Sea History 177 - Winter 2021-2022

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No. 177

NATIONAL MARITIME HISTORICAL SOCIETY

WINTER 2021–22

SEA HISTORY

$4.95

THE ART, LITERATURE, ADVENTURE, LORE & LEARNING OF THE SEA

Artistic Legacy of the Van de Veldes Louise Arner Boyd in the Arctic Gorch Fock Off a Lee Shore Battle of Vigo Bay


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No. 177

SEA HISTORY

WINTER 2021–22

CONTENTS

photo by anders beer wilse , galleri nor

12 Searching for Amundsen: Louise Arner Boyd aboard the Hobby by Joanna Kafarowski Wealthy socialite Louise Boyd was preparing to embark on a third Arctic sailing expedition, when legendary explorer Roald Amundsen disappeared while flying in the region. Abandoning her original plans, Boyd placed her ship and crew at the disposal of the search effort. The journey that followed was grueling, but transformative. 18 The Battle of Vigo Bay—Fire and Silver on the Spanish Coast by John S. Sledge In 1702 a combined fleet of French and Spanish ships had just arrived in Spain from the Americas loaded down with silver, gold, and valuable commodities, when it found itself under attack by English and Dutch forces eager to claim a victory in the War of the Spanish Succession.

31 The Origins of the Rules of the Road by Charles Dana Gibson Red, Right, Return. Boaters learn this mnemonic phrase in any basic navigation class, but the rules of the road we take for granted were only established in the US at the end of the 19th century.

rijksmuseum

24 Sea Power as Soft Power: American Merchant Ships and Post-War Refugees by Joshua M. Smith The US Merchant Marine at the end of World War II took on a new role as war-torn Europe and Asia needed its help repatriating its citizens and organizing relief efforts. American military might shifted tactics from sea power to “soft power,” which continued to be a valuable tool in the Cold War.

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tvabutzku1234 via wikipedia

23 HISTORIC SHIPS ON A LEE SHORE: Germany’s Sail Training Ship Gorch Fock Returns to Sea by Gernot U. Gabel After being mired in controversy surrounding past scandals, mismanagement, and a rebuild that cost its taxpayers more than ten times the original estimate, at long last the German Navy’s sail training ship Gorch Fock is prepping for sea with a new crew of cadets.

32 The Artist Legacy of the Van de Veldes: A Retrospective Exhibition at the National Maritime Museum (Het Scheepvaartmuseum) in Amsterdam by Marleen Smit The National Maritime Museum in Amsterdam presents a retrospective exhibition of father and son Willem van de Velde, whose depictions of 17th-century ships and naval battles documented much of that world for us today, and whose work influenced generations of painters. 37 American Society of Marine Artists Retreat at Minnesota Marine Art Museum by Burchenal Green NMHS president Burchenal Green reports on the recent gathering of today’s top marine artists at the Minnesota Marine Art Museum in Winona.

minnesota marine art museum

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Cover: Ships in a Gale, c. 1660 by Willem van de Velde the Younger (1633–1707), oil on panel, courtesy of the National Gallery of Art, Washington (See pp. 32–36.)

DEPARTMENTS 4 Deck Log and Letters 10 NMHS: A Cause in Motion 40 Sea History for Kids

44 Ship Notes, Seaport & Museum News 51 Reviews 56 Patrons

Sea History and the National Maritime Historical Society Sea History e-mail: seahistory@gmail.com; NMHS e-mail: nmhs@seahistory.org; Website: 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; Regular $45. All members outside the USA please add $20 for postage. Sea History is sent to all members. Individual copies cost $4.95.

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SEA HISTORY (issn 0146-9312) is published quarterly by the National Maritime Historical Society, 1000 North Division St., #4, Peekskill NY 10566 USA. Periodicals postage paid at Peekskill NY 10566 and add’l mailing offices. COPYRIGHT © 2021 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

E

Our eyes on the horizon, not on the wake….

photo courtesy deirdre o’regan

ven in these unprecedented times, the National Maritime Historical Society is flourishing. Sea History continues to be the pre-eminent journal in the maritime heritage field; our website at www.seahistory.org continues to provide a plethora of information and resources, while highlighting news and events at maritime heritage sites and institutions across the country and around the world. NMHS supports a range of educational opportunities for students, and is producing an unparalleled documentary on the life of the historic schooner Ernestina-Morrissey—a Grand Banks fishing vessel, Arctic explorer, packet ship to the Cape Verde Islands, and sail training ship. We are in the process of setting up and digitizing the records of our library in the Society’s new headquarters in Peekskill, New York, and we will soon be adding collections that have been recently donated to us, including the personal library belonging to the late marine artist Oswald Brett. We acquired two important photo collections this year, one of New York Harbor in World War II and one of the restoration of the Falls of Clyde; both will be restored and digitized. These are just a few highlights of our work. Our staff is strong and talented, our board is committed and influential; our friends are numerous and dedicated. We are indeed the national voice of the maritime heritage community. With the Society in a strong position and in capable hands, I have announced my plans to retire in the new year. It is timely and important to pass on leadership of the Society to those who will bring fresh perspective and energy to advancing its mission and strategy. That is the path forward as NMHS approaches its sixth decade of operations. I have had the distinct honor of leading the Society for more than a quarter of a century (as NMHS president since 2006), and our chair, Ronald Oswald, has served on our board of trustees for two decades (as chairman since 2008). We both truly love the Society, its work, its members, and its mission. As they say with any leadership role—you must provide both roots and wings. We are proud to have secured strong roots for the Society, and now we look to growing those wings. NMHS trustee CAPT Jim Noone, USN (Ret.), has been elected our new board NMHS has benefitted from dedicated and strong leaders. chair and will start in 2022; (l–r) Board chairman Ronald Oswald; the late Howard Ron will stay on as trustee, Slotnick, who served both as treasurer and chairman continuing his work with Na- emeritus; and Burchenal Green, NMHS President. tional History Day and other programs to engage and support students of maritime history. I will retire once a replacement has been selected. The Society has announced a national search to fill my position as NMHS executive director/president. Please spread the word that we are looking for an individual who has a passion for maritime history and an aptitude for non-profit management. Candidates must have strong organizational, management, and financial skills, as well as experience in a nonprofit leadership position. The ideal candidate will have a strong maritime connection (can be by profession, vocation, academic study, or affiliation). Interested individuals should review the job posting at www.seahistory.org/careers and submit their resume and cover letter via email to nmhs@seahistory.org. The successful candidate will be taking over from a president who loves the job and who believes her successor will also. I will not be a stranger and I anticipate ever greater times ahead. —Burchenal Green, NMHS President

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NATIONAL MARITIME HISTORICAL SOCIETY PUBLISHER’S CIRCLE: Peter Aron, Guy E. C. Maitland, Ronald L. Oswald OFFICERS & TRUSTEES: Chairman, Ronald L. Oswald; Vice Chairman, Richardo R. Lopes; President, Burchenal Green; Vice Presidents: Jessica MacFarlane, Deirdre O’Regan, Wendy Paggiotta; Treasurer, William H. White; Secretary, Jean Wort; Trustees: Charles B. Anderson; Walter R. Brown; CAPT Patrick Burns, USN (Ret.); CAPT Sally McElwreath Callo, USN (Ret.); Christopher J. Culver; William S. Dudley; David Fowler; William J. Green; Karen Helmerson; K. Denise Rucker Krepp; Guy E. C. Maitland; Capt. Jeffrey McAllister; Salvatore Mercogliano; Michael Morrow; CAPT James A. Noone, USN (Ret.); Richard Patrick O’Leary; ADM Robert J. Papp Jr., USCG (Ret.); Timothy J. Runyan; Richard Scarano; Philip J. Shapiro; Capt. Cesare Sorio; Chairmen Emeriti: Walter R. Brown, Alan G. Choate, Guy E. C. Maitland, Howard Slotnick (1930–2020) FOUNDER: Karl Kortum (1917–1996) PRESIDENT EMERITUS: Peter Stanford (1927–2016) OVERSEERS: Chairman, RADM David C. Brown, USMS (Ret.); RADM Joseph F. Callo, USN (Ret.); George W. Carmany III; Richard du Moulin; Alan D. Hutchison; Gary Jobson; Sir Robin Knox-Johnston; John Lehman; Capt. Brian McAllister; Capt. James J. McNamara; H. C. Bowen Smith; John Stobart; Philip J. Webster; Roberta Weisbrod NMHS ADVISORS: Francis Duffy, John Ewald, Timothy Foote, Steven A. Hyman, J. Russell Jinishian, Gunnar Lundeberg, Conrad Milster, William G. Muller, Nancy H. Richardson SEA HISTORY EDITORIAL ADVISORY BOARD: Chairman, Timothy Runyan; Norman Brouwer, Robert Browning, William Dudley, Lisa Egeli, Daniel Finamore, Kevin Foster, Cathy Green, John Jensen, Frederick Leiner, Joseph Meany, Salvatore Mercogliano, Carla Rahn Phillips, Walter Rybka, Quentin Snediker, William H. White NMHS STAFF: Executive Director, Burchenal Green; Director of Development, Jessica MacFarlane; Accounting/Membership Associate, Andrea Ryan; Senior Staff Writer, Shelley Reid; Executive Assistant, Heather Purvis; Membership Coordinator, Marianne Pagliaro SEA HISTORY: Editor, Deirdre E. O’Regan; Advertising Director, Wendy Paggiotta Sea History is printed by The Lane Press, South Burlington, Vermont, USA.

SEA HISTORY 177, WINTER 2021–22


The National Maritime Historical Society Needs Your Support! If you love Sea History magazine and the work we do to promote our maritime heritage, please consider supporting the National Maritime Historical Society today. Especially during this challenging time throughout our world, we are grateful for your support, which preserves a legacy of knowledge and provides critical funding for Sea History magazine, online resources at www.seahistory.org, our ongoing educational initiatives including Sea History for Kids online and our documentary on Ernestina-Morrissey, the Society’s efforts to highlight the plight of historic ships in distress, and the conservation of the Society’s maritime library and collections—a treasure of scholarship, information, literature and lore. Mail your contribution to National Maritime Historical Society, 1000 N. Division Street, #4, Peekskill, NY 10566 or Donate today at seahistory.org/donate

Not a member yet? Need to renew your membership? Sign up and join thousands of Americans in helping to preserve and promote our maritime heritage. Our membership forms an active community, advocating for the recognition of how our seafaring past continues to shape our future. It is with membership support that we can fulfill our mission and do the work that we do. Join us today at seahistory.org/join

Are you on our email list? Our list of subscribers is growing every day, but if it’s missing someone important—you!—please sign up today. Join thousands of fellow enthusiasts who are raising awareness of our seafaring heritage to advocate for our maritime legacy and stay connected. We look forward to having you in our crew! Sign up for our email list today at seahistory.org/signup

Thank you for your support, with best wishes from all of us at the National Maritime Historical Society.

SEA HISTORY 177, WINTER 2021–22

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We Welcome Your Feedback!

LETTERS

navsource.org photo c/o raymond a. biswanger jr. phd

USS Hartford after it was refloated, 1957. From Todd Jones: The fate of the Hartford’s remains, like the rest of the story, is sad and unfortunate. The sunken hull remained in place for nearly nine months. Following the sinking on 20 November 1956, some people still held out hope that the ship could be salvaged. A thirteen-year-old Norfolk boy even offered to start a restoration fund with his friends. The Navy had divers inspect the hull but ultimately decided the ship could not be saved. They sought out bids from private companies to dispose of her. The Navy preferred to see the hull sealed, raised, and towed somewhere else

in the area to be dismantled. They also considered sending her out to sea to be sunk, if needed. Dismantling in-place was seen as a last resort. The Navy made an inventory of what was left in the ship and saved whatever it could to be sent out to museums across the country. In July 1957, a private salvage company started to seal and pump out the hull to be raised. On 15 August 1957, during a rainstorm, the raised hull was towed a short distance to a private pier. In a final humiliation, one of the salvage workers flew a Confederate flag from Hartford’s stern. For the next two and a half months the salvagers removed any remaining metal from the ship. On 5 November 1957, they set the wooden hull ablaze rather than dismantle it piece-by-piece. It took nearly a month to burn. Feline Crewmembers As the person who wrote the endorsement, “A Purrfectly Good Tail,” for the cover of Philippa Sandall’s Seafurrers, I commend Sea History for publishing her short overview of the role felines have played at sea over the centuries. Like Midshipman Matthew Flinders, who was devastated to lose his cat, Trim, during the wrecking of HMS Porpoise off Australia in 1803, Petty Officer Matthew “Slim” Ellinger lamented the disappearance of “Minnie the Moocher” of the carrier USS Langley while the ship

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

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Yes, I want to join the Society and receive Sea History quarterly. My contribution is enclosed. ($22.50 is for Sea History; any amount above that is tax deductible.) Sign me up as: $45 Regular Member $100 Friend 177 $250 Patron $500 Donor Mr./Ms. ____________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________ZIP_______________ Return to: National Maritime Historical Society, 1000 North Division St., #4, Peekskill, NY 10566

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underwent overhaul at Mare Island, California, in March 1934. But Ellinger had a hunch about the cat’s whereabouts. While at Mare Island, the hospital ship Relief was nested outboard of Langley, forcing her crew to have to cross the carrier’s welldeck to get ashore. Ellinger suspected one of Relief ’s nurses swiped the beloved mascot just prior to Relief ’s departure. Later that Summer, Langley arrived at the Norfolk Navy Yard for some additional maintenance work. Berthed across from Langley was the Relief, which had beaten the carrier to the East Coast. Ellinger, following up on his suspicion that Relief was responsible for Minnie having gone AWOL, proceeded to cross the pier, only to find the missing feline coming across the brow. Minnie the Moocher then immediately returned to her former quarters in the carrier’s galley. Sadly, the fate of Trim will never be known. David Winkler, PhD Alexandria, VA

barque picton castle

Fate of USS Hartford’s Hull Great article by Todd Jones about this ship in the last issue of Sea History (#176), but I was wondering what happened to the sunken hulk. I am sure it was not left at the pier. Any data on this? James Young Tavares, Florida

Please email correspondence to seahistory@gmail.com

Chibley, of the barque Picton Castle The tradition of taking on feline crewmembers continues! Chibley was the cherished ship’s cat aboard the barque Picton Castle, a sail training tall ship best known for blue water voyages to exotic tropical destinations. She had been rescued from an animal shelter and circumnavigated the world five times, as well as sailing on many voyages on the east coast of North America, to the Caribbean and the Great Lakes. Adding up all her voyages, Chibley sailed more than 180,000 nautical miles at sea. Picton Castle’s role as a training ship resulted in Chibley being introduced to numerous visitors and becoming a celebrity in her own right. I remember watching a TV news camera crew follow her down Navy Pier in Chicago, filming as she explored ashore when her ship was docked SEA HISTORY 177, WINTER 2021–22


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Five North Carolinas I assume the comment in the recent issue’s “Deck Log” regarding USS North Carolina (ships built in the Philadelphia Navy Yard) referred to the 74-gun ship of the line, built in 1820. Including it in the same sentence as mention of USS New Jersey confused me somewhat, and suggested that the named vessels were of various types (there were six USS Princetons). To add a historical note: There were five vessels put into naval service

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From the Battleship North Carolina Museum: Ships named for the state of North Carolina enjoy a long and proud history. The first USS North Carolina, a 74-gun ship of the line, was launched in Philadelphia, September 1820, and fitted out in Norfolk, Virginia, with Master Commandant Charles W. Morgan in command. A threemasted square-rigger with an overall length of 196 feet 3 inches and beam of 54 feet, she displaced 2,633 tons and carried a complement of 820. As Commodore John Rodgers’s flagship in the Mediterranean from 1825–27, North Carolina symbolized naval might and provided the young republic much-needed prestige and respectability. Her second voyage was in the Pacific Squadron from 1836–39. After that she became a receiving [training] ship and was sold for scrap in 1867. The Confederate States Navy’s 174foot ironclad CSS North Carolina was constructed in Wilmington, North Carolina. Displacing 600 tons, her main battery consisted of four 8-inch guns. She was anchored near the mouth of the Cape Fear River to help keep the port of Wilmington open for blockade runners. She developed leaks and sank in September 1864 near Southport, North Carolina. The second US Navy ship named North Carolina was Armored Cruiser 12, commissioned in 1908 at Norfolk, Virginia. With a length of 504 feet, she displaced 14,500 tons and her designed speed was 22 knots. Her main battery consisted of four 10-inch guns and her secondary of sixteen 6-inch and twenty-two 3-inch rapid-fire guns. Her complement was 38 officers and 821 enlisted men. Her service highlights include bringing home the bodies from USS Maine for burial, convoying troops to and from France during the first

us navy image, nhhc

named North Carolina: four for the US Navy and one Confederate. The other vessels named North Carolina were: the Confederate ironclad, built in Wilmington, NC; the 1908 armored Cruiser 12, built in Norfolk, VA; the 1937 battleship BB-55 built in the Brooklyn Navy Yard; (BB-52 of the same name was canceled); and lastly a nuclear submarine in 2007. Charles Deroko Brooklyn, New York

The first USS North Carolina (1820) was built in the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard. World War, and catapult launching an AB-2 Curtiss flying boat from her stern on 5 November 1915. Renamed Charlotte in June 1920 so that her name might be used for a new battleship, she was decommissioned in February 1921. Battleship 52, designated North Carolina, was never completed. Laid down in 1920, work halted three years later under terms of the 1922 Treaty for the Limitation of Naval Armament. Battleship North Carolina (BB-55) was built at the New York Navy Yard and launched on 13 June 1940. During WWII, North Carolina participated in every major naval offensive in the Pacific area of operations and earned 15 battle stars. courtesy battleship north carolina

there for a tall ships festival. Chibley also endeared herself to the crew. One crewmember was assigned to feed her—including treats—lest everyone try to sneak her scraps of their dinner. If Chibley visited your bunk for a nap, it was a sign she had accepted you as a member of the ship’s crew. After a lifetime of international adventures, Chibley died in November 2011, in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia. She left big paw prints to fill and Picton Castle has had a number of cats aboard since, but none with the same length of service as hers. Maggie Ostler Lunenburg, Nova Scotia

Battleship North Carolina (BB-55) is now a museum & memorial in Wilmington, NC. Finally, the attack submarine North Carolina (SSN 777) was commissioned on 3 May 2008 in Wilmington, NC. At 377 feet in length, she displaces 7,800 tons submerged and carries a complement of 134. Her maximum designed submerged speed is 25+ knots. Her armament includes 12 vertical launch system tubes, four 21-inch torpedo tubes, tomahawk missiles, and Mk-48 advanced capability torpedoes, advanced mobile mines, and unmanned undersea vehicles. SEA HISTORY 177, WINTER 2021–22


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NMHS:

A CAUSE IN MOTION NMHS Events in 2022 — Save the Dates! You won’t want to miss the wonderful events that NMHS is planning. We look forward to seeing you in the New Year! courtesy national press club

National Maritime Awards Dinner, 27 April, in Washington, DC We are thrilled to announce that the Society will hold its National Maritime Awards Dinner at the National Press Club. Dinner chairs Amy Lent and Samuel Byers and founding dinner chair Philip J. Webster look forward to announcing next year’s extraordinary honorees later this month. For a sneak preview, sponsorship opportunities, and to register, please visit www.seahistory.org/ Washington2022 or contact Wendy Paggiotta at vicepresident@seahistory.org or 914 737-7878, ext. 557. Sponsorship opportunities from $1,000 to $25,000 are available; individual dinner registrations are $300. A block of rooms has been reserved at the Hilton Garden Inn Downtown Washington from 26–28 April 2022 at the rate of $269/night, plus applicable taxes. To make your hotel reservation, call 888 728-3027 and use the group code “NMS.”

courtesy steven kalil

noble maritime collection

cc by 3.0, p.d.

