Model Boat Mayhem

Mess Deck: General Section => Chit-Chat => Topic started by: ardarossan on December 18, 2012, 07:43:05 AM

Title: This Day In 'Boating' History
Post by: ardarossan on December 18, 2012, 07:43:05 AM
I know that there are general 'This Day In History' websites, but not sure if there are any relating more specifically to Model-Boating and/or any other Marine, Maritime, Naval, or Nautical, dates of note.

So, let's run this up the flag-pole and see if anyone salutes... 

December 18th

On December 18, 1620, the British ship Mayflower docked at modern-day Plymouth, Massachusetts, and its passengers prepared to begin their new settlement, Plymouth Colony. (

In 1902, George Dewey, Admiral of the US Navy, receives orders to send his battleship to Trinidad and then to Venezuela to make sure that Great Britain's and Germany's dispute with Venezuela was settled by peaceful arbitration not force.

Steven Spielberg, director of the blockbuster movie 'Jaws' (1975), is born on this day in 1946 in Cincinnati, Ohio.

1965 - Helicopters from HS-11 on USS Wasp (CVS-18) pick up crew and capsule of Gemini 7, after picking up the crew and capsule of Gemini 6 two days earlier.
Title: Re: This Day In 'Boating' History
Post by: furball on December 19, 2012, 12:17:59 AM
December 19th, 1981.

The loss of the Penlee lifeboat, Solomon Browne, and the MV Union Star, with all crew. R.I.P.

Title: Re: This Day In 'Boating' History
Post by: TailUK on December 19, 2012, 10:32:10 AM
19th Dec, 1972; Aircraft carrier USS Ticonderoga recovers the crew of Apollo 17 (Cernan, Evans and Schmitt), the last manned mission to the moon.
Title: Re: This Day In 'Boating' History
Post by: ardarossan on December 19, 2012, 07:59:39 PM
December 19th, 1981.

The loss of the Penlee lifeboat, Solomon Browne, and the MV Union Star, with all crew. R.I.P.


I'm glad that you found this as, having just re-read the story on Wikipaedia, I've learned more about it than I remember or ever realised, and given me the chance to reflect for a moment. (

I also found another significant event which occurred on this day in 1941.
Human torpedoes of Italian Decima Flottiglia MAS in Alexandria placed 'Limpet mines' which severely damaged the HMS Valiant and HMS Queen Elizabeth in Alexandria harbour.

An interesting story and also worthy of a moment's reflection for the casualties.


Note: The reply and images below and copied directly from the post by Rotweiller on December 22, 2011, 01:22:11 in the specific PENLEE LIFEBOAT DISASTER thread:
Here is a photo of the Flagstaff, made from a piece of the wreckage of the Lifeboat, Dedicated to the Lost Crew of the Solomon Browne. Also of the memorial plaque,placed under the Flag.  These are placed in a quiet part of Truro Cathedral,  enter through the Great Door, and turn to the right.My apologies for the poor quality of the Photos (

( (
Title: Re: This Day In 'Boating' History - Arctic Convoy Veterans Medal
Post by: ardarossan on December 19, 2012, 11:20:44 PM
2012 - PM David Cameron announced today that Veterans of the Arctic convoys, which supplied  vital fuel, food and munitions to Russia during the second world war, are finally to be awarded their own star medal after 67 years of campaigning for proper recognition of their bravery.

Apparently, more than 3,000 seamen were killed during 78 convoys that delivered 4m tons of cargo. Eight-five merchant ships and 16 Royal Navy vessels were destroyed. It is thought 66,500 men sailed on the convoys, of which just 200 are alive today.

Title: Re: This Day In 'Boating' History
Post by: Peter Fitness on December 20, 2012, 12:36:29 AM
It never ceases to astound me how long governments take to react to situations such as the one adross mentions. The bravery of the seamen on the Arctic convoys has been well documented, and I'm dumbfounded to learn that there has been no official recognition. I suppose it's better late than never.

Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - Stolen ship's bell 'found' at scrap yard
Post by: ardarossan on December 20, 2012, 02:04:49 PM
2010 - A 100-year-old bronze bell, weighing about half-a-tonne and standing one-metre tall, from the light-house ship Carpentaria was 'found' at a Brisbane scrap metal yard following it's disappeance from the Queensland Maritime Museum at South Bank a few days earlier.

Although it had been lovingly restored by volunteers over the past year, a museum spokesman said the scrap yard claimed they purchased it from an agent and the bell was destined to be cut up and melted for scrap. (

Title: Re: This Day In 'Boating' History
Post by: Capt Podge on December 20, 2012, 02:09:28 PM
Wednesday, 20th December 1939   'SS Mars' (1,877t) a Swedish ship, en route from Kopmaholnen to London was mined and sank off Whitley Bay at 55°03'48"N - 01°23'59"W in 90ft of water. Nine survivors of the 'Mars' were landed at North Shields at 16.30. Four of the crew members were injured and were taken to the Royal Jubilee Hospital, Tynemouth.
Title: Re: This Day In 'Boating' History
Post by: dave301bounty on December 20, 2012, 02:47:19 PM
I n reply to the men of the Russian Convoys ,I meet over the years at the Pier head ,and from 9 men who were on the convoys ,last year there was only one ,but last year the meeting was large and a lot of people are asking a lot more ,which is a nice thing to know ,after all this time .but dont mention that scrap thing at woodside .
Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - Worst Peace-time Maritime Disaster
Post by: ardarossan on December 20, 2012, 07:21:38 PM
According to Jules Verne's classic adventure novel 'Around the World in 80 Days', December 20th 1872 is the date that Phileas Fogg of London, with his French valet Passepartout, completes the task set by his friends at the Reform Club, of circumnavigating the globe in 80 days or less.

Clearance of Suez Canal for mines and unexploded ordnance was completed by a Joint Task Force in 1974.

During the night of December 20, 1987 while most of the passengers slept, the Philippine-registered passenger ferry, Dońa Paz, sank after colliding with the MT Vector which was carrying 8,800 barrels of gasoline.
The impact started a fire on board the Vector which quickly spread to the Dońa Paz, as well as lighting the surrounding water on fire. The life jackets aboard the Dońa Paz were reportedly locked up, forcing passengers to jump into flaming shark-infested waters in order to attempt escape.
With an estimated death toll of 4,375 people, the collision resulted in the deadliest ferry disaster in history during peace time.  (
Title: Re: This Day In 'Boating' History
Post by: dave301bounty on December 20, 2012, 07:35:14 PM
sad one that .
Title: Re: This Day In 'Boating' History
Post by: ardarossan on December 21, 2012, 03:29:30 PM
On this day in 1762, British Explorer Captain James Cook marries Elizabeth Batts
HMS Beagle sails into Bay of Islands (New Zealand) in 1835.

In the United States of America, Congress authorised the Medal of Honor, the Nation's highest award, for Naval personnel in 1861
in 1872 HMS Challenger, under Captain George Nares, sails from Portsmouth. The Challenger expedition (named after the mother vessel) of 1872–76 was a scientific exercise that made many discoveries to lay the foundation of oceanography.

In 1925, a silent film directed by Sergei Eisenstein and produced by Mosfilm was first shown in Moscow. The film, "Battleship Potemkin", was a dramatised version of the mutiny that occurred in 1905 when the crew of the Russian battleship Potemkin rebelled against their officers of the Tsarist regime.

1941 German submarine U-567 sinks

1943 USS Grayling (SS-208) sinks fourth Japanese ship since 18 December.
1945 George S Patton, U.S. General (Sicily/Normandy), dies aged 60 having sustained injuries in a car crash near Mannheim, Germany twelve days earlier. He is buried among the soldiers who died in the Battle of the Bulge in Hamm, Luxembourg

1951 Sees the first helicopter landing aboard a hospital ship, USS Consolation.
In 1962, President Kennedy and British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan announced an agreement in which the US will sell Polaris missiles to the UK. Polaris, a two-stage solid-fuelled rocket system designed to be fired underwater from a submarine, carries a half-megaton nuclear warhead at a speed of 17,500 mph

in 1985, an environmental disaster occurs when the SS ARCO Anchorage runs aground , spilling thousands of barrels of crude oil near Port Angeles, WA (
Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - December 22nd
Post by: ardarossan on December 22, 2012, 06:09:48 AM
1775: A Continental naval fleet with 7 ships was organized in the rebellious American colonies under the command of Ezek Hopkins.

1810: British frigate HMS Minotaur, a 74-gun third-rate ship of the line of the Royal Navy, launched on 6 November 1793 at Woolwich was wrecked with the loss of 480 lives, when she struck the Haak Bank on the Texel off the Netherlands.

1841: In Philadelphia, the commissioning of USS Mississippi, the first U.S. ocean-going side-wheel steam warship.

1944: USS Swordfish (SS-193), a Sargo-class submarine, left Pearl Harbor for her thirteenth war patrol, in the vicinity of Nansei Shoto. In addition to her regular patrol, Swordfish was to conduct photographic reconnaissance of Okinawa, for preparation of the Okinawa Campaign

1946: German Hipper-class heavy cruiser 'Prinz Eugen' survived WW2, and was transferred to the US Navy as a war prize. After examination in the US, she was used for nuclear weapons tests in July 1946 before being towed to Kwajalein Atoll where she capsized and sank.

1963: The cruise-liner TSMS Lakonia caught fire and sank 180 miles north of Madeira with the loss of 128 lives.
Originally in service as the MS Johan van Oldenbarnevelt, sailing between Amsterdam and the East Indies, the Dutch-built vessel had also beren used as an allied troopship and as a pleasure cruiser, before she was sold to the General Steam Navigation Company of Greece. (

1988: Just before midnight, the tug Ocean Service collided with its tow, the barge Nestucca, while trying to replace a broken tow line off the coast of Washington, near Grays Harbor. The tug punctured a cargo tank, releasing an estimated 5500 barrels of the heavy marine fuel into the ocean, spreading 300 miles along the WA and BC coast.

1990: An Israeli ferry carrying 102 U.S. servicemen back to the aircraft carrier Saratoga after Christmas shore leave in Haifa, capsized and sank. 21 sailors perished.
Title: Re: This Day In 'Boating' History
Post by: Neil on December 22, 2012, 12:04:52 PM
Today in 1943 began a sea chase to equal that of the Sinking of the Bismark.
The Battle of the North Cape.........on this day after a two day conference with his admirals, Doenitz ordered the KMS Scharnhorst to set to sea from her fjordic lair in Norway to seek out and destroy a convoy heading for Murmansk in Russia.
She set sail on 22nd December 1943, but never made it, being sought out and attacked continuously by British forces, she succumbed to the icey waters of the Arctic off the North Cape with a loss of all but approximately 50 crewmen on Christmas Day, 1943
Title: Re: This Day In 'Boating' History
Post by: Capt Podge on December 22, 2012, 02:46:53 PM
Saturday, 23rd December 1939   'SS Pandora' renamed 'Dolphin' (4,580t) was heading for Blyth under tow to start her new career as a submarine accommodation ship for the submarine base at Blyth, when she struck a mine at 55°06'05"N - 01°27'09"W. Much of the wreck still remains and lies 19 metres of water.

Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - December 23rd
Post by: ardarossan on December 23, 2012, 06:51:58 AM
December 23

1524: Portuguese explorer, Vasco da Gama dies. One of the most celebrated explorers of the Discovery Age and commander of the first ships to sail directly from Europe to India. This achievement provided the Portuguese with unopposed access to the legendary Indian spice routes and allowed them to establish a colonial empire in Asia.

1919: The first ship designed to be used as an ambulance for the transport of sick & wounded naval personnel was launched. The hospital ship was named USS Relief and had 515 beds.

1937: First flight of the 'production version' Vickers Wellington 1 (Vickers Type 285). Designed as a twin-engine, long range medium bomber, it also served with Coastal Command in the Anti-Submarine role, and for Mine Clearence, by way of a 48ft degaussing ring fitted to the airframe.

1940: Papanikolis (Y-2), one of the most successful Greek submarines of WW2, sinks the Italian motor ship Antonietta, and on the very next day, the 3,952-ton troop carrier Firenze near Sazan Island.

1943: Field Marshal Bernard Law Montgomery was ordered back to Britain to take command of the 21st Army Group which comprised all of the ground forces assigned to the D-day invasion of Normandy.

1947: In what would be a major development for radio and other electronics, John Bardeen, Walter H. Brattain and William Shockley invented the transistor at Bell Laboratories in New Jersey. The trio would win the 1956 Nobel Prize in physics for their work.

1954: The classic movie, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, was released. The film was one of Walt Disney's most successful, starring Kirk Douglas and James Mason as Captain Nemo.

1964: Radio London, Britain's third major "pirate radio" station, begins broadcasting from MV Galaxy, a former American vessel used as a minesweeper in WW2.
Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - December 24th
Post by: ardarossan on December 24, 2012, 12:37:27 AM
1593: A severe storm hits Texel (the largest of the Dutch Wadden islands). When several ships broke free from their anchors and rammed into others, the resullts were disasterous. Almost 200 ships that night and around one thousand crew members drowned.

1777: Christmas Island was discovered by Captain James Cook on Christmas Eve 1777,  Kiritimati or Christmas Island, a Pacific Ocean raised coral atoll, is in the world's farthest forward time zone, andis one of the first inhabited places on Earth to experience the New Year each year.

1832: HMS Beagle anchors in Wigwam Bay at Cape Receiver
1861: British blockade runner 'Prince of Wales' is destroyed after being ran aground by the 'USS Gem of the Sea' off the coast at Georgetown, South Carolina.

1941: The first ships of Admiral Nagumo's Pearl Harbor fleet return to Japan

1944: The S.S. Leopoldville, was struck by a torpedo fired by U-486, a Type VIIC U-boat. The Belgian passenger liner converted to troopship was carrying 2235 men of the 66th Infantry Div from Southampton to Cherbourg. Several hundred of the troops were killed in the initial blast. Although tragically, a combination of errors, delays, oversights and communication problems eventually resulted in the death of several hundred more from injuries, drowning or hypothermia.

1988: North Sea oil production was dealt another blow just five months after the Piper Alpha disaster, when a giant floating storage vessel, the Medora, broke free of its moorings in gale-force winds.
The loss of the super-tanker led to the immediate shutdown of the Fulmar and Auk fields, operated by Shell, and the Clyde Field run by Britoil which is now run by BP.

2010: In a new deal, France is contracted to build two warships for Russia
Title: Re: This Day In 'Boating' History
Post by: Capt Podge on December 24, 2012, 12:51:06 AM
Wednesday, 24th December 1941  'SS Stanmount' (4,468t) tanker, London to the Humber, sunk by a mine off Great Yarmouth.
Title: Re: This Day In 'Boating' History
Post by: Capt Podge on December 24, 2012, 12:53:11 AM
(oops, nearly missed this one)
 Friday, 24th December 1943   'HM Harbour Defence Launch 1388' was wrecked off Hartlepool.
Title: Re: This Day In 'Boating' History
Post by: heritorasphodel on December 24, 2012, 01:06:27 AM
24th December 1925, the foreman in charge of building the new Lifeboat slipway at Porthdinllaen, Caernarvonshire, Mr T. A. Hooper, joined the crew on a service to the S.S. Matje of Hull. In a gale and heavy seas she had anchored but was being slowly dragged towards rocks. With the help of the lifeboat crew, some of whom were put aboard, the Matje was able to put into Porthdinllaen Bay. In recognition of his contributions on this and a previous service Mr Hooper was presented with an inscribed barometer.

Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - December 25th
Post by: ardarossan on December 24, 2012, 09:00:10 PM
December 25

1492: Columbus' ship Santa Maria docks at Dominican Republic

1642: Sir Isaac Newton, English mathematician and scientist who enunciated the laws of motion and the law of gravity.

1643: Christmas Island (Indian Ocean) founded and named by Captain William Mynors of the East India Ship Company vessel, the Royal Mary.

1758: Halley's comet first sighted by Johann Georg Palitzsch during it's return

1832: Charles Darwin celebrates Christmas in St. Martin at Cape Receiver
1833: Charles Darwin celebrates Christmas in Port Desire, Patagonia
1834: Charles Darwin celebrates Christmas on Beagle at Tres Montes, Chile
1835: Charles Darwin company celebrates Christmas in Pahia, New Zealand

1912: Italy lands troops in Albania to protect its interests during a revolt there.

1941: Japanese aircraft carriers Akagi/Kagu arrive back in Kure, Japan after the raid on Pearl Habour.

1941: Admiral Chester W. Nimitz arrives at Pearl Harbour to assume command of U.S. Pacific Fleet.

1959: Richard Starkey, 18, receives his first drum set. Within 7 years, Ringo is singing lead vocal on The Beatles 13th UK single release - Yellow Submarine. 

1969: 5 Israeli gunboats escape from Cherbourg harbor.

1976: The M/V Patra, originally built as the passenger ship Kronprins Frederik, sinks in Red Sea. Many of the estimated 450-475 people onboard, were pilgrims returning from Muslim holy sites of Mecca and Medina and Egyptian workers returning home with money and gifts for their families.
As the vessel sank, half a dozen passing ships came to their rescue, with the Russian tanker Lenino rescuing the captain and 201 of the survivors. 102 lives were lost.

1990: The first successful trial run of the system which would become the World Wide Web.

2011: The South Pole records its warmest temperature at -12.3 degrees Celsius at the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station
Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - December 26th
Post by: ardarossan on December 26, 2012, 01:07:01 AM
December 26

1773: Expulsion of tea ships from Philadelphia

1792: Charles Babbage, the English mathematician who perfected the calculating machine, is born.

1825: Erie Canal opens.

1862: 1st U.S. Navy hospital ship enters service.

1925: Six U.S. destroyers are ordered from Manila to China to protect interests in the civil war that is being waged there.

1943: German battle cruiser Scharnhorst severely damaged after being outgunned by HMS Duke of York, and is finished off by British destroyers in The Battle of North Cape. 1,803 were killed with just 36 survivors.

1965: Paul McCartney is interviewed on pirate radio station Radio Caroline.
Title: Re: This Day In 'Boating' History
Post by: Capt Podge on December 26, 2012, 03:04:51 PM
Friday, 26th December 1941   The Free French minesweeping trawler 'Henriette' was sunk by a mine off the Humber.
Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - December 27th
Post by: ardarossan on December 27, 2012, 04:25:41 AM
December 27

1703: The Methuen Treaty was signed between Portugal and England, giving preference to the import of Portuguese wines into England.

1777: Floating mines intended for use against British Fleet found in Delaware River.

1814: Destruction of schooner Carolina, the last of Commodore Daniel Patterson's make-shift fleet that fought a series of delaying actions that contributed to Andrew Jackson's victory at the Battle of New Orleans. After the loss, the naval guns were mounted on shore to continue the fight.

1831: HMS Beagle, with Charles Darwin on board, departs from Plymouth. It will eventually visit the Galapagos Islands where Darwin will form his theories on evolution.

1852: Heroine, a 250-tonne barque carrying emigrants bound for Port Philip, Australia, sank 3 or 4 miles off the coast from Lyme Regis after drifting helplessly in storm conditions for almost two days.
Tragically, although the entire complement of the Heroine survived (43 in total), four out of the five men who set out to assist the Heroine using an improvised lifeboat, were drowned when their pinnace was overwhelmed by the huge seas and overturned.

1904: James Barrie's play "Peter Pan" premieres in London, introducing the world to Never Never Land, the ticking Crocodile, and the dastardly Captain Hook.

1922: Japanese aircraft carrier Hosho becomes the first purpose built aircraft carrier to be commissioned in the world.

1943: Montgomery discusses Overlord with Eisenhower and Bedell Smith

1965: Britain's first off-shore drilling platform, the BP oil rig 'Sea Gem', capsized in the North Sea with the loss of 13 lives. The British cargo ship Baltrover happened to be passing and was first to spot the collapse of the Sea Gem at 1409GMT. It went to assist, sending a radio message to shore for further help.
A public inquiry into the sinking concluded metal fatigue in part of the suspension system linking the hull to the legs was to blame.

Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - December 28th
Post by: ardarossan on December 28, 2012, 04:02:33 PM
December 28

1655: Charles Cornwallis, First Lord of the British Admiralty, is born.

1778: HMS Cupid, A 14 cannon sloop-of-war, purchased in 1777, foundered off Newfoundland.

1905: Drydock Dewey left Solomon's Island, MD, enroute through the Suez Canal to the Philippines to serve as repair base. This, the longest towing job ever accomplished, was completed by Brutus, Caesar, and Glacier on 10 July 1906.

1917: The Liverpool pilot boat Alfred H. Read (below), a steamship built in 1913, struck a mine near the entrance to the Mersey and sank almost immediately. Of the forty-one men on board, only two were saved.


1944: U-735 (Type VIIC), was sunk in during a British air-raid in the Oslofjord near Horten, Norway. 39 were lost, with one survivor.

1945: U-680 (Type VIIC), surrendered on 5 May 1945 at Baring Bay, near Fredericia, Denmark and was transferred to Loch Ryan, Scotland for Operation Deadlight. She was sunk on 28 Dec 1945, by gunfire from the British destroyer HMS Onslaught.

1982: Recommissioning of USS New Jersey (BB-62), the first of four Iowa-class battleships that were returned to service in 1980s.

1990: USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71) and USS America (CV-66) Carrier Battle Groups deploy from Norfolk, VA, for Middle East to join Operation Desert Shield.

2011: Iran threatens to close down the key oil route of the Strait of Hormuz if Western nations impose more sanctions.
Title: Re: This Day In 'Boating' History
Post by: Capt Podge on December 29, 2012, 01:05:40 AM
Friday, 29th December 1939 
The crew of nine of the Grimsby trawler 'Reserche' were landed at Grimsby today. Their vessel was mined yesterday at 20.00, six miles SE of Flamborough Head.
Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - December 29th
Post by: ardarossan on December 29, 2012, 11:35:22 AM
December 29

1782: 1st nautical almanac in U.S. published by Samuel Stearns, Boston

1812: The USS Constitution captures the HMS Java off the coast of Brazil after a three hour battle.

1837: Canadian militiamen destroyed the Caroline, a U.S. steamboat docked at Buffalo, NY.

1860: HMS Warrior, the first British seagoing seagoing iron-hulled warship,was launched.

1891: Thomas Edison patents the "transmission of signals electrically", i.e. Radio.

1899: H.M.S. Magicienne detained the German Mail Steamer Bundesrat at Durban, amidst mounting suspicion that she was also carrying ammunition amongst her cargo. It was already believed that a number of 'passengers' on board were to be volunteers for service with the Boers

1943: USS Silversides (SS-236) sinks three Japanese ships and damages a fourth off Palau.

1951: Responding to an SOS, The SS Southland and the USS General A.W. Greely arrived to rescue passengers & crew from the SS Flying Enterprise after she developed hull cracks and took on a heavy list to port during a severe storm in the western approaches to the English Channel. Captain Kurt Karlsen remained on board the stricken vessel. (

1965: "Thunderball" premieres in UK. It was the first Bond film to be shot in Widescreen Panavision, the first to have over a two-hour run time with approx a quarter of the movie taking place under water, and featured the 'Disco Volante', a luxury yacht that converted into a Hydrofoil.

1998: With reports of 90mph (144km/h) winds and waves of 40ft (12m) high, six sailors died as huge waves smashed into their yachts during the annual race from Sydney Harbour to Hobart on Tasmania. The prestigious 630 nautical mile race had attracted competitors from around the world, but tragedy struck when the 115 yachts taking part encountered severe storms in the notoriously treacherous stretch of sea, which has often been called "Hell on High Water" by sailors.   
Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - December 30th
Post by: ardarossan on December 30, 2012, 03:46:49 PM
December 30

1835: HMS Beagle and Charles Darwin sail from New Zealand to Sydney, Australia

1879: Gilbert and Sullivan's "The Pirates of Penzance" was first performed at the Royal Bijou Theatre in Paignton, Devon. The one-off performance was necessary to secure British copyright.

1915: In Cromarty Firth, HMS Natal, a Duke of Edinburgh-class armoured cruiser built for the Royal Navy in the mid-1900s, was sunk by an internal explosion (possibly due to faulty cordite). A number of civilians, and nurses from the nearby hospital ship Drina, were on board at the time.  Losses are listed from 390 to 421.


1941: Admiral Ernest J. King assumes duty as Commander in Chief, of the U.S. Fleet.

1959: The first U.S. ballistic missile submarine, USS George Washington (SSB(N)-598), is commissioned at Groton, CT.

2006: The Indonesian passenger ferry MV Senopati Nusantara sank during a violent storm in the Java Sea. Inconsistant reports suggest that there were around 200 survivors, whilst 400–500 people were thought to have drowned.

2011: The New South Wales boat 'Loki' is proclaimed the winner of the 2011 Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race.
Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - December 31st
Post by: ardarossan on December 31, 2012, 08:26:33 AM
December 31

1600: Queen Elizabeth I of England grants a formal charter to the London merchants trading to the East Indies, hoping to break the Dutch monopoly of the spice trade in what is now Indonesia.

1687:  The first group of Huguenots set sail from France as the first of the large scale emigration of Huguenots to the Cape of Good Hope, which took place during 1688 and 1689. In total some 180 Huguenots from France, and 18 Walloons from the present-day Belgium, eventually settled at the Cape of Good Hope

1862: The ironclad ship USS Monitor founders in a storm off Cape Hatteras, NC.

1879: Thomas Edison gave his first public demonstration of incandescent lighting to an audience in Menlo Park, NJ.

1879: Gilbert & Sullivan's "Pirates of Penzance" premieres in New York City, in an attempt to overcome the copyright 'piracy' that surrounded their previous production, HMS Pinafore.

1906: On Christmas Eve 1906, engineering professor Reginald Fessenden became the first person to transmit music & voice over radio in a broadcast from Brant Rock, Mass. A second broadcast on New Year's Eve is picked up by shipboard radio-operators as far away as the Caribbean.
1915: Thirty hours after SS Persia was torpedoed without warning by U-38 off the coast of Crete (30/12/1915), most of the 167 survivors were picked up by a trawler and taken to Alexandria. 335 lives were lost.

1923: The chimes of Big Ben are broadcast on radio for the first time by the BBC.

1941: Admiral Chester W. Nimitz assumes command of U.S. Pacific Fleet.

1942: Commissioning of USS Essex (CV-9), the first of new class of aircraft carriers, at Norfolk, VA.

1964: Donald Campbell (below) breaks the world water speed record, with Bluebird (K7) averaging 276.33mph on Lake Dumbleyung, Perth, Western Australia. With just 9 hours of 1964 remaining, he also becomes the first man to break both the world land and water speed records in the same year.

(  (

1987: 31 Belgians and Britons are recognised in the New Year's Honours List, for displaying heroism during the rescue operation of the Zeebrugge ferry disaster. Their actions helped to save an estimated 350 passengers when the Herald of Free Enterprise capsized, near Bruges, on
6 March claiming 193 lives.

1999: Control of the Panama Canal (and all adjacent land known as the Panama Canal Zone) reverts to Panama. This act complied with the signing of the 1977 Torrijos-Carter Treaties.
Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - January 1st
Post by: ardarossan on January 01, 2013, 08:03:30 AM
January 1st:

1502: Guanabara Bay, the present-day location of Rio de Janeiro (River of January ) is first encountered by a Portuguese expedition under Gaspar de Lemos, captain of a ship in Pedro Álvares Cabral's fleet.

1586: Sir Francis Drake launches a surprise attack, and captures the heavily fortified city of Santo Domingo, Hispanola.

1739: French explorer Jean-Baptiste Charles Bouvet de Lozier, discovers Bouvet Island, an uninhabited subantarctic volcanic island in the South Atlantic Ocean.

1772: The first traveler's cheques, which could be used in 90 European cities, go on sale in London, Great Britain.

1800: Having been set up in 1602 to profit from the Malukan spice trade, the Dutch East Indies Company dissolves.

1833: The reassertion of British sovereignty over the Falkland Islands.

1846: Petty Officer John Shaw Torrington (1825 - 1 January 1846), explorer and Royal Navy stoker is the first known victim of Sir John Franklin's final expedition to find the Northwest Passage, but along with the rest of the crew, mysteriously died early in the trip.

1881: The first attempt to construct a sea-level Panama Canal, begins under the leadership of Ferdinand de Lesseps. The French effort went bankrupt after reportedly spending US$287,000,000, and the project was largely abandoned by 1890. 

1891: America's first federal immigration facility opens on Ellis Island, New York, to cope with what would amount to over 20 million immigrants flooding into the United States. Annie Moore, aged 15, was the first person to pass through.

1894: The Manchester Ship Canal (United Kingdom), opens to traffic five months ahead of it's official opening by Queen Victoria on 21st May 1894.

Stolt Kittiwake between Knutsford & Warrington. Photo by John Eyres

1898: A Lightship replaces whistling buoy at mouth of San Francisco Bay, USA.

1910: Captain David Beatty is promoted to Rear Admiral, and becomes the youngest admiral in the Royal Navy (except for Royal family members), since Horatio Nelson.

1915: British battleship 'HMS Formidable', is sunk about 25 miles off Portland by two torpedoes from the German submarine U-24. 547 men lost their lives, 237 survived.

1944: US submarine USS Herring (SS-233), pursuing a Japanese convoy spotted the previous day, sinks the Japanese aircraft transport 'Nagoya Maru' 220 miles south-southwest of Tokyo Bay. A counterattack by the escorting destroyer 'Ikazuchi' is unsuccessful.

1995: The Draupner Wave (or New Year's Wave) was the first rogue wave to be detected by a measuring instrument, at the Draupner platform in the North Sea off the coast of Norway. Minor damage was inflicted on the platform during the event, which recorded a maximum wave height of 25.6 metres (84 ft)  and peak elevation at 18.5 metres (61 ft).
Title: Re: This Day In 'Boating' History
Post by: ardarossan on January 01, 2013, 07:04:23 PM
1919: HMS Iolaire (Scottish Gaelic for "Eagle"), an Admiralty yacht carrying soldiers coming home from World War I, hit rocks and sank just off the island of Lewis. Of the 280 aboard, at least 205 men perished.

This was, and is, the worst maritime disaster (for loss of life) in UK waters in peacetime since the wreck of the SS Norge off Rockall in 1904, and the worst peacetime disaster involving a British ship since the Titanic on 15 April 1912. (

The Iolaire memorial erected in 1958 at Holm, Stornaway
Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - January 2nd
Post by: ardarossan on January 02, 2013, 08:06:59 AM
January 2nd...

1818: The British Institution of Civil Engineers is founded.
1861: The USS Brooklyn, a formidable 21-gun sloop-of-war is readied to aid Fort Sumter, S.C.

1879: Thomas Edison begins construction on his first generator.

1879: As HMS Thunderer is carrying out target practice in the Gulf of Ismid, one of her muzzle-loading guns explodes killing seven men and injuring thirty-six. It was eventually concluded that the failure of the gun was caused by imperfect loading (i.e. double-loaded).

1900: Fearing that St. Louis would acquire an injunction to halt the completion of the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal, Sanitary District trustees broke the temporary dam that kept the Chicago River from flowing into the main channel. Water fills the canal up to the dam at Lockport.

1905: In a crucial turning point of Russo-Japanese War, Port Arthur, the Russian naval base in China, falls to Japanese naval forces under Admiral Heihachiro Togo. It was the first in a series of defeats that turned the tide of the imperial conflict irrevocably against Russia.

1945: Harbour Defence Motor Launch 1335 (ML 1335) is commissioned.

1967: Royal Nayy Destroyer HMS Caprice broke down on her way to resume the Rhodesian oil blockade.

2012: Iran states that it has successfully test-fired two types of long-range missiles (Qader and  Noor), during ten days of naval exercises in the Persian Gulf.
Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - January 3rd
Post by: ardarossan on January 02, 2013, 10:14:47 PM
January 3rd...

1840: British naval officer and explorer Sir James Clark Ross, conducts the first open ocean deep-water sounding in 2425 fathoms (14,450 feet) in the south Atlantic ocean. The sounding is taken using the traditional method of lowering a hemp rope over the side of the ship.

1864: The Grafton, a 56 ton schooner sailing out of Sydney during the 1860s, was wrecked in the northern arm of Carnley Harbour, Auckland Island, when her anchor parted in a storm. Having survived the shipwreck, they survived for a further 19 months on the remote island until rescued.

1916: The Japanese get involved in the 'European' theatre when they order three armoured cruisers to guard the Suez Canal.

1941: President Roosevelt announced a $350 million emergency cargo-ship building programe. The ships were built to a standardized, mass produced design. The first of the 'Liberty Ships' was the SS Patrick Henry, launched on Sept. 27, 1941. Of the 2,711 Liberty ships that were built, just two remain. Ref. (

Liberty Ship SS John W Brown

1944: USS Turner (DD-648), a Gleaves-class destroyer was ripped apart by a series of internal explosions in the ammunition stowage area, and sank taking 15 officers and 123 men with her. Meanwhile, the injured survivors were taken to the hospital at Sandy Hook, New Jersey, an event which led to the first use of a helicopter in a life-saving role, when a US Coast Guard HNS-1 was used to fly-in two cases of blood plasma (lashed to the helicopter's floats) from New York.

1945: Admiral Chester W. Nimitz is placed in command of all U.S. Naval forces in preparation for planned assaults against Iwo Jima and Okinawa in Japan.

1976: On voyage from Runcorn (GB) for Stockholm, MV Capella was caught in a heavy storm off the North Sea. Despite rudder failure, listing and water entering her holds, the captain refused to abandon her. With weather conditions preventing other ships from attempting a successful rescue, at approx 18:00hrs she sank with all hands.

Perihelion Passage: The point in the Earth's orbit when, at 147.5 million km, it is closest to the Sun, on 3 or 4 January.
Title: Re: This Day In 'Boating' History - January 3rd
Post by: Neil on January 02, 2013, 10:49:51 PM
Perihelion Passage: The point in the Earth's orbit when, at 147.5 million km, it is closest to the Sun, on 3 or 4 January.

now that's worth knowing andy.........might go sunbaking tomorrow {-) {-) {-) {-) {-)
Title: Re: This Day In 'Boating' History
Post by: ardarossan on January 03, 2013, 09:15:46 PM

now that's worth knowing andy.........might go sunbaking tomorrow {-) {-) {-) {-) {-)

Don't forget your Sun-block! Although it might be better to wait until July 4th when we're furthest away, cos it should be...   Colder?!?   %%
Title: Re: This Day In 'Boating' History
Post by: BrianB6 on January 03, 2013, 09:27:51 PM

now that's worth knowing andy.........might go sunbaking tomorrow {-) {-) {-) {-) {-)
Not down here!  :embarrassed: 41 in Melbourne, 44 in Adelaide.   Total Fire bans in both states.
Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - January 4th
Post by: ardarossan on January 03, 2013, 11:53:22 PM
January 4th...

1493: Christopher Columbus leaves the New World for the first time, and heads back to Spain.

1643: Birth of Sir Isaac Newton. British physicist, mathematician and astronomer.

1902: France's Panama Canal Co. offers to sell its interests to the United States and reduces its asking price from $109 million to $40 million.

1903: An elephant named Topsy, is electrocuted by Thomas Edison during the War of Currents campaign.

1910: USS Michigan (BB-27), the first U.S. 'Dreadnought' battleship is commissioned.

1945: USS Ommaney Bay, a Casablanca Class Escort Carrier, suffers irrepairable damage after a Kamikaze attack in the Sulu Sea, Phillipines, and is scuttled by a torpedo fired from the USS Burns.

1947: "Show Boat" closes at the Ziegfeld Theater, New York City after 417 performances.

1958: Sir Edmund Hillary arrives at the South Pole. The first explorer to do so since Captain Scott in 1912.

1967: Donald Campbell was killed on Coniston Water as he attempted to break the '300mph barrier' and his own water speed record in Bluebird K7, the world's first all metal jet-powered hydroplane.
He remains the only person to have broken both the land and water speed records in the same year (1964).

Bluebird motif on the nose of Bluebird K7.

All image rights reserved - john.dart
Title: Re: This Day In 'Boating' History
Post by: raflaunches on January 04, 2013, 11:29:14 AM
My Dad remembers the 4th January 1967 very well as he had been in the RAF for three days at RAF Halton. He was attempting to polish his number one shoes for the first time when the tannoy in the large 16 man rooms announced that Donald Campbell had been killed attempting to increase the water speed record in Bluebird K7 only a few hours earlier. Even back then some of the recruits had no idea who Donald Campbell was and what Bluebird was! A very sad day.

Curiously, it was only a few years back that they believe that they have discovered what caused the crash, after slowing the tape down they were shocked to see that there was no jet efflux on the water surface when Bluebird started its fatal cartwheel indicating that the engine was not working. The design of the boat required the jet engine to be at full power when the Bluebird was sitting on its planing shoes and the loss of power would de-stabilise the bow of the boat lifting it up. Current theory is that either a faulty fuel pump or a blockage in the fuel tank starved the engine of fuel and it cut out at the most critical moment. Campbell knew there was something wrong as the recordings of the time over the radio clearly said: Something's wrong.... I'm loosing her.... she's going.....
When they recovered the wreck a few years back they found the water brake had been deployed in a hope that it would stop the boat, Campbell always feared this kind of thing happening after watching film from the Crusader crash at Lock Ness in 1952.
Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - January 5th
Post by: ardarossan on January 05, 2013, 08:20:36 AM
January 5th...

1806: Admiral Horatio Nelson's body lies in state in the Painted Hall at the Greenwich Hospital (5th-7th January).

1818: The Black Ball Line ship 'James Monroe' sails from a snowy New York (USA), bound for Liverpool (UK), to become the first common carrier on a dependable schedule. She did this by sailing on the stated time of departure whether her holds were full or not, thus revolutionizing shipping.

1922: Anglo-Irish polar explorer, Ernest Henry Shackleton, dies from a heart attack in the early hours of the morning while his ship, Quest, was moored in South Georgia.

1975:  The Tasman Bridge, a five-lane road bridge crossing the Derwent River, Hobart, Tasmania, was struck by the bulk ore carrier Lake Illawarra loaded with 10,000 tons of zinc concentrate. The collision caused two pylons and three sections of concrete decking, totaling 127 metres, to fall from the bridge and sink the ship.  Twelve people were killed, including seven crew on board the ship, and five occupants of four cars who were on the bridge as it collapsed.

1993: In heavy seas and hurricane force winds, the Liberian-registered oil tanker MV Braer, ran aground on the coast of the Shetland Islands, spilling 84,700 tons of Norwegian Gullfaks crude oil, and creating a slick along 25 miles of coastine. 

M.V.Braer and beach surveyors looking for bird casualties. Photo by RSPB
Title: Re: This Day In 'Boating' History
Post by: heritorasphodel on January 05, 2013, 04:54:43 PM
5th January 1847, Lieutenant-Colonel Sir William Hillary, the founder of the National Institution for the Preservation of Life From Shipwreck, holder of three Gold medals for Gallantry, dies at Woodville, Douglas, Isle of Man after a very active live in the lifeboat service.

At 2.20 AM on 5th January 1881, the 1,238 ton barque Indian Chief ran aground on the Long Sands off Ramsgate, with 29 people aboard. The Ramsgate Lifeboat Bradford was launched at midday, under tow from the steam paddle tug Vulcan. After consultation with the Kentish Knock light vessel, the tug and lifeboat reached the reported area of the wreck shortly after nightfall. With no ship in sight, the crews of the Bradford and the Vulcan remained at sea all night in the worst sea conditions ever faced by the crew. At dawn on the 6th, a single mast could be made out. The towline was cut, and the lifeboat dropped her anchor to windward and she was lowered to the wreck. There were 12 survivors, who had spent the night on the mast. The bodies of the others were floating around the wreck. With great skill, Coxswain Charles Fish manoeuvred the Bradford under the stern of the Indian Chief, where the survivors were recovered. The Bradford then sailed back to the waiting tug and was towed back to Ramsgate, arriving 26 hours after launching. Sadly one of the survivors died in the lifeboat on the way back. For This service, Coxswain Charles Fish was awarded the Gold medal, with his 11 crew receiving the silver medal. Additionally, the Master and crew of the Vulcan were awarded silver medals.

Title: Re: This Day In 'Boating' History
Post by: Neil on January 05, 2013, 06:09:16 PM
this day 30 yars ago the cox, Ian fairclough of Fleetwood Lifeboat won a medal and all the crew given thanks on Vellum, for their attepts at recuing 3 Police officers who went onto the sea at Gynn Square, Blackpool to try rescuing a man who had gone into the sea to rescue his dog..........all four + dog were lost. the seas were mountainous with onshore force 9 winds.
Ferckler as he was nicknamed took the Waveney into her true environment of surf to try rescue but the elements and the backwash of the sea against the sea wall beat him, sadly.
Title: Re: This Day In 'Boating' History
Post by: ardarossan on January 05, 2013, 10:30:43 PM
It appears that January 5th was/is a busy day for events and trivia...

1781: Richmond, VA, was burned by a British naval expedition led by American defector and British Brigadier General, Benedict Arnold.

1779: Stephen Decatur Jr. born. American Naval Officer, notable for his many naval victories in the early 19th century. (d. 1820)

1809: Great Britain and the Ottoman Empire signed the Treaty of Dardanelles (aka the Treaty of Canak). Its main provision was to decree that no warship of any power should enter the Dardanelles or Bosphorus.

1854: On her maiden voyage, Pacific Mail Steam Ship 'San Francisco', was left helpless in a severe storm when her engine broke down. She sank in the North Atlantic with 300 casualties.

1861: The 'Star of the West', a Union merchant vessel, leaves New York with supplies and 250 troops to relieve the beleaguered Fort Sumter at Charleston, South Carolina.

1875: CDR Edward Lull begins expedition to locate best ship canal route across Panama. Route followed 30 years later.
1913: During the First Balkan war, at the naval 'Battle of Lemnos', Greek admiral Pavlos Kountouriotis forces the Ottoman fleet to retreat to its base within the Dardanelles, from which it did not venture for the rest of the war.

1919: British ships shell the Bolshevik headquarters in Riga.

1922: Sir Anthony Synnot born, Australian Naval Officer (d. 2001)

1943: In the southwest Pacific, USS Helena (CL-50) fired the first proximity fused projectile in combat, and shot down a Japanese twin-engined divebomber.
Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - January 6th
Post by: ardarossan on January 06, 2013, 09:22:29 AM
January 6th...

1781: In the Battle of Jersey, the British defeat the last attempt by France to invade Jersey. Taking 600 French prisoners who were subsequently sent to England, the British losses amounted to 11 dead and 36 wounded among the regular troops, with four dead and 29 wounded among the militia.

1786: The English East Indiaman ‘Halsewell’, en route from London to Bengal, India with troops and passengers was caught in hurricane-strength blizzards in the English Channel. Driven back along the coast from Cornwall, she met her fate on rocks beneath the steep cliffs of Dorset.

Of the 242 passengers and crew, only 74 were saved, the rest either lost to the sea, overcome by the cold or fell from the cliffs. Included in those that perished, were the Captain, his two daughters, two other women relatives and the wives and daughters of friends and fellow officers.

The tragedy stunned the whole nation. King George III accompanied by other members of the Royal Family traveled to the site of the catastrophe to pay his respects. A memorial poem, written in 1786 (author unknown), titled “Monody on the Death of Captain Pierce,” further fueled the grief and interest of the event.
Years later, the event inspired Charles Dickens to write “The Long Voyage,” a short story that tells the dramatic tale of the ship’s sinking, whilst the painting by William Turner 'The Loss of an East Indiaman' (below), also refers to the Halsewell.

1806: Admiral Horatio Nelson's body lies in state in the Painted Hall at the Greenwich Hospital (5th-7th January).

1838: Samuel F.B. Morse gave the first public demonstration of his invention, the telegraph, at the Speedwell Iron Works in Morristown, New Jersey.

1931: Thomas Edison executed his last patent application.

1983: The Royal Navy arrests a Danish trawler captain at sea for trespassing in British fishing territory. In a gesture designed to challenge the legality of a ban on non-British boats from fishing in UK coastal waters, Euro MP and trawler owner Kent Kirk sailed his ship towards the British coast and put out his nets. The move followed Denmark's refusal to agree to proposals for a new EEC fishing regime.
Title: Re: This Day In 'Boating' History
Post by: ardarossan on January 06, 2013, 06:04:09 PM
On 6th January 1916, King Edward VII, a Royal Navy pre-dreadnought battleship, was sailing from Scapa Flow to Belfast for a scheduled refit. At 10:47, an explosion occurred under the starboard engine room, causing her to develop an 8 degree list as she took on water.

Attempts to tow the battleship by the collier Princess Melita, and flotilla leader Kempfenfelt were unsuccessful, as King Edward VII settled deeper in the water and the list increased to 15 degrees.

Eventually, as flooding continued and with darkness approaching, the Captain gave the order to abandon ship. The destroyers Musketeer, Fortune and Marne, took off the crew with the loss of only one life (a man fell between the battleship and one of the rescue vessels). Captain Maclachlan was the last man off, boarding the destroyer Nessus.
King Edward VII eventually capsized and sank at 20:10, around nine hours after the explosion.

Although at the time it was not clear whether King Edward VII had hit a naval mine or a been torpedoed,  examination of German records after the war confirmed the presence of a minefield, laid by the German auxiliary cruiser SMS Mowe.

Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - January 7th
Post by: ardarossan on January 07, 2013, 01:54:59 PM
January 7th...

1558: A French force commanded by Francis, Duke of Guise captured the city of Calais from the Kingdom of England, who had ruled it since 1347.

1746: George Keith Elphinstone, 1st Viscount Keith GCB, a British admiral active throughout the Napoleonic Wars, was born at Elphinstone Tower, near Stirling, Scotland. (d.1823)
1806: Admiral Horatio Nelson's body lies in state for the third and final day at the Greenwich Hospital (5th-7th January).

1904: The distress signal "CQD" was announced by the Marconi International Marine Communication Company. Two years later "SOS" became the radio distress signal because it was quicker to send by wireless radio.

1914: The first complete Panama Canal passage by a self-propelled, ocean-going vessel occurred when the Alexandre La Valley, an old French crane-boat that had previously been brought from the Atlantic side, emerged from the Pacific locks.

Alexandre La Valley - Panama Canal 1914

1960: The launch and first fully-guided flight of a Polaris A1X-7 missile from Launch Complex LC-29A at Cape Canaveral, Florida. The missile flew 900 nm down the Eastern Test Range.

1976: HMS Andromeda was involved in a collision when the gunboat, Thor, sailed close to the bow, sustaining a hole in its hull.
Less than ten days earlier Andromeda, one of 22 frigates protecting fishery trawlers on the high seas, had been involved in a similar incident with another Icelandic boat, Tyr.
Since November 1975, Iceland had been attempting to enforce a 200 mile exclusion zone for foreign trawlers instead of the 50 miles established in the expired 1973 fishing rights agreement.
Title: Re: This Day In 'Boating' History
Post by: Capt Podge on January 07, 2013, 03:33:00 PM
Sunday, 7th January 1940   'SS Towneley' (2,888t) steamer, Tyne to Rouen was sunk by a mine near Margate.
'SS Cedrington Court' (5,160t) cargo ship, Buenos Aries to Hull with a cargo of wheat, hit a mine and sank NE of the North Goodwin Lightship.
Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - January 8th
Post by: ardarossan on January 08, 2013, 06:42:03 AM
January 8th...

1642: Galileo Galilei, Italian astronomer, physicist, mathematician, and philosopher, dies in Tuscany, Italy aged 77. (b. 1564)
As the first person to use a telescope to observe the skies, Galileo discovered the moons of Jupiter, the rings of Saturn, sunspots and the solar rotation. He also played a major role in the scientific revolution, inventing an improved military compass and various other instruments.


1806: Ahead of his funeral, Admiral Horatio Nelson, in his coffin, is taken from the Greenwich Hospital and carried upriver aboard a barge. Accompanied by Lord Hood, chief mourner Sir Peter Parker, and the Prince of Wales, the coffin was carried into the Admiralty for the night, attended by Nelson's chaplain, Alexander Scott.

1916: Allied forces begin their withdrawal from the shores of the Gallipoli Peninsula in Turkey, ending a disastrous invasion of the Ottoman Empire. (Jan 8th/9th)

1953: Admiral Sir Hugh Binney died. British naval commander and Governor of Tasmania (b.1883)

1979: At around 1:00 a.m., the tanker Betelgeuse exploded whilst discharging its cargo of oil at the offshore jetty of the Whiddy Island Oil Terminal, Bantry Bay, Ireland. The explosion and resulting fire claimed the lives of 50 people. A further fatality occurred during the salvage operation with the loss of a Dutch diver

2004: The RMS Queen Mary 2, is christened by her namesake's granddaughter, Queen Elizabeth II.
At the time of her construction in 2003, she was the the longest, widest, and tallest passenger ship ever built, and with her gross tonnage of 148,528, she was also the largest.

HRH Queen Elizabeth II christening RMS Queen Mary 2 - Southampton 2004

2005: The nuclear submarine USS San Francisco, collides at full speed with an undersea mountain, about 364 nautical miles southeast of Guam. Although the forward ballast tanks were severely damaged, San Francisco struggled to the surface and was eventually repaired. One member of the crewman was killed in the incident and twenty-three others were injured.

Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - January 9th 1806 'Nelson's Funeral'
Post by: ardarossan on January 08, 2013, 09:07:16 PM
1806: Horatio Nelson, 1st Viscount Nelson, 1st Duke of Bronté, KB, the British naval hero credited with saving Britain from invasion by France, receives a state funeral.
The funeral procession consisting of 32 admirals, over a hundred captains, and an escort of 10,000 soldiers, take the coffin from the Admiralty to St Paul's Cathedral.
After a four-hour service he was interred within a sarcophagus originally carved for Cardinal Wolsey. The sailors charged with folding the flag draping Nelson's coffin and placing it in the grave instead tore it into fragments, with each taking a piece as a memento.


Nelson's titles, as inscribed on his coffin and read out at the funeral by the Garter King at Arms, Sir Isaac Heard, were:

The Most Noble Lord Horatio Nelson, Viscount and Baron Nelson, of the Nile and of Burnham Thorpe in the County of Norfolk, Baron Nelson of the Nile and of Hilborough in the said County, Knight of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath, Vice Admiral of the White Squadron of the Fleet, Commander in Chief of his Majesty's Ships and Vessels in the Mediterranean, Duke of Bronté in the Kingdom of Sicily, Knight Grand Cross of the Sicilian Order of St Ferdinand and of Merit, Member of the Ottoman Order of the Crescent, Knight Grand Commander of the Order of St Joachim.

He was also Colonel of the Royal Marines and voted a Freeman of Bath, Salisbury, Exeter, Plymouth, Monmouth, Sandwich, Oxford, Hereford, and Worcester. The University of Oxford, in full Congregation, bestowed the honorary degree of Doctor of Civil Law upon Nelson in 1802.
Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - January 9th
Post by: ardarossan on January 09, 2013, 08:04:50 AM
January 9th...

1493: Sailing near the Dominican Republic on the return leg of his first voyage to the New World, Italian explorer Christopher Columbus sees three "mermaids" (in reality manatees) and describes them as "not half as beautiful as they are painted."


1735: John Jervis was born, Meaford Hall, Staffordshire. 1st Earl of St Vincent Royal Navy, Admiral of the Fleet. He is best known for his victory at the 1797 Battle of Cape Saint Vincent, from which he earned his titles, and as a patron of Horatio Nelson. (d.1823)

1861: In South Carolina, Southern shellfire stops a Union supply ship, Star of the West, from entering Charleston Harbor on her way to relieve the beleaguered Fort Sumter. The incident is considered by some historians to be the "First Shots of the American Civil War".

1909: Ernest Shackleton, leading the Nimrod Expedition to the South Pole, plants the British flag 97 nautical miles (112 miles) from the South Pole, the furthest anyone had ever reached at that time. For this achievement, Shackleton was knighted by King Edward VII on his return home.

1916: After a disastrous Allied campaign, The Battle of Gallipoli concludes with victory for the Ottoman Empire, as the last British troops are evacuated from the peninsula.

1941: First flight of the Avro Lancaster prototype (BT308), at Manchester's Ringway Airport.

1972: The Seawise University, formerly the RMS Queen Elizabeth, is undergoing refurbishment in Hong Kong Victoria Harbour, when several blazes break out simultaneously throughout the ship.
Completely destroyed by the fire, her fate is underlined as the water sprayed onto her by fireboats causes the burnt wreck to capsize and sink. See also: Wikipaedia - RMS Queen Elizabeth (

Former RMS Queen Elizabeth in Hong Kong Harbour

1997: Lone yachtsman, Tony Bullimore, feared drowned after his boat capsized the dangerous Southern Ocean five days earlier, was found safe and well, crouched in the upturned hull of his yacht.
The location of the drifting yacht, the Exide Challenger, had been continually monitored by aircraft from the RAAF, until he was rescued by the naval ship, HMAS Adelaide.
Title: Re: This Day In 'Boating' History
Post by: Capt Podge on January 09, 2013, 05:26:08 PM
Tuesday, 9th January 1940   'SS Montauban' (4,191t) was on a voyage from the Tyne to Marseilles with a cargo of coal, when she came ashore on the Saltscars near Redcar, there she was battered by heavy seas and broke up. Her remains now lie in 6 metres of water at 54°37'45"N - 01°02'27"W with her bow pointing south.
'SS Gowrie' (689t) cargo ship, Hull to Aberdeen was attacked and sunk by enemy aircraft E of Stonehaven.
 Thursday, 9th January 1941   'SS Bassano' (4,843t) cargo ship, New York to Hull sunk by U 105, NW of Rockall. One crew member lost.
Title: Re: This Day In 'Boating' History
Post by: Capt Podge on January 10, 2013, 12:59:00 AM
Sunday, 10th January 1943   'SS Ocean Vagabond' (7,174t) cargo ship, Botwood, Canada, to Hull, was sunk by U 186, S of Iceland.
Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - January 10th
Post by: ardarossan on January 10, 2013, 08:54:59 PM
January 10th...

1839: The first commercial consignment of tea from India became available in Britain. Previously, the nation had only seen tea from China.
Eight chests (about 350 lbs) of tea from the Assam region of India were put under the hammer at the Commercial rooms in Mincing Lane, London. All the lots were bought by one Captain Pidding for the extraordinary price of 34 shillings per pound!

1906: Reginald Aubrey Fessenden, the Canadian inventor who performed pioneering experiments in radio, achieves another milestone when the first two-way transatlantic radio telegraphy transmission takes place between Fessenden's stations at Brant Rock, MA, and Machrihanish, Scotland.

1911: Two German light-cruisers, SMS Emden and SMS Nurnberg, suppress a native revolt on the island of Pohnpei in the German Caroline Islands. After shelling rebel fortifications with their main batteries, they send an armed landing party ashore to capture the stronghold.

1912: The world's first flying-boat is unveiled by it's designer by Glenn Curtiss, at Hammondsport. New York. Unlike existing hydro-aeroplanes or seaplanes (which were simply landplanes with floats substituted for wheels), Curtiss' revolutionary design combined elements of a boat hull into a purpose-designed fuselage, granting the aircraft buoyancy.
Although No.1 was unable to take off, the experiment indicated to Curtiss, that the flying-boat concept was practicable.

Flying Boat No.1 - Hammondsport, NY. 1912 

1920: The Treaty of Versailles becomes effective, officially ending World War I.
Included amongst a list of military restrictions, German naval forces will be limited to 15,000 men, six battleships (no more than 10,000 tons displacement each), six cruisers (no more than 6,000 tons displacement each), 12 destroyers (no more than 800 tons displacement each) and 12 torpedo boats (no more than 200 tons displacement each). No submarines are to be included
Blockades on ships are also prohibited

1941: While escorting Operation Excess convoys east of Sicily, British Aircraft Carrier, HMS Illustrious was attacked by Axis Savoia-Marchetti SM.79 and Junkers Ju 87 bombers. She was hit by six bombs and suffered extensive damage. Her sick bay and ward room were destroyed, and among those killed was the English rugby player W. G. E. Luddington.

1951: 13 days after she got into difficulties, Flying Enterprise sinks. (See following reply)

1964: Panama breaks ties with the U.S. and demands a revision of the canal treaty.

1965: The second version of the Polaris missile (A-2) is launched from Cape Canaveral. Physically larger than the first version (A-1), it has an increased range and the abliity to carry a larger warhead.
1992: 29,000 plastic bath toys (ducks, beavers frogs and turtles) are released when their container is washed off a Chinese cargo ship into the Pacific Ocean. The Friendly Floatees subsequently provide an unparalled set of data for researchers with an interest in ocean circulation. See also: Daily Mail Rubber Duck Article - 2007 (

Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - Flying Enterprise
Post by: ardarossan on January 10, 2013, 09:00:01 PM
Jan 10th 1951:

Almost two weeks after she got into difficulties, SS Flying Enterprise finally sinks, 31 nautical miles south of The Lizard and 41 nautical miles from Falmouth.

Captain Kurt Carlsen remained aboard throughout the ordeal, and was joined by Kenneth Dancy from Jan 4th. Together, they had secured towline after towline with the hope of bringing Flying Enterprise back to Falmouth in one piece.

In recognition of his contribution, Capt Carlsen was awarded a Lloyd's Silver Medal for Meritorious Service and received a ticker-tape parade in New York City on January 17, 1952.
Kenneth Dancy, was awarded a medal for Industrial Heroism by the Daily Herald and an illuminated citation from the American Institute of Marine Underwriters.

However, Carlsen's determination to stay on board, combined with the rapid appearance & continued presence of the U.S. Navy, and the massive effort involved in trying to save the severely stricken vessel, led to speculation that Flying Enterprise was carrying a shipment of zirconium intended for use in the reactor of the first nuclear submarine, USS Nautilus (SSN-571).

In 1960, $210,000 of the $800,000-worth of cargo was salvaged from Flying Enterprise by an Italian company, but under a confidentiality clause in the salvage contract, further details of the recovered cargo were not released.

According to a documentary on the subject, in 2002 information regarding the cargo is still regarded as confidential and details are not available from the CIA, FIA, Coast Guard and/or US Navy.


See Also:
Model Boat Mayhem; This Day In 'Boating' History - December 29th ( ( (
Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - January 11th
Post by: ardarossan on January 11, 2013, 04:50:06 PM
January 11th...

1863: In the American Civil War, disguised Confederate commerce raider CSS Alabama encounters and sinks the first USS Hatteras, a 1,126-ton side-wheel steamer, off Galveston Lighthouse, Texas.

1866: With 239 persons plus a great deal of cargo on board, Steamship London was dangerously overloaded when she ran into a storm and sank in the Bay of Biscay en route to Melbourne, Australia from Gravesend in England.
19 survivors escaped from the foundering ship by lifeboat, leaving 220 to perish.
Publicity relating to the manner of the disaster was to play a key role in Samuel Plimsoll's campaign to reform shipping, eventually leading Parliament to establish the famous Plimsoll Line (below) on the hulls of all ships.


11 Jan 1941: During the night, 16 British aircraft from Scampton, Lincolnshire attacked battleship Tirpitz at Wilhelmshaven, Germany to little effect.

1962: While Soviet submarine B-37, a Project 641 or Foxtrot-class, is tied to its pier in Ekaterininsky bay of the Polarny naval base, a fire breaks out in the torpedo compartment and sets off eleven torpedoes on board.
The submarine is instantly destroyed by a massive explosion, which hurls B-37's anchor nearly 2 kilometers (1.2 mi) from the dock, and severely damages S-350, a Project 633 or Romeo-class submarine, that is tied-up alongside B-37.
In total, 122 people were killed: 59 B-37 crewmen, 19 S-350 crewmen, and 44 others.
2000: Seven young crewmen lost their lives when their vessel, the scallop dredger Solway Harvester, capsized and sank in heavy storms off the coast of Ramsey, Isle of Man.
A rescue mission was scrambled but it was called off on 12th January after two unopened liferafts were found.
The wreck of the Solway Harvester was found on 15th January, lying on her starboard side in 35m (115ft) of water. The bodies of all seven crew were on board. BBC News - The Solway Harvester Tragedy (

Solway Harvester (c.1992). Image source:
Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - January 12th
Post by: ardarossan on January 12, 2013, 06:01:55 PM
January 12th...

1807: A ship carrying 37.000 pounds of gunpowder explodes as it navigates through the city of Leiden, Netherlands. 151 people were killed, over 2000 were injured and some 220 homes were destroyed.

1813: US Frigate Chesapeake captures the British merchant ship HMS Volunteer in the Atlantic and sends her into Portsmouth as a prize.

1836: HMS Beagle anchored at Sydney Cove, Australia at Port Jackson, beginning Charles Darwin’s short acquaintance with Australia.

1899: Having lost her steering gear and dragging her anchor, 13 crew members and 5 apprentices are rescued from the stricken 1,900-ton three-masted schooner Forrest Hall off the North Somerset coast, United Kingdom, by the crew of Louisa, the Lynmouth Lifeboat.
Due to the terrible weather, it had not been possible to launch Louisa from Lynmouth, so she was taken by road to Porlock's sheltered harbour 13 miles around the coast, and launched from there instead. (

1908: A long-distance radio message is sent from the Eiffel Tower, France, for the first time.

1913: Kiel and Wilhelmshaven become submarine bases in Germany.

1930: Reine des Cieux, a French ketch broke free from her moorings in Torbay. The three crew were rescued by the Padstow Lifeboat, before she came ashore at Bridport, Dorset and broke up.

1937: A plough for laying submarine cables is patented patented. The invention relates to a novel method of, and apparatus for, laying a submarine cable in a trench of predetermined depth in the bed of the ocean or other body of deep water.  See the original document, description and diagrams at (

1950: HMS Truculent (P315), a T-class submarine, sinks in the Thames estuary after colliding with the Swedish oil tanker Divina. A total of 64 people died, most in freezing cold mid-winter conditions after escaping the collision.

1953: Landings tested on board USS Antietam an Essex-class aircraft carrier, after major alterations had converted her into the world's first, true, angled-deck aircraft carrier.


1971: John Tovey died. English Royal Navy admiral (b.1885).

2004: Queen Mary 2 set sail on her maiden voyage from Southampton, UK, to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, in the United States, carrying 2,620 passengers under the command of captain Ronald Warwick.


2006 – Decommissioned French aircraft carrier Clemenceau is barred access to the Suez Canal by Egyptan aurthorities, after Greenpeace activists had boarded it, claiming it contained hundreds of tons of toxic waste that France intended to dump in India.
Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - January 13th
Post by: ardarossan on January 12, 2013, 11:04:56 PM
January 13th...

1621: Dutch merchant Jan Pieterszoon Coen's fleet sets sail on a punitive expedition against the Bandanese in East Indonesia, who had been trading with the English.

1797: Off the coast of Brittany, a naval engagement takes place between Le Droits de l'Homme, a 74-gun French ship of the line, and two British frigates, the 44-gun HMS Indefatigable and the 36-gun HMS Amazon.
The frigates outmanoeuvre the much larger French vessel which is driven ashore in heavy seas, resulting in the death of over 900 of the 1,300 seamen aboard.
One of the British frigates was also lost after failing to escape a lee shore and running onto a sandbank.
1840: The steamship Lexington burns and sinks four miles off the coast of Long Island after the casing around a smoke stack catches fire, igniting nearly 150 bales of cotton stored nearby.
Of the estimated 143 people on board the Lexington, only four survived, having clung to large bales of cotton which had been thrown overboard.

1937: HMS Illustrious, a Royal Navy aircraft carrier is ordered, to be built by Vickers-Armstrong at Barrow-in-Furness.
1942: German U-boats begin harassing shipping on the United States east coast. They target tankers and freighters to disrupt the delivery of supplies and lower morale by sinking ships within sight of American civilians
1969: The Beatles Yellow Submarine Album is released in the USA.


1976: Argentina ousts a British envoy in their dispute over the Falkland Islands.

2012: after the Costa Concordia cruise ship ran aground with more than 4,000 passengers and crew on 13 January, only hours after leaving the Italian port of Civitavecchia. Thirty-two people are known to have died.
See also: BBC News & Graphics. Costa Concordia disaster
Title: Re: This Day In 'Boating' History
Post by: Capt Podge on January 13, 2013, 01:14:54 AM
Tuesday, 13th January 1942   'SS Lerwick' (5626t) while inbound to the Tyne from London, was attacked by enemy aircraft, and sank off Robin Hood's Bay with the loss of five lives. She was built in 1938. To date she has not been located.
Title: Re: This Day In 'Boating' History
Post by: ardarossan on January 13, 2013, 02:14:38 PM
1813: The frigate USS Chesapeake captures British cargo brig Liverpool Hero. Boarding teams transfer Liverpool Hero’s company to Volunteer (captured 12th Jan), her main mast is taken to replace one of Chesapeake's main top masts that had been destroyed in a storm days prior, and then the Americans put Liverpool Hero to the torch.
Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - January 14th
Post by: ardarossan on January 14, 2013, 01:13:11 AM
January 14th...

1878: Alexander Graham Bell demonstrates the telephone for Queen Victoria at Osborne House, Isle of Wight, UK.

1911: Roald Amundsen's expedition, on board the ship, Fram, arrives in The Bay of Whales, Antarctica, a natural ice harbour indenting the front of Ross Ice Shelf. Here they establish a temporary base which Amundsen names Framheim.
Fram is preserved at the Fram Museum in Oslo, Norway.
FRAM (Forward)

1911: The USS Arkansas (BB-33), one of the two Wyoming-class dreadnought battleships, is launched from the yards of the New York Shipbuilding Corp.

1942: The Panama-flagged tanker SS Norness, was sunk by torpedoes from U-123 about 60 miles from Montauk Point, Long Island.

1943: In the first submarine resupply mission, USS Gudgeon (SS-211) lands 6 men, 2000 pounds of equipment, and supplies on Catmon Point, Negros Island, Western Visayas, Philippines

1969: USS Enterprise (CVN-65), the world's first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, was badly damaged whilst conducting air-operations off Hawaii. A massive fire starts after a Zuni rocket accidentally explodes under the wing of an F-4J. Some of the subsequent 18 explosions were 500lb bombs cooking-off in multiples, leaving 20-foot holes in the armoured flight deck.
Losses totalled 28 dead, 343 wounded, and 15 aircraft destroyed.

USS Enterprise - January 14 1969

1993: Jan Heweliusz, a Polish Ro-Ro ferry with 64 passengers & crew on board, capsized and sank in 27 metres of water off Cape Arcona on the coast of Rügen in the Baltic Sea. The accident claimed the lives of 20 crewmen and 35 passengers. 9 crewmen were rescued. 10 bodies were never found.
To-date, the sinking of Jan Heweliusz is the most deadly peacetime maritime disaster involving a Polish ship.

2012: Two survivors are found trapped inside the capsized cruise ship Costa Concordia, the day after she ran aground and capsized off the coast of Tuscany.

Title: Re: This Day In 'Boating' History
Post by: heritorasphodel on January 14, 2013, 01:29:34 AM
14th January 1991, West Kirby RNLI take the term 'Inshore Lifeboat' a bit too literally when they are called a boy and his dog who had fallen into a park lake in Liverpool. With the temperature well below 0, police and firemen couldn't reach the casualty who had fallen through ice while trying to cross the lake so the Police contacted the Coastguard who in turn contacted the Honorary Secretary at West Kirby. With a police escort, the D class lifeboat was towed to the middle of Liverpool, where it took eight men to lift her over the railings surrounding the park. With two of the crew using their boots as ice breakers, ten minutes later the casualty was safely back on land and within an hour the boat was home.

Bob Jones, the Hon. Sec., told a newspaper: "This was an unusual call, but we're not called an inshore lifeboat for nothing!"

Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - January 15th
Post by: ardarossan on January 15, 2013, 03:29:22 PM
January 15th...
1493: Christopher Columbus steers away from the coast of the New World and heads out to sea for Spain. Possibly reflecting on the manatee incident (9th Jan), and hoping that What happened in Dominica, stays in Dominica

1559: Elizabeth I of England is crowned Queen of England in Westminster Abbey by Owen
Oglethorpe, the Bishop of Carlisle, instead of the Archbishop of Canterbury.

Queen E

1815: The frigate USS President tries to break out of New York Harbour, but is intercepted by a squadron of British frigates, surrendering after a battle with HMS Endymion.

1833: HMS Beagle anchors in Goeree Roads, Tierra del Fuego, during her second voyage & survey expedition (27 December 1831 to 2 October 1836).
1865: Fort Fisher, North Carolina, falls to the Union, thus cutting off the last major seaport of the Confederacy.

1940: German U-44 torpedoes Dutch cargo ship MV Arendskerk (below)as she was passing through the Bay of Biscay, carrying a cargo of galvanised sheets, nails, brass tubes, from Rotterdam & Antwerp, to Durban. All the crew were saved.

Cropped lo-res image. Original at

1942: Heading out from New York to the UK, SS Coimbra, a 6,768 ton British tanker carrying 9,000 tons of lubricating oil, was sunk off Cape Hatteras after being torpedoed by German U-123. 36 crew were lost, from a total of 46.

1948: Josephus Daniels died. American publisher and U.S. Secretary of the Navy (b. 1862)

1986: The Living Seas opens at World Showcase in EPCOT Center, Walt Disney World, Florida.
Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - January 16th
Post by: ardarossan on January 16, 2013, 05:54:26 AM
January 16th...

1873: The Royal Naval College, Greenwich, is established by Order-in-Council.

1909: During the Nimrod Expedition (1907-1909), one of Ernest Shackleton's polar exploration teams, Edgeworth David, Douglas Mawson, and Alistair Mackay, discover the approximate location of the South Magnetic Pole   

1941: As aircraft carrier, HMS Illustrious (87) is undergoing repairs in Malta, to damage sustained during German & Italian dive-bomb attacks a few days earlier, she comes under attack and is bombed again.
Damage to the deck of HMS Illustrious

1941: During the night of the 16th January, two RAF Handley Page Hampden's (of eight that took off) from RAF Waddington, Lincolnshire, attacked battleship Tirpitz to little effect.

2001: MV Jessica, an Ecuadorian oil supply tanker ran aground just 800 yards off the coast of San Cristobal in the Galapgos  Islands. Over the next few days she releases 160,000 gallons of oil into the Islands' biologically rich waters.
Title: Re: This Day In 'Boating' History
Post by: ardarossan on January 16, 2013, 06:27:11 PM
A few more from January 16th...

1362: Rungholt, a wealthy city in Nordfriesland, in the Danish duchy of Schleswig, sank beneath the waves when a storm tide in the North Sea tore through the area.

1780: The naval Battle of Cape St Vincent took place under moonlight, off the southern coast of Portugal during the American War of Independence. A British fleet under Admiral Sir George Rodney, on board HMS Sandwich, defeated a Spanish squadron under Don Juan de Lángara.

The moonlight Battle of Cape St Vincent, painted by Francis Holman 1780 (

1832: HMS Beagle arrived at the Cape Verde Islands and anchored at Porto Praya, Santiago (Second voyage & survey expedition from 27 Dec 1831 - 2 Oct 1836).

1887: The entire north wing of the 'Cliff House tavern', San Fransico, was completely demolished, after the schooner, Parallel, ran aground and her 40-ton cargo of dynamite exploded. The blast was heard a hundre miles away.

1911: The 37-foot Australian ketch Pandora becomes the first 2-man sailboat to round Cape Horn west to east.

1944: The first shipboard-helicopter anti-submarine mission is flown by Lieutenant, (Jr Grade) Stewart R. Graham, USCG, in a Royal Navy R-4B (HNS-1) from a temporary 60ft x 80ft flight deck aboard British freighter "Daghestan. The 30-minute flight yakes place near the Azores in an Altlantic convoy en route from New York to Liverpool, England.

A Sikorsky R-4 Hoverfly

1973: USSR's Lunakhod 2 begins radio-controlled exploration of the Moon.

1974: Peter Benchley's "Jaws" is published.

"Amity Island had everything. Clear skies. Gentle surf. Warm water.
People flocked there every summer. It was the perfect feeding ground."
Title: Re: This Day In 'Boating' History
Post by: Capt Podge on January 17, 2013, 01:00:55 AM
Saturday, 16th January 1943   'SS Long Bird' (636t) sank in deep water, 10 miles E of Blyth at 55°06'39"N - 01°13'08"W.
Title: Re: This Day In 'Boating' History
Post by: BrianB6 on January 17, 2013, 06:50:21 AM
Thursday 17th January 2013
From the ABC news:-
A United States navy minesweeper, the USS Guardian, has run aground in the Sulu Sea off the Philippines and is stuck on a reef.    The navy says no-one was injured in the incident, which occurred at 2:25am (local time) on Tubbataha Reef about 130 kilometres east-southeast of Palawan Island.
Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - January 17th...
Post by: ardarossan on January 17, 2013, 12:23:50 PM
January 17th...

