, eventually joining the National Defense Reserve Fleet in 1961. In 1964 she was transferred to Greece, renamed HS Syros (L-144). In 2001 she was restored to the name LST 325 and returned to the United States, and was eventually brought to her new home port of Evansville. LST 325 is one of only two World War II LSTs to be preserved in the United States. The departing vessel, Casino Aztar, also known as City of Evansville, was built in response to a 1993 referendum allowing riverboat gambling in Indiana and her exterior lines were inspired by the historic riverboat Robert E. Lee. Casino Aztar opened for business in 1995, the first riverboat gaming venue
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MUSEUM-QUALITY REPLICA SHIP MODELS: Tall Ships, Ocean Liners, Naval Warships, Personal and Commercial Vessels. Made to order. Any size or scale. www.SDModelMakers.com or call 760 525-4341. PRESIDENTS PLAYING CARDS. All 45 US presidents are represented on these playing cards with interesting facts and quotes. www.presidentsplayingcards. com. VISIT THE NMHS SHIP’S STORE AT W W W.SEAHISTORY.ORG: shop for unique nautical gifts, books, prints.
BOOKS THE AUTHORITY TO SAIL by Commodore Robert Stanley Bates. The fully illustrated authoritative history of US Merchant Marine licenses and documents issued since 1852. Coffee-table size, 12” x 14.” Order direct: The Parcel Centre, Ph. 860 739-2492; www.theauthoritytosail.com. KEEPING THE TRADITION ALIVE by Capt. Ray Williamson. The remarkable story of Maine Windjammer Cruises,TM founder of the windjammer industry. 172 page, 11 x 14 hardcover book with over 100 full-page images from the days of cargo to the present. Price–$48. Call 800 736-7981; email sail@mainewindjammer cruises.com. OUT-OF-PRINT NAUTICAL BOOKS. SEA FEVER BOOKS. Thousands of titles. E-mail: email@example.com; 860-6631888 (EST); www.seafeverbookstore.com. Advertise in Sea History ! Call 914 737-7878, ext. 235, or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. 56
Riverboat Louis Armstrong (ex-Casino Aztar)
in the state. The Tropicana corporation purchased her in 2010 and changed her name to Tropicana Evansville. When Indiana passed a law in 2015 allowing riverboat casinos to establish business on land, Tropicana began laying plans for its shoreside structure and the eventual disposition of the boat. The riverboat is being prepared to move downriver to New Orleans, where it will serve as a music and entertainment venue under the new name Riverboat Louis Armstrong. (USS LST Ship Memorial, Inc., www.lstmemorial.org/. Riverboat Louis Armstrong—Hospitality Enterprises New Orleans, www.bigeasy.com) ... The apprentices at Lowell’s Boat Shop in Amesbury, MA, have completed construction of the dory they have been building for the 1926 schooner Adventure (see article in Sea History 159, pp. 22–23). Students participating in a boatbuilding program during the school year
Shipbuilding Museum in Essex, MA, where youth apprentices are finishing up a second dory for Adventure. (Lowell’s Boat Shop: www.lowellsboatshop.com. Schooner Adventure: www.schooner-adventure.org) ... The 1943 Liberty Ship SS Jeremiah O’Brien recently returned to Pier 45 in San Francisco after a haulout at Mare Island Shipyard in Vallejo, CA, for repairs and maintenance. The fully operational historic ship requires inspection and dry dock repairs once every five years to keep steaming with current US Coast Guard and American Bureau of Shipping certifications. This shipyard period’s task list included repairs, blasting, painting and coating of tanks, hulls, and peaks (both forward and aft), plus repairs to piping, propeller, sea chests, sea valves, rudder, tail shaft, and zincs. Vessel inspections and
photo by jim hafft
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SS Jeremiah O’Brien in dry dock, November 2017. courtesy graham mckay
Apprentices at Lowell’s Boat Shop and their recently completed dory. continued to work during their free time over the summer months to complete the project, and a new class of apprentices that came into the shop this fall put the finishing touches on the boat. Established in 1793, Lowell’s Boat Shop is a working shop and museum; craftsmen and apprentices have been building dories there continuously for more than a hundred years. This winter’s apprentice project will involve building a Haven 12½. The recently completed dory will winter over at the Essex
safety checks were conducted throughout the duration of the dry dock period. The National Liberty Ship Memorial is dedicated to the preservation of the Liberty ship SS Jeremiah O’Brien and to educating the public about the important role Liberty ships and their crews played in World War II. A survivor of the D-Day invasion in 1944, SS Jeremiah O’Brien is one of two remaining fully functional Liberty ships of the 2,710 built and launched during WWII. A living museum on the National Register of Historic Places and a National Historic Landmark, the O’Brien has the distinction of being the last unaltered Liberty ship and remains historically accurate. Donations to the ship’s dry dock fund are welcome. (National Liberty Ship Memorial, Pier 45, Fisherman’s Wharf, San Francisco, CA; Ph. 451 544-0100; www.ssjer emiahobrien.org) SEA HISTORY 161, WINTER 2017–18