NMHS Annual Meeting, 3–5 June, on Staten Island, New York We have exciting plans to share for the National Maritime Historical Society’s 59th Annual Meeting planned for next June. Imagine—you are transported back in time, standing in the Great Hall of Sailors’ Snug Harbor, surrounded by knowledgeable and interesting maritime enthusiasts in a building so rich in history that its ghosts reach out to you. We will be hosted by our friends at the Noble Maritime Collection, an extraordinary museum interpreting the life and art of marine painter John Noble (1913–1983). Alexander Hamilton himself drafted the will of Robert Richard Randall in 1801, in which he bequeathed his New York property to create a retirement home for “aged, decrepit, and worn out seamen,” to be known as “Sailors’ Snug Harbor,” one of the first retire- Sailors’ Snug Harbor on Staten Island is ment homes established in the United States. Today the site is the home of the Snug now the Snug Harbor Cultural Center. Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Gardens, which includes the Staten Island Museum and the Noble Maritime Collection on its campus. John Noble was passionate about saving the ruins of this once great institution that had served some 10,000 mariners over the years. Sailors’ Snug Harbor was a self-contained community with a farm that produced its own food and tobacco and included a 400-bed hospital and a sanatorium. The late NMHS president emeritus Peter Stanford, a friend and admirer of John Noble, worked for decades with Noble Maritime Collection founder Erin Urban to repurpose one of the buildings on the Snug Harbor campus into a museum honoring the artist. It was a herculean task that Erin undertook, and she credits Peter with much of its success, including saving Noble’s houseboat studio; it has been restored to its 1954 appearance and today serves Interior of John Noble’s houseboat as the centerpiece of the museum. The NMHS Annual Meeting will be held Saturday, 4 June, at the Noble Maritime Collection. and includes behind-the scenes tours of the Noble Maritime Collection, the Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Gardens, and the Staten Island Museum. For those who join us a day early, on Friday we will take a three-hour boat tour of the lighthouses around New York Harbor with the National Lighthouse Museum, viewing Sandy Hook Light, the Twin Lights in New Jersey, Battery Weed Light, Coney Island, West Bank, and Romer Shoals lights. On Sunday we will tour Caddell Dry Dock with its president, Steve Kalil. While you are on Staten Island, we recommend a visit to the Alice Austin House, historic Fort Wadsworth, and the ca. 1680 Conference House of the Revolutionary War. And, of course, the Staten Island Ferry is always worth the trip across New York Caddell Dry Dock president Harbor to Manhattan, even if you just plan on taking it both ways for a scenic boat ride. Mark your Steve Kalil will lead us on a tour calendar and visit us online at www.seahistory.org/AnnualMeeting2022 for details, prices, and the code to reserve a room in the NMHS block. We look forward to a great gathering of members. of the shipyard.

NMHS Annual Awards Dinner, 27 October, New York City Although we are all disappointed at having to postpone our 2021 Annual Awards Dinner due to COVID-19 concerns this past October, we are excited to announce next year’s Annual Awards Dinner at the New York Yacht Club. We look forward to recognizing our award recipients—David K. Elwell Jr.; Steven Kalil; RADM Joseph Callo, USN (Ret.); and CAPT Sally McElwreath Callo, USN (Ret.)—and honoring their outstanding contributions to our maritime heritage. For more information, sponsorship opportunities, and to register, please visit www.seahistory.org/AAD2022 or contact Wendy Paggiotta at vicepresident@seahistory.org or 914-7377878, ext. 557. Sponsorship opportunities from $1,000 to $25,000 are available; individual dinner registrations are $400. 10

SEA HISTORY 177, WINTER 2021–22


NMHS Legacy Society If you believe we can learn from the past...Create a legacy to shape the future. Since our founding in 1963, the National Maritime Historical Society has striven to tell the stories, great and small, that make up the wondrous panorama of our maritime history. Over the last six decades, hundreds of thousands of readers have discovered in the pages of Sea History magazine a treasure-trove of stories that captivate, inspire and enlighten us all about the vital role of the sea— and those who have sailed upon it. The lessons that our seafaring heritage can teach courage, ingenuity, resourcefulness —are timeless. It is more important than ever to bring these lessons to young people tomorrow’s maritime leaders. Now you can create a legacy for the next generation to ensure this important part of history is not lost. We know that maritime history is world history, yet the emphasis on teaching history in today’s education system is dwindling—depriving our youth of the precious commodity of hindsight. Help NMHS keep history alive! Making a legacy gift to the Society is a deeply personal and effective way to support our lifelong work, and has a transformative impact on our ability to promote maritime heritage and inspire future generations. A gift in your will or living trust is one of the most effective ways to provide for the Society’s future, and allows you to retain your assets during your lifetime. Alternatively, naming the National Maritime Historical Society on a portion of a retirement or life insurance policy is a simple way to provide for NMHS’s future without writing or re-writing your will or living trust. We are happy to assist as you consider a planned gift to NMHS. Please visit us at www.seahistory.org/plannedgiving, email plannedgiving seahistory.org, or call us (914) 737-7878 Ext. 0 for more information.

Have you already made a legacy gift?

We hope you will notify us when you have included us in your future planning so that we may thank you and welcome you as a new member of our NMHS Legacy Society.

SEA HISTORY 177, WINTER 2021–22

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Searching for Amundsen: Louise Arner Boyd aboard the Hobby

courtesy norwegian polar institute

n the spring of 1928, forty-year-old California multi-millionaire Louise Arner Boyd was busy preparing for her next thrilling Arctic adventure. A few years earlier, she had inherited a fortune and, without the constraints of a husband or children, realized a dream by hiring a ship and traveling with friends through the frigid Arctic Ocean. She was enthralled by her encounters with sleek seals, imposing polar bears, and towering icebergs. Another pleasure cruise followed two years later, which departed from Norway and sailed to the mysterious and forbidding Franz Josef Land, far above the Arctic Circle at 81°N 55°E. After each voyage, Boyd returned dutifully to her opulent mansion in San Rafael, California, and resumed her role as an elegant socialite and respected philanthropist. With two Arctic sailing expeditions under her belt, Boyd had been well and truly bitten by the polar bug. By 1928, she was planning to return that summer to study the fiord region of northeast Greenland. On these voyages, she was not traveling as a tourist. She had become a serious student of the North. Although her formal education ended when she was a teenager, she devoted herself to reading and learning whatever she could about this region. She hired experienced Norwegian captain Kristian Johannesen and his ship, the Hobby, in which she had sailed previously. Despite her eagerness to undertake a challenging Arctic journey in a hazardous area of the world, Boyd appreciated continuity and she was delighted to travel with Captain Johannesen and the Hobby once more. With unerring instincts, Boyd had chosen captain and vessel well. The Hobby was a highly respected Norwegian vessel with a distinguished lineage. Built in 1918 in Arendal, Norway, the 300-ton wooden steamer measured 130 feet in length and 24 feet on the beam, and could maintain an average speed of eight knots. Boyd was especially proud of Hobby’s links to polar history. In 1925, Hobby had been the base ship for Norwegian polar explorer Roald Amundsen as he transported two airplanes to Spitsbergen prior to the Amundsen-Ellsworth Expedition, while attempting to fly to the North Pole. The following year, Hobby had rendered assistance to another polar icon, Richard E. Byrd. Like Amundsen, Byrd also sought to be the first to fly to the North Pole. In 1926, his supply ship, Chantier, had gotten stuck in the ice upon arrival at King’s Bay in Spitsbergen and had to be rescued by Hobby and her crew.

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public domain

I

by Joanna Kafarowski

Louise Arner Boyd (1887–1972) In late June 1928, Louise Boyd arrived in Tromsø, Norway, ready to undertake her highly anticipated voyage to northeast Greenland. She expected to meet with Captain Johannesen and join the Hobby for her next Arctic adventure, but her plans were about to change radically with the shocking news that explorer Roald Amundsen had gone missing. Amundsen was one of her heroes. His daring exploits, including being the first to reach the South Pole, the first to traverse the Northwest Passage, and the first to fly over the North Pole, had inspired her own adventures. Weeks earlier, the Italia Expedition, led by Umberto Nobile, had attempted to fly an airship to the North Pole, but the airship disappeared and a rescue mission was underway. Amundsen had joined the Italia rescue effort and departed in his plane, a Latham 47, in the direction of the search area. But now he had gone missing as well. His last confirmed message was on 18 June. In an odd twist of fate, the Italia airship had been located and its survivors were being rescued, as the search now turned to Amundsen’s Latham 47 and his French crew of five, including renowned longdistance aviator Commander René Guilbaud. Norwegian steamer Hobby in Tromsø, Norway, harbor in 1928. For her next expedition to the Arctic, Louise Boyd picked a ten-yearold solidly built wooden steamer that had seen service in the Arctic for the Amundsen-Ellsworth Expedition in 1925. SEA HISTORY 177, WINTER 2021–22


national library of norway, p.d.

Roald Amundsen (1872–1928) SEA HISTORY 177, WINTER 2021–22

courtesy german federal archives

All her meticulous plans had been made, the itinerary had been established, and Louise Arner Boyd was keen as mustard to sail to the Arctic once again, but Amundsen’s disappearance changed all that. In a bold move, Boyd contacted the Norwegian prime minister, Johan Mowinckel, and put the Hobby, its equipment, provisions, and the services of the crew—already paid for by Boyd—at the disposal of the Norwegian government. Amundsen was a revered native son of Norway, and the government was in dire need of sturdy vessels such as the Hobby to help locate him. Boyd’s offer came with a catch. She stipulated that she and her guests were to stay onboard as working members of the search party. Her generous offer to the Norwegian government was, nevertheless, accepted with alacrity. After receiving official approval, Boyd and her crew worked feverishly to load supplies onboard. This included additional medical items to deal with any unexpected emergency, as well as enough extra provisions should Hobby become trapped in the ice and be forced to overwinter in the Arctic. This was a distinct possibility for any polar explorer and a sobering thought for the inexperienced Louise Arner Boyd. By now, the rescue effort had become international in scope. The Amundsen rescue mission involved more than eight European countries, with high-ranking naval admirals and commanders in charge. Boyd was an official member of the 1928 Amundsen rescue effort from that point on—but not everyone was happy about it. There was no time to lodge a complaint, as the situation was too dire, but women aboard

The airship Italia set off from Svalbard (Spitsbergen) in May of 1928 with its designer, Umberto Nobile, serving as both pilot and expedition leader. When the dirigible did not return, an international rescue mission was launched to find them—Roald Amundsen among them. Amundsen and Nobile had flown together over the North Pole two years earlier in the airship Norge, which Nobile had also designed. ship were generally considered a liability during this era. One official wrote: “It cannot be denied that we onboard Strasbourg were a bit worried about how the cooperation with the Hobby would turn out. Admiral Herr was, from the very beginning, as expected, skeptical of the presence of women.” Boyd was not about to let anything deter her, and, since the Hobby was hers to direct, no one could demand that she disembark. Norwegian Rolf Tandberg, who participated in the Amundsen rescue, commented that “Miss Boyd was very eager to set out and fairly impatient when they did not get ready at American speed. She specified very strongly that when she put her expedition at their disposal, it was in hopes of contributing efficiently to the search and that it was to be used as if there were only men on board.” Recognizing the gravity of the situation, Louise Arner Boyd committed herself fully and without reservation to this redefined Arctic mission. Despite the heavy rain falling in torrents on the day of departure, the pier was lined with people waving and wishing Hobby well. On 3 July 1928, the Hobby weighed anchor and sailed from Tromsø harbor at 2:30 in the afternoon, while all of Norway fervently hoped for the safe return of their hero. Hobby set a course northwards towards Bjørnøya in the Barents Sea, reaching Kings Bay off the west coast of Spitsbergen four days later. The tiny bay was filled with formidable ships and the harbor was buzzing with noise and activity. So many of the ships searching for Amundsen were there. From France, the contingent included the destroyer Quentin Roosevelt, the cruiser Strasbourg, and the three-masted barque Pourquoi-Pas?, which had been purpose-built for polar voyaging. The Pourquoi-Pas? was led by French polar scientist Jean-Baptiste Charcot, who had directed two previous Antarctic expeditions between 1904 and 1910. Joseph Stalin and the newly formed Soviet Union sent the icebreakers Krasin, Georgiy Sedov, and Malygin, and the brig Perseus. The Krasin had a long and illustrious career as an exploration vessel and is best-known for rescuing the main group of the Italia Expedition survivors. Led 13


had accompanied him on his 1925 attempted first flight to the North Pole and his successful 1926 Norge flight; Arctic surveying pioneer Finn Lützow Holm; and naval pilot Finn Lambrechts. In addition, two Hansa-Brandenburg W. 33 seaplanes, F. 36 and F. 38, were carefully loaded aboard the Hobby and would play an integral part in the search.2 Having these men join the Hobby proved a boon for the rescue mission, but it made for cramped quarters onboard. Louise Arner Boyd was the official leader of this expedition, but she shared responsibilities with Captain Johannesen and First Mate Astrup Holm. Boyd also brought along experienced English ice pilot Francis Gisbert. The addition of Riiser-Larsen, Lützow-Holm, and Lambrechts added greatly to the level of Arctic experience on the ship, but it also raised the possibility of greater tension and inter-personal conflict. The fact that an inexperienced American woman was ultimately in charge did not help matters. By 9 July, Hobby was on her way. She traveled north towards Amsterdamøya, where they encountered the edge of the ice, and then west, where Hobby met up with the Heimland. Following the instructions of Admiral Herr and, in conjunction with the other rescue ships, Hobby set course again for Amsterdamøya, then on to Kongsfjorden (Kings Bay) and Hinlopenstretet. The pilots hoped to join the search as quickly as possible, but from the beginning flights by the two Hansa-Brandenburg seaplanes were hampered by the adverse weather conditions, with poor visibility and near-constant fog. Boyd remarked: Among the ice floes far in these Arctic waters to see a plane lowered off Hobby and go off gave me a real thrill but glad to have him safely back. It’s a job getting the planes on and

(right) Dornier Do J Wal “N25” being unloaded from the Hobby, 1925. Amundsen abandoned sled dogs for aircraft for his expeditions to the North Pole, but the ships in which he transported them to the Arctic were not exactly aircraft carriers. For the 1925 expedition, Amundsen and a crew of five others, including pilots Hjalmar Riiser-Larsen and Lief Dietrichson, flew two Dornier aircraft (called “flying boats”), which had been disassembled and packed in crates for the transit to Tromsø aboard the Hobby. For Boyd’s 1928 voyage to search for Amundsen and his crew, the Hobby carried two seaplanes fully assembled on deck. This time-saving measure, deemed a necessity for the emergency at hand, rendered the planes vulnerable to damage from severe weather, as did indeed occur during the voyage. The planes were loaded by crane and transferred to the ice for takeoff and landing. The Hansa Brandenburg W. 33 was originally designed as a fighter floatplane, so its smaller, lighter design allowed for greater ease in movement from the ship to the ice and vice versa. Nevertheless, it was quite an operation to get them on and off the ship once they were away from port facilities. Louise Boyd related: “Soon the planes came alongside the Hobby, one on one side, one on the other. Loading them on our little hatch looked like an impossibility; they looked far too big. After lunch the airship going on the hatch by the galley was hoisted and after some difficulty was finally adjusted to its place. Then the one on the hatch by the bow was hoisted onboard and went into place very easily. They really did not look large at all once they were on the Hobby because all the passageways were free, and the planes were not in the way.” 1 1 2

amundsen and ellsworth 1925 arctic expedition glass plates national air and space museum archives

by Rudolf Samoylovich, explorer and director of Russia’s first Arctic Institute, and Commander Karl Eggi, the Krasin was the most powerful icebreaker in the world until the 1950s. The Georgiy Sedov would become famous as the first Soviet drifting ice station. Italy sent the navy-owned cable ships SS Citta di Milano and Braganza. Sweden sent the motor ship Quest and the steam cargo vessel Tanja. The Quest is celebrated as the last vessel in which Sir Ernest Shackleton served (and in which he died in 1922), but was also the primary expedition ship of the 1930 British Arctic Air Route Expedition. Not surprisingly, Norway contributed a number of ships to the rescue effort, including the sealer and expedition vessel Veslekari, headed by Amundsen colleague Oscar Wisting; the research vessel Michael Sars; the battleship Tordenskjold; the Heimland; and Hobby. A more eminent gathering of ships and captains could not be found. During the brief stay in Kings Bay, Boyd met and socialized with notable men from the other ships, including Admiral Herr of the Strasbourg, who was co-ordinating the entire project. Herr developed a search plan for each vessel, but these plans were flexible, allowing for variable weather conditions and reported sightings. It was a challenging task to ensure that the vast search area was covered. After consultation between the commanding officers, it was decided that Amundsen and his Latham 47 had likely been blown off course to the north or northeast. Boyd reported, “The mission specially assigned to us was the examination of the ice pack north of Spitsbergen, going west to east and south-east until Hobby met the whaler Heimland, which was also assigned to this district.” At Herr’s request, an already-crowded Hobby took six more men onboard. This group included three polar legends: Hjalmur Riiser-Larsen, polar aviator and Amundsen’s friend, who

Joanna Kafarowski, The Polar Adventures of a Rich American Dame: A Life of Louise Arner Boyd by Joanna Kafarowski (Toronto, Dundurn Press, 2017), p. 107. Hansa Brandenburg W. 33 refers to the manufacturer and model (W. 33) names. F. 36 and F. 38 are the unique registration numbers for these specific planes.