1524: The start of Giovanni da Verrazzano's voyage to find a passage to China.
1773: Captain James Cook, commanding HMS Resolution and Tobias Furneaux commanding companion ship HMS Adventure, are (amongst) the first to cross the Antarctic Circle as they circumnavigate the globe at a very high southern latitude (Second Voyage of Exploration 1772-1775)

1779: Captain James Cook's last known notation is made in his journal of the Third (and fated to be final) Voyage of Exploration (1776-1779). Cook once again commanding HMS Resolution, with Captain Charles Clerke commanding HMS Discovery.
1861: Flush toilet (with seperate water tank and a pull chain) patented by Mr Thomas Crapper.
1912: Robert Falcon Scott's 'Terra Nova' expedition party reaches the South Pole, the day after they discover that Amundsen had reached the pole first. Scott's anguish is indicated in his diary: “Great God! This is an awful place and terrible enough for us to have laboured to it without the reward of priority.”
Robert Falcon Scott's party at the South Pole - January 17th 1912.
From left to right (Standing): Oates, Scott, Evans.
(Sitting): Bowers, Wilson. (

1929: Popeye, the cartoon character created by Elzie Crisler Segar, makes his first appeared in the daily King Features comic strip "Thimble Theatre"
1930: The U.S. Navy aircraft carrier U.S.S. Lexington (CV-2) leaves Tacoma, having been tied-up to the Baker Dock for a month whilst her boilers supplied a quarter of Tacoma’s electricity, to meet a power crisis. Ref: When a giant ship powered Tacoma (
1955: USS Nautilus (SSN-571) (, the world's first operational nuclear-powered submarine, put to sea for the first time and signaled her historic message, "Underway on nuclear power."

1969: The Beatles 'Yellow Submarine' album is released in UK
1969: According to the 1992 book RNLI Lifeboat Lyme Regis, by TK Faragher, lifeboatman Robert Jefford, aged 25, (known as Nimmer), lost his life when the inshore rescue boat capsized while helping the catamaran Karuna during storm conditions. His two colleagues survived. To date, 'Nimmer' remains the last serviceman lost on duty at Lyme Regis.

( (
Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - January 18th
Post by: ardarossan on January 18, 2013, 09:24:50 PM
January 18th...

1671: Admiral Sir Henry Morgan, privateer & pirate, captures Panama from the Spanish.
1778: Captain James Cook discovers the Hawaiian Islands, naming them the 'Sandwich Islands' after the First Lord of the Admiralty, Lord Sandwich. (Third Voyage of Exploration 1776-1779)

1788: HMS Supply, an armed tender, is the first ship of the First Fleet to arrive at Botany Bay.
The First Fleet being the name given to the eleven ships that left Great Britain, carrying supplies, settlers and convicts, to Australia on 13th May 1787.

1884:  The passenger steamer City of Columbus ran aground on Devil’s Bridge off the Gay Head Cliffs in Aquinnah, Massachusetts. Wampanoag Indians braved the waves in rowboats along with the Revenue Cutter Dexter. Approximately 100 people froze to death or drowned, and 29 were saved.

1859: Alfred Lewis Vail died today. (September 25, 1807 - January 18, 1859) Machinist and inventor, Vail was central, with Samuel F. B. Morse, in developing and commercializing the telegraph between 1837 and 1844. He was also responsible for several technical innovations of Morse's system, particularly the sending key and improved recording registers and relay magnets.

1911: The first successful shipboard landing by an aircraft occurs when Eugene Ely touches down on USS Pennsylvania, anchored in San Francisco bay. The aircraft was fitted with an tail-hook, whilst USS Pennsylvania had been equipped with a small landing platform and a series of ropes to stop the aircraft. Therefore, the landing was the first ever using an arrestor-hook system.

Eugene Ely landing his Curtiss Pusher on USS Pennsylvania. 1911

1912: One day after reaching the South Pole, Robert F. Scott and his expedition find a tent that was erected by Roald Amundsen’s expedition five weeks earlier. The tent contained a note to Scott from Amundsen, asking that someone might inform King Haakon of Norway that he had indeed reached the pole should he not return home safely.

1913 (Jan 5th O.S.): A Greek flotilla defeats the Ottoman Navy in the Naval Battle of Lemnos during the First Balkan War, securing the islands of the Northern Aegean Sea for Greece.

1977: The Trident 1 (C-4) missile development flight test program commences, as the first missile (C4X-1) is launched suuccessfully from Cape Canaveral, Fl.
First Trident 1 Missile Launch - Cape Canaveral 1977 (
Title: Re: This Day In 'Boating' History
Post by: Capt Podge on January 19, 2013, 12:41:07 AM
Friday, 19th January 1940   The collier 'Mile End' (859t) was on a voyage from London to Sunderland in ballast when she was in collision with the armed trawler 'Faraday' off the Tees at 54°43'18"N - 01°05'12"W. Five of her crew were killed. She was built in 1911. She lies in 30 metres of water, on her side, her stern section intact.
 Sunday, 19th January 1941   'SS Bonnington Court' (4,909t) cargo ship, Harwich for the Tyne, sunk by German aircraft near the 'Sunk Lightvessel'
Title: Re: This Day In 'Boating' History
Post by: heritorasphodel on January 19, 2013, 06:31:17 AM
19th January 1881: at 10:30, a telegram was received by the harbour master and Honorary secretary of the lifeboat at Whitby reporting that a ship had sunk off Robin Hood's Bay. The crew had taken to the ship's boat but had to drop anchor due to increasingly violent conditions. The wind was creating exceptionally heavy seas at Whitby, preventing the Lifeboat, the Robert Whitworth from sailing to the casualty, so it was decided to take the lifeboat overland to launch on the scene.

Over 200 men, including the crew, joined in clearing snow up to 7 feet deep for 6 miles on narrow roads. Finally they had to descend over 500 feet to the bay. After 2 hours the boat reached the bay, being pulled by 18 horses. The lifeboat was immediately launched despite the crew being very tired. After an hour, with broken oars and steering gear, they were forced to return and the call went out to double bank the oars. After an hour and a half, 6 survivors from the brig Visitor were landed. Several of the survivors and the crew needed medical attention, with one of the crew unable to return to Whitby for several days.

The rest of the crew went home by road, returning several days later to sail the Robert Whitworth back to Whitby.

Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - January 19th
Post by: ardarossan on January 19, 2013, 07:49:58 PM
January 19th...
1788: Convict transports, 'Alexander', 'Scarborough' and 'Friendship', are the second group of ships of the First Fleet, to arrive at Botany Bay.
The First Fleet is the name given to the 11 ships which sailed from Great Britain on 13 May 1787, to start the first European colony (a convict settlement) in New South Wales, Australia.

1839: The British East India Company lands Royal Marines at Aden to occupy the territory and stop attacks by pirates against British shipping to India.

1840: American naval officer and explorer, Captain Charles Wilkes, circumnavigates Antarctica, claiming what became known as Wilkes Land for the United States.

USS Vincennes in Disappointment Bay, Antarctica, during the Wilkes expedition.

1912: Robert Falcon Scott's deflated 'Terra Nova' expedition party begins the 800-mile return journey from the South Pole. The next day he wrote "I'm afraid the return journey is going to be dreadfully tiring and monotonous."

1941: Italian Adua-class submarine 'Neghelli' is sunk by destroyer HMS 'Greyhound' near Falkonera, Aegean Sea.

1941: British carrier, HMS 'Illustrious', is bombed for the second time in three days (and third time in nine), as she is being repaired in Malta. The repeated attacks have caused some flooding of her outer hull compartments and minor listing, but all her machinery spaces have remained intact.
1942: CNSS 'Lady Hawkins' was torpedoed and sunk by German submarine U-66, 130 miles off the North Carolina coast. An estimated 251 people were killed in the sinking.

CNSS 'Lady Hawkins'

1943: The Italian submarine 'Tritone' was lost during her first mission, when she tried to attack an enemy convoy.
Spotted and depth charged by British destroyer HMS 'Antelope' and Canadian corvette 'Port Arthur'. She surfaced to avoid sinking and was shelled. She sank shortly after, taking 26 men with her. 25 survivors were rescued and taken prisoner by the British.

1947: While on a voyage from Thessoloniki to Piraeus, the Greek passenger ship SS 'Heimara' struck a wartime mine and sank off Gaidaros Island, with the loss of 392 of 637 aboard.

SS Heimara

1973: The BBC News announces that a 'Super Tug' has been sent to protect British trawlers from Icelandic patrol boats as the dispute over cod fishing rights intensifies. 'The Statesman', was not be armed but had orders to defend the British fishermen against tactics such as wire cutting.

The Statesman

1996: U.S. tug 'Scandia' has an engine-room fire while towing the unmanned U.S. tank barge 'North Cape', 4.5 miles off Point Judith, Rhode Island. In storm conditions, all six crewmembers escape without injury. An estimated 828,000 gallons of home heating oil was spilled.
Tug 'Scandia' and her tow, 'North Cape', aground off Rhode Island.
Title: Re: This Day In 'Boating' History
Post by: Rottweiler on January 19, 2013, 10:58:09 PM
the "Statesman" tug is a nice looking vessel,has anyone made a model of her?
Title: Re: This Day In 'Boating' History
Post by: ardarossan on January 20, 2013, 07:32:40 PM
the "Statesman" tug is a nice looking vessel,has anyone made a model of her?

I don't have any info regarding models of the 'Statesman', but I know that during the Cod-fishing dispute, she was accompanied by another large tug, the 'Lloydsman' (below), which Kingston Mouldings ( produce a hull for. It's 48.5" long and 1:65 scale for anyone who may be interested.


Lloydsman Salvage Tug by Kingston Mouldings (
Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - January 20th
Post by: ardarossan on January 20, 2013, 09:17:48 PM
January 20...

1788: The remaining seven ships of the First Fleet arrive at Botany Bay, comprising of Naval escort & Flagship, HMS 'Sirius'; Convict transports, 'Charlotte', 'Lady Penrhyn', & ' Prince of Wales'; and Supply transports, 'Golden Grove', 'Fishburn', & 'Borrowdale'.
The fleet was commanded by Captain (later Admiral) Arthur Phillip. Phillip soon decided that the site, chosen on the recommendation of Sir Joseph Banks, who had accompanied James Cook in 1770, was not suitable, since it had poor soil, no secure anchorage and no reliable water source. After some exploration Phillip decided to move the fleet on to Port Jackson.

A monument commemorating the landing of the First Fleet
Brighton-Le-Sands, Botany Bay in New South Wales

1841: Hong Kong Island is occupied by the British, during the First Opium War (1839 –1842). Ref: History of Hong Kong via Wikipaedia (

1850: HMS Investigator under Commander Robert J. McClure (in his first Arctic command) and HMS Enterprise under Captain Richard Collinson, set sail from Plymouth, England, on a three-year mission to search for Sir John Franklin's lost expedition, "and not for the purposes of geographical or scientific research." Although a completion of the proposed Northwest Passage from the opposite direction would not be without merit... Also ref: McClure Arctic Expedition (

1869: A lifeboat station is established in Lynmouth, five months after the nearby wreck of the sailing vessel 'Home'. The lifeboat was kept in a shed on the beach until a purpose-built boat house was built at the harbour. This was rebuilt in 1898 and enlarged in 1906-7

1887: On January 20, 1887, the United States Senate allowed the Navy to lease Pearl Harbour as a naval base. As a result, Hawaii obtained exclusive rights to allow Hawaiian sugar to enter the United States duty free.

1900: The 'Juliet' is the first boat to travel passes through the Chicago Drainage Canal, (also known as The Sanitary and Ship Canal). See: Jan 2nd and also (

Juliet, 1st boat to pass through the Chicago Drainage Canal - January 20th 1900

1909: The Midilli (formerly SMS Breslau) strikes five mines in quick succession after attacking several mall British ships near Kusu Bay, off Imbros. She sank rapidly, and of her complement of 370 only 14 officers and 148 men were picked up by the boats of the British destroyers which arrived during the latter part of the action.

1921: HMS K5 – A British K class submarine, was lost with all 57 crew members when she sank about 120 miles south-west of the Isles of Scilly, en route to a mock battle in the Bay of Biscay.
She had signalled that she was diving but didn't surface at the end of the exercise. After a battery cover and a sailor's "ditty box" were recovered, it was presumed that she had somehow exceeded her maximum depth.

2006: Witnesses report seeing a bottlenose whale swimming in the River Thames, the first time the species had been seen in the Thames since records began in 1913. According to the BBC, it was approximately 16ft long and weighed 24,000lbs.
River Thames Whale via Wikipaedia (
Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - January 21st
Post by: ardarossan on January 21, 2013, 08:53:46 PM
January 21st...

1795: Cornish navigator, Samuel Wallis ( died this day (23 Apr 1728 - 21 Jan 1795), in London.
In 1766, he was given command of HMS Dolphin and, accompanied by HMS Swallow under the command of Philip Carteret, was to circumnavigate the world, explore the South Pacific and search for the elusive Southern Continent (Terra Australis).
In 1780 Wallis was appointed Commissioner of the Admiralty.

Portrait of Samuel Wallis by Henry Stubble, c. 1785 (

1854: RMS Tayleur, the Charles Moore & Company iron-hull clipper ship, chartered by the White Star Line, ran aground ground and sank during her maiden voyage off Lambay Island, Dublin Bay. Of the 652 people on board 380 lives were lost, many of them immigrants.

RMS Tayleur in full sail (

1906: Brazilian battleship Aquidabă ( was a Brazilian ironclad warship built in the mid-1880s. On 21 January 1906, the powder magazines of the ship blew up, sinking the ship within three minutes. 212 people were killed.

1954: USS Nautilus (, the world's first operational nuclear-powered submarine, was christened and launched into the Thames River at Groton Conn, sponsored by Mamie Eisenhower.

Launching USS Nautilus (SSN-571) - via US Navy

1968: An USAF B-52 bomber armed with four hydrogen bombs crashed near the Arctic air base of Thule in Greenland. The accident happened after the plane caught fire and the crew ejected. The aircraft evntually came down in North Star Bay, where it crashed through the sea-ice contaminating the area with aviation fuel and radiation.

A set of four B28FI thermonuclear bombs, similar to those
on board the B-52 which crashed at Thule
Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - January 22nd
Post by: ardarossan on January 22, 2013, 05:52:02 PM
January 22nd...

1840: Jules Dumont d'Urville, French explorer, naval officer (later, rear admiral), leading an Antarctic expedition aboard the 'Astrolabe' and the 'Zelée', discovers Adélie Land, Antarctica and claims it for France.
His journal showing the date as 21st January 1840, since Dumont d'Urville forgot to add one day on his diary when he passed the 180° meridian from the east.

1873: Due to bad weather in the English Channel, the 'Northfleet', a Blackwall Frigate bound for Hobart, Tasmania, was at anchor approximately two to three miles off Dungeness. At around 10.30 pm, she was run down by a steamer (Murillo), that backed off and disappeared into the darkness, leaving the stricken sailing ship helpless. The heavily-laden Northfleet sank within 30 minutes. In the ensuing panic a total of 293 people were drowned.

The Northfleet photographed on the Thames a few days before her loss in 1873 (

1906: Shortly before midnight, SS 'Valencia' struck a reef near Pachena Point on the southwest coast of Vancouver Island and sank. According to the federal report, the official death toll was 136 persons. 37 men survived, but every woman and child on the Valencia died in the disaster.

1944: 'Operation Shingle' begins with allied troops under, Major General John P. Lucas, making an amphibious landing behind German lines of Anzio and Nettuno, Italy. The ensuing four-month combat became known as the Battle of Anzio.

1951: Canadian Tribal-class destroyer HMCS Huron (G24) G24/216, built by Vickers-Armstrongs on the River Tyne in UK, sails out from Halifax, Nova Scotia, for the first of two tours in the United Nations Korean war operations.
1984: After a recent refit, SS(MV) Karrabee, one of Sydney's wooden inner harbour ferry fleet, was participating in the Great Ferry Race on Sydney harbour, when she began taking on water and experiencing steering problems.
With crowds of people gathered at her bow there were even moments when the top of her hull was below water. Her captain returned her to Circular Quay and managed to get everyone off before she sank at her berth. Ref: (
Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - January 23rd
Post by: ardarossan on January 23, 2013, 06:17:31 PM
January 23rd...

1856: American steam packet SS 'Pacific' ( (1849) sailed out of Liverpool for her usual destination of New York carrying 45 passengers and 141 crew on board, and was never seen again.
'Pacific's' fate remained a mystery until 1861, when a note found in a bottle, washed ashore on the west coast of the remote Hebrides island of Uist, revealed the tragic truth...

"On board the Pacific from Liverpool to N.Y. - Ship going down. Confusion on board - icebergs around us on every side. I know I cannot escape. I write the cause of our loss that friends may not live in suspense. The finder will please get it published. W.M. GRAHAM".

1909: RMS 'Republic', a White Star steam-powered ocean liner was lost off Nantucket, Ma., after being struck amidships by the Lloyd Italiano liner SS 'Florida'.
Fortunately, 'Republic' was equipped with the new Marconi wireless telegraph system, and became the first ship in history to issue a CQD distress signal, sent by Jack R. Binns. As a result an estimated 1200 lives were saved.

White Star luxury liner RMS 'Republic', known as the "Millionaires' Ship" (

1945: Karl Dönitz launches Operation Hannibal, involving the evacuation by sea of German troops and civilians from mid-January to May, 1945 as the Red Army advanced during the East Prussian and East Pomeranian Offensives and subsidiary operations.

1960: Bathyscaphe 'Trieste', carrying Jacques Piccard and U.S. Navy Lieutenant Don Walsh, descends to Challenger Deep (the deepest southern part of the Mariana Trench at 35,814 ft (10,900 m). This was the first time a vessel, manned or unmanned, had reached the deepest known point of the Earth's oceans.

Bathyscaphe 'Trieste' (

1961: A group of armed Portuguese and Spanish opposition movement members seize control of the Santa Maria, a 609-foot-long, 20,900-ton Portuguese luxury cruise liner with 600 passengers and 300 crew members aboard.

1968: North Korea seizes the USS 'Pueblo' (AGER-2), an American Banner-class technical research ship (Navy intelligence), stating that 'Pueblo' had strayed into their territorial waters.
At this time, 'Pueblo' is still held by North Korea and remains a commissioned vessel of the US Navy.

USS Pueblo (AGER-2) off San Diego, California, 19 October 1967 (

Title: Re: This Day In 'Boating' History
Post by: Capt Podge on January 23, 2013, 10:46:57 PM
Tuesday, 23rd January 1940   'SS Pluto' (1,598t) a Norwegian ship, was sailing E of Longstone Island, Farnes when she was torpedoed by U 23 and sank at 55°33'24"N - 01°28'30"W. Possibly the same U Boat that sank the 'Everene'.
 Thursday, 23rd January 1941   'SS Lurigethan' (3,564t) cargo ship, Port Sudan to Hull was sunk by Focke-Wulf Condor aircraft, 200 miles from the Irish coast. Sixteen of her crew were lost.
The Newcastle-registered 'SS Langleegorse' (4,542 t), was attacked and sunk by Focke-Wulf Condor aircraft some 200 miles off the Irish coast while en route from Durban to London. All hands were lost including the Master, South Shields born Richard Edmondson, aged 26.
(adross - thank you for your recent pm - I've been "off air" for a few days but catching up now) :-))


                Addition by Rottweiler

Could I please add a retrospective date,that I really am ashamed not to have placed on the correct date of 23rd January            Done

 St.Ives Lifeboat Disaster  1939
 On 23 January 1939 a huge storm was blowing with gusts up 100 miles per hour when a steamship was reported to be in trouble off Cape Cornwall (never verified)  Sennen Cove lifeboat could not be launched due to the conditions.,At 3 o'clock the John and Sara Eliza Stych replaced from Padstow less than a year previously was launched into the dark mountainous seas,with Coxn Thomas Cocking seven more men: John Cocking (his son), Matthew Barber, William Barber and John Thomas who had all been in the Caroline Parsons wreck,the previous year along with Edgar Bassett, Richard Stevens, and William Freeman,When the boat rounded The Island it met the full force of the storm as it headed westwards and off Clodgy Point she capsized but did what it was designed to do and righted itself. Five of the crew were thrown overboard only Freeman made it back into the boat.They managed to get the engine restarted but with the propeller fouled they were drifting back towards The Island where and having dropped anchor the rope parted and she capsized and righted a second time;with only three surviving this time.
The Lifeboat now drifted north-eastwards across St Ives Bay towards Godrevy Point where she capsized for a third time. When it righted only Freeman was left. when she was thrown up high on the rocks he scrambled ashore,and made his way to a nearby farmhouse to raise the alarm. All eight crew members were awarded bronze medals.As is the R.N.L.I. tradition,the wreck was burnt on site.Since then two more Tommy Cockings, the drowned coxswain's son and grandson, have served as coxswain on the St Ives Lifeboat as a great grandson is now serving aboard.
William Freeman,the sole survivor,never ever went to sea again,and uncannily died a good many years after,on the Anniversary of the disaster,sadly now seemingly long forgotten.These men were true Heroes.  (;topic=40917.0;attach=119063;image)
 ( john & sara eliza stych.jpg (;topic=40917.0;attach=119063) (49.74 kB, 432x288 - viewed 15 times.)

Title: Re: This Day In 'Boating' History
Post by: Capt Podge on January 24, 2013, 12:25:09 AM
Saturday, 24th January 1942   'SS Empire Wildebeeste' (5,631t) cargo ship, Hull to the United States, sunk by U 106, NE of Bermuda.
34 survivors were rescued by USS Lang DD-399 (1938-1947).
Title: Re: This Day In 'Boating' History
Post by: dave301bounty on January 24, 2013, 07:32:09 PM
Thanks to all who put these posts down ,really fasinating ,thankyou ,Dave .
Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - January 24th
Post by: ardarossan on January 24, 2013, 07:33:30 PM
January 24th...

1709: Admiral of the Fleet, Sir George Rooke died on this day, (1650 – 24th January 1709).
An English naval commander, he is known for his service in the wars against France and particularly remembered today for his victory at Vigo Bay and for capturing Gibraltar for England in 1704, during the War of the Spanish Succession.

Admiral Sir George Rooke (1650-1709)
painted by Michael Dahl, c. 1705 (

1848: On this day in 1848, James W. Marshall, found several flakes of gold in the tailrace of a saw mill he was building on the American River.
As word got out, the tiny settlement of San Francisco (est. pop. 1000) was changed forever, as waves of immigrants flooded in to seek their fortunes.
To meet the demands of the arrivals, supply ships from around the world sailed into the wharves & docks of San Francisco where, ironically, hundreds of them were abandoned as their crews deserted and also went to the gold fields.
Many of the ships were later destroyed and used for landfill to create more buildable land in the boomtown.
San Francisco Bay during the Gold Rush (

1915: The Battle of Dogger Bank is fought between squadrons of the British Grand Fleet and the German High Seas Fleet, after decoded radio intercepts provide the British with advance knowledge of the German's movements in the North Sea. The German armoured cruiser SMS Blücher is sunk, and the British flagship HMS Lion is put out of action with heavy damage.

German battlecruisers Derfflinger, Moltke & Seydlitz en route to Dogger Bank (

1943: Refitting of German battleship Tirpitz is completed at Fćttenfjord/Lofjord near Trondheim, Norway.

1984: Wooden harbour ferry SS (MV) Karrabee is raised after sinking at her berth following the Great Ferry Race on Sydney harbour two days earlier. Investigations into the incident placed the blame on the workmen who renovated her, as they had not cleared rubbish that was gathered around the bilge pump inlet, severely restricting the ability of the pumps to clear the water. (Ref:

SS Karrabee being raised. Image source: dunedoo
Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - January 25th
Post by: ardarossan on January 25, 2013, 09:49:24 PM
January 25th...

1575: Luanda, the capital of Angola is founded by the Portuguese navigator Paulo Dias de Novais.  (

1765: Port Egmont (, the first British settlement in the Falkland Islands is established, by an expedition led by Commodore John Byron ( consisting of the boats HMS Dolphin, HMS Tamar and HMS Florida. The expedition left a watering place and a vegetable garden.

Falkland Islands showing location of Port Egmont

1865: CSS 'Shenandoah', a Confederate commerce raider, was assigned to "seek out and utterly destroy" commerce in areas as yet undisturbed (i.e., attack Union ships), and thereafter her course lay in pursuit of merchantmen on the Cape of Good Hope–Australia route and of the Pacific whaling fleet.
The battle ensign of CSS Shenandoah is unique amongst all of the flags of the Confederate States of America as it was the only Confederate flag to circumnavigate the Earth during the Confederacy.

On a slip at Williamstown, Australia, in 1865 (

1881: Thomas Edison and Alexander Graham Bell form the Oriental Telephone Company. The company was licensed to sell telephones in Greece, Turkey, South Africa, India, Japan, China, and other Asian countries

1890: 'Nellie Bly' ( was the pen name of American journalist Elizabeth Jane Cochrane. On 14th November 1889, she boarded the Augusta Victoria, a steamer of the Hamburg America Line, and began her 24,899-mile journey around the world in emulation of Jules Verne's character Phileas Fogg.
The record-breaking feat was achieved when she arrived back in New Jersey at 3:51 p.m on this day in 1890, having taken "Seventy-two days, six hours, eleven minutes and fourteen seconds after her Hoboken departure"

1917: SS 'Laurentic' was a British ocean liner of the White Star Line. When the Great War broke out, she was used as a troop-ship, before conversion to an armed merchant cruiser in 1915.
On 25 January 1917, whilst carrying 475 people and 43 tons of gold ingots stowed in her second class baggage room, she struck two mines off Lough Swilly in the north west of Ireland and sank within an hour. There were just 121 survivors.

SS ' Laurentic' (

1941: USS Gudgeon (SS-211), a Tambor-class submarine is launched, sponsored by Mrs. William S. Pye.

1941: Carrier HMS 'Illustrious' arrives in Alexandria, Egypt at noon for temporary repairs to bomb damage received off Sicilly on the 10th of January, and further strikes received whilst undergoing repairs in Malta on the 16th and the 19th January.
Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - January 26th 'Australia Day 1788'
Post by: ardarossan on January 26, 2013, 08:24:17 AM
January 26th...

1788: The First Fleet weighed anchor and sailed the short distance from Botany Bay to Port Jackson. The site selected for the anchorage had deep water close to the shore, was sheltered, and had a small stream flowing into it.

Captain Arthur Phillip named it Sydney Cove, after Lord Sydney the British Home Secretary. The British flag was planted and formal possession taken. This was done by Phillip and some officers and marines from HMS 'Supply,' with the remainder of 'Supply's' crew and the convicts observing from on board ship. The remaining ships of the Fleet did not arrive at Sydney Cove until later that day.

The Founding of Australia, 26 January 1788, by Captain Arthur Phillip R.N. Sydney Cove.
Original oil sketch by Algernon Talmage (1937)

The 26th January is the official national day of Australia. Celebrated annually, 'Australia Day' commemorates the arrival of the colonists in Sydney Cove and the beginnings of the first British settlement. However, the formal establishment of the Colony of New South Wales occured on 7th February 1788, when the formal proclamation of the colony and of Arthur Phillip's governorship were read out. The vesting of all land in the reigning monarch George III also dates from 7th February 1788.

'Happy Australia Day!'

Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - January 26th
Post by: ardarossan on January 26, 2013, 09:36:13 PM
January 26th...

1500: Spanish navigator and explorer Vicente Yáńez Pinzón becomes the first European to set foot on what we now know as Brazil, when he disembarked on the shore called Praia do Paraíso, in present-day Cabo de Santo Agostinho of the state of Pernambuco.
Vicente Yáńez Pinzón

1856: The Battle of Seattle was an attack by Native Americans upon Seattle, a settlement in what was then known as the Washington Territory.
Supported by Marines from the United States Navy sloop-of-war USS Decatur (anchored in Elliot Bay), and artillery fire, including sixteen shipborne 32-pounders firing fuzed shells, the battle lasted one day. Two settlers died. Native American casualties were believed to be 28 dead and 80 wounded.

1911: In San Diego Harbor, Glenn Curtiss successfully demonstrated the first practical sea plane in the history of flight, as he lands next to a battleship and has the aircraftraised onto the deck and down to the water again.

Glenn H. Curtiss - 26th January 1911

1913: The body of John Paul Jones (6th July 1747 - 18th July 1792), Scottish sailor and the United States' first well-known naval fighter in the American Revolution, is re-interred in a magnificent bronze and marble sarcophagus at the Naval Academy Chapel in Annapolis, USA, after being lost in an abandoned cemetary in Paris, France, since burial  in 1792.

1949: USS Norton Sound, the first guided-missile ship, launched the first guided-missile, 'Loon', off Point Mugu, California. The Loon was the U.S. Navy's version and development of the German V-1 'Buzz-bomb'.

A 'Loon' Guided Missile

2004:  The build-up of gas inside a decomposing sperm whale caused it to explode. It was later determined that the whale had most likely been struck by a large shipping vessel, damaging its spine, and leading to its death. The whale died after beaching on the southwestern coast of Taiwan.
Title: Re: This Day In 'Boating' History
Post by: Capt Podge on January 27, 2013, 12:24:46 AM
Monday, 27th January 1941   08.53.. Newcastle.. Walker Naval Yard.. Two HEs fell from an enemy aircraft which dived to 250', the bombs narrowly missed an almost completed aircraft carrier (this was 'HMS Victorious' which survived the war). One HE landed on a jetty making a crater 25' in diameter.
Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - January 27th
Post by: ardarossan on January 27, 2013, 08:58:52 PM
January 27th...

1671: In his most daring exploit, Admiral Henry Morgan (privateer/pirate), and his force of 1200 buccaneers, defeat the Spanish and capture Panama City.
During the ensuing sack of Panama City, a devastating fire broke out. It is unclear whether Morgan’s men or the Spanish forces started the fire, but it did destroy the city.
Although Panama City was the richest city in New Spain, the raid was not as bountiful as Morgan had hoped for. Aware of an impending attack, the Spanish had managed to put much of their wealth onto a ship which set out for the Caribbean and beyond Morgan’s reach.

1816: Samuel Hood, 1st Viscount Hood, died on this day in Greenwich, aged 92 (12 December 1724 - 27 January 1816).
He was a British Admiral, known particularly for his service in the American War of Independence and French Revolutionary Wars.
He acted as a mentor to Horatio Nelson, and was the chief mourner at his funeral.
Two of the three ships of the Royal Navy named HMS Hood were named after him, including HMS Hood (51), sunk by the Bismarck in 1941 during World War II. Also ref: Samuel Hood, Royal Naval Museum (

Samuel Hood, 1st Viscount Hood
Portrait by James Northcote, c.1784 (,_1st_Viscount_Hood)

1880: Thomas Alva Edison patents the electric incandescent lamp (U.S. Patent 223,898).

1942: Returning to base at the end of her first war patrol, USS 'Gudgeon' (SS-211) becomes the first American submarine to sink an enemy warship. Approximately 240 nautical miles west of Midway, 'Gudgeon' fired three torpedoes and destroyed 'I-73', a Japanese Kaidai-class submarine that participated in the attack on Pearl Harbor.

USS Gudgeon (SS-211)

1943: The first USAAF daylight bombing raid against the Germany homeland takes place when ninety-one B-17s and B-24s are dispatched to attack the U-Boat construction yards at Wilhemshafen, Germany.

1949: Sailing at night without lights, due to a curfew, a collision between the Chinese steamer 'Taiping' collides and a smaller Chienyuan cargo boat near the Zhoushan Archipelago, leads to the (estimated) loss of 1500 passengers and crew. Although 'Taiping' was only rated to carry 580 passengers, she was packed with people fleeing their war-torn hometowns at the end of the Chinese Civil War.

1961: Soviet submarine S-80 (Project 644), a diesel-electric submarine of the Soviet Navy, sinks in the Barents Sea after she dropped below snorkel depth and a series of mechanical faults cause the submarine to flood.
In the end, a total of 68 men (the complete complement of officers and crew) lost their lives in the accient. The S-80 and the men aboard it were not found for seven and a half years.

A Soviet 'Project 644-class' submarine with external guided-missile tubes
 (Nato: 'Whiskey Twin Cylinder')
Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - January 28th
Post by: ardarossan on January 28, 2013, 07:37:23 PM
January 28th...

1613: 400 years ago, Galileo Galilei's makes notes & drawings which confirm his observation of the (still to be discovered) planet, now known as 'Neptune'. Neptune was eventually 're-discovered by Urbain Le Verrier, John Couch Adams, and Johann Galle, in September 1846.
One of Galileo's drawings

1624: Sir Thomas Warner lands on St. Kitts on January 28, 1624, and establishes the colony of Saint Christopher, the first British colony in the Caribbean.

1820: A Russian expedition led by Fabian Gottlieb von Bellingshausen and Mikhail Petrovich Lazarev discover the Antarctic continent.

1870: The 'City of Boston', a British iron-hulled single-screw passenger steamship of the Inman Line, was seen for the last time as she sailed from Halifax, Nova Scotia bound for Liverpool, England. She had 191 people on board: 55 cabin passengers, 52 steerage passengers and a crew of 84. She never reached her destination and no trace of her was ever found.

1915:  U.S. President Woodrow Wilson signed the "Act to Create the Coast Guard," merging the Life-Saving Service with the Revenue Cutter Service to create the United States Coast Guard.

1915: In the South Atlantic, off the coast of Brazil, the William P. Frye, an American steel 4-masted bark, loaded with wheat for Britain, was stopped by the German aux. cruiser Prinz Eitel Friedrich and ordered to jettison her cargo as contraband. When the German Captain thought the unloading was taking too long, he ordered the freighter to be sunk instead, and William P. Frye became the first American casualty of WWI.

1960: The US Navy demonstrates a reliable method of wireless communication using the Moon as a natural satellite - a technique known as EME (Earth-Moon-Earth) when a picture of the USS Hancock (CV-19), with ship officers and crew spelling out "Moon Relay", was transmitted from Honolulu, Hawaii, via the Moon, to Washington, D.C.
Facsimilie image of USS Hancock and her crew spelling 'Moon Relay'

1967: Donald Campbell was posthumously awarded the Queen's Commendation for Brave Conduct For courage and determination in attacking the world water speed record.

1980: The USCGC Blackthorn (WLB-391) collides with the tanker 'Capricorn' as they pass too closely in the shipping channel at Tampa Bay, Florida. As a result, Capricorn's anchor got caught in Blackthorn's shell plating, rapidly dragging the Blackthorn astern before capsizing her. Subsequently, the Capricorn  ran aground and the Blackthorn sank in the channel. Tragically, twenty-three of the 50 Blackthorn crew members were lost. To date, this remains the worst peacetime loss of life in US Coast Guard history.
Title: This Day In 'Boating' History
Post by: ardarossan on January 28, 2013, 09:32:24 PM
January 28th...

1596: Sir Francis Drake, Vice Admiral, died off Puerto Bello, Panama (1540 - 28th January 1596). Born in Tavistock, Devon, circa, 1540, Francis Drake was an English Sea-captain, Privateer, Navigator, Slaver, Mayor and Politician of the Elizabethan era.

Sir Francis Drake, ca. 1585.

His exploits were legendary, making him a hero to the English but a pirate to the Spaniards to whom he was known as El Draque. King Philip II was said to have offered a reward of 20,000 ducats, for his life.

He carried out the second circumnavigation of the world, from 1577 to 1580, and Elizabeth I of England awarded him a knighthood in 1581.
He was also second-in-command of the English fleet against the Spanish Armada in 1588.
Sir Francis Drake eventually died of dysentery aboard his flagship, Defiance, after rising from his sickbed intending to don his armour 'so that he would die as a soldier'. He was buried at sea off Puerto Bello, Panama.
Title: This Day In 'Boating' History
Post by: ardarossan on January 28, 2013, 10:24:17 PM
January 28th...

1547: Henry VIII, died at the Palace of Whitehall, London, aged 55 (28 June 1491 - 28 January 1547).
As King of England from 21 April 1509 until his death. He was Lord, and later King, of Ireland, as well as continuing the nominal claim by the English monarchs to the Kingdom of France and is traditionally cited as one of the founders of the Royal Navy.

James Basire's print of a 16th century painting of Henry VIII's embarkation at Dover, 1520.
Painting is in the Royal Collection

Technologically, Henry invested in large cannon for his warships, an idea that had taken hold in other countries, to replace the smaller serpentines in use. He also flirted with designing ships personally - although his contribution to larger vessels, if any, is not known, it is believed that he influenced the design of rowbarges and similar galleys.

Henry was responsible for the creation of a permanent navy, with the supporting anchorages and dockyards. Tactically, Henry's reign saw the Navy move away from boarding tactics to employ gunnery instead. The Navy was enlarged up to fifty ships (the Mary Rose was one of them), and Henry was responsible for the establishment of the "council for marine causes" to specifically oversee all the maintenance and operation of the Navy, becoming the basis for the later Admiralty.

To guard against invasion he also strengthened existing coastal defence fortresses such as Dover Castle and, at Dover, Moat Bulwark and Archcliffe Fort, which he personally visited for a few months to supervise. He built a chain of new 'castles' along Britain's southern and eastern coasts from East Anglia to Cornwall, known as Henry VIII's Device Forts.
Title: Re: This Day In 'Boating' History
Post by: Capt Podge on January 29, 2013, 07:20:11 PM
Monday, 29th January 1940   Enemy aircraft activity at sea. 'SS Stanburn' (2,881t) was sunk SE of Flamborough Head, struck by three bombs from a German Stuka dive bomber which came suddenly out of cloud cover. Captain Lewis and twenty-five of her crew were killed in the attack, there were only three survivors.
 Wednesday, 29th January 1941   'SS Pandion' (1,944t) cargo ship, Tyne to Portugal was damaged by Focke-Wulf Condor aircraft, W of Malin Head. On the 30th January she ran aground in Lough Swilly and broke in two.
Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - January 29th
Post by: ardarossan on January 29, 2013, 10:08:32 PM
January 29th...

1801: Horatia Nelson is born on this day, daughter of Nelson and Emma Hamilton. (d.1881)
1856: Queen Victoria institutes the Victoria Cross, the highest military decoration awarded for valour "in the face of the enemy", to members of the armed forces of various Commonwealth countries, and previous British Empire territories.
The original specification for the award stated that the ribbon should be red for army recipients and blue for naval recipients. However the blue ribbon was abolished soon after the formation of the Royal Air Force on 1 April 1918. 

An Early Victoria Cross (Navy)

1911: Glenn Curtiss' student, Lt. Theodore 'Spuds' Ellyson, becomes the first Naval Aviator when the throttle-restrictor fails on his Curtiss "Grass-Cutter" (a ground-aircraft used for the primary training of aviators), and he accidentally takes off.

1941: During the night 25 RAF Wellington bombers attacked battleship Tirpitz to little effect.

1943: The first day of the Battle of Rennell Island, U.S. cruiser Chicago is torpedoed and heavily damaged by Japanese bombers.
1944: United States Navy Iowa-class battleship, USS 'Missouri' (BB-63), was launched.
Missouri was the last battleship built by the United States and was the site of the surrender of the Empire of Japan, thus bringing an end to the Second World War.
USS 'Missouri' (BB-63) fires her guns against enemy positions during the Korean War.
Title: Re: This Day In 'Boating' History
Post by: surfs up on January 30, 2013, 02:23:58 PM
The 30th of January 1790 AD To South Shields ( shipbuilder Henry Greathead goes the honour of building the first successful purpose-built lifeboat, though his claim is not uncontested. In the 1770s one Lionel Lukin had designed a craft with similar use in mind; and Greathead’s own boat very probably owed much to the copper boat design of William Wouldhave, also from South Shields, who indeed shared the prize money offered by Newcastle ( interests spurred to seek such a vessel by the tragedy of a wreck in the Tyne. Wouldhave got one guinea, but Greathead went on to be awarded Ł1200 by Parliament and various smaller sums by Trinity House, Lloyds and others.
Henry Greathead had been a sailor, and suffered shipwreck himself, so the project must have been close to his heart. He may, however, not actually have designed the boat trialled on the Tyne ( on January 30 1790: a wooden construction, clinker-built on substantial frames, with two curved ends out of the water to help buoyancy should she be filled with water; much cork was used in the craft too – inside again for buoyancy; outside for the same reason and as a fender. With 10 short oars for ease of use in storms, and steered by an easily moved oar at the stern, she could carry 20 in total, and was as easy to row backwards as forwards. Greathead built more than 30 of the craft in his remaining career, and for that at least deserves celebration.
Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - January 30th
Post by: ardarossan on January 30, 2013, 07:42:05 PM
January 30th...

1773: Although he failed to see Antarctica, James Cook sails further south than anyone had  gone before when he reaches a latitude of 71° 10', before being driven back by the ice.

1820: Edward Bransfield aboard 'Williams' sights Trinity Peninsula, the northern-most point of the Antarctic mainland, and claims to have discovered Antarctica.

1826: The Menai Suspension Bridge (Welsh: Pont Grog y Borth) is opened. Designed by Thomas Telford, it was the first modern suspension bridge in the world, linking the island of Anglesey and the mainland of Wales.

The Menai Suspension Bridge

1836: Charles Darwin’s short acquaintance with Australia is concluded as HMS Beagle left Sydney Harbour and sailed for Van Diemen's Land (now called Tasmania). Astonished by the creatures he had seen (especially the duck-billed platypus), Darwin surmised there must have been a separate act of creation just for these odd creatures.

1862: The first American ironclad warship, the USS 'Monitor' is launched at Greenpoint, Long Island.   

1911: The destroyer USS 'Terry' (DD-25) makes the first airplane rescue at sea, saving the life of James McCurdy after engine failure aboard his Curtiss pusher biplane forces him to land at sea during an attempt to fly from Key West, Florida to Havana, Cuba.

1943: On the second day of the Battle of Rennell Island. The USS 'Chicago' (CA-29) is sunk after being hit by four more strikes from Japanese torpedoes.

1945: German cruise liner, the MV 'Wilhelm Gustloff', was sunk by Soviet submarine S-13 in the Baltic Sea while evacuating German civilians, officials and military personnel from occupied Poland, as the Red Army advanced. An estimated 9,400 people died, making it possibly the largest loss of life in a single ship sinking in history.

A model of the 'Wilhelm Gustloff' at the Laboe Naval Memorial

1959: With similarities to 'Titanic' disaster, MS 'Hans Hedtoft', said to be the safest ship afloat and "unsinkable", struck an iceberg on her maiden voyage and sank, about 35 miles south of Cape Farewell, the southernmost point of Greenland, killing all 40 crew members and 55 passengers on board at the time.
The only piece of wreckage ever recovered was a lifebelt which washed ashore some nine months later.

1975: The Monitor National Marine Sanctuary, 16 nautical miles south-southeast of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, is the site of the wreck of the USS 'Monitor', and was established as the first United States National Marine Sanctuary on the anniversary of her launch.
Title: This Day In 'Boating' History
Post by: ardarossan on January 30, 2013, 09:52:00 PM
Alex Thomson - Around the World in 80 Days..  ...and a few hours

2013: British yachtsman Alex Thomson finishes third in the Vendee Globe solo non-stop, around-the-world race.
Thomson, 38, from Gosport, Hampshire, crossed the finish line at Les Sables d'Olonne in France in his 60-ft boat Hugo Boss, at 7.25am to record a time of after 80 days, 19 hours and 23 minutes at sea.

As he did so, he became the fastest Briton ever to sail around the world in a monohull boat, breaking the previous record by nearly eight days.

A podium finish in the 27,000-mile circumnavigation dubbed the Marathon Of The Seas is a personal triumph for the sailor, who has never managed to finish a solo around the world voyage before and has suffered set-backs and bad luck over the years.

Thomson is now only the third Briton to claim a top-three finish in the Vendee after Ellen MacArthur was second in 2001 and Mike Golding finished third in 2004.

Alex Thomson celebrates his record-breaking third place finish.
Vendee Globe 2012/13

Title: Re: This Day In 'Boating' History
Post by: Rottweiler on January 30, 2013, 10:17:34 PM
And I believe he took a slower route on the last leg,to monitor another boat in the race that had damage,just in case he could help. Sportsmanship at its best.
Mick F
Title: Re: This Day In 'Boating' History
Post by: Capt Podge on January 31, 2013, 12:44:37 AM
Friday, 30th January 1942   The minesweeping trawler 'Loch Alsh' was mined and sank off the Humber.
 Saturday, 31st January 1942   'HM Drifter Unicity' (96t) while on minesweeping duties, capsized off Blyth at 55°00'50"N - 01°29'10"W.
 Monday, 31st January 1944   'SS Emerald' (736t) cargo ship, North-East port to Poole, was sunk by E Boats, SE of Beachy Head.
Title: Re: This Day In 'Boating' History
Post by: Rottweiler on January 31, 2013, 02:05:29 AM
Title: Re: This Day In 'Boating' History
Post by: Rottweiler on January 31, 2013, 02:27:12 AM
On this day in 1938,the 3000 ton Italian Steamer,the SS "ALBA" was hit by huge seas while rounding Lands End.She then headed for the shelter of St.Ives Bay.Just 500 yards from safety,she mistakenly took Porthmeor Beach,to be the harbour,and ran aground on what is known as the Island.Immediately the St.Ives Lifeboat,the first ever motor lifeboat to be stationed there,the "Caroline Parsons" was launched.Upon reaching the wreck,she managed to take all 24 crew off the Alba,but was herself then swamped in the huge surf,throwing all into the mountainous seas.The Lifeboat immediately self righted,with some 20 people still clinging to her.12 off the Alba crew reached the safety of the shore unaided,and all the Lifeboat crew managed to get back aboard her again.The huge crowd that had gathered on the beach waded out into the surf and formed a human chain,to bring ashore more members of the crew,and two policemen who had swam out to help with the rescue.Sadly six of the Alba's crew were drowned.
   The Lifeboat was then thrown up on the rocks and very badly damaged,the crew were all saved.A memorial to those lost was erected in Barnoon Cemetery
  Who was to know that just less than a year later,all the gallant crew of the Lifeboat that took part in this rescue,would ALL be lost in the relief Lifeboat.There can be no more Braver than these men.This is why I have always supported the RNLI, and like those in St.Ives,will always remember these Gallant men.
I am proud to own a small piece of the wreckage of the "Caroline Parsons"
Mick F
Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - January 31st
Post by: ardarossan on January 31, 2013, 07:29:53 AM
January 31st...

1805: Mungo Park, a Scottish explorer of the African continent, sets sail from Portsmouth for Gambia, having been given a captain's commission as head of the government expedition to the Niger.

1858: After three unsuccessful attempts, the SS Great Eastern (Leviathon) is finally launched in to the River Thames at Milwall, London. The giant iron ship, designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel, was 692 ft long, 83 ft wide, with a draft of 20 ft unloaded and 30 ft fully laden. Her gross tonnage was 18,915 and she would displace 32,000 tons fully loaded.
Preparing to launch the 'Great Eastern' (Leviathon)

1895: SS 'Elbe' sinks in just 20 minutes after she was hit by the steamship 'Crathie' in a stormy, freezing North Sea. 'Elbe' was struck with such force that whole compartments were immediately flooded. The collision happened at 5.30 am as most of the passengers were still asleep. One lifeboat with 20 people in it was recovered out of 354 passengers on the ship.

SS 'Elbe' (

1917: Germany announces that its U-boats will resume unrestricted submarine warfare after a two-year hiatus.

1953: A violent storm was in progress when the MV 'Princess Victoria' left her home port of Stranraer on the Scottish west coast bound for Larne, Northern Ireland. A short way into the voyage, the inadequate stern doors were forced open by high seas, and seawater flooded into  the car deck. The ferry listed badly, capsized and sank, claiming the lives of more than 130 passengers and crew. The sinking of the Princess Victoria was the deadliest maritime disaster in United Kingdom waters since World War II.

'Princess Victoria'

1961: A chimpanzee sent into space in a rocket by the United States, was recovered alive and well from where his capsule splashed-down in the Atlantic, about 420 miles from the launching site at Cape Canaveral, Florida.
Title: Re: This Day In 'Boating' History
Post by: Capt Podge on February 01, 2013, 01:03:56 AM
Thursday, 1st February 1940   'SS Creofield' (638t) tanker, Southend to Middlesbrough was sunk, believed torpedoed by U 59 off Great Yarmouth. All sixteen of her crew were lost.

Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - February 1st
Post by: ardarossan on February 01, 2013, 02:20:52 AM
February 1st...

1764: George Duff was born at Banff, Scotland. British naval officer during the American War of Independence, the French Revolutionary Wars and the Napoleonic Wars.

1788: A patent for a steamboat was issued by the state of Georgia to Isaac Briggs and William Longstreet. The patent was the only one ever to be issued by Georgia, and first in the U.S. for a steamboat.

1811: The Bell Rock Lighthouse was lit for the first time eleven miles off the east coast of Scotland. Using twenty-four 25-inch lanterns, it began flashing its warning light atop a 100-foot white stone tower. As the oldest sea-washed lighthouse in existence, it was built by Robert Stevenson on a treacherous sandstone reef, which, except at low tides, lies submerged just beneath the waves. Further information at: (

The Bell Rock Lighthouse (© Ian Cowe).

1838: U.S. patent (No. 588) was issued for the screw propeller to John Ericsson, (1803-89), a Swedish American engineer, who later designed and built the Monitor for the Union Navy in the War of the Rebellion
1942: U.S. Navy conducts Marshalls-Gilberts raids, the first offensive action by the United States against Japanese forces in the Pacific Theatre.

1942: The U.S. begins it's first offensive action against Japanese forces with the Marshalls-Gilberts raids. The Marshalls-Gilberts raids were tactical airstrikes and naval artillery attacks by United States Navy aircraft carrier and other warship forces against Imperial Japanese Navy garrisons in the Marshall and Gilbert Islands.

An SBD-2 Douglas Dauntless prepares to take-off from the carrier USS 'Enterprise' (CV-6).
Marshalls-Gilberts Raids ( - 1st February 1942.

1965: The Hamilton River in Labrador, Canada is renamed the Churchill River in honour of Winston Churchill.

1968: Canada's three military services, the Royal Canadian Navy, the Canadian Army and the Royal Canadian Air Force, are unified into the Canadian Forces.
Title: This Day In 'Boating' History
Post by: ardarossan on February 01, 2013, 09:57:20 PM
February 1st...

1917: Following yesterday's announcement (31 January 1917), Germany illegally resumes unrestricted U-boat warfare in the Atlantic, and German torpedo-armed submarines prepare to attack any and all ships, including civilian passenger carriers, said to be sited in war-zone waters.

Title: Re: This Day In 'Boating' History
Post by: Capt Podge on February 02, 2013, 01:07:32 AM
Friday, 2nd February 1940   'SS British Councillor' (7,048t) tanker, lost off Withernsea, it is possible that she struck a mine.
'SS Portelet' (1,064t) sank on a voyage from Ipswich to Sunderland with the loss of two of her crew.
 Monday, 2nd February 1942   The minesweeping trawlers 'Cape Spartel' and 'Cloughton Wyke' were sunk by German aircraft, off the Humber.
Title: This Day in 'Boating' History - February 2nd
Post by: ardarossan on February 02, 2013, 10:11:14 AM
February 2nd...

1536: Buenos Aires is founded (for the first time) by Spanish explorer & conquistador Pedro de Mendoza, but attacks by local indigenous tribes forced the settlers to move to Asunción, Paraguay in 1539 and by 1541 the site had been burned and abandoned.

1709: Scottish seaman Alexander Selkirk is rescued from a desert island after 4 years and 4 months as a castaway, by the 'Duke', a privateering ship, captained by Woodes Rogers and piloted by William Dampier. Selkirk's story of isolation and survival aroused great interest at home, and Daniel Defoe's fictional character Robinson Crusoe was based (in part) on him.

The statue of Alexander Selkirk at the site of his original house
on Main Street, Lower Largo Fife, Scotland

1818: The first ocean liner, 'James Monroe', arrives in Liverpool, England, having set out at the scheduled time & date (10:00am January 5) on a snowy, New York morning. From now on, The Black Ball Line would operate a regular trans-atlantic service, with one of their ships sailing from New York to Liverpool on the 5th of each month, whilst another would start the reverse trip on the 1st of each month.

1880: SS 'Strathleven' earned a place in history when she berthed in London's East India Dock with the first cargo of frozen meat from Australia. A group of Australian businessmen headed by Mr Andrew McIlwraith chartered the vessel and fitted her with an adapted dry-air refrigerating machine built by Bell~Coleman & Co., Glasgow.
Sheep and cattle carcasses were taken on board for freezing, and with 40 tons of frozen beef, mutton, lamb and butter she sailed from Melbourne on December 6, 1879.

1886: Groundhog Day is observed for the first time at Gobbler's Knob in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, by a group of German settlers.

1912: During an exercise off the Isle of Wight, Britsh 'A-class' submarine, HMS 'A3' (below), was accidentally rammed when she surfaced directly in the path of HMS 'Hazard'. The collision tore a large hole in the side of the submarine, sinking her almost immediately with the loss of all on board.
The submarine was subsequently raised and the bodies of the crew recovered. They were buried, later, in the Haslar Royal Naval Cemetery. The wrecked submarine was sunk as a gunnery target near Portland Bill on 12 May 1912.


1961: Off the coast of Brazil, parleys between rebels and a party of representatives headed by U.S. Navy Rear Admiral Smith, result in the hijacked Portugese liner, 'Santa Maria', sailing into the port of Recife and anchoring in the harbour. Shortly afterwards, the 900 passengers and crew, held captive since 23rd January, are released and ferried ashore by several tug-boats.

Portugese luxury liner 'Santa Maria' anchored at Recife
Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - February 3rd...
Post by: ardarossan on February 02, 2013, 11:53:25 PM
February 3rd...

1488: The Portuguese navigator Bartholomeu Diaz landed at Mossal Bay, Cape of Good Hope, the first European known to have landed on the southern extremity of Africa. He was also the first known European to have traveled this far south and round the Cape.

1781: British forces under Admiral George Brydges Rodney, take the Dutch-owned Caribbean island Saint Eustatius.

1880: A terrific gale along the New Jersey coast swept six vessels ashore, All but two of the 47 persons on board survived.

1917: SS 'Housatonic', on a voyage from Galveston to Liverpool with a cargo of grain and flour, was sunk by the German submarine U-53 (Lt. Hans Rose), 20 miles south of Bishop Rock.
Rose allowed the captain, Thomas Ensor, and his crew to launch a pair of lifeboats, before sinking the 'Housatonic' with charges. Upon Ensor's request, Rose then towed the boats for almost 2 hours in the direction of the coast, until the trawler 'Salvator' was spotted on the horizon.
Initially the 'Salvator' did not react. Rose apparently advised Ensor, "That fellow is asleep, but I will wake him up for you". Rose then had a shot fired from his deck gun, to 'awake' the crew of the 'Salvator', which turned towards them making all speed to the area, by then U-53 had submerged and escaped.
A few hours after the incident, President Woodrow Wilson announced that the United States was breaking diplomatic relations with Germany. A decisive step towards U.S. entry into the First World War.

1943: The torpedoing of the transport USS 'Dorchester' off the coast of Greenland, saw USCGC 'Comanche' and 'Escanaba' respond. The crew of 'Escanaba' used a new 'retriever' rescue technique whereby swimmers clad in wet suits would swim to victims in the water and secure a line to them so they could be hauled to the ship. Although 'Escanaba' saved 133 men (one later died) and 'Comanche' saved 97, over 600 men were lost, including the 'Four Chaplains' who gave up their lifejackets to those that did not have one.

Coast Guard Cutter Escanaba (WPG-77) rescues survivors of USAT Dorchester, February 3, 1943.

1953: The French oceanographer Jacques-Yves Cousteau published his most famous and lasting work, The Silent World (Le Monde Du Silence), which was made into a film three years later.

1961: Aboard the 'Santa Maria' anchored in Recife harbour, rebels hand the hijacked liner over to Brazilian Naval authorities, and accept their Government's offer of political asylum.
The next day (4th Feb), the 'Santa Maria' was returned to her owners, Companhia Colonial de Navegaçăo, who planned to sail her back to Portugal as soon as she was bunkered and minor engine-room repairs were complete.
The passengers of "Santa Maria", were transfered to her sister ship, the"Vera Cruz", which left Recife on 5th February, arriving in Lisbon nine days later.
"Santa Maria" eventually sailed from Recife on the 7th February, and arrived at the Alcântara quay in Lisbon on 16th Feb.
Title: Re: This Day In 'Boating' History
Post by: Capt Podge on February 03, 2013, 12:48:47 AM
Saturday, 3rd February 1940   'SS Alexandria' was sunk by German aircraft, E of Longstone Island, Farnes. Her exact position has not been determined.
'SS Jernfjeld' (1,370t) a Norwegian ship ran aground 800 yds S of St Mary's lighthouse at Briardene, due to heavy seas. The crew of eighteen escaped in their own lifeboat.
'SS Tempo' (629t) a Norwegian ship was sunk by German aircraft off St Abbs Head at 55°59'00"N - 01°35'00"W. She lies in 35 metres of water. A boat containing the captain and some of the crew landed safely at Eyemouth, but another boat containing six crew members drifted further south and unfortunately ended up on the wrong side of the pier at Berwick upon Tweed. It hit the rocks and capsized before coming ashore. Four of the six were dead and a fifth died later in the Harbour Master's house.
Title: Re: This Day In 'Boating' History
Post by: Capt Podge on February 04, 2013, 01:46:46 AM
Sunday, 4th February 1940   The Grimsby Marine ARP Party went out to sea at 11.00 and brought in a British seaman and three German airmen. These men had been picked up by the trawler 'Harlech Castle' after yesterdays attacks on shipping. The airmen are reported to be the crew of the aircraft brought down off the mouth of the Tyne.
 Tuesday, 4th February 1941   At anchor in the convoy anchorage in the Humber, the cargo ship 'SS Gwynwood' (1,177t) sank after a parachute mine landed on her deck aft and blew up. She was on a voyage from London to Sunderland.
Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - February 4th
Post by: ardarossan on February 04, 2013, 07:43:44 AM
February 4th...

1697: Three VOC-ships (Dutch East India Company) under the command of Willem de Vlamingh, landed at Dirk Hartog Island, Western Australia (then 'New Holland'), and replaced the pewter plate left by Dirk Hartog in 1616 with a new one that bore a record of both of the Dutch sea-captain's visits. The original plate is preserved in the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam.

1779: After a month's stay, Captain Cook got under sail again to resume his exploration of the Northern Pacific. Shortly after leaving 'Hawaii Island', the foremast of the 'Resolution' breaks and the ships return to Kealakekua Bay for repairs.

1810: The Royal Navy seizes the Caribbean island of Guadeloupe, and is occupied by the British until 1816, when it is ceded to Sweden.

1820: The Chilean Navy, under the command of Lord Thomas Cochrane, 10th Earl of Dundonald, completes the two-day long Capture of Valdivia with just 300 men and 2 ships, effectively ended the last vestiges of Spanish power in mainland Chile.   

1814: The last time the 'Great Frost Fair' would be held on the frozen River Thames, London.
Since the beginning of the 17th century, a Frost Fair had been held whenever the river iced over. The practice had lasted for 200 years, as people ventured out on the ice, vendors set up stalls, and a variety of entertainments were offered.

The last Great Frost Fair, 1st-4th February, 1814.

1959: The keel of the worlds first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, the USS 'Enterprise', was laid at Newport News Shipbuilding and Drydock Company, VA. She will be the only carrier of her class.
When completed, she will be the only carrier to house more than two nuclear reactors, the only carrier with four rudders, and the longest naval vessel in the world at 1,123 ft (342 m).

USS Enterprise underway in the Atlantic Ocean

1988: Around 3,000 ferry men at Dover, Harwich and Portsmouth refused to return to work even though the National Union of Seamen (NUS) had called an end to the three-day stoppage, in support of 161 crew sacked by the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company for refusing to accept new terms and conditions. Ref: BBC News Report. (

1999: Whilst riding out a storm, the crew of the 'New Carissa', a 639ft Panamanian-flagged dry bulk freighter optimized for carriage of wood chips, fail to notice she is dragging her anchor until she runs aground near Coos Bay harbour, Oregon.
Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - February 5th
Post by: ardarossan on February 05, 2013, 05:16:21 PM
February 5th...

1782: The Spanish capture the island of Minorca from the British, after a long siege of St. Philip's Castle in Port Mahon.

1831: At the port of Antwerp, Belgians stormed aboard Jan Van Speijk's gunboat, demanding he take down the Dutch flag. Rather than complying, he fired a pistol into a barrel of gunpowder saying "Dan liever de lucht in", which translates as, "(I'd) rather be blown up then". Himself, and around 30 others were killed.

Gunboat No. 2 explodes before Antwerp. Martinus Schouman, 1832

1836: Voyage of H.M.S. Beagle (1831-36): In the evening HMS Beagle entered Storm Bay at Hobart Town on the island of Van Diemen's Land (Tasmania). Darwin will make several inland trips to study the local geology.

1909: Belgian chemist Leo Baekeland announces the creation of Bakelite, the world's first synthetic plastic.

1913: Greek military aviators, Michael Moutoussis and Aristeidis Moraitinis perform the first naval air mission in history, with a Farman MF.7 hydroplane.

The Farman MF.7 of Moutoussis & Moraitinis collected by Velos after their Dardanelles mission

1918: The Anchor Line steamship 'Tuscania', traveling as part of a British convoy and transporting over 2,000 American soldiers bound for Europe, is torpedoed by the German submarine U-77. and sinks off the coast of Ireland.

1924: The Royal Greenwich Observatory begins broadcasting the hourly time signals known as the Greenwich Time Signal or the "BBC pips".

1958: 1958: A hydrogen bomb is lost by the US Air Force somewhere in Wassaw Sound, near to Tybee Island, off the coast of Savannah, Georgia. Despite weeks of searching by USAF explosive experts and the US Navy, it has never been recovered.

1999: Attempts to refloat the 639ft dry bulk freighter, 'New Carissa', using her own power, end in failure, and she remains beached near Coos Bay, Oregon. The nearest salvage tugboat capable of towing such a large ship off a beach, the 'Salvage Chief', is moored at its home port, a 24-hour journey away. However, 'Salvage Chief' hasn't sailed for a year...

MV 'New Carissa', the day after she beached near Coos Bay, Oregon.
Title: Re: This Day In 'Boating' History
Post by: Capt Podge on February 05, 2013, 07:02:46 PM
Thursday, 5th February 1942   'SS Corland' (3,431t) cargo ship, Blyth to London with coal, was sunk by German aircraft, S of the Humber.
Title: Re: This Day In 'Boating' History
Post by: dave301bounty on February 05, 2013, 07:09:19 PM
your giving us some very interesting facts Capt .
Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - February 6th...
Post by: ardarossan on February 06, 2013, 07:22:58 AM
February 6th...

1806: Vice-Admiral Sir John Thomas Duckworth secures a British naval victory against the French at the Battle of San Domingo in the Caribbean.

Impérial being harassed by the much weaker HMS Northumberland before being driven ashore

1819: Sir Thomas Stamford Bingley Raffles founds Singapore, securing the transfer of control of the island to the East India Company.

1840: Representatives of the British Crown and various Māori chiefs sign the Treaty of Waitangi, establishing New Zealand as a British colony.

1861: English Vice-Admiral Robert Fitzroy issues the first storm warnings for ships.

1876: Henry George Blogg GC BEM, was born on this day - Legendary lifeboatman from Cromer, on the north coast of Norfolk, England, and the most decorated in RNLI history.

Cromer Coxswain Henry Blogg

1922: The Washington Naval Treaty is signed in Washington, D.C., by Great Britain, United States, Japan, France, and Italy (i.e. the major nations that had won World War I), whereby they agree to to prevent an arms race by limiting their naval construction.

1935: At the height of the Depression, 'Monopoly', a new board game from Parker Brothers, goes on sale in stores throughout the United States.

The Iconic Monopoly Battleship Piece

1959: Newly employed by Texas Instruments, Jack Kilby files the first patent for an integrated circuit (i.e. Microchip). Kilby described his new device as “a body of semiconductor material ... wherein all the components of the electronic circuit are completely integrated. The first customer for the new invention was the US Air Force.
Title: Re: This Day In 'Boating' History
Post by: Capt Podge on February 06, 2013, 11:39:56 PM
your giving us some very interesting facts Capt .

Thanks Dave - just wish I could post more info on each of the vessels mentioned - perhaps when time allows.....
 Thursday, 6th February 1941   'MV Angularity' (501t) on a journey from Ipswich to Newcastle with a cargo of phosphates was sunk by an E Boat in the Shipwash Channel.
 Tuesday, 6th February 1945   The Humber based blockade runners second casualty occurred today, when the 'Gay Viking', 'Hopewell' and 'Nonsuch' put to sea on 'Operation Moonshine' to deliver small arms and ammunition to the Dutch Resistance. During the voyage the 'Gay Viking' sank after being in collision with the 'Hopewell'. On the return trip the 'Hopewell' and the 'Nonsuch' brought back over sixty tonnes of much needed high grade steel.
Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - February 7th
Post by: ardarossan on February 07, 2013, 12:01:23 AM
February 7th...

1783: French & Spanish forces lift the Great Siege of Gibraltar, retiring disheartened and defeated. The siege had been a joint Franco-Spanish attempt to capture Gibraltar from the British, during the American War of Independence. It was the largest action fought during the war in terms of numbers, and at three years and seven months, it is the longest siege endured by the British Armed Forces.

The Relief of Gibraltar on 11 October 1782 during the siege of 1779-1783

1788: The formal establishment of the colony of New South Wales occured on this day, when the formal proclamation of the colony and of Arthur Phillip's governorship were read out. The vesting of all land in the reigning monarch George III also dates from 7th February 1788.

1795: With the Netherlands occupied by revolutionary France, exiled Dutch Prince William of Orange agrees to British occupation, and writes to the Cape authorities requesting them to allow British warships to defend the Cape and to receive the British troops into the Fort as they would prevent a French invasion

1812: Author Charles Dickens was born in Landport, Portsmouth, Hampshire, England. Generally considered to be the greatest English novelist of the Victorian era. His works illustrate a thorough knowledge of the port of London (or “Down by the Docks”) and the surrounding districts, and cnvey a deep sympathy for those who worked in the port and sailed the ships.

1800: En route to the East Indies, frigate USS 'Essex' (1799) becomes the first U.S. Navy vessel to cross the Equator.

1863: HMS Orpheus, a Jason-class Royal Navy corvette that served as the flagship of the Australian squadron, was wrecked as she was delivering naval supplies and troop reinforcements to Auckland. 189 crew out of the ship's complement of 259 died in the disaster, making it the worst maritime tragedy to occur in New Zealand waters

The wreck of HMS Orpheus by Richard Brydges Beechey (1863).

1917: Just four days after U.S. President Woodrow Wilson ceased diplomatic relations with Germany, having warned that war would follow if American interests at sea were again assaulted, German submarine U-85 torpedoes the 470-foot, 9,000-ton, Anchor Line passenger steamer SS 'California', some 38 miles off the coast of Fastnet Island, Ireland. The explosion killed five people instantly and the devastated ship sank in just nine minutes. Of the 205 passengers and crewmembers on board, 38 were drowned, for a total of 43 dead.

1974: The 18-month old deep sea factory ship FV 'Gaul' reports to owners, British United Trawlers, that she is in the Barents Sea, north of Norway. It will be the last time she reports her position.

2005: Britain's Ellen MacArthur breaks the world record for the fastest solo circumnavigation of the globe, aboard her 75-foot trimaran named 'B&Q/Castorama'. During her circumnavigation, she also set records for the fastest solo voyage to the equator, past the Cape of Good Hope, past Cape Horn and back to the equator again.
Title: Re: This Day In 'Boating' History
Post by: Capt Podge on February 07, 2013, 12:12:33 AM
Wednesday, 7th February 1940   'MV Gercoa' Dutch vessel had just left Blyth with a cargo of coal for the continent when she ran aground in calm weather on the Bear Back Rocks at Tynemouth. She grounded at high tide and by low water was high and dry. She was declared a total loss by Lloyds. A team of marine salvage experts, repaired and refloated her a month later!!
Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - February 8th
Post by: ardarossan on February 08, 2013, 04:55:59 PM
February 8th...

1725: Peter the Great dies at Saint Petersburg, aged 52, (9th June 1662 - 8th February 1725) - Recognised as being the 'Father of the Russian Navy'.

1828: Jules Gabriel Verne was born in Nantes, France, to Pierre Verne, an attorney, and his wife, Sophie Allote de la Fu˙e.

An imagining of Jules Verne's 'Nautilus'.

1904: A surprise night-time torpedo attack by a squadron of Japanese destroyers on the Russian fleet anchored at Port Arthur, Manchuria, starts the two-day Battle of Port Arthur, and marks the beginning of the Russo-Japanese War.

1916: French armoured cruiser Amiral Charner was torpedoed off Beirut, the Austro-Hungarian U-boat U-36 (Re-assigned German U-Boat U-21) and sank in only two minute, killing 374.

1974: The last three astronauts to man the AmericanSpace Station 'Skylab', return safely to Earth after speding 85 days in space. They slash-down in the sea off San Diego, where they were met by the assault ship 'New Orleans'.

1999: The 639ft dry bulk freighter 'New Carissa' was driven further ashore by continuing poor weather, north of the entrance to Coos Bay, Oregon.
Upon arrival of the 'Salvage Chief', it becomes apparent that the Salvage Contractors & Coastguard's plans to refloat her, would be of no use as the 'Salvage Chief's' towing gear was unable to reach the stricken freighter anyway.
However, when some cracks in the hull and oil leaks are noticed, any refloating attempts are precluded by the necessity to prevent a large-scale oil spill from 'New Carissa's fuel tanks.

2005: Following her return to England after breaking the world record for the fastest solo circumnavigation of the globe, it was announced that Ellen MacArthur would be appointed Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in recognition of her achievement. Coming immediately after the event, this recognition was reminiscent of accolades previously bestowed upon Francis Drake and Francis Chichester when reaching home shores after their respective circumnavigations in 1580 and 1967. MacArthur was also granted the rank of Honorary Lieutenant Commander, Royal Naval Reserve on the same day.
Title: Re: This Day In 'Boating' History
Post by: Capt Podge on February 09, 2013, 12:02:24 AM
Monday, 9th February 1942   'SS Empire Fusilier' (5,408t) cargo ship, Tyne to Tampa, Florida, United States, was sunk by U 85, E of Newfoundland.
Title: Re: This Day In 'Boating' History
Post by: ardarossan on February 09, 2013, 12:36:38 AM
February 9th...

1711: Luis Vicente de Velasco e Isla is born. Spanish sailor and commander in the Royal Spanish Navy.
1747: (Admiral Sir) John Thomas Duckworth (1st Baronet, GCB), was born in Leatherhead, Surrey, England. One of five sons of Sarah Johnson and the vicar Henry Duckworth A.M. of Stoke Poges, County of Buckinghamshire. One of the lesser known of the Age of Sail admirals of the Royal Navy, Duckworth would achieve much in a naval career that began at the age of 11.

1904: The opening action of the Russo-Japanese War, 'The Battle of Port Arthur', concludes with no outright victor, as both sides sustain damage and casualties, although no ships are sunk either.

Japanese print displaying the destruction of a Russian ship

1941: Thirteen British aircraft from Scampton, Lincolnshire, attacked German battleship 'Tirpitz' at Wilhelmshaven, Germany. The air crews reported to have caused damage, but in actuality no hits were scored.

1945: On the basis of Enigma decrypts, a British V-class submarine, HMS 'Venturer', seeks, intercepts and destroys 'U-864' off the coast of Fedje, Norway. The incident is the only time in the history of naval warfare that one submarine intentionally sank another while both were submerged.

1971: The Apollo 14 command module 'Kitty Hawk', returns safely to Earth and splashes-down in the South Pacific Ocean, approximately 760 nautical miles south of American Samoa, where the crew were recovered by the amphibious assault ship USS 'New Orleans' (LPH-11). The Apollo 14 astronauts were the last lunar explorers to be quarantined on their return from the Moon.           

Command Module 'Kitty Hawk' 9th February 1971.

2001: With several civilian 'distinguished visitors' on board, the American submarine USS 'Greeneville' accidentally strikes and sinks the 'Ehime-Maru', a Japanese training vessel operated by the Uwajima Fishery High School. 'Ehime-Maru', sank in less than ten minutes with the death of nine crew members, including four high school students. The commander of the 'Greeneville' accepted full responsibility for the incident, and (was) retired with an honourable discharge.
Title: RNLI posibly move post
Post by: thegrimreaper on February 09, 2013, 09:29:52 AM (
If any one wants to read just a small piece from Scotland
Regards Mark.
Title: Re: RNLI posibly move post
Post by: Tug-Kenny on February 09, 2013, 10:52:27 AM

This refers to the boating disaster in Fraserburgh in 1953.

Perhaps someone could cover it in the section marked  'This day in boating history'  please.


Title: Re: This Day In 'Boating' History
Post by: heritorasphodel on February 09, 2013, 11:39:57 AM
9th February 1953 -

Fraserburgh's 46ft Watson class lifeboat John and Charles Kennedy launched at 1pm to escort local fishing boats into the harbour. Having seen two boats safely into the harbour, she turned out for a third time to find her assistance unnecessary. Coming about to return to the harbour, she was travelling at full speed just off the end of the north pier when a very heavy swell lifted her stern and broke amidships. Shortly after a second and even larger swell reared up astern, breaking aboard her. It filled the cockpit, throwing the six men inside into the engine controls. Coxswain Andrew Ritchie was thrown clear of the boat but was hit on the head by a piece of wreckage and drowned.