CALENDAR E xhibits •Art of North Atlantic Fishing, through 18 January at the Minnesota Marine Art Museum. (MMAM, 800 Riverview Drive, Winona, MN; Ph. 507 474-6626; www. mmam.org) •Maritime Miniatures by Maritime Masters, through January 2018 at the Maritime Art Gallery at Mystic Seaport. (Admission to the gallery, located next to the south entrance to the museum, is free. 47 Greenmanville Ave., Mystic, CT; Ph. 860 5725388; www.mysticseaport.org) •Don’t Be a Dilbert! US Navy Safety Posters, through 27 January at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum. (Pier 86, W. 46th St. & 12th Ave., New York, NY; www.intrepidmuseum.org) •“The Spray will Come Back”—Solo Circumnavigator Joshua Slocum, through
Maritime Maine in the 1914–1918 Great War, through 6 May. (43 Washington St., Bath, ME; Ph. 207 443-1316; www.maine maritimemuseum.org) •Water, Wind, and Waves: Marine Paintings from the Dutch Golden Age, through 25 November at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC. (6th and Constitution Ave. NW, Washington, DC; Ph. 202 737-4215; www.nga.gov) •Liberty’s War, at the American Merchant Marine Museum on the campus of the USMMA. (300 Steamboat Road, Kings Point, NY; Ph. 516 726-6047; www.usmma.edu/museum) •Science of Storms—The Extraordinary Weather of the Pacific Northwest, at the Columbia River Maritime Museum. (1792 Marine Drive, Astoria, OR; Ph. 503 3252323; www.crmm.org)
•North American Society for Oceanic History (NASOH) Annual Conference, 21–24 May in St. Charles, MO. (www. nasoh.org) Festivals, Events, Lectures, Etc. •22nd Annual Moby-Dick Marathon, 5–7 January at the New Bedford Whaling Museum. (18 Johnny Cake Hill, New Bedford, MA; Ph. 508 997-0046; www.whal ingmuseum.org) •“Behind the Canvas,” a series of four artist’s presentations at the Mystic Seaport Maritime Art Gallery: 3 February—Russ Kramer, “Inspirations, Adventures and Methods;” 24 February—Leif Nilsson, “In the Moment;” 10 March—Cindy House, “Preserving a Moment in Time with Pastels;” 7 April—William D. Hobbs, “Exploring the Dynamics of Moving Surf in Oils:
Join us in New Orleans, 14–17 February 2018, for the 11th Maritime Heritage Conference, along with Tall Ships America and the Steamship Historical Society of America. The event will feature Tall Ship America’s 45th Annual Conference on Sail Training and Tall Ships, the 55th NMHS Annual Meeting, and SSHSA’s 82nd Annual Meeting. See pages 14-15 of this issue, or visit www.seahistory.org for details. January at the New Bedford Whaling Museum. Also at the museum: Thou Shalt Knot: Clifford W. Ashley, until June. (18 Johnny Cake Hill, New Bedford, MA; Ph. 508 997-0046; www.whalingmuseum.org) •Hampton Roads Ship Model Society 50th Anniversary Exhibition, through 11 February at the Mariners’ Museum. (100 Museum Dr., Newport News, VA; Ph. 757 596-2222; www.marinersmuseum.org; www.hrsms.org ) •Drawn from Nature & on Stone: The Lithographs of Fitz Henry Lane, through 4 March at the Cape Ann Museum in MA. (27 Pleasant St., Gloucester, MA; Ph. 978 283-0455; www.capeannmuseum.org) •Rum: Sailors, Pirates, and Prohibition, at the Maritime Museum of San Diego in California. (1492 N. Harbor Dr., San Diego, CA; Ph. 619 234-9153; www.sdmari time.org) •Shipshape: Decoration and Advertising in the Merchant Fleet, through 25 February at the Maine Maritime Museum in Bath. Also at the museum: Pull Together:
Conferences & Symposiums •Society for Historical Archaeology Conference, 3–7 January in New Orleans, LA. Theme: “Landscapes, Entrepôts, and Global Currents.” (www.sha.org) •American Historical Association, 132nd Annual Meeting, 4–7 January in Washington, DC. Theme: “Race, Ethnicity, and Nationalism in Global Perspective.” (www. historians.org) •PCA/ACA National Conference (Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association), 28–31 March in Indianapolis, IN. “Sea Literature, History, & Culture” and “Jack London’s Life and Works” are two of the subject areas presented. (www. pcaaca.org) •2018 National Council on Public History Annual Meeting, 18–21 April in Las Vegas, NV. (www.ncph.org) •Council of American Maritime Museums Annual Conference, 4–6 April, hosted by the National Museum of Bermuda. (www.councilofamericanmaritime museums.org)
Inspirations from Nature and the Historic Traditions of the Hudson River School.” (47 Greenmanville Ave., Mystic, CT; Ph. 860 572-5388; www.mysticseaport.org) •7th Annual Clam Chowder Cook-off, 19 January at the North Carolina Maritime Museum. (315 Front St., Beaufort, NC; Ph. 252 728-7317; www.ncmaritimemu seum.org) •“Quick Steps & Quadrilles: A Lane Inspired Concert,” featuring musical performances of the 19th century sheet music featured in the Fitz Henry Lane exhibition, 6 January at the Cape Ann Museum. (27 Pleasant St., Gloucester, MA; Ph. 978 2830455; www.capeannmuseum.org) •Civil War Lectures at the Mariners’ Museum by John V. Quarstein, director emeritus, USS Monitor Center: 13 January, “Confederate Pirates: The Capture of the St. Nicholas;” 10 February, “Passaic-class Monitors;” 10 March, “Civil War Ordnance.” (100 Museum Drive, Newport News, VA; Ph. 757 596-2222; www.mar inersmuseum.org)