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SEA HISTORY 177, WINTER 2021–22


off Hobby and today Hobby’s engine vats had to have oil so we had to stop, remove the planes and get at the oil in the barrels in the hold. Now we are off again! Regular communication by radio between the planes and the ships proved critical. After sailing throughout the region, there was still no confirmed sign of Amundsen or his crew. The situation was looking grim. According to Boyd: Now that we are in the ice, or along the edge of it, there are always at hand four field glasses scanning every bit of the territory we are covering. The three officers and petty officers change watch with themselves so two are always on the bridge day and night. It’s almost a weird sensation, sad, solemn, to say the least, to stand on Hobby’s bridge these days and see the men ever watching for the lives we seek and pray to save one at least or more. There is no play these days. We are most congenial and happy together but all serious and intent in our job. For weeks, Hobby followed the ice edge while the aviators flew reconnaissance flights along the coast towards Edgeøya when they were able. Riiser-Larsen worried about the aging planes and, indeed, both planes suffered mechanical problems throughout the mission. By the end of July, Admiral Herr approved Hobby’s plan to move their search area to the region around Franz Josef Land. On 1 August, Boyd’s instructions from Herr were succinct: During next cruise please explore Western Islands of Franz Josef Archipelago and ice in region between said Archipelago and line drawn across Victoria Island in direction North forty five West to South forty five east if possible. Also Victoria Island stop. Veslekari will explore zone between said line and a line parallel passing through Abel Island. She will try to reach coast of North East Island. Stop… At the moment when you are about to undertake according to your own proposal a particularly long and hard research I beg to renew my best wishes for success. After topping up with fresh water and fuel in Kongsfjorden, Hobby set a course for Franz Josef Land. Boyd was delighted with the new destination, as she had traveled there two years before and was eager to visit again. Ice conditions made it impossible to travel to Franz Josef Land by way of Hinlopenstretet or the waters north of Nordauslandet, which meant a longer southerly route via Sørkappøya, Spitzbergen. Rough open seas and heavy pack ice made for stormy sailing, and dynamite was sometimes used to clear the ship’s path. Hobby sailed on relentlessly to Cape Flora on Franz Josef Land. Previously, the crew had taken on lumber with the intention of rebuilding the deteriorating cabins left at Cape Flora by the Jackson Harmsworth Expedition of 1894–1897. Those aboard Hobby were also tasked with leaving food depots there, specifically for Amundsen and the Latham crew, should they be able to reach this area. Despite their best intentions, fog and rolling seas meant that the men from Hobby were only able to take the lumSEA HISTORY 177, WINTER 2021–22

ber ashore, store it as safely as they could, and then return hurriedly to the ship. Time was running out. Boyd confided in a letter: “Riiser-Larsen wanted to stay there as late as possible and just leave in time not to be frozen in ourselves so we will therefore be the last ship South from those waters or near there. Therefore, don’t worry about us but we will not get down from there most likely until late in September.” The unpredictable weather worsened, with gale force winds howling continually. Ice built up on the rigging and encased the airplanes. It hung so heavily aloft that the skipper could not get to the barrel of the crow’s nest, and navigation had to be directed solely from the bridge at deck level. Finally, the ship’s antenna broke and fell, causing significant damage to both airplanes stored on deck, further delaying their progress. On too many days, the ship lay entombed in the fog. Despite bad weather, engine failures, and water rationing, Boyd and all onboard remained focused on the task at hand. But the Arctic Ocean had more in store for Hobby. This was an Arctic trip like no other. In volunteering for the rescue expedition, Louise Arner Boyd had no idea of the tribulations she would endure. The greatest test of all was saved for late in the mission. Boyd and most of those onboard Hobby had retired for the evening. Asleep in his cabin near the galley, Hjalmur Riiser-Larsen was abruptly awakened in the night by the acrid smell of smoke filling his quarters. Jumping up in alarm, he was shocked by the sight of smoke pouring through the bulkhead. He shouted to a mechanic on deck, who rushed to get an extinguisher. Riiser-Larsen aimed it at the bulkhead, expecting the fire to be smothered immediately. To his shock, an enormous flame shot out of the extinguisher towards the bulkhead and the ceiling. Someone had mistakenly filled the extinguisher with fuel! Another extinguisher was quickly obtained and discharged, luckily dousing the fire. Without Riiser-Larsen’s quick thinking, the outcome of the crisis might have ended quite differently. Hobby was a wooden ship carrying numerous gasoline drums and sailing in a remote region of the Arctic Ocean. The ship and crew came perilously close to disaster that day. In early September, a pontoon from Roald Amundsen’s plane was located near the Norwegian coast. All ships waited for confirmation, but hopes were growing dim that anyone onboard the Latham 47 would now be found alive. Yet, it was inconceivable that the great Amundsen, who had achieved the pinnacle of success in polar exploration at both ends of the earth and had overcome so many obstacles, had perished. The pontoon was confirmed as belonging to the Latham 47, and on 7 September Admiral Herr officially called the Amundsen rescue mission at an end. All participants, including everyone onboard Hobby, were officially thanked for the courage and determination they had displayed, and special thanks was reserved for Boyd herself. She responded, “I ask you to accept the warmest and frankest thank-you from me and all who are with me on Hobby for your very kind words. We ask you to accept our deepest sympathy in regards to the French nation’s loss of Guilbaud and his companions and we only regret that fate has robbed us of the opportunity to fulfil our serious desire to be of assistance.” 15


Taken to dinner on the arm of the Director of the Coal Co., wearing my breeches I had slept in and worn for two and a half months, full of telltale spots where food and soup had missed. Dinner was at 11 pm. We danced till nearly 4 am. Back to Hobby where we sat in the tiny mess and chatted and it was soon ten minutes to seven in the morning when the Hobby family broke up and we sailed soon afterwards. All so blue at parting.

Newspaper coverage in early July started out hopeful and reported Louise Arner Boyd’s participation in the rescue mission with excitement. Two months later, the search was called off and Amundsen and the five others on his crew were assumed to have perished. Their bodies were never found. Then, on to Tromsø, where Hobby arrived late on the evening of 21 September. Hobby had traveled more than 10,000 miles and everyone onboard needed a rest. Louise Arner Boyd prepared to return home to California. Although deeply saddened that the international rescue expedition had failed to achieve its objective and that the great Amundsen was dead, Boyd had proved her mettle to her Arctic colleagues, earning their respect and admiration. She was delighted by the report in an Oslo newspaper, which stated: All ships [participating in the rescue mission] had complained of awful storms, bad ice and fog and the difficulties of searching, but no complaint had ever come from the Hobby and it was known she had been in the thick of it and as she had gone the farthest North of all of them, it could not have been so bad because Hobby never complained. In Norway, Boyd was showered with unexpected—but no less welcome—honors. Admiral Herr wrote: “You have volunteered 16

for the hardest and most difficult cruises, showing devotion and courage that deserve the greatest praises… Because of your actions, your initiative and your tenacity, we are honored to admit that the Hobby has taken the lead in the search we initiated.” Boyd was thrilled to receive the Royal Norwegian Order of St. Olav from King Haakon VII himself—the first time it had been awarded to a non-Norwegian woman. In recognition of her search efforts, not only for Amundsen but also for his valiant French crew, the French government bestowed the Ordre national de la Légion d’honneur upon her. For several weeks, she, Riiser-Larsen, and other senior members of the Hobby team were wined and dined by ambassadors and high-ranking government officials. Back in the United States at the end of October, she was besieged by the media clamoring to know more about the daring socialite in their midst. Boyd was a private woman, however, who never enjoyed the publicity even after she became a renowned polar explorer. She soon settled back into her usual routine, hosting lavish parties and attending gallery openings and musical recitals. She kept in close contact with many of those who had sailed aboard Hobby, writing later: “Please remember me most kindly to everyone in Tromsø as I always have a very warm spot in my affections for Tromsø and, of course, Miss Hobbs [her nickname for the Hobby]—I love her!” Although she never sailed aboard her again, she followed Hobby’s career with great interest until the ship was later sold to Russian owners in Novosobirsk. Participating in the 1928 Amundsen rescue expedition completely altered the trajectory of Louise Arner Boyd’s future. From that time on, Boyd dedicated herself to a life of exploration and polar science in the frozen world she loved so passionately. She managed to lead a double life with aplomb. While in the circumpolar North, Boyd was a risk-taking, courageous adventurer who faced danger head-on in the pursuit of her expedition objectives, but when she returned to California she stepped into the role of the dignified and elegant society doyenne. She wrote books and traveled the world, giving lectures about her Arctic adventures, while struggling to conform to the life of an American woman of her age and class. She would always work hard to balance those seemingly conflicting aspects of herself—the polar explorer and the socialite. Taking part in the 1928 Amundsen rescue mission would only mark the beginning of her life as an Arctic explorer. There was so much left for her to discover. Ivory carving likely gifted to Boyd as a memorial to Roald Amundsen.

courtesy of the california academy of sciences

On the return journey to Tromsø, Hobby made a brief stop in Adventfjorden, off the west coast of Spitsbergen, where Boyd hosted her forty-first birthday party.

SEA HISTORY 177, WINTER 2021–22


NORDAUSLANDET

courtesy duncan payne

SPITSBERGEN

The Hobby’s route during the search for Roald Amundsen and his flight crew. Boydfjellet—a mountain in Orvin Land at Nordauslandet—was named after Louise Boyd in recognition of her efforts in the 1928 rescue mission. Joanna Kafarowski, PhD, is the author of the first comprehensive biography of a female Arctic explorer, The Polar Adventures of a Rich American Dame: A Life of Louise Arner Boyd, published in 2017 by Dundurn Press. In July 2021, Blackstone Publishing released it as an audiobook. Dr. Kafarowski is an independent scholar, geographer, and polar specialist with two decades of experience working in the Arctic region. Her next book, Antarctic Pioneer: The Trailblazing Life of Jackie Ronne, is the first biography of a female Antarctic explorer and will be published in May 2022 by Dundurn Press. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Geographers, a member of the Society of Woman Geographers, and is the editor of Gender, Culture and Northern Fisheries (Canadian Circumpolar Institute, 2009). For more information, see www.joannakafarowski.com. SEA HISTORY 177, WINTER 2021–22

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J

p.d. courtesy national maritime museum, greenwich

ules Verne made it famous. In part II, chapter VIII, of his 1869 novel Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, Captain Nemo deftly steers the Nautilus towards the northwestern Spanish coast and into the recesses of Vigo Bay. There, an astonished Professor Aronnax observes the “ship’s crew in their diving-dresses” probing the wrecks of long-sunken Spanish galleons. The submarine’s electric light illuminates the men as they hoist rotten barrels and crates out of the ruined hulks. All around them spill doubloons, glittering jewelry, and ingots—an “inexhaustible fishery of gold and silver.” Thus did Nemo fund his tortured cause. The “curious episode,” as Nemo called it, that inspired Verne’s treasure-hunting fantasy was the Battle of Vigo Bay, an epic clash during the early days of the War of

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by John S. Sledge the Spanish Succession (1701–1714). The conflict arose from the disagreement as to who would succeed the childless Spanish sovereign, Charles II. Before he died, Charles designated Philip of Anjou, the grandson of France’s King Louis XIV, as his heir, and Philip subsequently assumed the throne. The arrangement created a European power imbalance and pitted AustriaHungary, England, and the Dutch Republic in a Grand Alliance against France and Spain. The earliest clashes took place in Italy, where Spain had holdings, but the Alliance quickly added a naval component by targeting the Spanish city of Cádiz, reasoning that if the Alliance could secure an Iberian base and gain Portuguese support, it could project power into the western Mediterranean and threaten the critical French port of Toulon.

The fleets destined to clash at Vigo Bay began the summer of 1702 on opposite sides of the Atlantic. Securely nestled in Havana’s superb harbor was the Spanish flota—seventeen stately galleons protected by twenty-three powerful French ships of the line, along with numerous smaller frigates, schooners, and sloops in support. The galleons had spent the previous months working their way through the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico, carrying three years’ worth of New Spain’s wealth in their holds. Besides silver and gold ingots and coins—only twenty percent of the cargo’s total value—they carried pearls, emeralds, amethyst, cotton, wool, tabaco, indigo, Campeche wood, cocoa, vanilla, sugar, pepper, and sarsaparilla. The galleons were under the direct command of Don Manuel de Velasco y Tejada, an experienced officer and member of the religious and military Order of Santiago, while the French warships sailed under François Louis de Rousselet, Conde de ChâteauRenault, a fearless leader who bore wounds earned chastising the Barbary pirates. Confident in their men and ships, Velasco and Château-Renault led this imposing maritime assemblage into the Florida Straits on 24 July 1702, bound for Cádiz, as yet unaware that a war was underway on the other side of the Atlantic. Forty-five hundred miles to the east, a combined Anglo-Dutch fleet lay siege to Cádiz, beginning 23 August. Admiral George Rooke, a 52-year-old British officer who had joined the Royal Navy at age twenty-two and had been promoted steadily through the ranks, headed a total of thirty English and twenty Dutch warships, accompanied by dozens of transports and 14,000 troops under the command of James Butler, the 2nd Duke of Ormond. The campaign began badly when dozens of landing craft were swamped by heavy surf, and it Admiral George Rooke (1650–1709) led the Anglo-Dutch assault on the treasure fleet at Vigo Bay on 23 October 1702 after a failed attack on Cádiz the previous month. SEA HISTORY 177, WINTER 2021–22


library of congress

Vigo Bay lies on the nortwest coast of Spain, on the Atlantic side. The Spanish and French ships were anchored far up the bay behind a protective boom-chain. Gun emplacements and a fort guarded the narrow Rande Stretch but were manned by poorly trained militia. An Exact Draught of the Bay and Harbour of Vigo by Isaac Basire (1704–1768) This map of the naval engagement at Vigo Bay was engraved by James Basire for inclusion in The Continuation of Mr. Rapin’s History of England: from the Revolution to the Present Times by Nicholas Tindal, published in London in 1759.

SEA HISTORY 177, WINTER 2021–22

Vigo

SPAIN

42°20'N

Cádiz

Spanish & French treasure fleet

Redondela Fort Rande Teis

Vigo Bay

Vigo

0

5 esri base map

continued poorly all summer. The troops overran a small village, got drunk, and proceeded to loot “to the walls” everything from stores to churches and convents. Spanish resistance proved dogged, and the allied soldiers were forced to bivouac in an unhealthy marsh. Wracked by disease and defeat, the army stalled. By 30 September Rooke had given up the contest, re-embarked the men, and sailed for home. He knew nothing, as yet, of the silver fleet. Thanks to a bevy of fast schooners dispatched by the Spanish crown, Admiral Château-Renault learned of the war and Rooke’s activities while still well out in the Atlantic. An alternate destination was clearly needed—but where? The admiral preferred a French port, but Manuel de Velasco rightly feared that Louis XIV would confiscate the treasure for his own debts and schemes. After much discussion, they settled on Vigo Bay and reached it on 21 October.

Esri, Miles Nautical

9°0'W

8°50'W

8°40'WDeLorme,

The Spanish and French ships were anchored far up the bay behind a protective boom chain. Gun emplacements and a fort guarded the narrow Rande Stretch but were manned by poorly trained militia. 19


netherlands institute for art history

Naval Battle in the Bay of Vigo, 23 October 1702. Episode from the War of Spanish Succession. Anonymous, ca. 1705. In this painting made just a few years after the battle, allied ships crowd into the bay while the Duke of Ormond’s troops land in longboats. It was seemingly a good choice. More than 500 nautical miles north of Cádiz, Vigo Bay extends twenty-two miles inland on the northwestern Spanish coast just above the Portuguese border, one of a series of such features between there and Cape Finisterre known locally as rías. Its mouth is two miles wide and partially obscured from the open Atlantic by the rocky Cíes Islands, which attain a height of 647 feet. Low hills mantle the bay’s perimeter. The town of Vigo proper, situated on the south shore well inside the entrance, was only a small fishing hamlet in 1702, with a population of fewer than 2,000 souls. A few miles northeast of town the bay narrows down to only 600 yards, a section known as the Rande Stretch, before opening again into pocketed San Simón Bay. The village of Redondela sits on the southeastern shore of this inner harbor. It was in San Simón that the FrancoSpanish fleet sought refuge. When King Philip learned of its safe arrival, he immediately dispatched bureaucrats and carts to unload the treasure as fast as possible— the silver first. This was a herculean task. Offloading treasure ships required sophisticated administrative and logistical support, none of which was in place at distant 20

Vigo. As many as 1,500 oxcarts, clunky contraptions with solid wooden wheels, converged from all across northern Spain, their drivers promised a ducat a league. San Simón Bay is deeper along its southern and western portions, and it was possible for the big galleons to anchor close to shore, which made unloading manageable despite the lack of wharves, warehouses, or heavy cranes. For weeks men scrambled over the ships, lifting boxes, barrels, crates, and sacks from the holds, stacking them into carts and sending them inland with armed escorts. There was the inevitable graft, as well as some banditry in the countryside, but by and large, the endeavor was a success. Even as the galleons were unloaded, Château-Renault did all in his power to make the anchorage as secure as possible. The towns of Vigo and Redondela boasted a few gun positions, while the Stretch featured a battery on the north side and Fort Rande on the south. The fort wasn’t much—an old tower and some wooden gun platforms. The French strengthened it with naval guns and men, the latter unreliable local militia. Most significantly, a giant boom nine feet in circumference fashioned of chains, hawsers, barrels, masts, spars, and outsized junk was drawn

across the strait, anchored at either end by a 70-gun ship of the line. Just inside the boom, five ships lay at anchor, their formidable broadsides facing out. Beyond them, more ships of the line were arranged in an open crescent formation to protect the galleons. Rooke learned of the silver fleet by happy accident on 6 October. One of his captains, Thomas Hardy in command of the Pembroke, had put into the Portuguese port of Lagos to take on fresh water. During the two-day layover, the ship’s chaplain stayed with the French consul there, whose “blabbing vanity,” as described by one English officer, revealed that a powerful fleet lay safely anchored at nearby Vigo. The chaplain repaired at once to the Pembroke, where he awakened his captain with the intelligence. Hardy made haste to catch Rooke, then breasting foul weather off Cape Finisterre. After he got the news, the admiral ordered a council of war on board his flagship. Given the recent Cádiz debacle, everyone agreed that smashing the Franco-Spanish fleet would be an “honor and advantage” and resolved “that we make the best of our way to the port of Vigo, and insult them immediately with our whole line.” They arrived on 21 October and, partially obscured by fog, glided into the bay “almost to the chain,” according to Rooke. A few desultory shots from Vigo had no effect. It was time for another council of war. Rooke concluded that the entire Anglo-Dutch fleet could not make the attack without “great hazard of being in a huddle” and instead determined to send fifteen British and ten Dutch ships of the line accompanied by fireships straight at the boom. Concurrently, the army, backed by several frigates, would land and assault the fortifications. Given the realities as he found them, Rooke’s battle plan was considered and sagacious. October 23rd dawned gloomy with but little wind. Long boats landed the Duke of Ormand and 2,500 men, including a contingent of the Coldstream Guards, on a sandy beach between Vigo and Fort Rande. They met no opposition. From thence Ormond divided his men into two columns, one to move along the shore and one farther inland over higher ground. SEA HISTORY 177, WINTER 2021–22


courtesy rado javor, artstation.com

The Fire, created by Rado Javor. This 2008 digital image conveys the chaos after the allied fleet broke the boom chain. There followed the kind of free-for-all so beloved of Lord Nelson a century later. Hopsonn’s vessel slowly drifted between the Bourbon’s 68 guns and L’Espérance’s 70 guns, cannon belching iron at point-blank range, smashing bulwarks and clipping rigging. A French fireship loaded with snuff

royal museums greenwich, p.d.

Several thousand Spanish militia appeared but melted away when they saw what Ormond called “the resolution of our forces.” Pressing on, the allies captured the fort’s guns and reached the old tower. The Spaniards held there doggedly, but aggressive work by Ormond’s infantry made it untenable, and more than 350 enemy soldiers surrendered. When the Union Jack fluttered atop the structure, allied sailors cheered lustily. Meanwhile, the naval assault was underway, led by Sir Thomas Hopsonn on board HMS Torbay, an 80-gun behemoth with massive 32-pounder guns on her lower deck. The Duke of Ormond had a clear view of the ensuing action. “We had no sooner took the platform,” he later wrote, “on which were 38 cannon, but the detached ships, which were in line of battle, began to sail.” Ormond admired Hopsonn’s “undaunted courage” and was awed by the din of battle, “so that for a considerable time the firing of great and small shot on both sides was so terrible that I want words to relate it.” A fortuitous breeze allowed the Torbay to plow across the boom, but then the wind stilled, stranding the ship among her foes.