The lifeboat was capsized, and of the six men trapped under her only Second Coxswain C.G. Tait escaped, being washed up alive on rocks to the south of the harbour.

Title: Re: This Day In 'Boating' History
Post by: heritorasphodel on February 09, 2013, 11:45:59 AM

The John and Charles Kennedy after she had been righted in Fraserburgh harbour.

Title: Re: RNLI posibly move post
Post by: Rottweiler on February 09, 2013, 02:22:31 PM
This refers to the boating disaster in Fraserburgh in 1953.

Perhaps someone could cover it in the section marked  'This day in boating history'  please.

Yes it has been covered in the posting listed.It quite rightly again recognises some of the sacrifices Lifeboat Crews have made over the years
Mick F
Title: This Day In 'Boating' History
Post by: ardarossan on February 09, 2013, 07:52:41 PM
February 9th...

1942: After the occupation of France, SS 'Normandie', one of the finest ocean liners ever built, had been seized by US authorities at New York and renamed USS 'Lafayette'. On the 9th February 1942, during her conversion into a troop-carrier, a workman’s cutting torch sets her alight. As the fire spread rapidly throughout the ship, thousands of tons of water were poured into the liner by the New York City Fire Department in an attempt to put out the inferno.
At 02:45hrs on the morning of the 10th Feb, SS 'Normandie'/Lafayette was overwhelmed by the weight of the water and capsized on to her port side in the mud of the Hudson River at her 'Pier 88' berth. She would never sail again.

Capsized and smouldering, the ex-liner SS 'Normandie' is damped-down by a Fireboat.

SS 'Normandie' (USS 'Lafayette'), lies capsized in the frozen mud of her New York Pier.

1960: According to her log, USS Sargo (SSN-583), a Skate-class nuclear-powered submarine, surfaced through the ice within 25ft of the North Pole at 10:49hrs. Later the same day, the Hawaiian flag was raised at the pole.
In preparation for an exploration mission below the Arctic ice, 'Sargo' had received alterations to strengthen her sail whilst being constructed; Scientific instruments were installed to assist her in navigating under the shifting polar ice and to locate open leads and thin ice through which to surface: and December 1959 brought the start of an intensive training program for the crew and scientific specialists.

USS Sargo surfaces at the North Pole on 9th February 1960
Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - February 10th
Post by: ardarossan on February 10, 2013, 06:34:36 AM
February 10th...

60: Saint Paul the Apostle thought to have been shipwrecked at Malta.

1715: The first diving equipment was demonstrated in the River Thames and accepted into service.

1744: (Admiral the Honourable Sir) William Cornwallis (GCB) was born. His father was Charles the fifth baron and first earl Cornwallis and his mother was Elizabeth, daughter of Viscount Charles Townshend. William Cornwallis would go on to become a Royal Navy officer who fought in the Napoleonic Wars, but would be best known as a friend to Nelson and as the Commander-in-chief of the Channel Fleet.

1824: Samuel Plimsoll was born on this day in Bristol. He would become a British politician, a social reformer, and would devise the 'Plimsoll Line' - The line marked on a ship's hull indicating the maximum safe draft, and therefore the minimum freeboard for the vessel in various operating conditions.

1904: Japan and Russia declare war after Japan's surprise attack on Russian fleet at Port Arthur disabled seven Russian warships.

1906: The HMS 'Dreadnought', the first of a revolutionary new breed of battleships is christened and launched by King Edward VII.

HMS Dreadnought at sea - Note the torpedo net booms folded against her side

1944: During the night, 15 Soviet bombers attacked German battleship 'Tirpitz' to little effect.

1964: On the evening of 10 February 1964, two warships of the Royal Australian Navy, the aircraft carrier HMAS Melbourne (R21) and the destroyer HMAS Voyager (D04) were performing manoeuvres off Jervis Bay, when Voyager sailed under Melbourne's bow. She was cut in two and sunk, and 82 of her crew killed.

1974: An air and sea search gets underway in the Arctic Ocean, for the Hull-based deep sea factory ship 'Gaul' and her 36-man crew after she twice fails to report in. The 18-month-old ship  did not issue any mayday signal and was fitted with the latest technology to deal with harsh conditions in the Arctic, including modern radio equipment and a dual-power system.

1999: MV 'New Carissa', a 639ft dry bulk freighter, beached for several days near the town of North Bend on the Oregon Coast, suffers major structural failure when the hull breaches near the engine room, flooding the engines with seawater, and increasing the rate at which oil is able to escape from two of her damaged fuel tanks and contaminate the coastline.
Altogether, the ships fuel tanks contain around 400 thousand gallons of diesel and bunker fuel, consequently, the Unified Command decide to use Napalm and other incendiary devices to ignite all the fuel tanks and burn off the oil.

Oil spill management, prior to igniting the fuel tanks on board 'New Carissa'
Coos Bay, Oregon. Feb. 1999
Title: This Day In 'Boating' History
Post by: ardarossan on February 10, 2013, 05:00:03 PM
February 10th...

1945: Just after midnight, the German luxury liner, SS '(General von) Steuben', was torpedoed by the Soviet submarine S-13, whilst she was participating in Operation Hannibal. She sank in about 20 minutes with a loss of over four thousand lives.
Around 300 survivors were saved by torpedo boat T-196 and brought to Kolberg (now Kołobrzeg, Poland).

'Operation Hannibal', was part of the largest evacuation by sea in modern times. The evacuation of German refugees from Poland ahead of the Soviet Army's advance into the Baltic states and East Prussia, surpassed the British retreat at Dunkirk in both the size of the operation and the number of people evacuated (estimated 2 million). Despite this, it remains one of the least-known major operations of World War II.

Several days earlier (30th January), the Soviet submarine S-13, had been responsible for the worst loss of life in maritime history, when she torpedoed the 25,484-ton German liner 'Wilhelm Gustloff', which was also being used to transport refugess from Poland as part of Operation Hannibal.

SS Steuben (Formerly named 'Munchen', and also 'General von Steuben').
Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - February 11th
Post by: ardarossan on February 11, 2013, 12:51:27 AM
February 11th...
1573: Francis Drake sees the Pacific for the first time, from a vantage point near the top of a tree in Panama.
1809: Robert Fulton patents his steamboat in the U.S. on February 11 1809. He adds a supplement on February 09, 1811.
1813: 200 Currachs were fishing off Bruckless Bay, Donegal, Ireland. When the shoal of herring they were catching, moved out to sea, it was followed by the fragile boats. Unfortunately, they were caught by a sudden storm which capsized most of them, and over 80 fishermen drowned.
A Currach is a type of Irish boat with a wooden frame, over which animal skins or hides were once stretched, though now canvas is more usual. It is sometimes anglicised as "Curragh". The construction and design of the currach are unique to the west coasts of Ireland and Scotland, with variations in size and shape by region.
Link to Plans & Drawings of various Currachs, from the book "British Coracles and Irish Currachs"  (
A Currach on the shore in Inishbofin, Galway

1847: Thomas Alva Edison born in Milan, Ohio, USA. He was the seventh and last child of Samuel Ogden Edison, Jr. and Nancy Matthews Elliott.
Thomas Edison would go on to become the fourth most prolific inventor in history, holding 1,093 US patents in his name, as well as many patents in the United Kingdom, France, and Germany.
"Genius is one percent inspiration, ninety-nine percent perspiration." Thomas Eddison, 1902.

1893: SS 'Naronic', built by Harland and Wolff in Belfast for the White Star Line, was lost at sea after leaving Liverpool bound for New York. For this voyage, 'Naronic' had a crew of 50, plus 24 cattlemen to attend to the ship's primary cargo, livestock. After leaving Liverpool, she stopped briefly at Point Lynas, Anglesey, North Wales, to put her Maritime pilot ashore before heading west into heavy seas, never to be seen again. The ship's fate is a mystery that remains unsolved to this day.
1907: During the night of 11th/12 February, off Rhode Island's Block Island, the 250ft passenger side-wheel steamer, 'Larchmont' was sailing through a blizzard when she was struck by a coal-hauling schooner, the 'Harry Knowlton'. The 'Knowlton' tore into the 'Larchmont', causing her to keel over and fill with freezing water. The boilers exploded, filling the ship with steam, and within 15 minutes the 'Larchmont' had sunk taking most of her passengers to their deaths. Reasonable estimates put the death toll between 183 and 200, but couldn't be confirmed as the only copy of the passenger list went down with the ship. There were 17 survivors. The incident would be Rhode Island’s worst maritime disaster of the 20th century.
Illustration of SS Larchmont

1942: The Channel Dash, (codenamed Operation Cerberus by the Germans), was a major naval engagement during World War II in which a German Kriegsmarine squadron consisting of 'Scharnhorst', 'Gneisenau', and heavy cruiser 'Prinz Eugen' along with escort destroyers 'Paul Jakobi', 'Richard Beitzen', 'Friedrich Ihn', 'Hermann Schoemann', Z-25, and Z-29, ran a British blockade and sailed from Brest in Brittany to their home bases in Germany via the English Channel. Scharnhorst struck two mines while passing through the English Channel but entered Wilhelmshaven on the 13th February.
1971: Eighty-seven countries, including UK, USA, and USSR, sign the Seabed Treaty outlawing the placement of nuclear weapons on the ocean floor in international waters.
1977: Off Nova Scotia, a fisherman catches a 20.2 kg lobster. It is the world's heaviest known crustacean.
1999: Aground for a week on a beach north of Coos Bay, Oregon, the MV 'New Carissa', a 639ft wood-chip freighter, was being battered by the surf and had started to leak oil from two of her fuel tanks. An inspection revealed that yesterday's attempt to burn-off the fuel in her tanks hadn't been unsuccessful, with only one tank having burned.
A second attempt was made today by explosive experts from the US Navy, using 39 shaped charges to breach the top of the fuel tanks, and 2,280 litres of Napalm with nearly 180 kg of plastic explosives to ignite the fuel within the cargo holds.
When the explosives were detonated, a giant fireball burst up into the sky, and a plume of thick, black, oily smoke, belching out from the holds, confirmed the diesel & bunker fuel had set alight. The fire would continue to burn for approximately 33 hours.
Offshore view of 'New Carissa' as explosives are detonated within her hull

Title: Re: This Day In 'Boating' History
Post by: Capt Podge on February 12, 2013, 01:48:03 AM
Wednesday, 12th February 1941   The German battlecruiser 'Admiral Hipper' encountered a Freetown to UK convoy of nineteen ships, she sank five of them, one of which was 'SS Derrynane' (4,684t) Laurenco Marques, Portuguese East-Africa, to the Humber with a cargo of iron ore.
Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - February 12th...
Post by: ardarossan on February 12, 2013, 08:01:22 AM
February 12th...

1502: Commanding a fleet of 15 ships with 800 men, Vasco da Gama sets sail from Lisbon, Portugal, on his second voyage to India.

1809: Charles Robert Darwin is born at his family home, The Mount, Shrewsbury, Shropshire, England. The fifth of six children of wealthy society doctor and financier Robert Darwin, and Susannah Darwin (née Wedgwood). Later, his five-year voyage on HMS Beagle would establish him as an eminent geologist and publication of his 'journal of the voyage' would make him famous as a popular author.

1909: SS 'Penguin', a New Zealand inter-island ferry, set sail from Picton for an evening crossing to Wellington, but ran into a storm. The captain, uncertain of his exact position due to poor visibility, decided to head further out to sea until the weather improved. As the ship turned, it struck an (unconfirmed) object and seawater rushed in. When the cold seawater reached the the boilers, the resulting explosion tore the ship apart. The lifeboats were launched, but many capsized, tipping passengers into the heavy seas or trapping them underneath. Of the 102 people on board, 72 people drowned.
The incident was New Zealand's worst maritime disaster of the 20th century.

'Penguin' in the French Pass N.Z. Originally built by Tod & MacGregor, Glasgow, 1839.

1915: One of the biggest air raids of World War I occured, when 34 planes from the British Naval Wing attacked three German-occupied coastal towns in Belgium. One of their targets was Zeebrugge, which the Germans were using as an operations base for their deadly submarine warfare, and from where they planned to blockade the Belgian coast.
The raids were successful, causing massive damage to the occupying military force. Despite coming under heavy German anti-aircraft fire, not a single Allied plane was shot down and no Allied lives were lost.

1927: The first contingent of British troops land in Shanghai to begin protection of British citizens from the Chinese Civil War that was threatening the city. Within a week, 21 warships from the U.S., Britain, Japan, France and Italy had anchored at the Huangpu River.

1935: One of the two largest helium-filled rigid airships, USS 'Macon' (ZRS-5), built and operated by the United States Navy, suffers a structural failure and loses a tail fin during a storm over California's Big Sur coast. Despite losing gas, it takes 20 minutes for her to descend into the sea off Monterey Bay where she sank, along with four Curtiss F9C Sparrowhawk biplanes still stowed in their bays inside her hull.

Flying aircraft-carrier USS 'Macon' over New York City.

1944: The 'Oria', was a Norwegian steamship commandeered by the Germans to transport Italian prisoners-of-war from the Dodecanese Islands (Rhodes etc.) to Piraeus, Greece. Whilst carrying (well) in excess of 4,000 Italian POW's, approximately 90 Germans (guards & transfers), and the ships crew, she ran into a severe storm near the island of Patroklos and sank close to the Gaidaroneos Reef off  Cape Sounion.
With more than four thousand casualties, this was one of the worst maritime disasters ever, and possibly the worst loss of life caused by the sinking of a single ship in the Mediterranean Sea. Varying sources estimate there were between 20 and 60 survivors.

1946: At 1004hrs. the Type XXI boat U-3514 received the distinction of being the last U-Boat sunk during Operation Deadlight. Operation Deadlight was the codename given to the routine scuttling of 116 captured German U-boats in deep water off the North-West coast of Ireland/West coast of Scotland. Further details at (

1947: Off the coast of Point Mugu, California, the USS Cusk (SS-348) becomes the world's first missile submarine when she successfully launches a 'Loon' guided missile. USS Cusk website at (

USS 'Cusk' launching the first guided-missile from a submarine. 12th February 1946.

1999: A USCG helicopter is dwarfed in size as it surveys the ex-639ft wood-chip freighter 'New Carissa' which ran aground at Coos Bay, Oregon on the 4th February.
Unfortunately, the structural stress caused by the fire, combined with continued severe weather, caused the vessel to break into two sections around midnight of February 11th/12th. and whilst the fuel-oil fires were still burning, the hope of averting an ecologically disastrous oil spill was looking less likely...

The 'New Carissa' x 2, near Coos Bay, Oregon - 12th February 1999.
Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - 'The Khedive Ismail Tragedy'
Post by: ardarossan on February 12, 2013, 03:43:03 PM
February 12th...
1944: Requisitioned as a British troopship, the 7,513-ton SS 'Khedive Ismail' was part of Convoy KR-8 sailing from Mombasa, Kenya to Colombo, Ceylon. The convoy consisted of five troop transports ('Khedive Ismail', 'City of Paris', 'Varsova', 'Ekma' & 'Ellenga'), escorted by the heavy cruiser HMS 'Hawkins' and the destroyers HMS 'Petard' and HMS 'Paladin'.

'Khedive Ismail' was carrying 1,511 personnel including 178 crew, 996 officers and men of the East African Artillery´s 301st Field Regiment, 271 Royal Navy personnel, and a detachment of 19 Wrens. Also on board were 53 nursing sisters accompanied by one matron, and 9 members of the First Aid Nursing Yeomanry.

In the early afternoon of Saturday 12th February 1944, the Japanese B1 type submarine I-27, attacked the convoy in the 'One and a Half Degree Channel', south-west of the Maldives, destroying the 'Khedive Ismail' with two torpedoes. She sank in just two minutes.

As survivors floundered in the sea, I-27 submerged and hid beneath them. While HMS 'Paladin' lowered boats over her side to rescue survivors, HMS 'Petard' raced in to launch a counter-attack. The grim reality of the situation becoming apparent as she began to release depth charges whilst the survivors were still in the water.

On 'Petard’s' third run, her depth charges forced I-27 to the surface. 'Paladin' rammed the submarine, in the process causing considerable damage to herself. Finally a torpedo from 'Petard' destroyed the I-27.

The sinking was the third worst Allied shipping disaster of World War II. 1,297 people were lost, including 77 women, the worst single loss of female personnel in the history of the British Commonwealth. There were 214 survivors, 208 men and 6 women.

SS 'Khedive Ismail' (formerly 'Aconcagua').
Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - 'The Loss of MLB 44363 - Quillayute River'
Post by: ardarossan on February 12, 2013, 09:29:08 PM
February 12th...

1997: Somewhat larger and a great deal heavier than the Billings Boat model of a similar subject, the sculpture of U.S.C.G. 44ft Motor Lifeboat '44363', mounted on top of a 7,300lbs block of Granite (below), is situated within the grounds of Station Quillayute River, La Push, Washington.

It is a memorial marking the tragic loss of three of the four Coast Guardsmen who responded to a distress call from a small demasted sailboat, the 'Gale Runner', in danger of sinking in the stormy North Pacific Ocean, off Washington State's Quillayute River Bar.

In the early morning, the four-man crew of '44363' had set out from C.G. Station Quillayute River towards the helpless 'Gale Runner'. Shortly after they crossed the treacherous Quillayute River bar, their Lifeboat was capsized by a towering wave. The lifeboat righted itself and the crew pressed on. The tumultuous sea struck again, this time tossing the boat stern over bow, before rolling her for a third time, ripping the superstructure off and battering her against the rocks.

At some point whilst this was happening, Boatswain's Mate Second Class David A. Bosley, Machinery Technician Matthew Schlimme, and Seaman Clinton Miniken were swept into the churning sea and drowned. Somehow, Seaman Apprentice Benjamin Wingo remained tethered, and was the only survivor aboard the severely damaged lifeboat. It was the first fatal sinking of this type in its 35-year history.

The two people aboard the battered sailboat were rescued by a Coast Guard helicopter crew moments before the boat also struck the rocks.

The C.G. Stn. Quillayute River Memorial

Title: Re: This Day In 'Boating' History
Post by: Capt Podge on February 13, 2013, 12:22:08 AM
Friday, 13th February 1942   'Motor Minesweeper 180' lost in a collision off the Tyne.
 Sunday, 13th February 1944   The Free French minesweeping trawler 'Cap D'Antifer' was torpedoed by an E Boat off the Humber.
Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - February 13th
Post by: ardarossan on February 13, 2013, 07:41:04 PM
February 13th...

1601: The East India Company's first voyage departs from Woolwich for the Spice Islands. The five-vessel fleet acomprise of, the 'Red Dragon' (renamed 'Scourge of Malice'), commanded by James Lancaster, the 'Hector' (300 tons), 'Ascension' (260 tons), 'Susan' (240 tons) and the 'Gift', a small victualler.

1633: Italian astronomer Galileo Galilei arrived in Rome for trial before the Inquisition for professing belief that earth revolves around the Sun
1718: (Admiral Sir) George Brydges Rodney (1st Baron Rodney, KB) was was baptized in St Giles-in-the-Fields. He was most likely born sometime in January 1718 either in Walton-on-Thames or in London, though the family seat was Rodney Stoke, Somerset. He was the third of four surviving children of Henry Rodney and Mary Rodney (born Mary Newton).
Rodney would be sent to Harrow School, his naval career beginning at the age of fourteen as a volunteer on board HMS Sunderland.

1782: The French fleet under de Grasse occupies St Christopher.

1831: Rear Admiral Sir Edward Berry, 1st Baronet, KCB (1768 - 13th February 1831), died at his residence in Bath, England, and was buried at nearby St Swithin’s Church, Walcot, Bath, (where his grave can still be seen).
He entered the British Royal Navy at the age of 10, as a volunteer aboard the 'Burford'.
He was known primarily for his role as flag captain of Rear Admiral Horatio Nelson's ship HMS Vanguard at the Battle of the Nile, until he received his knighthood on 12th December 1798 when he was also given the Freedom of the City of London.
He commanded HMS Agamemnon at the Battle of Trafalgar, and in 1921 became a Rear Admiral.

Captain Sir Edward Berry, 1768-1831, oil on canvas, by John Singleton Copley

1934: On 2nd August 1933, SS 'Chelyuskin', a recently completed Soviet steamship, reinforced to navigate through polar ice, left Murmansk with an expedition of 111 people on board to determine the possibility of a non-icebreaker passing through the Northern Maritime Route in a single navigation season. The steamship managed to get through most of the route before it was caught in the ice fields in September. After that it drifted in the ice pack, before it was eventually crushed and sank on 13th February 1934, near Kolyuchin Island in the Chukchi Sea.

1943: Avro Lancaster Mk III ED450 (EA-G) from 49 Squadron based at Fiskerton in Lincolnshire, caught a Barrage Balloon cable and crashed on the breakwater in Plymouth Sound as she returned from a raid on the U-boat pens at Lorient in France. The 5-man crew were never recovered.

2000: The last original "Peanuts" comic strip appears in newspapers one day after Charles M. Schulz dies.

( (
Title: Re: This Day In 'Boating' History
Post by: Capt Podge on February 14, 2013, 12:50:57 AM
Wednesday, 14th February 1940   'SS Langleeford' (4,622t) steamer, Boston to the Tyne was torpedoed by U 26 about 70 miles from Fastnet. Four of her crew died.
'SS Tiberton' (5,225t) cargo ship, Narvik to Middlesbrough with iron ore, disappeared, possibly sunk by U 23. All 33 of her crew perished.
Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - February 14th 'Captain James Cook'
Post by: ardarossan on February 14, 2013, 01:40:07 PM
February 14th...

1779: Whilst Captain Cook's crew were making repairs to 'Resolution' in Kealakekua Bay, the theft of a ship's cutter by the Hawaiian islanders lead Captain Cook to put ashore to demand the return of the boat, possibly attempting to take the chief hostage to trade for the cutter's return.

Unfortunately, the situation escalated, and when the party turned to retreat from the beach, they were attacked by the islanders who clubbed Captain Cook to the ground. Lying face down in the surf, he was then stabbed to death, before the Hawaiians dragged his body away. Four of the Marines with Cook were also killed and two wounded in the confrontation.

Following an appeal by Captain Clerke and the crew, (some of) Cook's remains were eventually returned. After confirming that the remains were those of Captain Cook, they were placed into a coffin, and with great ceremony, were buried at sea on 21st February 1779.

Captain James Cook, FRS, RN (7th November 1728 - 14th February 1779)

World renowned as explorer and navigator, Cook's achievements in mapping the Pacific, New Zealand and Australia radically changed understanding of world geography and set the seal on the quality of British prepared charts which still exists today. His work led to the formation of the Royal Navy Survey Squadrons whose charts are second to none with every ship afloat carrying its share of Admiralty Charts.
Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - February 14th
Post by: ardarossan on February 14, 2013, 06:27:16 PM
February 14th...

1778: The United States Flag is formally recognized by a foreign naval vessel for the first time, when French Admiral Toussaint-Guillaume Picquet de la Motte rendered a nine gun salute to USS 'Ranger', commanded by John Paul Jones.

USS 'Ranger' receives a nine-gun salute

1797: The Battle of Cape St Vincent takes place. One of the opening battles of The Anglo-Spanish War (1796–1808), and part of the French Revolutionary Wars, the British fleet under Admiral Sir John Jervis defeating a larger Spanish fleet under Admiral Don José de Córdoba in a massive engagement near Cape St. Vincent, Portugal.

The Battle of Cape St Vincent

1813: USS 'Essex' becomes first United States warship to round Cape Horn and enter the Pacific Ocean.

The USS 'Essex'

1814: Frigate USS 'Constitution' captures British armed merchant vessel 'Lovely Ann' and British 16-gun schooner HMS 'Pictou' within hours of each other. 'Lovely Ann' is kept as a prize, whilst 'Pictou' is destroyed.

1879: The War of the Pacific breaks out when Chilean armed forces occupy the Bolivian port city of Antofagasta.

1939: The massive hull of the German battleship 'Bismarck' was launched at the Blohm & Voss Shipyard facilities in Hamburg. The launch ceremony was attended by thousands of people, government officials, military personalities, and yard workers. At the time of her launch she had a straight stem, although this would later be replaced with the Atlantic bow.

The launching of the 'Bismarck'
Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - February 15th...
Post by: ardarossan on February 15, 2013, 07:48:11 AM
February 15th...
1493: The first known document announcing the results of the first voyage of Christopher Columbus that reached the Americas in 1492 was ostensibly written by Columbus himself, on February 15, 1493, aboard the 'Nińa', while still at sea, on the return leg of his voyage. A post-script was added upon his arrival in Lisbon on May 4, 1493, and it was probably from there that Columbus dispatched two copies of his letter to the Spanish court.

Fullsize replica of Columbus' 'Nina'

1564: Galileo Galilei was born in Pisa (then part of the Duchy of Florence), Italy, the first of six children of Vincenzo Galilei (a famous lutenist, composer, and music theorist;) and Giulia Ammannati. Galileo would become a physicist, mathematician, astronomer, philosopher, and play a major role in the Scientific Revolution.

1856: USS 'Supply', commanded by LT David Dixon Porter, sails from Smyrna, Syria, bound for Indianola, Texas, with a load of 21 camels intended for experimental use in the American desert west of the Rockies.

1874: (Sir) Ernest Henry Shackleton, (CVO, OBE, FRGS) was born in Kilkea near Athy, County Kildare, Ireland, about 46 miles from Dublin. Ernest's father was Henry Shackleton, and his mother was Henrietta Letitia Sophia Gavan. Ernest was the second of their ten children and the first of two sons.
He would become an experienced polar explorer and recognised as one of the principal figures of the period known as the Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration.

1894: Possibly the first "international terrorist" incident in Britain occurs with an attempted bombing at the Royal Observatory, Greenwich. The bomb was accidentally detonated while being held by 26-year-old French anarchist Martial Bourdin in Greenwich Park, near the Observatory building. With his hand completely missing and a gaping hole in his stomach, Bourdin died about 30 minutes later. It is not known why he chose the observatory, or whether the detonation was intended to occur elsewhere.

1882: First cargo of frozen meat leaves New Zealand for Britain, on the SS 'Dunedin'. She sailed with 4331 mutton, 598 lamb and 22 pig carcasses, 250 kegs of butter, as well as hare, pheasant, turkey, chicken and 2226 sheep tongues. She would arrive in Britain 98 days later to complete a truly successful transport of refrigerated meat.

SS 'Dunedin' by Frederick Tudgay

1898: While USS 'Maine' is at anchor in Havana harbour, she is sunk by an explosion (of undetermined origin) in the ship's magazine. Of the 374 officers and men aboard, 266 died immediately, another eight died later from their injuries. The sinking leads the United States to declare war on Spain.

1912: The Norwegian ship 'Fram', which had just dropped off Roald Amundsen’s party for their own record-setting push to be first to the South Pole, reaches latitude 78°41'S, the farthest south ever by surface ship. Therefore, the 'Fram' also became the first ship to have sailed the farthest north and the farthest south.

A 1:50 model of 'Fram' (1910-1912), by Egil Kalland.
The Fram Museum, Oslo, Norway.

1974: The Air & Sea search for the missing British trawler 'Gaul' and her 36-man crew is called off. After vanishing in a force ten gale, 70 miles north of Norway a week ago, it is believed the 'Gaul' sank on 8th or 9th February 1974.
An official report later that year concluded the ship had been swamped by heavy seas. Several theories circulated regarding 'Gaul's' fate, until she was located in 1997. Investigation of the wreck via an ROV, suggested that a chute design fault lead to the tragedy. Despite the new evidence, the case remains closed. 

1982: Off the Atlantic coast of Newfoundland, an intense weather system (cyclone) producing 100-knot winds and 55-65ft waves, capsizes and sinks the 'Ocean Ranger', a semi-submersible mobile offshore drilling rig, killing all 84 crew members.

The 'Ocean Ranger'
Title: Re: This Day In 'Boating' History
Post by: Capt Podge on February 15, 2013, 11:57:11 PM
Saturday, 15th/Sunday, 16th February 1941   
South Shields:
The Model Yacht House in the South Park and a small building were completely wrecked; and parts of the plane, maps, papers and clothing were subsequently collected from the South Park and dredged from the Lake.
Title: Re: This Day In 'Boating' History
Post by: Capt Podge on February 16, 2013, 12:01:38 AM
Oops ! sorry about that - somehow managed to miss the relevant details regarding this air-raid (see above posting)
South Shields.. This night will be long remembered in South Shields. 130 enemy aircraft were engaged in an action on the coast from Hull to Berwick. Bombers& minelayers came over in waves and were met with intense AA fire. At 00.25.. a Heinkel 111, was hit by gunfire& collided with a Barrage Balloon cable on the North Foreshore. Part of one wing was broken off and fell on the shore. The plane lost height very quickly and crashed in Beach Rd., exactly on the crater made in 1940. One member of the crew bailed out but his parachute caught on the overhead wires and he hung downwards until rescued. He was badly injured and died shortly after admission to the Ingham Infirmary. The remainder of the crew perished with their plane on impact with the ground.
At 00.50.. a mine, which had not been released from the bomb rack of the plane, exploded with terrific force. Some idea of the explosion may be gathered from the facts that it was seen and heard from beyond Newcastle and many windows were broken as far away as Tynemouth, North Shields, Westoe and Laygate.
The Model Yacht House in the South Park and a small building were completely wrecked; and parts of the plane, maps, papers and clothing were subsequently collected from the South Park and dredged from the Lake.
Unhappily the explosion had tragic results; one officer of the Borough Police Force& one Auxiliary Fireman were killed; two other members of the AFS died in hospital. Seventeen more members of the Police Force, Fire Brigade and Auxiliary Fire Service were injured, some very gravely, and were admitted to the Ingham Infirmary.
Title: Re: This Day In 'Boating' History
Post by: Capt Podge on February 16, 2013, 01:21:26 AM
Sunday, 16th February 1941   The paddle steamer 'Southsea' (825t) was on Admiralty service as a minesweeper when she hit a mine, killing seven of her crew. She was subsequently beached and abandoned between Herd Groyne and South Shields pier. Her remains now lie in 20ft of water, just off the beach at Herd Sands at 55°00'06"N - 01°25'00"W. The framework of her paddles can be seen at low water. She was built in 1930.
Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - February 16th
Post by: ardarossan on February 16, 2013, 06:18:57 AM
February 16th...

1804: During the First Barbary War, Lt. Stephen Decatur leads a raiding party aboard the disguised ketch USS 'Intrepid'. Entering Tripoli harbour by night, they are unable to reclaim the captured frigate USS 'Philadelphia', so it is destroyed instead. The raiding party escape with no fatalities. British Vice Admiral Lord Horatio Nelson, who at the time was blockading the French port at Toulon, claimed that it was "the most bold and daring act of the Age."

Burning of the USS 'Philadelphia' by Edward Moran (1897)

1832: Voyage of H.M.S. Beagle (1831-36): Westbound across the Atlantic, the 'Beagle' stops at the tiny island of St Pauls. Darwin notes that there are just two kinds of birds (the booby and the noddy), which are so tame and unaccustomed to visitors that he could have hit them with his geological hammer. Shortly after leaving St. Pauls, the 'Beagle' crosses the equator. Four days later, they arrive at the volcanic island of Fernando de Noronha, where they stay for just a few hours.

A Brown Booby

1870: The British clipper ship 'The Cutty Sark' is commissioned.

1940: The German tanker 'Altmark', suspected of illegally transporting 299 British merchant seamen (hidden in her hold) through neutral Norwegian waters, was intercepted and boarded by British sailors from the destroyer HMS 'Cossack' (F03). After some hand-to-hand fighting with bayonets and the last recorded Royal Naval action with cutlass, the 'Altmark's' crew were overwhelmed and the British prisoners were found and released. 
To date, the incident remains the last major boarding action fought by the Royal Navy.

1960: The U.S. Navy submarine USS 'Triton' (SSRN-586) sails from New London, Connecticut, on what was announced as her shakedown cruise at the beginning of 'Operation Sandblast' - the first submerged circumnavigation of the globe. Although submerging soon after departure, the actual circumnavigation wouldn't begin until 24th February, when 'Triton' marks the St. Peter and Paul Rocks in the Central Atlantic Ocean as her start/finish point.

Departure of USS 'Triton' (SSRN-586), 16 February 1960.

1986: MS Mikhail Lermontov ran aground on rocksand sank near Port Gore in the Marlborough Sounds, New Zealand, resulting in the death of one crew member. Launched in 1972, Mikhail Lermontov was the last of the five 'poet' ships: Ivan Franko, Taras Shevchenko, Alexandr Pushkin (now Marco Polo), Shota Rustaveli and Mikhail Lermontov. Originally used as an ocean liner between Leningrad and New York , the Soviet government realised that there was more money to be made by converting it to a cruise ship.

MS Mikhail Lermontov after conversion to acruise ship

1993: The Haitian passenger ferry 'Neptune' sank in a squall. Grossly overcrowded with up to 2000 passengers on their way to market, it was said that the 150ft vessel capsized when the passengers rushed to the leeward side of the ship to shelter from the weather. Estimates suggested that somewhere in the region of 1,500 people lost their lives.
Title: Re: This Day In 'Boating' History
Post by: Capt Podge on February 17, 2013, 12:31:39 AM
Monday, 17th February 1941   'SS Empire Knoll' (2,824t) was wrecked off the Tyne's north pier, just by the foundations of the old pier, while she was waiting to load for maiden voyage. The crew of thirty-two got ashore safely. She became a total wreck and much of her remains on the sea-bed, on the seaward side of the north pier, to this day.
 Monday, 17th/Tuesday, 18th February 1941   Approximately ninety enemy aircraft employed in minelaying activities off Flamborough Head and southwards.
Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - February 17th
Post by: ardarossan on February 17, 2013, 02:47:34 PM
February 17th...

1621: Myles Standish, an English military officer and one of the .Mayflower' passengers, is elected to be the first commander of Plymouth colony. The colony continued to re-elect him to that position for the remainder of his life.

1836: Voyage of H.M.S. Beagle (1831-36): 'Beagle' & Darwin leave Van Diemen's Land (Tasmania), sailing west for King George's Sound, on the South-West tip of Australia.

1864: The Confederate States submarine 'H. L. Hunley', plays a small part in the American Civil War, but a large role in the history of naval warfare when she becomes the first combat submarine to sink an enemy warship, the 1240-short ton screw sloop USS 'Housatonic'. She also demonstrated the dangers of undersea warfare as she was also lost at some point following the  attack. The Confederacy lost 21 crewmen in three sinkings of the 'Hunley' during her short career.

An illustration of CSS 'H.L. Hunley'

1911: Glenn Curtiss flies his 'hydro-aeroplane' (seaplane) from North Island to the battleship USS 'Pennsylvania' anchored in San Diego Bay. A boat crane was then used to hoist the seaplane aboard the ship. Later, the seaplane was lowered to the water and Curtiss returned to North Island. This was the first demonstration for the Navy showing the practicability of the seaplane.

Glenn Curtiss being hoisted aboard USS 'Pennsylvania'

1999: After the fires have burned out aboard of the 'New Carissa', the newly broken dry-bulk freighter, aground since 4th February north of Coos Bay, Oregon, an inspection reveals an estimated 130,000 to 150,000 gallons of unburned fuel oil is still on board. Calculations suggest that the total amount of fuel-oil burned was somewhere between 165,000 and 255,000 US gallons.
With the tugboat 'Sea Victory' now in attendance, high seas foil an attempt to tow the bow section to sea and sink it. Officials announce new plans to pump fuel oil off the ship before trying again.
'New Carissa' Broken and hard aground in heavy seas
Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - Feb 17th
Post by: ardarossan on February 17, 2013, 09:36:37 PM
February 17th... The 'Terra Nova' Expedition - Return from the South Pole.

1912: Petty Officer Edgar Evans, RN, perished on the 17 February 1912, when returning from the South Pole with the Southern Party of the British Antarctic Expedition under the command of Captain Robert Falcon Scott, C.V.O., R.N.
Evans was suffering from a severe head injury sustained after a fall into a crevasse two weeks earlier, he was also malnourished and carrying a hand injury. Struggling with severe frostbite and noticably run-down, he was having difficulty keeping up in the extreme conditions and collapsed near the bottom of Beardmore Glacier. Later he fell into a coma before finally passing away in his tent that night.
"To seek, to strive, to find, and not to yield."

Edgar Evans (7th March 1876 – 17th February 1912) and the 'Terra Nova'
Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - February 18th...
Post by: ardarossan on February 18, 2013, 07:20:18 AM
February 18th...

1637: 'The Battle off Lizard Point' occured off the coast of Cornwall, England, during the Eighty Years' War. The Spanish Admiral Miguel de Horna, commander of the Armada of Flanders, intercepted an important Anglo-Dutch merchant convoy of 44 vessels escorted by 6 warships, destroying or capturing 20 of them, before returning safely to his base in Dunkirk.

An early 17th century naval battle between the Spanish and Dutch.

1639: The 'Action of 18 February 1639', also a naval battle of the Eighty Years' War, was fought off Dunkirk between a blockading Dutch fleet under Admiral Maarten Tromp and the Spanish Dunkirk Squadron under Miguel de Horna. When the Spanish attempted to exit Dunkirk, a ferocious 4-hour battle ensued. Horna was forced to retreat into Dunkirk leaving behind two of his galleons, with another one ran aground, whilst many of Tromp's ships suffered heavy damage and were forced to abandon the blockade.

'The naval battle against the Spaniards near Dunkerque, 18 february 1639'
by Willem van de Velde the Elder (1659).

1653: The three-day long Battle of Portland (18th-20th February 1653 New Style), saw the English inflict a heavy defeat on a Dutch fleet under Admiral Maarten Tromp, in the process regaining control of the English Channel, lost after the Dutch victory at Dungeness in the previous November.

1797: As part of the French Revolutionary Wars, a fleet of 18 warships under the command of Sir Ralph Abercromby invade and take the Island of Trinidad. Within a few days the last Spanish Governor, Don José María Chacón surrendered the island to Abercromby.

1846: A General order was issued by the Secretary of the US Department of Navy "on Port and Starboard", in which the term "port" replaced "larboard".

1946: Sailors of the Royal Indian Navy mutinied in Bombay (Mumbai) harbour, from where the action gathered suppost and spread throughout the Provinces of British India, ultimately coming to involve 78 ships, 20 shore establishments and 20,000 sailors. It was repressed by force by the British Royal Navy.   

Revolt broke out on board the Royal Indian Navy ship, HMIS 'Hindustan' off Manora Island.
Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - February 19th
Post by: ardarossan on February 19, 2013, 08:21:47 PM
February 19th...

1473: Nicolaus Copernicus, was born in Toruń in north central Poland. He would become known as a Renaissance mathematician, an astronomer, and the first modern European scientist to propose that the Earth and other planets revolve around the Sun. The publication of Copernicus' epochal book, De revolutionibus orbium coelestium (On the Revolutions of the Celestial Spheres), just before his death in 1543, is considered a major event in the history of science.

Nicolaus Copernicus portrait from Town Hall in Toruń (1580)

1819: While sailing to Valparaiso, Chile, Captain William Smith in the British merchant brig 'Williams', deviated from his route south of Cape Horn, and on 19 February sighted 'Williams Point', the northeast extremity of Livingston Island. Thus Livingston Island became the first land ever discovered south of the 60th southern latitude. Smith revisited the South Shetlands, landed on King George Island on 16 October 1819, and claimed possession for Britain.

1878: Thomas Edison patents the phonograph. While other inventors had produced devices that could record sounds, Edison's phonograph was the first to be able to reproduce the recorded sound. His phonograph originally recorded sound onto a tinfoil sheet phonograph cylinder, and could both record and reproduce sounds.

1915: The naval operations in the Dardanelles Campaign begins at 07:30hrs, with two allied destroyers moving in to probe the straits. The first shot was fired from Kumkale by the Orhaniye Tepe battery's 240 mm (9.4 in) Krupp guns at 07:58. The battleships HMS 'Cornwallis' and 'Vengeance' moved in to engage the forts and the first British shot of the campaign proper was fired at 09:51 by 'Cornwallis'.

1942: Australia came under attack for the first time with Japanese air raids on Darwin. The attacks were planned and led by the commander responsible for the attack on Pearl Harbour ten weeks earlier, and involved 54 land-based bombers and approximately 188 attack aircraft which were launched from four Japanese aircraft-carriers in the Timor Sea.
Heavy bombers pattern-bombed the harbour and town, dive bombers escorted by Zero fighters attacked shipping in the harbour, the military and civil aerodromes, the hospital at Berrimah, and the Royal Australian Air Force base at Parap. The raids killed at least 243 people and between 300 and 400 were wounded. Twenty military aircraft were destroyed, eight ships at anchor in the harbour were sunk, and most civil and military facilities in Darwin were destroyed.
The air attacks on Darwin continued until November 1943, by which time the Japanese had bombed Darwin 64 times.

Ammunition-ship 'Neptuna' on the outer-berth (about to explode), and 'Barrossa' on the inner-berth.
Darwin Harbour, 19th February, 1942.

1945: After months of preparatory naval bombardment, The Battle of Iwo Jima begins at 08:59hrs, one minute ahead of schedule, as the first of an eventual 30,000 U.S. Marines land on the beach. The initial wave was not hit by Japanese fire for quite some time. It was the plan of General Kuribayashi to hold fire until the beach was full of the Marines and their equipment.

Enemy fire screams overhead as US Marines haul an ammo cart up the beach
Iwo Jima, 19th February,1945.

1967: The Aith Lifeboat launched into a storm and choppy seas at 05:48hrs to assist the 12-man crew of the Aberdeen-based trawler 'Juniper', which went aground in Lyra Sound, Shetland Islands, on the night of 18/19 February 1967.
When the lifeboat eventually reached and got alongside the 'Juniper', it was damaged after twice striking the trawler, as the swell was causing her to rise and fall some 12-15 feet during the process of taking-off the trawler crew.
A Silver Medal was awarded to Coxswain John R Nicholson, and the Thanks of the Institution inscribed on Vellum awarded to the seven members of the crew for their courage, skill and determination in the execution of the rescue.

1977: Using the research submersible Alvin (DSV-2), deep-ocean researchers John B. Corliss and John M. Elmond found an extraordinary oasis of life on the Pacific Ocean floor off the Galapagos Islands, including new types of worms, clams and crabs around geothermal hot water vents. These organisms appeared to depend upon bacteria oxidizing hydrogen sulfide contained in the volcanic gases spewing out of the hot springs.

'Alvin' in 1978, a year after first exploring hydrothermal vents.
The rack hanging at the bow holds sample containers.
Title: Re: This Day In 'Boating' History
Post by: Capt Podge on February 20, 2013, 01:07:04 AM
Thursday, 20th February 1941   'HM Trawler Marjorie Hastie' struck a mine and was driven ashore in a force 7 NNE gale at Marsden. Her crew was rescued.
This is her history:

Yard Number: 631

Renamed: WALTER PATON (by 1946); KENDALE (by 1957)

Requisitioned in June 1940 and converted to minesweeper. Returned to owners, November 1945.
Owned in 1943 by Ardrossan Tr. Co. Ltd, North Shields.
Owned in 1946 by Ardrossan Tr Co. Ltd, Glasgow and renamed WALTER PATON.
Owned in 1957 by J & L Tomlinson, North Shields and renamed KENDALE.
R Hastie & Sons, Aberdeen and North Shields
A. HALL & Co., Aberdeen
length 123 1/3' x breadth 23 1/12' x depth 13'
Gross Tonnage: 244 ton

( (
upload foto (
This image is the vessel as the Kendale.
Title: Re: This Day In 'Boating' History
Post by: BrianB6 on February 20, 2013, 01:36:19 AM
 20th. February 1815About 6 p.m. the British 22-gun ship Cyane, Captain Gordon Thomas Falcon, and the 20-gun ship Levant, Captain and senior officer, the Honourable George Douglas, in order to protect a merchant convoy, engaged the “nominally 44, but mounting 50 guns” U.S.S. Constitution who opened fire with her 32-pdrs. well out of range of the British ships' carronades.[/color]By 10.30 p.m. both British ships had been so damaged that they had to surrender and were taken as prizes.[/size]Out of her 115 men and 16 boys, the Levant had six seamen and marines killed, one officer and 15 seamen and marines wounded; and the Cyane, out of her 145 men and 26 boys, had six seamen and marines killed and 13 wounded. The Constitution had on board 469. Out of this number, she had six killed and mortally wounded and six others severely and slightly wounded.After the capture, while on his way to one of the Cape de Verds islands, Captain Stewart of the Constitution had the Cyane painted so as to resemble a 36-gun frigate. The object of this was to ‘aggrandize his exploit in the wondering eyes of the gaping citizens of Boston.’ On the 28th of June a court-martial was held on board the Akbar at Halifax, Nova-Scotia, to try the two captains and their respective officers and ships' companies for the loss of the Levant and Cyane. They were all, except three seamen of the Cyane who deserted to the Americans, most honourably acquitted for the surrender of their ships, and justly applauded for the gallant defence they had made, against an enemy ship so decidedly superior.At the court-martial, it was stated by the British officers, “that the crews of the two ships were, for three weeks, kept constantly in the Constitution's hold, with both hands and legs in irons, and there allowed but three pints of water during the 24 hours. This, too, in a tropical climate !”[/color]To a modern generation this seems shocking, considering that it was known that a peace treaty had been signed and, in fact, had been ratified three days before the action.[/size]
Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - February 20th
Post by: ardarossan on February 20, 2013, 04:08:02 PM
February 20th...

1472: The islands of Orkney and Shetland (both possessions of the Norwegian crown), are pawned by Norway to Scotland in lieu of a dowry for Margaret of Denmark

1685: A French colony, 'Fort St. Louis' is established near what is now Inez, Texas, USA. French nobleman and explorer Robert Cavelier de La Salle intended to found the colony at the mouth of the Mississippi River, but inaccurate maps and navigational errors caused his ships to instead anchor 400 miles west, off the coast of Texas near Matagorda Bay. The 3-year existence of the colony forming the basis for France's claim to Texas.
''La Salle's Expedition to Louisiana in 1684'' by Theodore Gudin.
'La Belle', 'Le Joly', and 'L'Aimable' (which has run aground) at the entrance to Matagorda Bay.

1823: English Captain James Weddell commanding the brig 'Jane', and Captain Matthew Brisbane on the cutter 'Beaufoy' head south from the South Orkneys. With the season being unusually mild and tranquil, the two ships reach latitude 74°15' S and longitude 34°16'45" W. Approximately 940 miles from the South Pole, it was the southernmost position any ship had ever reached before, and a record that would hold for more than 80 years.

1835: In Valdivia, Chile, Charles Darwin experienced a massive earthquake. Later, whilst the 'Beagle' tried to make anchorage at Concepcion, Darwin was dropped off at the island of Quiriquina, where he found areas of land that had risen a few feet due to the earthquake. He went on to hypothesize that coral reefs in the Pacific could develop along margins of subsiding landmasses. The next day he went by ship to the town of Talcuhano, and from there rode by horse to Concepcion to meet up with the 'Beagle'.

1856: With approximately 120 passengers and 16-20 crew on board, the 'John Rutledge', an American packet-ship sailing from Liverpool, UK to New York, US, hit an iceberg in the North Atlantic. Passengers and crew manned the pumps, but could not overcome the water pouring in. Although some passengers panicked, there were enough lifeboats to accommodate everybody on board, and most were off the ship when it sank.
On February 28th, the 'Germania', en route from Havre to New York, picked up one lifeboat containing several dead bodies and Thomas W. Nye, a youth from New Bedford, Massachusetts. He was the only survivor, the other 135 (or so) were lost at sea.

1935: Caroline Mikkelsen is believed to be the first woman to set foot in Antarctica.

1958: The British government announces the closure of Sheerness Docks, one of the oldest naval dockyards in the UK. The first ever secretary of the Admiralty, Samuel Pepys, established the dockyard in the 17th century as an extension to the Royal Navy headquarters in nearby Chatham.

1962: In various locations across the globe, twenty-four U.S. Navy ships are standing-by to pick up astronaut, Lt. Col. John Glenn, USMC, and his craft, as he returns from space after becoming the first American to orbit Earth in 'Friendship 7' (MA-6).
He made 3 orbits in 88 minutes at a velocity of 17,544 mph with the highest altitude of 162.2 statute miles, eventually 'splashing-down' safely in the Atlantic Ocean, 240 miles north-west of Puerto Rico, where he was met by the destroyer USS 'Noa' (DD-841).

Launching 'Friendship 7' - 20th Februtry 1962.

1974: The Lockheed S-3A Viking ASW aircraft (carrier jet) was introduced officially, when it became operational with the Air Antisubmarine Squadron Four-One (VS-41), the "Shamrocks," at NAS North Island, California, USA.
The first operational cruise of the S-3A took place in 1975 with the VS-21 "Fighting Redtails" aboard USS 'John F. Kennedy'.
Launching 'Friendship 7', 20th February 1962.

A Lockheed S-3A Viking aircraft from the anti-submarine squadron VS-37 'Sawbucks'.
Title: This Day In 'Boating' History
Post by: ardarossan on February 20, 2013, 07:04:23 PM
February 20th...

1734: Sir John Norris (1670 or 1671 - 13th or 14th June 1749), was appointed Admiral of the Fleet (Royal Navy).

(    (
Admirals of the Fleet, Sir John Norris (left), and The Earl of Clanwilliam (right)

1895: Richard James Meade, 4th Earl of Clanwilliam, GCB, KCMG (3rd October 1832 - 4th August 1907), was appointed Admiral of the Fleet (Royal Navy).
Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - February 21st
Post by: ardarossan on February 21, 2013, 05:58:52 AM
February 21st...

1705: Edward Hawke (1st Baron Hawke) was born in London, the only son of a lawyer. He will go on to become an officer in the Royal Navy, best remembered for his service during the Seven Years' War, particularly his victory over a French fleet at the Battle of Quiberon Bay in 1759, preventing a French invasion of Britain.

1779: Captain James Cook's remains are formally buried at sea in Kealakekua Bay, Hawaii.

1907: Approaching the Hoek of Holland in heavy conditions, the SS 'Berlin' was swept onto the granite tip of the Noorderpier breakwater at around 05:00hrs. With the rough seas preventing the Dutch steam life-boat 'President van Heel' from assisting the stricken vessel, the 'Berlin' broke in two at around 06:00hrs. The majority of those on board had fled to the bow, which sank when the ship broke in half. It would be the following day before rescuers would be able to assist the handful of survivors still on the stern section.
Although the death toll was never finally established the subsequent Board of Enquiry found that in its opinion 85 passengers and 48 of the crew, including all the certificated officers, were lost.

SS 'Berlin'

1917: The SS 'Mendi', transporting 823 members of the 5th Battalion, South African Native Labour Corps, had sailed from Cape Town (via Lagos, where a gun was fitted to her stern), to Plymouth, before sailing on to Le Havre. At 05:00hrs, in the English Channel off The Isle of Wight, escorted by the destroyer HMS Brisk, she was struck and cut almost in half by the SS 'Darro', an empty meat ship bound for Argentina. She sank 25 minutes later, with lifeboats launched from HMS 'Brisk' rowing among the survivors, trying to rescue them. It was noted that the crew of 'Darro' made no attempt to do likewise.
Almost 616 South Africans (607 of them black troops) plus 30 British crew members died in the disaster. It is considered one of the greatest tragedies in the history of the South African military, and was one of the worst maritime disasters of the 20th century in British waters.


1945: Despite heavy defensive gunfire, a Japanese Kamikaze managed to connect with the Casablanca class escort carrier USS 'Bismarck Sea' (CVE-95), on the starboard side under the first 40 mm gun (aft), crashing through the hangar deck and striking the ship's magazines. As the crew attemped to bring the fire under control, a second Kamikaze struck the aft elevator shaft, exploding on impact and destroying the fire fighting salt water distribution system, thus preventing any further damage control. Shortly after, the order was given to abandon ship. The 'Bismarck Sea' sank in 90 minutes with the loss of 318 officers and men from her crew of 923. 'Bismarck Sea' was the last US carrier to be lost in combat during World War II.

A Kamikaze making it through a curtain of gunfire

1999: Plans for the tugboat 'Sea Victory' to tow the bow section of the 'New Carissa' 248 miles to sea and sink it in deep water, are being delayed by a series of problems relating to the removal of up to 135,000 gallons of thick fuel oil through 700ft of 4" pipe. These include, the recent discovery of water flooding the tanks, the hose kinking, and various difficulties in trying to operate in stinging hail, gale-force winds and strong currents. However, by the afternoon, crews managed to pump 100,000 gallons of fluid from cargo hold No.3 to tanks on shore, although most is water.
Title: Re: This Day In 'Boating' History
Post by: Capt Podge on February 22, 2013, 12:22:25 AM
Thursday, 22nd February 1940   Trawlers from the Tyne continued to use the Dogger Bank fishing ground (90 miles off the east coast) during the war, just as they had done in peacetime. This did not go unnoticed by the German Naval Group West who planned an operation against the trawlers with the threefold aims of eroding the morale of the trawlermen, possibly capturing some valuable auxiliaries and forcing the Royal Navy to supply escorts for the trawlers.
The German destroyers 'Eckholdt' as leader, joined by 'Beitzen', 'Riedel', 'Schultz', 'Maass' and 'Koellner', each ship carrying a prize crew, sailed from the Schillig Roads about midday on Thursday, 22nd February 1940. They made their way through swept channel '1' (a channel 6 miles wide, providing a safe and secret passage for German warships needing to reach the North Sea) entering the minefield at 19.00, in line ahead 200 metres apart, steering 300? at 26 knots.
At 19.13, a twin-engined aircraft was sighted flying 60 metres above the destroyers as if trying to identify them. At 19.21 the aircraft appeared again, and on its second run, the 'Beitzen' and 'Koellner' opened fire, the plane replied and sheered off. It was not seen again until 19.43 when the 'Maass' reported it and opened fire, the aircraft dropped 2 bombs 1 of which hit the 'Maass' between the bridge and forward funnel. The remaining destroyers turned back towards the 'Maass' but were ordered to stand off by the flotilla leader. Suddenly the "Maass's" guns opened up again as 2 more bombs were released, when the smoke had cleared, the bows and stern of the ship were visible, pointing vertically upwards, the lower parts resting on the shallow sea-bed.
A period of great confusion reigned as the 'Riedel' hearing an explosion from the direction of the 'Schultz', dropped depth charges but was going so slowly that she badly damaged her own gyro-compass, rudder motor and all of her command elements. The 'Koellner' seeing the 'Riedel' dropping depth charges, ordered her picket boat to cast off (it was tied to the ships propeller guard), under the impression that it had done so, the 'Riedel' picked up speed, dragged her picket boat under and drowned the occupants, then, seeing what was thought to be the conning tower of a submarine, went to ram it only to discover that it was the bows of the 'Maass' sticking out of the sea. The flotilla leader ordered the remains of his force back to Wilhelmshaven. In all 578 German seamen were lost.
A disaster of such proportions demanded an explanation, the truth gradually dawning on the Germans - they had bombed and sunk their own ships. Hitler was eventually made aware of the situation, and he ordered a full inquiry. The conclusions reached were: A Heinkel He 111 from 4/KG26 had made 2 bombing runs - on the first, sinking the 'Maass' and on the second, sinking the 'Schultz'. The aircraft was part of a force sent out to attack shipping in the North Sea, an operation about which the Luftwaffe informed the Kriegsmarine, but about which the latter did not see fit to warn its own destroyers. Furthermore: the Kriegsmarine did not notify the Luftwaffe that its destroyers were at sea. So ended the action that was intended to harass our trawlers.
Title: Re: This Day In 'Boating' History
Post by: raflaunches on February 22, 2013, 09:14:13 AM
February 22nd 1941

After bombarding Benghazi, the ex WW1 monitor HMS Terror is attacked by a squadron of Junkers Ju88s. She is badly damaged by near misses and is taken under tow back to Alexandria, however after two days she is abandoned by her crew after many of her watertight bulkheads give way. She sinks just off Derna in Libya, leaving the remainder of her squadron, HMS Gnat, Ladybird, and Aphis to carry on bombardment duties along the Northa African coast. Terror was the primary unit of the Inshore squadron but with her loss the little Insect class gunboats now become the primary targets, with Ladybird being sunk in Tobruk a few months later and Gnat torpedoed by a Uboat off Bardia, Libya, in October 1941.

Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - February 22nd
Post by: ardarossan on February 22, 2013, 05:19:30 PM
February 22nd...

1744: The naval 'Battle of Toulon' or 'Battle of Cape Sicié' took place on in the Mediterranean off the coast of Toulon, France. A combined Franco-Spanish fleet fought off Britain's Mediterranean fleet. The French fleet, not officially at war with Great Britain, only joined the fighting late, when it was clear that the greatly outnumbered Spanish fleet had gained the advantage over its foe. With the French intervention, the British fleet was forced to withdraw.

1797: The 'Battle of Fishguard' (Wales) begins with a military invasion by Revolutionary France. Taking place between the 22nd and 24th February, as part of the War of the First Coalition. The brief campaign results in the an unconditional surrender by the invasion force and the British capture of 1,800 prisoners (and later), a Frigate and a Lugger. The incident was the most recent effort by a foreign force that was able to land on Britain and thus, is often referred to as the "Last invasion of Britain".

1797: Some three leagues from Marbello on the Spanish coast, HMS 'Espoir' engages a Spanish flotilla and captures her last prize, the 14-gun xebec 'Nostra Senora de Africa'. The other two ships (another xebec and a Brig) escaped.

1903: Intending to set up winter quarters in the Weddell Sea quadrant, Scottish naturalist, polar scientist and oceanographer, William Speirs Bruce, heading the Scottish National Antarctic Expedition aboard the research ship 'Scotia', manage to reach 70°25′S on this day in 1903. Unable to proceed further because of heavy ice, they retreat to Laurie Island in the South Orkneys, and winter there, establishing a meteorological station as part of a full programme of scientific work.

SNAE ship 'Scotia', in the ice at Laurie Island, South Orkneys, 1903–04.

1909: The United States Navy fleet of 16 'new' battleships along with various escorts, sails in to Hampton Roads, Virginia, on completion of it's around-the-world tour which began on 16th December 1907, by order of U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt. Nicknamed "The Great White Fleet" as their hulls were painted white with gold detailing, the armada's cicumnavigation was meant to demonstrate America's military might and growth as a world power.

Painted Scene of the Great White Fleet (from a Silk Banner)

1943: USS 'Iowa' (BB-61) is commissioned. She put to sea for a shakedown in the Chesapeake Bay and along the Atlantic coast on 24th February. 'Iowa' was the last lead ship in the last class of U.S. battleships, and the only ship of her class to serve in the Atlantic Ocean during World War II.

USS Iowa (BB-61) fires her 16-inch/50-caliber guns on 15 August 1984 during a firepower demonstration after her modernization)
USS 'Iowa' firepower demonstration, 15th August 1984.

1974: LTJG Barbara Ann Allen becomes first U.S. Navy designated female aviator. She later became the first Navy woman to qualify as a jet pilot.

1999: On the beach, near Coos Bay, Oregon, at the scene of the battered, burned, blown-up and broken, dry bulk freighter, the 'New Carissa', the U.S. Coast Guard and salvage officials abandon oil-pumping efforts as overnight winds and breakers push the bow-section at least 30ft to the south. Punishing winds on the 23rd February block a helicopter from hooking the 'New Carissa's' bow to the tugboat 'Sea Victory'.
Title: Re: This Day In 'Boating' History
Post by: Capt Podge on February 23, 2013, 12:14:18 AM
Friday, 23rd February 1940   The minesweeping trawler 'Benvolio' hit a mine and sank off the Humber.
Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - February 23rd
Post by: ardarossan on February 23, 2013, 07:28:47 PM
February 23rd..

1945: Part of an Arctic Convoy, the last allied ship sunk by the Luftwaffe during WWII, the Liberty-ship SS 'Henry Bacon', is torpedoed in the Barents Sea, although she doesn't go down without a fight...

During the winter of 1945 many Norwegian civilians fled the horrors of Nazi rule in Finnmark. An estimated 502 Norwegians were picked up from the Norwegian island Sřrřya by British destroyers and brought to Murmansk, Russia, where they were transferred to merchant ships in a convoy headed for Loch Ewe, Gourock, Scotland.

Twice, the icy waters of the Arctic Sea had separated the Liberty Ship SS 'Henry Bacon' from the rest of convoy RA-64, leaving her an easy target. In the stormy weather, 23 Junkers Ju 88 and Ju 188 Nazi torpedo bombers found and attacked the lone ship. The crew did not radio for help because they did not want to risk revealing the convoy’s position, and instead fought alone in the gale force winds.

The 'Henry Bacon' was armed with eight 20 mm anti-aircraft guns, a 5 inch (127 mm) gun aft and a 3 in (76 mm) gun forward. The ship’s Naval Armed Guard gunners fought the attacking aircraft for over an hour, shooting down five planes, and damaging at least four others. They also managed to defend against several torpedoes by causing their detonation before they reached the ship until, almost inevitably, one aerial torpedo got through, striking the hold under the No 5 hatch - this was the aft magazine. The vessel began settling at once, but until she went down, her guns kept firing.

When the order to abandon ship was given one of the four lifeboats was smashed in lowering and another had been damaged by weather and capsized. Two were successfully launched, one carrying the 19 refugees and a few crewmen and the other, 15 crewmen and seven gunners. All these and other survivors who had jumped overboard or had taken to rafts were later picked up by British naval craft - in 30 foot waves, the British destroyer HMS Opportune came to the rescue and picked up the survivors from the lifeboat. HMS Zambesi and HMS Zelast also assisted. In all there were 64 survivors and 22 crew members were killed.

The action on board the 'Henry Bacon' almost certainly saved the rest of the convoy, as the attackers were unable to carry on further, having used up their fuel, ammunition, and taken damage.

SS 'Henry Bacon', eventually sunk during a German aerial torpedo attack on 23rd February 1945.
Title: This Day In 'Boating' History
Post by: ardarossan on February 23, 2013, 09:12:03 PM
February 23rd...

1633: Samuel Pepys (FRS, MP, JP) was born in Salisbury Court, Fleet Street, London, to John Pepys, a tailor, and Margaret Pepys (née Kite), daughter of a Whitechapel butcher. Pepys was the fifth in a line of eleven children, but the oldest survivor.
He would go on to become the Chief Secretary to the Admiralty, where his influence and reforms would be important in the early professionalisation of the Royal Navy, though e would become most famous (posthumously) as a diarist.
1802: In a terrible blizzard in three Salem East Indiamen, the 'Brutus', the 'Ulysses', and the 'Volusia',  went aground in the shallow waters off Cape Cod. The crew members of the latter two vessels were fortunate enough to be rescued by local inhabitants. The seamen on the 'Brutus' were not so lucky as nine of the 14 crew members perished.

The 'Friendship', a replica of an 18th century Salem East Indiaman.
Docked in Salem Harbour, across from the Customs House.

1814:  During the 'War of 1812', while cruising off Cape Sable, HMS 'Epervier' captures the American privateer-brig 'Alfred', of Salem. 'Alfred', which mounted 16 long 9-pounders and had a crew of between 94 to 108 men, surrendered without a fight.

1886: After several years of intensive work, Charles Martin Hall produces the first samples of man-made aluminum, assisted in the project by his older sister Julia Brainerd Hall.

1904: The United States acquires control of the Panama Canal Zone, for $10 million, plus annual payments of $250,000 (as provided in the Hay-Bunau-Varilla Treaty, signed on November 18, 1903). After the U.S. formally takes control of the French property relating to the canal, construction resumes later in 1904.

Construction of the Panama Canal in 1904.

1918: SS 'Florizel', a passenger liner and flagship of the Bowring Brothers' Red Cross Line of steamships, was one of the first ships in the world specifically designed to navigate icy waters. During its last voyage, from St. John's to Halifax and on to New York, it sunk after striking a reef at Horn Head Point, Cape Race near Cappahayden, Newfoundland, Canada, with the loss of 94 including Betty Munn, a three-year-old girl, in whose memory a statue of Peter Pan was erected at Bowring Park in St. John's.

Passenger Liner SS 'Florizel' arriving St. John's Harbour sometime between 1909 and 1918.

1942: The Imperial Japanese Navy's submarine 'I-17', under the command of Commander Nishino Kozo, surfaces and shells the oil refinery near Santa Barbara. The shelling does only minor damages to a pier and an oil well derrick, but creates "invasion" fears along the West Coast.
Speculation now exists that the attack was 'revenge' for a humiliating incident involving Nishino Kozo from before the war, when as skipper of an oil tanker, he had refueled there.

1980: The Greek tanker 'Irenes Serenade', loaded with 102,660 tonnes of Iraqi crude oil (Kirkuk Blend), en route from Syria to Trieste, explodes whilst refueling in Navarino Bay, Greece. As fire consumes the vessel, a burning oil slick two miles long by half a mile wide spread from the vessel and continued to burn, until the following morning when the tanker sank off Pylos Harbour, close to Sfakteria Island. All but two crew members were rescued. Fishing gear on the jetty was destroyed in the fire and the hillside of Sfakteria Island was scorched to a height of 30 metres. The bunkering installation on the island was also damaged as a result of the fire.
Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - 'Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima'
Post by: ardarossan on February 23, 2013, 10:11:54 PM
February 23rd...

1945: Four days after U.S. Marines landed on Iwo Jima, they managed to achieve their first goal -the isolatation and capture of Mount Suribachi. Despite taking Suribachi, the battle would continue for many days, and the island would not be declared "secure" for several weeks.
However, an event on this day would come to be regarded (especially in the United States) as one of the most significant and recognisable images of the war, and possibly the most reproduced photograph of all time.

'Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima' was taken on February 23, 1945, by Joe Rosenthal, and depicts five United States Marines and a U.S. Navy corpsman raising the flag of the United States atop Mount Suribachi.

Interestingly, the famous picture captured the second flag-raising of the day, as a U.S. flag had already been raised atop Suribachi soon after it was captured at around 10:20hrs. The original event recorded by Staff Sergeant Louis R. Lowery, a photographer with Leatherneck magazine.

However, when it was realised that the first flag was too small to be easily seen from the nearby landing beaches, a 40-man patrol of Marines climbed Surbachi again with a 96" x 54" flag (found in Tank Landing Ship LST 779). Reaching the top of Suribachi around noon, the flag was tied to an old Japanese water pipe and raised by Michael Strank, Rene Gagnon, Ira Hayes, Franklin Sousley, John Bradley, and Harlon Block.

Immortalised on film, only three of the men (Hayes, Gagnon, and Bradley) would survive the battle Iwo Jima. Strank was killed six days after the flag-raising when a shell, likely fired from an offshore American destroyer, tore his heart out; Block was killed by a mortar a few hours after Strank; Sousley was shot and killed by a sniper on March 21, a few days before the island was declared secure.

"Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima", by Joe Rosenthal, (October 9th 1911 - August 20th 2006).
Title: Re: This Day In 'Boating' History
Post by: Capt Podge on February 24, 2013, 12:46:50 AM
Saturday, 24th February 1940   'SS Jevington Court' (4,544t) steamer, Tyne to London with a cargo of coal, was sunk by a mine off Cromer.
'SS Clan Morrison' (5,936t) steamer, Tyne to London on Admiralty service was also sunk by a mine off Cromer.
 Monday, 24th February 1941   'SS Linaria' (3,385t) cargo ship, Tyne to Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada was sunk by the Italian submarine 'Bianchi', between the south coast of Iceland and the west coast of Ireland. [Other sources suggest that the submarine responsible was the U Boat U-96.]
 Thursday, 24th February 1944   'SS Philipp M' (2,085t) cargo ship, Tyne to London with coal, was sunk by an E Boat, off Great Yarmouth.
Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - February 24th
Post by: ardarossan on February 24, 2013, 03:22:50 PM
February 24th...

1582: On this day in 1582, Pope Gregory XIII announces the reformation of the calendar and decrees by the papal bull Inter gravissimas, that the day after Thursday, 4th October 1582 would be not Friday, 5th October, but Friday, 15 October 1582.
The new calendar duly replaced the Julian calendar (in use since 45 BC), and has since come into universal use. Because of Gregory's involvement, the reformed Julian calendar came to be known as the Gregorian calendar.

1743: (Sir) Joseph Banks (1st Baronet, GCB, PRS) was born* at 30 Argyll Street, London to William Banks, a wealthy Lincolnshire country squire and member of the House of Commons, and his wife Sarah, daughter of William Bate.
He would become known as an English naturalist, botanist and patron of the natural sciences. He would take part in Captain James Cook's first great voyage (1768–1771), and the exploration of Botany Bay. *Birth date: 24th February 1743 (13th February 1743, O.S.)

1813: After an exchange of broadsides between the sloop of war USS 'Hornet' and the Cruiser class brig sloop HMS 'Peacock', near the mouth of the Demerara River, Guyana, the British vessel was pursued by the 'Hornet' and succumbed to raking fire. Sinking swiftly, the prize crew were denied the opportunity to save her.

U.S. sloop-of-war Hornet duels HMS Peacock.
Original painting by Patrick O'Brien

1875: During a severe storm, the SS 'Gothenburg' ran on to the Great Barrier Reef off the north coast of Queensland, Australia. During the night of 24th/25th February, whilst trying to refloat her on the rising tide, the ship was holed and subsequently wrecked. The storm made launching the lifeboats almost impossible, and as the sinking ship heeled over, many passengers were washed into the raging sea where several sharks had gathered. One survivor recalled the sea on the downwind side of the ship as "being covered with human heads bobbing up and down like corks."
There were few survivors. Some were rescued from a lifeboat after two days by the 'Leichhardt', while the occupants of two other lifeboats were later rescued from Holbourne Island. Between 98 and 112 others died, including a number of high profile civil servants and dignitaries.

SS 'Gothenburg' docked at Port Adelaide wharf (after her lengthening in 1873).

1911: (Possibly 25th February) Glenn Curtiss demonstrates his first amphibian aircraft at North Island, San Diego, CA., by taking off and alighting on both land and water. Three days later, Curtiss would become the first person to successfully arise from water with a passenger, Theodore G. Ellyson, U. S. Navy.
Subsequently, Curtiss would sell the U.S. Navy their first aircraft. An A-1 'Triad' seaplane equipped with retractable wheels - Triad standing for Land, Water, Air.
The first Curtiss 'Triad' - North Island, Spring 1911.

1942: On 15th December 1941, the SS 'Struma' was towed to Istanbul after suffering an engine failure whilst carrying Jewish refugees from Axis-allied Romania to British-controlled Palestine during World War II. On February 23rd, 1942, with her engine inoperable and her refugee passengers still aboard, Turkish authorities towed the ship from Istanbul harbor through the Bosphorus out to the coast of Şile in North Istanbul. Once there, the Turkish authorities abandoned the ship, where it drifted helplessly. On the morning of February 24th, it was torpedoed and sunk by the Soviet submarine 'Shch 213', killing 768 men, women and children, with only one survivor, a 19 year old man, making it the largest exclusively civilian naval disaster of the war in the Black Sea.
Title: This Day In 'Boating' History
Post by: ardarossan on February 24, 2013, 10:29:48 PM
February 24...

1959: After reclassification, conversion and re-commissioning at the Philadelphia Naval Yard, the U.S. Navy guided-missile cruiser, USS 'Galveston' (CLG-3), launches a RIM-8 'Talos' missile on 24th February 1959, the first time the supersonic, surface-to-air 'Talos' had been fired at sea.

The first sea-launched 'Talos' missile sends it's payload off in a trail of bright orange flame.
'Galveston' reported the shot "hot, straight and normal", 24th February 1959.
Title: Re: This Day In 'Boating' History
Post by: Capt Podge on February 25, 2013, 12:22:06 AM
Sunday, 25th February 1945   'SS Egholm' (1,317t) a Danish ship, was converted for the Ministry of War Transport and was on a voyage from Leith to London when she was sunk by U 2322 off St Abbs Head at 55°55'00"N - 01°55'24"W. Two crew members and three gunners were killed. She lies in 23 metres of water. She was built in 1924.
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photo hosting sites (
Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - February 25th
Post by: ardarossan on February 25, 2013, 05:07:56 PM
February 25th...

1723: Sir Christopher Michael Wren FRS, died whilst taking a nap, aged 90 years, at his home in London.

Amongst his achievements, Wren had been a professor of astronomy, and a founding member of the Royal Society, along with other mathematicians, scientists and scholars.
Wren's scientific works ranged from astronomy, optics, the problem of finding longitude at sea, cosmology, mechanics, microscopy, surveying, medicine and meteorology. He observed, measured, dissected, built models and employed, invented and improved a variety of instruments.

One of the most highly acclaimed English architects in history, he was also commissioned to design the Royal Observatory at Greenwich, the Royal Hospital Chelsea for retired soldiers, and the Royal Hospital for Seamen at Greenwich (Greenwich Hospital), which later became the Royal Naval College, Greenwich.

Christopher Wren was was laid to rest on 5th March 1723, in the south-east corner of the crypt of his masterpiece, St Paul's Cathedral, beside his daughter Jane, his sister Susan Holder, and her husband William.