SEA SEAHISTORY HISTORY161, 161,WINTER WINTER2017–18 57 2017–18 57
MARITIME HISTORY ON THE INTERNET
by Peter McCracken
Locating New Books, Using RSS Feeds
early a million new books appear online and on the shelves of booksellers each year. Many of these are self-published titles, but even limiting to mainstream publishers, it’s nearly impossible to keep track of what appears in any person’s areas of interest. Here are a few things you can do to get a handle on what’s new. RSS, short for “Rich Site Summary,” can help you collect and narrow the data you seek. RSS consists of an “aggregator” and multiple “feeds.” The aggregator is a website that compiles the feeds that interest you, and presents that information in a way you can process. RSS is not as common as it once was, and it wasn’t all that popular back then either, though I did write about it here four years ago. It can be tricky to use, but can also serve as a very useful tool to keep one informed of changes and updates. To use RSS, create an account with a free aggregator service, such as Feedly (https:// feedly.com), Feeder (https://feeder.co/), or Feedreader (https://feedreader.com). Each one is slightly different, and some have tools for web browsers, iOS devices, Android devices, or some combination thereof. Once you have an account, you can add “feeds.” These feeds can be anything: newspaper articles, weather reports, currency exchange rates, traffic reports, sports scores, website updates, or, if we want, lists of new books. My current employer, Cornell University Library, offers a site where anyone can keep track of the new books that it receives, at http://newbooks.mannlib.cornell.edu/. A few other libraries offer similar feeds, as do companies, newspapers, and more. Northeastern University Libraries’ service is at http://library.northeastern.edu/new-acquisitions-list, and UCLA Library offers an impressively customizable solution at http://www.library.ucla. edu/search/new-books/customized-feed-wizard. Each of these services is based on Library of Congress (LC) classification, the academic alternative to the Dewey Decimal system. Why limit a search by LC classification? Even though these feeds only include books acquired by the various universities (which perhaps provides a useful filter on its own), that still leaves a lot of books. By limiting by classification, we can see just the books that are of particular interest. In some fields, this can be very easy: to see all the new books about sculpture, just choose the “NB” section. (“N” is Fine Arts in general, “NA” is Architecture, and “ND” is Painting. “K” is Law, “L” is Education, “M” is Music, etc.; each site displays these categories, so you don’t have to memorize the list.) Alas, because maritime history is so interdisciplinary, it can be difficult to figure out just what to follow. “V,” for instance, is “Naval Science”—the Library of Congress annoyingly lumps all “maritime” works under the term “naval,” for some reason. “American history” is spread out between both “E” and “F,” without easily defined divisions. Though you can see the complete breakdown on the Library of Congress pages at https://www.loc.gov/catdir/cpso/lcco/, these new tools do not allow you to limit to a numbered range, such as E746 for “Twentieth Century—Naval History.” But there’s another solution: if you enter a single term, such as “maritime,” or “schooner,” on the Cornell site, you can create an RSS feed based just on that term, regardless of where the book is assigned. In September 2017, Cornell acquired 52 books with “maritime” somewhere in the title or description, and only five of them were in the “V” classification. Some online company options exist, as well. Any New Books? (https://anynewbooks. com) provides free RSS feeds and weekly email updates about new books in broad subject categories. Searching on the site does not seem to do much, and all the books are selected by the site’s editors. That’s not quite what I’m searching for; I’m trying to find more automated ways of processing larger amounts of information, but this service might be useful to you. If you purchase a book (either in print or electronic) after clicking to it from their website, they will earn a small commission. As the world’s largest bookseller, and perhaps the ultimate data management company, Amazon.com offers constantly updated information about new and popular books in RSS feeds, as well. For example, if you navigate to Books New Releases (to the right of “Books,” below the search box) History Military Naval, you’ll see the newest titles in that subject area. At the bottom of the page, you’ll see “RSS Feeds,” next to the orange box that represents “RSS,” with a note that reads “Subscribe to New Releases Naval Military History.” Copy the URL behind that link, then paste it into your Feedly/Feeder/Feedreader search box, and you’ll add that RSS feed to your profile. Suggestions for other sites worth mentioning are welcome at email@example.com. See www.shipindex.org for a free compilation of over 150,000 ship names from indexes to dozens of books and journals.