The Battle of Vigo Bay, 1702 by Ludolf Backhuysen (1630–1708). This painting is one of the most iconic of this battle, depicting the moment when the combined Dutch/English fleet attacked the Spanish treasure ships and their French escorts that were sheltering in the inner harbor. The allied troops in the foreground have just landed and are moving toward the right to attack the Spanish fortress guarding the passage. SEA HISTORY 177, WINTER 2021–22

got alongside the Torbay and ignited her sails and side. Then, to everyone’s surprise, the fireship exploded, which according to one eyewitness “scatter’d the snuff all over the Torbay and put out the greatest part of the fire.” Terrified, 53 British sailors leapt overboard and drowned. The rest labored to secure their ship, and Rooke praised their “good management” in putting out the remaining flames. Determined to join the fray, several Dutch captains launched their small boats, and their crews set to hacking at the boom with boarding hatchets. As their ships crossed into the bay, Château-Renault could see the cause was lost and ordered his remaining vessels set afire and abandoned. What had been noisy confusion became a hellscape, as burning ships drifted into one another and sank, while vessels desperately maneuvered around each other to avoid destruction. A British naval officer later wrote, “A singular spectacle was then presented to the Spanish inhabitants, who were gathered on the heights around the bay; the Spanish and French seamen and soldiers endeavouring to destroy their own ships, and the English and Dutch to save them, and both sides intent upon their work alone, and not to annoy each other, except when their mutual interruptions forced them to encounter.” Ormond considered it “a dismal aspect.” 21


This bronze statue of Jules Verne in Vigo, Spain, was commissioned by the Women Entrepreneurs of Pontevedra and sculpted by José Morales. It is a fitting tribute to the novelist who made the area world-famous. 22

trast, Philip got 377 tons, the greatest windfall of any Spanish sovereign from a treasure fleet. Despite these well-known facts, hopeful treasure hunters mounted numerous expeditions across the centuries, which Verne’s book only served to encourage. Few of them recovered anything other than rusted cannon, barnacle-encrusted bottles, jugs, or iron pulleys presumably used for loading and unloading cargo. In recent years, the site is looked at less by looters and more by archaeologists armed with side-scan sonar (and government permits), surveying the bottom of Vigo Bay looking for further remains of these vessels. Overall, the allies considered the Battle of Vigo Bay a success, even if it did not produce fabulous riches. It soothed the sting of the Cádiz failure and persuaded the Portuguese king to provide access to Lisbon—a decided advantage. Rooke returned home a hero and would later help capture Gibraltar for the Anglo-Dutch alliance in 1704. Rooke retired from the navy the following year due to poor health. He died in 1709. Thomas Hopsonn received a knighthood from Queen Anne for his actions in the battle and soon afterwards retired from the navy. On the other side, the French suffered greater losses than the Spanish. Louis XIV keenly felt the destruction of so many ships of the line, whereas, fortunately for Philip, all but three of the

galleons lost by Spain were private merchant vessels. Despite the catastrophe, Louis absolved Château-Renault of any blame. The admiral became a marshal of France the following year and died in 1716. Manuel de Velasco was later a governor in Spanish America, but scandal dogged his administration, and he was recalled. And what of the visionary author who made Vigo Bay so famous? A handsome bronze statue next to the city’s Montero Rios Gardens honors his memory. Created by local artist José Morales and installed in 2005, it depicts Verne seated on the curling tentacles of a giant squid, a fitting tribute to the man whose visionary novels still fire the imagination. John S. Sledge is the senior architectural historian for the Mobile Historic Development Commission and a member of the National Book Critics Circle. He holds a bachelor’s degree in history and Spanish from Auburn University and a master’s in historic preservation from Middle Tennessee State University. Sledge is the author of seven books, including Southern Bound: A Gulf Coast Journalist on Books, Writers, and Literary Journeys of the Heart; The Mobile River; and The Gulf of Mexico: A Maritime History. He has been fascinated by the Battle of Vigo Bay since reading Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea in childhood, and visiting Vigo, Spain, as a college student.

photo by zarateman, cc by 1.0 via wikipedia commons

Within hours it was over. That evening, Rooke toured the harbor and tallied the enemy losses, among them Le Fort and its 76 guns “burnt;” L’Espérance “taken, but run ashore and bilged;” Le Solide of 56 guns “burnt;” and Le Triton, 42 guns, “taken afloat and in good condition, to be carried home.” The victory was total, every French and Spanish ship burned, sunk, or captured, with only minor damage to the Alliance, mostly on the Torbay—one witness said her foreyard was “burnt to a Cole” and that some of her gunports were “blewed off.” Casualty estimates vary, but range from highs of 2,000 for the Franco-Spanish and 800 for the allies, to, far more plausibly, 200 for the Franco-Spanish and 100 for the allies. The Battle of Vigo Bay probably looked and sounded much worse than it was with regard to loss of life. Almost as soon as the last guns sounded, salvage efforts began. Allied sailors secured their prizes and readied them for sea. A dozen French and Spanish ships survived the conflagration, but the British lost the galleon Santo Cristo de Maracaibo when she ran on a rock at the bay’s entrance and sank. Besides working to save these ships, the allies retrieved cannon, shot, anchors, and other usable materials from the wrecks. Since many had settled in shallow water, portions of the rig and superstructure remained above the water and early salvage efforts required little in the way of special equipment. Rooke knew that most of the silver had already been unloaded and said so at the time. Unfortunately for the allies, much else of what the galleons carried was destroyed or ruined by fire and salt water—the cotton, indigo, sugar, tobacco, and so on. Ironically, these perishables belonged to private British and Dutch merchants, who were eagerly awaiting their delivery to Amsterdam. Even though most of the silver was safely in Spanish hands, the allies managed to collect two tons and forward them to the London Mint. This was enough to cast commemorative Vigo coins. By con-

SEA HISTORY 177, WINTER 2021–22


HISTORIC SHIPS ON A LEE SHORE

Germany’s Sail Training Ship Gorch Fock Returns to Sea

bundeswehr photo by steve back

by Gernot U. Gabel

I

n September 2021, the sailing vessel Gorch Fock, flagship of the German navy, proudly resumed active duty after more than six years in the shipyard. When she reached her home port of Kiel on the Baltic Sea, she was greeted by naval officials and hundreds of enthusiastic spectators ashore and on pleasure boats. The Gorch Fock is the second vessel bearing that name. The first was launched in 1933; she was named for a German writer of nautical tales who was killed in May 1916 during the British-German naval battle of Jutland. (One of her five sister ships, originally named Horst Wessel, now the Eagle, was transferred to American ownership and still serves in the US Coast Guard as its training ship). Gorch Fock was on active duty as a training ship for naval officers until the outbreak of the Second World War. In the closing days of WWII, she was sent to the bottom of the Baltic by her German crew; two years later, the Soviets lifted the hull, repaired the vessel, and relaunched her as a Russian training ship. After the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, the ship was sold and passed through a number of owners until she eventually returned to Germany in 2003 to serve as a dockside tourist attraction in the Baltic port of Stralsund. The second Gorch Fock was built in 1958 after the Bundestag (German parliament) voted to join NATO in 1956. When German rearmament stirred some controversies barely a decade after the nation’s

SEA HISTORY 177, WINTER 2021–22

defeat, the government shrewdly countered public sentiment by putting an image of the navy’s flagship on the back of the 10mark bill in 1963. The note was legal tender until the introduction of the euro in 2002.

The pride of the German Navy fleet, the three-masted barque measuring 266 feet in length and hoisting twenty-three sails served primarily as a training ship for cadets, but she also assumed the role of Germany’s floating “peace ambassador.” She has participated in harbor festivals and international tall ship regattas around the world. Among other events, she represented Germany at the United States Bicentennial OpSail ’76 events, welcoming aboard thousands of visitors in New York City. After more than five decades on active duty, the Defense Ministry ordered a limited overhaul of the aging vessel. In late 2015, the ship entered a dockyard in the North Sea port of Bremerhaven. Officials had calculated that the repairs would cost about ten million euro, but on closer inspection, damages and material fatigue became more evident and the cost estimates began to rise sharply. Once the price tag had more

than quadrupled, the press was alerted and decried that the plans for the ship were rife with waste, embezzlement, and corruption. A parliamentary committee was assembled, and the ministry was put on the defensive. When shipyard representatives admitted that the project’s exact costs could not be calculated accurately in advance and could potentially even surpass the €100 million mark, opposition parties in the Bundestag demanded that it stop the project and send the ship to the scrapheap. The taxpayers’ union lamented a scandalous wastefulness of public monies, and even the federal auditing office called for an inquiry. Twice, the shipyard work was suspended for weeks at a time, but the ship had a champion in Ursula von der Leyen, then German Defense Secretary (today President of the European Commission), who was determined to save the vessel. When the shipyard, confronted with opaque calculations and financial mismanagement, declared bankruptcy, the hull was towed to another shipyard in Wilhelmshaven, where the overhaul was finally achieved. Recently, a surprised nation was told that the total costs had risen to the enormous sum of 135 million euro! Nevertheless, the expensive overhaul, more precisely a ninety-percent restoration of the vessel, had some positive effects on the ship’s handling and operations. Reconstruction modifications with lighter materials notably reduced the ship’s tonnage, resulting in improved stability and maneuverability in rough seas. With the German naval administration in full support, once the main crew is onboard and trained in autumn 2021, the Gorch Fock will take aboard a new crop of cadets and start its first voyage to Tenerife in the Canary Islands, planned for January 2022. Gernot Gabel began his studies in Berlin, came to the United States on an exchange student scholarship, received his PhD from Rice University, and taught at the University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill. After returning to Germany in 1973, he held the position of deputy chief librarian at the Cologne University Library. 23


Sea Power as Soft Power: American Merchant Ships and Post-War Refugees

S.

national archives and records administration

ea power traditionally has been viewed as a coercive element in international relations. The presence or threat of a naval fleet off a hostile nation’s shores, or economic coercion, such as withdrawing shipping or imposing trade restrictions, can coax populations or governments into a desired action. These approaches, however, often leave foreign parties resentful of more powerful nations and, at times, lead to bloodshed and full-out wars. As one example: the US Navy’s occupation of Veracruz in 1914 poisoned relations with Mexico and precluded it from cooperating with the Americans during World War I. Conversely, by the end of World War II, the United States learned that sea power has a “soft power” element by which it could influence the actions and thinking of external parties. The United States demonstrated its moral authority when it fed the hungry and housed the homeless overseas. Soft power persuaded people to support American goals because they saw those goals as benign. Furthermore, after World War II, the world viewed the United States as a forward-looking society that fostered democratic ideals and economic opportunity. Unlike the Fascist or Communist dictatorships that attempted to coerce populations

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by Joshua M. Smith, PhD into cooperation, soft power is not exercised solely by governments. Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), supranational bodies like the United Nations (UN), and even private individuals, faith groups, and companies contributed to soft power. In the immediate aftermath of World War II, there was a tremendous demand for humanitarian relief worldwide, such as food for starving populations and relocating displaced persons. The Americans’ answer to these problems was sea power, not in the cause of military operations, but humanitarian ones. This was only possible because the United States possessed enormous shipping resources in 1945, including a large body of trained commercial seafarers. It was a massive effort that lasted for years, spanning the globe and repatriating millions of people to their home countries. Aided by military oceanic transport, the American merchant fleet proved a significant component in transitioning from a war-torn world to a more peaceful one. It delivered food to the starving, transported people to safety, and moved cargoes that allowed nations to rehabilitate their economies. Why did the United States demonstrate such generosity beyond its borders after World War II? Among several reasons,

the primary motivation was a moral one. The United States had the resources to assist and it was deemed the right thing to do, while promoting democracy and security around the world. Even before the United States entered World War II, President Franklin D. Roosevelt argued that “No realistic American can expect from a dictator’s peace international generosity or return of true independence, or world disarmament, or freedom of expression, or freedom of religion–or even good business. Such a peace would bring no security for us or for our neighbors.” Roosevelt believed that the world’s population had a right to four essential freedoms: freedom of speech, freedom of worship, freedom from want, and freedom from fear. The ideals set forth by Roosevelt were prevalent in America during and after the war and formed a major intellectual underpinning of the United Nations. Relief Operations The need for humanitarian relief became apparent long before the fighting stopped in 1945. The Allied nations created the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration (UNRRA) in November 1943 to provide humanitarian aid to liberated war-torn populations. Notably, UNRRA denied this support to the aggressor nations Germany and Japan. Food aid was a direct attempt to address freedom from want and prevented the political manipulation of hungry populations by ideological extremists. The first goal was to feed, clothe, and house people. The follow-on goal was rehabilitation, training, and otherwise providing resources to people to reform and improve their economic situation. By the end of 1944, President Roosevelt ordered ships carrying military cargoes to reserve space for relief cargoes. Less than a year after the war’s On 9 November 1943 President Franklin D. Roosevelt signs the pact establishing the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration just before giving a national radio address. SEA HISTORY 177, WINTER 2021–22


Argentina Australia Brazil Canada Chile Paraguay Peru Venezuela United States

10,784 44,187 16,623 47,739 2,618 882 1,563 7,315 328,851

TOTAL

460,562

conclusion, UNRRA was the largest exporter globally, with most relief and rehabilitation cargoes moving in Americanflagged ships. Initially, UNRRA cargoes had trouble getting through. Harbor approaches were blocked by mines, channels were obstructed with sunken ships, and piers and port equipment lay in ruins from air raids. By the autumn of 1945, most European ports had reopened, and by the end of the year Chinese ports such as Hong Kong and Shanghai were receiving UNRRA cargoes. Other problems sprang up. A dock strike in the United States late in 1946 and the freezing over of the Baltic Sea in early 1947 interrupted shipments. As ships arrived in bombed-out ports, they found chaos in the process of clearing in and getting cargoes ashore. In some ports, pilferage was a significant problem. Gradually the situation got better as port facilities improved and more ships became available. Relocation At the end of World War II, millions of people worldwide found themselves uprooted and far from home. Not only did the starving populace have to be fed, but people had to return home as well. SEA HISTORY 177, WINTER 2021–22

courtesy of the author

DPs Moved by American Ships, 1948–1951 Europe to: # of DPs

In Europe, many were able to return overland, but the former Japanese Empire proved a far more complicated problem. More than six million Japanese on Pacific islands and the Asian mainland had to find a way home. Furthermore, some 1,170,000 aliens in Japan had to return to Korea or other countries, and 11,000 Chinese in Southeast Asia required repatriation. There was little available shipping; American naval forces had sunk roughly ninety percent of Japan’s merchant and naval fleets. Nearly all Chinese ships had been destroyed during the war, and any remaining tonnage in East Asia was generally small, old, and poorly maintained. Like in Europe, Asia’s port facilities were in poor shape. The American government acted with generosity to return Japanese repatriates as soon as possible. Leading this effort was General Douglas MacArthur, who commanded the Allied occupation forces and held the title Supreme Commander Allied Powers (SCAP). Using every available resource, he worked with the Japanese government to repair and convert any remaining Japanese naval vessels and commercial ships to bring troops and civilians back. US participation in this program peaked in summer 1946, with some 188 Japanese

ships and 191 United States-owned ships— mostly Liberty ships and LSTs—all manned by Japanese crews. Often American commercial or naval vessels augmented the evacuation of the repatriates. The Japanese packed many more passengers onto these ships than Americans did, raising the Libertys’ and LSTs’ carrying capacities to 3,500 and 1,200 passengers, respectively. This was an increase of 1,000 and 300 each over the American forces’ maximum occupancy for the same type of ships. These operations reached a peak in 1946, with the Chinese port of Huludao, Manchuria, evacuating 7,500 people a day until Communist forces overran it in 1948. Some of the last Japanese repatriated were those held prisoner by the Soviets. Several hundred thousand never returned and likely perished in prisoner camps doing hard labor. The last prisoners returned in 1949, after undergoing years of communist indoctrination by Soviet authorities in conjunction with the Japanese Communist Party. To the alarm of American and Japanese authorities, repatriated former prisoners could be heard singing Communist Party songs as they disembarked, causing concern that they would foster a communist revolution in Japan. 25


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national archives and records administration

To the west, twenty million dislocated Europeans—both military and civilian— were trying to get back to their homes. Most could make the journey overland. More complicated were the more than one million displaced persons (DPs), who feared persecution in their home countries for religious or political reasons and could never return. They found their way into camps operated by the International Refugee Organization (IRO), an agency of the newly created UN, supported by American dollars. Many DPs wanted to resettle in nations like Canada and Australia, which were likewise eager to receive them. The US was less welcoming, fearing that political subversives might enter the country posing as refugees. Congress vigorously debated the issue until a committee visited the camps and found that “these people … are democratic and profoundly interested in settled lives in an individual economy. They are mostly young and skilled. Practically all of them want to work.” The greatest impediment was a global shortage of blue-water shipping to move the DPs across the oceans to new homes, so nations like Australia, which wanted 4,000 migrants in 1947, received only 480. Congress resolved the issue in June 1948 when it passed the Displaced Persons Act. This law allowed 205,000 DPs and 17,000 orphans to enter the country, provided they had a sponsor and entered the country aboard a US-flagged ship. Furthermore, the US government made available a fleet of ten ships to move the DPs to other nations. Five US Army troop transports (USATs) could carry an average of 875 persons each, while the five Maritime Commission ships could accommodate 550 persons. Ultimately twenty USATs were in operation for the IRO, most of them of the General Squier class, manned by civilian merchant mariners. The first USAT carrying DPs to reach the United States was the General W. M. Black, described as a “somewhat shopwornlooking ship with a rusty grey hull and flecks of dirt on its white superstructure.” It departed Bremerhaven on 21 October 1948, with 813 DPs on board. The ship arrived to a tumultuous welcome in New York Harbor on 30 October. The DPs chose a representative among them to reply to the

Displaced persons line the decks of USAT General W. M. Black as it departs Bremerhaven. Dubbed the “Ship to Freedom” by its passengers, the 522-foot transport ship brought the first DPs to the US under the provisions of the newly enacted Displaced Persons Act. welcome with a touching speech. With tears in his eyes and a quavering voice, he said: “Today we are liberated from every misery of existence in Europe and we thank you very much. We are born today the second time in our lives to a new life of freedom and a new life of democracy. We thank you very much. Thank you.” Most of the 318 passengers bound for the New York area found relatives on the pier ready to take care of them, but, significantly, the first person to disembark was a sixteen-year-old orphan. On their ocean voyage to the US, the DPs found that while seasickness was a constant peril, they enjoyed American candy bars, Coca-Colas, oranges (which many had never tasted before), and nightly movies. The ships were far from glamorous, but the passengers were generally pleased with their accommodations in their delight to start a new life. American-flagged ships moved more than 450,000 refugees around the world to settle in new homes. The United States took in the most DPs. Many disembarked at Boston and New York, with smaller numbers at New Orleans and San Francisco. Australia and Canada

followed in popularity, while some went to South America. More than half were Catholic, but there were also many Jews and Protestants in the group. Some were “stateless” persons who had no country to identify with anymore. Among these were White Russians who had fled during the Russian Civil War and Spanish Republicans fleeing the Franco dictatorship. The American government contributed money and ships to the IRO resettlement program to the end of 1951. Most of the DPs left European ports, typically from Bremerhaven, Germany, if bound for North America, and various Italian ports if resettling in South America or Australia. Less well-known were the activities of the IRO in East Asia, particularly Shanghai. In the 1920s and 1930s, this Chinese port city became a haven for some 14,000 refugees, including White Russians and Jews. When Communist forces threatened to overrun Shanghai, the IRO, in conjunction with the American government, moved rapidly to evacuate them and used a temporary camp in the Philippines to shelter them before most of them sailed for San Francisco. SEA HISTORY 177, WINTER 2021–22


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united nations photo collection

USAT General S. D. Sturgis (below), a decommissioned Army Transport, made dozens of voyages after World War II carrying thousands of DPs to the United States, Argentina, Australia, Canada, Brazil, and Venezuela. Many of the refugees wrote letters of gratitude to the ship’s captain over the years. These letters (above) were sent to Captain Karl H. Nehring of the Sturgis between 1949 and 1951 by DPs who, in the words of a group of Ukrainians during a 1949 voyage, felt “obliged to present their hearty thanks to the Captain of the ‘General S. D. Sturgis’ Mr. Carl [sic] Nehring as well as to his crew for their understanding support and hard work done for all emigrants during the trip.”