The Old Royal Naval College is the architectural centrepiece of Maritime Greenwich, a World Heritage Site in Greenwich, London, described by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) as being of “outstanding universal value” and reckoned to be the “finest and most dramatically sited architectural and landscape ensemble in the British Isles”


The Royal Observatory (below), overlooks the Old Royal Naval College, and can be seen in the distance in the image above.

Title: Re: This Day In 'Boating' History
Post by: ardarossan on February 25, 2013, 08:19:52 PM
February 25th...

1917: Six miles northwest by west of Fastnet, Cunard liner RMS 'Laconia' was struck by two torpedoes, twenty minutes apart, from German submarine U-50, as she was returning from the United States to England with 75 passengers, 217 crew, and a large consignmment of silver (1 million ounces!) along with her general cargo.
'Laconia' sank at 22:20 hrs. Six crew and six passengers were killed, some of whom were American citizens. This aspect of the incident contributing towards the U.S. declaration of war against Germany less than two months later.

R.M.S. 'Laconia' (1912)

1933: The U.S.S. 'Ranger' (CV-4) is launched at the Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company, Newport News, Virginia. She was the first ship of the United States Navy to be designed and built from the keel up as an aircraft carrier.

U.S.S. 'Ranger' being launched, 25th February 1933.
1941: At 11:40hrs, the German battleship 'Tirpitz' was commissioned to Kapitän Friedrich Karl Topp at Wilhelmshaven. Several days later she sailed to the Baltic Sea to conduct sea trials. 'Tirpitz' was the second and last battleship of the 'Bismarck' class, but weighing 2,000 tons more than her sister, she was the largest warship built in Germany.

The battleship 'Tirpitz' conducting trials in the Baltic Sea during 1941.

1955: British Audacious-class aircraft carrier HMS 'Ark Royal' (R09) was commissioned. She was the world's first aircraft carrier to be commissioned with an angled flight deck.

H.M.S. 'Ark Royal' (R09) during the International Naval Review at Hampton Roads, VA, USA (May 1957).
Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - February 26th
Post by: ardarossan on February 26, 2013, 05:02:41 PM
February 26th...

1790: Vice-Admiral Sir Joshua Rowley (1734-1790), died at the family home of Tendring Hall in Suffolk, England, aged 55 years. Rowley served with distinction in a number of battles throughout his career and was highly praised by his contemporaries. Unfortunately whilst his career was often active he did not have the opportunity to command any significant engagements and always followed rather than led. Rowley however remains one of the stalwart commanders of the wooden walls that kept Britain safe for so long.

Vice-Admiral Sir Joshua Rowley, by George Romney (c.1787/88).

1852: While ferrying British and Irish soldiers and some of their wives and children to Algoa Bay, troopship HMS 'Birkenhead', one of the first iron-hulled ships built for the Royal Navy, was wrecked after striking an uncharted submerged rock off Danger Point, South Africa. There were not enough serviceable lifeboats for all the passengers, and the soldiers famously stood firm, thereby allowing the women and children to board the boats safely.
Of the 643 people on board, only 193 people (and 8 horses) survived, the rest either drowned, died from exposure or were taken by sharks.
The soldiers' chivalry gave rise to the "women and children first" protocol when abandoning ship, while the "Birkenhead drill" of Rudyard Kipling's poem came to describe courage in face of hopeless circumstances.

The Wreck of the 'Birkenhead' by Charles Dixon

1914: The 'Britannic', the third and largest Olympic-class ocean liner of the White Star Line, is launched at the Harland & Wolff shipyard, Belfast.

The launch of 'Britannic', sister to 'Olympic' and 'Titanic'. 26th February1914.

1916: SS 'La Provence', a former ocean liner refitted as an auxillary cruiser during WWI, was transporting troops from France to Salonika when she was torpedoed by the German submarine 'U-35' south of Cape Matapan in the Mediterranean Sea. The ship listed so quickly that many of the lifeboats could not be used. There were 742 survivors. Nearly a thousand French soldiers and sailors died in the sinking.

French liner 'La Provence' in 1912.

1935: Robert Watson-Watt demonstrated RADAR (Radio Detection & Ranging) for the first time, near Daventry, United Kingdom.

1981: A variable-angle ski jump (7-15°), of the type fitted to the Royal Navy's aircraft carriers, becomes operational at Royal Naval Air Station Yeovilton in Somerset.

A Sea Harrier of 801 Sqdn, uses the Ski-Jump at RNAS Yeovilton (HMS Heron), September 2005.
Title: Re: This Day In 'Boating' History
Post by: Bob K on February 26, 2013, 06:34:39 PM
Please keep these fascinating historical updates coming Adross.  I know you don't get many "replies" but I am sure most of us regularly read them with interest.  Thank you.
Title: Re: This Day In 'Boating' History
Post by: Rottweiler on February 26, 2013, 06:45:24 PM
I will second that! Adross certainly provides us with a mine of interesting information.My problem is that when I find dates to add to the info,it is always too late to add them!
Please keep it coming!
Mick F
Title: Re: This Day In 'Boating' History
Post by: Capt Podge on February 27, 2013, 01:06:42 AM
Thursday, 27th February 1941   The auxiliary patrol vessel 'Remillo' was sunk by a mine off the Humber.
'SS Old Charlton' (1,562t) cargo ship, Hartlepool to London with a cargo of coal was sunk by German aircraft off Felixstowe.
 Friday, 27th February 1942   'SS Macgregor' (2,498t) cargo ship, Tyne to Tampa, Florida, United States, was sunk by U 156, NW of Puerto Rico.
Title: This Day In 'Boating' History
Post by: ardarossan on February 27, 2013, 01:50:11 AM
February 27th...

2013: In response to Bob K & Mick F,

Thank you both for the feedback & comments, they're very much appreciated. Personally, I'm not really fussed about generating replies, and wonder if this thread works better without too many, as it allows the dates flow. However, it is certainly reassuring to know that the posts are entertaining some of the registered 'Mayhemers', and not just 'guests' passing through.

FYI, I'm spending far too long doing it though, and having decided to cross-reference many of the dates, discovered that there is a greater amount of inaccurate information on the web than I realistically expected. Consequently, I've now got some 'corrected' trivia saved for dates in January & February next year!

Thanks again guys, :-)


p.s. I must say 'thanks' to Martin too. He's been a star, going back and amending details when I've later discovered some potential discrepancy with the details within a post.  :-))
Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - February 26/27th
Post by: ardarossan on February 27, 2013, 05:13:09 AM
February 26/27th...

1942: In a floating drydock at Deutsche Werke in Kiel, repairs had just been completed on the German battlecruiser 'Gneisenau', and she was on schedule to deploy to Norway on 6th March. Her ammunition stores had been restocked and she was being readied for a short round of sea-trials before her departure.

During the night of 26-27th February 1942, 49 British RAF bombers took off to attack the ship in the drydock. Arriving over Kiel in clear weather, the aircrews of the 33 Wellingtons, 10 Hampdens & 6 Halifaxes, claimed good results with one of the high-explosive bomb's scoring a direct hit on the bows of the 'Gneisenau'.

The bomb had struck the forecastle, penetrating the armored deck and into the forward ammunition magazine. The red-hot bomb fragments ignited the recently restocked propellant charges in the forward turret, causing tremendous damage as they exploded. The turret was thrown off its mount and the entire bow section was burned out. The blast killed approximately 116 men and injured at least 21 others.

The damage would prove sufficient to bring about the end of 'Gneisenau' as a fighting unit. 
The RAF lost 2 Wellingtons and 1 Halifax during the operation.
Bombs dropped in the town of Kiel destroyed several houses and killed 16 people.


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Images of 'Gneisenau', severely damaged in the drydock in Kiel, 1942.
Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - February 27th...
Post by: ardarossan on February 27, 2013, 06:22:34 PM
February 27th...
1617: Sweden and Russia sign the Treaty of Stolbovo, ending the Ingrian War and stripping Russia of its access to the Baltic Sea.
1700: William Dampier became the first known European to visit the largest island of the Bismarck Archipelago in Papua, New Guinea, dubbing it with the Latin name Nova Britannia (New Britain).
1870: The Japanese flag, i.e. A white rectangular flag with a large red disk (representing the sun) in the centre, is first adopted as the national flag for Japanese merchant ships under Proclamation No. 57 of Meiji 3 (issued on February 27, 1870).
Eight months later, it is adopted for use by the Navy under Proclamation No. 651 of Meiji 3 (issued on October 27, 1870).


1941: During the night, 30 British Wellington bombers from Wyton in Cambridgeshire, Marham in Norfolk, and Stradishall in Suffolk attacked battleship Tirpitz. The 26 aircraft that arrived, attacked and reported success, though the actual results were questionable.
1942: A hastily-organized multinational allied naval force, formed to defend the East Indies against an overwhelming Imperial Japanese attack, suffers a disastrous defeat during the Battle of the Java Sea. Dutch Rear Admiral Karel Doorman is killed whilst in command of the American-British-Dutch-Australian Strike Force when his Flagship, H.N.L.M.S. 'De Ruyter', was hit by a single Type 93 torpedo from Japanese cruiser 'Haguro' at about 23:30hrs. She sank around 3 hours later with the loss of 345 men.

H.N.L.M.S. 'De Ruyter'

1999: Despite the adverse conditions of the last few days, a helicopter had carried a towline to the tug 'Sea Victory' from the bow section of the 'New Carissa', the once seaworthy wood-chip freighter that beached on 4th February, near Coos Bay, Oregon.
After the towing connections were completed, a two-hour pull by the 'Sea Victory' on 26th February, appeared to pivot the bow slightly seaward.
Today, speculation turned to cautious celebration when 'Sea Victory' applied the power and the front 400ft section of the broken ship began inching into the sea. By the end of the day she had moved 35ft on the rising tide.

'New Carrissa' is tugged slightly seaward by 'Sea Victory' (out of frame).

2004: During an overnight journey from Manila to Bacolod in the Philippines, a militant terrorist attack results in the sinking of the 10,192-ton ferry 'SuperFerry 14' and the deaths of 116 people. Investigators determined that the Superferry was targeted after its owners, WG&A, refused a request for $1m in protection money in 2003. To date, he incident is the world's deadliest terrorist attack at sea.
The 'Superferry 14' bombing, Philippines, 2004.
Title: Re: This Day In 'Boating' History
Post by: Tug-Kenny on February 27, 2013, 08:06:09 PM

We really appreciate your work in compiling all this lovely information.

Keep it coming.       8)


Title: This Day In 'Boating' History
Post by: ardarossan on February 27, 2013, 09:51:41 PM
February 27th... Long before 'Iceman', 'Maverick' and 'Jester', there was 'Spuds'...

1885 & 1928: Theodore Gordon Ellyson, U.S. Navy (27th February 1885 - 27th February 1928), came into the world and left it again on the same day of the month, albeit 43 years apart.

Theodore Gordon Ellyson, the son of Henry Theodore Ellyson and Lizzie (Walker) Ellyson, was born in Richmond, Virginia, on February 27th, 1885.

During his career with the Navy, he managed to fulfill roles serving, on, beneath, and over, the water, and was a recipient of the Navy Cross for distinguished service, whilst stationed at the U.S. Naval Base in Plymouth England.
However "Spuds" is probably best remembered for his achievements during the period from January 1911 when he reported for aviation duty at North Island, San Diego, California. There he met and received instruction from Glenn Curtiss, and became closely associated with the development of naval aviation, eventually earning the distinction of being appointed Naval Pilot Number 1.

Lieutenant Theodore Gordon Ellyson, USN.
Naval Pilot No. 1, in 1911.

Unfortunately, tragedy struck "Spuds'" on his 43rd birthday. By now, married with children, he received a dispatch from Annapolis that one of his daughters was ill. Granted a leave, he left Virginia on board a Loening OL-7 amphibian plane to make the two hour flight home. He never arrived. The aircraft went down soewhere in the lower Chesapeake Bay.

For over a month the Navy searched for the missing plane, but to no avail. Commander Theodore G. Ellyson’s body washed ashore on April 11th, 1928. He was buried in the Naval Academy Cemetery, in Annapolis.
Title: Re: This Day In 'Boating' History
Post by: Capt Podge on February 28, 2013, 12:30:31 AM
Wednesday, 28th February 1940   'SS Stofoss' (1,508t) a Swedish ship sank in 40 metres of water, due to a collision 10 miles E of Beadnell at 55°32'00"N - 01°20'00"W.
 Friday, 28th February 1941   'SS Holmelea' (4,223t) cargo ship, Rosario, Argentina to Hull with a cargo of grain was sunk by U 47 in the North-western Approaches. Twenty-seven of her crew were lost.
Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - February 28th
Post by: ardarossan on February 28, 2013, 01:40:33 PM
February 28th...
1849: SS 'California', establishes the first regular steamboat service between the East and West coast of the United States, via the Straits of Magellan (Cape Horn), when she arrives in San Francisco Bay, 4 months 22 days after leaving New York Harbour (October 6th 1848).
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1890: On the North Queensland coast, RMS 'Quetta', a British India Line merchant ship on a regular route between Great Britain, India and the Far East, was in the hands of an experienced pilot as she sailed through the Torres Strait, en route to Thursday Island. Turning into the Adolphus Channel to round Cape York at around 21:15hrs, the ship struck an uncharted rock  in the middle of the channel near Albany Island.
The rock ripped a hole through the plates from the bow to the engine room amidships, 4 to 12 feet wide. The ship sank in less than five minutes. Of the 292 people aboard, 134 perished. At the time, it was the worst maritime disaster in Queensland's history.
 R.M.S. 'Quetta', on the River Thames near Gravesend, England, 1884.

1893: The USS 'Indiana' (Battleship No.1) is launched. She is lead ship of her class and the first true battleship of the United States Navy,  comparable to foreign battleships of the time. The launch was attended by around 10,000 people, including President Benjamin Harrison, several members of his cabinet and the two senators from Indiana.
U.S.S. 'Indiana' in Philadelphia (Digitally colourised image)Late 1800's)

1935: Wallace Hume Carothers (27th April 1896 - 29th April 1937), chemist, inventor and the leader of organic chemistry at DuPont, creates 'polyamide 6-6', the substance that would come to be known as Nylon. He would later help to lay the groundwork for Neoprene. Tragicallyfor Wallace Carothers, a long-time sufferer of depression, even his breakthrough didn't give him peace of mind and took his own life just two years later.
1941: During the night 23 British RAF Hampden aircraft from Waddington, Lincolnshire, England, attacked battleship Tirpitz at Wilhelmshaven, Germany. Low clouds resulted in only 4 aircraft locating the battleship, and they failed to hit their target.
1942: The Battle of Sunda Strait occurs on the night of 28th February-1st March 1942, when the Australian light cruiser HMAS 'Perth' and the American heavy cruiser USS 'Houston' faced a major Imperial Japanese Navy task force. In a ferocious night action that ended after midnight, the two Allied cruisers were sunk. Two Japanese transports and a minesweeper were sunk by friendly torpedoes'. Two Japanese other transports were also sunk but later refloated.
696 men on board the 'Houston' were killed, while 368 others were saved. 'Perth' lost 375 men, with 307 others saved. The captains of both cruisers were also killed.
Commemorative plaque for H.M.A.S. 'Perth' and U.S.S. 'Houston'.
Rockingham Naval Memorial Park

1999: Near Coos Bay, Oregon, the morning tide is the highest yet, allowing the salvage tug, 'Sea Victory' to drag the bow section of the broken dry-bulk freighter, 'New Carissa', 35 feet in the morning and another 25 feet shortly before midnight.
The bow of the 'New Carissa' moves slowly past her stern.
Title: This Day In 'Boating' History
Post by: ardarossan on February 28, 2013, 10:26:11 PM
A handful of facts, events, and trivia, that might otherwise only be remembered every fourth year, i.e. Leap Year.

February 29th...

1504: Whilst stranded on the island of Jamaica, Christopher Columbus, uses his knowledge of the imminent lunar eclipse to manipulate the indigenous natives into provisioning him and his hungry men, until they are rescued, in July.

Natives responding to the lunar eclipse predicted by Columbus.

1644: Dutch seafarer, explorer and merchant, Abel Janszoon Tasman, begins his second Pacfic voyage in command of three ships, 'Limmen' ,' Zeemeeuw', and 'Bracq' (a smaller, more maneuverable boat for investigating inlets), when he embarks from Banda in the Moluccas, steering southeast along the south coast of New Guinea.

1892: Britain & U.S. sign a of 'Treaty of Arbitration' relating to seal hunting in the Bering Sea.

1904: In Washington, DC, a seven-man commission was created to hasten the construction of the Panama Canal.

1940: In the English Channel, en route to Hartlepool from Marseilles, Tyne-built 'Maria Rosa', an Italian-owned merchant steamer loaded with ballast was hit in the foreship by one G7e torpedo from German submarine U-20 and sank by the bow at 22:32 hrs.  The neutralship had been missed by a first G7e torpedo at 21:45 hrs.

1944: The operation to retake the Japanese-held Admiralty Islands, codenamed 'Operation Brewer', begins at 08:17hrs when the first elements of the U.S. assault force arrive on a small isolated beach on the south shore of Los Negros - the third-largest island in the group. LCPR's continue to ferry further troops, brought to area aboard 3 x high speed transposts (APD's), and nine destroyers.

The First Wave lands on Los Negros, Admiralty Islands, February 29th, 1944.
Title: Re: This Day In 'Boating' History
Post by: Capt Podge on March 01, 2013, 12:33:16 AM
Saturday, 1st March 1941   The minesweeping trawler 'St Donats' sank after a collision (with destroyer HMS Cotswold) off the Humber.
 Sunday, 1st March 1942   'SS Audacity' (589t) tanker, Humber to London, was sunk by a mine off the Wash.
'SS Polgarth' (794t) cargo ship, Blyth to Southampton with coal, was sunk by a mine, SW of Aldeburgh.
Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - March 1st
Post by: ardarossan on March 01, 2013, 08:34:32 PM
March 1st...

1565: The city of Rio de Janeiro proper was founded by the Portuguese on this day in 1555 and named 'Săo Sebastiăo do Rio de Janeiro', in honour of St. Sebastian, the saint who was the namesake and patron of the then Portuguese Monarch D. Sebastiăo.
Rio de Janeiro (River of January) was actually the name of Guanabara Bay.1709: H.M.S. 'Assurance', H.M.S. 'Assistance', and H.M.S. 'Anglesea' and consort, escorting a convoy engaged four French ships off the Lizard, Cornwall.
1954: 'Castle Bravo', was the codename for the first test of a dry fuel thermonuclear hydrogen bomb at Bikini Atoll, Marshall Islands. The supposedly secret test of the nuclear device, named "Shrimp", was the most powerful ever detonated by the U.S. with a yield of 15 megatons of TNT, far exceeding the expected yield of 4 to 6 megatons. It resulted in the worst radioactive contamination ever caused by the U.S.
Three weeks after the Bikini bomb it emerged that a Japanese fishing boat, called 'Lucky Dragon No. 5', was within 80 miles of the test zone at the time. Its 23 crew were severely affected by radiation sickness.

The blast from the supposedly-secret 'Castle Bravo' test, Bikini Atoll, 1st March 1954.

1942: South of Cape Race, Newfoundland, German U-boat U-656 was sunk with all hands by depth charges dropped by a United States Navy Lockheed Hudson of patrol squadron VP-82. U-656 became the first U-boat to be sunk by the U.S. forces in World War II.

1998: 'Titanic', the epic romantic disaster film directed, written, co-produced, and co-edited by James Cameron, became the first film to gross over $1 billion worldwide.

'Titanic' Promotional Poster

1999: On the beach, near Coos Bay Oregon, the front section of the battered, burned, blown-up and broken, dry bulk-freighter 'New Carissa', is buoyed by the high tide. The tugboat 'Sea Victory' drags the bow over a sandbar and more than 900 ft into the waves. Officials say a pull of another 400 ft will get it into water deep enough for its bottom to clear the beach. Then it will be towed out to sea, initially followed by an oil skimmer vessel, the OSRV 'Oregon Responder' (below).


Title: Re: This Day In 'Boating' History
Post by: Capt Podge on March 02, 2013, 12:42:42 AM
Saturday, 2nd March 1940   'SS Albano' (1,176t) struck a mine and sank with the loss of nine lives, 7.6 miles from Coquet Island she lies in 22 metres of water at 55°15'17"N - 01°22'21"W. She was built in 1912.
'SS Elziena' (200t) was sunk by German bombers about 5 miles E of Coquet Island at 55°21'00"N - 01°24'00"W and now lies in 160 ft of water.
Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - March 2nd
Post by: ardarossan on March 02, 2013, 11:09:54 PM
March 2nd...

1484: The College of Arms was formally incorporated by Royal Charter signed by King Richard III of England. The College of Arms or Herald's College is a royal corporation consisting of professional officers of arms, with jurisdiction over England, Wales, Northern Ireland and some Commonwealth realms. The heralds are appointed by the British Sovereign and are delegated authority to act on her behalf in all matters of heraldry, the granting of new coats of arms, genealogical research and the recording of pedigrees. The College is also the official body responsible for matters relating to the flying of flags on land, and it maintains the official registers of flags and other national symbols. Though a part of the Royal Household of the United Kingdom the College is self-financed, unsupported by any public funds.

The Coat of Arms of the College of Arms

1709: Whilst escorting a convoy, H.M.S. 'Assurance', H.M.S. 'Assistance', H.M.S. 'Anglesea' and consort, engage four French ships off the Lizard, Cornwall.

1776: The Battle of the Rice Boats, also called the Battle of Yamacraw Bluff takes place in and around the Savannah River on the border between the Province of Georgia and the Province of South Carolina on March 2nd and 3rd, 1776. The land and naval battle pitted the Patriot militia from Georgia and South Carolina against a small fleet of the Royal Navy, in need of rice and supplies for the besieged British army in Boston. The arrival of this fleet prompted the colonial rebels who controlled the Georgia government to arrest the British Royal Governor, James Wright, and to resist the British seizure and removal of supply ships anchored at Savannah. Some of the supply ships were burned to prevent their seizure, some were recaptured, but most were successfully taken by the British.

1811: The naval engagement known as The Battle of San Nicolás takes place on the Paraná River, between the Spanish royalists from Montevideo, and the first flotilla created by the revolutionary government of Buenos Aires. It was the first engagement between the two fleets in the River Plate region since the revolution. It was a royalist victory.

Battle of San Nicolás

1943: Over the next two days, the 'Battle of the Bismarck Sea', takes place in the South West Pacific during World War II. Over the course of the battle, aircraft of the U.S. Fifth Air Force and the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) attacked a Japanese convoy that was carrying troops to Lae, New Guinea. Most of the task force was destroyed, and Japanese troop losses were heavy.

Allied aircraft execute a low level attack on a Japanese ship during the Battle of the Bismarck Sea, March, 1943

1969: The supersonic airliner, Concorde, flies for the first time The Anglo-French plane took off from Toulouse and was in the air for just 27 minutes before the pilot made the decision to land. The first pilot, Andre Turcat, said on his return to the airport: "Finally the big bird flies, and I can say now that it flies pretty well." The test flight reached 10,000ft (3,000m), but Concorde's speed never rose above 300mph.

Maiden flight of Concorde prototype 001 (built by Aerospatiale, Toulouse, France). 2nd March 1969

1999: At last, almost a month after the 639ft dry-bulk freighter 'New Carissa' came ashore on the beach, near Coos Bay, Oregon, the front 400ft of her is being towed out to sea. Unfortunately, a storm is building-up which forces OSRV 'Oregon Responder', the trailing oil-skimmer, back to port.
Worse is yet to come though, at 5:18 p.m. and around  40 miles out, the towline snaps amid, what is now, one of the fiercest storms of the winter. The 'Sea Victory' puts out an alert that the 'New Carissa' is "freedrifting" on a north-northeast course at 6 mph...

'New Carissa', freedrifting at 6 m.p.h. on this day in 1999.
Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - March 3rd
Post by: ardarossan on March 03, 2013, 04:59:16 PM
March 3rd...

1776: During the American Revolutionary War, the first amphibious landing of the United States Marine Corps begins the Battle of Nassau (3rd/4th March 1776).
The naval action and amphibious assault by American forces against the British port of Nassau, Bahamas, is considered the first cruise and one of the first engagements of the newly established Continental Navy and the Continental Marines, the progenitors of the United States Navy and Marine Corps. The action was also the Marines' first amphibious landing. It is sometimes known as the Raid of Nassau.

New Providence Raid, March 1776. Oil painting on canvas by V. Zveg, 1973.

1885: The American Telephone & Telegraph Company is incorporated in New York.

1915: NACA, the predecessor of NASA, is founded. On October 1, 1958, the agency was dissolved, and its assets and personnel transferred to the newly created National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

1938: Oil is discovered in Saudi Arabia, near the village of Damman. The discovery would turn out to be first of many, eventually revealing the largest source of crude oil in the world. Limited exports would begin in 1939, and pick up significantly with the end of World War II.

1940: The R.M.S. Queen Elizabeth begins her maiden voyage on the morning of 3rd March.  Painted battleship grey, she quietly left her moorings in the Clyde, sailing out of the river and down the coast where she was met by the King's Messenger who presented the captain with sealed orders.
The captain discovered that he was to take the untested vessel directly to New York without stopping, without dropping off the Southampton harbour pilot who had embarked on Queen Elizabeth from Clydebank and to maintain strict radio silence.

'Queen Elizabeth', beginning her 'secret' maiden voyage,
from Clydebank to New York in March 1940.

1944: The Order of Nakhimov (below left), and the Order of Ushakov (below right) are instituted in USSR as the highest naval awards.
The Order of Nakhimov is named in honour of Russian admiral Pavel Nakhimov (1802 - 1855) and bestowed to naval officers for outstanding military leadership.
The Order of Ushakov is in honour of admiral Fyodor Ushakov (1744 - 1817) who never lost a battle and was proclaimed patron saint of the Russian Navy. It is bestowed to commend grade naval officers for outstanding leadership.


1960: The Skate-class nuclear submarine U.S.S. 'Sargo' returned to Pearl Harbour, Hawaii, from an Arctic cruise of 11,000 miles, of which 6,003 miles were under the polar ice, reaching the North Pole on 9th February. This cruise marked the first time that a submarine explored the Arctic in winter, and with new data on Arctic ice, Arctic waters, and the physiography of the Arctic Basin, 'Sargo' earned the Navy Unit Commendation, the second highest award possible for a ship of the U.S. Navy.

1980: U.S.S. 'Nautilus' (SSN-571), the world's first operational nuclear-powered submarine is decommissioned and stricken from the Naval Vessel Register. Sharing names with the submarine in Jules Verne's Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, and named after another U.S.S. Nautilus (SS-168) that served with distinction in World War II, 'Nautilus' was authorized in 1951 and launched in 1954.
She was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1982, and has been preserved at the U.S. Submarine Force Museum and Library at Groton, Connecticut.

U.S.S. 'Nautilus', permanently docked at the Submarine Force Library and Museum, Groton, Ct.

1999: Yesterday, the tug 'Salvage Chief', and her tow, the front 400ft section of the 'New Carissa', the former dry-bulk freighter that ran aground and broke in two near Coos Bay Harbour, are around 40 miles or so out to sea when they are caught in 'one of the fiercest storms of the winter'. As a result, the towline failed, and the bow of 'New Carissa' was drifting freely.
The bow section would float on the tide for he next fourteen hours until, at around sunrise today, it ran aground near Waldport, Oregon, and started to leak again.

The bow section of 'New Carissa', aground and leaking,
Nr. Alsea Bay Bridge, Waldport, Oregon, March 1999.
Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - March 4th...
Post by: ardarossan on March 04, 2013, 12:14:03 AM
March 4th...

1824: The 'National Institution for the Preservation of Life from Shipwreck' is founded as a charity on 4th March 1824 by Sir William Hillary, with Royal Patronage from King George IV of Great Britain and Ireland.

It was given the prefix "Royal" and the name is changed to the 'Royal National Lifeboat Institution' in 1854 by Queen Victoria of Great Britain and Ireland.

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) saves lives at sea around the coasts of Great Britain, Ireland, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man, as well as on selected inland waterways.

The RNLI has saved more than 140,000 lives since its foundation.

The rescue of the crew of the Daunt Lightship by the Ballycotton lifeboat 'Mary Stanford'.
An oil painting by B. F. Gribble RBC SMA (10th May 1872 - 21st February 1962)

RNLI Motto: Train one, Save many.

Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - March 4th
Post by: ardarossan on March 04, 2013, 09:09:58 PM
March 4... March Forth!

1394: Infante Henry of Portugal, Duke of Viseu, was born in Porto. Better known as Henry the Navigator, he was the third child of King John I of Portugal, founder of the Aviz dynasty, and of Philippa of Lancaster, the sister of King Henry IV of England.
Henry would become s an important figure in the early days of the Portuguese Empire and the Age of Discoveries in total. He was responsible for the early development of Portuguese exploration and maritime trade with other continents.

1493: The first voyage of Christopher Columbus: As Columbus returns to Europe from his voyage, to (what is now) The Bahamas and other islands in the Caribbean, a storm forces him to shelter in Lisbon, where he anchored his ship 'Nińa' next to the King's harbour patrol ship on 4th March 1493 in  After spending more than one week in Portugal, he set sail for Spain. He crossed the bar of Saltes and entered the harbour of Palos on 15th March 1493.

A present-day replica of Columbus' ship, 'Nińa'.

1519: Spanish conquistador, Hernan Cortes arrives off the coast of Yucatan peninsula, Mexico where he will learn of the Aztec civilization, its wealth and its ruler, Montezuma. Cortés made a peaceful stop at Cozumel, received Gerónimo de Aguilar, and continued on to Tabasco and Veracruz, for the conquest of Mexico, Montejo being one of his captains.

1665: English King Charles II declares war on the Netherlands marking the start of the Second Anglo-Dutch War. The first encounter between the nations would be at sea on 13 June, with the Battle of Lowestoft.
1675: John Flamsteed, FRS, was appointed by royal warrant "The King's Astronomical Observator" - the first English Astronomer Royal, with an allowance of Ł100 a year. In June 1675, another royal warrant provided for the founding of the Royal Greenwich Observatory, and Flamsteed laid the foundation stone in August. In time, he would catalogue over 3000 stars.

John Flamsteed, FRS (1646 – 1719).

1890: The 1.5 mile Forth Railway Bridge in Scotland, the world’s first major steel bridge is formally completed when HRH Edward Prince of Wales tapped into place a ‘golden’ rivet.
In the First World War returning British sailors would time their departures or returns to the base at Rosyth by asking when they would pass under the bridge. This practice continued at least up to the 1990's.

The Forth Rail Bridge seen from the promenade in South Queensferry.

1918: The U.S.S. 'Cyclops' (AC-4), one of four Proteus-class colliers built several years before WW1, departs from Barbados and is never seen again. The loss of the ship and 306 crew and passengers without a trace within the area known as the Bermuda Triangle some time after 4th March 1918 remains the single largest loss of life in U.S. Naval history not directly involving combat.
The Naval History & Heritage Command has stated she "probably sank in an unexpected storm" but the cause is unknown.

U.S.S. 'Cyclops' on the Hudson River, 1911

1941: Codenamed 'Operation Claymore',  British Commandos with a Royal Engineers Section and 52 men from the Royal Norwegian Navy landed on the Lofoten Islands in Norway. Supported by the 6th Destroyer Flotilla and two troop transports of the Royal Navy, the force made an unopposed landing and generally met no opposition, as they systematically destroyed the fish oil factories and some 800,000 imperial gallons of oil and glycerine which was being used in the German war industry.
Perhaps the most significant outcome of the raid, however, was the capture of a set of rotor wheels for an Enigma cypher machine and its code books from the German armed trawler Krebs. This enabled German naval codes to be read at Bletchley Park, providing the intelligence needed to allow allied convoys to avoid U-boat concentrations.

The view of the burning oil tanks, as seen from H.M.S. Legion, 4th March 1941.

1943: The Battle of the Bismarck Sea (March 2nd - March 4th) comes to an end in the South West Pacific

1960: The 4,310-ton French freighter 'La Coubre', carrying 76 tons of Belgian munitions, exploded at 15:10hrs while it was being unloaded in Havana harbor, Cuba. The death toll was between 75 and 100 people with more than 200 people injured.
The explosion is often attributed to the CIA who wished to overthrow the new government of Fidel Castro. The relevant files in the USA are currently sealed under a 150-year embargo.

1970: While French Daphné-class submarine 'Eurydice' (S644) was diving in calm seas off Cape Camarat in the Mediterranean, 35 miles east of Toulon, a geophysical laboratory picked up the shock waves of an underwater explosion. French and Italian search teams found an oil slick and a few bits of debris, including a parts tag that bore the name Eurydice. The cause of the explosion was never determined. All 57 crew were lost.

'Daphné class submarine Flore', sister-ship of the 'Eurydice'

1999: Clean-up crews work on the beaches in Waldport, Oregon, after the unexpected arrival of the bow section of the dry-bulk freighter 'New Carissa', whilst officials draw up new plans to tow the leaking bow out to sea again, for scuttling.
Meanwhile, the stern section remains stuck on the beach at North Bend, near Coos Bay Habour, approximately 80-miles South from Waldport. 

Coming to a beach near you soon?! - Clean-up crews working on the beach
near the bow of the 'New Carissa', at Waldport, Oregon.
Title: Re: This Day In 'Boating' History
Post by: Capt Podge on March 04, 2013, 11:36:30 PM
Tuesday, 4th March 1941   'SS Anonity' (303t) cargo ship, Middlesbrough to Boston, Lincs, sunk by a mine near Skegness. Four of her crew were lost.
Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - March 4th
Post by: ardarossan on March 04, 2013, 11:47:03 PM
March 4th...

1853: Admiral Sir Thomas Bladen Capel, GCB RN, (25 August 1776 - 4 March 1853), died at his home in Rutland Gate, London.
He was an officer in the British Royal Navy whose distinguished service in the French Revolutionary War, the Napoleonic Wars and the War of 1812 earned him rapid promotion and great acclaim both in and out of the Navy. He was also a great friend of Admiral Nelson and can be considered a full member of Nelson's "band of brothers".
He was buried in Kensal Green cemetery in a family plot, later joined by his wife Dame Harriet Capel. Their grave can still be seen and is largely still legible.

1899: Cyclone Mahina struck Bathurst Bay, Australia and the surrounding region with a devastating storm surge.
Within an hour, the Thursday Island based pearling fleet was either driven onto the shore or onto the Great Barrier Reef or sunk at their anchorages. Four schooners and the manned Channel Rock lightship were lost. A further two schooners were wrecked but later refloated. Of the luggers, 54 were lost and a further 12 were wrecked but refloated. Over 30 survivors of the wrecked vessels were later rescued from the shore however over 307 were killed, mostly immigrant non-European crew members.
To date, the death toll is the the largest of any natural disaster in Australian history.
Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - March 5th
Post by: ardarossan on March 05, 2013, 09:20:13 PM
March 5th...
1496: King Henry VII of England issues letters patent to Italian navigator & explorer John Cabot  (Zuan Chabotto) and his sons, authorising them to explore unknown lands (As passage below).

" authority, faculty and power to sail to all parts, regions and coasts of the eastern, western and northern sea, under our banners, flags and ensigns, with five ships or vessels of whatsoever burden and quality they may be, and with so many and with such mariners and men as they may wish to take with them in the said ships, at their own proper costs and charges, to find, discover and investigate whatsoever islands, countries, regions or provinces of heathens and infidels, in whatsoever part of the world placed, which before this time were unknown to all Christians."

1616: Nicolaus Copernicus's book, 'De revolutionibus orbium coelestium' is placed on the Index of Forbidden Books and withdrawn from circulation by the Catholic Church, pending "corrections" in order that his opinion (i.e. the earth moves and the sun is motionless) may not creep any further to the prejudice of Catholic truth.

1829: The last survivor of the H.M.S. 'Bounty' mutineers, John Adams, died on Pitcairn Island, South Pacific, aged 61 years. 
John Adams' grave on Pitcairn is the only known grave site of a 'Bounty' mutineer. It has a replacement headstone, the original lead-covered wooden grave marker having been taken back to Britain where it is now on display in the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, London.
The main settlement and capital of Pitcairn, Adamstown, is named for John Adams.

1850: The Britannia Rail Bridge across the Menai Strait is opened. Connecting the Isle of Anglesey to the mainland of Wales, the bridge provided a direct rail link between London and the port of Holyhead.
Designed and built by Robert Stephenson, the tubular bridge of wrought iron rectangular box-section spans, fulfilled the requirements that during construction the strait remain accessible to shipping, and on completion it would be sufficiently stiff to support the heavy loading associated with trains.
Following a fire in 1970 it was rebuilt as a two-tier steel truss arch bridge, carrying both road and rail traffic.

The Britannia Rail Bridge early 1900's. Note the two ornamental lions guarding the entrance to the bridge. There is also a pair of lions at the opposite side, although they are all now unseen, being below the level of the road deck.

1916: Assigned to the Barcelona-Buenos Aires line, the Glasgow-built SS 'Príncipe de Asturias' was, at the time, one of the largest steamships in the Spanish merchant fleet. Shortly before dawn on 5th March, whilst trying to approach the port of Santos in dense fog, she struck the jagged reefs along the Brazilian coast at Ponta Boi and sank quickly. At least 445 people out of 588 aboard lost their lives, being probably the biggest single-incident maritime loss of lives since the sinking of RMS Empress of Ireland in May 1914.

Spanish liner 'Príncipe de Asturias'

1922: Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton, CVO, OBE, FRGS (15th February 1874 - 5th January 1922) was buried in the Grytviken cemetery, South Georgia, after a short service in the Lutheran church.
The expedition's physician, Alexander Macklin, wrote in his diary: "I think this is as "the Boss" would have had it himself, standing lonely in an island far from civilisation, surrounded by stormy tempestuous seas, & in the vicinity of one of his greatest exploits."
Prior to Shackleton's burial, a memorial service was held for him with full military honours at Holy Trinity Church, Montevideo, and on 2nd March a service was held at St Paul's Cathedral, London, at which the King and other members of the royal family were represented.

Sir Ernest Shackleton's grave in Grytviken, South Georgia.

1942: At 23:07hrs, whilst carrying 8,539 tons of general cargo, including silver bullion, pig iron and rubber, from Bombay to Oban, the unescorted British merchant vessel, SS 'Benmohr' was torpedoed and sunk  by German subnarine U-505, about 210 miles south-southwest of Freetown, West Africa. The master, 51 crew members and four gunners were rescued by a British Sunderland flying boat (Sqdn. 95) and landed at Freetown.
U-505 was eventually captured in 1944. After years of neglect, she is now fully restored and on display in an underground, climate-controlled environment at the the Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago, IL.

1943: U.S.S. 'Bogue' (ACV-9) begins the first anti-submarine operations by a carrier, specifically assigned to (Atlantic) convoy escort duty.

U.S.S. 'Bogue' (ACV-9) underway near Norfolk, 20th June 1943.

1981: The ZX81, a pioneering British home computer, is launched by Sinclair Research. It would go on to sell over 1.5 million units around the world.

1999: Salvagers are going to attempt to pull the bow section of the broken wood-chip freighter 'New Carissa', off the beach at Waldport Oregon later this week. If all goes according to plan, she will be towed out to sea and scuttled.
Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - March 6th
Post by: ardarossan on March 06, 2013, 04:47:41 AM
March 6th...   'Herald of Free Enterprise' - The Zeebrugge Ferry Disaster.
1987: With her bow ballast tanks filled to facilitate loading, Townsend Thoresen RO-RO ferry, 'Herald of Free Enterprise', left her berth in Zeebrugge inner harbour at 18:05 (GMT), whilst untrimmed and with her bow doors open.

Carrying 80 crew members, 459 passengers, and 131 assorted vehicles, she passed the outer mole at 18:24hrs, and started to build speed. As soon as she reached 18.9 knots, seawater began flooding the car deck.

The subsequent free surface effect destroyed her stability and she developed a 30-degrees list to port. Righting herself briefly, she listed to port once more and capsized. Almost immediately, both main and emergency electrical systems failed, which left the ship in darkness.

The 'Herald of Free Enterprise' ended on it's side, half-submerged in 'shallow' water, approx half-a-mile from shore. Only a fortuitous turn to starboard in her last moments, and capsizing onto a sandbar, prevented the ship from sinking entirely in much deeper water.

The entire event took place within 90 seconds. It would result in the loss of 193 passengers and crew.

The disaster would bring about improvements to the design of RO-RO vessels, with watertight ramps, bow-doors indicators, and the banning of undivided decks.

After so much adverse publicity, Townsend Thoresen was renamed P&O European Ferries.

Spirit-class RORO Ferry 'Herald of Free Enterprise'.

Recommended Viewing: Seconds from Disaster, Episode S02E05 - 'Capsized in the North Sea (Zeebrugge Ferry). (
Title: Re: This Day In 'Boating' History
Post by: ardarossan on March 06, 2013, 07:51:55 PM
March 6th...

1475: Michelangelo was born on 6th March 1475 in Caprese near Arezzo, Tuscany. At the time of Michelangelo's birth, his father, Ludovico di Leonardo di Buonarotto Simoni, was the town's Judicial administrator. Michelangelo's mother was Francesca di Neri del Miniato di Siena.
Michelangelo would become a world renowned Renaissance sculptor, painter, architect, poet, and engineer and who exert an unparalleled influence on the development of Western art.

1521: 'Magellan's Voyage around the World (1519-1522): The three remaining ships, of the five that set out from Spain under the command of Ferdinand Magellan, reach the Marianas and Guam. Magellan called Guam the "Island of Sails" because they saw a lot of sailboats. They renamed it to "Ladrones Island" (Island of Thieves) because many of Trinidad's small boats were stolen there.


1706: (Admiral Sir) George Pocock (KB, RN) is born in Chieveley, Berkshire. The son of Thomas Pocock, a chaplain in the navy. George Pocock would enter the navy in 1718, serving aboard H.M.S. 'Superb'. Eventually holding several positions as an officer until, in 1761, he would be made a Knight of the Bath and admiral.

1788: Following the arrival of the First Fleet at Port Jackson in January 1788, Arthur Phillip ordered Lieutenant Philip Gidley King to lead a party of 15 convicts and seven free men to take control of Norfolk Island and prepare for its commercial development. On 6th March 1788, King and his party arrived, but landed with difficulty, owing to the lack of a suitable harbour.

1836: Voyage of H.M.S. Beagle (1831-36): The 'Beagle' arrived at King George's Sound at the town of Albany, in Prince Royal Harbor, about 250 miles south-east of Perth, and remained there for eight days. Darwin was not very impressed with the landscape, it was a very dull looking place with no mountains, no rivers and no trees.

1881 Horatia Nelson (29th January 1801 - 6th March 1881), the daughter of Horatio Nelson and Emma Hamilton, dies at Beaufort Villas, Woodridings, Pinner, aged 80 years. The mother of ten children, she was laid to rest in Pinner Parish old cemetery, in Paines Lane, Pinner.

1869: Russian chemist and inventor, Dmitri Ivanovich Mendeleev (8th February 1834 - 2nd February 1907 N.S.), formally presents the first version of the periodic table of elements to the Russian Chemical Society. He would use the table to predict the properties of elements yet to be discovered.

1908: German armored cruiser SMS 'Gneisenau' was christened and commissioned by Field Marshal Alfred von Schlieffen, the former Chief of the General Staff. One of the two-ship Scharnhorst class, she was named after August von Gneisenau, a Prussian general of the Napoleonic Wars. Captain Franz von Hipper was the ship's first commanding officer; taking command on the day she was commissioned. He was tasked with conducting the ship's shakedown cruise, which lasted from 26 March to the middle of July.

SMS 'Gneisenau'

1999: The tug 'Sea Victory' arrived late last night and stands-by about 200 yards from the front section of 'New Carissa,' the broken dry-bulk freighter, sitting on the beach at Waldport, Oregon. A helicopter delivered one end of the new 14-inch, 2,400 feet, polyester towline to the 'Sea Victory' and the other end onto the bow of the 'New Carissa' for the salvage crew to connect.
By the end of the day, the 'Sea Victory' had turned the bow of the New Carissa 31 degrees towards the sea, with a further attempt scheduled for the early hours of 7th March during the high tide.

Ocean-going tug 'Sea Victory'
Title: Re: This Day In 'Boating' History
Post by: Capt Podge on March 07, 2013, 03:52:23 PM
Friday, 7th March 1941   Near Cromer, E Boats attacked a coastal convoy, sinking the following cargo ships:- 'SS Kenton' (1,047t) Poole to the Tyne. Four of her crew lost.
( (
 'SS Corduff' (2,345t) London to Hull. Seven of her crew lost.
( (
 'SS Boulderpool' (4,805t) London to the Tyne.
( (
'SS Flashlight' (934t) cargo ship, Seaham to London with a cargo of coal, was sunk by German aircraft, E of Spurn Point.
Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - March 7th
Post by: ardarossan on March 07, 2013, 07:18:27 PM
March 7th...

321: Roman Emperor Constantine I, decrees that Christians and non-Christians should be united in observing "dies Solis" - day of the sun, i.e. Sunday - as the Roman day of rest:

"On the venerable day of the Sun let the magistrates and people residing in cities rest, and let all workshops be closed. In the country however persons engaged in agriculture may freely and lawfully continue their pursuits because it often happens that another day is not suitable for grain-sowing or vine planting; lest by neglecting the proper moment for such operations the bounty of heaven should be lost." - Constantine I

1792: (Sir) John Frederick William Herschel (1st Baronet, KH, FRS) is born. The son of Mary Baldwin and astronomer Sir William Herschel. He would go on to become a mathematician, astronomer, chemist, and investigated colour blindness and the chemical power of ultraviolet rays. As an experimental photographer/inventor, he would invent the cyanotype process, now familiar as the "blueprint" and would be the first to use the terms "photography", "negative" and "positive".

1778: Third Voyage of James Cook (1776–79): Captain James Cook's first sighting of the Oregon coast is at Cape Foulweather, a basalt outcropping 500 feet above the Pacific Ocean south of Depoe Bay. His March 7th, 1778 journal entry reads:

"The land appeared to be of moderate height, diversified with hill and Valley and almost everywhere covered with wood. There was nothing remarkable about it except one hill…At the northern extreme the land formed a point which I called Cape Foulweather from the very bad weather we soon after met with."  

1810: Vice Admiral Cuthbert Collingwood, 1st Baron Collingwood (26th September 1748 - 7th March 1810), dies due to ill health, as he was returning to England on board the Ville de Paris, off Port Mahon.
Born in Newcastle upon Tyne, he was educated education at the Royal Grammar School, Newcastle. At twelve years of age he went to sea as a volunteer on board the frigate H.M.S. 'Shannon' under the command of his cousin Captain (later Admiral) Richard Brathwaite, who took charge of his nautical education.
Collingwood was notable as a partner with Horatio Nelson in several of the British victories of the Napoleonic Wars, and frequently as Nelson's successor in commands. He was laid to rest besides Nelson in the crypt of St Paul's Cathedral.

A statue erected in his honour overlooks the River Tyne in the town of Tynemouth, at the foot of which are some of the cannon from the Royal Sovereign.

Vice Admiral Cuthbert Collingwood, 1st Baron Collingwood.
Portrait by Henry Howard (died 1847).

1835: Voyage of H.M.S. Beagle (1831-36): The 'Beagle' left the ruined city of Concepcion after three days and sailed for Valparaiso to buy replacement anchors (they had just one left at this time).

1876: Patent 174,465 is issued to Alexander Graham Bell for an invention described as "the method of, and apparatus for, transmitting vocal or other sounds telegraphically ... by causing electrical undulations, similar in form to the vibrations of the air accompanying the said vocal or other sound." Although it has yet to work, he calls this invention, a telephone.

1885: (Admiral of the Fleet) John Cronyn "Jack" Tovey (1st Baron Tovey GCB, KBE, DSO, DCL) was born at Borley Hill, Rochester, Kent, the youngest child (of eleven) of Lt Col Hamilton Tovey, RE, and Maria Elizabeth Goodhue. He would go on to become a schoolboy international footballer and later play golf for the Royal Navy. He would serve in both World Wars and be promoted to Admiral of the Fleet in 1943.

1912: Roald Amundsen arrives at Hobart, Australia, and publicly announces that his expedition had successfully reached the South Pole on December 14, 1911.

1940: Painted grey and unannounced, 'Queen Elizabeth', the largest ship in the world arrives safely in New York, having zig-zagged across the Atlantic Ocean under radio silence during her secret maiden voyage.

'Queen Elizabeth' passes the Statue of Liberty, NY. 7th March 1940

1986: Divers from the U.S.S. 'Preserver' identify what they believe might be the crew compartment of the Space Shuttle Challenger on the ocean floor. The finding, along with discovery of the remains of all seven crew members, was confirmed the next day. On March 9th, NASA announced the finding to the press.

1999:At approximately 03:25hrs, the tug 'Sea Victory' managed to turn the beached bow-section of the broken woodchip freighter 'New Carissa' to a position facing almost at Waldport Oregon.
The operation's Unified Command believes the bow will move even further seaward during this afternoon's high tide, despite an incoming storm.
The Unified Command have not yet identified the ship and artillery that will sink the bow section, but it is going to be accompanied by three other vessels: The oil skimmer 'Oregon Responder'; the 'Miss Law', a 60ft fishing vessel as support for the 'Oregon Responder'; and the tug 'Natoma', as support for the Sea Victory.

Tugboat 'Natoma'.
Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - March 8th
Post by: ardarossan on March 08, 2013, 06:57:16 PM
March 8th...

1612: German mathematician, astronomer and astrologer, Johannes Kepler has an epiphany and discovers the third law of planetary motion, several years after he discovering the first two.

1702: Anne Bonny was born in Kinsale, Ireland. Bonny's family travelled to the new world very early on in her life. Her mother died shortly after they arrived in North America, where her father eventually joined a merchant business.
Anne would become famous as a female pirate, operating in the Caribbean. What little is known of her life comes largely from 'A General History of the Pyrates', a 1724 book published in Britain, containing biographies of contemporary pirates.

Pyrate Anne Bonny (1702-1782)
“Well behaved women seldom make history”

1726: (Admiral of the Fleet) Richard Howe (1st Earl Howe KG) was born in London, the second son of Emanuel Scrope Howe, 2nd Viscount Howe, who died as governor of Barbados in March 1735, and of Charlotte, a daughter of Baroness von Kielmansegg, afterwards Countess of Darlington, the half-sister of King George I which does much to explain his early rise in the navy.
He would join the navy at the age of thirteen and become a British naval officer, notable in particular for his service during the American War of Independence and French Revolutionary Wars. He was the brother of William and George Howe.
Richard Howe is an ancestor of Diana, Princess of Wales, and thus, the current Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry of Wales

1833: Whilst surveying the Falkland Islands, a sealing schooner by the name of 'Unicorn' arrived at Port Louis on the 8th March. The owner, William Low, was nearly bankrupt as he had spent the past six months hunting seals and came back empty handed.
As luck would have it, Capt. FitzRoy saw the need for an extra ship to speed up his survey work, and after examining the 'Unicorn', he bought her for Ł1,300. An additional Ł403 were spent on new fittings, ropes, and canvas. She was renamed, 'Adventure', after the supply ship used on the previous 'Beagle' voyage, and John Wickham was put in command of her. Unfortunately, FitzRoy did not check with the Admiralty for permission to buy the ship, a mistake he would pay for later in the voyage.

1868: Known as 'The Sakai Incident', 11 French sailors from the French corvette 'Dupleix' are killed in the port of Sakai near Osaka, Japan when their skiff was attacked by samurai of the Tosa clan (a monument in Kobe is now erected to their memory). At the time, the port of Sakai was not open to foreign ships, and the Tosa troops were in charge of policing the city.
The French captain Dupetit Thouars protested so strongly that an indemnity was agreed upon, and 20 troop members were sentenced to death by seppuku at Myōkoku-ji.
However, at the execution, indignant samurai threw their own intestines to shocked French observers. After 11 had performed their own execution, the French captain requested a pardon, sparing nine of the samurai to banishment instead.

The Sakai Incident - 1868.

1957: President Gamal Abdel Nasser officially re-opens the Suez Canal, although it wouldn’t really be navigable until it had been cleard of obstructions. The roughly 110 mile long, 50 foot deep salt-water passage between the Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea had been the focus of international attention, and the United Nations’ first peace-keeping force, when Egypt nationalized the vital waterway in July 1956 hoping to get rich quick by charging shipping tolls.

1999: The tug 'Sea Victory' managed to pulled the broken bow section of the dry-bulk freighter 'New Carissa' off the sandbar it was lodged on near Waldport, Oregon, and headed out. When they reach the designated area on the 11th March, the bow will be sunk in more than 6,000 feet of water. The Unified Command, announced that destroyer U.S.S. 'David R. Ray' will perform the scuttling duties.

The bow section of 'New Carissa' leaves Waldport, Oregon, 8th March 1999.

2001: The largest section of the wreckage from Donald Campbell's 'Bluebird K7', comprising approximately two thirds of the centre hull, was raised from its resting place on the bottom of Coniston Water in Cumbria.
The controversial project contradicted, Donald Campbell's own wishes which were that in the event of something going wrong, "Skipper and boat stay together". However, the head of the recovery team, Bill Smith, said he was glad they had reached the boat as there was always the risk that less scrupulous souvenir hunters could get there first.

Donald Campbell's body would be located and recovered in May 2001.

"Skipper and Boat Stay Together" - Donald Campbell (
The wreckage from Donald Campbells 'Bluebird K7' - 8th March 2001
 - (being saved from 'unscrupulous souvenir hunters?').
Title: Re: This Day In 'Boating' History
Post by: dave301bounty on March 08, 2013, 07:37:31 PM
Really interesting this ,got to thank you .
Title: Re: This Day In 'Boating' History
Post by: Capt Podge on March 08, 2013, 08:01:27 PM
Saturday, 8th March 1941   E-Boats once again attacked an east coast convoy, again off Cromer.
'SS Togston' (1,547t) cargo ship, Blyth to London, was sunk by an E Boat near Cromer. Eight of her crew were lost.
( (
'SS Hindpool' (4,897t) cargo ship, Pepel to the Tees, was sunk by U 124, N of Cape Verde Islands. Twenty-seven of her crew were killed.
( (
 Sunday, 8th March 1942   'SS Hengist' (984t) cargo ship, Reykjavik to Grimsby with fish, was sunk by U 569, NE of Cape Wrath.
In the evening of 8 March 1942, the unescorted Hengist (Capt. Arthur Jamieson) was torpedoed and sunk by U-569 northwest of Cape Wrath.

Two crew members and one gunner were lost. The master, 24 crew members and four gunners were picked up by the French trawler Groenland and landed at Loch Ewe.
Title: Re: This Day In 'Boating' History
Post by: Capt Podge on March 09, 2013, 06:08:41 PM
Saturday, 9th March 1940   
The collier 'Maindy Hill' (1,918t) built in 1911.
Built as the HYLTONIA for Ericsson Shipping Co. Ltd., Newcastle; Yard No 158; Launch Date 09/09/1911; Corrugated design, ships sides had several longitudinal corrugations, a patent design of the period; Main owner Jenkins Richards E; In 1920 renamed MAINDY HILL; Owners at time of loss were Admiralty coal agents; Tramp steamer making regular trips abroad.
 While on Admiralty service, was sunk in a collision with St Rosario in the North Sea 3 nautical miles (5.6 km) north east of Hartlepool Co Durham and sank. All 23 crew were rescued.
( (
Maindy Hill
( (
St Rosario

'SS Chevychase' (2,719t) steamer, Blyth to London with a cargo of coal, hit a mine off Great Yarmouth.
Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - March 9th
Post by: ardarossan on March 09, 2013, 09:13:32 PM
March 9th...

1454: Amerigo Vespucci is born in Florence, Italy. The third son of Ser Nastagio (Anastasio), a Florentine notary, and Lisabetta Mini. Amerigo Vespucci would be educated by his uncle, Fra Giorgio Antonio Vespucci, a Dominican friar of San Marco in Florence. He will become known as the Italian explorer, financier, navigator and cartographer, who first demonstrated that the New World was not the Eastern extremeties of Asia, but a previously-unknown fourth continent.

1500: At noon on 9th March 1500 (following a public send-off the previous day which included a Mass and celebrations attended by the King, his court and a huge crowd), the 13-ship fleet of Pedro Alvares Cabral leaves Lisbon, Portugal, with the objective of establishing trade relations in India, and returning with valuable spices - thus bypassing the monopoly on the spice trade, which at the time was in the hands of Arab, Turkish and Italian merchants.

Cabral's long route to India should bypass the Mediterranean spice merchants.

1834: Voyage of H.M.S. Beagle (1831-36):The 'Beagle' left Woolya Cove, Tierra del Fuego on 9th March for a month-long revisit to the Falkland Islands. 'Beagle' would arrive shortly before 'Adventure' returned from a survey of the west, south and south-east coasts of the islands. During the next month, Charles Darwin would explore East Falkand and, when a packet ship arrives carrying mail, he would receive a letter from from Revd. Henslow, telling him that the specimens he had been sending back to England were arriving safely in Cambridge, and that he found many of them to be very interesting indeed. Needless to say, this news would excite Darwin a great deal.

1847: During the Mexican-American War, the 'Siege of Veracruz' begins at 03:30hrs with the first large-scale amphibious assault conducted by United States military forces on the key Mexican beachhead seaport of Veracruz. Lasting from 9th - 29th March 1847, it ended with the surrender and occupation of the city, U.S. forces then marched inland to Mexico City.

The amphibious landing at the 'Battle of Veracruz', painted by N. Currier, c.1840's

1862: The second day of the two-day 'Battle of Hampton Roads', sees the first meeting of two ironclad warships. The historic spectacle proves inconclusive though, as the U.S.S. 'Monitor' and C.S.S. 'Virginia' fight to a draw.

"The Monitor and Merrimac: The First Fight Between Ironclads" at the Battle of Hampton Roads
Image of a chromolithograph, produced by Louis Prang & Co., Boston. 1886.

1974: Hiroo Onoda was trained as an intelligence officer in the commando class "Futamata" of Nakano School. On December 26th, 1944, he was sent to Lubang Island in the Philippines where he was ordered to do all he could to hamper enemy attacks on the island, including destroying the airstrip and the pier at the harbour. Onoda's orders also stated that under no circumstances was he to surrender or take his own life.
Believing that leaflets dropped on the area informing him that the war had ended, were a trick, he remained in hiding until the Japanese government flew Onoda's former commanding officer, Major Yoshimi Taniguchi, out to Lubang where he was able to relieve Onoda from duty, on 9th March 1974. Properly relieved, from duty (not surrendered), Onoda turned over his sword, his Arisaka Type 99 rifle (in working order), 500 rounds of ammunition and several hand grenades, as well as the dagger his mother had given him in 1944 for protection.
Only private Teruo Nakamura, arrested on 18th December 1974, held out for longer.

1999: The bow section of the broken dry-bulk freighter 'New Carissa' is listing about 10 degrees toward the starboard side, which may be caused by flooding. However, she is now over 9000ft of water and currently over 150 miles, west of Waldport, so if she sinks, the tug 'Sea Victory' will just release the towline. If she doesn't sink prematurely, the Unified Command expects that by 11th March, the tug and bow will reach the designated scuttling site.
Once the bow section has been dealt with, attention will turn to the stern section which remains on the beach at Coos Bay, where it ran aground on 4th February.

The stern of 'New Carissa', beached near, Coos Bay Harbour, Ore. March 1999.
Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - March 9th
Post by: ardarossan on March 10, 2013, 12:00:34 AM
March 9th... 'Space Shuttle Discovery'

2011: Space Shuttle Discovery (Orbiter Vehicle Designation: OV-103) makes it's final landing at Kennedy Space Centre at 10:57:17 CST' and is decommissioned.
'Discovery' had flown more than any other spacecraft having completed 39 successful missions in over 27 years of service. This equates to almost 149 million miles travelled, and a cumulative total of one full year (365 days) in space.

Named after four British ships of exploration, primarily H.M.S. 'Discovery', one of the ships commanded by Captain James Cook during his voyage from 1776 to 1779.
Others include;
Henry Hudson's 'Discovery' which he used to search for a Northwest Passage,
H.M.S. 'Discovery', which took Captain George Nares to the North Pole, and,
R.R.S. 'Discovery', which was the main ship of the 1901–1904 expedition to Antarctica.

Maiden flight of Space Shuttle 'Discovery', designated STS-41-D, launched from the Kennedy Space Centre, on 30th August, 1984.

The spacecraft 'Discovery' takes its name from four similarly-named British ships of exploration, primarily H.M.S. 'Discovery', one of the ships commanded by Captain James Cook during his third and final major voyage from 1776 to 1779. Image of The Death of Captain Cook with 'Discovery' and 'Resolution' covering the retreat of the landing party by John the Younger Cleveley.

Henry Hudson's 'Discovery', which he used in 1610–1611 to search for a Northwest Passage. This ship had previously been used in the 1607 founding of Jamestown, the first permanent English settlement in what was to become the United States of America. Image of a replica built in 2007.

H.M.S. 'Discovery', one of the ships which took Captain George Nares' British Arctic Expedition of 1875–1876 to the North Pole.

R.R.S. 'Discovery', a Royal Geographical Society research vessel which, under the command of Captain Robert Falcon Scott and Ernest Shackleton, was the main ship of the 1901-1904 "Discovery Expedition" to Antarctica, and which is preserved in Dundee, Scotland.

Space Shuttle 'Discovery' completes the 13-day STS-133 mission to the International Space Station when she touches down for the last time, on Runway 15 of the Shuttle Landing Facility at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. 9th March 2011.
Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - March 10th
Post by: ardarossan on March 10, 2013, 08:57:45 PM
March 10th...

241 BC: The 'Battle of the Aegates Islands' (or Aegusa), off the western coast of the island of Sicily, was the final naval battle fought between the fleets of Carthage and the Roman Republic during the First Punic War. Despite having the wind in their favour, the Carthage fleet was outmanoeuvred in the rough seas by the fleet of 200 Roman quinqueremes, resulting in the loss or capture of around half of the Carthage vessels. The decisive victory brought an end to the protracted conflict, to the advantage of Rome.

Depiction of Roman Ships Capturing Part of Carthagian Fleet

1535: Fray Tomas de Berlanga sailed to Peru to settle a dispute between Francisco Pizarro and his lieutenants after the conquest of the Inca Empire. His ship stalled when the winds died and strong currents carried him out to the Galápagos Islands which he thus accidentally discovered on 10th March, 1535. He sent an account of the adventure and discovery to Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor and King of Spain.

1823: Admiral George Keith Elphinstone (7th January 1746 - 10th March 1823), 1st Viscount Keith GCB, died aged 77 years, at Tulliallan Castle, near Kincardine-on-Forth, Fife, his property in Scotland, and was buried in the parish church.
Lord Keith was born in Elphinstone Tower, near Stirling, Scotland. The fifth son of the 10th Lord Elphinstone, and the third to go to sea, entering the Royal Navy in 1761. He first served in the Navy during the Seven Years War, though only commissioned in 1770. Thereafter he fought with distinction, gaining several important victories both in Europe and elsewhere. He became a rear-admiral in 1794, took the Cape of Good Hope from the Dutch in 1795, Ceylon in 1796 and received a barony in 1797. He was promoted to Admiral in 1801 and in 1803 took command in the North Sea. In 1812 he took over the Channel fleet and was elevated to Viscount in 1814.

Admiral Lord George Keith Elphinstone, 1st Viscount Keith (1746-1823).
Portrait by George Sanders c. After 1815.

1849: Abraham Lincoln files a patent for a device to lift boats over shoals and obstructions in a river. It is the only United States patent ever registered to a President of the United States. Lincoln conceived the idea of inventing such a mechanism when, on two different occasions, the boat on which he traveled got hung up on obstructions. Documentation of this patent (Patent No. 6,469) was discovered in 1997.

Abraham Lincoln's patent drawings showing "expansible buoyant chambers," to lift a boat over obstructions.

1876: Three days after his patent was issued, Alexander Graham Bell, succeeded in getting his latest invention to work. Speaking into the mouthpiece of his 'telephone', he said the (now  famous) sentence "Mr Watson - Come here - I want to see you." Listening at the receiving end in an adjoining room, Mr Watson heard the words clearly.

1977: Astronomers James L. Elliot, Edward W. Dunham, and Douglas J. Mink discover rings around Uranus. The system of rings are very dark, faint and of intermediate complexity, somewhere between the more extensive set around Saturn and the simpler systems around Jupiter and Neptune. Never-the-less, William Herschel had reported observing rings in 1789, almost 200 years earlier.

1999: At 18:00hrs the tug 'Sea Victory' had towed the listing 440ft bow section of the broken dry-bulk freighter, 'New Carissa', approximately 250 miles (216 nautical miles) west of Waldport, and is nearing the area where the bow section is to be scuttled.
U.S. Coast Guard and U.S. Navy officials announced that they will place explosives along the water line of the the 'New Carissa' and sink it in more than 9,000 feet of water. The charges will be detonated in a sequence that will flood the rear of the bow section first, as this should help to trap the oil inside.
The U.S.S. David R. Ray, the Navy destroyer carrying the explosives and the team that will place them, should arrive on 11th March.

Spruance-class Destroyer U.S.S. David R. Ray (DD-971).
Title: Re: This Day In 'Boating' History
Post by: Capt Podge on March 10, 2013, 09:06:10 PM
Monday, 10th March 1941   In the Straits of Dover, three cargo ships, all carrying coal in a coastal convoy, were sunk by mines:- 'SS Corinia' (870t) Blyth to Cowes. Seven of her crew were lost. 'SS Sparta' (708t) Blyth to Southampton. 'SS Waterland' (1,107t) Sunderland to Cowes. Five crew were lost.
 Friday, 10th March 1944   'SS Svava' (1,216t) a Ministry of Transport coal ship was bound for the Thames from Warkworth. When off Blyth she collided with the 'Fort Beausjour' at 55°15'12"N - 01°18'24"W and sank in 35 metres of water. She was built in 1904.
Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - March 11th
Post by: ardarossan on March 11, 2013, 08:12:30 PM
March 11th...

1787: Horatio Nelson marries Frances "Fanny" Nisbet, at Montpelier Estate on the island of Nevis, shortly before the end of his tour of duty in the Caribbean. The marriage was registered at Fig Tree Church, St John's Parish, Nevis. Nelson returned to England in July, with Fanny following later.

1899: Marconi wireless apparatus, which had been installed for a trial period at the South Foreland Lighthouse near Dover and the East Goodwin Lightship in the English Channel, established the first ever wireless ship-to-shore communications on Christmas Eve 1898. Just ten weeks later, it would make history again...

Marconi's wireless apparatus at the South Foreland Lighthouse.
(Image: Marconi Corporation plc.)

...on Saturday 11th March 1899, at 02:00 hrs, in thick fog, 'Elbe' a three-masted sailing ship, ran aground on the Goodwin Sands as she was returning to Hamburg laden with slates.
Although the South Goodwin Lightship fired signals, when the wind was blowing off-shore, the signal guns of the lightships could'nt be heard on land.
In this instance the signals were heard by the East Goodwin Lightship, which was able to relay the incident by wireless telegraphy to the South Foreland Lighthouse.
From there telegraphic messages were sent to the authorities, and the lifeboats at Ramsgate, Deal, and Kingsdown were put on standby. Fortunately, none of them were required, as the 'Elbe' re-floated a few hours later later with the assistance of boatmen and the tug 'Shamrock'.
However, the incident marked the first time in history that a lifeboat (or three) had been alerted of a ship in danger by use of wireless.

1915: H.M.S. 'Manica' is acquired by the Admiralty as the first kite balloon ship of the Royal Naval Air Service. Conversion of the former tramp steamer (SS Manica) to operate the kite balloon will involve fitting "a long sloping deck from forecastle to waist, fixing a dynamo to drive a hydrogen compressor", and the installation of a winch. A "wireless telegraphy house" and quarters for the naval officers and men will also be added.

1940: A Bristol Blenheim of No.82 Squadron, RAF Bomber Command, on patrol off Borkum surprises and sinks U-31 on the surface in the Schillig Roads. The attack is pressed home at such a low altitude that the Blenheim is damaged by the explosions. This is the first U-Boat of the war to be sunk by a Royal Air Force aircraft without the assistance of surface vessels.
The Type VIIIA U-boat U-31 is subsequently raised by the German Navy, only to be sunk again by the destroyer H.M.S. 'Antelope' in November 1940. Raised for a second time, the U-31 is finally scuttled in May 1945.

1945: The Imperial Japanese Navy launch 'Operation Tan No. 2', a long-range Kamikaze attack on the U.S. Pacific Fleet anchored at Ulithi in the western Pacific. Twenty-four "Yokosuka P1Y1" twin-engine bombers took-off from Japan to participate in the Kamikaze element of the attack, supported by other aircraft and submarines. Only two of the aircraft reached Ulithi, arriving after nightfall. One aircraft hit aircraft carrier U.S.S. 'Randolph' on the starboard side aft just below the flight deck, killing 27 men and wounding 105, many of whom were watching a move in the ship's hangar deck. The second crashed into an access road on Sorlen islet, apparently believing the road with its nearby signal tower to be a ship.

U.S.S. 'Randolph' with damaged aft flight deck, alongside repair ship U.S.S. 'Jason'
Ulithi Atoll, Caroline Islands, two days after Kamikaze attack on 11th March, 1945.

1984: Welsh rower Tom James MBE, twice Olympic champion and victorious Cambridge Blue, was born in Cardiff, although he considers his hometown to be the village of Coedpoeth (where he grew up), near Wrexham, Wales.
As with all other British gold medal winners at the London 2012 Olympic Games, he was honoured with the release of a Royal Mail postage bearing his image, and having a post box in his home town painted gold.

Tom James' 'Gold' post box in Wrexham, Wales
Title: Re: This Day In 'Boating' History
Post by: heritorasphodel on March 11, 2013, 08:28:15 PM
March 11th 1993

Rother class lifeboat Osman Gabriel (37-27) leaves Poole depot by road for Felixstowe, where she is to be shipped to Estonia, becoming the Estonian Lifeboat Service's sixth boat.

Formerly the Port Erin lifeboat from 1973 to 1992, Osman Gabriel is the prototype Rother (numbered 27 due to being a modification of the Oakley class) and the first of the first Lifeboat class named after a river, as is now standard practice. She was formally presented to the Estonian Lifeboat Service on the 18th of March by the British Ambassador, Brian Low. The boat was renamed Anita, after his wife.

Title: Re: This Day In 'Boating' History
Post by: Norseman on March 11, 2013, 09:30:18 PM is it this one?
Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - March 11th
Post by: ardarossan on March 11, 2013, 09:54:51 PM
March 11th...

1999: The tug 'Sea Victory', towing the listing 440ft bow-section of the broken dry-bulk freighter 'New Carissa', met the U.S. Navy destroyer 'David R. Ray' at the designated scuttling site, somewhere between 250 to 300 miles off the coast of Oregon.
Once the towlines were disconnected, all the non-essential vessels withdrew to a safe distance.

The U.S. Coast Guard transferred the explosives team from the destroyer onto the listing bow-section of the 'New Carissa', and collected them after they had attached 400lbs of high-explosive to the oil-laden hulk.


The remotely-controlled charges were detonated, creating a series of holes in the hull as planned, but after a short while it became apparent that the hull wasn't in any rush to sink.


To accelerate the situation, the hull was further punctured by sixty-nine rounds of gunfire from the 'David R. Ray's' 5-inch (127 mm) deck guns. After 40 minutes, the ship was still afloat with darkness and a storm approaching.


Under the circumstances it might seem odd that the U.S.S. 'Bremerton' (SSN-698), a Los Angeles-class submarine nuclear-powered attack submarine, just happened to be in the vicinity but, fortunately, it was able to bestow the last rites on the perforated bow-section by way of a Mark 48 torpedo.

Within ten minutes, the bow-section slipped below the surface (stern first) and started a two-miles journey to the ocean floor, trapping up to 130,000 gallons of fuel oil within.

That just left the broken stern section to get rid of...   back on the beach...   near Coos Bay Harbour...
Title: Re: This Day In 'Boating' History
Post by: Capt Podge on March 11, 2013, 10:29:37 PM
Wednesday, 11th March 1942   'SS Horseferry' (951t) cargo ship, Tyne to London with coal, was sunk by an E Boat, NE of Great Yarmouth. Eleven of her crew were lost.
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Title: Re: This Day In 'Boating' History
Post by: heritorasphodel on March 11, 2013, 11:22:56 PM

Yes, that's her on the slipway at Port Erin.

Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - March 12th
Post by: ardarossan on March 12, 2013, 08:37:04 PM
March 12th...

1918: British D-class submarine, HMS D3, built by Vickers, Barrow was lost with all hands on 12th March 1918, when she was mistakenly bombed and sunk by a French airship, AT-0, off Fecamp in the English Channel.
AT-0 was patrolling when at 14:20hrs a vessel was spotted to her north east. The airship drew close for recognition purposes and according to her commander, the submarine fired rockets at her. Four 52-kg bombs were dropped by the airship. The submarine disappeared but several minutes later, four men were seen in the water. Attempts were made by the airship to rescue the men but it proved too difficult, so it withdrew to seek a surface vessel to assist. Unfortunately, the men had drowned by the time help arrived. It was clear that D3 was the victim of a serious identification error on the part of the French airship, with identification rockets being mistaken for aggressive gunfire.