SEA HISTORY 161, WINTER 2017–18
A Man For All Oceans: Captain Joshua Slocum and the First Solo Voyage Around the World by Stan Grayson (Tillbury House Publishers with the New Bedford Whaling Museum, Thomaston, ME, and New Bedford, MA, 2017, 399pp, illus, maps, appen, notes, biblio, index, isbn 9780-88448-548-3; $29.95hc) Any old salt’s bookshelf has a few musthaves, from classic maritime fiction (MobyDick, The Sea Wolf ) to compelling and authentic personal narratives (Two Years Before the Mast, Sailing Alone Around the World, The Last Grain Race). Naval fiction, of course, is dominated by C. S. Forester and Patrick O’Brian. I will not go into all the categories of what else should be on your bookshelf, whether you are an ancient mariner or an armchair sailor, only to say that if you have not read Joshua Slocum’s eminently readable Sailing Alone book, then you need to. And when you have finished, you will be itching for more. While Wikipedia can give you a quick fix, I’ll do you a favor and just tell you straight out—go buy A Man For All Oceans, a new book by Stan Grayson about Joshua Slocum. No ordinary person sets out on a voyage alone around the world, whether it’s Joshua Slocum in Spray in 1895 or today’s yacht racers in the ongoing round-the-world competitions in high-tech multi-hulls. They all have something going on. Slocum was the first, however, and he was a complicated soul who had lived through adventurous and sometimes tragic experiences at sea, and maintained controversial relationships and behaviors ashore. His narrative makes great reading, but this is not a review of Sailing Alone. What Slocum does not delve into are the details of his curious life before and after his three-year odyssey aboard Spray. This is where Stan Grayson comes in. While plenty has been written about Slocum in the past, Grayson’s biography covers more ground and delves into more sources than previous authors, shedding light on the pieces of Slocum’s background that have eluded others and following through to Slocum’s mysterious end, chasing down rumors and fleshing out contradictions in documents and records. When Slocum put to sea for the last time in 1909 (but some say 1908—even that is not clear),
larger of the two comprises less than half a square mile and supports a current population of well under two thousand. The smaller has no permanent residential population, but serves as an airport. Currently a possession of Germany, the island was held by Denmark until 1807. Heligoland has been the center of contention between Germany and Great Britain since 1807, when the British seized the archipelago from Denmark during the Napoleonic wars. In Heligoland: Britain, Germany and the Struggle for the North Sea, Jan Rûger focuses on this small territory, as he develops a microstudy to illuminate the historical relationship between Great Britain and Germany. Contention over the speck in the The Glencannon PressNorth Sea was not always a sign of conflict between the two nations. When British 4 col. inches (2.25 x 4.5 inches) forces annexed Heligoland, the Royal Navy Prefer right hand page, bottom right. never to be seen again, he set the stage for was committed to blockading the Contigenerations of rumor and conjecture. Gray- nent with the goal of starving out the son does not pretend to have a definitive French, while Napoleon, with his Berlin answer to what happened to Slocum, but and Milan decrees, stated his own goal of he gets us as close as we will ever get starving out the British by denying them through his dogged research and thorough access to the Continent. analysis of Slocum’s personality, recollections of his family and friends, newspaper The Glencannon accounts and letters, plus a study of weather, routes, and charts, and, of course, SloPress cum’s own words. Grayson also knows a thing or two about boats, which is both Maritime Books helpful and necessary in looking at Slocum’s successful voyages and tragic losses in vessels big and small. Among the useful apWhalers, Wharves and pendices at the back is a look at Slocum’s Warfare, PeoPle and events many commands, from the 1,795-ton that shaPed Pigeon Point square-rigger Northern Light to the little 39-foot Spray. Other appendices give a rundown of Slocum’s children with his first Not merely a tower of brick, wife (and the love of his life) Ginny; and this lighthouse is filled with even include a recipe for the old mariner’s tales of people who lived and fish chowder. Lesley Prevett worked within. Their human Naples, Florida experiences offer a glimpse
Heligoland: Britain, Germany and the Struggle for the North Sea by Jan Rûger (Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK, 2017, 370pp, illus, notes, biblio, index, isbn 978-0-19-967246-2; $34.95) Heligoland is a small island (actually two small islands, one having broken off in a storm in 1720) in the North Sea. The
into a vanished way of life. Hardcover, 7x10, 192 pp. 83+ photos. $29.95 + $5 shipping. Free Catalog 1-510-455-9027 Online catalog at www.glencannon.com
SEA HISTORY 161, WINTER 2017–18 59
Heligoland became the staging area for commerce, as hundreds of ships of a vast range of sizes used the islet as a jumping-off point for taking goods to the Continent and returning with goods for the international market. The British did little to fortify the island because the Royal Navy provided as much firepower as was necessary to protect the island. A f ter hostilities ceased, Heligoland was turned into a resort, attracting visitors from the Continent and the British Isles, and especially persons non grata from Germany, who took advantage of the freedom allowed by the British to write and publish what was considered subversive to the German authorities. Residents lived in a bizarre limbo between British laws and the Danish heritage the British promised to acknowledge when they occupied the island.