SEA HISTORY 177, WINTER 2021–22

Rehabilitation Rehabilitation efforts aimed to get war-torn economies back on their feet by assisting the agricultural and industrial sectors. Agricultural efforts included sending seed and agricultural machinery overseas, but one of the most important efforts was in the shipment of livestock. The animals sent overseas were not for the most part to eat, but rather were intended to serve as draft animals, such as horses or mules to work the land. Cattle were sent overseas as well, mostly cows to provide milk. Merchant seamen working aboard the transports were ill-equipped to handle this live cargo; thankfully, a religious group known as the Church of the Brethren stepped in to provide their knowledge, technical assistance, and livestock. In 1942 the Brethren Service Committee initiated a program known as Heifers for Relief. Its first cargo went to Puerto Rico to address a critical milk shortage: a shipment of seventeen heifers from Mobile, Alabama, on the Liberty ship SS William D. Bloxham. Recognizing the Heifer program’s value, UNRRA decided to include livestock in their shipments and paid for the conversion of 71 Victory and Liberty ships to carry animals. UNRRA’s shipboard workers, recruited by the Brethren Service Committee and known as “Seagoing Cowboys,” took care of the animals during the passage. Many seagoing cowboys were conscientious objectors, pacifists unwilling to bear arms for religious reasons but eager to assist those suffering from the war. From the end of June 1945 through April 1947, UNRRA made approximately 360 livestock shipments with a total of over a quarter-million animals delivered to Poland, Italy, Greece, and Czechoslovakia, with a few trips to China and Ethiopia. By the end of the program, they had delivered more than 300,000 animals, including horses, heifers, and mules, along with some chicks, rabbits, and goats. When UNRRA ceased operations at the beginning of 1947, Heifer Relief continued the program on a smaller scale, and included women as animal tenders. Now called Heifer International, the program continues to this day but no longer ships animals from the US. Instead, the animals purchased come from the region of the recipients, so that they are acclimated to the local climate and diseases. 27


photo by christian kennel, peggy reiff miller collection

Efforts to send aid to rebuild foreign industries was a straightforward process. Cargoes of coal, petroleum industrial machinery, locomotives, manufacturing equipment, and other materials flowed across the Atlantic to rebuild Europe’s factories, often on US-flagged ships. One unusual form of industrial aid the United States provided in this period was the ships themselves. In 1945, the US government owned an astonishing 3,800 merchant ships, comprising about 55 percent of the world’s shipping; Britain was a distant second at 21 percent. This number was far greater than was required to satisfy the American government’s needs. In the spirit of post-war economic rehabilitation, eager to get the government out of the shipping business, and already suspicious of Soviet intentions, Congress passed the Merchant Ship Sales Act of 1946. This law

allowed American and foreign firms to buy government-built ships at bargain rates. More than 800 ships went to American owners; some 1,100 went to foreign owners. Many of these were traditional maritime nations in Europe such as Norway or Greece, or South American nations like Argentina and Brazil, eager to jump into the shipping business with US-built ships. Only one Communist-dominated nation bought ships through this act: Poland purchased a mere four cargo vessels. Ironically, the Merchant Ship Sales Act was a significant factor in weakening American shipping by providing cheap ships to competitors. American labor unions had bitterly opposed the Merchant Ship Sales Act as a betrayal that undermined their economic well-being; however, growing concerns about the spread of Communism dictated the wisdom of the measure.

unrra photo

(above) USAT Charles W. Wooster taking on heifers to deliver to Czechoslovakia in January 1946. (below) Mules hoisted aboard UNRRA ships in pairs, bound for Greece to replace draft animals that had been lost in the war, 1944.

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(top right) Seagoing cowboys aboard the Adrian Victory in 1946; (right) another team boarding the Queens Victory.

photo by elmer bowers, peggy reiff miller collection photo by guy buch, peggy reiff miller collection

Conclusion In the wake of World War II, the American government supported international agencies like UNRRA to provide humanitarian relief and support rehabilitation efforts, primarily in Europe, but around the world as well. In addition, repatriating or relocating the millions displaced by the war was made possible by American ships. Initially, this aid was given to all who asked, but as the Cold War commenced, the United States began to target its aid much more carefully as the soft-power component of its struggle against the Soviet Union and the spread of Communism. The Cold War would be fought sometimes through force or military aid, and often with a combination of hard and soft power. As American Secretary of State John Foster Dulles wrote, the hope was that humanitarian aid would emerge as “a force of enduring strength that can bind together the peoples of the world.” The United States did not always win in this decades-long conflict, and sometimes it backed corrupt, incompetent, or even authoritarian regimes. Whether via Liberty ships sold to Greece, Victory ships carrying mules to China, or troop transports carrying DPs to Australia, American ships and merchant mariners provided a crucial component in allowing the free world’s peoples to pursue the ideals established in Roosevelt’s Four Freedoms.

Joshua M. Smith is Director of the American Merchant Marine Museum at the US Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, New York. The views expressed in this article are not intended to reflect the policies or views of the US Merchant Marine Academy, the Maritime Administration, or the United States government. A note of thanks to Peggy Reiff Miller for images and information regarding “Seagoing Cowboys.” For more on that topic, visit her website at www.seagoingcowboys.com.

marad photo

(left) Aerial view of the Reserve Fleet near Beaumont, Texas, in February 1950. After World War II, many US ships were laid up until they could be sold to commercial operators or were recalled by the military. SEA HISTORY 177, WINTER 2021–22

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SEA HISTORY 177, WINTER 2021–22


The Origins of the Rules of the Road

U

by Charles Dana Gibson (1928–2019), posthumously submitted by E. Kay Gibson

ntil near the end of the nineteenth century, there were no the War Department issued its own separate order (General Orinternational rules for the passing and overtaking of vessels der No. 246), which reiterated the language of the Navy Departon the high seas. For passing and overtaking on inland waters, ment’s General Order No. 34. The Army’s order was to be “imsome rules did exist worldwide, but these were far from universal, mediately adopted on all vessels owned or chartered by the Quarcourtesy of doyle auctioneers & appraisers either in application or comtermaster Department of the patibility with all nations. In Army.” Although Congress Europe, navigation rules were did nothing regarding rules usually implemented through applicable to commercial vespilotage systems under which sels until well after the Civil foreign-flag vessels took on loWar, the 1864 Navy and cal pilots when entering the Army rules set the stage for respective nation’s inland wathe standardization of colliters. Pilotage was the insurance sion avoidance for the rethat native mariners would be mainder of that conflict—at at a ship’s con. least on the Chesapeake. At home, the US did not In 1890, navigation rules have any federal laws or reguwere put into international lations for meeting or overtakpractice for both commercial ing situations on its inland and naval vessels on the high waters up until about 1897. seas, following the first InterNor did it have federal laws or national Maritime Conferregulations standardizing sigence held the year before in nals or running lights. Some Washington, DC, where the Two Clippers — Nocturne by Montague Dawson (1890–1973) 7/ 7/ states and/or port jurisdictions rules were discussed and finaloil on canvas, 39 8 x 49 8 inches had developed individualized ized. These rules, which beNavigation lights were first required in the US when Congress passed a regulations, and these—as in came known as the Internalaw in 1838 requiring steamboats to carry signal lights between sunset Europe—were in the main tional Rules of the Road, were and sunrise, but no details regarding color or placement were provided. implemented by pilotage reratified by all participating The act was amended in 1849 to include sailing vessels. quirements. Again, as in Eunations—the United States rope, there were more often than not considerable differences in included as one of the parties. In 1897, the US Congress passed rules from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. legislation for meeting and overtaking on United States inland With the advent of the American Civil War, traffic on many waters. To these were addended rules dealing with sound signals United States inland waterways and harbors increased many-fold and lighting. over what it had been in peacetime. This was especially true on Since their original adoption, both the International Rules Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries. At one point on the Chesa- and the US Inland Rules have been amended several times, either peake alone, the Army’s Quartermaster Department had under by treaty to which the US was party or, in the case of the Inland its direct control 190 ocean and coastal-class steamboats, 60 Rules, through domestic legislation. Despite these many changes, steam tugs towing an aggregate of over 100 barges, and forty sail it is interesting to note that for both the International and the vessels. Additionally, there was a large number of Union naval Inland meeting and passing rules, there has been little alteration craft in support of operations being conducted on the Bay’s rivers from that which made up the Navy’s General Order 34 back in and estuaries. Besides all this, there was the normal commercial 1864. traffic servicing the civilian economy via the many ports bordering the Chesapeake Bay. Many of the Quartermaster Department’s Captain Charles Dana Gibson (1928–2019) was a licensed Tugmasships were crewed by men who had minimal knowledge of local ter, Oceans, and Master of Inspected Steam and Motor Vessels, 500 navigation customs; the Navy ships weren’t much better. The tons, Oceans, Issue 8. He played a prominent historian’s role in the absence of local knowledge could at times produce considerable 1988 court decision that granted veterans’ status to members of the chaos. The Navy, which had been suffering an inordinate amount American oceangoing merchant marine who actively sailed between of collision damage, decided to do something about the problem. 7 December 1941 and 15 August 1945. Captain Gibson was the On 4 May 1864, it issued General Order No. 34, which was author/co-author of eight books on aspects of maritime history and distributed widely to all shipping interests on the Bay. General the recipient of numerous awards including the Distinguished Service Order No. 34 specified rules for meeting and overtaking for both Award given by the US Merchant Marine Academy, the Captain K. steam and sail vessels, as well as signals for passing and lights to C. Torrens Award from the Council of American Master Mariners, be shown at night. If nothing else, the Navy hoped to limit its and the K. Jack Bauer Award given by the North American Society liability when faced with admiralty court actions. On 13 August, for Oceanic History.

SEA HISTORY 177, WINTER 2021–22

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Willem van de Velde & Son, Son, a Retrospective

W

illem van de Velde de Oude (the Elder) and his son Willem van de Velde de Jonge (the Younger) are making a limited engagement as the subjects of a new retrospective exhibition, on now at the National Maritime Museum (Het Scheepvaartmuseum) in Amsterdam, through 27 March 2022. The Willem van

images courtesy of the national maritime museum, amsterdam

by Marleen Smit, National Maritime Museum, Amsterdam

de Velde & Son exhibition sheds light on the Van de Veldes’ family art business, their eye for detail and atmosphere, superb craftsmanship, and the assignment of the elder Van de Velde as a war correspondent. The son of a Dutch ship captain, Willem van de Velde the Elder was born in Leiden in 1611 and grew up during the

early years of the Dutch realist marine painting movement, founded by Hendrick Cornelisz Vroom (1562–1640). Willem the Elder was the first known to go to sea as an embedded artist, and most of his work from this stage of his career were drawings in which he meticulously recorded details of ships’ hulls from named vessels. He made (top of page) Episode uit de zeeslag in de Sont (Episode from the Naval Battle in the Sound), by Willem van de Velde the Elder, 38 x 55 inches. Van de Velde, working as the official artist of the Dutch fleet, was provided with a small sailing vessel (a galliot), and a boat captain to maneuver around and between ships engaged in the fighting. In this scene, Van de Velde sketched himself in the galliot at the bottom left, dangerously close to the action.

(left) Ships in the Roads, oil on canvas, 26 x 30 inches. This painting by Willem the Younger depicts a group of vessels in a calm, including a yacht, two coasters, an Indiaman, and a small boat at left with two men and fishing baskets. 32

SEA HISTORY 177, WINTER 2021–22


The Battle of the Sea at Kijkduin, 21 August 1673 (c. 1687), oil on canvas, by Willem van de Velde the Younger. The van de Veldes each had their specialty: Willem the Elder excelled in detailed pen drawings, while his son was “good with color” and mastered painting in oil. Willem the Elder’s drawings from this era were done in isometric perspective—all of the ship’s components are drawn to the same scale, regardless of distance from the viewer. He became a master of this technique, and the detail within them is remarkable, but that level of detail is what many presume caused him to switch to painting in oil sometime in the 1660s, when his eyesight started to deteriorate.2 hundreds of these drawings, and it is because of him—and later works by his son Willem van de Velde the Younger—that we know more about Northern European ships from the 17th century than from the 18th century.1

Willem van de Velde the Elder went to sea as the official artist to the Dutch fleet and was present at major naval battles, sailing around in a small ship in the role like that of a modern embedded war correspondent. He sketched the battle scenes

on paper and later painted them in his studio. In Episode uit de zeeslag in de Sont (ca. 1660), Willem the Elder depicted himself sailing among the numerous ships engaged in fierce battle. (continued on page 35)

Dutch War Fleet at Anchor in the Skagerrak, 27 October 1658 by Willem van de Velde the Elder

1

Archibald, E. H. H., “The Willem Van de Veldes, Their Background and Influence on Maritime Painting in England,” Journal of the Royal Society of Arts, May 1982, Vol. 130, No. 5310, p. 347. 2 Ibid, p. 351.

SEA HISTORY 177, WINTER 2021–22

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The Tapestries—The Battle of Solebay, 1672 Two wall tapestries depicting the Battle of Solebay in 1672 stem from a royal commission to Willem van de Velde the Elder. Recently acquired by the Scheepvaartmuseum, these tapestries are one of the highlights of the exhibition and mark the significance of shared Anglo-Dutch heritage. After he settled in Greenwich, Van de Velde the Elder adapted his original drawings for the design of a series of tapestries as part of two royal commissions: the first by King Charles II in ca. 1672, and the second series at the request of King James II in 1685. They were woven by Thomas Poyntz at the Mortlake Tapestry Works near London. The largest tapestry (at right), measuring an impressive 20 x 10 feet in size, depicts the formation of the fleets preceding the battle. The second tapestry depicts a successful Dutch fireship attack on the Earl of Sandwich’s imposing English flagship Royal James. The National Maritime Museum in Amsterdam purchased the two tapestries in January 2020, constituting the largest acquisition in the history of the museum. The museum reports that they are the last two pieces from the series that will ever appear on the market. The other four tapestries are in the collections of museums in the United States and are not currently on display.

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SEA HISTORY 177, WINTER 2021–22


Ships in a Gale, 1660 by Willem van de Velde the Younger, oil on panel, 28 x 42 inches “Ships in a Gale is one of van de Velde the Younger’s early masterpieces. It is filled with the drama of a churning sea on which two stormtossed ships struggle to avoid jagged rocks that have already claimed a third vessel. The painting is not only compositionally dramatic but also endlessly engaging in its details: figures scramble up masts, haul in the sails, and hang from lines attached to the bowsprit. As birds swoop over the foaming breakers, sailors fight the waves in their desperate attempt to reach the relative safety of the rocks before drowning.” —National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC. He took his son Willem out to sea from a very early age to teach him how to observe with a keen eye and to work with a sense of detail. Willem the Younger followed in this tradition as an adult, going to sea to document naval action as an eye-witness. It is not known from whom or where the father learned his craft, but it is clear that his son, having grown up spending time in his father’s studio, would have received his earliest training from him. Willem the Younger would go on to study under the marine painter Simon de Vlieger (1600/01–1653) in Amsterdam. The exact dates of his tutelage under de Vlieger are unknown, but he was recorded to be back working as an assistant in his father’s studio by 1656. Once Willem the Elder SEA HISTORY 177, WINTER 2021–22

shifted to oil painting in the 1660s, art historians suspect he may have become his son’s pupil in that medium. The outbreak of war in 1672 wreaked havoc on the art business, and at the invitation of England’s King Charles II, who was an avid admirer of their art, father and son moved to England. There, they were given a generous salary and were provided with ample studio space at the Queen’s House in Greenwich, which continued with Charles’s successor, James II. After the Glorious Revolution of 1688, the van de Veldes lost their royal patronage and redirected their focus to the free market. Father and son continued to work together until Willem van de Velde the Elder’s death in 1693. The family tradition continued with

Willem the Younger’s children; three of whom—Willem (b. 1667), Cornelis (active 1675–1729), and Peter—also become painters. In addition to the works from the Scheepvaartmuseum collection, the exhibition also includes numerous works on loan from the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, the Mauritshuis, the Rijksmuseum, and both the British and Dutch royal collections. Note: Several museums in the United States have works by the van de Veldes in their collections, including the MET in New York City; the Philadelphia Museum of Art in Pennsylvania; the National Gallery 35


of Art in Washington, DC; the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, California; and in Massachusetts at the Museum of Fine Art in Boston, and the Harvard Art Museum in Cambridge.

national gallery of art

(The National Maritime Museum, Kattenburgerplein 1, 1018 KK Amsterdam; www.hetscheepvaartmuseum.nl/vandevelde) Before the Storm, c. 1700, oil on canvas, 10 x 17 inches, by Willem van de Velde the Younger, is in the collections of the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC.

Van de Veldes’ Legacy Continues in the 21st Century During their lifetime, the van de Veldes were influential among their contemporaries, and evidence of their style and technique can be seen in works by Jacob Knyff, Jan van Beecq, Johan van de Hagen, and the 18th-century painter Charles Booking. Their influence continues even in the 21st century. Award-winning artist Len Tantillo, known for his meticulous and accurate depictions of 17th-century maritime New York, explains how the van de Veldes’ detailed drawings and paintings of vessels and scenes that they personally observed have helped him in his research. “The influence of the van de Veldes on generations of aspiring marine artists is immense. I have personally relied on the work of Willem the Younger so many times it would be difficult to reference them all. In 1673 a rogue Dutch squadron commanded by Admiral Cornelius Evertsen took back the Dutch colony of New York from the English. Among the vessels in his fleet was the 6-gun snouw (sometimes snaauw) Zeehond. That ship was of special interest to me because, after Manhattan was taken, Zeehond was dispatched upriver to take Albany, my city. So, what does a 17th-century Dutch snouw look like? Years ago, while conducting research at the National Maritime Museum in

courtesy len tantillo

Willem van de Velde the Elder’s sketch of a 17th-century snouw.

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Amsterdam on a 17th-century Dutch barque I was interested in painting, I came across van de Velde’s rendition of a snouw. Many years after that trip, when I was looking for inspiration for my 2013 painting of Evertsen’s raid on New York, I referenced that wonderful sketch of Willem’s made from his first-hand knowledge of that vessel. The rest for me was painting.” —Len Tantillo, Fellow, American Society of Marine Artists Raid on New York, by Len Tantillo oil on canvas, 20 x 30 inches. SEA HISTORY 177, WINTER 2021–22


American Society of Marine Artists Retreat at the Minnesota Marine Art Museum The North Star State— The Gopher State— The Land of 10,000 Lakes. Minnesota has many nicknames, but the state’s name itself is the most à propos for the location of a worldclass marine art museum. “Minnesota” comes from the Dakota words, “Mni” (water) and “Sota” (sky-tinted, or cloudy), and in the state’s southeast corner is an impressive museum dedicated to art “inspired by water.”

by Burchenal Green, NMHS president

ASMA president Nick Fox was in the gallery space within the Minnesota Marine Art Museum in Winona, where ASMA’s 18th National Exhibition was on display, when he overheard a visitor transfixed by John Stobart’s painting of the 19th-century Manhattan waterfront. The work, a bustling scene of the great days of sail in America’s busiest port, is titled South Street, New York, 1875.

courtesy asma

“I feel I could step into that painting, hear the crunch of snow under my boots, and feel the warmth from the lantern as I passed under it.”