H.M.S. D3.

1928: South African fighter ace, Samuel Marcus Kinkead, with 33 victories during WWI, was killed in Calshot, England, as he tried to become the first man to travel at more than five miles a minute in a Supermarine S.5 racing seaplane (N221).
Witnesses thought he was flying very low and very fast when his S.5 dived into moderately deep water near the Calshot Lightship.
Although the RAF Duty Motorboat quickly buoyed the wreck site it took two days for the salvage vessel to find and retrieve the wreckage that had split into two parts.
It was at first thought that Kinkead had been thrown clear of the machine during the crash but his body was found, compressed into the tail. It was quite obvious that Sam Kinkead had died instantly.
The circumstances of his death have never been satisfactorily explained although a verdict of death by misadventure was passed at the inquest. However, flying at over 300 MPH and at no higher than 150 feet Kinkead was never more than half a heart beat from disaster.
Kinkead was buried at All Saints' Church, Fawley – the headstone on his grave reads:

In memory of Flight Lieutenant Samuel Marcus Kinkead DSO DSC DFC who, on 12 March 1928 while flying at Calshot, gave his life in an attempt to break the world's speed record.

Supermarine S.5 Racing Seaplane (N221), Calshot, 1928.

2012: MV 'Shariatpur 1', a double deck ferry carrying an estimated 200+ passengers, capsized and sank in 70 ft of water, after colliding with a cargo ship on the Meghna River, near Dhaka, Bangladesh. Although 75 people were rescued or swam ashore, at least 115 were killed, whilst a further 61 people remained unaccounted for when the rescue/recovery operation was called off.

Boats are the main form of transport in Bangladesh's remote rural areas and accidents are common due to lax safety standards and overloading, in a delta nation of 153 million people.

The exact number of passengers on any ferry is often uncertain as passenger lists are not maintained properly and many people buy their tickets when they board.

Naval officials have said more than 95 per cent of Bangladesh's hundreds of thousands of small-and medium-sized boats do not meet minimum safety regulations.

A typical Bangladeshi Ferry on the Meghna River.
Title: Re: This Day In 'Boating' History
Post by: Capt Podge on March 12, 2013, 08:51:18 PM
Tuesday, 12th March 1940 
 'SS Gardenia' (3,745t) steamer, Casablanca to Middlesbrough was sunk by a mine off Cromer.
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Title: Re: This Day In 'Boating' History
Post by: Capt Podge on March 13, 2013, 07:31:45 PM
Tuesday, 13th March 1945   'SS Taber Park' (2,878t) on a voyage from the Tyne to London was lost near Great Yarmouth, the reason was given as a collision with a midget submarine (unconfirmed) She was probably one of the very last ships to sink on that route during the war.
Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - March 13th
Post by: ardarossan on March 13, 2013, 09:02:06 PM
March 13th...

1697: The last significant independent Maya stronghold, 'Tayasal', located on an island in Lake Petén Itzá in the northern Petén Basin region of present-day Guatemala, fell to Spanish conquistadors, the final step in the Spanish conquest.
Martín de Urzúa y Arizmendi arrived on the western shore of lake Petén Itzá with his soldiers in February 1697, and once there built a 'galeota', a large and heavily armed oar-powered attack boat. The Itza capital fell in a bloody waterborne assault on 13th March 1697. The Spanish bombardment caused heavy loss of life on the island; many Itza Maya who fled to swim across the lake were killed in the water.

1781: German-born British astronomer, technical expert, and composer, Sir Frederick William Herschel, discovers the planet Uranus.
He also discovered two of its major moons (Titania and Oberon), and two moons of Saturn. In addition, he was the first person to discover the existence of infrared radiation.

1836: Voyage of H.M.S. Beagle (1831-36): After being delayed a few days due to poor weather, the Beagle sailed out of King George's Sound on 13th March. Darwin wasn't impressed with the place although he had been on a few inland excursions, and went with Captain FitzRoy to a place called Bald Head where there were curious formations of tree casts made of limestone. A few of the crew members had also attended an aborigine dance around a bonfire.


1969: The 'Apollo 9' spacecraft, with astronauts James McDivitt, David Scott, and Russell Schweickart aboard, 'splashed-down' in the Atlantic recovery area to conclude a successful 10-day Earth-orbital space mission.
Apollo 9, was the third manned mission in the United States 'Apollo' space program and the first flight of the Command/Service Module (CSM) with the Lunar Module (LM). Further tests on the Apollo 10 mission would prepare the LM for its ultimate goal, landing on the Moon.
The splashdown point was 180 miles east of Bahamas and just 4.5 nautical miles from the prime recovery ship, U.S.S. 'Guadalcanal'.

The 'Apollo 9' was the last spacecraft to splash down in the Atlantic Ocean.
Title: Re: This Day In 'Boating' History
Post by: Martin [Admin] on March 13, 2013, 09:16:27 PM

Very interesting. I was a big fan of the Apollo program.
Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - March 14th
Post by: ardarossan on March 14, 2013, 09:01:15 PM
March 14th...

1500: Five days after leaving Lisbon, en route for Calicut, India, where they hope to establish trading relations, Pedro Alvares Cabral's flotilla of 13-ships pass Gran Canaria, the largest island in the Canary Islands and sail on towards Cape Verde, a Portuguese colony situated on the West African coast, which they should reach in a week or so.


1653: The naval 'Battle of Leghorn' (aka the 'Battle of Livorno'), a part of the 'First Anglo-Dutch War', took place on 14th March, 1653 (4th March Old Style), near Leghorn (Livorno), Italy.
It was a victory of a Dutch fleet under Commodore Johan van Galen over an English squadron under Captain Henry Appleton. Afterward an English fleet under Captain Richard Badiley, which Appleton had been trying to reach, came up but was outnumbered and fled.
The battle gave the Dutch command of the Mediterranean, placing the English trade with the Levant at their mercy, but Commodore Johan van Galen was mortally wounded, dying on 23rd March.

The Battle of Leghorn, 14 March 1653 by Willem van Diest

1757: Admiral John Byng (baptised 29th October 1704 - 14 March 1757) was a Royal Navy officer. After joining the navy at the age of thirteen, he participated at the Battle of Cape Passaro in 1718. Over the next thirty years he built up a reputation as a solid naval officer and received promotion to Vice-Admiral in 1747. Byng is best known for the loss of Minorca in 1756 at the beginning of the Seven Years' War. In practice, his ships badly needed repair and he was relieved of his command before he could see to his ships or secure the extra forces he required. He was court-martialled and found guilty of failing to "do his utmost" to prevent Minorca falling to the French following the Battle of Minorca. He was sentenced to death and shot by firing squad on the forecastle of the H.M.S. 'Monarch' in the Solent on 14th March 1757.

"These 24 hours very squally, with showers of wind and rain; Admiral Byng's Co. as before; at 7 A.M. his Coffin came on board; at 10 A.M. all the Ships' Boats, manned and armed, came to attend his Execution; hard gales, lowered down the lower yards: at noon all hands were called up to attend his execution; he was shot on the larboard side of the Quarter Deck by six Marines, attended by Lieut. Clark, the Marshal, and Mr. Muckings; these gentlemen went ashore after the execution was over". - Captain John Montagu, ship's log - March 14 1757

The Shooting of Admiral John Byng on board the 'Monarque'.

1795: The naval 'Battle of Genoa' was fought off the coast of Genoa, a port city in north-western Italy, between French warships under Rear-Admiral Pierre Martin and British and Neapolitan warships under Vice Admiral William Hotham. The battle ended in a British-Neapolitan victory over the French and the capture of the French ships 'Ça Ira' and 'Censeur' by the British.

Engagement between 'Ça Ira' against H.M.S. 'Bedford'

1915: Cornered off the coast of Chile by the Royal Navy after fleeing the Battle of the Falkland Islands, the German Imperial Navy light cruiser SMS 'Dresden' raises a white flag of surrender, although it's actually a stalling tactic whilst she is being abandoned and scuttled by her crew.

SMS 'Dresden', flying a white flag, moments prior to her scuttling.

1917: The SS 'Faith', the first concrete ship built in the United States, was launched on this day in 1918.
Work began September 1st, 1917, with concrete pouring from October 31st 1917 until  February 26, 1918. Designed by Alan Macdonald and Victor Poss, the steam-ship pulled up to 5000 tons, and measured 336.5 x 44.5 x 22.5 feet - being the largest concrete ship of its time.
The cost of the hull itself was estimated at $450,000, and the early estimate before completion was that it would total $890,000 overall

Concrete ship S.S. 'Faith' completed

1945: The No. 617 Squadron RAF Avro Lancaster of Squadron Leader Calder dropped the first 22,000 lb Grand Slam bomb from 11,965 ft on the Schildesche viaduct. More than 100 yards of the Bielefeld viaduct collapsed through the earthquake bomb effect of the Grand Slam and Tallboy bombs of No. 617 Squadron.
Known officially as the 'Bomb, Medium Capacity, 22,000 lb', it was a scaled-up version of the Tallboy bomb and closer to the original size that the bombs' inventor, Barnes Wallis, had envisaged when he first developed his earthquake bomb idea.
'Grand Slams' and 'Tall Boys', would later be used during attacks on German U-Boat shelters.

A Grand Slam bomb being handled at RAF Woodhall Spa

Title: Re: This Day In 'Boating' History
Post by: Capt Podge on March 14, 2013, 11:29:42 PM
Friday, 14th March 1941   
                                The tug 'Bullger' (270t) struck a mine and sank, ˝ a mile offshore in Druridge Bay, E of Widdrington at 55°16'03"N - 01°33'06"W.
'SS Artemisia' (6,507t) cargo ship, London to the Tyne, was sunk by German aircraft near Aldeburgh.

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 Saturday, 14th March 1942   'SS Brabo' (3,658t) a Belgian ship, sank in the Tyne entrance after a collision half-way along the North pier. She was carrying a cargo of wood pulp and steel. An elaborate coffer dam of solid copper was being built, to raise the height of the gunwhales when she was battered by heavy seas and the project had to be abandoned. Much of her remains still lie on the sea-bed, but the wreck buoy was removed in 1979.
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 Wednesday, 14th March 1945   'SS Magne' (1,226t), a Danish merchantman, was sunk by 'U 714' off St Abbs Head at 55°51'12"N - 01°55'24"W.
After the attack on the 'Magne', 'U 714' was on patrol off St Abbs Head, when she was depth charged and sunk at 55°57'00"N - 01°57'00"W, by the 'Natal', a frigate of the South African Navy, on her maiden voyage from the Swan Hunter and Wigham Richardson yard on the Tyne to Scapa Flow and hence to Tobermory, Isle of Mull. The 'Natal' was offering assistance to the destroyer 'HMS Wivern', which was standing by the survivors of the 'Magne', when her ASDIC (Sonar) detected the submarine. 'Natal' made two depth-charge runs on this contact after which wreckage and light oil came to the surface and the ASDIC contact vanished. It was assumed and later confirmed that the U-boat had gone straight to the bottom.
Title: Re: This Day In 'Boating' History
Post by: heritorasphodel on March 15, 2013, 08:29:36 AM
14/15 March 1942

A convoy is attacked off the north Norfolk coast by German E-boats. The E-boats themselves then came under attack by destroyers and HMS Vortigern. Three were sunk, with two more damaged, while the Vortigern was also hit by a pair of torpedoes and sunk.

Cromer lifeboat H.F. Bailey launched shortly before 8AM after being notified by a Flag Officer at Great Yarmouth that two vessels had sunk ten miles northeast of Cromer. By 9:45 H.F. Bailey was at the scene but recovered no survivors, only 11 bodies. The Sheringham lifeboat Forester's Centenary had also been called out, recovering one body and finding a barrage balloon. After returning to their stations, the bodies were transferred to a motor boat that took them to Lowestoft.

Both these lifeboats are now in museums near their respective stations.

Title: Re: This Day In 'Boating' History
Post by: Capt Podge on March 15, 2013, 09:06:46 PM
Sunday, 15th March 1942   'SS Athelqueen' (8,780t) tanker, Hull to Port Everglades, United States, sunk by the Italian submarine 'Tazzoli', off the Bahamas.
 Monday, 15th March 1943   'SS Eugena Chandris' (5,300t) collided with the 'Exmouth' off South Shields at 55°01'08"N - 01°23'43.5"W, when she finally sank it was onto the remains of the 'SS Oslofjord'. Her manifest included 4874 drums of Trichlorethylene, 573 cases of ordinance, aluminium ingots and copper. She lies in 30' of water and underwater swimmers often swim from the 'Chandris' to the 'Oslofjord' without knowing it.
Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - March 15th
Post by: ardarossan on March 15, 2013, 09:37:21 PM
March 15th...

1493: The first voyage of Christopher Columbus: Aboard the 'Nińa', Columbus returns to Spain from his first voyage to the 'New World'. Although he arrived in Lisbon, Portugal, on the 4th March (to shelter from a storm), the voyage was completed today when he crossed the bar of Saltes and entered the harbour of Palos - from where word of his finding new lands spread rapidly throughout Europe.

1790: Two days after landing at Portsmouth, England, Lt. William Bligh arrives at The Admiralty to report the mutiny on H.M.S. 'Bounty' - 2 years and 11 weeks after departing from English waters in command of the ship bound for Tahiti.
Page one of Lt. William Bligh's notebook (click thumbnail below), logs all of those involved in the mutiny of the H.M.S. 'Bounty', with Fletcher Christian aged 24 years, being top of the list.

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H.M.S. 'Bounty' mutineers.

1889: The Samoan Crisis was a confrontation between the United States and Germany (from 1887-1889) over control of the Samoan Islands during the Samoan Civil War. Whilst the situation was being monitored by the British warship H.M.S. 'Calliope', a tense standoff developed (over several months) in Apia harbour, Samoa, with three American warships and three German warships confronting each other.

Despite warnings of an impending cyclone, neither nation was prepared to withdraw to ride out the storm in the relative safety of the open sea. Consequently, when the cyclone struck the result was catastrophic. U.S.S. 'Trenton' and U.S.S. 'Vandalia' were tossed about and smashed into the same reef, whilst U.S.S. 'Nipsic' was thrown high on the beach with internal systems totally wrecked.

Of the German ships, SMS 'Olga' was also thrown high onto the beach where she was wrecked but many of her crew survived, escaping onto higher ground, whilst SMS 'Adler' and SMS 'Eber' were picked up and smashed together near the mouth of the harbour. The U.s. and Germany lost approximately 150 crewmen.

There were also six merchant vessels that had remained in the harbour, which were also wrecked with a combined loss of approx. 200 personel from various nations.

H.M.S. 'Calliope' was the only ship to escape the harbour, and survived the storm. Th storm effectively ended the Samoan Crisis.

German warship 'Adler' wrecked at Apia, Samoa, after the hurricane, March 1889.

1931: SS 'Viking', a wooden-hulled whaling ship, was being used by the film producer Varick Frissell in the making of his 1931 film 'The Viking'.

During the shooting of extra footage for this film, while stuck in the ice about eight miles off Horse Islands, Newfoundland,  the 'Viking' was rocked by an explosion that blew the stern off the vessel.

Somehow, a quantity of Dynamite, being carried on board to add to the sensationalism of giant explosions of icebergs, had been set off, which sank the ship and killed 27 of the 147 on board - including Frissell.

The 'Viking'. The ship was used by Fridtjof Nansen for his first Arctic expedition of 1882.

1957:  A ZPG-2 Airship (Ser. No. 141561), commanded by Commander J. R. Hunt, landed at the Naval Air Station, Key West, Florida, after a flight that began 4th March at South Weymouth, Mass, and circled over the Atlantic Ocean toward Portugal, the African coast and back for a new world record in distance and endurance, covering 9,448 statute miles and remaining airborne 264 hours 12 minutes, without refueling.

U.S. Navy 'ZPG-2' Patrol Airship, built by the Goodyear Aircraft Co., OH.
Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - March 16th
Post by: ardarossan on March 16, 2013, 05:28:11 AM
March 16th... The 'Terra Nova' Expedition - Return from the South Pole.

1912: Captain Lawrence Edward Grace "Titus" Oates, of the Inniskilling Dragoons, perished in a blizzard, during the return from the South Pole with the British Antarctic Expedition under the command of Captain Robert Falcon Scott, C.V.O., R.N.

Captain Oates' feet had become so severely frostbitten, he was unable to proceed at the rate required to reach the next pre-laid supply dump on schedule. Aware that his ill-health was compromising his companions' chances of survival, he took matters into his own hands on the morning of 16th March 1912. Foregoing the pain of putting on his boots, he said, "I am just going outside and may be some time." He then walked out of the camp barefoot, to his inevitable death in a severe blizzard. His body was never found.
"A Very Gallant Gentleman"

Captain Lawrence E. G. "Titus" Oates (17th March 1880 - 16th March 1912).
Pictured aboard 'Terra Nova' with some of the expedition's Siberian Ponies.
Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - March 16th
Post by: ardarossan on March 16, 2013, 07:32:54 PM
March 16th...

1521: (16th & 17th March) Portuguese navigator Ferdinand Magellan reaches the Philippine archipelago with 150 crew left. When they landed on the island of Homonhon, some members of his expedition became the first Spaniards to reach the Philippine archipelago, but they were not the first Europeans.
Magellan was able to communicate with the native tribes because his Malay interpreter, Enrique, could understand their languages. Enrique was indentured by Magellan in 1511 right after the colonization of Malacca and was at his side during the battles in Africa, during Magellan's disgrace at the King's court in Portugal and during Magellan's successful raising of a fleet.


1774: (Captain) Matthew Flinders was born in Donington, Lincolnshire, England, the son of Matthew Flinders, a surgeon, and his wife Susannah, née Ward. In his own words, he was "induced to go to sea against the wishes of my friends from reading Robinson Crusoe", and at the age of fifteen he joined the Royal Navy (in 1789).
He would become a distinguished navigator and cartographer, and the first person to circumnavigate Australia, identifying it as a continent.

1801: H.M.S. 'Invincible', a 74-gun third rate ship of the line of the Royal Navy, was lost in a shipwreck off the coast of Norfolk, England. With approximately 650 people on board, she had been sailing from Yarmouth under the flag of Rear-Admiral Thomas Totty in an effort to reach the fleet of Admiral Sir Hyde Parker in the Sound preparing for the upcoming attack on the Danish fleet.
As the ship passed the Norfolk coast, she was caught in heavy wind and stuck on the Hammond Knoll Rock off Happisburgh, where she was pinned for the afternoon before breaking free and  grounding on a sandbank. The effect of wind and waves tore down the masts and began to break up the ship. She remained there until the following day, when she drifted off the sandbank and sank in deep water. The admiral and 195 sailors escaped the wreck, either in one of the ship's boats or were picked up by a passing collier and fishing boat, but over 400 of their shipmates were drowned.

Lines for 'Terrible' (1762); 'Ramillies' (1763); 'Robust' (1764); 'Russell' (1764); 'Invincible' (1765);
'Monarch' (1765); 'Prince of Wales' (1765); 'Magnificent' (1766); 'Marlborough' (1767).

1926: Robert Goddard, an American professor, physicist, and inventor is credited with creating and building the world's first liquid-fueled rocket,which he successfully launched on March 16th 1926, at Auburn, Massachusetts. Goddard and his team would launched 34 rockets between 1926 and 1941, achieving altitudes of up to 1.6 miles at speeds reaching 550 mph.

1935: Adolf Hitler orders Germany to rearm herself in violation of the Treaty of Versailles. Military conscription is reintroduced to expand the Wehrmacht to almost 600,000 members - six times the number permitted by the Treaty.

1940: Fourteen Ju-88 Luftwaffe bombers attacked the British fleet at Scapa Flow and hit H.M.S. 'Norfolk', but twenty-two high explosive bombs fell around some cottages at the Brig O’ Waithe, Stenness, one of which suffered a direct hit. James Isbister, 27, was killed by a piece of shrapnel as he ran to help the occupant. He had the sad distinction of being the first civilian casualty of a German bombing raid on Britain in World War 2.

H.M.S. 'Hood' as seen from H.M.S. 'Rodney' in Scapa Flow later in 1940,
illustrating the size of the anchorage used by the British Home Fleet.

1978: 'Amoco Cadiz' a Liberia-flagged, very large crude carrier (VLCC), owned by Amoco, ran aground on Portsall Rocks, 3.1 miles off the coast of Brittany, France. Violent seas would breakup the ship before any oil could be pumped out of the wreck, resulting in the largest oil spill of its kind in history to that date (and 5th-largest oil spill in history), as it's entire 220,000-ton cargo of crude oil (belonging to Shell) and 4,000 tons of fuel oil was released into the sea.

Amoco Cadiz off the coast of Brittany, France.
Title: Re: This Day In 'Boating' History
Post by: Capt Podge on March 16, 2013, 09:27:43 PM
Sunday, 16th March   'SS Rio Dorado' (4,507t) cargo ship, Tyne to Baltimore, was sunk by the German warship 'Gneisenau', E of Newfoundland. All thirty-nine crew were lost.
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Rio Dorado
Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - March 16th
Post by: ardarossan on March 16, 2013, 09:31:16 PM
March 16th...

1912: SS 'Oceana', a P&O passenger liner and cargo vessel, sank off Beachy Head on the East Sussex coast, after a collision in the Strait of Dover with the 'Pisagua', a 2850-ton German-registered 4 masted steel barque.

'Pisagua' hit 'Oceana' amidships, creating a 40 feet long gash in her side. Nine lives were lost when one of 'Oceana's' lifeboats capsized, but the other 241 passengers and crew were rescued.
'Oceana' sank with almost Ł747,110-worth of Gold and Silver on board, which was salvaged by divers over the following 10 days.

P&O sued the operators of 'Pisagua' claiming damages for the loss of 'Oceana'. However, judgement was given that 'Pisagua' was not at fault, due to a combination of factors, including that the obligation was on 'Oceana' to give way to 'Pisagua' under the "steam gives way to sail" rule.

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SS 'Oceana' (1888-1912). Commissioned by P&O from Harland & Wolff in Belfast.
Title: Re: This Day In 'Boating' History
Post by: Rob Wood on March 17, 2013, 03:03:04 AM
MARCH 16TH, 1944

Title: Re: This Day In 'Boating' History
Post by: heritorasphodel on March 17, 2013, 04:22:33 AM
March 17, 1907

Near the Lizard, Cornwall, the 12,000-ton White Star liner Suevic runs aground on the Maenheere reef. Homeward bound from Australia, there are 526 persons aboard. During the rescue operation, lifeboats from the Lizard, Cadgwith, Coverack and Porthleven. Children aboard the Suevic were carried down rope ladders and then dropped into the lifeboats.

In total, Cadgwith's Minnie Moon saved 227; The Lizard's Sir George Back 167; Coverack's Constance Melanie 44; and Porthleven's John Francis White 18, a total of 456.

Title: In remembrance
Post by: Neil on March 17, 2013, 01:14:57 PM
44 YEARS AGO TONIGHT, the Longhope Lifeboat RNLB TGB set out on a mission to rescue the stricken crew of the Liberian cargo vessel Irene.
The weather was attrocious, but she was not alone, for the RNLB Grace Paterson Ritchie was also making her way to the east side of Orkney.
The coxs'n of RNLB TGB radioed for a weather report at 21.30 hours...........and then R/T contact was broken.
Her upturned hull was found later that day and towed into Scrabster harbour by the Thurso lifeboat.
All 8 crewmen lost their lives that night in a fruitless call, as the crew of the Irene were in fact rescued by the Orkney Cliff rescue brigade as the lifeboats were making their way to the casualty's possition.
Sadly one crew member of TGB was never recovered.
Lest we forget the human price of the RNLI and those that give their lives for others.
Title: Re: This Day In 'Boating' History
Post by: Rottweiler on March 17, 2013, 01:43:43 PM
 Well said Neil,
and not forgetting that these brave men are volunteers,and seek no reward for their actions,to this day.
Mick F
Title: Re: This Day In 'Boating' History
Post by: Capt Podge on March 17, 2013, 04:04:47 PM
Monday, 17th March 1941   The yacht 'Molusc' (597t) ex 'Medus' was on Admiralty service off Blyth when she was sunk by German aircraft at 55°06'15"N - 01°26'06"W. She now lies upright in 24 metres of water.
She was built as a luxury yacht for the Guinness family in 1906 and registered as MEDUSA 11, on 12th January 1915, she was hired by the Admiralty as an auxiliary patrol vessel, then again to H.M.Yacht MOLLUSC, in November 1939.
 Wednesday, 17th March 1943   'SS Zouave' (4,256t) cargo ship, Pepel to the Tees, was sunk by U 305 in Mid Atlantic.

Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - March 17th
Post by: ardarossan on March 17, 2013, 05:26:27 PM
March 17th...
1776: After George Washington and Henry Knox placed artillery in positions at Dorchester Heights, overlooking Boston, Massachusetts, options became extremely limited for the besieged British forces garrisoned within the city.
On March 17th, favourable winds provided an opportunity for the British to withdraw by sea. The troops, who were authorised to burn the town if there were any disturbances while they were marching to their ships, began to move out at 04:00hrs. By 09:00hrs, all ships were underway, effectively ending the 11-month siege.
The fleet departing from Boston included 120 ships, with more than 11,000 people aboard. Of those, 9,906 were British troops, 667 were women, and 553 were children.

1880: (Captain) Lawrence Edward Grace Oates was born in Putney, London, England in 1880, the son of William and Caroline Oates. He had one sister, named Lillian a year older than himself. His uncle was the naturalist and African explorer Frank Oates.
Lawrence would go on to see military service during the Second Boer War in the 6th (Inniskilling) Dragoons and be recommended for the Victoria Cross. After serving in Ireland, Egypt, and India, he would apply to join Robert Falcon Scott's 'Terra Nova' expedition to the South Pole

1891: Arriving at Gibraltar in rough weather, Captain John McKeague presumed to steer the SS 'Utopia', a transatlantic passenger steamship, towards its "usual" anchorage in the inner harbour, only to discover that it was already occupied by two battleships, H.M.S. 'Anson' and H.M.S. 'Rodney'.
Steering across the bows of 'Anson', he ran onto the ironclad's ram, ripping open a five metre wide hole below the waterline of his vessel. 'Utopia's' holds flooded quickly and she sank in less than twenty minutes.
Out of 880 passengers and crewmembers of Utopia, 562 were dead or missing, plus two sailors from H.M.S. 'Immortalité' who drowned when their boat drifted on the rocks whilst attempting to rescue survivors.
The sinking of 'Utopia' was blamed on "grave error of judgment" of Captain John McKeague. He survived the accident.
The sinking of 'Utopia' in the Bay of Gibraltar. A sketch by a witness, Ms. Georgina Smith.

1907: The biggest rescue in the RNLI's history occurs when the 12,000 tonne liner SS 'Suevic hit the Maenheere Reef near Lizard Point in Cornwall.

(Quote: heritorasphodel, 04:22:33, 17/032013.) "Near the Lizard, Cornwall, the 12,000-ton White Star liner Suevic runs aground on the Maenheere reef. Homeward bound from Australia, there are 526 persons aboard. During the rescue operation, lifeboats from the Lizard, Cadgwith, Coverack and Porthleven. Children aboard the Suevic were carried down rope ladders and then dropped into the lifeboats.

In total, Cadgwith's Minnie Moon saved 227; The Lizard's Sir George Back 167; Coverack's Constance Melanie 44; and Porthleven's John Francis White 18, a total of 456..."

Six silver RNLI medals were later awarded, two to Suevic crew members.
In 2007, the centenary of the biggest rescue in the Royal National Lifeboat Institution's history was marked with the presention of a special certificate to The Lizard lifeboat station.

A postcard image of the White Star liner SS 'Suevic' aground at Lizard Point, 17th March 1907.

1966: In the Mediterranean Sea, off the south coast of Spain, near the small fishing village of Palomares, Deep Submergence Vehicle (DSV) 'Alvin' locates a 1.45 megaton hydrogen bomb, in an uncharted area of the Rio Almanzora canyon on a 70-degree slope at a depth of 2,550 feet. Unfortunately, the bomb was dropped and temporarily lost when the U.S. Navy attempted to bring it to the surface.

Deep Submergence Vehicle (DSV) 'Alvin'

1984: The 130th Cambridge and Oxford Boat Race was postponed less than an hour before it was due to start, after the Cambridge boat ran headlong into a large moored barge used by umpires in the middle of the river, shattering the bow section of the vessel.
The next day the Boat Race went ahead with Oxford crossing the winning line first. They set a new personal best time by completing the race in 16 minutes and 45 seconds, 13 seconds inside their previous record of 1976.
Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - March 17th
Post by: ardarossan on March 17, 2013, 07:14:22 PM
March 17th...

1800: Operating as the flagship of Vice-Admiral Lord Keith, H.M.S. 'Queen Charlotte', a 100-gun first-rate ship of the line of the Royal Navy, was reconnoitring the island of Cabrera when she caught fire at  around 06:00hrs.
The fire was believed to have resulted from loose hay having been accidentally thrown on a match tub. Two or three American vessels lying at anchor off Leghorn went to assist, losing several men in the effort as the vessel's guns exploded in the heat.
Captain A. Todd wrote several accounts of the disaster that he gave to sailors to give to the Admiralty should they survive. He himself perished with his ship. The crew was unable to extinguish the flames and at about 11:00hrs the ship blew up with the loss of 673 officers and men. Lord Keith was not aboard at the time and observed the disaster from the shore.

"The Glorious First of June" by Philippe-Jacques de Loutherbourg, painted 1795, depicting the engagement on 1st June 1794 between the flagships 'Queen Charlotte' (left) and 'Montagne'. (right)

1959: Whilst conducting operations on and beneath the Arctic ice-pack in the dead of winter, submarine U.S.S. Skate (SSN-578) surfaced at the North Pole to commit the ashes of the famed Australian polar explorer, ornithologist, pilot, soldier, geographer and photographer, Sir (George) Hubert Wilkins MC & Bar (1888-1958), to the Arctic wilderness.

U.S.S. 'Skate' (SSN-578), surfaced through the Arctic ice, 1959.

1966: During an incident during the Gemini VIII mission, NASA decides to let the spacecraft reenter one orbit later so that it would splashdown approximately 800 km east of Okinawa and 1,000 km south of Yokosuka, Japan - an location that could be reached by the secondary recovery forces aboard U.S.S. 'Leonard F. Mason'(DD-852), instead of the primary landing site in the Atlantic.
The mission was notable as it was the first spaceflight for Command Pilot Neil Armstrong, who was now a civilian having resigned his commission in the United States Naval Reserve in 1960.


Accompanied by U.S. Navy divers, Astronauts Neil A. Armstrong and David R. Scott sit with their spacecraft hatches open while awaiting the arrival of the recovery ship, the U.S.S. 'Leonard F. Mason' after the successful completion of their mission.
Title: Re: This Day In 'Boating' History
Post by: dave301bounty on March 18, 2013, 07:38:36 PM
great picture that of the spacemen .thank you .
Title: Re: This Day In 'Boating' History
Post by: ardarossan on March 18, 2013, 08:33:35 PM
great picture that of the spacemen .thank you .

Hi Dave, Glad to learn that you liked it. I reckon it might make an interesting model too!

Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - March 18th
Post by: ardarossan on March 18, 2013, 08:38:47 PM
March 18th...

1832: Voyage of H.M.S. Beagle (1831-36): On 18th March 1832,  the 'Beagle' set out from All Saints Bay and spent the next two weeks doing sounding measurements at the hazardous Abrolhos Shoals, off the East coast of South America. During this survey Darwin made observations of microscopic tube-like "animals" that coloured the ocean surface brown.

1835: Voyage of H.M.S. Beagle (1831-36): On March 18th 1835, whilst the 'Beagle was at Concepcion studying damage done by coast by recent earthquakes. Charles Darwin started out on an Andes expedition (his second of three) with a Spanish speaking guide named Mariano Gonzales, ten mules to carry provisions and an old mare horse, although he had doubts about making it to the top of the Andes due to snow blocking the mountain passes.

1904: H.M.S. 'A1', one of the first operational submarines of the Royal Navy was accidentally sunk in the Solent whilst carrying out a practice attack on H.M.S.'Juno', after being struck on the starboard side of the conning tower by a mail steamer, SS 'Berwick Castle,' which was en route from Southampton to Hamburg.
'A1' sank in only 39 ft of water, but the boat flooded and the entire crew was drowned. A consequence of the incident was that all subsequent Royal Navy submarines were equipped with a watertight hatch at the bottom of the conning tower. The 'A1' was later raised and used as a target.

1915: The main naval assault in the Dardanelles is launched with 18 allied battleships and a supporting array of cruisers and destroyers attacking the Ottoman defences at the narrowest point of the straits (where they are just a mile wide).
Without any support from infantry to occupy and secure the enemy defences as the battleships progressed. The 'ambitious' plan unravelled very quickly.
Minesweepers, manned by civilians and under constant fire of Ottoman shells, retreated, leaving the minefields largely intact.


The French battleship 'Bouvet' (shown in the Dardanelles, above) struck a mine first, causing her to capsize and sink within two minutes. Only some 50 men were rescued from a complement of 710.


H.M.S. 'Irresistible' sustained critical damage from mines, although there was confusion during the battle about the cause of the damage - some blamed torpedoes. The image (above)  showing 'Irresistible' listing in the Dardanelles, was taken from the battleship 'Lord Nelson'. 

H.M.S. 'Ocean' (below) was sent to rescue the 'Irresistible', and was itself struck by an explosion. Both ships eventually sank. Between 150-200 members of 'Irresistable's crew were lost. Most of 'Oceans' 650+ crew survived.


H.M.S. 'Inflexible' (below) was hit by several sheels, and also struck a mine. She had to be beached at the island of Bozcaada (Tenedos) to prevent her sinking. She was recovered later and repaired.


The French battleships 'Suffren' and 'Gaulois' were also damaged during the operation.
The losses prompted the Allies to cease any further attempts to force the straits by naval power alone, and instead opt for the Gallipoli land campaign.

1967: Supertanker 'Torrey Canyon' ran aground on rocks between Land's End and the Scilly Isles, leaking its cargo of oil into the sea. The 974ft tanker, was carrying 100,000+ tons of crude oil, when it hit Pollard's Rock in the Seven Stones reef.

American-owned supertanker 'Torrey-Canyon' aground off Cornwall, March 1967.
Title: Re: This Day In 'Boating' History
Post by: heritorasphodel on March 18, 2013, 09:05:34 PM
When the Torrey Canyon went aground, lifeboats from St. Mary's and Penlee stood by her.

The St. Mary's boat, Guy and Clare Hunter, was at sea for a total of 54 hours. She was at sea, under the command of Coxswain Matthew Lethbridge, from 9:30 AM on the 18th to 6:35 PM on the 19th, and again from 5:00 PM on the 20th to 7:15 AM on the 21st. The Penlee lifeboat Solomon Browne was at sea for 30 hours, standing by the Torrey Canyon continuously for 24 hours (with a 3 hour journey each way) whilst the St. Mary's boat returned to station.

Title: Re: This Day In 'Boating' History
Post by: Capt Podge on March 18, 2013, 10:28:16 PM
Tuesday, 18th March 1941   'SS Daphne II' (1,970t) on a voyage from London to the Tyne, was sunk by an E Boat off the Humber.
Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - March 19th
Post by: ardarossan on March 19, 2013, 06:39:57 PM
March 19th...

1687: Having failed to locate the mouth of the Mississippi River by sea, French nobleman and explorer Robert Cavelier de La Salle, had already led two unsuccessful overland attempts. Unfortunately, his errors in judgment and indecision had created dissention amongst his group. During the third attempt to find the Mississippi on foot, members of his exploration party mutineed and murdered him, near the site of present Navasota, (or possibly Huntsville), Texas, USA.

1796: Admiral Sir Hugh Palliser, 1st Baronet (26th February 1723 - 19th March 1796 (9th March O.S.)), the only son of Hugh Palliser and Mary Robinson, was born at Kirk Deighton, in the North Riding of Yorkshire. He entered the navy in 1735 as a midshipman on HMS Aldborough (commanded by his uncle Nicholas Robinson). Palliser would be an officer by the time of, and during the Seven Years' War and the American Revolutionary War. During the latter he came into a famous dispute with Augustus Keppel over the Battle of Ushant which led to Palliser being court-martialled, although he was subsequently acquitted.
Admiral Palliser died on 19 March 1796 in at his estate in Chalfont St Giles Buckinghamshire, England.

Portrait of Captain Hugh Palliser (1723-1796) - before 1775.

1863: The 'Georgiana', a steamer belonging to the Confederate States Navy during the American Civil War was reputed to be the "most powerful" cruiser in the Confederate fleet, although she never had the opportunity to prove herself in battle.
On her maiden voyage from Scotland where she was built, and loaded with a cargo of munitions, medicines and merchandise (then valued at over $1,000,000), she encountered Union Navy ships engaged in a blockade of Charleston, South Carolina. After sustaining damage from the Union vessels, and with no hope for escape, 'Georgiana' was scuttled by her captain approximately three-quarters of a mile from shore, enabling all hands to escape.

1930: German-built ocean liner SS 'Europa' (later 'Liberté'), one of the two most advanced, high speed steam turbine ocean vessels of the day, made her maiden voyage to New York - taking the westbound Blue Riband from her sister ship, the SS 'Bremen', with the average speed of 27.91 knots and a crossing time of 4 days, 17 hours and 6 minutes.
During the voyage many of her passengers were disturbed from the soot coming out of Europa's low funnels. The problem was corrected by raising the funnels by 15 feet, though decreasing her low profile. After they were raised, there were no more complaints.
'Europa' and 'Bremen', were a part of the international competition for the Blue Riband - which 'Bremen' reclaimed from 'Europa' in June 1933. 

SS 'Europa' - Sometime before her maiden voyage.

1932: The Sydney Harbour Bridge is officially opened on Saturday 19th March 1932, after it was 'unofficially' opened a few minutes earlier by a man in military uniform on a horse, slashing the ribbon with his sword and opening it in the name of the people of New South Wales.

Sydney Harbour Bridge, affectionately known as 'The Coathanger'.

1945: The Essex-class aircraft carrier U.S.S. 'Franklin' had manoeuvered to within 50 miles of the Japanese mainland when she came under surprise-attack from a single Japanese aircraft, which dropped out from the cloud-cover and made a low level run on the ship, releasing two semi-armour-piercing bombs.
One bomb struck the flight deck centerline, penetrating to the hangar deck, effecting destruction and igniting fires through the second and third decks, and knocking out the Combat Information Center. The second hit aft, tearing through two decks.

At the time she was struck, 'Franklin' had 31 armed and fueled aircraft on her flight deck, and 22 planes, of which 16 were fueled and five were armed, in the hangar deck. The explosion on the hangar deck ignited the fuel tanks on the aircraft, and exploding gasoline vapour devastated the deck. Only two crewmen survived the fire on the hangar deck. The explosions also jumbled aircraft together on the flight deck above, causing further fires and explosions, including the detonation of 12 "Tiny Tim" air-to-surface rockets.

'Franklin' lay dead in the water, took a 13° starboard list, lost all radio communications, and broiled under the heat from enveloping fires. Many of the crew were blown overboard, driven off by fire, killed or wounded, but the hundreds of officers and enlisted who voluntarily remained saved their ship, which became the most heavily damaged United States carrier to survive the war.
Over 800 crew-members were killed, and an estimated 400+ were injured as a result of the attack.

1965: The wreck of the SS 'Georgiana', (by now) valued at over $50,000,000 is discovered by then teenage diver and pioneer underwater archaeologist E. Lee Spence, exactly 102 years after its destruction. (See '1863' above).
Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - March 20th
Post by: ardarossan on March 20, 2013, 06:44:02 PM
Mar 20th...
1922: The United States Navy's first aircraft carrier U.S.S. 'Langley' (CV-1) is commissioned on this day in 1922. She is also the U.S. Navy's first electrically propelled ship.
Originally built as a collier, she was named U.S.S. 'Jupiter' (AC-3) and commissioned in April 1913.
Her conversion to an aircraft carrier "for the purpose of conducting experiments in the new idea of seaborne aviation" was authorised on 11th July 1919.
'Jupiter' was converted at the Navy Yard, Norfolk, Virginia, and on 11th April 1920 she was renamed 'Langley', in honour of Samuel Pierpont Langley, an American astronomer, physicist, aeronautics pioneer and aircraft engineer, and she was given hull classification CV-1.
She was recommissioned on 20th March 1922 with Commander Kenneth Whiting in command and (apparently) fulfilled her new role admirably for several years.
However, by 1936 her career as a carrier had ended and she was converted again. This time into a seaplane tender, with the hull classification AV-3.
U.S.S. 'Langley' (AV-3) fought in World War II, but on 27th February 1942, she was attacked by Japanese dive bombers and so badly damaged that she had to be scuttled by her escorts.
U.S.S. 'Jupiter' (AC-1), 1911-1920.
U.S.S. 'Langley' (CV-1), 1922-1936.
U.S.S. 'Langley' (AV-3), 1937-1942.

Potentially, U.S.S. 'Jupiter'/U.S.S. 'Langley' could make an interesting model, with a single hull sharing three different topsides...
Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - March 20th..
Post by: ardarossan on March 20, 2013, 09:28:30 PM
March 20th...
1602: The Dutch East India Company (Verenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie, VOC) is established on 20th March 1602.
The chartered company was founded by traders and burghers from port towns such as Amsterdam, Rotterdam, and Middelburg, and was established when the States-General of the Netherlands granted it a 21-year monopoly to carry out colonial activities in Asia.
Considered to have been the first multinational corporation in the world and it was the first company to issue stock, iIt had the States-General's authority in the trade zone between South Africa and Japan to conduct trade, erect fortifications, appoint governors, keep a standing army, and conclude treaties in its name.

1616: Sir Walter Raleigh is freed from the Tower of London after 13 years of imprisonment for allegedly being involved in the main plot against King James I, who was "not favourably disposed toward him".
1801: The Caribbean island of St. Bartholomew capitulates to the British under Admiral Sir John Thomas Duckworth.
1912: Three days after Captain Oates sacrificed himself to save his colleagues, the three remaining members of the 'Terra Nova' Antarctic Expedition, Scott, Wilson & Bowers, are halted by a fierce blizzard, just 11 miles south of their next supply point - One Ton Depot.
1912: The battlecruiser H.M.S. 'Queen Mary' is launched at Palmer's Shipbuilding, Jarrow-on-Tyne, England. The sole member of her class, 'Queen Mary' was the last battlecruiser built by the Royal Navy before World War I, and shared many features with the Lion-class battlecruisers, including her eight 13.5-inch (343 mm) guns.  She was completed in 1913 and participated in the Battle of Heligoland Bight as part of the Grand Fleet in 1914.
H.M.S. 'Queen Mary' is launched at Palmer's Shipbuilding, Jarrow-on-Tyne, England.

1912: Launched on 27th October 1908, SS 'Koombana' was an oppulent late Edwardian-era passenger, cargo and mail carrying steamship was built in Glasgow, Scotland, by shipbuilders Alex. Stephen & Sons.
Owned and operated by the Adelaide Steamship Company, 'Koombana' was the first passenger and cargo vessel to be built exclusively for service on the Western Australian coast to develop trade with the north west of the State.
On the morning of Wednesday, 20th March 1912, 'Koombana' left Port Hedland for Broome with a fresh north easterly blowing, followed by the SS 'Bullarra'. Before departing, her master, Captain Allen, had reported a falling barometer and suggested that the voyage may take longer than normal.
Several hours later, both vessels were caught in a tropical storm. 'Bullarra' returned to Port Hedland (via Cossack) minus her smokestack, reporting that the eye of the cyclone had passed directly over. 'was never seen again.lost with approximately 76 passengers and 74 crew.
Other than a small quantity of wreckage, no trace was ever found of Koombana', which was presumed sunk at an unknown location north of Port Hedland, Western Australia, with the loss of approximately 76 passengers and 74 crew.
SS 'Koombana' c.1910.

1980: After the anchor chain of the Radio Caroline ship, 'Mi Amigo', broke in a Force 10 storm during the evening of 19th March, she drifted for 10 nautical miles before running aground on the Long Sand Bank. The final broadcast was at 23:58hrs, and then the Sheerness Lifeboat attended and took off the crew. 'Mi Amigo' sank on 20th March, leaving only the 127ft tall mast above the water.
The 'Mi Amigo' was originally built in 1921 as a three-masted cargo schooner 'Margarethe' for German owners. A sale in 1927 saw her renamed 'Olga' and she was lengthened in 1936. During the Second World War, she was requisitioned by the Kriegsmarine and served as an auxiliary ship between 1941 and 1943. In 1953, the ship was again lengthened to 133 feet 9 inches. In 1959, she was sold for conversion to a floating radio station and was renamed 'Bon Jour'. Subsequently, she was renamed 'Magda Maria' in 1961 and 'Mi Amigo' in 1962. She served, intermittently, as a radio ship, until 1980, when she sank in a gale.
For anyone interested in the ship's layout, a Side Elevation ( & Deck Plans ( of the ship as she was around 1973, plus reference images and other information can be found at Norman Barrington's website: (
(   (
The 'Pirate-Radio' ship 'Mi Amigo' c.1973-74
Title: Re: This Day In 'Boating' History
Post by: heritorasphodel on March 20, 2013, 10:01:53 PM
This day in 1824, the Committee of Management was advised by Dr. Manners Sutton, Archbishop of Canterbury, that His Majesty King George IV had most graciously commanded,

'That the Institution be hereafter authorised to take the name of the Royal National Institution for the Preservation of Life from Shipwreck', forming the world's first dedicated rescue service.

On the 5th October 1854 the title was changed to the 'Royal National Life-Boat Institution - founded in 1824 for the Preservation of Life from Shipwreck'. The change was partly due to avoid confusion with the Shipwrecked Fishermen and Mariners' Royal Benevolent Society who also operated some lifeboats.

Although generally written as 'Lifeboat', the title of the RNLI retains the hyphen 'Life-Boat'.

Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - March 21st
Post by: ardarossan on March 21, 2013, 03:00:59 PM
March 21st...

1705: The Battle of Cabrita Point, sometimes referred to as the Battle of Marbella, was a naval battle that took place while a combined Spanish-French force besieged Gibraltar on 21st March (10th March O.S.), during the War of Spanish Succession.
The battle was a decisive victory for Sir John Leake commanding an allied fleet of 35 ships (English, Dutch and Portuguese), which effectively ended the Franco-Spanish siege of Gibraltar.

England's Glory - The Raising of the Siege of Gibraltar.

1945: As part of convoy BTC-103, liberty ship SS 'James Eagan Layne' was carrying 4,500 tons of U.S. Army Engineers' equipment from Barry, Wales, to Ghent, in Belgium. She also carried motorboats and lumber as deck cargo.
Sailing 12 miles off Plymouth, she was sighted by German submarine 'U-399' and torpedoed on the starboard side between holds 4 & 5. Although badly damaged, she was taken in tow by tugs 'Flaunt' (W152) and H.M.S. 'Atlas' (W41), and was beached in Whitsand Bay Cornwall. Subsequently she settled on the bottom and was declared a total loss. There were no casualties amongst her crew of 69.

Liberty Ship 'James Eagan Layne' being launched'.

1984: Soviet 'Victor'-class nuclear attack submarine 'K-314' was involved in a collision when she surfaced immediately in front of the aircraft carrier U.S.S. 'Kitty Hawk' (CV-63) in the Sea of Japan.
Neither ship was significantly damaged, although the Soviet submarine could not get underway to proceed home for repairs under her own power. The U.S. Navy stayed on scene for two weeks before the Soviets could send out a sea-going tug to bring her home.

'Kitty Hawk' went to the U.S. Naval Base at Subic Bay in the Philippines for repairs, where a piece of one of 'K-314's' propellers was found embedded in 'Kitty Hawk's' bow, as were some chunks of the Soviet anechoic coating, from scraping along the side of the submarine. The result was something of an "accidental" intelligence coup for the U.S. Navy.

U.S.S. 'Kitty Hawk' (CV-63).

2006: At around 12:35 UTC, as MV 'Hyundai Fortune' sailed west through the Gulf of Aden, near Yemen, en route to Europe via the Suez Canal, an explosion occurred below deck, aft of the accommodation, causing a large number of containers to fall into the ocean and a fire that spread through the stern of the ship.
As efforts to contain the fire failed, all 27 crew members abandoned ship and were rescued by the Dutch frigate HNLMS De Zeven Provinciën.

The fire burned for several days, with around one third of the containers being damaged and/or lost overboard. The listing ship was then towed to Salalah, Oman where 2,249 salvageable containers were offloaded for transhipment to Europe.
After unloading, temporary repairs and renaming, the ship was towed to China where she was rebuilt and refurbished.
The cause of the fire was believed to have been a container loaded with petroleum-based cleaning fluids stowed near the engine room. The shipper failed to indicate the hazardous nature of this shipment to avoid the special handling fees associated with transporting hazardous materials.
The damage and losses were estimated to be $800 million (USD).

Container-ship 'Hyundai Fortune' ablaze in the Gulf of Aden, March 2006.
Title: Re: This Day In 'Boating' History
Post by: Netleyned on March 21, 2013, 03:49:57 PM
The mast of the James Eagan Layne was still visible above water in the early seventies.
The last time I sailed in Whitsand Bay

Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - March 22nd
Post by: ardarossan on March 22, 2013, 07:34:45 AM
March 22nd...

1500: Pedro Alvares Cabral's 13-ship fleet, which sailed from Lisbon, Portugal, on 9th March to establish trade links with India and purchase valuable spices, reaches Cape Verde, a Portuguese colony situated on the West African coast. As the fleet sailed on towards the equator, it would be heading out into the Atlantic to pick up the trade winds.


1778: Whilst searching for the Northwest passage, and in need of a suitable harbour to make repairs, Captain James Cook sights and names Cape Flattery (in present day Washington State), and unknowingly sails past the Strait of Juan de Fuca.
Cape Flattery is the oldest non-Indian place name still appearing on Washington state maps. Captain Cook wrote in his journal:

"... there appeared to be a small opening which flattered us with the hopes of finding an harbour...
...On this account I called the point of land to the north of it Cape Flattery.

1820: United States naval officer, Stephen Decatur, Jr., aged 41, died at his home on Lafayette Square, Washington D.C., from injuries sustained earlier on the same day, whilst in a duel with a rival officer.

Captain Stephen Decatur, USN (1779-1820)
by John Wesley Jarvis (1780-1840).

1915: Following conversion from a tramp steamer, H.M.S. 'Manica', is commissioned, becoming the first kite balloon ship of the Royal Naval Air Service.
Six days after commissioning, 'Manica' left  the UK for the eastern Mediterranean, arriving off Lemnos on 14th April. From the 19th April, her balloon spotters would be put into action directing shells onto various Turkish positions, reporting naval movements and supporting ANZAC operations.

H.M.S. 'Manica' prepares to launch a 'Drachen' type balloon, off Gallipoli, 1915.

1942: A naval engagement known as The Second Battle of Sirte occured in the Mediterranean, north of the Gulf of Sidra and southeast of Malta, when a Royal Navy convoy from Alexendria en route to Malta, engaged and frustrated a much more powerful Regia Marina (Italian Navy) squadron.
Despite the initial British success at warding off the Italian squadron, the battle delayed the convoy's planned arrival before dawn, which exposed it to intense air attacks that sank all four merchant ships and one of the escorting destroyers in the following days.

H.M.S. 'Cleopatra' throws out smoke to shield the convoy as H.M.S. 'Euryalus'
elevates her forward 5.25 inch guns to shell the Italian Fleet.

1960: Arthur Leonard Schawlow and Charles Hard Townes receive the first patent for a laser. The patent is much disputed by Gordon Gould who also claims to have invented the LASER, an acronym for Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation.
2003: The RMS 'Mülheim', a German cargo ship that was built in Romania, on a voyage from Cork, Ireland to Lübeck, Germany, transporting 2,200 tonnes of scrap car plastic.
The ship ran aground at approximately 05:00 GMT in Gamper Bay, between Land's End and Sennen Cove, during which time there was "moderate visibility and fog patches".

Investigators heard that the chief officer, who had been on watch at the time, had caught his trousers in the lever of his chair, causing him to fall and rendering him unconscious. By the time he regained consciousness, RMS 'Mülheim' was already bearing down on the shoreline.

Although the Sennen Lifeboat and Land's End Coastguard Cliff Team were able to reach the wreck quickly, the six man Polish crew were airlifted to safety by a search and rescue helicopter from R.N.A.S. 'Culdrose', and were treated for shock at the Sennen Cove Lifeboat Station. The vessel was declared a constructive total loss on 24th March 2003.

RMS 'Mülheim' wrecked near Lands End, Cornwall.
Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - March 22nd
Post by: ardarossan on March 22, 2013, 07:29:42 PM
March 22nd...    U.S.S. 'Iowa' & R/C Coast Battleship No. 4'

1923: Almost twenty-two years after she went into service, U.S.S. 'Iowa', America's first seagoing battleship, was decommissioned at the end of March 1919. The thoroughly-obsolete 'Iowa' was renamed 'Coast Battleship No. 4' a month later in order to free her name for use on a new South Dakota class battleship.

As 'Coast Battleship No. 4' she was converted in to the Navy's pioneer radio-controlled target ship. At the Philadelphia Navy Yard, workers removed the ship's guns, fitted her after boilers to burn oil fuel, sealed compartments, and installed water pumps to slow the sinking process to enable a longer target session when she was struck by gunfire or aircraft bombs. Radio control gear, developed by the well known radio engineer, John Hays Hammond, Jr. was also installed.

The R/C gear installed aboard the former U.S.S. 'Iowa',
as seen in a 1921 edition of Popular Mechanics.

She ran trials off Chesapeake Bay in 1920 with the battleship Ohio serving as control ship. Once underway, the crew left in small boats and she was fully controlled by radio signals. She returned to active service in April 1922 to Hampton Roads, Virginia to take part in gunfire exercises with the minelayer 'Shawmut' as control ship.

In 1923 she went through the Panama Canal to the Pacific Ocean to take part in combined fleet manoeuvres. A party of high-ranking navy officials as well as members of Congress and newspaper correspondents sailed to Panama aboard U.S.S. 'Henderson' to watch the experimental firing.


'Coast Battleship No. 4' was first bombarded by the five-inch secondary batteries of U.S.S. 'Mississippi', at ranges of some 8000 yards. Two further exercises, at longer range, placed her on the receiving end of more than three hundred fourteen-inch shells.


After being hit by nearly three-dozen of these three-quarter ton projectiles, ex-U.S.S. 'Iowa' sank in the Gulf of Panama.


Photo #: NH 73816 - Leaving the Pedro Miguel Lock and entering Miraflores Lake, while transiting the Panama Canal, 10 February 1923.
She was in the Panama area to serve as a radio-controlled target during Fleet gunnery exercises.
Note the lock caisson at right.

Photo #: NH 100447 - Maneuvering under fire by battleship guns, while in use as a radio-controlled target during Fleet gunnery practice off Panama, circa 22 March 1923. The ship was sunk as a result of damage received in this exercise.

Photo #: NH 96027 - Under fire by battleship guns, while in use as a radio-controlled target during Fleet gunnery practice off Panama, 22 March 1923. Note projectiles hitting the water on either side of the target, and the ship's collapsed forward smokestack.The ship was sunk as a result of damage received in this exercise.
Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - March 23rd...
Post by: ardarossan on March 23, 2013, 05:28:38 PM
March 23rd...

1500: As Pedro Alvares Cabral's India-bound fleet of 13 ships puts the Portuguese colony of Cape Verde behind them and sails on towards the equator, a Nau (Carrack) commanded by Vasco de Ataide with 150 men on board disappeared without a trace.

A Portuguese 'Nau' (or Carrack) as depicted on a map made in 1565.

1653: Dutch naval officer Johan van Galen, died from wound fever in Livorno, Italy. He had been mortally wounded ten days earlier during the Battle of Leghorn, when a cannonball smashed his right lower leg. It was amputated below-deck and afterwards, Van Galen continued to direct the battle in which his fleet destroyed part of the English Mediterranean fleet.
Van Galen (1604 - 1653) was given a state burial in the Nieuwe Kerk, in Amsterdam.

The Naval Battle of Leghorn, near Livorno, 14th March 1653.

1672: (March 12th/13th O.S.) An English squadron led by Sir Robert Holmes, sails from Portsmouth and attacks the homeward-bound Dutch Smyrna convoy in the English Channel. This officially sanctioned foray precipitated the Third Anglo-Dutch War.

1791: Under the command of Captain Edward Edwards, H.M.S. 'Pandora', the ship sent to search for the 'Bounty' and it's mutineers, reaches Tahiti on 23rd March 1791. Four of the men from the 'Bounty' came on board 'Pandora' soon after its arrival, and ten more were arrested within a few weeks. These fourteen, mutineers and loyal crew alike, were imprisoned in a makeshift cell on 'Pandora's' deck, which they derisively called "Pandora's Box".

1848; The ship 'John Wickliffe' arrives at Port Chalmers carrying the first Scottish settlers for Dunedin, New Zealand.
The arrival of the ship is celebrated in Otago as the founding day of the province. The ship and its 97 passengers had sailed from Gravesend, England, on 24 November 1847, followed three days later by the 'Philip Laing', which left Greenock, Scotland, with 247 settlers. The first of the Otago Association’s immigrant ships, they brought Scottish settlers escaping both an economic depression and a split between the Church of Scotland and the Free Church Presbyterians.

The 'Philip Laing' sails into Port Chalmers on 15th April 1848, joining the 'John Wickliffe', which had arrived on 23rd March.

1889: The Woolwich Free Ferry opens, linking Woolwich in the London Borough of Greenwich with North Woolwich in the London Borough of Newham, across the River Thames. Planned and constructed by The Metropolitan Board of Works. Ownership of the Metropolitan Board of Works passed to London County Council (LCC) two days before the ferry was opened on 23 March 1889. The first two ships were the paddle steamers 'Gordon' and the 'Duncan' built in 1888 by R.H.Green.  'Gordon' was named after General Gordon (1833-1885), the hero of Khartoum, who was born in Woolwich and studied at the Academy. The 'Duncan' was named after Colonel Francis Duncan (1836-1888), author of 'The History of the Royal Artillery.

The Woolwich Ferry 'Gordon'.

1943: Commissioned as a troop transport in the Second World War, the RMS 'Windsor Castle' was sunk by a torpedo launched from enemy aircraft in 1943 while in the Mediterranean Sea as part of convoy KMF-11.
She was hit by the torpedo at 02:30hrs but did not sink until 5:25 pm, stern first, 110 miles WNW of Algiers, Algeria. Only one crewman, Junior Engineer Officer William Ogilvie Mann, died. 2,699 troops and 289 crew were removed by the destroyers H.M.S. 'Whaddon', H.M.S. 'Eggesford', and H.M.S. 'Douglas'.

Originally built with four funnels, the rebuilt 2-stack 'Windsor Castle' sinks in the Mediterranean Sea, 1943.

1965: Lt. Cdr. John Young and Major Gus Grissom in spacecraft 'Molly Brown', splashed down some 50 nautical miles from U.S.S. 'Intrepid' (CVS-11) after history's first controlled re-entry into the Earth's atmosphere ended the pair's nearly perfect three-orbit flight aboard Gemini 3.
A Navy helicopter lifted the astronauts from the spacecraft and flew them to 'Intrepid' for medical examination and debriefing. Later, 'Intrepid' retrieved 'Molly Brown' and returned the spacecraft and astronauts to Cape Kennedy.

( (
Aircraft carrier U.S.S. 'Intrepid' alongside the Gemini III spacecraft 'Molly Brown'.

2001: The 15-year-old Russian space station 'Mir' is taken out of Earth orbit and brought back into Earth's atmosphere. Pieces of the space station that didn't burn-up during re-entry, fell nto the southern Pacific ocean near Fiji.
Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - March 24th
Post by: ardarossan on March 24, 2013, 06:34:00 PM
March 24th...

1878: Returning to England after a 3-month tour of the West Indies and Bermuda, H.M.S. 'Eurydice', a 26-gun Royal Navy corvette, was caught in a heavy snow storm off the Isle of Wight, capsized and sank. Only two of the ship's 319 crew and trainees survived, most of those who were not carried down with the ship died of exposure in the freezing waters. One of the witnesses to the disaster was a young Winston Churchill, who was living at Ventnor with his family at the time.
The phantom 'Eurydice' has been sighted frequently by sailors over the years since her sinking. Most notably, on October 17th, 1998, Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, reportedly saw the three-masted ship off the Isle of Wight while filming for the television series "Crown and Country", and the film crew claimed to have captured its image on film. There is also a story from Commander F. Lipscomb of a royal naval submarine which took evasive action to avoid the ship only for it to disappear.

H.M.S. 'Eurydice' off the coast, with her crew making sail.

1896: Russian physicist Alexander Popov makes the first radio signal transmission in history at a meeting of the Society at St Petersburg University. Popov demonstrated how his work could be used in general for sending and receiving information by radio by transmitting the words “Heinrich Hertz” in Morse code between buildings on the university campus.

1905: Jules Gabriel Verne, aged 77, the French author who pioneered the science fiction genre, died at his home, 44 Boulevard Longueville (now Boulevard Jules-Verne), Amiens, France, while ill with diabetes.

He was born on 8th February 1828 on Île Feydeau, a small island within the town of Nantes, in No. 4 Rue Olivier-de-Clisson, the house of his maternal grandmother Sophie Marie Adelaďde-Julienne Allotte de la Fu˙e. His parents were Pierre Verne, an attorney originally from Provins, and Sophie Allote de la Fu˙e, a Nantes woman from a local family of navigators and shipowners, of distant Scottish descent.

He became known for his novels Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea (1870), Journey to the Center of the Earth (1864), From the Earth to the Moon (1865), and Around the World in Eighty Days (1873), which (as with many of his other works) included elements of technology that were fantastic for the day but later became commonplace.

It is intersting to note that many of Verne's predictions were realised by a list of men and women who cited him as the inspiration for their own achievements.
Amongst the many are: Wernher von Braun, Guglielmo Marconi, Pioneering submarine designer Simon Lake; Arctic Explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton; Marine biologist Jacques Cousteau; Polar explorer Richard E. Byrd; Édouard-Alfred Martel; Norbert CasteretYuri Gagarin; aviation pioneers Alberto Santos-Dumont; and Igor Sikorsky often quoted Verne and cited his Robur the Conqueror as the inspiration for his invention of the first successful helicopter.
The rocketry innovators Konstantin Tsiolkovsky, Robert Goddard, and Hermann Oberth are all known to have taken their inspiration from Verne's From the Earth to the Moon, and Frank Borman, Jim Lovell, and William Anders, the astronauts on the Apollo 8 mission, were similarly inspired, with Borman commenting "In a very real sense, Jules Verne is one of the pioneers of the space age." The list goes on...and on...

Jules Verne was buried at Amiens. The house where he lived is now a museum. His work continues to inspire.


1989: The tanker 'Exxon Valdez', en route from Valdez, Alaska to Los Angeles, California, ran aground on Bligh Reef in Prince William Sound, Alaska. The vessel was traveling outside normal shipping lanes in an attempt to avoid ice. Within six hours of the grounding, the 'Exxon Valdez' spilled approximately 10.9 million gallons of its 53 million gallon cargo of Prudhoe Bay crude oil. Eight of the eleven tanks on board were damaged. The oil would eventually impact over 1,100 miles of non-continuous coastline in Alaska.

Tugboats pull the crippled tanker 'Exxon Valde'z towards Naked Island in Prince William Sound, Alaska, 1989.
Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - John Harrison (1693 - 1776)
Post by: ardarossan on March 24, 2013, 08:33:01 PM
March 24th... 'John Harrison, a genius who solved the greatest scientific problem of his time'

1693 & 1776: John Harrison, a self-educated English carpenter and later a clockmaker was born and died on the same day of the month, albeit 83 years apart.

He was born in Foulby, near Wakefield in West Yorkshire, the first of five children in his family. His father worked as a carpenter at the nearby Nostell Priory estate. John Harrison following his father's trade as a carpenter, building and repairing clocks in his spare time. He built his first longcase clock in 1713, at the age of 20. The mechanism was made entirely of wood, which was a natural choice of material for a joiner.
His longcase clocks performed exceptionally well, and elements from them would appear in his a description and drawings for a proposed marine clock to compete for the Longitude Prize.

John Harrison's first 'Sea Clock'

He eventually invented the marine chronometer, a long-sought device in solving the problem of establishing the East-West position or longitude of a ship at sea, thus revolutionising and extending the possibility of safe long distance sea travel in the Age of Sail. The problem was considered so intractable that the British Parliament offered a prize of Ł20,000 (reasonably comparable to Ł2.87 million in modern currency) for the solution.
John Harrison, not only solved the problem of longitude, he showed everyone that it could be done by using a watch to calculate longitude. This was to be Harrison's masterpiece, an instrument of beauty, resembling an oversized pocket watch from the period. Unfortunately, the Board of Longitude seemed somewhat reluctant to accept the instrument's capabilities or relinquish the prize.

John Harrison's 'Sea Watch' No.1

Despite the opposition and gross unfairness, Harrison was finally awarded the prestigious and valuable 'longitude prize' when King George III intervened in an effort to rectify the injustice suffered at the hands of the Board of Longitude.

John Harrison died on his eighty-third birthday in Red Lion Square, and is buried in the graveyard of St John's Church, Hampstead along with his second wife Elizabeth and their son William. His tomb was restored in 1879 by the Worshipful Company of Clockmakers even though Harrison had never been a member of the Company.

2006: A memorial tablet to John Harrison was unveiled in Westminster Abbey on 24th March 2006, finally recognising him as a worthy companion to his friend George Graham and Thomas Tompion, "The Father of English Watchmaking", who are both buried in the Abbey. The memorial shows a meridian line (line of constant longitude) in two metals to highlight Harrison's most widespread invention, the bimetallic strip thermometer. The strip is engraved with its own longitude of 0 degrees, 7 minutes and 35 seconds West.

John Harrison's Memorial in Westminster Abbey.

Royal Museum Greenwich - John Harrison (
The Royal Society - John Harrison  (
The Worshipful Company of Clockmakers - John Harrison ( (
Title: Re: This Day In 'Boating' History
Post by: Circlip on March 25, 2013, 04:21:17 PM
Wonder what Harrison would have though to the fact that it is now cheaper to buy a crystal controlled watch and throw it away rather than replace its battery?  <:(
 It should also be noted that it was Harrisons son that received the Balance of the Longitude prize after his fathers death.
  Regards Ian.

Ian.  Could you re post this in the separate topic I've started below please. I will then remove this entry to keep this thread on track.,42525.msg429342.html#msg429342


Title: Re: This Day In 'Boating' History
Post by: sparkey on March 25, 2013, 04:33:21 PM
 %% Great book out called longitude,fantastic read worth a look,Ray. >>:-( >>:-(   

Could you re post this in the separate topic I've started below please. I will then remove this entry to keep this thread on track.,42525.msg429342.html#msg429342



Title: Re: This Day In 'Boating' History
Post by: Netleyned on March 25, 2013, 04:45:58 PM
 >>:-( >>:-(


Could you re post this in the separate topic I've started below please. I will then remove this entry to keep this thread on track.,42525.msg429342.html#msg429342


Title: Re: This Day In 'Boating' History
Post by: sparkey on March 25, 2013, 04:57:35 PM
 %% I am into clocks and navigation ,Ray <*< <*<

Could you re post this in the separate topic I've started below please. I will then remove this entry to keep this thread on track.,42525.msg429342.html#msg429342



Title: Re: This Day In 'Boating' History
Post by: Netleyned on March 25, 2013, 05:09:53 PM
Yeah, but the smiley is a ticking off
Not a ticking tock   :D :D
Having spent five years on hydro graphic surveys
I have a great respect for the guys who invented the
instruments some of which are still on use today.


Could you re post this in the separate topic I've started below please. I will then remove this entry to keep this thread on track.,42525.msg429342.html#msg429342



Title: Re: This Day In 'Boating' History
Post by: heritorasphodel on March 25, 2013, 06:32:16 PM
25th March 1894, the RNLI receives the largest legacy it had ever received, a total of Ł50,000 from James Stevens of Birmingham. An incredible 20 boats were built from this legacy, all named after the donor.

On 25th March 1901, two of these were called out. At Wexford the James Stevens No.15 (40ft Watson) stood by the local schooner Perseverance, stranded on Raven Point, until she floated free and reached the harbour safely.

At Southend-on-Sea, James Stevens No.9 (38ft Norfolk and Suffolk) stood by the barque Grethe, also aground on the Nore Sand.

Two James Stevens lifeboats have been restored, these being No.10 and No.14. James Stevens No.10 is a self righting pulling and sailing lifeboat and (as far as I know) still operates out of her home station of St. Ives. James Stevens No.14 is a 43' Norfolk and Suffolk Motor, the oldest motor lifeboat still in existence. She also operates out of her home station of Walton-on-the-Naze.

Title: Re: This Day In 'Boating' History
Post by: dave301bounty on March 25, 2013, 07:39:47 PM
Reading and studying Harrison,s Sons book ,was a part of my home university course ,and to get a pass took me 5 years ,but i havent finnished yet  ,as the other chap on site also an horologist its never finnished ,always another clock ,working on a ships master clock now ,been a very long time .but thats it ,, {:-{

Could you re post this in the separate topic I've started below please. I will then remove this entry to keep this thread on track.,42525.msg429342.html#msg429342



Title: Re: This Day In 'Boating' History
Post by: ardarossan on March 25, 2013, 08:59:49 PM
March 25th... 

421: Venice is founded at the stroke of Midday - While there are no historical records that deal directly with the founding of Venice, the tradionally accepted time and date is identified with the dedication of the first church, that of San Giacomo at the islet of Rialto (Rivoalto, "High Shore"), which is said to have been at the stroke of noon on 25th March 421.

A typical view of modern-day Venice.

1584: Sir Walter Raleigh is granted a Royal patent to explore and colonise Virginia in North America.

1634: On this day settlers from 'The Ark' and 'The Dove' first stepped foot onto Maryland soil, at St. Clement's Island in the Potomac River. The settlers were about 150 in number, hailing from Cowes on the Isle of Wight in England. The colony was granted to Cćcilius Calvert, 2nd Baron Baltimore two years prior by Charles I of England. In thanksgiving for the safe landing, Jesuit Father Andrew White celebrated mass for the colonists, perhaps for the first time ever in this part of the world. The landing coincided with the Feast of the Annunciation, a holy day honoring Mary, and the start of the new year in England's legal calendar (prior to 1752).

A re-creation of 'The Dove', built in 1978.

1655: Saturn's largest moon, Titan, is discovered by the Dutch mathematician, astronomer, physicist and horologist, Christiaan Huygens.
Huygens was inspired by Galileo's discovery of Jupiter's four largest moons in 1610 and his improvements in telescope technology. Christiaan, with the help of his brother Constantijn Huygens, Jr., began building telescopes around 1650. Christiaan Huygens discovered this first observed moon orbiting Saturn with the first telescope they built.

Portrait of Christiaan Huygens,
by Bernard Vaillant.

1807: The Swansea and Mumbles Railway in South Wales, then known as the Oystermouth Railway, becomes the first passenger carrying railway in the world .
Originally built under an Act of Parliament of 1804 for transportation of quarried materials to and from the Swansea Canal and the harbour at the mouth of the River Tawe, it carried the world's first fare-paying railway passengers on 25th March 1807, in a horse drawn carriage from Swansea, through 'the dunes' to Mumbles, an oyster-harvesting and fishing village on the west of the bay.
At the time of the railway's closure in 1960, it had been the world's longest serving railway and it still holds the record for the highest number of forms of traction of any railway in the world - horse-drawn, sail power, steam power, electric power, petrol and diesel.

Horse-drawn train on the Oystermouth Railway, c.1855.
Title: Re: This Day In 'Boating' History
Post by: dave301bounty on March 26, 2013, 11:01:30 AM
Strange this ,you spend Time looking at ,,time to play with boats ,time to build ,etc etc ,yet some one dosent want to know or see it ,how it /time was /is measured ,strange  :o
Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - March 26th
Post by: ardarossan on March 26, 2013, 10:26:59 PM
March 26th...

1814: Around 10:00hrs, H.M.S. 'Hannibal', 'Hebrus', and 'Sparrow' encountered two French frigates, 'La Sultane' and the L'etoile', as they were returning from a cruise of commerce raiding around the Cape Verde Islands.

H.M.S. 'Hannibal', a 74-gun third rate ship of the line, set off after 'La Sultane', and sent 'Hebrus' and 'Sparrow' after 'L'etoile'.
'Hannibal' met with some 'ineffectual' resistance before capturing 44-gun 'La Sultane' at 15:15hrs on the same day, whilst 'Hebrus' captured 'L'etoile', on the morning of the 27th, after "an arduous chase of one hundred and twenty miles, and a well fought action of two hours and a quarter, in eight fathoms water, under Cape La Hogue."