Germany demanded possession of Heligoland on the grounds that it had German roots and stood at the far edge of its territory. After years of conflict waged in the German and British press, in 1890 the British traded off the island in return for concessions in South Africa. Germany turned the rock into an armed bastion during World War I. After the war, German laborers under the watchful eyes of the Royal Navy dismantled the extensive fortifications, much to the chagrin of the German press and therefore the German public, which insisted that they were the victims of the war. The island remained in German possession and returned to its role as a watering hole. When Hitler and his Nazi Party came to power, Heligoland was once again forti-
fied. In 1947 the British blew up the fortifications by dropping nearly 7,000 tons of explosives on the island—the largest nonnuclear explosion on record, and then turned what remained into a bombing range for the Royal Air Force. Eventually the bombing range was relocated elsewhere, and Heligoland returned to the Germans, who have once again turned it into a spa, but not with the success of earlier times because the island is marred by the wars it has endured. A model town was constructed and the residents who were removed to the Continent for the war were returned. Rûger does not reveal how properties were meted out to the returning men and women who had lost everything in the war. Heligoland is a well written and intriguing work that is a pleasure to read. It will appeal to a wide range of readers: historians, sociologists, political scientists, and perhaps even ornithologists (Heligoland was once a haven for the study of a wide range of bird life). Dr. David O. Whitten Auburn, Alabama
Books with sea spray between the lines Captain Joshua Slocum and the first solo voyage around the world
A Man for All Oceans
A Man for All Oceans Captain Joshua Slocum and the First Solo Voyage Around the World By Stan Grayson Fills significant gaps in our understanding of Slocum’s life and voyages
“O’er the Wide and Tractless Sea”
Old Dartmouth Historical Society / New Bedford Whaling Museum ISBN 978-0-9975161-3-5
Michael P. Dyer
store.whalingmuseum.org 508-997-0046 ext.127
original art of the yankee whale hunt
Rarely seen maritime paintings, drawings, and whaling artworks
“O’er the Wide and Tractless Sea”
Original Art of the Yankee Whale Hunt By Michael P. Dyer
“O’er the Wide and Tractless Sea”
k original art of the yankee whale hunt By Michael P. Dyer
Original and classic works of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and drama bearing on the history of America’s engagement with our oceans and coastlines
SEA HISTORY 161, WINTER 2017–18
A Miracle at Attu: The Rescue of CG-1600 by Captain Bill Peterson, USCG (Ret.), and Captain Mike Wallace, USCG (Ret.) (First Edition Design Publishing, Sarasota, FL, 2016, 177pp, illus, 978-1-506-902876; $18.95pb) Captain Peterson proves through this work that sometimes the best way to tell a story is to just give the details, as gory as they may be, and move from fact to fact. CG-1600, a Coast Guard HC-130H plane on a logistics mission in remote Alaska, crashed while approaching its final destination in July 1982. Peterson, a Coast Guard helicopter pilot, performed the rescue mission in collaboration with fellow Coast Guardsmen and Air Force personnel. Everything conspired against them, from the terrain at the wreck site to the weather, to the odds of there being survivors in a crash that had torn their plane to pieces. Although the story happened more than 35 years ago, Peterson tells the story with minute-to-minute detail, from the moment word arrived on the Coast Guard cutter Mellon (WHEC 717) that contact with CG-1600 had been lost, to the search for the missing crewmen. It was clearly an experience that never left him. Remarkably, numerous survivors lived to tell the story as well, and three decades later agreed to share their memories for the book. From the outset, the author indoctrinates us in Coast Guard speak, explaining acronyms and abbreviations that Coast Guardsmen need to know on a daily basis, including those used only in the world of search and rescue (or “SAR”) helicopter crews. The technicality of the language requires, at first, re-reading of specific lines to get the hang of it, but by the end of the book readers have become so engrossed that they could don headsets and jump into Peterson’s HH-52 and fly along with him. The story is one of humanity, primarily, a tale of Coast Guard personnel giving their all to find, stabilize, comfort, and rescue their own, but it’s also a demonstration of the tribulations of such a rescue, including the problems impenetrable fog poses to planes and helicopters alike, refueling mid-mission, weight and cabin space restrictions and more. John Galluzzo Hanover, Massachusetts
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A Story of the Opera House Cup Race of Nantucket Photographs by Anne T. Converse Text by Carolyn M. Ford Live vicariously through the pictures and tales of classic wooden yacht owners who lovingly restore and race these gems of the sea. “An outstanding presentation deserves ongoing recommendation for both art and nautical collections.” 10”x12” Hardbound book; 132 pages, 85 full page color photographs; Price $45.00 For more information contact: Anne T. Converse Phone: 508-728-6210 firstname.lastname@example.org www.annetconverse.com
The Gun Club: USS Duncan at Cape Esperance by Robert Fowler (Winthrop & Fish, Los Angeles) 2017, 366pp, illus, notes, biblio, index, isbn 978-0-99907530-2; $15.99pb) The Gun Club is a heartbreaking and superb book about the American Navy’s first victory of World War II and the men who delivered it. The son of a crewman aboard USS Duncan (DD-485) who was killed in action, author Robert Fowler offers the reader an account of the flawed dynamics that existed between the officers and enlisted men in the opening year of the war as the US Navy learned how to fight a most determined and competent enemy. The first ten months of the war were not the US Navy’s finest. From the humiliating defeat at Pearl Harbor to ordering Vice Admiral Frank Jack Fletcher’s relief fleet to abandon the Marines fighting on Wake Island when only a day’s steaming away, to fleeing Guadalcanal with all the Marine supplies after their crushing defeat at Savo Island, Navy morale and competence were low, as the results evidenced. This is an incredibly personal book. Fowler’s mother was pregnant with him when her husband, Lieutenant Robert Ludlow Fowler 3rd, was killed 12 October 1942 during the Battle of Cape Esperance. He was posthumously awarded a Navy Cross for firing the torpedo that was believed to be the first torpedo to sink a Japanese warship, the IJN cruiser Furutaka. Fowler writes about growing up thinking, as did his mother, that the Navy was hiding something about the Duncan’s fight at Cape Esperance. Their suspicions began to be confirmed in 1991 when they began attending reunion events and met some of the surviving crewmembers. Prior to that battle, it had been forty-four years since the Navy had planned a real-time combat attack, and as the Duncan’s fifty dead crewmen could silently testify, the Navy was not prepared for combat.