South Street, New York, 1875 by John Stobart, oil, 18 x 24” inches

Our hosts, museum founders Mary Burrichter and Robert Kierlin SEA HISTORY 177, WINTER 2021–22

courtesy mmam

courtesy mmam

ASMA artists and art enthusiasts gathered in Winona to share ideas and techniques, but also to view the spectacular collection of great marine art that has found a home in this lovely mid-western town on the banks of the Mississippi River. The Minnesota Marine Art Museum specializes in great art; its six galleries feature world-class paintings, and artifacts, including impressionism and a significant collection of Hudson River School paintings and folk art sculptures, as well as a rotating schedule of traveling exhibitions by guest curators. The riverfront museum, surrounded by more than 60,000 native plants and visited by soaring eagles overhead, provides a calming influence as you approach, a way of opening the heart to better appreciate the art you will discover within. The galleries are spacious but still intimate, and the newly installed lighting displays the works to great advantage. The permanent collection comes from the personal holdings owned by Robert Kierlin and Landscape by Asher B. Durand, 1855, oil on canvas. The “ dean of his wife, Mary Burrichter; they founded the museum in 2006 to American landscape painters,” Asher Durand (1796–1886) was an share these incredible and influential figure among the second generation of Hudson River School important artworks with artists. This painting is part of the museum’s permanent collections. the public. The museum’s collections contain works by many of the great masters—Thomas Cole, Vincent van Gogh, John James Audubon, Claude Monet, J. W. W. Turner, Pierre-August Renoir, Paul Gauguin, Pablo Picasso, Camille Pissarro, Georgia O’Keefe, Henri Matisse, Wassily Kandinsky, Andrew Wyeth, Mary Cassatt, Winslow Homer, Fitz Henry Lane, James Buttersworth, and more. ASMA was honored to have Kierlin and Burrichter give us a personalized tour, and it was quickly apparent that this extraordinary museum is a labor of love and a personal expression of this couple’s understanding of the power of great art. In 2015 Burrichter and Kierlin were thrilled to acquire one of America’s most iconic and important paintings and bring it to Winona. In 1850–51, Edmund Leutze (1816–1868) created three paintings of Washington Crossing the Delaware. The first was destroyed in a bombing raid

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photo by burchenal green

(Minnesota Marine Art Museum, 800 Riverview Drive, Winona, MN; www.mmam.org. ASMA: www.americansocietyofmarineartists.com)

courtesy asma

courtesy asma

(above) Artist Michelle Jung demonstrates beginning a canvas of a coastal scene, as she discusses how she studied to achieve the nuances and power of color. (below) Her dramatic seascape of the California coast, By the Sea (oil, 30 x 30 inches), is part of the ASMA exhibition.

photo by burchenal green

on Bremen in World War II. The second—the largest of the three—hangs at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. The third painting hung in the West Wing of the White House for decades, but it was there all that time on loan. When word got out that the owner wanted to sell it, Burrichter and Kierlin—a former Minnesota state senator—jumped at the chance to purchase it for their museum. Adding to its historic value is that it is displayed in its original frame, signed by the artist. A group of today’s top marine artists gathered in this setting last September, where ASMA Fellows and Signature artists gave annotated demonstrations of their techniques. Of particular interest was a lesson in how using color and warm and cool tones can draw the viewer’s eye right into the painting. We learned about the “Z approach” to composition and horizon, whereby the artist imagines—or even pencils in—a “Z” on the canvas as a way to place the action. Anyone who has ever said that something “is about as exciting as watching paint dry,” has never watched a good artist turn a blank canvas into a painting, stroke by thrilling stroke. There is a plain white background, and an hour later a seascape comes to life with thundering waves, or a rusty tanker is shown moored to the wharf with slack hawsers in the low light of the late afternoon. There is so much to learn and be inspired by at these ASMA conferences, for both artist and admirer alike. During Signature member Michelle Mary Burrichter discusses Washington Crossing the Jung’s compelling demonstration, she Delaware by Edmund Leutze, one of his three paintings explained that it wasn’t until she started of this iconic event in American history. She and her huspainting that she truly learned to see the band Bob Kierlin acquired it for the museum in 2015. world around her, but that she did not start painting full time until later in life. She generously gives presentations in her community, and I know how this must inspire many hesitant beginners. The 18th National Exhibition from ASMA has moved to the mid-Atlantic and is now on display at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum. It is available for all to view online via the ASMA website, but it is transformative if you have an opportunity to see the show in person. ASMA will certainly send a future traveling exhibit to this fine museum in Winona, but there is much to be seen and enjoy if you can get there sooner. You will not be disappointed.

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Weatherly, 1962 by Russ Kramer, oil on linen, 22 x 36 inches During ASMA Fellow Russ Kramer’s presentation, he revealed the painstaking work he does behind the scenes, posing and sketching actors in the positions of the figures he later incorporates into his paintings. His ability to conquer the detail, as he captures the action and the power of the light and water, is masterful. SEA HISTORY 177, WINTER 2021–22


1st International Online Marine Art Exhibition

The American Society of

MARINE ARTISTS

InternationalMarineArt.com SEA HISTORY 177, WINTER 2021–22

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SEA HISTORY for kids

Maritime Careers

Maritime Museum Executive Director

Cathy Green

“I’ve got the keys to the submarine!”

When Cathy Green took over as executive director of the Wisconsin Maritime Museum a few years ago, she joked about assuming responsibility for USS Cobia, the World War II-era submarine that is the centerpiece of her museum’s collections. But it wasn’t really a joke because, in a manner of speaking, it’s true. While she may not have seen stewardship of a 312-foot submarine in her career path, the broad range of professional and personal experiences she has had makes her a perfect fit for the job of running a maritime museum. Her interest in maritime pursuits started when she was a kid. Growing up in Southern Indiana along the Ohio River, Cathy didn’t give much thought to the ships and barges going up and down As the museum’s director, Cathy is responsible for the maintenance and the river—they were just a regular part of the scenery. But by their interpretation of all the museum’s collections, including USS Cobia, the presence she grew to understand how important shipping is to same class of submarine as the 28 that were built around the corner at communities, how it enables their growth and supplies them with the Manitowoc Shipbuilding Company in World War II. food, fuel, and life’s necessities. Cathy’s parents often took her and her sister to historic sites and museums when she was young, and she remembers being fascinated by the objects linked to the past. It was one thing to learn about history in school, and quite another to stand on the exact site where something really important happened and to see the actual clothing, tools, belongings, and homes of the people who were there. When she started going to Girl Scout camp on Kentucky Lake, boating became a big part of her summers and would play a major role in shaping her life. As a teenager, Cathy moved up the ladder at camp. She became a counselor, a sailing instructor, and eventually the camp’s waterfront director. In college, she focused on fine art and museum studies in the classroom and joined the university’s sailing team. She graduated with a degree in history (and a minor in fine arts) and landed a job at a maritime museum in Bermuda; from that experience she decided to make maritime history and preservation her career. She went back to school, earning a master’s degree in maritime history and archaeology, as well as advanced certifications in scientific diving. Since then, she has had extensive experience as a maritime archaeologist, an educator (both on land and at sea aboard sailing ships), and a museum professional. On a typical day, you might find Cathy Back aboard the research vessel after a day of diving in the museum’s galleries, in the artifact on a historic shipwreck, Cathy transfers her measured storage and conservation areas, giving tours drawings to the large map template. Each day of diving of the submarine, or being interviewed on adds more data, until the full site map is complete. a local radio station. Especially in a medium-sized museum, the director needs to be ready for everything. She is simultaneously the boss, a strategic planner, a curator, a public speaker, a tour guide, and a facilities manager. When necessary, she does whatever else needs doing to keep the museum running smoothly. More than anything else, Cathy is an inspired storyteller, who shares the real-life stories of ships and boats, and the people who built and sailed them. “I hope to inspire people to appreciate, learn about, and protect our maritime heritage and the Great Cathy has documented shipwrecks in loca- Lakes.” She hopes you will visit her museum some time. If you do, be sure to tell them tions around the world, but most of her that you read about her in Sea History magazine and ask if she is available. She’d love to work as a maritime archaeologist has been meet you. in the cold waters of the Great Lakes, where drysuit diving is a must.

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(Wisconsin Maritime Museum, 75 Maritime Drive, Manitowoc, WI; www.wisconsinmaritime.org)

SEA HISTORY 177, WINTER 2021–22


Animals in Sea History by Richard J. King

seo jae chul, jeju provincial self - governing haenyeo museum

or the haenyeo, the traditional female divers of Korea’s Jeju Island, the abalone is not only a prized source of food and security, but is also a source of fear. Their work collecting these marine snails can be as dangerous as the threat from sharks along their volcanic coastline. Over the last three centuries, hundreds of these women have died in their efforts to capture abalone when diving into the cold waters at their island intersection between the Korea Strait, the Yellow Sea, and the South China Sea. There’s a saying among these divers: “Haenyeo live with their coffins on their backs.”

Haenyeo with abalone in 1976.

creative commons cc by

4.0, p.d.

Among the fifty or so species of abalone worldwide, the most common two captured by the haenyeo off Jeju Island (pronounced Cheh-jew) are the Pacific abalone, jeonbok in Korean, and the multicolor, known as obunjagi. With a hard oval shell protecting its body, the abalone’s organs encircle a single muscle, known as the foot, evolved to hold on to its shell and a rock.

Photo of abalone (Haliotis discus hannai) under water.

SEA HISTORY 177, WINTER 2021–22

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Haenyeo preparing for a dive off Jeju Island, South Korea, c. 1960s. This was just before they began to use wetsuits, fins, and weight belts.

jeju provincial self - governing haenyeo museum

national museum of korea

Abalone are related to other single-shelled gastropods, like marine snails and limpets, but abalone are far larger and more powerful. Red abalone (Haliotis rufescens) found off the coast of California grow the largest, with some individuals over a foot across. The Pacific abalone that the haenyeo harvest grow as long as six inches across, and the multicolor abalone are much smaller, at about half that size. With their fringe of tentacles and a rasping band of teeth around the mouth, abalone feed on algae and seaweeds below the tideline, often under ledges or on deep boulders. In order to hold on to their rocky substrates, which are often subject to strong currents and swells, and to protect themselves against predators, such as octopuses, eels, crabs, and sea otters, abalone can quickly shut tight and seemingly cement their shell over their bodies with great force and speed. This suction strength is what can kill a person trying to capture them. Nevertheless, because abalone is such a valuable food in cultures throughout the world, people continue to try. The first documented fisheries for abalone were 1,500 years ago in China and Japan, yet Indigenous peoples around the world have been harvesting them for millennia. On Jeju, archaeologists have found abalone in shell middens (garbage piles) dating to about 300 BCE. Middens found on an island off the California coast reveal that people have eaten abalone there for more than 12,000 years. Corresponding with its growth and the color of the algae it was eating, the inside of the abalone’s shell is lustrously silver and iridescent with greens, blues, pinks, and purples. In addition to the animal’s value as food, people have valued its shells for decorations, jewelry, and crafts in several coastal communities, notably the Māori people of Aoteaora New Zealand, who know the abalone as paua, embedding the shell in wood and using it to help fish hooks shimmer. On Jeju Island, where the soil is poor for farming, it used to be primarily men who dove for abalone, while the women gathered seaweed. In the 1600s and early 1700s, men began to leave the island, either to fish farther offshore, to man warships, or to move away in search of better jobs and escape from paying tributes. Meanwhile, dried abalone was part of taxes levied on poorer coastal communities, and people were flogged if the abalone was not delivered. So as the men fled, the coastal diving shifted to women, who were forbidden to leave. There is a line of thinking, too, that women are better equipped than men to withstand the cold because they tend to have a higher percentage of body fat to insulate them from the cold. It is also thought Detail of a painting by Kim Nam-gil, 1702; the that perhaps the Jeju women were more emotionally equipped and earliest known illustration of haenyeo in Jeju. physically better skilled to hold their breath for minutes at a time, working in collectives and diving in pairs to depths often in excess of fifty feet beneath the surface. As the decades wore on, women went to work at sea during the day while men stayed ashore for manual labor. Haenyeo dove while pregnant and sometimes brought their infants on the boats with them so that they could nurse them in between diving sessions. In The Island of Sea Women (2019), a historical novel by Lisa See, the ability to capture an abalone is a rite of a passage. The author set most of her story in the late 1930s into the 1950s, when haenyeo had not yet begun to use wetsuits; they wore only cotton swimwear and dove barefoot. Haenyeo swim out with a net attached to a taewak, a buoy float, and dive carrying a knife for emergencies and a bitchang, a flat metal crowbar, which is strapped around one wrist.


Sometimes haenyeo dive with a small spear, a hooked tool, or a seaweed sickle, depending on what they’re hunting. In this tragic scene in the novel, the daughter, named Young-sook, remembers her first dive for abalone with her mother, the chief haenyeo:

achimkkulmul, cc by 3.0 via flickr

We approached slowly so as not to disturb the waters. As fast as a snake striking its prey, I thrust my bitchang under the lifted edge of the abalone and flipped it off its home before it had a chance to clamp down. I grabbed it as it started to fall to the seabed. Seeing I was successful and having more air than I did, Mother thrust her bitchang under another abalone just as I started to kick for the surface. Young-sook emerges and triumphantly holds up her first abalone. The older haenyeo shout their congratulations. Young-sook, “following tradition,” rubs the abalone along her cheek “to show my affection and gratitude.” But then she realizes that her mother has not yet surfaced. She dives back down to find that her mother’s bitchang is seized by the abalone. Her mother can’t get the tool free. She had dropped her knife trying to cut the strap around her wrist. Young-sook, only about fifteen years old, tries to help. The two fumble with her knife, cutting the mother’s wrist. The sea clouds with blood. Her mother kicks and pulls frantically against the abalone’s grip. Then she stops. Through her goggles, she looks Young-sook in the eyes to say goodbye before she drowns. Young-sook returns to the surface without her mother. See tells the story of how she lives the rest of her life with the knowledge that she was not only unable to free her mother, but perhaps her triumphant kick had startled the abalone to clamp down on the rock and seize her mother’s bitchang. Young-sook goes on to be the haenyeo chief, but her life is a hard one. In The Island of Sea Women, Lisa See shows readers the dangers that the haenyeo have endured in order to provide abalone for consumers ashore. Today, several abalone populations around the world are threatened, largely due to overharvesting, coastal pollution, and climate change. This is especially true off the west coast of North America, where six species were abundant only decades ago. Now, at least two are on the brink of extinction. If you’re eating abalone at a sushi restaurant, there is a good chance it has been raised in an aquaculture facility. On Jeju, the haenyeo have been sustainable harvesters for centuries. They have been careful as to where and when and at what size they gathered abalone and other marine life in order to maintain the stocks for their daughters and their daughters’ daughters. Their coastal territories are delineated and self-regulated. They Fresh abalone, ready for cooking in Korea. shun SCUBA gear. They and local managers seed growth for snails and abalone, and they have managed seaweeds to clear rock substrate for the shellfish. Yet, despite all these efforts to sustain the population, abalone seem to have all but disappeared from their coastal waters for reasons that might have to do with climate change or coastal pollution. And the haenyeo themselves are also endangered. Listed by UNESCO as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, more than ninety percent of the women divers are over sixty years old today. In 1965 there were about 23,000 women fishers on Jeju. By 2019, there were only 1,579 registered haenyeo on the island. Nearly all of the younger generations have sought other jobs where the work is not so hard and dangerous. When asked how her life as a haenyeo has changed in the last fifty years, Lee Mae-chun said in a 2017 interview: “Abalone was also easy to spot and to collect, but these days, no more. I still remember the excitement of catching a lot of abalone during one dive. Abalone was very valuable and you could earn good money for it.” For more “Animals in Sea History,” go to www.seahistory.org or educators.mysticseaport.org.

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ghhs

Facility and placed into a custom-built storage vat containing water and a biodeterrent to protect the canoe from physical deterioration. Over time, a chemical solution will be added to the vat; it will eventually replace the water in the cellular structure of the wood. The preservation process is estimated to take approximately 3 years. (Wisconsin Historical Society: 816 State Street, Madison, WI; www.wisconsinhistory.org) … The gaff-rigged ketch Hawaiian Chieftain has new owners. Grays Harbor Historical Seaport (GHHS) of Aberdeen, WA, owner of the Chieftain since 2005, decided in late 2019 to sell the vessel and focus on its other traditional sailing vessel, Lady Washington (the official ship of the state of Washington), and a project to transform a 34-acre old mill site into a public waterfront development. “We were spread too thin to take on two boat restoration projects and the Seaport Landing development, said the Seaport’s executive director, Brandi Bednarik. “We had to acknowledge it was time to let Chieftain go somewhere where she could receive the love and attention she deserves. It was very important to the board, staff, and crew for the Chieftain to end up in a good home with someone who would take the best care of her. We are confident that we found her such a home.” The decision to sell the Chieftain was reached after a Coast Guard inspection identified issues with the condition of her steel hull. The inspection revealed

Hawaiian Chieftain

tall ships america

Wisconsin Historical Society maritime archaeologists recovered a 1,200-yearold dugout canoe from the bottom of Lake Mendota in November, just a few months after learning of its existence in June 2021. Its age was determined via carbon dating and puts the vessel in use around AD 800, centuries before the arrival of Europeans in North America. “The dugout canoe found in Lake Mendota is a significant artifact of the continuum of canoe culture in the Western Great Lakes region,” said Christian Overland, the Ruth and Hartley Barker Director & CEO for the Wisconsin Historical Society. “The canoe is a remarkable artifact, made from a single tree, that connects us to the people living in this region 1,200 years ago. As the Society prepares to open a new history museum in 2026, we are excited about the new possibilities it offers to share Native American stories and culture through the present day.” Excavation of the area around the canoe began in late October 2021, and archaeologists recovered artifacts from the site early on in their process. Net sinkers—rocks that were flattened by hand tooling—were recovered from within the canoe, indicating the vessel may have been used for fishing. The canoe was raised from a depth of about 30 feet with the assistance of the Dane County Sheriff ’s dive team using flotation bags to raise the canoe to the lake’s surface. It was then transported to Wisconsin’s State Archive Preservation

wisconsin historical society

Lake Mendota Dugout Canoe

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that Chieftain needs a new bowsprit as well as repairs to the aft cabin windows. Combined with other work that needed to be done on the ship, GHHS was looking at a hefty price tag to get her back to normal operations. The new owners, Aubrey and Matt Wilson, report that they are awaiting the results of the rigging survey, but have the reports from all of the other surveys in hand. They anticipate replacing the diesel engines and repairs to parts of Chieftain’s hull, deckhouse, and galley sole, followed up with fresh paint and new colors. Once the Chieftain is released from dry dock in Port Townsend, WA, she will return to Aberdeen for a farewell celebration with Lady Washington before departing for a new SEA HISTORY 177, WINTER 2021–22


noaa

USRC Bear side scan sonar image

US Revenue Cutter Bear, 1916 library of congress

home berth, to be determined. The Wilsons plan on making the ship available for daysails, tours, sail training, private charters, and events. Built in Lahaina, Hawaii, in 1988, Hawaiian Chieftain was designed to represent 19th-century packet ships that called at Hawaiian ports. In 1994 she was sold to Wolverine Motorworks of Fall River, MA, and renamed Spirit of Larinda. GHHS purchased the ship in 2005 and her original name was restored. (GHHS: 500 N. Custer St. Aberdeen, WA; www.historicalseaport.org. Hawaiian Chieftain: sailhawaiianchieftain.com) … An expedition comprising the US Coast Guard, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Office of Ocean Exploration, NOAA’s National Marine Sanctuaries Maritime Heritage Program, and several academic research partners announced in October that it has found the shipwreck site of the US Revenue Cutter Bear about 90 miles south of Cape Sable, Nova Scotia. The NOAA and USCG teams joined forces in 2019 to survey the 62-square-mile area where the wreck was likely to be found

using side-scan sonar. Working from the USCG medium-endurance cutter Bear, named for the historic ship they were seeking, the team identified two targets of interest to investigate further. In 2021, this time working off the USCG ocean-going buoy tender Sycamore, trained operators from

Marine Imaging Technologies employed an advanced remotely operated vehicle (ROV) carrying high-resolution underwater video cameras to explore the more likely target area, chosen because of its proximity to Bear’s location when she was lost and the wreck’s approximate dimensions. Upon review of the documentation gathered during this expedition, the partner agencies’ historians and archaeologists agreed that they are “reasonably certain” that the wreck is that of the storied US Revenue Cutter Bear. The announcement was made by NOAA’s RADM Nancy Hann at a press event in Boston on 14 October.

Sail Aboard the Liberty Ship

John W. BroWn

Please check our website for 2022 cruise dates. On a cruise you can tour museum spaces, bridge, crew quarters, & much more. Visit the engine room to view the 140-ton triple-expansion steam engine as it powers the ship though the water. Reservations: 410-558-0164, or

www.ssjohnwbrown.org Last day to order tickets is 14 days before the cruise; conditions and penalties apply to cancellations.