'L'etoile', a 44-gun Pallas-class frigate was recommissioned in the Royal Navy as H.M.S. 'Topaze'.

In 1847 the Admiralty awarded the Naval General Service Medal with clasp "Hebrus Wh. L'etoile" to the 40 still surviving claimants from the action.

Copy of a letter to the Admiralty-Office, printed in the London Gazette, 29th March 1814, Ref: The capture of 'La Sultane' (
Copy of a letter to the Admiralty-Office, printed in the London Gazette, 2nd April 1814, Ref: The capture of L'etoile'  (

The capture of L'etoile' by H.M.S. 'Hebrus' at Cape Le Hogue.

1839: At a public meeting in the Henley-on-Thames town hall on 26th March 1839, Captain Edmund Gardiner proposed...

"that from the lively interest which had been manifested at the various boat races which have taken place on the Henley reach during the last few years, and the great influx of visitors on such occasions, this meeting is of the opinion that the establishing of an annual regatta, under judicious and respectable management, would not only be productive of the most beneficial results to the town of Henley, but from its peculiar attractions would also be a source of amusement and gratification to the neighbourhood, and the public in general."

The first Henley Regatta took place just over 11 weeks later, on (the afternoon of) 14th June 1839. It has been held annually ever since, except during the two World Wars.

The regatta became known as Henley Royal Regatta since 1851, when Prince Albert became the first royal patron.

An image of the annual Henley Royal Regatta, on the River Thames, England, c.1890's.

1846: Joseph Francis receives U.S. patent no. 3,974 which covers his development of using steam-powered hydraulic presses to stamp large sheets of iron into corrugated shapes to make lifeboat hulls.

An original patent-model for one of Joseph Francis corrugated lifeboats.

1937: Credited with saving the town during the depression, 'Spinach growers' of Crystal City, Texas, erect a statue of 'Popeye' the sailor in front of City Hall, in honour of E. C. Segar, creator of the “Popeye” comic strip.

'Popeye' the sailor statue, in front of City Hall, Crystal City, Texas. U.S.A.

1976: Queen Elizabeth II sends the first royal email, from the Royal Signals and Radar Establishment. Although details are limited about what Queen Elizabeth actually typed (or had her people type for her) on the first royal email, it did announce that the Royal Signals and Radar Establishment in Malvern was on the Arpanet system, and that the message was made from the base.
2010: The Republic of Korea Ship (ROKS) 'Cheonan', a corvette carrying 104 personnel, sank off the country's west coast near Baengnyeong Island in the Yellow Sea, killing 46 seamen.
A South Korean-led official investigation carried out by a team of international experts from South Korea, the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and Sweden presented a summary of its investigation on 20th May 2010, concluding that the warship had been sunk by a North Korean torpedo fired by a  Yeono class miniature submarine.

South Korean Pohang-class corvette ROKS 'Chenoan' (PCC-772).
Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - 27th March
Post by: ardarossan on March 27, 2013, 08:15:17 PM
27th March...

1794: President Washington signs the Naval Act of 1794, to establish the first permanent naval force of the United States of America with "the acquisition, by purchase or otherwise, of four ships to carry forty-four guns each, and two ships to carry thirty-six guns each."

1890: (Admiral Sir) Frederick Hew George Dalrymple-Hamilton (KCB) was born. The son of Col Hon. North de Coigny Dalrymple-Hamilton, MVO, of Bargany, Girvan, Ayrshire, and the grandson of the 10th Earl of Stair.
Frederick Dalrymple-Hamilton would go on to join the Royal Navy in 1905 and serve in World War I and World War 2. During WW2, he would be involved with both the sinking of the German battleship Bismarck, and the D-Day landings.

1899: Inventor. entrepreneur, and businessman Guglielmo Marconi demonstates the first international radio transmission across the English Chanel from Wimereux, France to the South Foreland Lighthouse, England.

Guglielmo Marconi with early apparatus in England, 1896.

1941: The naval 'Battle of Cape Matapan' is fought from 27th - 29th March 1941 off the southwest coast of Greece's Peloponnesian peninsula, when a force of British Royal Navy ships accompanied by several Royal Australian Navy ships, under command of British Admiral Andrew Cunningham, intercept and sink or severely damage ships of the Italian Regia Marina under Admiral Angelo Iachino. The opening actions of the battle are also known in Italy as the 'Battle of Gaudo'.
Italian Battleship 'Vittorio Veneto' fires her 15in guns on British cruisers, before being torpedoed by RN aircraft.

1943: In the Firth of Clyde, between Brodick on the island of Arran, and Ardrossan on the mainland, escort aircraft carrier H.M.S. 'Dasher' was engaged in deck landing exercises when she was rocked by a tremendous explosion. Further explosions and an intense fire on the hangar deck, resulted in the rapid sinking of the vessel.
Those that could reach an exit had jumped overboard, where they were now at risk from the burning fuel oil & aviation fuel that was floating on the surface of the freezing water, or (ironically) from hypothermia.
No absolute cause for the explosion(s) was determined at the time, which was responsible for the loss of 379 crew from a complement of 528.
Speculation exists that one corpse from the sinking was used during the British deception operation 'Mincemeat'...

The newly commissioned H.M.S. 'Dasher' with Fairey 'Swordfish' of 837 squadron, in late July 1942.

1943: On the morning of 27th March, the 'Battle of the Komandorski Island's occurs in the North Pacific area of the Pacific Ocean, when United States Navy forces intercept a Japanese convoy attempting to reinforce a garrison at Kiska. Because of the remote location of the battle near the Soviet Komandorski Islands, neither fleet had air or submarine support, making this one of the few engagements exclusively between surface ships in the Pacific Theatre and one of the last pure gunnery duels in naval history

1945: Twenty Avro Lancasters of No. 617 Squadron attacked the Valentin submarine pens, near Bremen, Germany. The huge, nearly-ready structure with a concrete roof up to 23 ft thick in places, was hit by two Grand Slam bombs which penetrated parts of the pen with a 14ft 5 inches thick roof, rendering the shelter unusable. No aircraft were lost.

Grand Slammed! - A 15-ft thick reinforced ferro-concrete U-Boat pen roof,
penetrated by a 22,000lb MC Grand Slam bomb.

1964: Radio Caroline began test broadcasts during the evening of 27th March 1964, from a former Danish ferry, the 'Fredericia' renamed MV 'Caroline', anchored three miles off the coast of Felixstowe, just outside British territorial waters. Regular programming commenced at noon the following day (28th March).

'Pirate'-radio ship MV 'Caroline' (formerly Fredericia) off Ramsey, Isle-of-Man.

1980: During a storm in the North Sea, early in the evening of 27th March, more than 200 men were off-duty on the Norwegian accomadarion platform 'Alexander L. Kielland' when it suffered a catastrophic failure to one of the support legs, causing it to collapse before capsizing.
Although some of the crew-members managed to get to the lifeboats before the platform flipped completely over, others had already been thrown into the sea when the rig first began to tilt. of the 212 crew-members on board the platform at the time of the accident, 123 were killed.

Oil-rig 'Edda 2/7C' on the left, and the Flotel 'Alexander L. Kielland' on the right.

2004: After being left in a state of disrepair since decommissioning in 1993, Royal Navy Leander-class frigate H.M.S. 'Scylla' (F71) was sunk off Whitsand Bay, Cornwall to form an artificial reef; the first of its kind in Europe.

The moments before H.M.S. 'Scylla' began her new role as 'Scylla Reef' off Cornwall, England.
Title: Re: This Day In 'Boating' History
Post by: Capt Podge on March 27, 2013, 10:52:18 PM
Thursday, 27th March 1941   
'SS Faraday' (5,533t) a cable ship was ˝ a mile off St Abbs Head when she was attacked by German aircraft, she caught fire and sank twelve hours later. Sixteen of her one hundred and twenty-five crew were killed. Ninety miles of cable have been salvaged from the wreck. She was built in 1923.
'SS Isorna' (6,809t) was wrecked on the Collith Hole, north of Beadnell Point.
'SS Somali' (6,809t) was bombed yesterday by German aircraft off Blyth, she was taken in tow by the tug 'Sea Giant', when off Beadnell Point near Seahouses, fire broke out and after a tremendous explosion she sank in 110ft of water. She was located at 55°33'09"N - 01°36'04"W in 1973, her forward section was missing but she was upright, her after gun deck was intact with the deck fittings still in place. Much has been salvaged for souvenirs, including many lead soldiers. It was rumoured that she was carrying explosives, which would then explain the huge -explosion, though her manifest only listed a general cargo of shoes, gas masks and batteries etc. She was built in 1930.
'SS Koranton' (6,695t) cargo ship, Philadelphia to Hull was sunk by U 98 in the North Atlantic.
Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - March 28th "The Greatest Raid"
Post by: ardarossan on March 28, 2013, 05:04:57 AM
March 28th...

1942: At 23:30hrs on 27th March, five RAF squadrons (comprising 35 x Whitleys and 27 x  Wellingtons) started a series of bombing runs over a harbour-town on the west coast of France.
By staying above 6,000ft, only bombing clearly identified military targets and dropping only one bomb at a time, they managed to prolong their attack, in an attempt to draw attention towards themselves and away from the sea.
The air-raid had been a diversion; the harbour-town was Saint-Nazaire; the real raid was just about to begin...
The Saint-Nazaire Raid aka 'Operation Chariot' was a successful British amphibious attack on the heavily defended Normandie dry dock at Saint-Nazaire in German-occupied France during the Second World War. The operation was undertaken by the Royal Navy and British Commandos under the auspices of Combined Operations Headquarters on 28th March 1942.

Saint-Nazaire was targeted because the loss of its dry dock would force any large German warship in need of repairs, such as the Tirpitz, to return to home waters rather than having a safe haven available on the Atlantic coast.

H.M.S. 'Campbeltown' being converted for the Saint-Nazaire Raid. There are twin lines of armour plate down each side of the ship and the Oerlikon mountings. Two of her funnels have been removed, with the remaining two cut at an angle.

The obsolete destroyer H.M.S. 'Campbeltown', disguised as a German Mowe-class destroyer and accompanied by 18 smaller craft, crossed the English Channel to the Atlantic coast of France and was rammed into the Normandie dock gates. The ship had been packed with delayed-action explosives, well hidden within a steel and concrete case, that detonated later that day, putting the dock out of service for the remainder of the war and for several years after.

British Motor Gun Boat No.314.

A force of commandos landed to destroy machinery and other structures. Heavy German gunfire sank, set ablaze or immobilised all the small craft intended to transport the commandos back to England; the commandos had to fight their way out through the town to try to escape overland. They were forced to surrender when their ammunition was expended and they were surrounded.

Vosper 70ft MTB No.74, specially modified for Saint-Nazaire raid.

After the raid 228 men of the force of 622 returned to Britain; 169 were killed and 215 became prisoners of war. German casualties were over 360 dead, mostly killed after the raid when 'Campbeltown' exploded.
Eighty-nine decorations were awarded to members of the raiding party, including five Victoria Crosses. After the war Saint-Nazaire was one of 38 battle honours awarded to the Commandos. The operation has since become known as...
 "The Greatest Raid"  

H.M.S. 'Campbeltown' wedged in the dry-dock gates at Saint-Nazaire,
prior to the detonation of her hidden high-explosive cargo.

This post gives a very basic account of the raid at Saint-Nazaire. I've added the links below which tell the incredible story and provide all the details which can't realistically be included above. ( ( ( (
Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - March 28th
Post by: ardarossan on March 28, 2013, 07:34:30 PM
March 28th...

845: Arriving in a fleet of 120 ships, Viking invaders (probably) under Ragnar Lodbrok, sacked the city of Paris, and held it to ransom. Charles the Bald, the King of West Francia, agreed to pay the bounty in exchange for sparing the city.
According to Viking stories, Ragnar Lodbrok and his warriors left with no less than 7,000 pounds of silver.
Repeated invasions forced Parisians to build a fortress on the Île de la Cité.

A Norse, a Norse, my Kingdom for...    ...7000lbs of Silver actually, s'il vous plaît.

1814: H.M.S. 'Phoebe' and H.M.S. 'Cherub' capture U.S.S. 'Essex' off Valparaiso, Chile, as she attempted to break out of the harbour. 'Phoebe' and 'Cherub' also captured 'Essex's' tender, 'Essex Junior', the ex-British whaler 'Atlantic'.
U.S.S. 'Essex' was sailed to England, where the Admiralty had her repaired and taken into the Royal Navy as H.M.S. 'Essex'. She served as H.M.S. 'Essex' until sold at public auction in June 1837.

Illustation of U.S.S. 'Essex' (1799).

1910: Henri Fabre becomes the first person to fly a seaplane, the 'Fabre Hydravion', after it took off from the surface of the Etang de Berre and flew for a distance of 1500ft on 28th March 1910 at Martigues, France.
Apart from the achievement of being the first seaplane in history, Fabre had no flying experience before that day. He flew the floatplane successfully three more times that day and within a week he had flown a distance of 3.5 miles.

Henri Fabre on his 'Fabre Hydravion', named The Duck (Le Canard).

1967: Facing increasing criticism for delays in dealing with the worlds first 'Supertanker' disaster, that of the 'Torrey Canyon' lying broken and aground off Cornwall, the British government decide their best option is to destroy the ship and burn off what remains of its leaking cargo.
On 28th March, the Fleet Air Arm sent eight Blackburn Buccaneer from RNAS 'Lossiemouth' to drop forty-two 1,000 lb bombs on the ship. Then, RAF Hawker Hunters from RAF 'Chivenor' dropped cans of aviation fuel to make the oil blaze - a spectacle many flocked to the coast to watch.
However, with the ship refusing to sink, the mission was called off when particularly high spring tides put the fires out.

The column of thick black smoke billowing into the sky from the burning wreck
of 'Torrey Canyon', could be seen upto 100 miles away, March 1967.
Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - March 29th
Post by: ardarossan on March 29, 2013, 10:24:54 AM
March 29th... The 'Terra Nova' Expedition - Return from the South Pole.

1912: Lieutenant Henry Robertson "Birdie" Bowers, RIM, died on or around 29th March 1912*, in the company of Robert Scott and "Uncle Bill" Wilson, whilst sheltering from a fierce blizzard, encountered as they returned from the South Pole as part of the British Antarctic Expedition under the command of Captain Robert Falcon Scott, C.V.O., R.N.

On 20th March, Scott, Wilson and Bowers had struggled on to a point just 11 miles south of 'One Ton Depot', but were halted by a fierce blizzard. Each day they attempted to advance, but were prevented by the extreme conditions outside their tent.
Now weak, cold and hungry, their food and fuel supplies ran out, leaving them little option other than to await their seemingly inevitable demise.
"As the troubles have thickened about us his dauntless spirit ever shone brighter
and he has remained cheerful, hopeful, and indomitable to the end"

Lieutenant Henry "Birdie" Bowers (29th July 1883 - 29th March 1912*).

* Robert Scott's last diary entry, dated 29th March 1912, is the presumed date of death.
Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - March 29th
Post by: ardarossan on March 29, 2013, 03:18:06 PM
March 29th... The 'Terra Nova' Expedition - Return from the South Pole.

1912: Dr. Edward Adrian Wilson, FZS, (aka "Uncle Bill") died on or around 29th March 1912*, in the company of Robert Falcon Scott and "Birdie" Bowers, whilst sheltering from a a fierce blizzard, encountered as they returned from the South Pole as part of the British Antarctic Expedition under the command of Captain Robert Falcon Scott, C.V.O., R.N..

Affectionately nicknamed 'Uncle Bill' by the men of the expedition, Wilson was probably Scott's closest companion.
Scott wrote "Words must always fail me when I talk of Bill Wilson. I believe he really is the finest character I ever met."
When Scott's final camp was discovered by a search team in November 1912, Bowers and Wilson were found frozen in their sleeping bags. Scott's bag was open and his body partially out of his bag - his left arm was extended across Wilson.

"A brave, true man - the best of comrades and staunchest of friends"

Edward A. "Uncle Bill" Wilson (23rd July 1872  - 29th March 1912*).

* Robert Scott's last diary entry, dated 29th March 1912, is the presumed date of death.
Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - March 29th
Post by: ardarossan on March 29, 2013, 04:48:52 PM
March 29th... The 'Terra Nova' Expedition - Return from the South Pole.

1912: Captain Robert Falcon Scott, C.V.O., R.N., died on or around 29th March 1912*, in the company of "Uncle Bill" Wilson and "Birdie" Bowers, whilst sheltering from a fierce blizzard, encountered as they returned from the South Pole as part of the British Antarctic Expedition.

During his last few days, as supplies ran out, with frozen fingers, little light, and storms still raging outside the tent, Scott wrote the final entry in his diary on 29th March;

“Since the 21st we have had a continuous gale from W.S.W and S.W. We had fuel to make two cups of tea apiece and bare food for two days on the 20th.
Every day we have been ready to start for our depot 11 miles away, but outside the door of the tent it remains a scene of whirling drift. I do not think we can hope for better things now.
We shall stick it out to the end, but we are getting weaker, of course, and the end cannot be far.

It seems a pity, but I do not think I can write more,  R. Scott - For God's sake look after our people"

Captain Robert Falcon Scott (6th June 1868 – 29th March 1912*).

* Robert Scott's last diary entry, dated 29th March 1912, is the presumed date of death.
Title: Re: This Day In 'Boating' History
Post by: Capt Podge on March 29, 2013, 08:43:51 PM
Saturday, 29th March 1941   'SS Hylton' (5,197t) cargo ship, Vancouver to the Tyne with timber, was sunk by U 48, S of Iceland.
Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - March 29th
Post by: ardarossan on March 29, 2013, 09:16:06 PM
March 29th...

1825: One of the last successful Caribbean pirates, Roberto Cofresí, better known as "El Pirata Cofresí," was defeated in combat and captured by authorities between 2nd-5th March and executed by firing squad on 29th March 29th, along with other members of his crew.
Cofresí's life story, particularly in its Robin Hood "steal from the rich, give to the poor" aspect, has become legendary in Puerto Rico and throughout the rest of Latin America. It has inspired countless songs, poems, books and films. The entire town of Cofresí, near Puerto Plata in the Dominican Republic, was named after him.

Puerto Rican hero of the people, "El Pirata Cofresí".

1848: An enormous ice dam formed at the source of the Niagara River on the eastern shore of Lake Erie. Just after midnight, the thunderous sound of water surging over the great falls at Niagara came to a halt as the flow of water became severely restricted due to the ice jam. The eerie silence persisted throughout the day and into the next evening until the waters of Lake Erie broke through the blockage and resumed their course down the river and over the falls.

1912: Stranded in his tent due to the horrendous conditions outside, and suffering from the effects of exhaustion, starvation and extreme cold, Captain Robert F. Scott writes the last entry in his diary and prepares several letters for the families of himself and his two companions.

1930: On 28th March, submarine H.M.S. 'L-1' broke free from her tow as she was being taken from Chatham to Newport to be scrapped. She eventually drifted ashore at Penawell Cove, Cornwall, on the 29th March 1930.

H.M.S. 'L-1' lying on the beach At Penawall Cove, Cornwall.

1967: 'Le Redoutable' (S611), the first ballistic missile submarine (SNLE) of the French Navy is launched. It will be another four and a half years before she is commissioned (Dec 1971).
In 2002, now decommissioned, she opened as a museum ship at the Cité de la Mer naval museum in Cherbourg, France. She is Believed to be the largest submarine open to the public and the only complete ballistic missile submarine hull open to the public.


1967: It was decided at first light this morning to carry on bombing the 'Torrey Canyon', aground and broken off the coast of Cornwall. Holiday makers gathered on the cliffs to watch the spectacle as she was attacked by 'Sea Vixens' from the RNAS 'Yeovilton', 'Buccaneers' from the Naval Air Station at Brawdy, and RAF 'Hunters' carrying liquified petroleum jelly (not napalm, as HMG denied that the UK forces had stocks of Napalm), to ignite the oil.

'Torrey Canyon' finally sank after the RAF and the Royal Navy had dropped 62,000lbs of bombs, 5,200 gallons of petrol, 11 rockets and large quantities of a 'Napalm-like substance' (not Napalm though!) onto the ship.

This was not to quite the end of the matter, as the government was strongly criticised for its handling of the incident, which was (at that time) the costliest shipping disaster ever.
The environmental disaster had been made far worse by the heavy use of detergent to disperse the slick. A marine-environment report concluded that the detergent killed far more marine life than the oil.
The RAF and the Royal Navy received both criticism and ridicule for the fact that a quarter of the bombs they dropped, failed to hit a 975-feet long, stationary target.

A 'Sea Vixen' taking off from RNAS 'Yeovilton', c1972.
Title: Re: This Day In 'Boating' History
Post by: BrianB6 on March 29, 2013, 09:34:14 PM
Captain Scotts last letter has now been published;-
Title: Re: This Day In 'Boating' History
Post by: Capt Podge on March 30, 2013, 12:23:16 AM
Sunday, 30th March 1941   'SS Coultarn' (3,759t) cargo ship, Hull to Texas sunk by U 69, SW of Iceland.
 Friday, 30th March 1945   'SS Jim' (833t) bound for Dieppe was sunk, possibly, by a German midget submarine off Aldeburgh.
Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - March 30th
Post by: ardarossan on March 30, 2013, 08:39:07 PM
March 30th...

1899: English passenger ferry 'Stella' a passenger ferry in service with the London and South Western Railway (LSWR) was travelling to the Channel Islands with 147 passengers and 43 crew on board.
Many of the passengers were travelling to the Channel Islands for an Easter holiday or returning home there during the Easter break. '

'Stella' departed from Southampton at 11:25hrs for St Peter Port, Guernsey. After passing The Needles, she proceeded at full speed across the Channel until some fog banks were encountered and speed was reduced twice while passing through these.
Approaching the Channel Islands, another fog bank was encountered, but speed was not reduced. Shortly before 16:00hrs, the fog signal from the Casquets Lighthouse was heard and the Casquets came into view directly ahead. Captain Reeks ordered the engines full astern and attempted to turn away from the rocks, but 'Stella' scraped along two rocks, and her bottom was ripped open by a submerged granite reef.

'Stella' sank in eight minutes. Four lifeboats were successfully launched, while a fifth capsized. The Women and children first protocol was observed, although one stewardess, Mary Ann Rogers, gave up her lifejacket and refused a place in a lifeboat. The capsized lifeboat was later righted by a freak wave and 12 people managed to climb into it. Four of these died of exposure during the night. The eight remaining survivors were rescued by the French Naval tug 'Marsouin'.

One lifeboat, with 38 survivors on board, had a cutter in tow with 29 survivors on board. These two boats were sighted at 07:00hrs on 31st March by the LSWR steamship 'Vera'. They were picked up and landed at St Helier, Jersey. The other cutter, with 24 survivors on board, had a dinghy in tow with 13 survivors on board. They were picked up by the Great Western Railway (GWR) steamship 'Lynx', sailing from Weymouth to St Peter Port. In all 86 passengers died, along with 19 crew.

Photograph of the London and South Western Railway steamship SS 'Stella,
launched 1890', wrecked 1899.

1914: During a seal hunt in Newfoundland, the SS 'Newfoundland' had become jammed in the ice. However, when the captain of the 'Newfoundland' saw signals from the SS 'Stephano' indicating that there were seals several miles away, he sent his crew in that direction to begin killing seals, under command of his first mate.

That afternoon a storm began, and both ship's captains thought that their respective crews were safely aboard the other man's vessel - unfortunately this was not the case. It could not be confirmed due to the fateful decision made before the fleet sailed to the hunting grounds, to remove the wireless set and operator from the SS 'Newfoundland', in order to cut costs

Consequently, 'Newfoundland's' captain, believing that the men were aboard 'Stephano', did not blow the ship's whistle to signal his location which would have allowed his men to find the ship in the darkness and rain. The sealers endured two nights without shelter on the ice, first in a freezing rain storm and then in a snow storm, with predictable consequences.

When the dead and survivors alike were picked up approximately 48 hours later by another ship in the fleet, the SS 'Bellaventure', under Captain R. Isaac. Of the 132 men that set out aboard the SS 'Newfoundland', 78 died, and many more were seriously injured.

A superb scale model of the SS 'Newfoundland'.
See the 'Age of Sail' ( website for more images.

1918: Off the coast of Ireland near Helvick Head, the SS 'Lough Fisher' was attacked by the German submarine SM U-101. The submarine opened fire with her deck gun, sinking 418-ton coaster with thirteen crew (possibly 14).

The SS 'Lough Fisher'

1945: Three days after the RAF had severely damaged the U-Boat Pens at Valentin with 'Grand Slam' bombs, the U.S. Eighth Air Force attacked Valentin with 'Disney' bombs - These were large (4,500 lb) bombs with hard steel casings, and rocket-assistance to increase their penetrating power.
Sixty were launched but only one hit the target, causing little damage. However, considerable damage was done to installations surrounding the bunker.

Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - March 31st
Post by: ardarossan on March 31, 2013, 09:07:52 PM
March 31st...

1520: 'Magellan's Voyage around the World (1519-1522): Having sailed down the east coast of South America from Rio de Janeiro, Magellan's fleet of five ships arrive at Puerto San Julian, where they anchored and prepared to establish a settlement for overwintering.


1774: The Boston Port Act (or Trade Act), being an Act of the Parliament of Great Britain, became law on 31st March 1774, and was to take effect from 1st June. It was a response to the Massachusetts colony's protests of British taxes, most notably the incident that become known as the Boston Tea Party of 1773.
The act closed the port of Boston through a blockade by the Royal Navy. This was an attempt to coerce the repayment of customs and restitution to the East India Company for their lost revenue, and to re-exert British control of the colonies.

Long Title: "An act to discontinue, in such manner, and for such time as are therein mentioned, the landing and discharging, lading or shipping, of goods, wares, and merchandise, at the town, and within the harbour, of Boston, in the province of Massachusetts Bay, in North America."
Royal Coat of Arms of Great Britain, 1714 -1800.

1838: The 'Great Western' sailed for Avonmouth (Bristol) to start her maiden voyage to New York. Before reaching Avonmouth, a fire broke out in the engine room. During the confusion Brunel fell 20 feet, and was injured. The fire was extinguished, and the damages to the ship were minimal, but Brunel had to be put ashore at Canvey Island. As a result of the accident, more than 50 passengers canceled their bookings for the Bristol-New York voyage and when 'Great Western' finally departed Avonmouth, only 7 passengers were aboard.

The 'Great Western', by Samuel Walter.

1909: The Port of London Authority (PLA) is founded, when it becomes necessary to bring order to the chaos and congestion that prevailed on the Thames as rival wharfs, docks and river users battled for business in the late 1800's

1909: At Harland & Wolff shipyard in Belfast, the first keel plate is laid for a ship with the designated yard number '401'. The plate is, 52" wide, 1.5 inches thick, and weighs over 3 tons. The ship won't be given a name until the hull is completed and launched. Then she will be called 'Titanic'. 

1914: The 'Southern Cross', a steam-powered sealing vessel that operated primarily in Norway, Newfoundland and Labrador, was lost in stormy seas off the Newfoundland coast sometime between 31st March and 3rd April, as she was returning from the same seal hunt that had already cost the lives of 78 crewman from the SS 'Newfoundland' (on 30th March).
Believed to have gone down in the vicinity of Cape Pine, the disappearance of the 'Southern Cross' remains largely unexplained as all 174 men aboard were lost and no record of the voyage survived.
The combined tragedies of the 'Newfoundland' and the 'Southern Cross' came to be known as the "1914 Newfoundland Sealing Disaster".

Expedition ship SS 'Southern Cross' ( in the Derwent, Tasmania. Previously used on The British Antarctic Expedition, 1898–1900, she was built in Norway in 1886 as whaling ship 'Pollux'.

1968: 'Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea', the 1960's American science fiction television series based on the 1961 film of the same name, ended it's first full run. Comprised of 110 episodes across 4 seasons, the first two seasons took place in the then future of the 1970's, and the final two seasons took place in the 1980's. 'Voyage' was the decade's longest-running American science fiction television series with continuing characters.

( (
The TV-series version of S.S.R.N. 'Seaview' - The movie version had eight forward windows.

1992: The U.S.S. 'Missouri', the last active United States Navy battleship, is decommissioned in Long Beach, California. 'Missouri' remained part of the reserve fleet at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, Bremerton, Washington, until January 1995, when she was struck from the Naval Vessel Register.

1995: The U.S. Coast Guard Communication Area Master Station Atlantic sent a final message by Morse code and then signed off, officially ending more than 100 years of telegraph communications.
Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - April 1st
Post by: ardarossan on April 01, 2013, 09:07:18 PM
April 1st...

1520: 'Magellan's Voyage around the World (1519-1522): During Easter (1st - 2nd April) at Magellan's 'Puerto San Julian' overwintering settlement, a mutiny broke out involving three of the five ship captains.
Magellan took quick and decisive action, resulting in the recovery of the 'Victoria' and her captain being killed; The mutineers aboard 'Concepcion' surrendered to the well-armed 'Trinidad' and were later executed; and the head of the mutineers on the 'San Antonio' subsequently gave up and was left marooned with a priest named Padre Sanchez de la Reina.
Men that were needed were forgiven.
Reportedly those killed were drawn, quartered and impaled on the coast. Years later, their bones were found by Sir Francis Drake.

One of several full-size replica's of the nao (aka a carrack) 'Victoria'.

1836: Voyage of H.M.S. Beagle (1831-36): 'Beagle' arrived at the Keeling Islands. They put in at Port Refuge first and then sailed to Direction Island under very high winds.
Composed entirely of coral, the Keeling Islands were discovered by Capt. William Keeling in 1608 (they are now called the Cocos Islands). Darwin surmised that they were once part of a large submerged coral reef. 'Beagle' would spend several days here, surveying the islands.


1918: The Royal Air Force (RAF) is formed on 1st April 1918 by the merger of the Royal Flying Corps and the Royal Naval Air Service, and is the oldest independent air force in the world.
The design for the RAF Ensign (below) was approved by King George V in 1921, after much opposition from the Admiralty, who have the right to approve or veto any flag flown ashore or on board ship.

The RAF Ensign is flown from the flagstaff on every RAF station during daylight hours.

1941: The 'Blockade Runner Badge' was instituted on 1st April 1941. The WW2I German military decoration was awarded for service on warships or merchant vessels (also allied) that attempted or managed to break the Allied sea blockade of Germany. It was first awarded on 1st July of the same year. A smaller half-size version was awarded for use by civilians and members of the merchant marine.

German Blockade Runner Badge from 1941.

2000: A rare 'Abwehr' Enigma machine, designated G312, as used by the Germans to encode messages during World War II was stolen from the Bletchley Park Museum in Buckinghamshire, south-east England.
The machine's whereabouts remained a mystery until in September 2000, police began receiving letters from a man saying he was acting on behalf of someone who had bought it. The letter writer demanded Ł25,000 for its safe return.
Two weeks later, BBC television presenter Jeremy Paxman opened a parcel at his office at Television Centre, London. It contained the missing Enigma machine.
The machine was missing three of its four encryption rotor wheels, but they were later also returned safely.

2001: An aerial collision between a United States Navy EP-3E ARIES II, a signals reconnaissance version of the P-3C, and a People's Liberation Army Navy J-8IIM fighter results in an international incident between the United States and China. The J-8IIM crashed and its pilot was killed. The EP-3 came close to becoming uncontrollable, at one point sustaining a near inverted roll, but was able to make an emergency landing on Hainan. The crew and plane were subsequently detained by Chinese authorities, accused of "killing the Chinese pilot".

A Lockheed EP-3 Orion of fleet reconnaissance squadron VQ-1 World Watchers.
Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - April 2nd
Post by: ardarossan on April 02, 2013, 10:12:44 PM
April 2nd...

1595: The 'Compagnie van Verre' (Company of Distant Lands), a forerunner to the Dutch East India Company, set up by nine citizens of Amsterdam to break Portugal's monopoly on the pepper trade, sends an expedition of three heavily-armed ships and a pinnace, under the leadership of Cornelis de Houtman with orders to break into the trade.
On 2nd April 1595 the ships set off from Texel, with 248 officers and men on board. The expedition (which became known as the First Schipvaart) followed the routes described by Jan Huygen van Linschoten after he had made the journey in the pay of the Portuguese.

1801: The Battle of Copenhagen sees a British fleet under the command of Admiral Sir Hyde Parker fight and strategically defeat a Danish-Norwegian fleet anchored just off Copenhagen on 2nd April 1801.
Vice-Admiral Horatio Nelson led the main attack. He famously is reputed to have disobeyed Sir Hyde Parker's order to withdraw by holding the telescope to his blind eye to look at the signals from Parker. But Parker's signals had given him permission to withdraw at his discretion, and Nelson declined. His action in proceeding resulted in the destruction of many of the Dano-Norwegian ships before a truce was agreed. Copenhagen is often considered to be Nelson's hardest-fought battle.

The Battle of Copenhagen, as painted by Nicholas Pocock. The British line is diagonally across the foreground, the city of Copenhagen in the background and the Danish line between. The ships in the left foreground are British bomb vessels.

1908: H.M.S. 'Berwick', a Monmouth-class armoured cruiser of the Royal Navy, collided with the destroyer 'Tiger' when the destroyer crossed 'Berwick's' bows during an exercise in the English Channel, south of the Isle of Wight. 'Tiger' was sliced in two and sank with the loss of 28 lives.
H.M.S. 'Berwick' survived the collision and went on to serve throughout the First World War with most of her sisters, eventually being sold for scrap in 1920.

H.M.S. 'Berwick', a Monmouth-class Amoured Cruiser

1942: Accompanied by Task Force 18, aircraft carrier U.S.S. 'Hornet' departs from the Naval Air Station at Alameda, with 16 specially modified B-25 bombers lashed to her deck. A few days later, the 'Hornet' would rendezvous with Task Force 16, commanded by Vice Admiral William F. Halsey, Jr., the carrier U.S.S. 'Enterprise' and her escort of cruisers and destroyers in the mid-Pacific Ocean north of Hawaii, before sailing towards Japan to launch the 'Doolittle' air-raids on the Japanese home islands.

View from the island of the U.S. Navy aircraft carrier U.S.S. 'Hornet' (CV-8), while en route to the "Doolittle Raid" mission's launching point. The light cruiser U.S.S. 'Nashville' (CL-43) is in the distance.

1966: At 2900 feet beneath surface of the Mediterranean Sea, off the Spanish coast from the small fishing village of Palomares, Deep Submergence Vehicle (DSV) 'Alvin' relocates the 1.45 megaton hydrogen bomb, that it originally located on 15th March at a depth of 2,550 feet, until it was temporarily lost again after being dropped by the U.S. Navy during the attempt to recovery it.

DSV 'Alvin'.
Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - April 3rd
Post by: ardarossan on April 03, 2013, 08:11:49 PM
April 3rd...

1792: Admiral Sir George Pocock, KB, aged 86 years, died at Curzon Street, Mayfair, London.
Pocock was from Chieveley in Berkshire, the son of Thomas Pocock, a chaplain in the navy. George Pocock entered the Royal Navy in 1718, serving aboard H.M.S. 'Superb' under the patronage of his maternal uncle, Captain Streynsham Master. He became lieutenant in April 1725, commander in 1733, and post-captain in 1738.
After serving in the West Indies he was sent to the East Indies Station in 1754 as captain of the 58-gun H.M.S. 'Cumberland' with Rear-Admiral Charles Watson. Watson's squadron co-operated with Clive in the conquest of Bengal.
In 1755 Pocock became rear-admiral, and was promoted to vice-admiral in 1756. In 1761 was made a Knight of the Bath and admiral.

Vice-Admiral George Pocock (6th March 1706 – 3rd April 1792).
Portrait by Thomas Hudson.

1832: Voyage of H.M.S. Beagle (1831-36): ( The 'Beagle' arrived at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where the crew received its first mail from England. Darwin learned that his former girlfriend, Fanny Owen, was now married (last May) to a wealthy politician named Robert Biddulph. He stayed onshore, perhaps to recover from his sea-sickness, while the Beagle surveyed around Cape Frio. While surveying a small cove, eleven of the crew went onshore to explore the Rio Racacu. At some time during this inland trek Charles Musters (volunteer 1st class), Morgan (seaman) and Jones (a boy) came down with malaria and died a short time later.

1884: White Cross liner SS 'Daniel Steinmann' was part of the company's small fleet of four ships running passenger and cargo service between London and Hull to New York.
On this day in 1884, whilst sailing in heavy weather and fog, the Captain of the SS 'Daniel Steinmann' mistook the Sambro island light near Halifax, Nova Scotia, for Chebucto head.
The ship first grounded and passed Mad Rock shoal before striking on Gardner shoal.
As evacuation began, a rogue wave swept the decks and she slipped off the shoal, sinking almost instantly with only her topsail yards exposed above water.
hen one of 'Daniel Steinmann' own lifeboats came ashore, the lighthouse keepers manned it to rescue those still alive. Of over 130 people aboard, only three passengers and six crew survived. Following hard on the losses of two other vessels, the tragic wreck spelled the end of the White Cross Line.

White Cross liner 'Daniel Steinmann'

1944: On the morning of 3rd April 1944, the Fleet Air Arm attack the German battleship 'Tirpitz' with heavy and medium sized bombs as she was about to move off from her anchorage at Alten Fjord, Norway.
Fairey Barracuda bombers were escorted and covered by Supermarine Seafire, Chance-Vought Corsair, Grumman Hellcat, and Grumman Wildcat fighters from H.M.S. 'Furious' and H.M.S. 'Victorious', which had sailed from Scapa Flow to within 120 miles of the Norwegian coast in the company of a powerful force of battleships and escort carriers, as a part of 'Operation Tungsten' under the command of Vice Admiral Sir Henry R. Moore.
During the attack the battleship suffered multiple bomb hits, over one hundred crew members were killed and over three hundred wounded. The British aircraft failed to sink 'Tirpitz', but inflicted considerable damage which took months to repair. Three British aircraft and nine aircrew were lost during the operation.

The wake of a fast moving motor boat can be seen hurrying away from the battered 'Tirpitz' as a huge cloud rises from an early bomb hit on the German battleship.

1954:Oxford won the 100th Boat Race in rough conditions on the River Thames. The victorious Dark Blues beat Cambridge - known as the Light Blues - by four-and-a-half lengths despite windy conditions and rough waters along the four-and-a-quarter mile course from Putney to Mortlake.

Poster for the 100th Boat Race, 1954,
designed for London Transport by Ian Ribbons.

1973: Martin Cooper of Motorola made the first handheld mobile phone call to Joel S. Engel of Bell Labs, though it took ten years for the DynaTAC 8000X to become the first such phone to be commercially released.

1981: The 'Osborne 1', the first successful portable computer, was unveiled at the West Coast Computer Faire in San Francisco.
Title: Re: This Day In 'Boating' History
Post by: Capt Podge on April 03, 2013, 08:35:14 PM
Thursday, 3rd April 1941   'SS Alderpool' (4,313t) cargo ship, United States to Hull, sunk by U 48. SW of Iceland.
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The Harbour Defence Patrol Craft 'Bahram' was mined off the Humber.
The auxiliary patrol vessel 'Fortuna' (259t) was also attacked and sunk by enemy aircraft off St Abbs Head. She was built in 1906.
Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - April 4th
Post by: ardarossan on April 04, 2013, 10:04:35 PM
April 4th...

1581: Queen Elizabeth awards Sir Francis Drake a knighthood aboard 'Golden Hind' in Deptford on 4th April 1581 following his circumnavigation of the globe between 1577 and 1580.
The dubbing was performed by a French diplomat, Monsieur de Marchaumont, who was negotiating for Elizabeth to marry the King of France's brother, Francis, Duke of Anjou. By getting the French diplomat involved in the knighting, Elizabeth was gaining the implicit political support of the French for Drake's actions.

A replica of Sir Francis Drake's ship, the 'Golden Hind' (formerly 'The Pelican').

1789: Following an enforced stop over on the island of Tahiti, H.M.S. 'Bounty' finally weighed anchor and made for the open sea having on board 1015 fine bread-fruit plants, besides many other valuable fruits of that country.

It had been noticed that as the date for departure grew closer, William Bligh's outbursts against his officers became more frequent. One witness reported that "Whatever fault was found, Mr. Christian was sure to bear the brunt." Tensions rose among the men, who faced the prospect of a long and dangerous voyage that would take them through the uncharted Endeavour Strait followed by many months of hard sailing. Bligh was impatient to be away, but in Hough's words he "failed to anticipate how his company would react to the severity and austerity of life at sea ... after five dissolute, hedonistic months at Tahiti".

A replica of H.M.S. 'Bounty'.

1909: built by William Cramp & Sons in 1873, SS 'Indiana' was the third of a series of four Pennsylvania-class passenger-cargo vessels. 'Indiana' and her three sister ships (Pennsylvania, Ohio and Illinois) were the largest iron ships ever built in the United States at the time of their construction, and among the first to be fitted with compound steam engines. They were also the first ships to challenge British dominance of the transatlantic trade since the American Civil War.

Her long and varied 36-year career came to an end during her period of ownership by the Pacific Mail Steamship Company which utilised her from New York to South America as well as in the Northwest. On April 4, 1909,  in a heavy fog 'Indiana' was grounded off Cape Tosco, Isla Santa Margarita, Mexico. The accident tore out the ship's bottom, flooding her three holds and engine compartment to a depth of about sixteen feet. Fortunately, passengers, cargo and crew were safely removed by the cruiser U.S.S. 'Albany' and the tugs Fortune and Navajo. The vessel's wreckage was subsequently sold for $5,000 salvage.

SS 'Indiana' - c.1889-1893. The ship's stack appears to be painted in the Red Star Line's colour scheme.

1933: At around 12:30hrs on 4th April, helium-filled rigid airship U.S.S. 'Akron' (ZRS-4) was struggling in severe weather conditions near Barnegat Light, New Jersey. A sudden updraft, followed almost immediately by a downdraft, resulted in the nose pitching upwards and the tail rotating down, until the lower fin struck the water and was torn away. The gondola was still hundreds of feet above the water, but control was lost.
ZRS-4 rapidly broke up and sank in the stormy Atlantic. The crew of the nearby German motorship 'Phoebus' saw lights descending toward the ocean and altered course to starboard to investigate, believing they were witnessing a plane crash. At 12:55hrs, an unconscious Commander Wiley was pulled from the water while the ship's boat picked up three more men.

Although the German sailors spotted four or five other men in the water, they did not know their ship had chanced upon the crash of 'Akron' until Lieutenant Commander Wiley regained consciousness half an hour after being rescued. The crew of 'Phoebus' combed the ocean in boats for over five hours in a fruitless search for more survivors. The Navy blimp J-3 was sent out to join the search and also crashed, with the loss of two men.

The United States Coast Guard cutter 'Tucker' arrived at 06:00hrs, and was joined by the heavy cruiser 'Portland', the destroyer 'Cole', the Coast Guard cutter 'Mojave', and the Coast Guard destroyers 'McDougal' and 'Hunt', as well as two Coast Guard aircraft. The F/V Grace F out of Gloucester MA also assisted in the search, employing her seining gear in an effort to recover bodies. Most casualties had been caused by drowning and hypothermia, as the crew had not been issued life jackets, and there had not been time to deploy the single life raft.
The accident left 73 dead, and only three survivors - More than twice the number killed than on the Hindenburg, and remains America's worst airship disaster for loss of life.

U.S.S. 'Akron' (ZRS-4) in flight, 1931.

1942: On 4th April a Consolidated Catalina patrol aircraft of No.205 Squadron RAF reports that a Japanese carrier task force is approaching Ceylon. On the following day, 150 Japanese aircraft attack Colombo harbour in the hope of surprising the Royal Navy's Far Eastern Fleet at anchor. However, the fleet is at sea.
Subsequently, 36 Hawker Hurricanes of No.30 and No.258 Squadrons, together with six Fairey Fulmars of No.803 and No.806 Squadrons, Fleet Air Arm, take off to intercept the enemy over the sea, having been alerted by radar. The British aircraft are outclassed by the Mitsubishi A6M 'Zero' fighters operated by the Imperial Japanese Navy and 15 Hurricanes and 4 Fulmars are shot down.

1949: Twelve nations sign the North Atlantic Treaty creating the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). The countries include the five that signed the Treaty of Brussels, on 17th March 1948, i.e. by Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, France, and the United Kingdom, plus the United States, Canada, Portugal, Italy, Norway, Denmark and Iceland.

Flag of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

2007: 15 Royal Navy personnel from H.M.S. 'Cornwall' who were surrounded by the Navy of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards in (what was believed to be) Iraqi waters, and subsequently detained off the Iran-Iraq coast for 13 days were released by the Iranian President on 4th April.
Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - April 5th
Post by: ardarossan on April 05, 2013, 09:20:43 AM
April 5th...

1621: 'Mayflower' sails from Plymouth, Massachusetts, on a return trip to England. Her empty hold was ballasted with stones from the Plymouth Harbour shore. As with the Pilgrims, her crew had been decimated by disease, so the return would be  made without her boatswain, his gunner, three quartermasters, the cook, and more than a dozen sailors.

"Mayflower in Plymouth Harbour," by William Halsall, 1882.
Painting at the Pilgrim Hall Museum, Plymouth, Mass., USA.

1722: Dutch explorer Jacob Roggeveen discovers Easter Island whilst heading an expedition of three ships (the 'Arend', the 'Thienhoven', and 'Afrikaansche Galey'), to find Terra Australis. The expedition set out in August 1721. Roggeveen first sailed down to the Falkland Islands (which he renamed "Belgia Australis"), passed through the Strait of Le Maire and continued south to beyond 60 degrees south to enter the Pacific Ocean. He made landfall near Valdivia, Chile, and he visited the Juan Fernández Islands, where he spent 24th February to 17th March.

The expedition found Easter Island (Rapa Nui) on Easter Sunday, 5th April 1722 (whereupon he reported seeing 2,000-3,000 inhabitants). He then sailed to Batavia by way of the Tuamotu Archipelago, encountering Bora Bora and Maupiti of the Society Islands and Samoa.

Moai at Rano Raraku, Easter Island. Almost one-thousand monolithic human statues carved from a single piece of stone are scattered over the island.

1769: (Sir) Thomas Hardy (1st Baronet) was born, the second son of Joseph Hardy and Nanny Hardy (née Masterman) at Kingston Russell House in Long Bredy (or according to some sources in Winterborne St Martin).
He would join the navy with his entry aboard the brig H.M.S. 'Helena' on 30th November 1781 as a captain's servant, but would leave her in April 1782 to attend Crewkerne Grammar School, during which time his name would be carried on the books of the sixth-rate H.M.S. 'Seaford' and the third-rate H.M.S. 'Carnatic'.
He would eventually become an English Royal Navy Vice-Admiral and First Lord of the Admiralty, and long remembered as being with Nelson when he was shot and lay dying on the deck of 'Victory' at the Battle of Trafalgar.

1834: Admiral Sir Richard Goodwin Keats (16th January 1757 – 5th April 1834) was a British naval officer who fought throughout the American Revolution, French Revolutionary War and Napoleonic War. He retired in 1812 due to ill health and was made Commodore-Governor of Newfoundland from 1813 to 1816. In 1821 he was made Governor of Greenwich Hospital in Greenwich, London. Keats held the post until his death at Greenwich in 1834. Keats is remembered as a capable and well respected officer. His actions at the Battle of Algeciras Bay became legendary.

Vice-Admiral Sir Richard Goodwin Keats (1757-1834).

1877: Hermann Blohm and Ernst Voss form the German shipbuilding and engineering works named 'Blohm & Voss' as a general partnership. A shipyard was built on the island of Kuhwerder, near the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg, covering 15,000m˛ with 250m of water frontage and three building berths, two suitable for ships of up to 100 metres length.

During the latter part of WW2, Blohm & Voss used inmates of its own concentration subcamp at its shipyard in Hamburg-Steinwerder. A memorial stands in the former site of the camp and the company continues to pay an undisclosed amount to the Fund for Compensation of Forced Labourers.

The company has continued to build ships and other large machines for more than 125 years, producing warships for both the Deutsche Marine and for export, as well as oil drilling equipment and ships for numerous commercial customers.

The Blohm & Voss Shipbuilding and Engineering Works, 1877.

1942: The Imperial Japanese Navy launches a carrier-based air attack on Colombo, Ceylon, damaging Port and civilian facilities, although the attackers are frustrated to discover the harbour is virtually empty.
However, Royal Navy cruisers H.M.S, 'Cornwall' and H.M.S. 'Dorsetshire' are discovered 200 miles southwest of Ceylon and sunk by Aichi D3A Val dive bombers. 'Dorsetshire' was hit by 10 bombs and sank stern first at about 13:50hrs. 'Cornwall' was hit eight times and sank bow first about 10 minutes later. British losses were 424 men killed, with 1,120 survivors being picked up by the cruiser 'Enterprise' and the destroyers 'Paladin' and 'Panther' the next day.

H.M.S. 'Dorsetshire' and H.M.S. 'Cornwall' under heavy air attack from Japanese carrier aircraft, 5th April 1942.

1943: Chinese sailor Poon Lim, the sole survivor of the British merchant hip 'Ben Lomond', sunk by two torpedoes from the German U-boat U-172 on 23rd November 1942, was rescued by three Brazilian fishermen on 5th April, 1943, having been adrift for 133 days in the South Atlantic. Following a four-week recovery period in a Brazilian hospital, King George VI bestowed a British Empire Medal (BEM) on him, and the Royal Navy incorporated his tale into manuals of survival techniques.

1958: Ripple Rock, an underwater, twin-peaked mountain and a notorious marine hazard in the Seymour Narrows in Canada, described by the explorer George Vancouver as "one of vilest stretches of water in the world," is destroyed on 5th April by one of the largest non-nuclear controlled explosions of the time.
The blast displaced 635,000 metric tons of rock and water, significantly increasing low tide clearance from around 9 feet to at least 45 feet.
The Ripple Rock explosion was shown live on Canadian TV, and was one of the first live coast to coast television coverages of an event in Canada. CBC Television footage on YouTube. (

2063: Earth receives it's first contact by extra-terrestrials (Vulcan), according to Star Trek.
Title: Re: This Day In 'Boating' History
Post by: Capt Podge on April 05, 2013, 03:00:59 PM
Saturday, 5th April 1941   'SS Ena de Larrinaga' (5,200t) cargo ship, Hull to Buenos Aries with a cargo of coal, was sunk by U 105 near St Paul's Rocks.
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'SS Ena de Larrinaga'
 Thursday, 5th April 1945   'SS Gasray' (1,406t) on a voyage from Grangemouth to Blyth was sunk by German aircraft, off St Abbs Head.
Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - April 6th
Post by: ardarossan on April 06, 2013, 06:27:28 AM
April 6th...

1707: Dutch artist, Willem van de Velde the younger, aged 73, died in Greenwich, London, on 6th April 1707, and was buried at St. James's Church.
A son of Willem van de Velde the elder, also a painter of sea-pieces, Willem van de Velde, the younger, was instructed by his father, and afterwards by Simon de Vlieger, a marine painter of repute at the time, and had achieved great celebrity by his art before he came to London.

Willem van de Velde, the younger (1633-1707).
Portrait by Lodewijk van der Helst, c.1672.

By 1673 he had moved to England, where he was engaged by Charles II, at a salary of Ł100, to aid his father in "taking and making draughts of sea-fights", his part of the work being to reproduce in colour the drawings of the elder van de Velde. He was also patronized by the Duke of York and by various members of the nobility.

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An example of van de Velde's work, 'The Gust' depicts a ship on the high seas caught by a squall.
Have you spotted the sea birds skimming the waves?... and the ripped sail?... and what about the men climbing the rigging?...

Van de Velde produced an incredible volume of work, much of it depicting views of Dutch shipping off the coast of Holland. He handled his subjects in a delicate but spirited manner, whilst the drawing of the vessels and their rigging was both detailed and correct. The numerous figures were tellingly introduced, and he was most successful with his renderings of the sea, whether in calm or storm. His ships are portrayed with almost photographic accuracy, and remain the most precise guides available to the appearance of 17th-century vessels.

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A closer look at the ship depicted in 'The Gust' reveals more of the exquisite detail.
Notice the people assembled on the deck, as several crew-members are climbing the flailing rigging.

Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - April 6th
Post by: ardarossan on April 06, 2013, 06:46:27 PM
April 6th...

1652: In 1651 Dutch colonial administrator Johan Anthoniszoon "Jan" van Riebeeck volunteered to undertake the command of the initial Dutch settlement in the future South Africa.
On 6th April 1652, he landed three ships ('Dromedaris'; 'Reijger' and 'Goede Hoop') at the location which would later become known as Cape Town, and fortified the site as a way-station for the VOC trade route between the Netherlands and the East Indies. The primary purpose of this way-station was to provide fresh provisions for the VOC fleets sailing between the Dutch Republic and Batavia, as deaths en route were very high - The 'Walvisch' and the 'Oliphant' arrived later in 1652, having had 130 burials at sea.
Van Riebeeck was Commander of the Cape from his arrival in 1652 until May 1662.

Jan van Riebeeck arrives in Table Bay in April 1652.

1834: Voyage of H.M.S. Beagle (1831-36): The 'Beagle' departed from Berkeley Sound on 6th April 1834, leaving the 'Adventure' to continue the survey around the Falklands.

1941: RAF Flying Officer Kenneth Campbell made a lone assault on the German battlecruiser 'Gneisenau' while it was docked in the port of Brest in France, after the attack-group of which he was a part, became seperated in bad weather whilst crossing the English Channel.
Flying a Bristol Beaufort of No.22 Squadron, RAF Coastal Command, and realising the anti-aircraft defences had not been knocked out, he continued with the attack and launched a torpedo at point blank range, severely damaging the battle cruiser below water line.
The torpedo put the 'Gneisenau' out of operation for six months. Flying Officer Campbell was posthumously awarded a Victoria Cross 

Mark XI aerial torpedoes being taken out on trolleys towards a Bristol Beaufort Mark I, L4516 'OA-W', of No. 22 Squadron RAF at North Coates, Lincolnshire.

1945: The Imperial Japanese Navy battleship 'Yamato' (the largest battleship in the world) with Admiral Ito on board, plus the light cruiser 'Yahagi', and eight destroyers, depart from Tokuyama, Japan, at 16:00hrs to begin a mission codenamed Operation Ten-Go - a deliberate suicide attack upon allied forces engaged in the Battle of Okinawa.
The plan called for 'Yamato' and her escorts to fight their way to Okinawa and beach themselves between Higashi and Yomitan, where they would continue to fight as shore batteries until destroyed. Once destroyed, any of the ship's surviving crewmembers were to abandon the ships and fight U.S. forces on land.
Unfortunately for the Japanese, the allies had intercepted and decoded their radio transmissions, and were now fully aware of the particulars of Operation Ten-Go.

1957: Greek shipping tycoon Aristotle Onassis buys the Hellenic National Airlines (TAE) and founds Olympic Airlines on 6th April 1957. The new company developed rapidly. To allay the distrust of airborne transport by Greeks, Onassis developed the "aviation days of '57" scheme, providing short, free flights in a DC-3 to demonstrate the reliability of air travel.

The first logo of Olympic, in 1957.

1968: Iowa-class battleship, U.S.S. 'New Jersey' (BB-62), is formally recommissioned at the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard, for employment in the Pacific Fleet to augment the naval gunfire support force in Vietnam.
Her reactivation had come about as a result of studies which investigated the ways of alleviating the heavy loss rates of U.S. aircraft whilst at the same time delivering the ordnance payloads required by the escalation of the war.
'New Jersey', then the world's only active battleship, departed Philadelphia 16th May, calling at Norfolk and transiting the Panama Canal 4th June before arriving at her new home port of Long Beach, California, 11th June, for final training before her return to combat duty, in Vietnam.

Recommissioned 'New Jersey' (BB-62) off Oahu, Hawaii, 11 September 1968.
'New Jersey' had been laid up with her 40mm mounts in place. They were removed when she was recommissioned for Vietnam, but the foreward gun tubs (on the 01 level), painted white, were used by the crew as swimming pools.

Happy Birthday to Mayhem member 'Norseman', aka Dave - Born on this day in 1957
Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - April 7th
Post by: ardarossan on April 07, 2013, 11:55:07 AM
April 7th...

1520: 'Magellan's Voyage around the World (1519-1522):  With guidance from Rajah Siaiu of Mazaua, Magellan's three remaining ships arrives at Cebu on 7th April.
Rajah Humabon of Cebu was friendly towards Magellan and the Spaniards. Over the coming days, both he and his queen Hara Amihan were baptized as Christians. Afterward, Rajah Humabon and his ally Datu Zula, discussed the possibility of Magellan 'removing' their common enemy, named Datu Lapu-Lapu, on Mactan.

1776: After sailing down the Delaware River, and slipping through the British blockade the previous day, the U.S.S. 'Lexington', under the command of Capt. John Barry, fell in with British sloop 'Edward', a tender to the frigate H.M.S. 'Liverpool'. Following a fierce fight, which lasted over an hour, 'Edward' struck her colors and 'Lexington' took her prize into Philadelphia. As soon as the 'Lexington' was back in fighting trim, Barry put to sea again.

Static model of 'Lexington' from a kit by Mamoli.

1827: English chemist, and inventor of the friction match, John Walker, recorded the first sale of his invention under the name 'Sulphurata Hyper-Oxygenata Frict' at his store in Stockton. The second recorded sale was 7th September 1827 under the more familiar name 'friction lights'. Apart from three recorded sales during 1828 under the name of 'attrition lights' all other recorded sales were for 'friction lights'.

1890: The first Lake Biwa Canal is completed. The waterway in Japan was constructed during the Meiji Period to transport water, freight, and passengers from Lake Biwa to the nearby City of Kyoto. The canal supplied Japan's first public hydroelectric power generator, which served from 1895 to provide electricity for Kyoto's trams.

1945: More than 200 miles north of Okinawa and sailing without air support, the Imperial Japanese Navy battleship, 'Yamato' (and her escorts), come under attack from waves of 386 U.S. Navy carrier aircraft of Task Force 58. Eventually overwhelmed by the relentless onslaught, 'Yamamoto' capsizes having been hit by at least eleven torpedoes and six bombs.
When her roll reached approximately 120° one of the two bow magazines detonated in a tremendous explosion. The resulting mushroom cloud - over 3.7 miles high - could be seen almost 100 miles away on Kyūshū.
'Yamato' sank rapidly, with an estimated 2,055 of her 2,332 crew, including fleet commander Vice-Admiral Seiichi Itō. The few survivors were recovered by the four surviving destroyers, which withdrew to Japan.

Japanese battleship 'Yamato' blows up, following massive attacks by U.S. Navy carrier planes, north of Okinawa.
Photographed from a U.S.S. 'Yorktown' (CV-10) aircraft, 7th April 1945.

During the same action, a torpedo hit the light cruiser 'Yahagi' directly in her engine room, killing the entire engineering room crew and bringing her to a complete stop. Dead in the water, 'Yahagi' was hit by at least six more torpedoes and 12 bombs. Japanese destroyer 'Isokaze' attempted to come to 'Yahagi's' aid but was attacked, heavily damaged, and sank sometime later. 'Yahagi' capsized and sank, taking 445 of her 736 crewmen with her.

1966: At a depth of 2,900ft in the Mediterranean Sea, unmanned Cable-controlled Undersea Recovery Vehicle CURV-III, became entangled in the parachute lines of the1.45-megaton hydrogen bomb it was attemting to retrieve.
A decision was made to raise CURV and the weapon together to a depth of 100 feet, where divers could attach cables to them. The bomb, which had been lost eighty-one days earlier as a result of a U.S.A.F. midair accident over Palomares, Spain, was finally brought to the surface by U.S.S. 'Petrel' (ASR-14).

Aboard U.S.S. 'Petrel', off the coast of Spain, 1966, after successful recovery of "Robert" the H-Bomb (foreground, behind anchor), with Cable-controlled Undersea Recovery Vehicle (CURV) in the background.

1989: 'Dead Calm' is released in the U.S.A. Starring Sam Neill, Nicole Kidman and Billy Zane. The 1989 Australian thriller was based on the 1963 novel of the same name by Charles Williams. The film was directed by Australian filmmaker Phillip Noyce and was filmed around the Great Barrier Reef. (Australia release date: 25th May 1989)

Cinema Poster for 'Dead Calm'

1989: K-278 'Komsomolets' was the only Project 685 Plavnik (NATO reporting name of "Mike"-class) nuclear-powered attack submarine of the Soviet Navy. The boat sank in 1989 and is currently resting on the floor of the Barents Sea, one mile deep, with its nuclear reactor and two nuclear warheads still on board. The single Project 685 was developed to test technologies for Soviet 4th generation nuclear submarines. Although primarily intended as a developmental model, it was fully combat capable, but sank after a fire broke out in the aft engineering compartment on its first operational patrol.

The 'Komsomolets' was able to surface after the fire started and remained afloat for approximately 5 hours before sinking. Of the 42 crewmembers who died, only 4 were killed by the fire and smoke, while 34 died of hypothermia and drowning in the frigid waters while awaiting rescue that did not arrive in time.
Nuclear-powered attack submarine of the Soviet Navy K-278 'Komsomolets' underway.
Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - April 8th
Post by: ardarossan on April 08, 2013, 12:13:15 PM
April 8th...

1740: H.M.S. 'Kent', H.M.S. 'Lenox' and H.M.S. 'Orford', under the command of Captain Colvill Mayne of Lenox, capture the Spanish third-rate 'Princessa' off Cape Finisterre.

She was acquired for service by the Royal Navy, where her design and fighting qualities excited considerable interest, sparking a series of increases in the dimensions of British warships. It was noted that she was larger than any British first rate and carried unusually large guns, many of them brass. She was regarded as being the finest ship in the Spanish Navy, and her high build allowed her to open her lower gunports in conditions that often meant her opponents could not.

Renamed H.M.S. 'Princess,' she went on to serve under a number of commanders in several theatres of the war, during a career in British service lasting 44 years.

Spanish ship-of-the-line 'Princessa', attempts to fend off H.M.S. 'Kent', 'Lenox' and 'Orford',
by Ángel Cortellini Sánchez.

1832: Voyage of H.M.S. Beagle (1831-36): ( On 8th April Charles Darwin went off exploring in the tropical rain forest with Patrick Lennon, a local English merchant, and five others. They explored about one-hundred miles up the coast from Rio de Janeiro.
Along the way they traveled through several small villages, one of which treated them to a huge feast. Darwin collected many good specimens of plants, insects and animals during this trek. They spent three days at an estate on the Rio Macae where Darwin was again disgusted at the treatment of slaves. Over the next two days they traced their steps back to Rio de Janeiro.

1838: Designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel, SS 'Great Western', the first steamship purpose-built for crossing the Atlantic, and the initial unit of the Great Western Steamship Company, begins her maiden voyage from Avonmouth, Bristol to New York, with just 7 passengers on board the 1,340-gross ton vessel.

Unfortunately, news had spread of a small fire in her engine room a few days earlier, resulting in the cancellation of 50 of the 57 bookings for the historic first voyage.
In addition, The Great Western Steamship Company’s main competitor in the race to develop a trans-Atlantic steam line (The British and American Steam Navigation Co.) was taking advantage of the publicity being generated and, despite their own liner not being finished, had chartered the 710-gross ton SS 'Sirius', to cross the Atlantic in competition with the 'Great Western'. SS 'Sirius' having departed four-days earlier, from Cork in Ireland, carrying around 40 passengers.

The 'Great Western' off Portishead, April 1838, on Her First Voyage.
Painted by Joseph Walter, 1838.

1940: In heavy fog, H.M.S. 'Glowworm' (H92), a G-class destroyer built for the Royal Navy in the mid-1930's, was on her way to rejoin 'Renown' when she encountered the German destroyers Z11 Bernd von Arnim and Z18 Hans Lüdemann transporting troops to invade Norway in Operation Weserübung. The destroyers attempted to disengage while calling for help from the heavy cruiser Admiral Hipper. Upon arrival, 'Admiral Hipper' was initially misidentified by 'Glowworm' to be a friendly vessel, which allowed the German ship to close the distance and fire first, scoring several hits. Although 'Glowworm' was heavily damaged by 'Admiral Hipper', she still attempted to torpedo the German ship, before both ships collided. The collision tore off a 40-meter section of 'Admiral Hipper's armoured belt as well as the starboard torpedo launcher, and also caused some minor flooding. 'Glowworm's bow was broken off, and her boilers exploded shortly after the collision. She sank quickly, taking 109 of her crew with her. 40 survivors were picked up by the 'Admiral Hipper'.

'Glowworm's commanding officer, Lieutenant Commander Roope, who drowned when he could no longer hang on to a rope whilst being pulled up the side of the cruiser, was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross, thus becoming the first VC recipient of the Second World War.

British destroyer H.M.S. 'Glowworm' at anchor.

1961: During the evening of 7th April, the MV 'Dara' a Dubai based passenger liner with a total of 819 passengers and crew, was unloading cargo at the port of Dubai when a violent storm of wind and rain made further work impossible. The captain decided to take his ship out of harbour and ride out the gale off shore. This was accomplished without further mishap, but while returning to Dubai at about 04.40hrs on the morning of the 8th April there was a very heavy explosion between decks and the ship caught fire.

Fortunately, there were ships close by and help was rendered quickly by British, German, Japanese and Norwegian vessels. Even so, the loss of life was very heavy, 238 being burned or drowned. The remainder, many of whom were suffering from burns and other injuries, were landed at Bahrain a few days later.

Three British frigates and a U.S. destroyer, sent parties on board the 'Dara' and were able to get the fire under control. She was taken in tow by the Glasgow salvage vessel 'Ocean Salvor', but sank three miles off Dubai at 09.20hrs on 10th April.

A British Admiralty court later concluded that an anti-tank mine, "deliberately placed by a person or persons unknown", had "almost certainly" caused the explosion, however, no forensic evidence has ever been provided to prove beyond doubt that a bomb was the cause.

The burned-out MV 'Dara' - Victim of a terrorist bomb? April 1961.
Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - April 9th
Post by: ardarossan on April 09, 2013, 08:06:46 PM
April 9th...

1500: Of Pedro Alvares Cabral's 13-ship fleet which left Lisbon, Portugal, on March 9th (with the objective of establishing trade relations in India, and returning with valuable spices), twelve of them crossed equator on April 9th and continued to sail westward, i.e. As far as possible from the African continent to employ what was known as the volta do mar (literally "turn of the sea") navigational technique.

With their knowledge of the trade wind-systems, India-bound Portuguese explorers and traders knew that by sailing westward, they would eventually pick up the counter-clockwise 'wind-wheel' operating in the Southern Atlantic, which would carry them past the entire western coast of Africa.


1806: Isambard Kingdom Brunel is born in Britan Street, Portsea, Portsmouth, Hampshire. The son of French civil engineer Sir Marc Isambard Brunel and Sophia Kingdom Brunel. He had two older sisters, Sophia and Emma.
He would  become the English mechanical and civil engineer who built dockyards, the Great Western Railway, a series of steamships including the first propeller-driven transatlantic steamship and numerous important bridges and tunnels. His vision and designs would revolutionise public transport and modern engineering.

1942: The Japanese Navy launches an air raid  on harbour at Trincomalee in Ceylon and the British ships off Batticaloa. H.M.S. 'Hermes', H.M.A.S. 'Vampire' and the Flower-class corvette H.M.S. 'Hollyhock' were sunk. The RAF lost at least eight 'Hurricanes' and the Fleet Air Arm, one Fairey 'Fulmar'. The Japanese lost five bombers and six fighters, one in a suicide attack on the Trincomalee fuel tanks. Seven hundred people lost their lives in the attack on Trincomalee.

1945: A general RAF bombing raid by over 300 aircraft struck the harbour in Kiel. The German pocket battleship 'Admiral Scheer' was hit by five Tallboy bombs and capsized. She was partially broken up for scrap after the end of the war, though part of the hull was left in place and buried with rubble from the attack in the construction of a new quay. The number of casualties from her loss are unknown.

The German heavy cruiser 'Admiral Sheer' capsized in the docks at Kiel after being hit by bombs during a raid by Avro Lancasters of Nos 1 and 3 Groups on the night of 9th/10th April 1945.

1945: Seventeen aircraft of No. 617 Squadron, two with Grand Slams and the remainder with Tallboy bombs successfully attacked the U-boat sheltersat Hamburg. The Grand Slams appear to have missed, but six Tallboy hits caused considerable damage. No aircraft were lost.

A '617 Squadron' Avro Lancaster dropping a Grand Slam bomb (on the Arnsberg viaduct, March 1945).

1951: U.S.S. 'Phoenix' (CL-46), a Brooklyn-class light cruiser and a survivor of the Japanese attack on Pear Harbour, is sold the to Argentina on 9th April 1951.
She would be commissioned into the Argentine Navy in October of the same year as 'Diecisiete de Octubre (C-4)', and renamed in 1956, as ARA 'General Belgrano'.

U.S.S. 'Phoenix' (CL-46) passing 'West Virginia' and 'Arizona' at Pearl Harbor in 1941.

1969: The first British-built Concorde (002) made it's 22-minute maiden flight, taking-off from BAC at Filton near Bristol, and landing at it's test base, RAF 'Fairford' in Gloucestershire.
Test pilot, Brian Trubshaw, emerged from 002's then futuristic cockpit with the words, "It was wizard flight- a cool, calm and collected operation..."

Concorde (002) taking off on it's maiden flight from Filton to RAF 'Fairford' which was 50 miles to the north-east, as the factory runway at Filton was less than 9,000ft long, and too short for test flying of Concorde.

1981: The U.S. Navy nuclear ballistic missile submarine U.S.S. 'George Washington' (SSBN-598) surfaced underneath the 2,390 ton Japanese commercial cargo ship 'Nissho Maru' in the East China Sea about '130 miles south-southwest of Sasebo, Japan. 'Nissho Maru' sank in about 15 minutes. Two Japanese crewmen were lost; 13 were rescued. The submarine suffered minor damage to her sail.

Japan criticized the U.S. for taking more than 24 hours to notify Japanese authorities of the accident , and demanded to know what the boat was doing surfacing only about 23 miles outside Japan's territorial waters. Neither the submarine nor an American Lockheed P-3 Orion maritime patrol aircraft circling overhead made any attempt to rescue the Japanese crew.

The U.S. Navy initially stated that 'George Washington' executed a crash dive during the collision, and then immediately surfaced, but could not see the Japanese ship due to fog and rain. A preliminary report released a few days later stated the submarine and aircraft crews both had detected 'Nissho Maru' nearby, but neither the submarine nor the aircraft realized 'Nissho Maru' was in distress.

U.S.S. 'George Washington' (SSBN-598).
Title: Re: This Day In 'Boating' History
Post by: heritorasphodel on April 09, 2013, 10:23:45 PM
9th April 1941

During an air raid a German bomb hits the Tynemouth Lifeboat house. The 18 month old 41ft Watson class 'John Pyemont', the last of the pre-war built 41s, was in the boathouse at the time, and was destroyed. 'John Pyemont' had served the Tynemouth station since October 1939, and had launched 20 times saving 59 lives. The station was re-opened 6 months later.


The wreckage of the 'John Pyemont' (stern to right) on the launching trolley in the remains of the Tynemouth boathouse. While the fore half of the boat was destroyed, the stern was remarkably intact, with 'Tynemouth Life-Boat' still visible in some photographs.

Title: Re: This Day In 'Boating' History
Post by: Neil on April 10, 2013, 09:09:15 AM
April 10th, 1912................a most infamous day in shipping history.when man's arrogance to God and the elements was to be tested to the  greatest.
The day when an "unsinkable" ship left Southampton with over 2200 souls on board, never to return to again to her home port
A tragedy indeed, and even though some say the incedent was and is hyped up beyond all was indeed a tragedy but saw to change maritime history and the way shipping companies operated for all time.
God bless them all.
Title: Re: This Day In 'Boating' History
Post by: ardarossan on April 10, 2013, 01:37:06 PM
April 10th...

1606: The Charter of the Virginia Company of London is established by royal charter by King James I of England with the purpose of establishing colonial settlements in North America.
It was responsible for establishing the Jamestown Settlement, the first permanent English settlement in the present United States in 1607, and in the process of sending additional supplies, inadvertently settled the Somers Isles (present day Bermuda), the oldest-remaining English colony, in 1609. In 1624, the company lost its charter, and Virginia became a royal colony.

Obverse and Reverse of the Seal of the Virginia Company.

1756: (Admiral) William Carnegie (GCB, 7th Earl of Northesk) was born at Bruntsfield in Edinburgh to Admiral George Carnegie, 6th Earl of Northesk and Anne Melville.
He would go on to serve during several wars and be initiated into the Order of the Bath, eventually reaching the position of Knight Grand Cross. He would also reach the rank of full admiral, the ceremonial post of Rear-Admiral of Great Britain and be made Commander-in-Chief, Plymouth later in his career.