Were the Duncan officers ready for war? Of course—they were Annapolis graduates and several knew each other from playing Navy football and other sports. Were the junior officers and senior enlisted ready for war? How could they be?—either they weren’t Annapolis grads or they had just graduated. As Fowler attended reunion after reunion, the crewmen got to know and trust him, and fed him stories of what the Navy considered leadership in 1942. The term “Gun Club,” Fowler explains, was the social circle of officers who studied explosives at advanced ordinance classes before moving into various levels of command, before being given a ship. That sort of nonchalant leadership is what caused Admiral Norman Scott, Commander Task Force 18, to issue a poorly phrased order by which some of his ships turned immediately to starboard to engage the Japanese, while the other half dithered and continued ahead. Perhaps worse, Scott and some of his commanders were unfamiliar with—and thus untrusting of—radar, and had it turned off, preventing them from becoming aware of the onrushing Japanese ships. Growing up without his father was difficult, but imagine Fowler’s distress to learn his mother’s suspicions were correct; the Navy had not been completely honest with her. While her husband had indeed died of injuries from incoming heavy guns; it turned out that those heavy guns were American—not Japanese. USS Duncan was mortally wounded by the heavy cruiser USS Boise (CL-47) when Admiral Scott’s orders were misunderstood, a fact the Navy worked hard to keep hidden. Those with a specific interest in the WWII-Pacific theatre will find The Gun Club most engaging, especially with respect to US Navy leadership and personnel issues in the early days of the war, while the more casual history buff will find the personal accounts of the little-known fight at Cape Esperance of great interest. It is highly recommended. Prof. Andrew Lubin Rosemont, Pennsylvania SEA HISTORY 161, WINTER 2017–18
GREAT READS from our SHIP’S STORE Harbor Voices: New York Harbor Tugs, Ferries, People, Places & More by Terry Walton
Celebrate New York’s working harbor, with behind-the-scenes stories of tug skippers, pilots, ferryboat operators, little-known islands, waterfront buildings, and the fascinating personal stories of the people and places that make up New York’s Harbor. Fully illustrated. SRP $19.95 SALE $15.00 + $5.00 s/h (softcover)
Lightship by Brian Floca
Delightful children’s book. Once lightships anchored on waters across America where lighthouses could not be built. In these pages the Ambrose and her crew (and cat) again hold their place. They run the small ship that guides the large ships. Come aboard this enchanting story! SRP $16.99 SALE $12.00 + $4.00 s/h (hardcover)
A Dream of Tall Ships: How New Yorker’s came together to save the city’s sailing-ship waterfront by Peter and Norma Stanford with an Introduction by John Stobart, RA
This lively account of a great urban adventure begins in the 1960s with two New Yorkers who were committed to creating a maritime museum in Manhattan’s old sailing ship waterfront-the South Street Seaport Museum. They worked to save the old buildings of an historic district, and to breathe new life into New York’s old Street of Ships. SRP $34.95 SALE $24.00 + $5.00 s/h (hardcover)
Neptune by Craig L. Symonds
Gripping account of the Allied invasion of Europe and the D-Day Landings. Symonds offers the complete story of this Olympian effort, involving transports, escorts, gunfire support ships, and landing craft of every possible size and function. The success depended mostly on the men themselves: the junior officers and enlisted men who drove the landing craft, cleared the mines, seized the beaches and assailed the bluffs behind them, securing the foothold for the eventual campaign to Berlin. SRP $29.95 SALE $24.00 + $6.00 s/h (hardcover )
McAllister Towing: 150 Years of Family Business
This never-before published documentary reveals stores of survival and peril, deep-sea expeditions and family tragedies as well as the triumphs of a maritime dynasty that has survived for more than 150 years. SRP $49.95 SALE $38.00 + $6.00 s/h (hardcover)
Tugboats Illustrated: History. Technology. Seamanship by Paul Farrell
This book traces the evolution, design, and role of tugboats ranging from the first steampowered tug to today’s hyper-specialized offshore workboats. Whatever the task, it teaches us to understand not only what tugs do but how physics and engineering allow them to do it. SRP $49.95 SALE $38.00 + $6.00 s/h (hardcover)
To order by phone, call with your credit card 1-800-221-NMHS (6647), x 0 Or visit our web site at www.seahistory.org. NYS residents add applicable sales tax. Shipping within USA only.