SS JOHN W. BROWN

SEA HISTORY 177, WINTER 2021–22

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Picton Castle

mariners and paying trainees. This is the voyage originally planned for spring 2020 but postponed because of the global COVID pandemic. The ship and crew will spend about 13 months sailing under square rig, with port visits at Panama, the Galapagos Islands, Pitcairn Island, French Polynesia, the Cook Islands, Fiji, Vanuatu, Bali, Reunion, South Africa, St. Helena, and a little bit of island hopping in the Eastern Caribbean before sailing north for Bermuda and home to Lunenburg. The itinerary is subject to change based on border restrictions and health considerations, both for the ship’s company and the people in its planned ports of call. As of press time, a significant number of islands in the South Pacific are still closed to visitors (including visiting ships) due to limited medical resources in these remote locations. Picton Castle organizers are checking in with their contacts in the various ports every few weeks and will make a final decision about a spring 2022 departure early in the new year. If it is still not possible for the ship to get underway at that time, the voyage will be postponed but not cancelled, with a likely start in October 2022. (Barque Picton Castle, 135 Bluenose Drive, Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, Canada; www.picton-castle.com) …

The last steam-powered herring drifter, Lydia Eva, will be making her debut on the silver screen in 2023. The 95-foot steam vessel, now a museum ship in England, has been towed to Lyme Regis to begin filming for the movie Wonka, an original story about the Roald Dahl fictional character Willy Wonka, prior to the establishment of his chocolate factory. The vessel will play the role of the steamer that carries Wonka, portrayed by Timothée Chalamet, to England. Lydia Eva was the last vessel built by the King’s Lynn Slipway Company. After her launch in July 1930, she entered the herring trade, but the industry was already waning and that career was short-lived due to the dwindling market. She was sold in 1939 and contracted out to the UK Air Ministry’s Bombing & Gunnery School in Wales to service buoys. The Ministry of War Transport requisitioned her for salvage work in 1942, and after the war she was transferred to the Air Ministry to work as a mooring vessel under the name Watchmoor. After stints with the Lydia Eva lydia eva & mincarlo trust

Picton Castle’s Capt. Dan Moreland teaches sailmaking handwork.

images courtesy barque picton castle

Built in 1874 by Alexander Stephen & Son of Dundee, Scotland, Bear originally sailed with the sealing fleet off Newfoundland. In 1884 she was purchased by the US Navy to join USS Thetis and USS Alert on a rescue mission to search for the Greely Expedition, which had become stranded in the Arctic. Bear sighted and rescued the remaining survivors. The following year, the vessel was transferred to the US Treasury Department, beginning what was to be a 41-year career patrolling Alaskan waters. She was decommissioned in 1929 and turned over to the city of Oakland, California, to be used as a maritime museum, but was then sold to Admiral Richard E. Byrd Jr., USN, and refitted to participate in what would be two Antarctic expeditions. In 1941 she served in the Greenland Patrol, and then put up for sale in 1944. In March of 1963, while the Bear was being towed to Philadelphia, where a new owner planned to convert her to a museum and restaurant, the ship sank in the North Atlantic when its towline parted in heavy weather. USCG Atlantic Area Historian William Thiesen remarked: “Cutter Bear represents the Coast Guard in a manner similar to the Navy’s Constitution. As Coast Guard historian Stephen Evans wrote 70 years ago: ‘The Bear is more than just a famous ship; she is a symbol for all the service represents—for steadfastness, for courage, and for constant readiness to help men and vessels in distress.’” (www.noaa. gov; www.uscg.mil) …. The Picton Castle Bosun School in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, launched its first-ever session with a specific focus in October (on rigging skills) and will offer a second 6-week session on sailmaking beginning in February 2022. Applications for the sailmaking session are being accepted for the remaining spots. Under the direction of master mariner Captain Dan Moreland, students will learn to work with both natural and synthetic materials, while they work on projects that include repairs and new sail construction. This will be traditional style sailmaking—no Kevlar here. Details and applications are available online at www.picton-castle.com. The worldvoyaging barque Picton Castle is planning an April 2022 start to its next circumnavigation, crewed by both professional

Port Auxiliary Service and Marine Services Division, she was purchased by the Maritime Trust for Preservation and restored to her original appearance, displayed first in Great Yarmouth and later at St. Katharine Docks, London. By 2000 her condition had deteriorated to the point where the public was not allowed on board. The Lydia Eva and Mincarlo Trust, the vessel’s present owners, secured a Heritage Lottery Fund grant of £839,000 (about $1.2 million) and raised additional funds to pay for a complete restoration with a price tag of over £1 million (about $1.4 million). The trust oversees both the Lydia Eva and the sidewinder Mincarlo, the last surviving fishing vessel built in Lowestoft with an engine made in that town. The two vessels are maintained as museum ships representing East Anglia’s fishing heritage. (www.lydiaevamincarlo.com) … SEA HISTORY 177, WINTER 2021–22


other obstacles to support Allied amphibious landings, and the subsequent fallen maritime commandos who have provided this type of support. Special Operator Chief Michael Meoli, USN (SEAL) (Ret.), designed the installation—panels bearing a chronology of the SEAL Teams, the SEAL Code, and portions of the Navy Seal Ethos. Meoli coordinated the monument’s construction, with funding and advice from the National Navy UDT-SEAL Museum. The museum’s executive director, retired Navy Seal Grant Mann, said that “The National Navy UDT-SEAL Museum is extremely proud to support and fund this

noaa nms

The Wisconsin Shipwreck Coast National Marine Sanctuary

Management of the newest National Marine Sanctuary will be handled jointly by NOAA and the state of Wisconsin. Governor Tony Evers stated, “The designation builds on 30 years of maritime heritage preservation by the State of Wisconsin and will create exciting new opportunities in education, recreation, and tourism in our coastal communities.” The WSCNMS is the 15th National Marine Sanctuary and the second in the Great Lakes (the other is the Thunder Bay NMS in Alpena, MI). It was nominated by a diverse coalition of organizations and individuals at local, state, regional, and national levels, included elected officials, historical societies, businesses, museums, and environmental, recreational, conservation, tourism and educational groups. (https://sanctuaries.noaa. gov/wisconsin/) … A new monument commemorating the fallen members of the US Navy’s Underwater Demolition Teams was dedicated in San Diego on 27 August. The monument serves to honor the servicemen whose jobs it was to swim into enemy waters to destroy explosives and

national navy udt-seal museum

On 22 June the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announced the designation of the Wisconsin Shipwreck Coast National Marine Sanctuary (WSCNMS). This 962square-mile parcel of Lake Michigan, encompassing a portion of the waters and submerged lands of the lake adjacent to Wisconsin counties Ozaukee, Sheboygan,

Manitowoc, and Kewaunee, contains 36 historically significant shipwrecks and related maritime heritage resources; 21 of these are on the National Register of Historic Places. Included among the sites are the wrecks of the schooner Gallinipper of 1833 and Home of 1843, Wisconsin’s oldest and second-oldest known shipwrecks to date. There are likely many more wrecks in the Sanctuary that haven’t been located or identified yet, according to archival research. The wrecks of Lake Michigan represent the span of vessels that sailed and steamed on its waters in the 19th and 20th centuries; many are in remarkable states of preservation attributed to the cold fresh water environment of Lake Michigan.

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bayshore center at bivalve

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monument and all that it represents. As the custodians of US Navy UDT-SEAL history, it is our mission and honor to be a part of this endeavor.” (National Navy UDT-SEAL Museum, 3300 N. Hwy. A1A, North Hutchinson Island, Fort Pierce, FL; www.navysealmuseum.org) … New Jersey’s official tall ship, A. J. Meerwald, operated by the Bayshore Center at Bivalve (BCB), is undergoing a comprehensive $1.35 million restoration. “The first two phases of the restoration were replacing the ship’s systems including the installation of a new engine and generator.

This was followed by replacement of the jib and foresail, rudder, propeller and new galley,” said executive director Brian Keenan. “The third and final phase will be replacing everything from the waterline up on the ship. After 25 years of sailing and 100,000 passengers, she is showing her age and in need of care.” The shipyard work is being conducted by Clark & Eisele Traditional Boatbuilding of Belfast, Maine; it is anticipated that the Meerwald will be able to return to New Jersey for the summer sailing season in June of next year. It is funded by a grant from the NJ Historic Trust of $535,000 and private donations; the group is working to raise an additional $200,000 to address the increases in material costs related to the pandemic. Commissioned by the Meerwald family, the ship was built by Charles H. Stowman & Sons in Dorchester, NJ, and launched on 7 September 1928. She was used as an oyster dredge until being commandeered by the Maritime Commission under the War Powers Act in 1942; she was outfitted as a fireboat in service of the Coast Guard. She was returned to the Meerwalds in 1947 and subsequently sold to Clyde A. Phillips. (continued on p. 50) SEA HISTORY 177, WINTER 2021–22


Captain’s Legacy Society Inaugural Scholarship Awarded

courtesy fuel

photo by bob wallace

In August, the Captain’s Legacy Society (CLS) awarded its first scholarship to 26-year-old Chandler Biggs of Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, through which she was able to embark on an eight-week sailing apprenticeship aboard the schooner Shenandoah. The CLS aims to connect inexperienced sailors with traditional sailing ships for an underway, full-time working experience. The primary goal of CLS is to provide a character-building, life-changing experience via the rigors, individual challenges, and teambuilding that occurs naturally when part of a traditional sailing ship crew. It is the added hope of the CLS board that this experience might spark the beginning of a maritime career. Founded to honor the late Capt. Bert Rogers, the Captain’s Legacy Society is a nonprofit organization based in Wickford, Rhode Island. Bert Rogers was the executive direcShenandoah tor of Tall Ships America and former executive director of Ocean Classroom Foundation, after many years sailing both before the mast and in command. His entire adult life was dedicated to the seagoing experience—first his own aboard the world-voyaging brigantine Romance, and then as a mentor and supporter of both young would-be seafarers and professional sailing ship crewmembers. Originally from Southern California, Chandler Biggs had no previous sailing experience but was interested in working aboard Shenandoah, owned and operated by the Foundation for Underway Experiential Learning (FUEL), based out of Martha’s Vineyard. CLS funding enabled Chandler to embark on an extended live-aboard experience sailing as an apprentice beginning in August 2021. Chandler gained hands-on experience working alongside the professional crew and FUEL co-founders, Captains Casey Blum and Ian Ridgeway. Stories Chandler shared as her two-month stint was drawing to a close were exactly what the CLS board had hoped to hear: hard work; thrilling sails; chores, chores, and more chores; laying aloft; furling topsails and headsails; quiet anchorages; steering the ship; coastal navigation; night watch; being part of a team; sore hands; and becoming in tune with the elements. Her experience was so positive that she signed on Chandler Biggs standing by to come about. for an additional four weeks, during which time the vessel was down-rigged for the winter. Given the glowing feedback from both Chandler and her captain and FUEL’s co-founders, CLS augmented her scholarship to cover this valuable experience. Chandler has completed her term aboard Shenandoah with a sea-time letter in hand, which will be the first step toward a licensing goal should she choose to pursue a maritime career. Chandler reports she has been “bitten by the schooner bug,” and she is already looking forward to her next underway opportunity. Interested in applying to CLS or having your vessel be considered for CLS scholarship recipients? Please visit the organization’s website for details on eligibility. Individuals must be at least 18 years of age and have the desire to rise to the challenge of a potentially intense, life-changing, seafaring experience. Preference will be given to those seeking experiences onboard ships conducting longterm passages at sea, but shorter, sailing-intensive traditional vessel operations will also be considered. Vessels hosting a CLS-funded apprentice must be in good standing with Tall Ships America or a reputable recognized member of the traditional sail community. The Captain’s Legacy Society welcomes donations to help get more young people onboard sailing ships in the coming months and years. Information on how to donate is available online at www.captainslegacysociety.org. For more about Capt. Bert Rogers, visit www.seahistory.org/fair-winds-bert-rogers/. —Dona Giglio, Executive Director, Captain’s Legacy Society

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SEA HISTORY 177, WINTER 2021–22

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Explore the decks of the last Destroyer Escort afloat in America. 518-431-1943 ussslater.org

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contrasting graphics and braille mounted on foam board to provide a layout of the museum, including doors, emergency exits, and openings between exhibits. The museum received financial support from the Southport Lions Club and the Friends of the Museum. The next planned step in the process of making the museum more accessible will be to create 3-D reproductions of artifacts in the collection with a goal of having at least one such reproduction per exhibit for hands-on interaction. (204 E Moore Street, Southport, NC; Ph. 910 477–5151; https://ncmaritimemuseumsouthport.com) … Pomham Rocks Lighthouse in Riverside, Rhode Island, welcomed back its Fresnel lens in September. The fourth-order lens (lenses are

photo by alex dias, pomham rocks lighthouse

(continued from p. 48) She was renamed after her new owner and returned to service as an oyster dredge. In 1959 she was sold again and then used as a clam dredge. By the 1980s she had been retired from her working career and was eventually donated to Bayshore Center at Bivalve in 1989. She was restored and rechristened A. J. Meerwald, and offers public sails, charter sails, and educational programs. (Bayshore Center at Bivalve, 2800 High Street, Port Norris, NJ; Ph. 856 785-2060; www.bayshorecenter.org) … Blind and low-vision visitors to the North Carolina Maritime Museum at Southport have an additional resource to access the facility—tactile maps. Introduced in September, the maps employ

Pomham Rocks Light’s Fresnel Lens classified from first order—largest—to sixth order—smallest) had been installed in the lighthouse to replace its original sixth-order lens in 1926. When the lighthouse was decommissioned in 1974, the lens was relocated to the Custom House Maritime Museum in Newburyport, Massachusetts, where it has been on display until recently. On 1 September, the lens was returned to the lighthouse and installed in the museum occupying the structure’s lower floors. The process of crating, transporting, and setting up the lens in its new setting was overseen by lampist Kurt Fosburg, one of the five USCG-certified lampists in the United States. The forty-foot-tall Pomham Rocks was one of three lighthouses on the Providence River approved by Congress in 1870, along with Sassafras Point and Fuller Rock. It was manned by civilian keepers until the Coast Guard assumed keepers’ duties, and electricity was brought to the island site via a cable from shore. In 1974 the navigational light was relocated to an adjacent skeleton tower and the lighthouse was decommissioned; its Fresnel lens was transferred to the Custom House Maritime Museum for display. Mobil (later Exxon Mobil Corp.) purchased the property, and in 2010 ownership was transferred to the American Lighthouse Foundation. The Friends of the Pomham Rocks Lighthouse restored the site and opened the museum inside the lighthouse to the public in 2018. (PO Box 15121, Riverside, RI 02915; www.pomhamrockslighthouse.org) SEA HISTORY 177, WINTER 2021–22


Reviews

Sailing to Freedom: Maritime Dimensions of the Underground Railroad, edited by Timothy D. Walker (University of Massachusetts Press, Amherst, MA, 2021, 248pp, illus, maps, notes, index, isbn 9781-62534-592-9, $27.95pb) When people think of enslaved people escaping to Northern states prior to the Civil War, many likely imagine an elaborate network of operatives guiding fugitives along treacherous overland routes. Sailing to Freedom challenges and complicates these assumptions, arguing persuasively that coastal waterways, sea routes, and maritime networks were vital aids to escape (especially from coastal states in the Deep South), and that many escapes occurred without outside help or organization from Underground Railroad operatives. Sailing to Freedom focuses on two key issues: the relative frequency of saltwater vs. terrestrial escapes to the North, and the extent of unaided escapes as opposed to premeditated, organized escapes aided by Underground Railroad operatives. To discuss these issues, the volume is organized geographically: nine chapters focus on Atlantic seaboard states from South Carolina up to New England, while a tenth chapter summarizes early findings derived from the Freedom on the Move digital database of runaway slave advertisements from around the country. The volume’s primary strengths are its outstanding scholarship and excellent writing. Dr. Walker’s introduction clearly positions the volume within extant scholarship on the Underground Railroad and African American maritime activity in early America. Other scholars contribute strong chapters to the volume. Michael D. Thompson focuses on South Carolina and Charleston; David S. Cecelski examines coastal North Carolina; Cassandra Newby-Alexander writes about Virginia with a special focus on Hampton Roads and Norfolk; Cheryl Janifer LaRoche discusses Maryland and Chesapeake Bay; Mirelle Luecke examines New York City as a fugitive destination; Elysa Engelman discusses fugitives arriving SEA HISTORY 177, WINTER 2021–22

in coastal Eastern Connecticut; Kathryn Grover writes about self-emancipated individuals in Eastern Massachusetts; and Len Travers discusses the experiences of African Americans in the whaling port of New Bedford, Massachusetts, between 1838 and 1845. The volume concludes with Megan Jeffreys’s analysis of data in the Freedom on the Move online database. Because the volume strives to compare terrestrial and waterborne escapes to the North, the volume (as its editor admits) does need to leave out the discussion of escapes from southern Florida and Gulf Coast states. This is one subject that future scholars will hopefully address. Additionally, because the book accommodates individual scholars’ areas of expertise, the chapters can look at dissimilar time periods from the late eighteenth century to the eve of the Civil War, rather than a single historical range. This is not a problem, however. The book argues compellingly and persuasively for the importance—and in some cases, the primacy—of waterborne routes to escapes, the frequency of unpremeditated and unorganized escapes, and the work of untold numbers of people to emancipate themselves. This is an invaluable historical study that is written accessibly for the general reader and college students, and which will prove valuable to scholars for many years to come. David Anderson, PhD Louisville, Kentucky Defending the Arteries of Rebellion: Confederate Naval Operations in the Mississippi River Valley, 1861–1865 by Neil P. Chatelain (Savas Beatie, El Dorado Hills, CA, illus, gloss, biblio, index, notes, isbn 978-1-61121-510-6; $32.95hc) From the first days of the Civil War, the Mississippi River loomed as an important commercial artery for both the North and South. Since the river split the territory of the Confederacy, one of the main

Union strategic objectives called for the seizure of this important maritime thoroughfare, and the Confederate leadership understood it was crucial to defend it. Neil Chatelain’s Defending the Arteries of Rebellion scrutinizes the efforts made by both sides to control this waterway and its tributaries. Chatelain sets out to explore four important issues. He appraises the Confederate navy’s efforts to create a military presence to defend the Mississippi River and its tributaries, and assesses the naval battles that ensued as the Union navy actively pursued control of the river. He also considers the final operations of the war and, lastly, reviews the actions and activity during the war on the lesser streams. Throughout, he illustrates how the Confederacy used a triad of defensive measures to protect this region—small gunboats, fortifications, and torpedoes. This defensive model became less effective as the Union navy brought more force to bear—with the exception of the torpedo (more like a modernday mine), which developed into a dangerous and effective weapon.