1786: Vice Admiral The Hon. John Byron, RN, aged 62 years, "died at his house in Bolton-row, of a disorder in his liver." He left a wife, Sophia, and several children.
Known as 'Foul-weather Jack' because of his frequent encounters with bad weather at sea, Byron had joined the Royal Navy in 1731, accompanying George Anson on his circumnavigation of the globe as a midshipman.
In later years (1776-78), Byron completed his own circumnavigation of the globe as captain of H.M.S. 'Dolphin'. This was the first such circumnavigation of less than 2 years.
Byron's remains were buried in the Berkeley family vault situated beneath the chancel of the Church of St Mary the Virgin, Twickenham.

Vice-Admiral The Hon. John Byron (8th November 1723 – 10th April 1786)
by Joshua Reynolds, 1759

1963: the the lead boat of her class, becomes the first nuclear submarine lost at sea when she sank 220 miles east of Boston during deep-diving trials after flooding, loss of propulsion, and an attempt to blow the emergency ballast tanks failed, causing it to exceed crush depth. Its disappearance generated international shock and sympathy as all 129 men on board died.

U.S.S. 'Thresher' (SSN-593),

1968: The 'Wahine' disaster occurred on 10 April 1968 when the TEV 'Wahine', a New Zealand inter-island ferry of the Union Company, foundered on Barrett Reef at the entrance to Wellington Harbour and capsized near Steeple Rock. Of the 610 passengers and 123 crew on board, 53 people died.
The wrecking of the 'Wahine' is one of the better known maritime disasters in New Zealand's history, although there have been worse with far greater loss of life. New Zealand radio and television captured the drama as it happened, within a short distance of shore of the eastern suburbs of Wellington, and flew film overseas for world TV news.

The TEV 'Wahine' lists heavily to starboard as it sinks in Wellington Harbour.
Lifeboats from the ship can be seen to the left.

1991: At 22:23, the 'Moby Prince' an Italian ferry owned by Navarma Lines (today Moby Lines), ship collided with the oil tanker 'Agip Abruzzo' in Livorno harbour and it caught fire killing 140 people.
Not all the deaths were caused by the fire; it has been reported that a large portion of the victims died intoxicated by massive toxic inhalations, while they were gathered in the main internal room of the ship. The operations of rescue were managed badly; the may day sent from the 'Moby Prince', very weak, was not apparently heard by the radar officers of Livorno. The rescue teams were deployed only on the 'Agip Abruzzo'. Initially the commander of 'Agip Abruzzo' thought that the ship hit was a barge, and also said to the rescuers "Not to confuse our ship with that one".

MV Moby Prince, with obvious fire damage
Title: Re: This Day In 'Boating' History
Post by: Capt Podge on April 11, 2013, 12:30:40 AM
Friday, 11th April 1941   The Contraband Control Vessel 'Othello' was sunk by a mine in the Humber.
(Unable to locate any photo of this vessel)
Title: Re: This Day In 'Boating' History
Post by: ardarossan on April 11, 2013, 07:55:14 PM
April 11th...

1809: The Battle of the Basque Roads, (aka Battle of Aix Roads) was fought between France and the United Kingdom, off the Island of Aix. On the night of 11 April 1809 Captain Lord Cochrane led a British fireship attack against a powerful squadron of French ships anchored in the Basque Roads. In the attack all but two of the French ships were driven ashore. The subsequent engagement lasted three days but failed to destroy the entire French fleet.

Cochrane accused the British commanding officer, Admiral James Gambier, of being reluctant to press the attack. Gambier demanded a court-martial, and was duly exonerated; Cochrane's career in the Royal Navy ended. The French Navy continued to operate against the British from the Basque Roads until the end of the Napoleonic Wars.

H.M.S. 'Imperieuse' (right) engages the grounded French ships.

1908: SMS 'Blücher', the last armoured cruiser to be built by the German Imperial Navy, is launched. She was designed to match what German intelligence incorrectly believed to be the specifications of the British Invincible-class battlecruisers. Blücher was larger than preceding armored cruisers and carried more heavy guns, but was unable to match the size and armament of the battlecruisers which replaced armored cruisers in the British Royal Navy and German Imperial Navy (Kaiserliche Marine). The ship was named for the Prussian Field Marshal Gebhard von Blücher, the commander of Prussian forces at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815.

SMS 'Blücher' was the last armoured cruiser built by the German Empire.

1970: 'K-8', a Project 627 November class submarine was lost 260 nautical miles northwest of Spain in the Bay of Biscay, whilst being towed in rough seas. The submarine had been disabled by two fires on the 8th april, and was initially evacuated, but 52 crew-members reembarked for the towing operation. They were subsequently all lost when the vessel sank, 73 of their fellow crewmen survived on the rescue vessel.
Note: Some sources give the date of the sinking as 12th April, and also that it was was kept secret until 1991.

1976: The original Apple personal computer is created. Known retroactively as the Apple I, or Apple-1, it was designed and hand-built by Steve Wozniak. Wozniak's friend Steve Jobs had the idea of selling the computer.

1990: Customs officers in Middlesbrough, England, United Kingdom, said they had seized what they believed to be the barrel of a massive gun during the search of a ship at the Teesport Docks.
When assembled, the length of the barrel was said to measure 130 feet, ld making it by far the largest gun in the world with a range of approximately 600 miles.
The ship where the pipes were found, the 'Gur Mariner', was being chartered by the Iraqi Maritime Organisation. Exports of parts for a weapon to Iraq would contravene British restrictions on arms sales to President Saddam Hussein's state.
A spate of arrests followed around Europe as other suspected parts of the "supergun" were discovered.
Investigations revealed the gun was part of "Project Babylon", the brainchild of Canadian Dr Gerald Bull, who was assassinated shortly before the parts were discovered.
In April 1990 two men - a scientist and a director of the company Walter Somers company - were charged in connection with the "supergun". However, charges against them were withdrawn suddenly and without explanation in November.

2001: The crew of a United States EP-3E aircraft that had been detained since the 1st April when it landed in Hainan, China, after a collision with a J-8 fighter, was released after a letter expressing 'regret' over the incident was delivered by the United States Ambassador to the Chinese authorities. It also led to the release of the (by now) disassembled and inspected aircraft.

The damaged EP-3 E, on the ground on Hainan Island (Lo-Res image).
Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - April 11th
Post by: ardarossan on April 11, 2013, 10:03:25 PM
Aprill 11th...

1912: After R.M.S. 'Titanic' sailed from Southampton at noon on 10th April, she crossed the channel to Cherbourg where she picked up more passengers before setting sail for her last port of call, Queenstown on the southern coast of Ireland, at 20:00hrs.
At 11.30hrs on Thursday 11th April, 'Titanic' arrived at Cork Harbour. It was a partly cloudy but relatively warm day with a brisk wind. Like Cherboug, the dock facilities were not suitable for a ship of her size, and tenders were used to bring passengers aboard.

The Titanic pictured in Cobh Harbour, 11th April 1912.

One-hundred & thirteen Third Class and seven Second Class passengers came aboard, while seven passengers left. Among the departures was Father Francis Browne, a Jesuit trainee, who was a keen photographer and took many photographs aboard 'Titanic', including the last-ever known photograph of the ship.
A decidedly unofficial departure was that of a crew member, stoker John Coffey, a native of Queenstown who sneaked off the ship by hiding under mail bags being transported to shore.
'Titanic' weighed anchor for the last time at 13.30hrs and departed on her westward journey across the Atlantic.

Possibly the last-ever photograph of RMS 'Titanic', April 11th, 1912.
Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - April 12th...
Post by: ardarossan on April 12, 2013, 06:57:43 PM
April 12th...

1606: On 12th April 1606, the Union Flag is adopted as the flag of English and Scottish ships.
This new Union Flag represented the regal union between England and Scotland and was specified in a royal decree, according to which the flag of England (a red cross on a white background, known as St George's Cross), and the flag of Scotland (a white saltire on a blue background, known as the Saltire or St Andrew's Cross), would be joined together, forming the flag of Great Britain and first union flag. This royal flag was, at first, to be used only at sea on civil and military ships of both England and Scotland, whereas land forces would continue to use their respective national banners.

The Union Flag, The King's Colours or "Union Jack"
Adopted: England 1606 - 1801; Scotland 1707 - 1801.

1782: The Battle of the Saintes (aka the Battle of Dominica), taking place over four days (9th-12th April) during the American War of Independence, concludes with a decisive victory for the British fleet under Admiral Sir George Rodney over a French fleet under the Comte de Grasse, forcing the French and Spanish to abandon a planned invasion of Jamaica.
However, Rodney’s failure to follow up the victory by a pursuit was much criticised. Rear-Admiral Hood said that the 20 French ships would have been captured had the commander-in-chief maintained the chase.
Rodney was later created a peer with Ł2,000 a year settled on the title in perpetuity for this victory. Hood was elevated to the peerage as well.

Battle of the Saintes - Surrender of the 'Ville de Paris' by Thomas Whitcombe, painted 1783,
depicts Hood's H.M.S. 'Barfleur' (centre), attacking the French flagship 'Ville de Paris', (right).

1833: Voyage of H.M.S. Beagle (1831-36): On 12th April, 1833, in strong winds, the 'Beagle' and 'Adventure' arrive at the Rio Negro from the Falkland Islands. A few days later the 'Adventure' was sent to Maldonado for refitting.


1836: Voyage of H.M.S. Beagle (1831-36): Today in 1836, 'Beagle' expedition sailed away from the Cocos Islands. Taking cocoa-nuts, pigs, poultry, pumpkins, and turtles on board for food, they sailed past North Keeling Island, Chagos Islands and then to Rodriguez Island.

Static model of H.M.S. 'Beagle' from a kit by Mamoli.

1910: The SMS 'Zrinyi', one of the last pre-dreadnoughts built by the Austro-Hungarian Navy, is launched. She was built at the Stabilimento Tecnico Triestino dockyard in Trieste, the same place where her sister ships were built earlier. She was laid down in November 1908 and launched from the slipway on 12th April 1910. The teak used on 'Zrínyi's deck was the only material Austria-Hungary had to purchase abroad to build the ship. She was the last ship of the class to be completed and had a crew of 880 to 890 officers and men.

SMS 'Zrínyi', after being handed over to the United States at the end of WWI.

1911: Lt. Theodore 'Spuds' Ellyson qualifies as the first United States naval aviator.

1935: First flight of the Bristol Type 142/'Blenheim'. In 1934, Lord Rothermere, owner of the Daily Mail newspaper, challenged to the British aviation industry to build a high-speed aircraft capable of carrying six passengers and two crew members. At the time, German firms were producing a variety of record-breaking high-speed designs, and Rothermere wanted to recapture the title of fastest civilian aircraft in Europe. Bristol had been working on a suitable design as the Type 135 since July 1933, and further adapted it to produce the Type 142 to meet Rothermere's requirements.
Named 'Britain First', the aircraft first flew at Filton on 12th April 1935, and proved to be faster than any fighter in service with the Royal Air Force at the time. The Air Ministry was obviously interested in such an aircraft and quickly sent out Specification B.28/35 for prototypes of a bomber version - the Type 142M (M for military).

Bristol Type 142 'Britain First'

1962: The U.S. Navy demonstrated a new type of landing craft with retractable hydrofoils - LCVP(H) on the Potomac River. The craft was able to obtain speeds in excess of 35 knots, potentially speeding up the delivery of men and equipment onto assault beaches, but after evaluation, the LCVP(H) was rejected. Though the jet could be rotated and was manoeuverable, the craft couldn't keep a straight path as a standard LCVP.

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U.S. Navy Hydrofoil Landing Craft LCVP(H), being tested on thePotomac River (Clickable Image)

1963: The Soviet nuclear-powered submarine 'K-33' collides with the Finnish merchant vessel M/S 'Finnclipper' in the Danish straits.
The 'Finnclipper' was en route to the United States with a load of 6,000 tons of paper. When it reached Kattegat at around 11:05 hrs, in a mist, the crew heard engine noise on their port side and a submarine emerged. The 'Finnclipper' steered heavily to starboard to try to avoid a collision, but to no avail.
The 'Finnclipper' returned to the submarine to see if it needed help. Two Russian officers on board told the Finnish captain that the side had received large structural damage and that the side had been pressed in and had become deformed. The Soviet officers did not reveal their nationality, but told that it was a Warsaw Pact submarine. The Finns could however read the number 921 clearly on the side of the submarine.
The captain of the Finnish vessel gave a maritime declaration when arriving in New York, but the report was labeled secret for over 44 years. It has been speculated that the incident was held secret due to the Soviet-Finnish YYA-treaty, where the Soviets would have forbid the Finns to report this in the news media or even to research the incident.
Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - April 13th
Post by: ardarossan on April 13, 2013, 09:00:04 PM
April 13th...

1608: French navigator, cartographer, draughtsman, soldier, explorer, geographer, ethnologist, diplomat, and chronicler, Samuel de Champlain, leaves the French port of Honfleur in command of a fleet of three ships with orders to set up a new French colony and trading post on the shores of the St. Lawrence in New France.
Champlain commanded the main ship, called the 'Don-de-Dieu' (the Gift of God), another ship, the 'Lévrier' (the Hunt Dog), was commanded by his friend Du Pont.
The small group of male settlers eventually landed at the "point of Quebec" in July, and set about fortifying the area by the erection of three main wooden buildings, each two stories tall, that he collectively called the "Habitation", with a wooden stockade and a moat 12 feet wide surrounding them. This was the very beginning of Quebec City.

A static model of Samuel de Champlain's ship 'Don de Dieu,' by Nain Trading, Germany. (

1888: John Hays Hammond, Jr. was born in San Francisco, California, the son of mining engineer John Hays Hammond, Sr. At the age of twelve, young John Hays Hammond will meet Thomas Edison who will mentor him. He will also be taken under the wing Alexander Graham Bell. He will go on to become an inventor in his own right, where his own field of expertise will result in him being known as "The Father of Radio Control".

1904: During the Russo-Japanese War, the Imperial Russian Navy battleship 'Petropavlovsk', the lead ship of the Petropavlovsk class of pre-dreadnought battleships and the flagship of the First Pacific Squadron, was sunk around 2 miles from shore after striking a mine near Port Arthur on 13th April (31st March - Old Style).
652 men and 27 officers died, including the Fleet Admiral Stepan Makarov and renowned war artist Vasily Vereshchagin. The loss of 'Petropavlovsk' and Makarov greatly hindered the Russians in the war.
A monument was constructed in St. Petersburg in 1913 to honour Stephan Makarov after Japanese divers identified his remains inside the wreck of 'Petropavlovsk' and gave him a burial at sea.

Imperial Russian battleship 'Petropavlovsk' in Kronshtadt, 1899.

1917: Battleship U.S.S. 'New Mexico' (BB-40) is launched at the New York Navy Yard, as the lead ship of a class of three battleships. Unlike the geared turbine propulsion system fitted to her sisters, 'New Mexico' is equipped with a turbo-electric propulsion system, where the high-speed steam turbine drove a set of generators providing electricity to electric motors turning the propeller shafts.
A direct comparison of the two types of propulsion systems demonstrated that the conventional design generated 2.5x the power per ton of machinery and required 1/3 the floor area although at the cost of 20% greater fuel consumption, whilst the turbo-electric design did allow for the equipment to be split between smaller watertight compartments, which was a potential benefit should parts of the engine space be attacked and flooded.
However, when 'New Mexico' was modernised and overhauled at Philadelphia (between March 1931 – January 1933), the turbo-electric drive was replaced with conventional geared turbines.

The U.S. Navy battleship USS New Mexico (BB-40) San Pedro, California (USA), in 1921.

1940: RAF Bomber Command mounts the first Royal Air Force minelaying operation of the Second World War. Fifteen Handley Page Hampdens are despatched and of this force, fourteen lay sea mines off Denmark and one aircraft is lost.

Mine laying was given the code name of “Gardening” and the mines themselves were known as “Vegetables.”The mines were “planted” in areas identified in code by the names of vegetables and flowers, some examples being Yams, Daffodils, and Quince.

During the course of the Second World War, the Royal Air Force flew 19,917 minelaying sorties and the sea mines laid sank 638 vessels, at a cost of 450 lost aircraft.

A Handley Page Hampden being armed with a parachute sea-mine, in preparation for a mine-laying mission.

1940: The Second Battle of Narvik takes place as H.M.S. 'Warspite' and nine destroyers, accompanied by aircraft from the aircraft carrier HMS Furious, are sent into the Narvik Fjords to finish off the remaining German ships. The allied forces arrive in the Ofotfjord to find that eight German destroyers - now under the command of Fregattenkapitän Erich Bey - were virtually stranded due to lack of fuel and were short of ammunition. In the ensuing battle, three of the German destroyers were sunk by 'Warspite' and her escorts, and the other five were scuttled by their own crews when they ran out of fuel and ammunition. The Royal Navy's H.M.S. 'Eskimo' and H.M.S. 'Cossack' were damaged in the action.

German Zerstörer 1934A class destroyer Z11 'Bernd von Arnim' beached & scuttled in the fjord Rombaksbotn near Narvik, Norway.
Title: Re: This Day In 'Boating' History
Post by: ardarossan on April 14, 2013, 06:43:48 AM
April 14th...

1629: Christiaan Huygens was born into a rich and influential Dutch family at The Hague, in the Dutch Republic.  The second child (of five) of Constantijn Huygens, a diplomat, counselor of the House of Orange, who had studied philosophy and was also a poet, composer and musician. Through him, Christiaan would have contact with some of the most prominent mathematicians and scientists of the day, including Galileo Galilei, Marin Mersenne and René Descartes. Christiaan's mother's was Suzanna van Baerle - she sadly died when Christiaan was eight.
Christiaan Huygens would be educated at home until turning sixteen years old, progressing on to become a prominent Dutch mathematician, astronomer, physicist and horologist, with a wide and varied range of inventions and discoveries to his name.

1912: Four days into her maiden voyage from Southampton to New York City, with an estimated 2,224 people on board, White Star liner R.M.S. 'Titanic', the largest passenger liner in service at the time, strikes an iceberg in the North Atlantic at 23:40 hrs (ship's time) on Sunday 14th April. Her sinking two hours and forty minutes later at 02:20 hrs (05:18 GMT) on Monday 15th April, results in the deaths of more than 1,500 people.

1940: Royal Marines land in Namsos, The cruiser H.M.S. 'Glasgow', accompanied by the Cruiser H.M.S. 'Sheffield' and ten destroyers, landed a small party of Royal Marines in Namsos, Norway in preparation for a larger force to arrive two days later. Under the command of Captain Edds, the landing party took up blocking positions in the hills outside the town.

1944: The 'Bombay Explosion' occurred in the Victoria Dock of Bombay (now Mumbai) when the 7,142 gross register ton freighter SS 'Fort Stikine' carrying a mixed cargo of raw cotton bales, oil, timber, gold bullion, and ammunition, including around 1,400 tons of explosives, caught fire and was destroyed in two giant blasts, scattering debris, sinking surrounding ships and setting fire to the area killing at least 800 people and injuring more than 2500.

The SS 'Fort Stikine' - When she exploded, her cargo included 238 tons of sensitive "A" explosives, torpedoes, mines, shells, munitions, Supermarine Spitfire fighter aircraft, and Ł1-2 million of gold bullion in bars in 31 crates.

1986: On 14th April, following several days of diplomatic talks, U.S. President Ronald Reagan orders major air-strikes against Libya in response to the Berlin discotheque bombing which killed two U.S. servicemen.
Code-named Operation El Dorado Canyon, eighteen F-111F strike aircraft, flying from RAF Lakenheath supported by four EF-111A Ravens, from RAF Upper Heyford in England, in conjunction with fifteen A-6, A-7, F/A-18 attack aircraft and EA-6B Prowler Electronic Warfare Aircraft from the carriers U.S.S. 'Saratoga', U.S.S. 'America' and U.S.S. 'Coral Sea', on station in the Gulf of Sidra, struck five targets at 02:00hrs on 15th April, with the stated objective that their destruction would send a message and reduce Libya's ability to support and train terrorists.

A 48th Tactical Fighter Wing F-111F aircraft takes off from RAF 'Lakenheath', East Anglia England, to participate in the air strike on Libya.

1988: The Oliver Hazard Perry class guided-missile frigate, U.S.S. 'Samuel B. Roberts' struck an M-08 naval mine in the Persian Gulf, 65-miles east of Bahrain, whilst heading for a refueling rendezvous during Operation Earnest Will. The mine blew an immense hole in the hull, which flooded the engine room, and knocked the two gas turbines from their mounts. The blast injured 10 crewmembers, and also broke the keel of the ship.

Although the damage could have been fatal to the vessel, sailors cinched cables on the cracked superstructure in an effort to stabilise it, whilst others fought fire and flooding for five hours to save the ship. Using her auxiliary thrusters she was able to get out of the mine field at 5 knots, never losing combat capability with her radars and Mk13 missile launcher.

U.S. divers recovered several unexploded mines, and found that their serial numbers matched the sequence on mines seized the previous September aboard an Iranian mine-layer named 'Iran Ajr'. Four days later, U.S. forces retaliated fiercely against Iran in Operation Praying Mantis.

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A port-side view of the 'Sammy B' undergoing temporary repairs in dry dock in Dubai, UAE.

2003: U.S. troops in Baghdad capture Abu Abbas, leader of the Palestinian group that killed an American on the hijacked cruise liner the MS Achille Lauro in 1985.
Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - April 15th
Post by: ardarossan on April 15, 2013, 01:07:23 AM
April 15th...

1452: Leonardo da Vinci, is born on April 15th, 1452 (Old Style), "at the third hour of the night" in the Tuscan hill town of Vinci, in the lower valley of the Arno River in the territory of the Medici-ruled Republic of Florence.

He was the out-of-wedlock son of the wealthy Messer Piero Fruosino di Antonio da Vinci, a Florentine legal notary, and Caterina, a peasant. Leonardo had no surname in the modern sense, “da Vinci” simply meaning “of Vinci”: his full birth name was "Lionardo di ser Piero da Vinci", meaning "Leonardo, (son) of (Mes)ser Piero from Vinci". The inclusion of the title "ser" indicated that Leonardo's father was a gentleman.

In time, Leonardo would become a painter, sculptor, architect, musician, mathematician, engineer, inventor, anatomist, geologist, cartographer, botanist, and writer - a man of "unquenchable curiosity" and "feverishly inventive imagination" and perhaps the most diversely talented person ever to have lived.

One of Leonardo's many inventions; His paddlewheel boat.

1755: Samuel Johnson's 'A Dictionary of the English Language' is published in London on 15th April 1755. Having taken Johnson almost 9 years to compile, it was, and is, among the most influential dictionaries in the history of the English language.
The first edition contained a 42,773 word list, to which only a few more were added in subsequent editions, although the words; contrafribularites; anispeptic; frasmotic; compunctuous; and, pericombobulation; remain conspicuous by their absence.

1848: The 'Philip Laing' is the second ship to arrive in Dunedin, New Zealand, carrying Scottish settlers. Departing from Greenock on 23rd November 1847, via Milford Haven on 20th December 1847, she arrived at Port Chalmers on 15th April 1848. Her sister ship, the 'John Wickliffe', had arrived three weeks earlier on 23rd March.

1942: In recognition of the gallantry of it's citizens and defenders, under constant attack, and in the face of serious food shortages, the island of Malta is awarded the George Cross.
In his letter addressed to the British Governor of Malta from Buckingham Palace, and in his own hand, King George VI wrote:

"To honour her brave people, I award the George Cross to the Island Fortress of Malta, to bear witness to a heroism and devotion that will long be famous in history."

The George Cross is woven into the upper hoist corner of the Flag of Malta and can be seen wherever the flag is flown.
The actual medal and the King's message are today found in the War Museum in Fort Saint Elmo, Valletta.

Maltese ratings of the Royal Navy mounting guard over the George Cross as it is ceremoniously displayed in Palace Square, Valletta, on the first anniversary of the award.

1969: A U.S. Navy Lockheed EC-121M 'Warning Star' on a reconnaissance mission was intercepted by a pair of North Korean MiGs, and shot down over the Sea of Japan. The plane crashed 90 nautical miles off the North Korean coast, killing all 31 Americans on board.
The Nixon administration chose not to retaliate against North Korea apart from staging a naval demonstration in the Sea of Japan a few days later. It also resumed the reconnaissance flights within a week to demonstrate that it would not be intimidated by the action while at the same time avoiding a confrontation.

A U.S. Navy Lockheed EC-121M 'Warning Star' of fleet air reconnaissance squadron (VQ-1) 'World Watchers', similar to the aircraft shot down by a North Korean MiG, on 15th April 1969.
Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - April 16th
Post by: ardarossan on April 16, 2013, 07:30:36 AM
April 16th...

1797: At Spithead, near Portsmouth, a mutiny begins when Royal Navy sailors on sixteen of the Channel Fleet, commanded by Admiral Lord Bridport, protest against the living conditions aboard Royal Navy vessels and demand a pay rise. Lasting until the 15th May 1797, the mutiny was not a violent insurrection, but more in the nature.
The discontent wasn't exclusive to Spithead though, with minor incidents occuring on ships in other locations during the same year. The mutinies were potentially dangerous for Britain, because at the time the country was at war with Revolutionary France. There were also concerns among some members of the British ruling class that the mutinies might be the trigger to a wider uprising similar to the French Revolution.

The Delegates in Council, or Beggars on Horseback - A contemporary caricature.

1854: As the 600-ton wooden schooner 'Powhatan' was nearing the end of its journey from Le Havre, France to New York, it encountered a hurricane-like snowstorm near Long Beach Island, New Jersey. The storm was one of the worst in the state's history, and the crew struggled against the powerful and dangerous currents.
Pummeled by huge waves and fierce wind,s the ship was forced closer to the island, before being slammed against the Barnegat Shoals. With a large hole punched in the bow, the 'Powhatan' began to break apart, and passengers, some already dead, were washed overboard. Eventually the vessel broke in two and sank.
Because of the weather, a lifeboat station six miles away was unable to send help. The passengers, who were primarily German immigrants, all perished. The loss of life was estimated by various sources to be between 250 and 311 people.

1863: On a clear night with no moon, Admiral David Dixon Porter, heading a convoy of several gunboats and troop-transports loaded with stores, encountered a heavy barrage of Confederate artillery as they ran the rebels blockade of the Mississippi at Vicksburg.
Porter realised that the Confederates were mostly hitting the high parts of his boats. Reasoning that they could not depress their guns, he had his boats hug the east shore, right below the Confederate cannon - so close he could hear their commanders giving orders as shells flew overhead. Apart from the transport 'Henry Clay', which was disabled and burned at the water's edge, the fleet survived with little damage; thirteen men were wounded and none killed.

Lithograph of the Mississippi River Squadron running the Confederate blockade at Vicksburg on 16th April, 1863.

1944: Iowa-class battleship U.S.S. 'Wisconsin' (BB-64), was commissioned on 16th April 1944 with Captain Earl E. Stone in command. She was one of the "fast battleship" designs planned in 1938 by the Preliminary Design Branch at the Bureau of Construction and Repair.
Whilst 'Wisconsin' remains the highest numbered U.S. battleship built, and her keel was laid down after that of the U.S.S. 'Missouri' (BB-63), 'Wisconsin' was actually commissioned before the 'Missouri'. Thus, 'Wisconsin's construction began after 'Missouri's, but finished earlier.

U.S.S. 'Wisconsin' (BB-64), underway at sea, c.1988-91.

1945: Eighteen RAF Avro Lancasters armed with Tallboy bombs, attack the German pocket-battleship 'Lützow' (formerly 'Deutchsland') in the Kaiserfahrt, sinking her with a single direct hit after several near misses. The water was shallow enough that her main deck was still 2 metres above water, permitting her use as a stationary gun battery in support of German troops against the advancing Soviet forces. She continued in this role until 4th May, when she was disabled by her crew having used her main battery ammunition.
It is believed she was raised by the Soviet Navy in 1947, and was subsequently sunk as a target in the Baltic.

An RAF reconnaissance photo taken on 25th April 1945, shows the German cruiser 'Lützow', in the Kaiserfahrt in western Pomerania, after being hit by British bombers.

1953: Thousands of wellwishers greeted the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh when they arrived at Clydeside to launch the new royal yacht, 'Britannia'. The Queen (who would be crowned in June), named the ship at a ceremony at the Clydebank yard of John Brown and Co. In spite of heavy rain, more than 30,000 people came to hear Her Majesty say: "I name this ship Britannia."
'Britannia' was designed to be converted into a hospital ship in time of war, although this capability was never used. In the event of nuclear war it was intended that the Queen would take refuge aboard 'Britannia' in the North West coast of Scotland.

The Royal Yacht 'Britannia' served the Royal Family for 44 years.

1987: In the Sea of Japan, 33 nautical miles off Ascold Island, Russian Project-1234 corvette 'Musson', was accidentally damaged and sunk by a target-missile 'RM-15M Termit-R', launched by a missile boat 21 km away.
'Musson' launched two surface-to-air missiles and made several shots by gun mount, but the target-missile hit the ship’s portside, destroying the conning room, chart-room, radio room, and main control room, killing the C.O. and some other officers. The remaining fuel and oxidants contained within the target-missile instantly ignited, caused a severe fire which spread throughout the  ship.
Damage control operations lasted about six hours, but rescuers failed to extinguish flames. The fire eventually reached the ammo magazine, where missiles and artillery shells detonated. Having burned out and lost buoyancy, 'Musson' finally sank to a depth of approx 2,900 meters. Thirty-nine members of her crew died and thirty-seven were rescued.

In 2012, Pacific Fleet servicemen commemorated the 25th anniversary of the accident, when they laid wreaths at the location of the sinking in honour of the 'Musson' crew.

The corvette 'Musson', on fire after being struck by an out-of-control target-missile.
Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - April 17th
Post by: ardarossan on April 17, 2013, 12:35:21 PM
April 17th...

1492: The Capitulations of Santa Fe between Christopher Columbus and the Catholic Monarchs were signed in Santa Fe, Granada. They granted Columbus the titles of Admiral of the Ocean Sea, the Viceroy, the Governor-General and honorific Don, and also the tenth part of all riches to be obtained from his intended voyage.

1797: Lieutenant-General Sir Ralph Abercromby attempts to invade the Spanish colonial port city of San Juan, Puerto Rico, with an armada of 60 or so ships, and a force of several thousand men, including German soldiers and Royal Marines. 
When the Spanish sighted the enemy convoy off the coastline on the morning of April 17th, the Governor, Brigadier General Ramón de Castro put a defence plan into action, placing garrison troops at strategic points along the coastline. The Battle of San Juan would last until 2nd May 1797.

The Fort San Jerónimo was key to the defence of San Juan.

1886: The newly constructed Tilbury Docks on the River Thames at Tilbury, England, are opened on 17th April 1886. The first vessel to enter the docks is the 360ft, 2985grt steam-ship, 'Glenfruin', carrying the official party for the opening ceremony and a host of VIPs who toured the area.
The dock system consisted of three parallel branch docks( (East, Central and West) linked to one large main dock, with transit sheds, a hotel and a buffet. The docks benefitted from the connection with the London, Tilbury and Southend railway line, allowing rapid distribution of goods to the capital and the rest of the country.

SS 'Glenfruin', was the first vessel to officially enter Tilbury Docks.

1939: Returning the remains of the the late Hiroshi Saito, the former Japanese Ambassador to the United States, the heavy cruiser U.S.S. 'Astoria', accompanied by the Japanese destroyers 'Hibiki', 'Sagiri', and 'Akatsuki', steamed slowly into Yokohama harbour with the United States ensign at half-staff and the Japanese flag at the fore. The warship fired a 17-gun salute which was returned by the light cruiser 'Kiso'.
The ceremonial urn containing the ashes of Ambassador Saito was taken ashore by American sailors that afternoon, and funeral ceremonies took place the following morning.

U.S.S. 'Astoria' sailors transfering the ceremonial urn containing the ashes of Ambassador Saito, to a launch waiting to go ashore, 17th April 1939.

1942: Twelve RAF Avro Lancasters are despatched on a daylight low-level raid on the MAN submarine diesel engine works at Augsburg in southern Bavaria. Seven aircraft from the attacking force are shot down en route to, or at the target. Furthermore, little damage is done to the MAN factory with five of the seventeen bombs that hit the target failing to detonate. Squadron Leader J.D. Nettleton, is awarded the Victoria Cross for the valour and leadership that he demonstrated during the attack.

1970: After a six-minute communications blackout during reentry, the 'Apollo 13' Command Module 'Odyssey' carrying James A. Lovell, John L. "Jack" Swigert and Fred W. Haise, re-establishes contact with mission control and splashes-down safely in the South Pacific Ocean, southwest of American Samoa and just 4.0 miles from the waiting recovery ship U.S.S. 'Iwo Jima' (LPH-2) - the flagship of Task Force 130.

In the 1995 film 'Apollo 13', the 'Iwo Jima' was played by her sister ship,' New Orleans' (LPH-11). Captain Jim Lovell appears towards the end of the film in a cameo role as 'Iwo Jima's skipper, Captain Leland E. Kirkemo.

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The Apollo 13 Command Module is hoisted aboard the U.S.S. 'Iwo Jima' after the memorable "successful failure" mission. The Apollo 13 astronauts were already aboard the 'Iwo Jima' when this photograph was taken.

1986: The 'Three Hundred and Thirty Five Years' War', a theoretical state of war existing between the Netherlands and the Isles of Scilly (located off the southwest coast of Great Britain), is said to have been extended by the lack of a peace treaty for 335 years without a single shot being fired, which would make it one of the world's longest wars and a bloodless war.
Despite the uncertain validity of the declaration of war, and thus uncertainty about whether or not a state of war ever actually existed in the first place, peace was finally declared in 1986, bringing an end to any hypothetical war that may have been legally considered to exist.
Title: Re: This Day In 'Boating' History
Post by: ardarossan on April 18, 2013, 04:23:42 AM
April 18th...

1863: Linton Chorley Hope (FRAes) is born in Macclesfield, Cheshire. Linton Chorley Hopps the son of Edwin and Sara Hopps. He later changed his surname to Hope. 
He will go on to become English naval architect and yachtsman, designing a variety of yachts as well as international canoes and Thames Raters, and he will win two gold medals for sailing at the 1900 Olympic Games in France, aboard 'Scotia', a yacht of his own design.

The Linton Hope designed, 33ft Thames Rater 'Dorothy' (, originally built in 1894.

1912: RMS 'Carpathia docked at New York's Pier 54 carrying 700+ survivors that had been rescued from the lifeboats of the 'Titanic' disaster. She was greated by some 40,000 people waiting at the quayside in heavy rain.

The ship's arrival in New York led to a frenzy of press interest, with newspapers competing to be the first to report the survivors' stories. Some reporters bribed their way aboard the pilot boat 'New York', which guided 'Carpathia' into harbour, and one apparently managed to get onto 'Carpathia' before she docked.

After the survivors of 'Titanic' had disembarked, 'Carpathia' was hurriedly restocked with food and provisions so she might resume her journey to Fiume, Austria-Hungary. Her crew were given a bonus of a month's wages by Cunard as a reward for their actions, and some of Titanic's passengers joined together to give them an additional bonus of nearly Ł900 (Ł66,038 today), divided among the crew members.

'Carpathia' docked at Pier 54 in New York, following the rescue of survivors from 'Titanic', 1912.

1942: The first air attack on the Japanese homeland is carried out by sixteen specially-prepared North American B-25 'Mitchell' bombers, taking off from the aircraft carrier U.S.S. 'Hornet'.
The operation, now known as 'The Doolittle Raids', was the U.S. response to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour, and was as imporant psychologically as militarily, with the intendion of restoring American morale, whilst denting the Japanese population's belief in it's leadership when shown that Japan was not beyond the reach of the enemy, as they were being told.

Lt. Col. 'Jimmy' Doolittle's B-25 takes-off first, from the carrier U.S.S. 'Hornet', 18th April 1942.

1943: Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, commander of the Combined Fleet of the Imperial Japanese Navy, and as such, responsible for major battles such as Pearl Harbor and Midway, was killed in an ambush as he was being flown to an inspection tour of forward positions in the Solomon Islands on board a Mitsubishi G4M "Betty" bomber. Unfortunately for Yamamoto, U.S. naval intelligence had learned of the tour from decrypted Japanese messages, and were able to specifically target him in a mission involving sixteen U.S. Lockheed P-38 'Lightning' fighters, codenamed 'Operation Vengeance'.
His death was a major blow to Japanese military morale during World War II.

Japanese Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto,
(4th April 1884 - 18th April 1943).

1945: 969 aircraft, comprised of 617 Lancasters, 332 Halifaxes, and 20 Mosquitoes, attack Heligoland, a small German archipelago in the North Sea. The Naval base, airfield, & town are bombed into crater-pitted 'moonscapes'. 3 Halifaxes were lost. The islands were evacuated the following day.

1947: From 1945 to 1952 the uninhabited Heligoland islands were used as a bombing range. On 18th April 1947, the Royal Navy detonated 6,700 tonnes of explosives ("Big Bang" or "British Bang"), creating one of the biggest single non-nuclear detonations in history. While aiming at the fortifications, the island's total destruction would have been accepted. The blast shook the main island and changed its shape, creating the 'Mittelland'.

1949: The keel for the first of the five planned postwar aircraft carriers, U.S.S. 'United States' (CVA-58), is laid down at Newport News Drydock and Shipbuilding, Virginia. She is to be the lead ship of a new design of 'supercarriers' - The order  was cancelled five days later.

'United States' keel plate being laid in a construction dry dock, 18th April 1949.

1955: Albert Einstein, the German-born theoretical physicist who developed the general theory of relativity, died in hospital in Princeton, New Jersey, aged 76, having been admitted three days earlier with an internal complaint.
The eminent scientist's work laid the foundations for many modern technologies including nuclear weapons and cosmic science, and also earned him the 1921 Nobel Prize in Physics.
After his death, Einstein's brain was removed and preserved for scientific research by Canadian scientists. It was found that the part of Einstein's brain responsible for mathematical thought and the ability to think in terms of space and movement was 15% wider than average. It also lacked a groove which normally runs through this region suggesting that the neurons were able to communicate.

Task Force 1, the world's first nuclear-powered task force in the Mediterranean, June 1964.
U.S.S. 'Enterprise' (in formation with 'Long Beach' & 'Bainbridge') has Einstein's mass-energy equivalence formula E=mc˛ spelled out on it's flight deck.

1978: The U.S. Senate backed a treaty to transfer the Panama Canal to the control of Panama. The Senate's approval by 68 votes to 32 was by the narrowest of margins - just one vote more than the two-thirds majority required. The outcome was seen as a victory for President Jimmy Carter's foreign policy at a time when the effectiveness of his administration was under question.

1988: U.S. naval forces within Iranian territorial waters launch 'Operation Praying Mantis'. It is an  offensive against Iranian naval forces in retaliation for the Iranian mining of the Persian Gulf during the Iran-Iraq war and the subsequent damage caused to an American guided-missile frigate, U.S.S. 'Samuel B. Roberts', which was almost sunk by one of the mines while deployed in the Persian Gulf as part of 'Operation Earnest Will' - The 1987-88 convoy missions in which U.S. warships escorted reflagged Kuwaiti oil tankers to protect them from Iranian attacks.

'Praying Mantis' was the largest U.S. surface engagement since World War II, and marked the U.S. Navy's first exchange of anti-ship missiles by ships. By the end of the operation, American Marines, ships and aircraft had damaged Iranian naval and intelligence facilities on two inoperable oil platforms, sank at least three armed Iranian speedboats, one Iranian frigate and one fast attack gunboat. One other Iranian frigate was damaged in the battle.

The U.S. suffered two casualties, the crew of a Marine Corps AH-1T Sea Cobra helicopter gunship, which crashed sometime after dark while flying a reconaissance mission. Navy officials said the wreckage showed no sign of battle damage.

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The Vosper Thornycroft-built frigate of the Iranian Navy, IS 'Sahand' (F-74), was sunk after being hit by three Harpoon missiles and numerous cluster bomblets during 'Operation Praying Mantis'.
Title: Re: This Day In 'Boating' History
Post by: Capt Podge on April 18, 2013, 11:31:36 PM
Friday, 18th April 1941   The drifter 'Young Ernie' (88t) was on Admiralty service when she was in collision, off Tynemouth, with the examination vessel 'Ben Idris'. The 'Young Ernie' sank at 55°01'18"N - 01°21'23"W.
Title: This Day In 'Boating' History
Post by: ardarossan on April 19, 2013, 05:28:15 AM
April 19th...

1770: The 1st Voyage of Captain James Cook (1768–71): Having sailed west from New Zealand, Captain James Cook and the crew of H.M.S. 'Endeavour' sight the eastern coast of what is now Australia, and in doing so his expedition become the first recorded Europeans to have encountered it's eastern coastline.


1775: The Siege of Boston begins, marking the the opening phase of the American Revolutionary War as New England militiamen (who later became part of the Continental Army) surround the town of Boston, Massachusetts, preventing movement by the British Army garrisoned within.
The siege would last for almost eleven months, ending when the British withdraw by sea, leaving the town to the American colonists led by George Washington.

1782: The Battle of the Mona Passage takes place between a British squadron under Rear-Admiral Sir Samuel Hood, and a small French fleet, in the strait separating Hispaniola and Puerto Rico, shortly after the British victory at the Battle of the Saintes (9th-12th April 1782).
On 17th April, with orders to seek out any disabled or damaged French ships that had escaped the battle, Hood's division of twelve ships had set out towards toward Saint-Domingue.

The French 64-gun ship of the line 'Caton' had been damaged in the initial encounter between the fleets on 9th April, and the 'Jason', also 64 guns, had been damaged on the 10th April when it collided with the heavily-damaged 'Zélé'. Both of these ships were in the Mona Passage, making sail for Cap-Français along with several smaller ships, when Hood's squadron spotted them.

Hood chased down the French ships, the faster copper-sheathed British ships outpacing the damaged French ships. H.M.S. 'Valiant' captured both 'Jason' and 'Caton' at the cost of four men killed and six wounded, whilst H.M.S. 'Magnificent' captured the frigate 'Aimable' at the cost of four killed and eight wounded. The corvette 'Ceres' was also captured, while the frigate 'Astrée' managed to escape with minimal damage.

The captured French ships were taken back to England for further use. 'Jason' was renamed H.M.S. 'Argonaut', while 'Caton' was used as a prisoner of war hospital ship and moored off Saltash in Cornwall. She continued in this role well into the Napoleonic Wars. 'Aimable' was renamed H.M.S. 'Aimable' and served in the Royal Navy until 1811

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The French 64-gun ship of the line, 'Jason', is captured in the Mona Passage, 19th April, 1782.

1945: The Royal Air Force targets Heligoland (the German North Sea archipelago) for the final time. Using 36 Avro Lancasters from 9 and 617 Squadrons, they attack submarine pens and coastal battery positions with Tallboy bombs for no losses.
Meanwhile, following the yesterday's air raid (18th April 1945) by 969 Allied aircraft, the civilian population is evacuated. It had remained on the main island throughout WW2, being protected from Allied bombing raids in rock shelters. Most of the island's 128 casualties during the wartime period were anti-aircraft crews.

In 1952, the islands were restored to the German authorities, who had to clear a huge amount of undetonated ammunition, landscape the main island, and rebuild the houses before it could be resettled.
Heligoland is now a holiday resort and enjoys a tax-exempt status, as it is part of the EU but excluded from the EU VAT area and customs union, and consequently, much of the economy is founded on sales of cigarettes, alcoholic beverages and perfumes to tourists who visit the islands.
Heligoland is also home to a search and rescue (SAR) base of the DGzRS, the Deutsche Gesellschaft zur Rettung Schiffbrüchiger ("German Maritime Search and Rescue Service").

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Heligoland with the main island in foreground and the islet of Düne in the background.

1989: On board U.S.S. 'Iowa (BB-61), At 09:55 hrs, during a gunnery exercise, an explosion ripped through the Number Two 16-inch gun turret, killing 47 crewmen. A gunner's mate in the powder magazine room quickly flooded the No. 2 powder magazine, likely preventing catastrophic damage to the ship.
The incident was the subject of two investigations. The first by the, Naval Investigative Service (later renamed Naval Criminal Investigative Service or NCIS), satisfied the Navy with their theory that one of the dead crewmen was responsible due to his emotional state at the time. However, much criticism forced Congress to reopen the case, resulting in independant investigators uncovering evidence which pointed to an accidental powder explosion rather than an intentional act of sabotage.

Heavy smoke pours from Turret Two of U.S.S. 'Iowa' after the internal explosion on 19th April 1989. The left gun of Turret One in the background is fully elevated as it's crew tries to clear an earlier misfire by trying to coax the powder bags to slide backwards against the primer.
Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - April 20th
Post by: ardarossan on April 20, 2013, 08:37:42 PM
April 20th...

1453: The last naval battle in Byzantine history occurs, as three Genoese galleys escorting a Byzantine transport fight their way through the huge Ottoman blockade fleet and into the Golden Horn. The Ottoman fleet is prevented from following by way of a huge chain which is strung across the estuary, and is controlled to allow or deny access to the harbour.
The Golden Horn is an inlet off the Bosphorus dividing the city of Istanbul and forming the natural harbour that has sheltered ships for thousands of years. The scimitar-shaped estuary joins the Bosphorus just at the point where that strait enters the Sea of Marmara, thus forming a peninsula the tip of which is 'Old Istanbul'.

A map of Byzanz, showing the Golden Horn.

1534: French explorer, Jacques Cartier, set sail from Saint-Malo with two ships and a crew of 61, under a commission from King François of France, hoping to discover a western passage to the wealthy markets of Asia. In the words of the commission, he was to "discover certain islands and lands where it is said that a great quantity of gold and other precious things are to be found". Twenty days later he reached Newfoundland.

1657: Under heavy fire, an English fleet commanded by Admiral Robert Blake, attacks and destroys a Spanish treasure fleet (that had already landed the treasure) at the Battle of Santa Cruz de Tenerife in the Spanish Canary Islands. Blake issued specific orders to his captains that no Spanish ships were to be taken as prizes - they were to be destroyed, Consequently the remainder of the Spanish merchantmen that hadn't been scuttled to prevent capture, were burnt by the English.

Robert Blake's flagship the 'George' at the battle of Santa Cruz de Tenerife in 1657.

1865: Father Pietro Angelo Secchi, astronomer and scientific advisor to the Pope, demonstrates the 'Secchi disk', an instrument with which to measure water clarity, from the Papal steam yacht, Immacolata Concezione (Immaculate Conception) in the Mediterranean Sea.

The 'Secchi disk', a circular metal plate attached to a calibrated rope, is still in use today. It is probably the least expensive and easiest to use tool in water quality monitoring. One of it's best attributes is that the information it provides is easily interpreted by volunteers and can be used to detect water quality trends in lakes.

The 'Immacolata Concezione', built in 1859 for the Pope's private use by the Thames Iron and Shipbuilding Company, was 178 feet long and carried 8 brass 18-pounder guns. She was lost in the Mediterranean in 1905.
The flag and a scale model are in the Vatican Museum in the Lateran Palace.

The armed screw steam yacht 'Immacolata Concepzione', built for His Holiness the Pope.

1893: His Majesty's Yacht 'Britannia', a Gaff-rigged cutter built to the "Length And Sail Area Rule" for Commodore Albert Edward, Prince of Wales, is launched at the D&W Henderson shipyard on the River Clyde. 
By the end of her first year's racing, the 'Britannia' scored thirty-three wins from forty-three starts. In her second season, she won all seven races for the first class yachts on the French Riviera, and then beat the 1893 America's Cup defender Vigilant in home waters.

Prince Albert Edward's first-class rater 'Britannia' (George Lennox Watson design) c.1893-1899.

1942: Codenamed 'Operation Calendar', 47 Supermarine Spitfires are flown to Malta from the deck of the United States Navy carrier U.S.S. 'Wasp', together with the pilots of No.601 and No.603 Squadrons RAF.
However, the Luftwaffe launch a series of devastating raids on the airfields at Luqa and Ta'Kali, and by 23rd April, nine of the Spitfires have been destroyed on the ground and a further 29 damaged.

British Spitfires reving their engines prior to take off from U.S.S. 'Wasp', on their way to Malta.

2010: At 09:45hrs (CDT), during the final phases of drilling an exploratory well at Macondo in the Gulf of Mexico, a geyser of seawater erupted 240 ft into the air from the marine riser of the 'Deepwater Horizon' ultra-deepwater, dynamically positioned, semi-submersible offshore oil drilling rig.

This was soon followed by the eruption of a slushy combination of mud, methane gas, and water. The gas component of the slushy material quickly transitioned into a fully gaseous state and ignited into a series of explosions and then a firestorm, which was visible 35 miles away. An attempt was made to activate the blowout preventer, but it failed.

At the time of the explosion, there were 126 crew on board. Eleven workers were presumed killed in the initial explosion. The rig was evacuated, with numerous injured workers airlifted to medical facilities.

The 'Deepwater Horizon' platform engulfed in flames, April 2010.
Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - April 20th
Post by: ardarossan on April 20, 2013, 11:53:46 PM
April 20th...

1944: Liberty ship, SS 'Paul Hamilton' (Hull Number 227) was on her fifth voyage (as part of convoy UGS 38) carrying supplies and the ground personnel of the 485th Bombardment Group of the U.S.A.A.F. to Italy.
On the evening of 20th April, she was attacked in the Mediterranean Sea, 30 miles off the coast of Cape Bengut near Algiers, by 23 German Ju 88 bombers of III./KG 26, I. and III./KG 77.

Liberty Ship 'Paul Hamilton'

One aerial torpedo struck the 'Paul Hamilton', detonating the cargo of high explosives and bombs.
The 441ft long ship disappeared within 30 seconds. Of the 580 crew and passengers on board, including 154 officers and men of the 831st Bombardment Squadron, none survived the violent explosion. Only one body was recovered.

The ammunition-laden SS 'Paul Hamilton' is completely destroyed after being struck by a German aerial torpedo.

During the engagement five ships were torpedoed, three of them being sunk. Sunk were the destroyer U.S.S. 'Lansdale' (DD-426) and the SS Paul Hamilton. The SS 'Royal Star' was torpedoed aft and was abandoned by her crew. The SS 'Samite' and the SS 'Stephen F. Austin' were both torpedoed in the bow, but managed to reach Algiers.
Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - April 21st
Post by: ardarossan on April 21, 2013, 07:13:23 PM
April 21st...

1500: Seaweed was sighted by sailors of Pedro Alvares Cabral's fleet, leading them to believe they were nearing land. The fleet of 12-ships, which sailed from Lisbon, Portugal, bound for Calicut, on March 9th, had continued to sail away from their intended destination since crossing the equator on 9th April.
India-bound Portugese navigators sailors understood that by sailing west, they could use the Southern Atlantic's counter-clockwise rotating wind system to carry them past the entire western coast of Africa.


1509: Henry VIII becomes the second monarch of the Tudor dynasty, ascending the throne of England on the death of his father, Henry VII.
Henry's reign would have a significant effect on Britain's maritime history, not least because he is traditionally cited as one of the founders of the Royal Navy.
Henry would invest in large cannon for his warships, replacing the smaller serpentines that were in use - an idea that had taken hold in other countries. He was responsible for the creation of a permanent navy, with the supporting anchorages and dockyards. Henry would see the Navy move away from boarding tactics to employ gunnery instead, and he would order more ships (including the Mary Rose), to increase the size of the Navy.
He also was responsible for the establishment of the "council for marine causes" to specifically oversee all the maintenance and operation of the Navy, becoming the basis for the later Admiralty.

The 'Mary Rose', Henry VIII's Flagship, at Spithead in 1545.

1914: The SS 'Ypiranga', a German-registered cargo-steamer commissioned to transport arms and munitions to the Mexican government under control of Victoriano Huerta, reached the port of Veracruz in Mexico. While attempting to unload the ship on the first day of the (unofficial) U.S. occupation, workers were detained by American troops (by the order of President Woodrow Wilson) because the landing of weapons completely violated the arms embargo that the U.S. had placed on Mexico, which was at the time, in the midst a civil war.

Because there was neither a declaration of war on Mexico by the U.S., nor a formal blockade on its ports, the detention of the 'Ypiranga' was not legal and it was quickly released. It proceeded to Puerto Mexico, a port outside of American influence and it was able to unload its cargo to Huerta’s officials.

The cargo-steamer 'Ypiranga'.

1934: Probably the most famous photo allegedly showing the 'Loch Ness Monster', is supposedly taken by Robert Kenneth Wilson, a London gynaecologist. The image was published in the Daily Mail on 21st April 1934, but Wilson's refusal to have his name associated with the photograph led to it being called 'Surgeon's Photograph.
In 1999, the photo was revealed to be a hoax (really!). Essentially, it was a toy submarine bought from F.W. Woolworths with a head and neck made of plastic wood.

The 'Surgeons Photograph' on the front of the Daily Mail newspaper, 21st April, 1934.

1959: Off the coast of Ceduna, South Australia Alfred Dean caught a 2,664-pound Great White Shark. Amazingly, he subdued this monster - the heaviest record fish ever listed by the International Game Fish Association (IGFA) - in only 50 minutes on 130-pound test line.
Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - April 22nd
Post by: ardarossan on April 22, 2013, 09:25:30 PM
April 22nd...

1453: The Ottoman blockading fleet's failure to overcome the chain which protected the Golden Horn, whilst allowing a small flotilla of four Christian ships from entering on 20th April, strengthened the morale of the defenders and caused embarrassment to the 21-year-old Ottoman Sultan, Mehmed II.
To circumvent the chain, Mehmmet ordered the construction of a road of greased logs across Galata on the north side of the Golden Horn, and rolled his ships across on 22nd April. An action which would seriously threaten the flow of supplies from Genovese ships from the (nominally neutral) colony of Pera, and demoralise the Byzantine defenders.

Sultan Mehmet II oversees his boats being transported overland into the Golden Horn.
Painting by Fausto Zonaro, (1854-1929)

1500: Whilst sailing in a westerly direction, en route to India with a fleet of twelve ships, Portuguese navigator Pedro Álvares Cabral became the first European to sight a new land which he initially assumed to be a large island. In reality, he had accidentally discovered what is now known as Brazil. The fleet anchored near what Cabral christened the Monte Pascoal ('Easter Mount', it being the week of Easter).


1519: (Good Friday) Hernán Cortés arrives in Mexico and establishes the first Spanish settlement on the mainland of the Americas, which he names Villa Rica de la Vera Cruz (Present day Veracruz).
'Villa Rica' (Rich Village) referring to the area’s gold, and 'Vera Cruz' (derived from the Latin Vera Crux) dedicated to the 'True Cross', because he landed on the Christian holy day of Good Friday, the day of the Crucifixion.

1529: Treaty of Saragossa divides the eastern hemisphere between Spain and Portugal along a line 297.5 leagues or 17° east of the Moluccas. The Treaty of Zaragoza, also referred to as the Capitulation of Zaragoza was a peace treaty between Spain and Portugal signed on 22nd April, by King John III and the Emperor Charles V, in the Spanish city of Zaragoza.
The treaty defined the areas of Spanish and Portuguese influence in Asia to resolve the 'Moluccas issue', when both kingdoms claimed the Moluccas islands for themselves, considering it within their exploration area established by the Treaty of Tordesillas in 1494. The conflict sprung in 1520, when the expeditions of both kingdoms reached the Pacific Ocean, since there was not a set limit to the east.

1622: The Capture of Ormuz by an Anglo-Persian force ends more than a century of Portuguese control of Hormuz Island, and entirely changes the balance of power and trade through the Persian Gulf.
The English force, supplied by the English East India Company, consisted of five warships and four pinnaces. The Persian army, already besieging the Portuguese fort in Kishm, negotiated with the English to obtain their support to capture Ormuz, promising the development of silk trade in their favour. An agreement was signed, providing for the sharing of spoils and customs dues at Hormuz, the repatriations of prisoners according to their faith, and the payment by the Persians of half of the supply costs for the fleet.

The position of the city of Hormuz set on the strait at the bottom of the Arabian Gulf, 1572.

1676: The naval Battle of Augusta (also known as the Battle of Agosta) takes place during the Franco-Dutch War between a French fleet of 29 man-of-war, five frigates and eight fireships under Abraham Duquesne and a Dutch-Spanish fleet of 27 (17 Dutch, 10 Spanish) plus five fireships with Dutch Lieutenant-Admiral-General Michiel de Ruyter in command.
The battle was a short but intense affair and ended abruptly when Duquesne, after hearing that De Ruyter had been mortally wounded, retreated. Neither side lost a ship, though there were many dead and wounded, especially among the Dutch.

A naval engagement, said to be the Battle of Agosta, By Aernout Smit.

1782: Pirate Anne Bonny died today. Born in Kinsale, Ireland. Bonny's family relocated to the New World very early on in her life. Her mother died shortly after they arrived in North America, where her father eventually joined a merchant business.
Anne became famous as a female pirate operating in the Caribbean. What little is known of her life comes largely from 'A General History of the Pyrates', a 1724 book published in Britain, containing biographies of contemporary pirates.

Pyrate Anne Bonny (8th March 1702 – 22nd April 1782)
“Well behaved women seldom make history”

1838: The wooden-hulled side-wheel paddle steamer 'Sirius', chartered by the British and American Steam Navigation Company to make the first Transatlantic crossing by steamship (ahead of Brunel's 'Great Western'), arrives in New York to the acclaim of a large and enthusiastic crowd, 18 days 10 hours after her departure from Cork, Ireland.
'Srius' is also regarded as the first holder of the 'Blue Riband', although the term was not used until decades later.

Sidewheel Paddle-Steamer 'Sirius'.

1898: U.S.S. 'Nashville' (PG-7) captures a Spanish merchant ship as the U.S. Navy begins a blockade of Cuban ports during the Spanish-American war. She captured another three Spanish vessels by 26th July, and also assisted in cutting the undersea telegraph cable just off the shore of Cienfuegos, where many of her sailors and Marines were honored with Medals of Honor. 'Nashville' remained on duty off Cuba until the war's end.

Gunboat U.S.S. 'Nashville', the only ship of her class.

1902: R.M.S. 'Carpathia', built by Swan Hunter & Wigham Richardson at their Newcastle upon Tyne, England shipyard, begins her sea trials between 22nd and 25th April

1930: The United Kingdom, Empire of Japan and the United States sign the London Naval Treaty regulating submarine warfare and limiting naval shipbuilding.
Ratifications would be exchanged in October 1930, and it would be registered in League of Nations Treaty Series in February 1931.

1944: Operation Reckless and Operation Persecution are initiated with Allied amphibious landings taking place at at Hollandia, in Dutch New Guinea (currently known as Jayapura, Indonesia) and Aitape, in the Australian Territory of New Guinea (later Papua, New Guinea) about 140 miles east of Hollandia, thus commencing the Western New Guinea campaign.

Operation Reckless - LVT's head for the invasion beaches at Humboldt Bay, as cruisers bombard in the background. The ship firing tracer shells is U.S.S. 'Boise' (CL-47). Just ahead of her is U.S.S. 'Phoenix' (CL-46), 22nd April 1944.

1945: After learning that Soviet forces have taken Eberswalde without a fight, Adolf Hitler admits defeat in his underground bunker and states that suicide is his only recourse. Unfortunately, this (being one of his better ideas) has come to him ten years too late...

1969: British yachtsman Sir Robin Knox-Johnston wins the Sunday Times Golden Globe Race and completes the first solo non-stop circumnavigation of the world, between 14th June 1968 and 22nd April 1969 aboard 'Suhaili', his 32ft Bermudan Ketch (44ft including bowsprit and to end of Mizzen boom).

Robin Knox-Johnston, on his boat Suhaili, as he sailed towards Falmouth at the end of the Sunday Times Golden Globe Race, 1969.

2010: The 'Deepwater Horizon' semi-submersible offshore oil rig, sinks to 5000-ft in the Gulf Of Mexico after suffering the extreme consequences of a blowout two days earlier. The well then created the largest spill in U.S. history (to date), with oil gushing from the damaged wellhead. A situation that would last until 15th July when it was temporarily sealed by a cap.

'Deepwater Horizon', listing before sinking in the Gulf of Mexico, April 22nd, 2010.
Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - April 23rd 'St. George's Day'
Post by: ardarossan on April 23, 2013, 06:55:17 PM
April 23rd... 'Saint George's Day'

1014: (Good Friday) The Battle of Clontarf takes place with the forces of Brian Boru defeating Viking mercenaries from Dublin and the Orkney Islands, led by the King of Leinster, Máel Mórda mac Murchada. Brian Boru was killed by Norsemen who stumbled upon his tent as they were fleeing the battle.

Battle of Clontarf, oil on canvas painting by Hugh Frazer, 1826.

1348: The founding of the Order of the Garter by King Edward III is announced on St George's Day. The premier order of chivalry or knighthood in England. The Order was put under Saint George’s patronage and the medal is awarded on the 23rd April by the reigning Monarch. Membership in the order is limited to the Sovereign, the Prince of Wales, and no more than twenty-four members, or Companions.

1500: With Pedro Álvares Cabral fleet anchored at the newly-christened 'Monte Pascoal' on the northeast coast of present-day Brazil, the Portuguese became aware of inhabitants on the shore. After gathering the ships' captains aboard Cabral's ship, Cabral ordering Nicolau Coelho, a captain who had experience from Vasco da Gama's voyage to India, to go ashore and make contact. He set foot on land and exchanged gifts with the indigenous people.

1598: Maarten Harpertszoon Tromp is born in Brill (Brielle), an historic seaport in the western Netherlands. Tromp was the oldest son of Harpert Maertensz, a naval officer who became captain of the 'Olifantstromp' - from the name of this ship the family name 'Tromp' probably has been derived, first appearing in documents in 1607. His mother supplemented the family's income as a washerwoman. At the age of nine, Tromp will go to sea with his father and be present in a squadron covering the Dutch main fleet fighting the Battle of Gibraltar in 1607. He will go on to become an officer and later an admiral in the Dutch navy.

Dutch vs  Spanish at the Battle of Gibraltar, 1607.

1621: (Admiral Sir) William Penn is born in St. Thomas Parish, Bristol to Giles Penn and Joan Gilbert. He will serve his apprenticeship at sea with his father, and during the the first Civil War he will fight on the side of the parliament, in command of a ship in the squadron maintained against the king in the Irish seas. Later will go on to become an English admiral, a politician, and the father of William Penn, founder of the Province of Pennsylvania.

1655: The Siege of Santo Domingo was fought from 23rd to 30th April at the Spanish Colony of Santo Domingo. A force of 2,400 Spanish troops led by Governor Don Bernardino Meneses y Bracamonte, Count of Peńalba, successfully resisted a force of 13,120 troops and 34 ships of the English Commonwealth Navy led by Admiral Sir William Penn.

1661: The coronation of King Charles II of England, Scotland and Ireland took place at  Westminster Abbey. Charles was the last sovereign to make the traditional procession from the Tower of London to Westminster Abbey the day before the coronation.

1770: Captain James Cook made his first recorded direct observation of indigenous Australians at Brush Island near Bawley Point, noting in his journal:
"…and were so near the Shore as to distinguish several people upon the Sea beach they appear'd to be of a very dark or black Colour but whether this was the real colour of their skins or the clothes they might have on I know not."  

1832: Voyage of H.M.S. Beagle (1831-36): ( Charles Darwin returned to Rio de Janeiro on the evening of 23rd April with a collection of insects and plants that was beyond his wildest dreams. He learned that the 'Beagle' had gone back towards Salvador to check on some survey readings in the Abrolhos Shoals, so he took a boat to Botofogo Bay with Augustus Earle (the ship's draughtsman) and Philip King (Midshipman) to wait for the 'Beagle' to return and  spent the next few weeks in a little cottage located beneath the rounded mountain of Corcovado (2,300 feet).

1838: Isambard Kindom Brunel's paddle-steamer 'Great Western', the first steamship purpose-built for crossing the Atlantic, completes her maiden voyage from Avonmouth to New York in just over 15 days. Even with a four-day head start, PS 'Sirius' only narrowly beat 'Great Western', arriving the previous day. In addition, when coal ran low on board 'Sirius', the crew had to burn cabin furniture, spare yards and one mast, inspiring the similar sequence in Jules Verne's Around the World in Eighty Days. 'Great Western' had arrived with 203 tons of coal still aboard.
Although the term Blue Riband was not coined until years later, 'Sirius' is often credited as the first winner at 8.03 knots. However, she only held the record for a day because 'Great Western' had made the voyage faster at 8.66 knots.

'Great Western' makes the transatlantic crossing to New York, USA, from Avonmouth, England, in fifteen days, inaugurating a regular steamship service, 23rd April, 1838.

1889: (Rear Admiral) Karel Willem Frederik Marie Doorman, is born in Utrecht, to a family of professional soldiers. In 1906, he and his brother would be commissioned as midshipmen. He will be steadily promoted through the ranks, and become well known as the Dutch Rear Admiral who commanded ABDACOM Naval forces, a hastily-organized multinational naval force formed to defend the East Indies against an overwhelming Imperial Japanese attack.

1918: The Zeebrugge Raid, takes place when the British Royal Navy and Royal Marines attempt to neutralise the key Belgian port of Bruges-Zeebrugge by intentionally sinking older British ships in the canal entrance to prevent German ships from leaving port. The port was used by the German Navy as a base for their U-boats and light shipping, which was a serious threat to Allied shipping, especially in the English Channel. Eight participants in the raid were awarded the Victoria Cross.

1947: In near-hurricane conditions, the eight crew of the Mumbles lifeboat, 'Edward, Prince of Wales', were all lost while attempting to rescue the crew of SS 'Samtampa', a 7,219 ton Liberty ship that had got into severe difficulties on Sker Point, off Porthcawl and Kenfig, Wales, in the Bristol Channel.
The lifeboat was launched and the crew drove into the darkness of the bay, returning for further information regarding the position of the 'Samtampa', as there was no radioman on board. Then they went back out to rescue the stricken ship - this was the last time they were seen alive.
The following morning the 'Samtampa' was found broken into several pieces, it's crew was been lost. The lifeboat was found, bottom up, on the rocks not far away.
The lifeboat crew are remembered in a memorial stained-glass window at All Saints Church, Oystermouth in the heart of Mumbles, Swansea.

Designed by Tim Lewis, the 'Lifeboat Window' is a tribute to; Coxswain William J. Gammon, 2nd Coxswain William Noel, 1st Mechanic Gilbert Davies, 2nd Mechanic Ernest Griffin, Boatman William Thomas, Boatman William Howell, Boatman Ronald Thomas and Boatman Richard Smith.

1949: Swayed by 'limited funds' (despite funds having already been provided in the Naval Appropriations Act of 1949) and bitter opposition from the United States Army and Air Force, Secretary of Defense Louis A. Johnson announced on 23rd April 1949 - five days after the ship's keel was laid down - the cancellation of construction of the U.S.S. 'United States' (CVA-58), the lead ship of a new design of supercarrier.
Secretary of the Navy John Sullivan immediately resigned, and the subsequent "Revolt of the Admirals" cost Admiral Louis Denfeld his position as Chief of Naval Operations.
The 'United States' was not completed, and the other four planned carriers were never built.

An artist's impression of the U.S.S. 'United States' aircraft carrier.
Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - April 24th
Post by: ardarossan on April 24, 2013, 04:37:11 AM
April 24th...

1500: After going ashore and successfully making contact with the indigenous locals, Nicolau Coelho returns to Pedro Álvares Cabral's anchored at Monte Pascoal on the northeast coast of present-day Brazil.

Still believing this new land to be an island, Cabral moved the fleet north, where after traveling 40 miles along the coast, it anchored on 24th April in what the commander-in-chief named Porto Seguro (Safe Port) - The place was a natural harbour.

Again they made contact with the local inhabitants, and as before, the meeting was friendly. Cabral presented them with gifts.

A depiction of Pedro Álvares Cabral's first landing at Porto Seguro. He is standing in front of an armoured soldier, who is carrying a banner of the Order of Christ.

1895: Joshua Slocum begins, what will be a three year solo-circumnavigation, when he set sail from Boston, Massachusetts, aboard 'Spray', a 36' 9" rigged sloop oyster boat he rebuilt in Fairhaven, Mass.
In his famous book, 'Sailing Alone Around the World', now considered a classic of travel literature, he described his departure in the following manner:

"I had resolved on a voyage around the world, and as the wind on the morning of April 24, 1895 was fair, at noon I weighed anchor, set sail, and filled away from Boston, where the Spray had been moored snugly all winter. The twelve o'clock whistles were blowing just as the sloop shot ahead under full sail. A short board was made up the harbor on the port tack, then coming about she stood to seaward, with her boom well off to port, and swung past the ferries with lively heels. A photographer on the outer pier of East Boston got a picture of her as she swept by, her flag at the peak throwing her folds clear. A thrilling pulse beat high in me. My step was light on deck in the crisp air. I felt there could be no turning back, and that I was engaging in an adventure the meaning of which I thoroughly understood."

Captain Joshua Slocum's boat 'Spray', taken in 1898.

1916: Following the loss of their ship 'Endurance' in Weddell Sea ice, and a harrowing ordeal for survival on drifting ice floes, the 28 exhausted members of the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition were stranded on Elephant Island.

Realising that there was no chance of rescue, Ernest Shackleton decided to sail to South Georgia where he knew there was a whaling station. In one of the most incredible feats in the history of sailing and navigation, Shackleton sailed with five other men on an 800-mile voyage in the 22.5-ft open lifeboat, 'James Caird', on Easter Monday, 1916, arriving at South Georgia almost two weeks later.

Launching the 'James Caird' from the shore of Elephant Island, 24th April 1916.
Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - April 25th
Post by: ardarossan on April 25, 2013, 10:21:24 AM
April 25th...

1607: The naval Battle of Gibraltar takes place during the Eighty Years' War, when a Dutch fleet of 26 warships surprises and engages a Spanish fleet led by Don Juan Álvarez de Ávila, anchored at the Bay of Gibraltar. During the four hours of action, most of the Spanish fleet is destroyed.

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The explosion of the Spanish flagship 'San Augustin' during the Battle of Gibraltar,1607.
Oil on canvas by Hendrick Cornelisz Vroom, c.1621.

1829: Charles Fremantle arrives in H.M.S. 'Challenger' off the coast of modern-day Western Australia, prior to declaring the Swan River Colony for the United Kingdom on 2nd May 1829.

1908: During a late snowstorm off the Isle of Wight, H.M.S. 'Gladiator' was heading into port when she struck the outbound American steamer 'Saint Paul'. Visibility was down to 800 yd, but the strong tides and gale force winds required both ships to maintain high speeds to maintain steerage.

Lookouts on each vessel saw the approaching danger off Point Hurst, and the American ship attempted to pass to the port side. Lacking room to reciprocate the manoeuvre, 'Gladiator' turned the opposite way, ensuring a collision. 'Saint Paul' struck 'Gladiator' just aft of her engine room, the glancing blow ripping open the sides of both ships. 'Gladiator' foundered at once, while the American was able to remain afloat and launch lifeboats. Several men were saved by Royal Engineers from nearby Fort Victoria. At least 27 sailors were lost.

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H.M.S. 'Gladiator (Arrogant-class cruiser).

1859: The Suez Canal Company (Compagnie Universelle du Canal Maritime de Suez) officially starts the construction of the Suez Canal, on the shore of the future Port Said. The project would take more than 10 years using forced labour (corvée) of Egyptian workers during a certain period. Some sources estimate that over 30,000 people were working on the canal at any given period, that altogether more than 1.5 million people from various countries were employed, and that thousands of laborers died on the project.

The Suez Canal at Ismailia, c.1860. The Ismailia segment was completed in November 1862.

1915: Australian and New Zealand forces land at Anzac Cove as part of the amphibious invasion of the Turkish Gallipoli Peninsula. The landing, north of Gaba Tepe on the Aegean coast of the Peninsula, was made by soldiers of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) and was the first major combat of the war for these two countries. Another landing was made several miles to the south west at Cape Helles by British and French troops.

Australian 4th Battalion troops landing in Anzac Cove, 25th April 1915.

1915: The balloon spotters of H.M.S. 'Manica', the first kite balloon ship of the Royal Naval Air Service are put into action directing shells onto various Turkish positions, reporting naval movements and supporting ANZAC operations.
The balloon, with its two observers, was in the air from 05:21 to 14:05 hrs, constantly reporting on the activities associated with Anzac Cove, while Australian and New Zealand Army Corps troops scaled the cliffs. One of the observers sighted the Turkish battleship 'Turgut Reis' in the Narrows. H.M.S. 'Triumph' was contacted by wireless, and the balloon-directed fire forced the Turkish warship to withdraw.

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H.M.S. 'Manica', the first kite-balloon ship of the R.N.A.S.

1945: U.S. and Soviet troops meet at Torgau along the River Elbe, cutting the Wehrmacht of Nazi Germany in two, a milestone in the approaching end of World War 2 in Europe.
The initial contact was made between the two sides when First Lt. Albert Kotzebue of the 3rd Battalion, 273rd Infantry, 69th Infantry Division took his men in a boat across the Elbe to be greeted by Lt Col Alexander Gardiev, Commander of the 175th Rifle Regiment of the 58th Guards Division, 34th Corps.