SEA HISTORY 161, WINTER 2017–18 63
NATIONAL MARITIME HISTORICAL SOCIETY AFTERGUARD
J. Aron Charitable Foundation, Inc. The Artina Group George W. Carmany III James J. Coleman Jr. James O. Coleman Condé Nast Crawford Taylor Foundation Christopher J. Culver Edward A. Delman Brian D’Isernia & Eastern Shipbuilding Group Henry L. & Grace Doherty Charitable Foundation In Memory of Ignatius Galgan C. Duff Hughes & The Vane Brothers Company Arthur M. Kimberly Trust Dr. J. Phillip London Richardo R. Lopes Guy E. C. Maitland McAllister Towing & Transportation Company, Inc. Ronald L. Oswald Estate of Walter J. Pettit, Sr. In Memory of Capt. Joseph Ramsey, USMM Charles A. Robertson Howard Slotnick Capt. Cesare Sorio John Stobart Andrew C. Taylor Charles H. Townsend Weeks Marine Inc. William H. White
Robert C. Ballard Bank of America Merrill Lynch VADM Dirk Debbink, USNR (Ret.) Richard T. du Moulin Elite Island Resorts EMR Southern Recycling David S. Fowler Green Family in Honor of Burchie Green Don & Kathy Hardy Bruce Johnson Robert F. Kamm VADM Al Konetzni Jr., USN (Ret.) Mercury Public Affairs LLC New York Waterways Erik & Kathy Olstein David & Susan Rockefeller Scarano Boat Building, Inc. Philip J. Shapiro Marjorie Shorrock Skuld North America Inc. H. C. Bowen Smith Norma Stanford In Memory of Peter Stanford Philip & Irmy Webster Jean Wort
Alban Cat Power Systems Caddell Dry Dock & Repair Co. Cincinnati Financial Corporation Todd Creekman Dr. William S. & Donna Dudley D. Harry W. Garschagen General Dynamics William J. Green Royal Holly The Ruth R. Hoyt/Anne H. Jolley Foundation, Inc. Huntington Ingalls Industries Jakob Isbrandtsen Benjamin Katzenstein Thomas & Deborah Lawrence H. F. Lenfest National Geographic National Marine Sanctuary Foundation CAPT James A. Noone, USNR (Ret.) ADM Robert J. Papp Jr., USCG (Ret.) Stephen B. Phillips Dr. Timothy J. Runyan Peter A. Seligmann Star Clipper Cruises Alix Thorne US Navy Memorial Foundation Chris Walker Adam Wronowski
SPONSORS American Bureau of Shipping Paul M. Aldrich Patricia A. Jean Barile Blank Rome LLP In Memory of William Burchenal Stephen & Carol Burke RADM Joseph F. Callo, USN (Ret.) Douglas Campbell Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum Harris Clark Conservation International Cruise Lines International Association VADM Peter H. Daly, USN DNV GL The Edgar & Geraldine Feder Foundation, Inc. Mrs. D. L. Fleischmann Burchenal Green ADM Jonathan Greenert, USN (Ret.) Robert S. Hagge Jr. Marius Halvorsen Thomas Hamilton Capt. Howard R. Hill Jr. Independence Seaport Museum J F Lehman & Company Robert L. James Neil E. Jones William Kahane Richard H. Kimberly H. Kirke Lathrop Cyrus C. Lauriat Hon. John Lehman Norman Liss Panaghis Lykiardopulo The MacPherson Fund, Inc. Marine Society of the City of New York Ann Peters Marvin Mark Mashburn Buck McAllister David J. & Carolyn D. McBride McCarter & English, LLC CAPT Sally Chin McElwreath, USNR (Ret.) Dr. Joseph F. Meany Jr. RADM John T. Mitchell Jr., USN (Ret.) Robert E. Morris Jr. William G. Muller New York Yacht Club Capt. Eric Nielsen Mrs. Joanne O’Neil The Betty Sue and Art Peabody Fund Hon. S. Jay Plager Pritzker Military Foundation John Rich Rhianna Roddy Santander Bank George Schluderberg A. R. Schmeidler & Co., Inc. Karl A. Senner C. Hamilton Sloan Foundation Philip Stephenson Foundation Philip E. Stolp Andres Duarte Vivas VSE Corporation Anne Walker George Walker Dan Whalen David Williams DONORS
Allen Insurance Financial Silas Anthony CAPT Donald Bates, USNR Charles R. Beaudrot Jr. Eleanor F. Bookwalter Jerry M. Brown James O. Burri John Caddell II Dr. John & Rachel Cahill Mr. & Mrs. Nicholas Carlozzi RADM Nevin P. Carr Jr. USN (Ret.) Stephen Caulfield Gerald F. B. Cooper John C. Couch C. W. Craycroft Draper Laboratory Dr. John Finerty Robert P. Fisher Jr. Robert Franzblau Charles Hamrick, MSC Richard Hansen CAPT Roger P. Hartgen, USCG (Ret.) Christian Havemeyer J. Russell Jinishian Gallery Mary Burrichter & Bob Kierlin Kobrand Corp. & Marco Sorio James P. Latham Paul Jay Lewis Drew McMullen Fred Meendsen Walter C. Meibaum III New York Container Terminal Paul C. Perez Nathaniel Philbrick Mr. & Mrs. William P. Rice Charles Raskob Robinson Capt. Bert Rogers Levent Kemal Sadikoglu Lee H. Sandwen Scholarship America Mr. & Mrs. John R. Sherwood III James Edward Spurr Gerould R. Stange Daniel R. Sukis Mr. & Mrs. William Swearingin Alfred Tyler II Erin Urban Roy Vander Putten Thomas Wayne Gerald Weinstein & Mary Habstritt Bill Wissel