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Chatelain’s narrative begins in February 1861, just after the formation of the Confederate States of America. After cobbling limited resources together, by early 1862 the Confederate defenses and naval forces from Head of Passes, Louisiana, northward to Columbus, Kentucky, were, according to the author, only improvised and crude. The Union navy began its early pressure on the Confederates by advancing southward down the river and winning some early victories. The Confederates experienced one of the foibles of this geographic feature, that the Mississippi River’s great length made it problematic to defend. With only a hodgepodge force of weakly armed, converted merchant ships and hastily built warships, limited logistical resources, as well as insufficient fortifications, the Confederacy was hard-pressed to adequately defend this vast waterway. Nowhere do these shortcomings become clearer than at New Orleans. A move

up the Mississippi River began the Union’s strategy of pressuring the Confederates from both ends of the river. The nautical defenses of New Orleans also included maritime assets of the Confederate army. The army’s River Defense Fleet competed with the needs of the navy, divided the defensive efforts and split the commands and their often-competing objectives. Additionally, the state of Louisiana vied for supplies and resources with the Confederate defensive efforts by creating its own navy. The Battle of New Orleans in April 1862 was a swift and complete Union victory, making it clear that the South’s divided command, flawed conversion efforts, and limited resources could not effectively stop the Union navy’s advance. The Confederates’ lightly armed merchant vessels proved no match for the heavily armed naval vessels they fought against. Also, the civilians that manned the army warships were less than dependable to take

the fight to the enemy. The Union strategy of forcing its way up the river denied the Confederates the time they needed to build a creditable defensive naval force. Later in the war, after the capture of Vicksburg, only the lower Mississippi and the state of Louisiana remained in play. On a map, this area, with its scores of interior rivers, lesser waterways, and bayous looks like a giant spider’s web. These bodies of water allowed access throughout much of Louisiana for the powerful Union navy, and by late 1864 the Red River Campaign showed that the South had little that could impede any Union movement. The Confederates did enjoy some successes during the war, but these were few compared to the many failures. Chatelain demonstrates that the Confederate navy was ultimately too weak to do anything but support the static fortifications and mobile armies. Given the lack of overall success, the author questions resource allocations and whether the Confederacy might have realized more success by efforts to improve the railroads rather than using the iron to construct ironclads. He assigns

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Confederate failure mainly to poor decisionmaking, a disorganized chain of command, a scarcity of resources, and a lack of time. This book is well-written and researched. Its engaging tale illustrates well the difficulties and hard decisions that the overmatched Confederate forces had to make to contend against the juggernaut Union navy. This is a useful contribution to the Civil War’s literature, and anyone interested in the Western Theatre should consult it for information concerning naval operations along the Mississippi River. Robert Browning, PhD Roxboro, North Carolina Sailor Song: The Shanties and Ballads of the High Seas by Gerry Smyth (University of Washington Press, Seattle, 2020, illus, gloss, notes, 160pp, isbn 978-0-29574728-6; $19.95hc) This brief volume provides a useful introduction to those common songs of the sea: shanties (songs sung to coordinate work) and forebitters (songs sung for pleasure). There are about fifty songs published in the book, all with musical notation. In most cases, the printed music represents a relatively simplified version of the original tune, and in all cases it is transcribed to C major to make it easier for those who are starting on an instrument (concertina, in this reviewer’s case) to play each piece. And, as the author points out, today one can easily find many versions of any particular shanty online—so providing the musical notation here is less critical than in the past. In some instances, several or even many verses have been cut for space, but this volume does not pretend to be a replacement for a more complete work about shanties. Smyth writes that his book “is intended to be indicative rather than comprehensive.” As the author notes, one should turn to works by Stan Hugill, William Doerflinger, Joanna Colcord, or others who collected shanties and lyrics from those who used these songs at sea. Smyth’s goal, rather than presenting a comprehensive history of shanties, is, he writes, “to provide singable versions of some of the shanties and sea songs that have survived into the present.” (To be clear, given the oral nature of most shanty singing, the age of collecting “traditional” shanties is long past, and the SEA HISTORY 177, WINTER 2021–22

works of Hugill, Colcord, Doerflinger, W. B. Whall, and others, are as complete as we’ll get in those areas. Neither Smyth nor any other contemporary researcher will likely uncover previously unknown collections of shanties.) Smyth provides more than just the lyrics and melodies—he starts with a useful introduction to shanties by way of capstan and halyard chants, with a range of interesting illustrations from the 19th and early 20th centuries. The volume also contains many original illustrations by Jonny Hannah; the combination of new and old illustrations, along with additional design work on endpapers and on essay pages, make for a beautiful, though small, volume overall. While the selected shanties and ballads are a treat and overall serve as a useful introduction to the genre, the ten brief essays on a range of relevant subjects provide insights that are certainly worth further exploration. For example, in “Collectors and Editors,” Smyth nicely outlines the historiography of shanties: after identifying some of the most meaningful col-

lectors of sea music from those who had lived and worked during the Age of Sail, he questions the importance of “folk” music, particularly its initial view that “the old way” was inherently better. He continues this discussion much later in the volume. In “Folk or Fake” the author provides an interesting look into what it means for any given historical topic to be “folk,” and how that impacts shanties in particular. Given their occasional and improvisational nature, it is quite strange to celebrate recording (either in print or aurally), and then publishing, shanty lyrics and musical notation. Unlike, say, opera, most 19th-century shanty singers would likely be appalled at the idea that people in the future would want to save and share this music. For each song that Smyth includes, he provides some useful background about the song itself, along with the simplified and transcribed musical notation, and representative verses. He writes that one shanty “is resistant to any strict time signature,” and describes how prior scholars tried to represent that song in writing—plus the

Over 120,000 Vessels Online @ internationalmaritimelibrary.org This list is mostly compiled from the “List of Merchant Vessels of the United States” and several other annuals, including foreign ones. Other sources have also been used to expand the information included. This list not only includes American vessels, but also foreign ones, whether commercial, yachts, warships, sail, power, unrigged and some not documented. Frequently updated. 53


manner in which he imagines it was most likely sung. His discussion of the wellknown song “South Australia” is perhaps the best example of the wide range of impact and discussion among shanties: Smyth writes that, “Like life itself, the shanty is both/and, rather than either/or.” This wellknown song was used as both a forebitter and as a shanty; it uses the terms “heave” and “haul,” which Hugill explained were generally not mixed in a shanty. This can be found in versions by both Hugill and The Pogues, which makes for two very different interpretations. Though it describes a voyage to Australia, ships on the Australian trade actually did not use shanties much. Despite the song’s title, variations of the tune cite numerous destinations; etc., etc.

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The volume concludes with a glossary, further reading (and listening), and footnotes, but no index. The table of contents does list the shanties and forebitters included in the volume. As an introduction to shanties, this slim volume packs a punch. It provides easy access to the songs but doesn’t shy away from some of the problematic issues associated with them. Overall, it’s a great introduction and also a valuable addition to any collection about shanties. Peter McCracken Ithaca, New York A Race for Real Sailors: The Bluenose and the International Fishermen’s Cup, 1920–1938 by Keith McLaren (Douglas & McIntyre, Madeira Park, British Columbia, Canada, 2021 (paperback edition), 250pp, illus, maps, appen, gloss, biblio, index, isbn 978-1-77162-267-7; $32.95pb) Schooner racing involving “real” sailors off the Massachusetts coast goes back to at least 1886. These were seriously competitive events, with prize money and even a cup donated by none other than Sir Thomas Lipton for the 1907 races. During the summer of 1920, the reluctance of America’s Cup competitors to sail in winds in excess of twenty knots inspired the Canadians to stage “a race for real sailors.” They issued a challenge to their New England rivals, initiating the first international races between working fishing schooners, and this is where author-mariner Keith McLaren takes up the story. The organizers held an elimination race, which was won by the Nova Scotia schooner Delawana. Gloucester’s Esperanto returned from the fishing banks just in time to be turned around and sent to Halifax to represent the Americans in the first International Fishermen’s Cup Race—which she duly won, 2 to 0 over Delawana. The Canadians were not amused, setting the stage for the design and construction of the legendary Bluenose. Bluenose promptly dispatched three American challengers in a row: Elsie in 1921, Henry Ford in 1922, and Columbia in 1923. Over the years the series grew increasingly acrimonious, in part due to the irascible personality of Bluenose’s skipper, Angus Walters, and in part due to the tendency of both camps to try and fiddle

the rules in their favor. Races were suspended for a few years and did not resume until 1930, when Louis A. Thebaud, a wealthy New Yorker with a summer place in Gloucester, revived the races when he put up a good part of the money to build the Gertrude L. Thebaud. While the new schooner did meet the eligibility requirements by actually fishing on the Grand Banks, the Thebaud was designed with one purpose in mind: beat Bluenose. Bluenose came down from Nova Scotia in 1930 and was duly defeated. The next year, Bluenose reclaimed the cup off Halifax, but by the next year the Great Depression got everybody focused on making a living; racing was out of the question until the crisis was over. In 1938 Bluenose returned to New England and eventually won the series 3 to 2, but it would be the end of international schooner racing between these rivals. War and rapidly changing nautical technology doomed the races forever. McLaren covers all this in grand style. In addition to his use of primary sources, he had access to several of the old Gloucester skippers and Essex shipbuilders for background information nowhere on paper. Themes running through the book are worth mentioning. One is that, as all sailors know, a good big boat will beat a good smaller boat almost every time—Bluenose was larger than all of the schooners she defeated. Second is that the races, initiated by working fishermen, prolonged the life of the Grand Banks schooner simply by creating so much excitement and getting their respective communities deeply invested in the outcome. Neither Columbia (1923) nor Gertrude L. Thebaud (1930) would have been built were it not for the races, and neither were particularly successful fishermen. Things of beauty, to be sure, but beauty of the past. Charles A. Seavey, PhD Rockport, Massachusetts Mediterranean Naval Battles That Changed the World by Quentin Russell (Pen & Sword Maritime, Barnsley, 2021, 256pp, illus, biblio, isbn 978-1-52671-6019; $42.95hc) The Mediterranean Sea has long been a nexus of commerce, culture, and technology. It has also been a nexus of conflict, SEA HISTORY 177, WINTER 2021–22


often shown in grand naval clashes. Some have been so grand as to shape the very course of history, and these engagements make up Quentin Russell’s Mediterranean Naval Battles That Changed the World. A historian and documentary producer, Russell takes a look at eight battles and their impact on history. Each chapter begins by establishing a chosen battle’s broader context, introducing leading figures, motivations, and stakes. A description of the technology and tactics at play sets up the author’s analysis of the specific battle and its outcome. Well-chosen illustrations and maps accompany each discussion. The eight battles examined in the book span 2,500 years. Most of the author’s selections are obvious, such as Actium and Lepanto; however, Russell steps outside conventional thought in some of his choices, as with the Battle of the Nile. Though its importance is not in dispute, most historians consider Trafalgar as the decisive naval battle of the Napoleonic Wars. For this author, British victory at the Nile prevented what could have been Napoleon’s stranglehold over the Near East. While this may be ripe for debate, it is refreshing to see an author veer from orthodoxy. Russell uses some of these battles to set an overarching theme. For example, the author sets his chapter on Navarino as the twilight of the Age of Sail. He places special focus on the Kartería, an English-built and steam-powered Greek warship command-

ed by British captain Frank Hastings. Firing red-hot cannon rounds, the Kartería scorched and shattered through the Turkish fleet. Not reliant upon sail, the Greek steamship traveled with comparative ease. These technical advantages contrasted with the cumbersome maneuvers by large frigates that took part in Navarino’s key battle. Though spectacular in its scale, Navarino serves more as the sailing ship’s final hurrah than as the stepping stone for Greek independence. Limiting coverage to eight battles is bound to have major omissions, and readers will surely have their own selections they think should have been included. Russell skips the entirety of Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, for example. These omissions are all the more disappointing as he notes this period’s key engagements in his opening, where he mentions the Battle of the Masts in 654, an Arab victory that ended Byzantine dominion over the Eastern Mediterranean. Surely this battle, which opened so much of the Middle Sea to Islamic navies, bears examination. In all, Quentin Russell has given us a well-written and informative book that is accessible to any student of naval history. Mediterranean Naval Battles That Changed the World is a fine survey of the major engagements that shaped a critical region and, in turn, the wider world. Andrew Montiveo Pico Rivera, California

OWNER’S STATEMENT: Statement filed 10/26/21 required by the Act of Aug. 12, 1970, Sec. 3685, Title 39, US Code: Sea History is published quarterly at 1000 N. Division Street Suite 4, Peekskill NY 10566; minimum subscription price is $27.50. Publisher and editor-in-chief: None; Editor is Deirdre E. O’Regan; owner is National Maritime Historical Society, a non-profit corporation; all are located at 1000 N. Division Street, Suite 4, Peekskill NY 10566. During the 12 months preceding October 2021 the average number of (A) copies printed each issue was 11,177; (B) paid and/or requested circulation was: (1) outside county mail subscriptions 6,187; (2) in-county subscriptions 0; (3) sales through dealers, carriers, counter sales, other non-USPS paid distribution 3,563; (4) other classes mailed through USPS 455; (C) total paid and/or requested circulation was 10,205; (D) free distribution by mail, samples, complimentary and other 574; (E) free distribution outside the mails 321; (F) total free distribution was 895; (G) total distribution 11,100; (H) copies not distributed 127; (I) total [of 15G and H] 11,227; (J) Percentage paid and/or requested circulation 92%. The actual numbers for the single issue preceding October 2021 are: (A) total number printed 10,458; (B) paid and/or requested circulation was: (1) outside-county mail subscriptions 6,028; (2) in-county subscriptions 0; (3) sales through dealers, carriers, counter sales, other nonUSPS paid distribution 3,503; (4) other classes mailed through USPS 340; (C) total paid and/or requested circulation was 9,871; (D) free distribution by mail, samples, complimentary and other 154; (E) free distribution outside the mails 375; (F) total free distribution was 529; (G) total distribution 10,400; (H) copies not distributed 58; (I) total [of 15G and H] 10,458 (J) Percentage paid and/or requested circulation 95%. I certify that the above statements are correct and complete. (signed) Burchenal Green, Executive Director, National Maritime Historical Society.

SEA HISTORY 177, WINTER 2021–22

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NATIONAL MARITIME HISTORICAL SOCIETY AFTERGUARD J. Aron Charitable Foundation, Inc. The Artina Group Matt Brooks & Pam Rorke Levy CACI International, Inc. Caddell Dry Dock & Repair Co. George W. Carmany III In Memory of James J. Coleman Jr. Christopher J. Culver Brian D’Isernia Eckert Trust Henry L. & Grace Doherty Charitable Foundation In Memory of Ignatius Galgan ADM & Mrs. Jay L. Johnson, USN (Ret.) Arthur M. Kimberly Trust VADM Al Konetzni Jr., USN (Ret.) In Memory of H. F. Lenfest Richardo R. Lopes Guy E. C. Maitland McAllister Towing & Transportation Co. Ronald L. Oswald ADM Robert J. Papp Jr., USCG (Ret.) Estate of Walter J. Pettit Sr. The Pollin Group, LLC In Memory of Capt. Joseph Ramsey, USMM In Memory of Charles A. Robertson Dr. Timothy J. Runyan The Schoonmaker Foundation In Memory of Howard Slotnick Capt. Cesare Sorio John & Anne Stobart David & Beverly Verdier William H. White Jean Wort BENEFACTORS ARS Investment Partners Richard T. du Moulin David S. 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Phillips Mr. & Mrs. Norman H. Plummer Jennifer N. Pritzker CAPT Wes Pulver, USCG (Ret.) Andrew A. Radel In Memory of Bert Rogers Richard M. Rosenberg Capt. Carlos A. Rosende Marjorie B. Shorrock Edmund Sommer III Robert W. Spell Patricia Steele Diane & Van Swearingin Thomas Howard Townsend Steven J. Traut Jack & Carol Ullman William Van Loo Carol Vinall Vicki Voge Lee P. Washburn Thomas Wayne Daniel Whalen George C. White Barbara B. Wing PATRONS Benjamin Ackerly Edwin L. Adler Peter Anderson Silas Anthony Jr. Robert Baly Ernest T. Bartol Steve B. Batterman W. Frank Bohlen Margaret Brandon Jerry M. Brown Theodore Bull Henry S. Burgess In Memory of Joseph Anthony Cahill Elliot Carlson Judith L. Carmany Mark G. Cerel James M. Clark Jr. Dr. Gerard J. Clifford Jr. John C. Couch Jack Creighton Morgan Daly Robert Ian Danic Ms. Joan M. Davenport William A. Davidson Jeannie Davis Mr. & Mrs. Philip C. DiGiovanni George Dow Michael F. Dugan Reynolds duPont Jr. Jacqueline Eldridge William V. Engel Ken Ewell James J. Foley Jr. HMC Philip E. Galluccio, USN (Ret.) Peter C. & Kathy R. Gentry Capt. Dwight Gertz Susan Gibbs James R. Gifford Celeste Anne Goethe Leander McCormick Goodhart Arthur Graham Herbert E. Greenbacker Richard J. Greene Ray Guinta John Gummere T. Morris Hackney Robert M. Hall CAPT Roger P. Hartgen, USCG (Ret.) Dr. David Hayes Nathan L. & Helen Hazen Samuel Heed J. Callender Heminway CAPT J. W. Hetherington, USNR (Ret.) Michael Howell Judge Lynn N. Hughes Steven A. Hyman Marius Ilario MD Andrew MacAoidh Jergens Niels M. Johnsen Horace Jordan Henry Kaminski Robert F. Kamm Robert C. Kennedy Jr. James L. Kerr James & Barbara Kerr. MAJ James A. Killian, USAR (Ret.) Mr. & Mrs. Chester W. Kitchings Jr. CAPT John Kirkland, USCG (Ret.) R. Joyce Kodis Peter R. La Dow David R. Lamb John L. Langill Robert Lindmark Louis & Linda Liotti John L. Lockwood George C. Lodge Jr. James L. Long Douglas & Diane Maass Lawrence Manson Marchant Maritime Maritime Heritage Prints Diana Q. Mautz William McCready Kevin C. & JoAnn McDermott Alan R. McKie Dr. Arthur M. Mellor Glenn L. Metzger Vincent Miles Mineral Springs Farm Robert Miorelli Michael G. Moore Thomas A. Moran Walter N. Morosky Jr. John Mulvihill Robert A. Neithercott Edwin Neff Jr. Randy Nichols Chris O’Brien James T. O’Donnell Alan O’Grady Patrick Onions Jeffery Opper Christopher Otorowski Roger Ottenbach Wes Paisley William L. Palmer Jr. Michael Palmieri Richard G. Pelley John C. Perry Andrew Pesek Alan D. Peterson Carl A. Pirolli Hon. S. Jay Plager Peter B. Poulsen Dennis & Leslie Power Stuart Pratt David Prohaska Mr. & Mrs. John Randall CAPT Michael J. Rauworth, USCG (Ret.) Phineas Reeves Albert Reynolds Mr. & Mrs. William P. Rice CAPT W. E. Richardson, USN (Ret.) Reed Robertson Mr. & Mrs. Peter Roehsler Dr. Albert Roper William M. Rosen Sherwood A. Schartner Conrad Scheffer Greg Schlosberg Larry C. Schramm Howard Schutter CDR John E. Scott, USN (Ret.) Robert W. Scott Dr. James Seay Dean Douglas H. Sharp Mr. & Mrs. John R. Sherwood III Bill Skarich Richard Snowdon David T. Spell Jr. Lada Simek Chuck Steele David Stulb Marty Sutter Swimmer Family Trust Craig Swirbliss RADM Cindy Thebaud, USN (Ret.) Craig Thompson Charles Tobin Capt. John Torjusen Russell R. Tripp. Robert J. Tyd Sandra Ulbrich Capt. Harold Vanderploeg Robert Vincent Capt. Sam Volpentest Richard S. Wakefield Dana Wagner RADM Edward K. Walker Jr., USN (Ret.) Terry Walton Gerald Weinstein Roberta E. Weisbrod, PhD William U. Westerfield Blunt White Nathaniel S. Wilson William L. Womack Richard Woods In Memory of Woodson K. Woods James Zimmer CAPT Channing M. Zucker, USN (Ret.)

64

SEA HISTORY 175, SUMMER 2021


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Model Ships by Ray Guinta P.O. Box 74 Leonia, NJ 07605 201-461-5729 www.modelshipsbyrayguinta.com e-mail: raymondguinta@aol.com Experienced ship model maker who has been commissioned by the National Maritime Historical Society and the USS Intrepid Museum in NYC.

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The NATIONAL MARITIME HISTORICAL SOCIETY .

“The USS United States on Patrol” Patrick O’Brien is an award-winning artist, whose work has appeared on several Sea History covers. The print is a giclée, printed on high-quality art paper with archival inks. It is signed and numbered by the artist. The image size is 14” x 19” and the overall paper size is 18” x 24.”

$260 Shipping within the US included. A portion of each sale supports the National Maritime Historical Society.

To order, call 1-800-221-NMHS (6647), ext. 0. or visit our website at www.seahistory.org NYS residents add applicable sales tax. For international orders please contact Wendy Paggiotta at advertising@seahistory.org.