A. Acebedo CDR Everett Alvarez Jr., USN (Ret.) Carter S. Bacon Jr. William Baker Robert M. Baly Ernest T. Bartol Steve B. Batterman Mr. & Mrs. Vincent Bellafiore Theodore Bernstein W Frank Bohlen CAPT R. A. Bowling, USN (Ret.) James H. Brandi RADM David C. Brown, USMS (Ret.) Robert P. Burke James W. Cheevers Russell P. Chubb James M. Clark Jr. Dr. Gerard J. Clifford Jr. J. Barilay Collins Sean Crahan Jack Creighton Morgan Daly James M. D’Angelo Ian Danic Joan M. Davenport Dr. Jacob Deegan Anthony Delellis James P. Delgado C. Henry Depew Capt. John W. Dorozynski Steven Draper Richard H. Dumas Reynolds duPont Jr. Egan Maritime Museum Leonard J. Eaton Jr. Theodore Eckberg, M. D. Bruce K. Farr OBE James J. Foley Jr. Peter P. Gerquest Capt. Dwight Gertz Mary Lee Giblon-Sheahan John F. Gradel Arthur Graham Edwin H. Grant Jr. Marc Grisham Ray Guinta Capt. Peter Hartsock J. C. Heminway Steven A. Hyman Andrew MacAoidh Jergens Gary Jobson RADM Eric C. Jones, USCG Jane Sundelof Jones Richard Julian The Kelton Foundation James L. Kerr James & Barbara Kerr Omie & Laurence Kerr Mr. & Mrs. Chester W. Kitchings Jr. MKCS P. W. Kodis Jr., USCG (Ret.) Mr. & Mrs. Richard W. Kurts John L. Langill F. W. Lee W. Peter Lind Robert Lindmark In Memory of John B. Lyon Babcock MacLean John Maloney Davis Margold Mr. & Mrs. Alan McKie Kevin McLaughlin Richard S. Merrell Kevin McLaughlin Glenn L. Metzger Richard A. & Lois Meyer Vincent Miles Charles H. Miller Carolyn & Leonard Mizerek Michael G. Moore CAPT R. G. Moore, USCG (Ret.) Thomas A. Moran Vance Morrison Michael Moss & Ellen Chapman Scott Nathan James A. Neel Eric A. Oesterle Roger Ottenbach William L. Palmer Col. Bruce E. Patterson, USA Paul C. Pennington Peter B. Poulsen David Prohaska Dr. G. Michael Purdy Mr. & Mrs. Andrew A. Radel Michael J. Rauworth George Raymond Demetra Reichart Martin Resnick John Reuter William E. Richardson Christopher Richmond, AAI, AINS In Memory of Richard E. Riegel Jr. RADM Donald P. Roane, USN (Ret.) Reed Robertson William M. Rosen James G. Sargent Robert W. Scott RADM & Mrs. Bob Shumaker, USN (Ret.) CDR William H. Skidmore Edmund Sommer Donald Souligny Patricia Steele Rob Surprenant Mr. A. E. & Diana Szambecki F. David Terry Jr. RADM Cindy Thebaud Charles Tobin Capt. John Torjusen Russell R. Tripp Robert J. Tyd William Van Loo Carol Vinall Terry Walton Dr. John Dix Wayman Thomas S. Whiteman Jack Wiberg Capt. Eric T. Wiberg Richard C. Wolfe Paul L. Woodard
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Published by Arcadia Publishing and Galveston Historical Foundation $21.99. 128 pages, 200 photographs Autographed copies available at (409) 763-1877, or online at:
w w w. t s m - e l i s s a . o r g
project liberty Ship is a Baltimore based, all volunteer, nonprofit organization
SS John W. Brown is maintained in her WWII configuration, visitors must be able to climb steps to board.
9/29/17 4:02 AM
2018 Calendar NEW! Tall Ships
There are few things on the high seas more dramatic than the great clouds of sail raised by traditional full-rigged ships. This edition of Tall Ships features vessels from ports around the world. Calendar is wall hanging, full color Size 13.75” x 20.6” open.
$15.95 SALE $12.00 Add $5.50 media mail s/h within the US.
SEA HISTORY 161, WINTER 2017–18 65
Discover, preserve and interpret the significance of Americaâ€™s maritime history with a
Master of Science
MaritiMe and naval StudieS SUNY Maritime College
Take classes in literature, art, policy, law and business to develop a full understanding of the maritime world. Explore the Stephen B. Luce Library Archives, home to thousands of linear feet of undiscovered material. Curate the Maritime Industry Museum, housed in historic Fort Schuyler. Prepare for a career with our multidisciplinary program that can be customized to your personal and professional goals. Classes are offered online and on campus. For more information, visit www.sunymaritime.edu/mnstapply or call 718.409.7221.
10 National Maritime Historical Society Annual Awards Dinners, by Burchenal Green • 14 The 11th Maritime Heritage Conference, by Burchenal...
Published on Dec 1, 2017
10 National Maritime Historical Society Annual Awards Dinners, by Burchenal Green • 14 The 11th Maritime Heritage Conference, by Burchenal...