1959: The St. Lawrence Seaway, (Great Lakes Waterway) is opened to commercial traffic. The icebreaker 'D'Iberville' was the first vessel through the system of locks, canals and channels which linked the North American Great Lakes & St. Lawrence River with the Atlantic Ocean.
The formal opening of the St. Lawrence Seaway took place several weeks later on 26th June.

Icebreaker C.G.S. 'd'Iberville' in the St. Lambert locks, during the first transit of the St. Lawrence Seaway.

1960: The U.S. Navy submarine U.S.S. 'Triton' completes the first submerged circumnavigation of the globe between 24th February and 25th April 1960, covering 26,723 nautical miles in 60 days and 21 hours at the average speed of 18 knots while crossing the Equator on four different occasions.

'Triton' had actually submerged soon after departure of her shakedown cruise on 16th February and remained submerged as she began her circumnavigation. Consequently, the total duration of her maiden voyage was 84 days 19 hours 8 minutes, covering 36,335.1 nautical miles (41,813.7 miles), of which she was continuously submerged for 83 days 9 hours, covering 35,979.1 nautical miles (41,404.0 miles).

U.S.S. 'Triton' (SSRN-586).

1961: Robert Noyce is granted U.S. Patent 2,981,877  for his "Semiconductor Device and Lead Structure", a type of integrated circuit (aka IC Chip or 'microchip').
Noyce came up with his own idea of an integrated circuit half a year later than a similar idea by Jack Kilby. However,  Noyce's chip solved many practical problems that Kilby's had not. Produced at Fairchild Semiconductor, it was made of silicon, whereas Kilby's chip was made of germanium.

1982: Britain re-established it's presence in the Falkland Islands after a two-hour assault by Royal Marines on the remote island of South Georgia. The victory was signalled to London by the commanding officer with a brief but dramatic message, "Be pleased to inform Her Majesty that the White Ensign flies alongside the Union Jack in South Georgia. God Save the Queen."

The British flags being raised over South Georgia, 25th April 1982.
"Be pleased to inform Her Majesty that the White Ensign flies alongside the Union Jack in South Georgia. God Save the Queen."
Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - April 26th
Post by: ardarossan on April 26, 2013, 03:25:27 PM
April 26th...

1500: While Portugese navigator Pedro Álvares Cabral's fleet was anchored in the natural harbour they had named Porto Seguro (Safe Port), more and more curious and friendly natives appeared. Cabral ordered his men to build an altar inland where a Christian Mass was held - the first celebrated on the soil of what would later become Brazil. He, along with the ships' crews, participated. The following days were spent stockpiling water, food, wood and other provisions. The Portuguese also built a massive  wooden cross.


1607: With a charter from the Virginia Company of London, English colonists aboard three ships, the 'Susan Constant'*, the 'Godspeed', and the 'Discovery' reached the New World at the southern edge of the mouth of (what is now known as) Chesapeake Bay. Led by Captain Christopher Newport, the colonists (all male) came ashore at the point where the southern side of the bay meets the Atlantic Ocean, an event which has come to be called 'The First Landing'. They erected a cross, and named the place Cape Henry, in honour of Henry Frederick, Prince of Wales, the eldest son of King James.
* Early documentary evidence now supports the possibility that the ship currently known as the 'Susan Constant', was really named 'Sarah Constant'

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Full-size replicas of (from L to R) 'Godspeed', 'Susan Constant'* and 'Discovery'.

1833:  Voyage of H.M.S. Beagle (1831-36): ( The 'Beagle' arrived at Montevideo on 26th April, dropped off some French passengers from the Falkland Islands, and sailed the next day to Maldonado to check on the 'Adventure'. More mail arrived by packet ship a few days later and Charles Darwin received six letters from his sisters: two from Caroline, two from Catherine, and two from Susan.

1956: SS 'Ideal X', the first commercially successful container ship, began her new career when she sailed from Port Newark, New Jersey for the Port of  Houston, Texas, carrying 58 35-feet (8ft wide x 8ft high) containers. She arrived at Houston five days later where 58 trucks were waiting to be loaded with the containers.
'Ideal X' was originally built in 1945, as a T-2 oil tanker named 'Potrero Hills'. She was later purchased by Malcom McLean's Pan-Atlantic Steamship Company and reconfigured to carry shipping containers.
However, 'Ideal X' was not the first container ship, the 'Clifford J. Rodgers', operated by the White Pass and Yukon Route, made its debut in 1955.

'Ideal X', The first commercially successful container ship.
Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - April 27th
Post by: ardarossan on April 27, 2013, 08:00:35 AM
April 27th...

1521: Magellan's Voyage around the World (1519-1522): After completing around two thirds of the first circumnavigation of the globe, Portugese navigator and explorer, Ferdinand Magellan's plans come unstuck at the Battle of Mactan, in the Phillipines, when he gets dead.

On the morning of 27th April, Magellan and forty-nine Spanish soldiers armed with guns, sailed to Mactan where they were confronted by Lapu-Lapu and 1,500 Mactan warriors, armed with machette-like knives, swords, spears, and shields.

In the ensuing 'battle', Magellan was hit by a bamboo spear and then surrounded and finished off with other weapons. Several of his men were also killed as they retreated to their boat.

Lapu-Lapu, the only native chieftain who refused to recognise the power & authority of Magellan and the sovereign power & dominion over the islands by the Spanish monarchy, is now regarded as the first Filipino hero.

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The Death of Magellan on Mactan, 1521.

1791: Samuel Finley Breese Morse is born in Charlestown, Massachusetts, the first child of the pastor Jedidiah Morse (who was also a geographer) and Elizabeth Ann Finley Breese. Samuel Morse would go on to become an inventor, contributing to the invention of a single-wire telegraph system (based on European telegraphs), to co-invent the Morse code, and also an accomplished artist.

1863: Iron screw steam ship, 'Anglo Saxon', built by William Denny and Brothers of Dumbarton in 1856, operated on the Liverpool-Canada route. On 16th April, commanded by Captain William Burgess, she sailed out from Liverpool bound for Quebec with 360 passengers and 85 crew aboard. On 27th April, in dense fog, she ran aground in Clam Cove about four miles north of Cape Race on the Newfoundland coast. The ship broke up within an hour of hitting the rocks, and sank. Of those on board 237 people died, making this one of Canada's worst shipwrecks.

The Stranding of the SS 'Anglo-Saxon'.

1865: Dangerously overloaded, the Mississippi River-steamboat 'Sultana' exploded at around 02:00hrs on 27th April, and became the worst maritime disaster in United States history.
An estimated 1,600 of Sultana's 2,400 passengers were killed due to a catastrophic failure of the ship's boiler(s). The tremendous explosion destroyed a large section of the vessel, scattering hot coals throughout the remaining superstructure, turning it into an inferno.
Passengers and crew surviving the blast and flames, were subsequently killed by drowning or hypothermia in the icy river water.
The burning wreck eventually sank around dawn, near the tiny settlement of Mound City near present-day Marion, Arkansas.
This disaster was overshadowed in the press by other recent events. John Wilkes Booth, President Lincoln's assassin, was killed the day before.

Mississippi Steamboat 'Sultana', 26th April 1865. (

1960: The first submarine specifically designed as an ASW (Anti-Submarine Warfare) weapon, U.S.S. 'Tullibee' (SSN-597) is launched from Groton, Connecticut. Built in response to a need for deeper-diving, ultraquiet submarine designs using long-range sonar, 'Tullibee's design incorporated three signicant differences. First, she incorporated the first bow-mounted spherical sonar array. This resulted in the second innovation: amidships, angled torpedo tubes. Thirdly, 'Tullibee' was propelled by a very quiet turbo-electric power plant based on the S2C reactor.

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U.S.S. 'Tullibee' (SSN-597) is launched from Groton, Connecticut., April 27th 1960.
Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - April 28th
Post by: ardarossan on April 28, 2013, 06:49:26 AM
April 28th...

1503: The French were defeated by the Spanish under Gonsalvo de Cordoba at the 'Battle of Cerignola' near Naples. Although this was a land battle, it is notable for being the first major battle won largely through the use of small arms fire using gunpowder.

1789: A mutiny occurs aboard the British Royal Navy ship H.M.S. 'Bounty' on 28th April 1789. The mutiny was led by Fletcher Christian against commanding officer Lieutenant William Bligh. According to most accounts, the sailors were attracted to the idyllic life on the Pacific island of Tahiti and had been motivated by harsh treatment from their captain.

Eighteen mutineers set Lieutenant Bligh adrift in a small boat with eighteen of the twenty-two crew loyal to him. The mutineers then variously settled on Pitcairn Island or in Tahiti and burned the Bounty off Pitcairn Island, to avoid detection and to prevent desertion.

Bligh navigated the 23-foot open launch on a 47-day voyage to Timor in the Dutch East Indies, equipped with a quadrant and pocket watch and without charts or compass. He recorded the distance as 3,618 nautical miles. He then returned to Britain and reported the mutiny to the Admiralty on 15th March 1790, 2 years and 11 weeks after his original departure.

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The Mutiny on His Majesty's Ship 'Bounty', 29th April 1789, by Robert Dodd.

1865: Sir Samuel Cunard, 1st Baronet, died on this day in Kensington. He was buried nearby in Brompton Cemetery.
Known for the shipping line that carries his name, the Canadian-English shipping magnate was already a highly successful entrepreneur in Halifax shipping and one of a group of twelve individuals who dominated the affairs of Nova Scotia. Early investments in steam included co-founding the steam ferry company in Halifax harbour and an investment in the pioneering steamship 'Royal William'.
Later, Cunard travelled to the United Kingdom, where he set up a company with several other businessmen to bid for the rights to run a transatlantic mail service between the UK and North America. The group was successful with its bid, and the company later became Cunard Steamships Limited. 

1944: Code-named 'Exercise Tiger' (or Operation Tiger), the large-scale rehearsals for the D-Day invasion of Normandy were taking place on Slapton Sands or Slapton Beach in Devon.
In the early hours of 28th April, an allied convoy of Landing Craft was positioning itself for a landing, when it came under attack from nine E-boats of the German Kriegsmarine, resulting in the deaths of 946 American servicemen. The incident was under the strictest secrecy at the time due to the impending invasion, and was only nominally reported afterward; as a result it has been called 'forgotten'.

1947: Norwegian explorer & writer Thor Heyerdahl with five companions, set off from Peru on board a balsa wood raft, in order to discover whether it was possible that Peruvian Indians could have crossed the Pacific ocean and settled in the Polynesian islands.
The raft, named 'Kon-Tiki' after the Inca sun god, Viracocha (for whom 'Kon-Tiki' was said to be an old name), was constructed in an indigenous style, as recorded in illustrations by Spanish conquistadores, and using only technologies available to those people at the time.

Thor Heyerdahl's 'Kon-Tiki' during its 101-day voyage from Peru to Polynesia, 1947.

1986: The United States Navy aircraft carrier U.S.S. 'Enterprise' becomes the first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier to transit the Suez Canal, navigating from the Red Sea to the Mediterranean Sea to relieve the U.S.S. 'Coral Sea'.
Title: Re: This Day In 'Boating' History
Post by: heritorasphodel on April 28, 2013, 10:58:03 PM
April 28th, 1982

His Royal Higness The Duke of Edinburgh presented the Design Council Award to Mr. P. Denham Christie, Chairman of the RNLI Boat committee and Lt. Cdr. H. E. Over, Chief Technical Officer of the RNLI for 'the excellence of design of the Arun class lifeboat'.

By the end of summer 1981, Arun lifeboats had been at sea on service for more than 3000 hours, rescuing 455 people and landing 256. Although rescues had been performed in winds up to hurricane force and tremendous seas, no Arun has capsized and no crew member lost or seriously disabled. Three services for which gold medals had been awarded had been carried out aboard Aruns. By the time the last left service in 2009, three gold, six silver and twenty bronze medals have been awarded to Arun crews. Their safety record remained perfect.

Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - April 29th
Post by: ardarossan on April 29, 2013, 07:48:01 PM
April 29th

1483: After more than a century of European (French, Portuguese, etc) incursions and attempts at conquest, Gran Canaria, the main island of the Canary islands, was conquered on 9th April 1483, following a 5-year campaign by the Kingdom of Castile, with the support of Queen Isabella I. The conquest would turn out to be an important step towards the expansion of the unified Spain.

1587: At dusk, an English fleet under the command of Sir Francis Drake, entered the Bay of Cádiz. As they did so, there were sixty carracks (naus) and various smaller boats in the port. Further sightings revealed twenty French ships in the bay, and other smaller vessels seeking refuge in Port Royal and Port Saint Mary, which were protected by sand banks.
Spanish galleons sailed out to meet the English expedition fleet but were forced to retire back to Cádiz before the superiority of the English. Gun positions on the shore opened fire on the English fleet with little effect, but did manage to repulse an attempted landing by launches at El Puntal.

The battle in the bay raged until dawn on the 1st May when the English withdrew, having destroyed up to 33 Spanish ships, with a combined weight of 10,000 tons. Furthermore, they had captured four other ships, laden with provisions.

The incident became known by Drake's phrase, “Singeing the beard of the King of Spain”.


During the next month, Drake patrolled the Iberian coasts between Lisbon and Cape St. Vincent, intercepting and destroying ships on the Spanish supply lines. Drake estimated that he captured around 1600 -1700 tons of barrel staves, enough to make 25,000 to 30,000 barrels for containing provisions. The damage caused by the English delayed Spanish plans to invade England by more than a year.

1770: Captain James Cook and some members of his crew made their first landfall on the mainland of Australia, at a place now known as the Kurnell Peninsula. Cook originally christened the area as 'Stingray Bay', but he later crossed it out and named it Botany Bay after the unique specimens retrieved by the botanists Joseph Banks and Daniel Solander. It is here that James Cook would makde first contact with an Aboriginal tribe known as the Gweagal.

Captain Cook's Landing at Botany Bay, 1770.

1781: British and French ships clash in the Battle of Fort Royal off the coast of Martinique in the West Indies during the American War of Independence, between fleets of the British Royal Navy and the French Navy. After an engagement lasting four hours, the British squadron under Sir Samuel Hood broke off and retreated. De Grasse offered a desultory chase before seeing the French convoys safely to port.

1893: The British racing yacht 'Valkyrie II' is launched on the River Clyde, Scotland. The gaff-rigged cutter was designed by George Lennox Watson and built alongside H.M.Y. 'Britannia' at the D&W Henderson shipyard, Meadowside, Partick, Scotland, for owner Lord Dunraven of the Royal Yacht Squadron. She sailed to the U.S. that October to compete in the eighth America's Cup.
Racing Yacht ' Valkyrie 11'.

1945: H.M.S. 'Goodall' (K479) is torpedoed by German submarine U-286 outside the Kola Inlet, to  become the last ship of the Royal Navy sunk in the European theatre of World War 2.
Title: Re: This Day In 'Boating' History
Post by: Capt Podge on April 29, 2013, 11:06:11 PM
Monday, 29th April 1940   'HM Submarine Unity' sank after a collision with 'SS Atle Jarl' off Blyth at 55°13'30"N - 01°19'00"W. Four of her crew were killed.
 Tuesday, 29th April 1941   'SS Kalua' (722t) was attacked and sunk by enemy aircraft off the Tyne, ˝ a mile NNE of the T2 Buoy at 55°00'02"N - 01°17'34"W.
Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - April 30th
Post by: ardarossan on April 30, 2013, 03:39:42 PM
April 30th...

1940: Shortly after lunch-time on the afternoon of 30th April, the inhabitants of Greenock, Scotland were startled by a loud explosion, the blast from which shattered hundreds of windows along the water-front, and shook houses for miles around.
The explosion occurred aboard the French destroyer 'Maillé Brézé' lying at anchor, about half-a-mile off the town, when her aft-facing torpedo tube malfunctioned,  discharging an armed torpedo across the deck into her own forward section. The explosion wrecked the whole forepart of the ship, setting fire to the fuel oil and everything combustible, and trapped many men below deck. She sank several hours later with those still trapped in the forward part. The accident killed (at least) 25 and wounded 48.

French destroyer 'Maillé Brézé'.

1941: En route to Liverpool from Nova Scotia, passenger & cargo steamer, SS 'Nerissa', was carrying 145 Canadian servicemen; RAF and Royal Norwegian Air Force personnel; Northern Electric technicians; members of the press; and a number of civilians. She had sailed across the Atlantic alone and was only 200 miles from her destination when, at 23:30hrs, she was struck amidships by a torpedo fired from German submarine U-552.
As the lifeboats were being lowered, an explosion split the ship in two, destroying the unlowered boats. U-552 had fired an additional torpedo to ensure the ship's sinking, striking 'Nerissa' three minutes after the first.
In the short time between the two impacts and her rapid sinking, the ship's radio operator was able to send a Mayday signal along with the ship's position.
At first light a Bristol Blenheim of Coastal Command circled the scene. The British destroyer H.M.S. 'Veteran' arrived an hour later and picked up the survivors who were transferred to the Flower class corvette H.M.S. 'Kingcup' and landed at Derry. All but 84 of the ship's complement of 290 passengers abd crew were lost.
SS ' Nerissa' was the only transport carrying Canadian troops to be lost during World War 2.

SS 'Nerissa' - She was originally built for the Bowring Brothers' "Red Cross Line" service.

1943: On 30th April at 04:30hrs, Operation Mincemeat commences when British submarine H.M.S. 'Seraph' surfaces in the Mediterranean Sea to deposit the body of a dead man, planted with false "top secret" invasion plans and dressed as a downed British military intelligence officer.
About a mile off the coast of Spain, near the town of Huelva, a life jacket was put on the body, before it was dropped it into the sea, allowing the tide to wash it ashore. This location was selected as the British knew an Abwehr agent operated in Huelva, who was friendly with the Spanish officials there.
The story was used as the plot in Duff Cooper's 1950 novel 'Operation Heartbreak', but revealed as a true story in the 1953 book 'The Man Who Never Was'. A film of the same name was made in 1956.

Screen-shot from the film, "The Man Who Never Was."

1961: K-19, one of the first two Soviet nuclear submarines equipped with nuclear ballistic missiles, is commissioned. Due to the large number of accidents during its construction and service life, it gained an unofficial nickname 'Hiroshima' among naval sailors and officers.

This image is believed to be the photo the U.S. Navy had of K-19.

2012: In one of the worst boat tragedies in Assam in North-east India, 103 people drowned (including women and children), with over 100 reported as missing, when a packed ferry, carrying up to 350 passengers, capsized and sank in the Brahmaputra river after being caught in a severe storm.
Reuters reported that a police officer had said that the ferry had neither lifeboats nor life jackets and was overloaded with people and goods. Most of the passengers were farmers and farm families from the local area.
Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - May 1st 'May Day'
Post by: ardarossan on May 01, 2013, 07:24:21 PM
May 1st...

May Day (on May 1st), is an ancient Northern Hemisphere spring festival and usually a public holiday, it is also a traditional spring holiday in many cultures.
Traditional British May Day rites and celebrations include Morris dancing, crowning a May Queen and celebrations involving a maypole. Much of this tradition derives from the pagan Anglo-Saxon customs held during the month of May, along with many Celtic traditions.

"Mayday" is an emergency procedure word used internationally as a distress signal in voice procedure radio communications. It derives from the French venez m'aider, meaning "come help me".

1500: Whilst Pedro Álvares Cabral's fleet is anchored in a natural harbour on the Northeast coast of the 'island' they had discovered (actually present-day Brazil), Cabral ascertained that the new land lay east of the demarcation line between Portugal and Spain that had been specified in the Treaty of Tordesillas. The territory was thus within the sphere allotted to Portugal.
On 1st May, to solemnise Portugal's claim to the land, a massive wooden cross (built a few days earlier) was erected and a second religious service was held. In honour of the Cross, Cabral named the newly discovered land, Ilha de Vera Cruz (Island of the True Cross).

A ceremony was held before the Cross, and Cabral claimed 'Ilha de Vera Cruz' for Portugal, 1st May 1500.

1707: The Acts of Union join the Scottish Parliament and the English Parliament to form the Parliament of Great Britain, based in the Palace of Westminster in London, the home of the English Parliament.

1730: (Admiral) Sir Joshua Rowley,(1st Baronet) was born at the family home of Tendring Hall in Suffolk (probably) on May 1st. The eldest son of Admiral Sir William Rowley, he would enter the the navy and first serve aboard his father’s flagship HMS Stirling. He would go on to serve with distiction in a number of battles throughout his career and become highly praised by his contemporaries.

1898: The Battle of Manila Bay took place on 1st May, when the American Asiatic Squadron under Commodore George Dewey engaged and destroyed the Spanish Pacific Squadron under Admiral Patricio Montojo. The engagement took place in Manila Bay in the Philippines, and was the first major engagement of the Spanish-American War.

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U.S.S. 'Olympia' leading the U.S. Asiatic Squadron in destroying the Spanish fleet at battle of Manila Bay, 1898.

1965: The Battle of Dong-Yin took place on 1st May when a Republic of China Navy (ROCN) Northern Division Dong-jiang-class destroyer on patrol northeast of Dong-Yin Island encountered a People's Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) force consisting of 8 fast-attack gunboats. The PLAN combatants attempted to encircle the ROCN destroyer, and the two sides exchanged fire from a distance of 500 - 1000 yards. In the ensuing exchange, 4 PLAN gunboats were sunk, and 2 damaged. Both sides subsequently claimed victory.

2003: U.S. President George 'Dubya' Bush became the first sitting President to make an arrested landing in a fixed-wing aircraft on an aircraft carrier, arriving on the U.S.S. 'Abraham Lincoln' in a Lockheed S-3 Viking, dubbed Navy One, as the carrier lay just off the San Diego coast.
Later, he gave what becomes known as the "Mission Accomplished" speech, declaring that "major combat operations in Iraq have ended", far above him was the warship's banner stating "Mission Accomplished."
Bush's assertion - and the sign itself - became controversial after guerrilla warfare in Iraq increased during the Iraqi insurgency. The vast majority of casualties, both military and civilian, occurring after the speech.

President Bush addresses sailors during the "Mission Accomplished" speech.
Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - May 2nd
Post by: ardarossan on May 02, 2013, 04:26:23 PM
May 2nd...

1194: King Richard 1 of England (aka Richard the Lionheart) gives Portsmouth its first Royal Charter granting permission for the borough to hold a fifteen-day annual 'Free Market Fair', weekly markets, to set up a local court to deal with minor matters, and exemption from paying the annual tax, with the money instead used for local matters.

1500: Under the command of either Gaspar de Lemos or André Gonçalves (sources vary), Portuguese navigator and explorer, Pedro Álvares Cabral, despatched one of his fleet of supply ships back to Portugal, to appraise the King of his discovery. The remaining eleven ships left Porto Seguro to resume ther voyage on 2nd or 3rd May, sailing south, along the coast of 'Ilha de Vera Cruz' (Present-day Brazil).


1521: Magellan's Voyage around the World (1519-1522): The casualties suffered in the Philippines, including the death of Magellan on 27th April 1521, at the Battle of Mactan, left the expedition with too few men to sail all three of the remaining ships. Consequently, on 2nd May they decided to abandoned 'Concepción' and burned the ship. The fleet, now reduced to the 'Trinidad' and 'Victoria', fled westward to Palawan.

Ferdinand Magellan (1480 - 27th April 1521)
Fernăo de Magalhăes (Portuguese).

1670: King Charles II of England grants a permanent charter to the Hudson's Bay Company to open up the fur trade in the region watered by all rivers and streams flowing into Hudson Bay, in northern Canada. The area was called Rupert's Land after Prince Rupert - the first director of the company and a first cousin of King Charles.

1829: After anchoring off nearby Garden Island, Captain Charles Fremantle of the H.M.S. 'Challenger', declares the Swan River Colony in Western Australia for Britain.

1866: The Battle of Callao occurred on 2nd May 1866, between a Spanish fleet under the command of Admiral Casto Méndez Núńez and the fortified battery emplacements of the Peruvian port city of Callao during the Chincha Islands War.
The Spanish fleet bombarded the port of Callao (or El Callao), and eventually withdrew (either); without any notable damage to the city structures - according to the Peruvian and American sources, or; after having silenced almost all the guns of the coastal defences - according to the Spanish accounts and French observers.

The ironclad 'Numancia', flagship of the Spanish fleet.

1964: In the early hours of the morning, while Bogue-class escort carrier U.S.N.S. 'Card' was moored dockside in Saigon's shallow harbour, North Vietnamese frogmen were busily attaching explosive charges to her.
When the explosives detonated, they killed five of 'Card's civilian crewmen and blew a large hole in her hull near the engine compartment. Taking on water, she settled into the mud of the harbour floor.
After she was patched and pumped out, she was raised on 19th May, then towed to Subic Bay and on to Yokosuka for repairs. U.S.N.S. 'Card' returned to service on 11th December.

U.S.N.S. 'Card' arriving in Yokosuka, Japan, for repairs.

1969: The Cunard ocean liner 'Queen Elizabeth 2' departs from Southampton on her official maiden voyage to New York City.
The QE2 making its official maiden voyage from Southampton to New York, 2nd May 1969.

1974: Principal photography began on the island of Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts, for the movie 'Jaws'. The location was selected as it represented "a vacation area that was lower middle class enough so that an appearance of a shark would destroy the tourist business".

1982: In the South Atlantic, at 15:57 hrs FKT (Falkland Islands Time), the Royal Navy nuclear-powered submarine H.M.S. 'Conqueror', fired three 21 inch Mk 8 mod 4 torpedoes (conventional, non-guided, torpedoes), each with an 805-pound (363 kg) Torpex warhead, at the Argentinian Navy light cruiser ARA 'General Belgrano'.

Two of the three torpedoes found their target. One of them blew off the ship's bow, but the ship's internal torpedo bulkheads held and the forward powder magazine for the 40 mm gun did not detonate. The second torpedo struck about three-quarters of the way along the side of the ship, punching through the hull before exploding in the aft machine room. The explosion tore upward through two messes and a relaxation area before ripping a 20-metre-long hole in the main deck.

Twenty minutes after the attack, with the ship sinking rapidly, her captain ordered the crew to abandon ship. Inflatable life rafts were deployed, and the evacuation began without panic.
323 lives were lost in the attack, while 772 were rescued between 3rd and 5th May.

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Life rafts evacuate ARA 'General Belgrano', sinking in the South Atlantic, 2nd May 1982.
Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - May 3rd
Post by: ardarossan on May 03, 2013, 09:21:17 PM
May 3rd...

1855: On Thursday 3rd May, the 'John' a 468-ton sailing ship that traded primarily between the South West of England and the United States and Canada, departed from Plymouth bound for Quebec. Captained by Edward Rawle (the Rawle family co-owned the ship), she was carrying around 268 passengers (including 100 children and infants), plus 19 crew.
Later that night, in reasonable conditions, she ran onto the Manacle Rocks, St Keverne, Cornwall.

Although her hull was breached, she was not in immediate danger of sinking and it should have been possible to evacuate the ship. However, the captain refused to lower the life boats, and showed scant regard for welfare of the passengers, as he and his crew prepared to save themselves.

The following morning, the conditions worsened and the tide swamped the ship. Around 194 passengers drowned, while all the crew survived.
The bodies of 120 victims were buried in a mass grave at the Church of St. Keverne, many more were never found.The incident is believed to be ths biggest single loss of life on 'The Manacles'.
Captain Edwin Rawle was later found guilty of gross negligence, but acquitted on the charge of manslaughter.

The memorial stone for the 120 people interred at the Church of St. Keverne, Cornwall.

1939: H.M.S. 'Prince of Wales', a King George V-class battleship of the Royal Navy, is launched at the Cammell Laird shipyard in Birkenhead, England.
'Prince of Wales' was originally to be named 'King Edward VIII' but upon the abdication of Edward VIII the ship was renamed even before she had been laid down.
She was still fitting out when war was declared in September 1939, causing her construction schedule, and that of her sister, 'King George V', to be accelerated. Nevertheless, the late delivery of gun mountings caused delays in her outfitting.

H.M.S. 'Prince of Wales' is launched at the Cammell Laird shipyard in Birkenhead, England.

1945: Anchored in Lübeck Bay off Neustadt, three German ships, the SS 'Thielbek', a 2,815 GRT freighter, along with the ocean liners SS 'Cap Arcona' and the SS 'Deutschland' were attacked and sunk by several RAF Hawker Typhoons of 83 Group of the 2nd Tactical Air Force.

The ships had been previously used to transport soldiers and refugees escaping from German eastern territories to the west, but at the time of the air raid, they were laden with prisoners who had survived the Neuengamme, Stutthof, and Mittelbau-Dora concentration camps. It is estimated that more than 10,000 lives were lost as a result of the attack, with around 5000 of those being from 'Cap Arcona' alone.

A grim irony relating to the incident was later revealed by the head of the Hamburg Gestapo, when he stated in compliance with orders from Himmler, the prisoners were to be killed anyway. It was suggested that they planned to do this by scuttling the ships with the prisoners alive and aboard.

The German luxury ocean-liner 'Cap Arcona', on 1st January, 1927.
Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - May 4th
Post by: ardarossan on May 04, 2013, 10:00:27 PM
May 4th...

1626: Dutch explorer Peter Minuit arrives in New Netherland (present day Manhattan Island) aboard the See Meeuw.

1675: King Charles II of England orders the construction of the Royal Greenwich Observatory. Situated on a hill in Greenwich Park, overlooking the River Thames, it would play a major role in the history of astronomy and navigation, and is be known as the location of the prime meridian.

The Royal Observatory, Greenwich. A time ball sits atop the Octagon Room.

1904: The United States begins construction of the Panama Canal. Under President Theodore Roosevelt, the U.S. had bought the French equipment and excavations for US $40 million, made an initial payment of U.S. $10 million to the new country of Panama, and began work on the canal on 4th May. In 1921, the United States paid Colombia US $10 million, plus US $250,000 per annum for several years; in return, Colombia recognized Panama under the terms of the Thomson-Urrutia Treaty.

1910: The Royal Canadian Navy is established (as the Naval Service of Canada) following the introduction of the Naval Service Bill by then Prime Minister Sir Wilfrid Laurier, the Naval Service of Canada was intended as a distinct naval force for the Dominion, that, should the need arise, could be placed under British control. The bill received royal assent on 4th May 1910. Initially equipped with two former Royal Navy vessels, H.M.C.S. 'Niobe' and H.M.C.S. 'Rainbow', the service was renamed Royal Canadian Navy by King George V on 29 August 1911.

Badge of the Royal Canadian Navy.

1912: Commander Charles Samson of the Royal Naval Air Service took off from H.M.S. 'Hibernia' in his modified Shorts S.38 “hydro-aeroplane” to be the first pilot to take off from a ship underway at sea. The S.38 T.2 aircraft had air-bag floats to enable landing on water and was launched via a trolley-shuttle system off of a ramp which stretched from Hibernia’s bridge to bow, over her forward 12 inch guns."

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The moment Commander Charles Samson of the Royal Naval Air Service took off from H.M.S. 'Hibernia' in his modified Shorts S.38 “hydro-aeroplane”.

1917: SS 'Transylvania' was torpedoed and sunk in the Gulf of Genoa, by the German U-boat U-63. At the time of her sinking she was carrying Allied troops to Egypt; she sank with the loss of 412 lives.

1945: A representative of Grand Admiral Karl Doenitz, Hitler's successor as chief of state and commander-in-chief of the armed forces surrendered the Netherlands, Denmark and north-western Germany to Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery at Luneberg Heath, south-east of Hamburg.

1946: In San Francisco Bay, U.S. Marines from the nearby Treasure Island Naval Base stop a two-day riot at Alcatraz federal prison. Five people are killed in the riot.

1953: Ernest Hemingway wins the Pulitzer Prize for his novel 'The Old Man and the Sea'. It was the last major work of fiction to be produced by Hemingway and published in his lifetime. One of his most famous works, it centers upon Santiago, an aging, experienced fisherman who struggles with a giant marlin far out in the Gulf Stream.

Cover illustration from 'The Old Man and the Sea'.

1982: Twenty sailors are killed when the British Type 42 destroyer H.M.S. 'Sheffield' is hit by an Argentinian Exocet missile, fired from an Argentinian aircraft. The ship caught fire when a French-made Exocet missile penetrated deep into the ship's control room, causing a poisonous smoke and leaving litle option but to abandon ship.
Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - May 5th
Post by: ardarossan on May 05, 2013, 10:23:44 PM
May 5th...

1494: On his second voyage to the New World, Christopher Columbus arrives at the island of Jamaica, annexing the island in the name of his master and mistress, the King and Queen of Spain. Jamaica would not be occupied until Juan de Esquivel arrives from Santo Domingo in 1509. (Note: Some sources give 4th May as date of Columus landing).

1500: After despatching a ship to Spain to impart news of the newly-discovered land (present-day Brazil), Pedro Alvares Cabral's fleet of ships sailed south, along the east coast of South America for a couple of days. During this time Cabral became convinced that the newly-claimed land mass - which he had named 'Ilha de Vera Cruz' (Island of the True Cross) - was an entire continent, rather than an island.
Around 5th May, the fleet of (11 remaing ships) veered sharply eastwards, resuming their voyage to India, with the intendion of establishing trade links and to purchase valuable spices.


1860: Sailing from Genoa aboard two ships - named 'Piemonte' and 'Lombardo' - Giuseppe Garibaldi leads an expedition of around a thousand volunteers, called i Mille (the Thousand), or, as popularly known, the Redshirts, to conquer the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies.

Garibaldi departing on the Expedition of the Thousand.

1903: RMS Carpathia was built by Swan Hunter & Wigham Richardson at their Newcastle upon Tyne, England shipyard. She was launched on 6 August 1902 and underwent her sea trials between 22 and 25 April 1903. 1903: Following sea-trials, conducted between 22nd-25th April 1903, the R.M.S. 'Carpathia' makes her maiden voyage from Liverpool, England, to Boston, USA. She would also run services between New York City, Trieste, Fiume, and various Mediterranean ports.

1937: The MV 'Wilhelm Gustloff' is launched at the Blohm & Voss shipyards. She measured over 684-ft long and 77-ft wide, with a capacity of 25,484 gross register tons, and was was named after Wilhelm Gustloff, a leader of the National Socialist Party's Swiss branch, who had been assassinated in 1936.

German cruise liner 'Wilhelm Gustloff being launched in Hamburg, 5th May 1937.

1943: An Airborne Lifeboat is used operationally for the first time, when it is dropped from an aircraft of No.279 Squadron, Royal Air Force.
The Mark 1 Airborne Lifeboat was the brain-child of the famous boat designer Uffa Fox. They were initially carried underneath Hudson bomber's and dropped by parachute to assist aircrew who had ended up in the sea after being shot down.

Overall 500 Airborne Lifeboats were built, and helped 600+ aircrews survive.

1961: Commander Alan Shepard is recovered from his space capsule in the Atlantic after becoming the first American in space.37-year-old Cdr Shepard of the U.S. Navy was launched into sub-orbital flight from Cape Canaveral in Florida in a Mercury 3 capsule attached to a Redstone rocket.
He travelled 115 miles into space and landed in the Atlantic just 15 minutes later. His first words after he was picked up by a helicopter were: "Boy, what a ride!"

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Alan Shepard and the 'Freedom 7' capsule, on board aircraft carrier U.S.S. 'Lake Champlain', shortly after recovery.
Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - May 6th
Post by: ardarossan on May 06, 2013, 09:51:48 PM
May 6th...

1621: Having sailed from Plymouth, Massachusetts, at the beginning of April, 'Mayflower' made excellent time on her voyage back to England. The westerlies that had buffeted her going out, now pushed her along going back and she arrived at the home port of Rotherhithe in London on May 6th, 1621 - less than half the time it had taken her to sail to America.

'Mayflower' under full sail in the North Atlantic" (Image cropped).

1902: SS 'Camorta', built at A. & J. Inglis in 1880 and owned by the British India Steam Navigation Company, was caught in a cyclone as she sailed from Madras, India, to Rangoon, Burma, across the Bay of Bengal. She was reported missing when she failed to arrive at Rangoon on 13th May. Other British India vessels were sent to search for her. Initially a lifeboat was found near the Krishna lightvessel. The wreck was subsequently found by the SS 'Purnea' on 4th June 1902 in fifteen fathoms of water; her masts still stood six feet above the surface. The 'Camorta' had sank in an area called the Baragua Flats, just off the Irrawaddy Delta with the loss of all 655 passengers and 82 crew.

SS 'Camorta', in a painting by Tom Robinson.

1956: On 6th May, the U.S. battleship. U.S.S. 'Wisconsin' (BB-64) collided with the destroyer 'Eaton' in a heavy fog. 'Wisconsin' put into Norfolk with extensive damage to her bow, and one week later entered dry dock at the Norfolk Naval Shipyard. A novel expedient sped her repairs and enabled the ship to carry out her scheduled midshipman training cruise that summer. A 120 ton, 68 foot section of the bow of the uncompleted Iowa-class battleship 'Kentucky' was transported by barge, in one section, from Newport News Shipbuilding and Drydock Corporation of Newport News, Virginia, across Hampton Roads to the Norfolk Naval Shipyard. Working around the clock, 'Wisconsin's ship’s force and shipyard personnel completed the operation which grafted the new bow on the old battleship in 16 days. On 28th June 1956, the ship was ready for sea.

The bow of the U.S.S. Kentucky (BB-66) being transported on a large crane barge to repair U.S.S. 'Wisconsin' (BB-64). The tug closest to camera is Alamingo (YTB-227). Tug on other side of barge is Apohola (YTB-502), c.May-June 1956.

1994: The Queen and France's President Francois Mitterrand formally opened the Channel Tunnel during two elaborate ceremonies in France and Britain. After travelling through the tunnel, which took eight years and billions of pounds to build, the Queen said it was one of the world's great technological achievements.

Opening the Channel Tunnel in 1994.
Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - May 7th
Post by: ardarossan on May 07, 2013, 07:54:17 AM
May 7th...

1765: H.M.S. 'Victory' is launched at Chatham. She had cost Ł63,176 and 3 shillings, and used around 6000 trees in her construction -  90% of which were oak and the remainder elm, pine and fir, as well as a small quantity of Lignum Vitae.
Because there was no immediate use for her, she was placed in 'ordinary' - in reserve, roofed over, dismasted and placed under general maintenance - moored in the River Medway for 13 years until France joined the American War of Independence.

A 1:78 scale static model of H.M.S. 'Victory', Nelson's Flagship, by Panart.

1838: Isambard Kingdom Brunel's Paddle-steamer 'Great Western', departs from New York at the start of her first return voyage to Avonmouth, England. 

1875: Launched in 1873, the 3,421 ton German ocean liner SS 'Schiller',  was one of the largest vessels of her time. She was operated by the German Transatlantic Steam Navigation Line to carry passengers between New York and Hamburg.
At around 22:00hrs on the night of 7th-8th May 1875, whilst carrying 372 passengers and crew (who were mainly German) plus a cargo of valuable goods including gold coins, she was sailing into the English Channel from the west. Encountering thick fog and heavy seas, her captain knew they were in the region of the Bishop Rock lighthouse and was trying to locate it when the ship hit the Retarrier Ledges in the Isles of Scilly causing significant damage.
Signals were fired from her cannon but only one was heard on shore, and was presumed to be a normal arrival or passing signal.

By the following morning it was obvious that a ship was amongst the western rocks and rescue attempts began, but by this time the ship had broken up and only a few men remained clinging to the rigging. Of the 372 people carried only 37 survived.
Over a hundred bodies were buried in the churchyard at Old Town.

In respect to the great assistance that the Scillonians (inhabitants of the Scilly Isles) made to assist the mostly German people on board, orders were given in the two World Wars to spare the Isles of Scilly from being attacked by German forces.

SS 'Schiller' - Her signal cannon is preserved in the Museum of the Isles of Scilly.

1915: The sinking of the Cunard ocean liner R.M.S. 'Lusitania' occurred as Germany waged submarine warfare against Britain. The ship was identified and torpedoed by the German U-boat U-20 and sank in 20 minutes. The vessel went down 11 miles off the Old Head of Kinsale, Ireland, killing 1,198 and leaving 761 survivors. The sinking turned public opinion in many countries against Germany, contributed to the American entry into World War I and became an iconic symbol in military recruiting campaigns of why the war was being fought.
'Lusitania' had the misfortune to fall victim to torpedo attack relatively early in the First World War, before tactics for evading submarines were properly implemented or understood. The contemporary investigations both in the UK and the United States into the precise causes of the ship's loss were obstructed by the needs of wartime secrecy and a propaganda campaign to ensure all blame fell upon Germany.

The headline on the cover of the New York Times.

1940: A Bristol Beaufort torpedo bomber of RAF Coastal Command drops the first 2,000 pound bomb to be delivered by the Royal Air Force (RAF) during the Second World War. The target is an enemy cruiser near Nordeney, but the weapon missed the warship.

A Bristol Beaufort.

1943: Royal Air Force maritime patrol aircraft sink three U-boats in one day. A Handley Page Halifax of No.58 Squadron sinks U-109 and a Short Sunderland of No.10 Squadron Royal Australian Air Force sank U-663, both engagements take place in the Bay of Biscay. Meanwhile a Lockheed Hudson of No.233 Squadron sinks the U-447 off Gibraltar.

1945: As the representative of Karl Dönitz, General Alfred Jodl signs the German instruments of unconditional surrender at Reims, France 7 May 1945, effectively ending the six-year European phase of history's most destructive war. The document takes effect the next day.

1952: The concept of the integrated circuit (also referred to as an IC, a chip, or a microchip), the basis for all modern computers was conceived by a radar scientist working for the Royal Radar Establishment of the British Ministry of Defence, Geoffrey W.A. Dummer (1909 - 2002). Dummer presented the idea to the public at the Symposium on Progress in Quality Electronic Components in Washington, D.C. on 7th May 1952, some six years before Jack Kilby of Texas Instruments was awarded a patent for essentially the same idea. As a result he has been called "The Prophet of the Integrated Circuit".
Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - May 8th
Post by: ardarossan on May 08, 2013, 06:07:31 AM
May 8th...

1791: H.M.S. 'Pandora', the ship dispatched to search for the 'Bounty' and her mutineers, departs from Tahiti with fourteen men held captive in a makeshift prison cell on the quarter-deck, which they derisively called "Pandora's Box".
Under the command of Captain Edward Edwards, 'Pandora' would spend the next three months searching the islands in the South-West Pacific to the west of Tahiti, without finding any traces of the pirated vessel.

Static model of H.M.S. 'Pandora', from a 1:85 scale kit by Constructo.

1941: H.M.S. 'Cornwall' (56), a County-class heavy cruiser of the Kent subclass, engaged in a single-ship action on 8th May and sank the notorious German commerce raider 'Pinguin' after it was been spotted by one of her Sea-planes. 'Cornwall' sustained a hit to her stern during the action and returned to Durban for repair - which were completed on 10th June 1941.

German commerce raider 'Pinguin', destroyed by H.M.S. 'Cornwall', 8th May, 1941.

1942: Gunners of the Ceylon Garrison Artillery on Horsburgh Island in the Cocos (Keeling) Islands, rebel in the 'Cocos Islands Mutiny'. The mutineers tried to seize control of the islands and disable the British garrison. It was claimed that the mutineers also planned to transfer the islands to the Empire of Japan.
However, their mutiny was crushed and three of them were executed - the only British Commonwealth soldiers to be executed for mutiny during the Second World War.

1942: The Battle of the Coral Sea comes to an end with aircraft from an Imperial Japanese Navy aircraft-carrier, attacking and sinking the United States Navy aircraft carrier USS 'Lexington' (CV-2). The battle is notable as it marked the first action in which aircraft carriers engaged each other.
It was also the first time in naval history in which the participating ships never sighted or fired directly at each other. Instead, manned aircraft acted as the offensive artillery for the ships involved. Thus, the respective commanders were participating in a new type of warfare, carrier-versus-carrier, with which neither had any experience, and as a result, both sides made mistakes.

U.S.S. 'Lexington', burning and sinking after her crew abandoned ship during the Battle of Coral Sea, 8th May 1942.

1945: A public holiday celebrates Victory in Europe Day (aka known as V-E Day or VE Day) on 8th May 1945 (in Commonwealth countries, 7th May 1945) to mark the date when the World War 2 Allies formally accepted the unconditional surrender of the armed forces of Nazi Germany and the end of Adolf Hitler's Third Reich, thus ending the war in Europe.

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The Daily Mail front page for 8th May, 1945.
(Click on the Headline)

1972: In a nationally televised address, U.S. President Richard Nixon announces his order to place mines in major North Vietnamese ports in order to stem the flow of weapons and other goods to that nation.
Timed to become active after 72 hour, the mines, were dropped at Haiphong harbour by nine American attack aircraft flying from the carrier U.S.S. 'Coral Sea', and at six other ports, which were blocked for 300 days until the mines were removed by the U.S. in 1973.

1984: The River Thames Flood Barrier is officially opened by Queen Elizabeth II. The total construction cost was around Ł534 million with an additional Ł100 million for river defences.
Operational since 1982, it's purpose was, and is, to prevent the floodplain of all but the easternmost boroughs of Greater London from being flooded by exceptionally high tides and storm surges moving up from the North Sea.

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The Thames Barrier - Note: The second gate from the left is rotated into the closed position.
Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - May 9th
Post by: ardarossan on May 09, 2013, 04:12:51 AM
May 9th...

1835: The first steamship to operate in the Pacific Northwest of North America, PS 'Beaver', was launched at Blackwall Yard, England on 9th May 1835. She was built of British Oak, Elm, Greenheart and Teak, and was Copper-fastened and Sheathed. She measured 101 feet long, and the beam over her paddle boxes was 33 feet.

The Paddle-steamer 'Beaver' in Burrard Inlet, Vancouver.

1860: (Sir) James Matthew Barrie(1st Baronet, OM), was born in Kirriemuir, Angus, to a conservative Calvinist family. His father David Barrie was a modestly successful weaver. His mother, Margaret Ogilvy, had assumed her deceased mother's household responsibilities at the age of eight. Barrie was the ninth child of ten (two of whom died before he was born), all of whom were schooled in at least the three Rs, in preparation for possible professional careers.
He would go on to develop a career as a novelist and playwright, and be best remembered today as the creator of Peter Pan.

Neverland, a fictional place featured in the works of J. M. Barrie and those based on them.

1864: The Battle of Heligoland (or Helgoland) was fought during the Second War of Schleswig between the navy of Denmark and the allied navies of Austria and Prussia, south of the (then-British) North Sea island of Heligoland where the Battle of Heligoland (1849) had taken place.
When the Danish forces had caused the flagship of the Austrian commander, Freiherr von Tegetthoff, to burst into flames, he withdrew his squadron to neutral waters around Heligoland. It was the last significant naval battle fought by squadrons of wooden ships and also the last one involving Denmark.

The Naval Battle of Helgoland 1864, by Josef Carl Berthold Püttner (c.1864-1881).
(The frigate 'Radetzky' is to the behind the burning Austrian frigate 'Schwarzenberg')

1940: Shortly after midnight, the surfaced French Circé-class coastal submarine, 'Doris' (Q-135), was torpedoed by the German submarine U-9 north west of the Dutch coast, 30 miles from Den Helder. The entire crew of 'Doris' and three Royal Navy personnel, were lost.
Dutch divers Hans van Leeuwen and Ton van der Sluijs discovered the wreck of 'Doris' in 2003.

1941: The German U-Boat U-110 is captured by the Royal Navy corvette 'Aubretia' and the destroyers 'Bulldog' and 'Broadway'. On board the submarine, 'Bulldog's boarding party find a number of secret cipher documents and the latest Enigma cryptography machine, which Allied cryptographers later use to break coded German messages.
The U-110 was taken in tow back toward Britain, but sank en route to Scapa Flow.
The capture of U-110, later given the code name "Operation Primrose", was one of the biggest secrets of the war, remaining so for seven months. President Franklin D. Roosevelt was only told of the capture by Winston Churchill in January 1942.

Captured German submarine 'U-110' beside Royal Navy destroyer H.M.S. 'Bulldog'.

1942: In a joint Anglo-American operation codenamed 'Operation Bowery', sixty-four Supermarine Spitfires are flown to Malta from the Royal Navy aircraft carrier H.M.S. 'Eagle' and the United States carrier U.S.S. 'Wasp' - (Sixty-two Spitfires arrived).
In an effort to ensure that they are not immediately destroyed on the ground, the Spitfires are operational within 35 minutes of their arrival and they fly 134 sorties during the day.

Supermarine Spitfire Mk.VCs on the deck of U.S.S. 'Wasp', with H.M.S. 'Eagle' visible in the background.

1956: British Prime Minister Sir Anthony Eden refused to reveal the details surrounding the disappearance of a naval diver during a goodwill visit by the Soviet leadership, but he told a packed House of Commons "the appropriate disciplinary steps" were being taken.
The diver, Commander Lionel Kenneth "Buster" Crabb OBE, GM, had been reported missing, presumed dead, by the Admiralty on 29th April. The official statement said he had died ten days earlier following a test dive at Stokes Bay, near Portsmouth, on the Hampshire coast.

It appears that Lionel Crabb was on a spying mission for MI6 - unbeknown to the Prime Minister. The statement by the Admiralty was an attempt to cover up the mission but when the Soviets claimed to have seen a frogman, Sir Anthony Eden was forced to speak out. Sir John Alexander Sinclair, head of MI6 was subsequently forced to resign.

The headless body of a man in the remains of a diving suit was found in Chichester harbour in 1957. A coroner concluded that it was Crabb's body and it was buried with his silver-mounted swordstick.

Ten years later a human skull was found partly buried in sand at Chichester harbour. Although there were several teeth in the jaw they had no distinguishing marks which could link them to Crabb, but a pathologist claimed the skull was the same age as the torso.

The Cabinet papers concerning the 'Crabb Affair' will remain secret until 2057.

A portrait of Lt. Lionel 'Buster' Crabb, RNVR, Officer in Charge of the Underwater Working Party in Gibraltar, April 1944.
Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - May 10th
Post by: ardarossan on May 10, 2013, 03:40:00 PM
May 10th...

1503: On his fourth voyage of discovery, Christopher Columbus sighted the Cayman Islands and named them 'Las Tortugas' after the numerous turtles there. The first recorded English visitor to the islands would be Sir Francis Drake in 1586. He subsequently named the islands 'Cayman' after caiman, a Neo-Taino word for 'alligator'.

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1534: Jacques Cartier arrives at Newfoundland from Saint-Malo, France, after an Atlantic Ocean crossing of 20 days. From here he start his exploration of Newfoundland, the areas now the Canadian Atlantic provinces and the Gulf of St. Lawrence. During one stop at Îles aux Oiseaux (Islands of the Birds, now the Rochers-aux-Oiseaux federal bird sanctuary, northeast of Brion Island in the Magdalen Islands), his crew slaughtered around 1000 birds, most of them great auks (now extinct).

1773: The Parliament of Great Britain passes the Tea Act, designed to save the British East India Company by granting it a monopoly on the North American tea trade.

1798: Captain George Vancouver, an English officer of the British Royal Navy and one of Britain's greatest explorers & navigators, died in obscurity on 10th May 1798 at the age of 40, less than three years after completing his voyages and expeditions. His modest grave lies in St. Peters churchyard, Petersham, Surrey, in southern England.
Best known for his 1791-95 expedition, which explored and charted North America's northwestern Pacific Coast regions, including the coasts of contemporary Alaska, British Columbia, Washington and Oregon. He also explored the Hawaiian Islands and the southwest coast of Australia.
Vancouver Island (Canada), the cities of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada and Vancouver, Washington, U.S., Mount Vancouver on the Yukon/Alaska border and New Zealand's fourth highest mountain are named after him.

Portrait believed to be George Vancouver.
(22nd June 1757 – 10th May 1798)

1916: In stormy seas, and after a journey of 800 nautical miles from Elephant Island, Ernest Shackleton with five members of the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition, eventually manage to land their 22.5-ft open lifeboat, 'James Caird', near the entrance to King Haakon Bay on the uninhabited south-west coast of South Georgia. Severely weakened by the voyage and all suffering from varying degrees of exposure and frostbite, the six men spent the next few days recuperating. Shackleton was later to describe the boat journey as "one of supreme strife".

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Depiction of the 'James Caird' nearing South Georgia.
(From Shackleton's expedition account, 'South')

1960: The nuclear submarine U.S.S. 'Triton, surfaced off the coast of Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, for her captain (Capt. Beach) to be collected and flown by helicopter to Washington, D.C., where news of the 'Triton's submerged around-the-world voyage was announced by President Dwight D. Eisenhower at the White House.
Beach flew back to his boat later that day, and the 'Triton' arrived back at Groton, Connecticut, on 11th May 1960, completing her shakedown cruise which incorporated the first submarine circumnavigation of the earth between 24th February and 25th April 1960 (Operation Sandblast).

1997: The Maeslantkering, a storm surge barrier in the Netherlands and one of the world's largest moving structures, is opened by Queen Beatrix (sic). Taking six years to construct, the barrier comprises two 22 metre high and 210 metre wide steel gates, controlled by a self-operating computer system linked to weather and sea level data. Under normal weather conditions the two doors themselves are well protected in their dry docks and a 360 metre wide gap in the waterway gives ships enough space to pass without any inconvenience.
A working 1:250 scale model  ( of the barrier fis a feature of the Madurodam miniature village.

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A ship passing through The Maeslantkering, The Netherlands.
Title: Re: This Day In 'Boating' History
Post by: ardarossan on May 11, 2013, 09:31:28 PM
May 11th...

330: Emperor Constantine the Great dedicates Constantinople, or Nova Roma (modern Istanbul), and moves the capital of the Roman Empire there from Rome. He has spent 4 years building the city on the site of ancient Byzantium, having chosen the site for its strategic location (a seaport with easy access to Anatolia and the Danube).
Constantinople would become the largest and wealthiest city in Europe from the 6th through the 12th century.

Constantinople in Byzantine times.
1502: Christopher Columbus embarks on his fourth and final voyage to the West Indies, nominally in search of the Strait of Malacca to the Indian Ocean. Accompanied by his brother Bartolomeo and his 13-year-old son Fernando, he left Cadiz, with his flagship Santa María and the vessels Gallega, Vizcaína, and Santiago de Palos.

1560: The naval Battle of Djerba took place near the island of Djerba, Tunisia, in which the Ottomans under Piyale Pasha's command overwhelmed a large joint European fleet, chiefly Spanish forces (Christian Alliance) under the command of Giovanni Andrea Doria, sinking half its ships. The battle was over in a matter of hours.

Piyale Pasha defeats the Allied European Fleet of Philip II at the Battle of Djerba in 1560.

1820: H.M.S. 'Beagle', a Cherokee-class 10-gun brig-sloop of the Royal Navy, is launched from the Woolwich Dockyard on the River Thames, at a cost of Ł7,803 and named after the beagle dog breed. After taking part in a fleet review celebrating the coronation of King George IV she "lay in ordinary", moored afloat but without masts or rigging.
She was then adapted as a survey barque and took part in three expeditions. On the second survey voyage with the young naturalist Charles Darwin was on board, his work would eventually make 'Beagle' one of the most famous ships in history.

H.M.S. 'Beagle' in the Galapagos.

1871: Sir John Frederick William Herschel, 1st Baronet, KH, FRS, died at Collingwood, his home near Hawkhurst in Kent, aged 79 years. He was an English mathematician, astronomer, chemist, and experimental photographer/inventor, who in some years also did valuable botanical work. Herschel originated the use of the Julian day system in astronomy. He named seven moons of Saturn and four moons of Uranus. He made many contributions to the science of photography, and investigated colour blindness and the chemical power of ultraviolet rays.
He was given a national funeral and buried in Westminster Abbey.

1955: The 'Siun Maru disaster' occurs in Japan, during a school field trip, killing 166 passengers and two crew members.
The 'Siun Maru' (aka 'Shiun Maru') ferry sank in the Seto Inland Sea after colliding with another Japanese National Railways (JNR) ferry, her sister ship the 'Uko Maru', in dense fog.
A lack of radar onboard contributed to the accident. The victims included 100 students from elementary and junior high schools in Shimane, Hiroshima, Ehime and Kochi prefectures who were on school trips.
The sinking of the 'Siun Maru' is credited as having encouraged the Japanese government to go ahead with the Akashi-Kaikyō Bridge project, currentlly the longest suspension bridge in the world.

The Akashi-Kaikyō Suspension Bridge

1972: In dense fog, the 7,113 ton British cargo liner 'Royston Grange', carrying 61 crew, 12 passengers (including six women and a five-year old child), and an Argentinian harbour pilot, was bound from Buenos Aires to London with a cargo of chilled and frozen beef and butter.

At around 05.40 hrs, as she traversed the Punta Indio Channel, 35 miles from Montevideo, Uruguay, she collided with the Liberian-registered tanker 'Tien Chee', carrying 20,000 tons of crude oil. The 'Tien Chee' immediately burst into flames and a series of explosions rapidly carried the flames to the 'Royston Grange', which burned particularly hot due to the cargo of butter and the oil escaping from the 'Tien Chee'.

Most of the crew and passengers were asleep. Although the 'Royston Grange' did not sink, every person on board was killed in the fire, most of them probably by carbon monoxide fumes emanating from the refrigeration tanks, which burst in the collision.

The 'Tien Chee' also caught fire and ran aground, blocking all traffic in and out of the port of Buenos Aires. Eight of her 40 crew, who were mostly Chinese, also died, but the remainder along with the Argentinian pilot managed to abandon ship and were picked up by cutters of the Argentine Naval Prefecture.

'Royston Grange' - Believed to be the first British ship lost with all hands since World War 2.
Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - May 12th
Post by: ardarossan on May 12, 2013, 09:53:19 PM
May 12th...

1780: During the 'Fall of Charleston' (a part of the American Revolutionary War) three Continental Navy frigates - U.S.S. 'Boston', U.S.S. 'Providence' and U.S.S. 'Ranger' - are captured, and another, the U.S.S. 'Queen of France', - is sunk to prevent it falling into enemy hands.

1797 Inspired by the example of their comrades at Spithead, the sailors at the Nore (an anchorage in the Thames Estuary) began a mutiny on 12th May, when the crew of 'Sandwich' seized control of the ship. Several other ships in the same location followed this example, though others slipped away and continued to slip away during the mutiny, despite gunfire from the ships that remained (attempting to use force to hold the mutiny together).- May 12 - Royal Navy crews mutiny at Nore, over poor pay and conditions.

1834: Voyage of H.M.S. Beagle (1831-36): After water and guanacos were brought on board, the 'Beagle' left the Rio Santa Cruz and sailed out towards the Falkland Islands to join the 'Adventure'. Later in the month the 'Beagle' headed back to Tierra del Fuego to survey around the Strait of Magellan. The 'Adventure' joined up with the Beagle on 23rd May and assisted in the survey of the Strait.


1926: The semi-rigid Italian-built airship 'Norge' ('Norway' in Norweigan) carried out what many consider the first verified overflight of (and the first verified trip of any kind to) the North Pole on 12th May, 1926.
The expedition was the combined 'brainchild' of, polar explorer and expedition leader Roald Amundsen, the airship's designer and pilot Umberto Nobile and American explorer Lincoln Ellsworth, who along with the Aero Club of Norway financed the trip.


1941: German civil engineer, inventor and computer pioneer, Konrad Zuse presents the Z3, the world's first working programmable, fully automatic computer, in Berlin. The Z3 was built with 2000 relays, implementing a 22 bit word length that operated at a clock frequency of about 5–10 Hz. Program code and data were stored on punched film.
The original Z3 was destroyed in 1943 during an Allied bombardment of Berlin. A fully functioning replica was built in the 1960s by Zuse's company, Zuse KG, and is on permanent display in the Deutsches Museum.

Fully-functioning Zuse Z3 replica on display at Deutsches Museum in Munich

1942: The U.S. tanker 'Virginia' was torpedoed in the mouth of the Mississippi River by the German U-Boat U-507, resulting in the loss of 27 of her 41 crew. The remaining survivors were rescued by U.S.S. PT-157.

1943: A Consolidated Liberator maritime patrol aircraft of No.86 Squadron drops a Mark 24 acoustic homing torpedo (codenamed Fido), seriously damaging U-Boat U-456 and driving it to the surface. It is originally thought to have been sunk as the result of subsequent attacks by a Short Sunderland of No.423 Squadron RCAF, and the warships H.M.S. 'Lagan' and H.M.C.S. 'Drumheller'. However, it now appears that U-456 was forced to dive by approaching destroyers and then sank because of the damage inflicted by the Liberator.
This may properly be said to mark the first successful use of an air-dropped precision weapon in air warfare.

A RAF Coastal Command Consolidated Liberator GR Mark V of No. 86 Sqdn RAF in flight.

1975: The 'Mayagüez incident' begins when the Cambodian navy seizes the American merchant ship SS 'Mayaguez' in international waters.
Taking place between 12th-15th May, the incident quickly escalated and led to an attack by U.S. forces against the Khmer Rouge. The names of the Americans killed, as well as those of three U.S. Marines who were left behind on the island of Koh Tang after the battle and who were subsequently executed by the Khmer Rouge, are the last names on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.
The merchant ship's crew, whose seizure at sea had prompted the U.S. attack, had been released in good health, unknown to the U.S. Marines or the U.S. command of the operation, before the Marines attacked. It was the only known engagement between U.S. ground forces and the Khmer Rouge. The resulting battle was the last official battle of the Vietnam War.

An aerial surveillance photo showing two Khmer Rouge gunboats during the initial seizing of the SS 'Mayagüez'.

1982: R.M.S. 'Queen Elizabeth 2' begins her part in the Falklands War, as she sails from Southampton carrying 3,000 troops of the 5th Infantry Brigade and 650 volunteer crew bound for the south Atlantic.
Her refit in preparation for war service included the installation of three helicopter pads, transforming the public lounges into dormitories, installing fuel pipes through the ship to the engine room to allow for refuelling at sea, and covering the carpets with 2,000 sheets of hardboard.
During the voyage the ship was blacked out and the radar switched off in order to avoid detection, steaming on without modern aids.

Converted for troop-ship duty, Queen Elizabeth 2 leaves Southampton, 1982.

1986: Whilst deployed with Battle Group Foxtrot, the Spruance-class destroyer U.S.S. 'David R. Ray' (DD-971) made worldwide news when it prevented the boarding of the U.S. merchant vessel 'President McKinley' by an Iranian Saam class frigate.
Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - May 13th
Post by: ardarossan on May 13, 2013, 12:54:54 PM
May 13th...

1572: The Papacy of Pope Gregory XIII begins. He is best known for commissioning and being the namesake for the Gregorian calendar, which remains the internationally accepted civil calendar to this date.

1604: French explorers Pierre Dugua, Sieur de Monts and Samuel de Champlain landed at Port Mouton in Nova Scotia and built a temporary camp at Bull Point. The village is alledgedly so named because a sheep, excited to see land after the long journey, jumped overboard from one of the vessels and swam to shore.
A contrary variation to the story claims that after arriving in the bay, a sheep fell from one of the the ships and drowned. Although a third version (from a Nova Scotia place name book) states that the sheep didn't drown, but was rescued...    ...and then eaten by the sailors.

Port Mouton road sign - Sheep Overboard!

1607: Led by Captain Christopher Newport, the 104 English colonists (all men & boys) who landed in North America two weeks earlier, find the location for the first permanent English settlement in the Americas on 13th May 1607 - Jamestown, Virginia - Named in honour of King James 1.

The site for Jamestown was picked as it met several criteria that the Virginia Company, who funded the settlement, said to follow. 1) The site was surrounded by water on three sides (it was not fully an island yet) and was far inland -  which meant it was easily defensible against possible Spanish attacks. 2) The water was deep enough that the English could tie their ships at the shoreline, and 3) At the time, the site was not inhabited by by the Native population.

Full-size Jamestown replicas of (from L to R) 'Susan Constant', 'Discovery' and 'Godspeed'.

1787: Under the command of Captain Arthur Phillip RN, eleven ships of what we know today as "The First Fleet", took their leave from Portsmouth, England early on Sunday 13th May 1787 bound for a virtually unknown shore eight long months and half a world away. The escort vessel, H.M.S. 'Hyaena' stayed with the fleet until it was clear of the English channel and into open waters.
The fleet was leaving England with two years provision and a cargo of 759 unwilling convicts from Britian's overcrowded prison system, their guards, and ships crew. In total 1530 people, were bound for Botany Bay, to establish the first European settlement on Australian soil.

The 'Charlotte' at Portsmouth, one of the ships of the First Fleet prior to departure, May 1787.

1915: On the night of 12th/13th May, 'H.M.S. 'Goliath', one of six Canopus-class pre-dreadnought battleships built by the Royal Navy, was anchored in Morto Bay off Cape Helles, along with 'Cornwallis' and a screen of five destroyers.

At around 01:00hrs, in foggy conditions, the Turkish torpedo boat destroyer 'Muavenet-i Milliye', eluded the destroyers 'Beagle' and 'Bulldog' and fired two torpedoes which struck 'Goliath' almost simultaneously abreast her fore turret and abeam the fore funnel, causing a massive explosion. 'Goliath' began to capsize almost immediately, and was lying on her beam ends when a third torpedo struck near her after turret. She then rolled over completely and began to sink by the bows, taking 570 of the 700-strong crew to the bottom, including her commanding officer, Captain Thomas Lawrie Shelford.

HMS Goliath (1898) in the summer of 1907.

1949: The prototype of the first British-produced jet-powered light bomber, the English Electric Canberra (A.1), makes its first flight. Variants of the aircraft would go on to serve with the RAF until the type is retired in 2006 - 57 years after it's first flight.
English Electric Canberra Prototype, VN799.

1958: The trade mark VELCRO® is registered for the 'hook and loop' fastening system invented in 1948 by the Swiss electrical engineer George de Mestral.
The term Velcro is now commonly used to mean any type of hook and loop fastener, but remains a registered trademark in many countries used by the Velcro company to distinguish their brand of fasteners from their competitors.

The word 'Velcro' is an amalgamation of two French words; 'velours' (velvet), and 'crochet' (hook).

1958: Australian mining engineer, soldier, and adventurer, Frederick Benjamin "Ben" Carlin (27th July 1912 - 7th March 1981) becomes the first (and only) person to circumnavigate the world by amphibious vehicle, travelling over 17,000 kilometres (11,000 miles) by sea and 62,000 kilometres (39,000 miles) by land during a ten-year journey in a modified Ford GPA (an amphibious version of the Ford GPW Jeep), named 'Half-Safe'.
Following Carlin's death in 1981, 'Half-Safe' was acquired by Guildford Grammar, his old school in Perth, Australia, where it remains on display.

'Half-Safe' - Just the job for crossing Continents and Oceans!.
Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - May 14th
Post by: ardarossan on May 14, 2013, 04:20:34 PM
May 14th...

1724 The book 'A General History of the Robberies and Murders of the most notorious Pyrates' is published in Britain. It's author, using the name Captain Charles Johnson, believed to be a pseudonym as no record of a captain by this name exists, remains unidentified.

'A General History...' contained biographies of contemporary pirates, and was influential in shaping popular conceptions of pirates, introducing many features which later became common in pirate literature, such as pirates with missing legs or eyes, the myth of pirates burying treasure, and the name of the pirates flag the 'Jolly Roger'.

In giving an almost mythical status to the more colourful characters, such as the infamous English pirates Blackbeard and Calico Jack, the book provided the standard account of the lives of many people still famous in the 21st century, and influenced pirate literature of Robert Louis Stevenson and J. M. Barrie.

'Capture of the Pirate, Blackbeard, 1718' depicting the battle between Blackbeard the Pirate and Lieutenant Maynard in Ocracoke Bay.

1747: (14th May 1747, N.S.) The First Battle of Cape Finisterre saw 14 British ships of the line under Admiral George Anson defeat a French 30-ship convoy commanded by Admiral de la Jonquičre during the War of the Austrian Succession. The British captured 4 ships of the line, 2 frigates and 7 merchantmen, in a five-hour battle in the Atlantic Ocean off Cape Finisterre in northwest Spain. One French frigate, one French East India Company warship and the other merchantmen escaped.
Lord Anson's victory off Cape Finisterre, 3rd May 1747 (O.S./Old Style Calendar).

1804: The Lewis and Clark Expedition departs from Camp Dubois and begins its historic journey by traveling up the Missouri River.
1879: Having sailed from Calcutta, India, on 3rd March 1879, the first group of 463 Indian indentured laborers arrive at Levuka, Fiji aboard the labour transport ship (schooner) 'Leonidas'.
1943: Following her early-1943 conversion to a hospital ship, 'Centaur' served as a medical transport between New Guinea and Australia. Before dawn on 14th May 1943, while on her second voyage, 'Centaur' was torpedoed and sunk by a Japanese submarine off North Stradbroke Island, Queensland.
The majority of the 332 aboard died in the attack; the 64 survivors had to wait for 36 hours before they were rescued. The attack resulted in public outrage as it was considered to be a war crime. Protests were made by the Australian and British governments to Japan and efforts were made to discover the people responsible so they could be tried at a war crimes tribunal. Despite this, it was not until the 1979s that identity of the attacking submarine, I-177, became public.

Starboard-bow view of A.H.S. 'CENTAUR', Sydney, NSW. 1943.

1964: President Gamal Abdul Nasser of Egypt and Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev marked the first stage in the building of the Aswan High Dam at a dramatic ceremony in southern Egypt.
Together the two heads of state, along with President Arif of Iraq and President Sallal of Yemen, pressed a button to blow up a huge sand barrage and divert the ancient River Nile into a canal, allowing the next stage of the Dam to begin.
Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - May 15th
Post by: ardarossan on May 15, 2013, 03:56:56 PM
May 15th...

1602: English lawyer, explorer, and privateer, Bartholomew Gosnold, becomes the first recorded European to visit (and name) Cape Cod. Then, sailing alonging the coastline for several days, he discovered Martha's Vineyard, naming it after his daughter, Martha, and established a small post on Cuttyhunk Island, one of the Elizabeth Islands, near Gosnold, now in Massachusetts.

1718: James Puckle, a London lawyer, inventor and writer, patented the world's first machine gun. Puckle's 'Defence Gun' (or 'Puckle gun') was a tripod-mounted, single-barreled flintlock weapon fitted with a multi-shot revolving cylinder, designed for shipboard use to prevent boarding.
The barrel was 3 feet long with a bore of 1.25 inches and a pre-loaded 'cylinder' which held 11 charges and could fire 63 shots in seven minutes - at a time when a standard soldier's musket could at best be loaded and fired three times per minute.

Puckle demonstrated two versions of the basic design: one, intended for use against Christian enemies, fired conventional round bullets, while the second variant, designed to be used against the Muslim Turks, fired square bullets (designed by Kyle Tunis) which were considered to be more damaging and would, according to its patent, convince the Turks of the "benefits of Christian civilization."

Illustration of James Puckle's 1718 patent machine gun, shows various cylinders for use with round and square bullets.

1904: During the Russo-Japanese war, whilst sailing through dense fog in the Yellow Sea, the 'Yoshino', a protected cruiser of the Imperial Japanese Navy was involved in a collision with the 'Kasuga', a Japanese armoured cruiser. 'Kasuga's ram hit 'Yoshino's port side, and penetrated to the engine room. 'Yoshino' turned turtle and sank with the loss of 319 lives. Only 19 of the crew managed to survive.
As a result of this accident, the Imperial Japanese Navy removed the rams from the bows of all its warships

1916: After a few days' recuperation on the uninhabited south-west coast of South Georgia, Ernest Shackleton decided that the 22.5-ft open lifeboat, 'James Caird', which had carried him and five companions on a perilous 800 mile voayge from Elephant Island, was not capable of making a further 150 nautical mile voyage around the island's treacherous coastline, to reach the whaling stations on the northerly coast. Furthermore at least two of the men (Vincent and McNish) were unfit to travel that great a distance.

Shackleton determined that if they moved to a new location in King Haakon Bay, himself, Worsley and Crean, could cross the island on foot, aiming for the inhabited station at Stromness.

On 15th May the 'James Caird' made a run of about 30 nautical miles to a shingle beach near the head of the bay. Here the boat was beached and up-turned to provide a shelter. The location was christened "Peggotty Camp" (after Peggoty's boat-home in Charles Dickens's David Copperfield).

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The 'James Caird', on permanent display at Dulwich College, South London.

1941: The first flight by a British jet-propelled aircraft, the Gloster Whittle E28/39 Pioneer (aka the Gloster Whittle), takes place at RAF Cranwell, near Sleaford in Lincolnshire. The aircraft was flown by test pilot D.E.G. 'Gerry' Sayer on a flight lasting 17 minutes.

1954: H.M.Y. 'Britannia' arrives in London after completeing her first royal voyage. The Royal Yacht met the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh at Tobruk, Libya, to bring them home after their six-month tour of the Commonwealth. Prime Minister Winston Churchill was also on board after joining the ship earlier on the Isle of Wight.

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H.M.Y. 'Britannia' passes under Tower Bridge, London. 15th May 1954.

1957: At Malden Island in the Pacific, Britain tests its first hydrogen bomb in Operation Grapple. The device was dropped by a Vickers Valiant bomber XD818 of No 49 Squadron RAF Bomber Command, normally based at RAF Wittering, Northants. The aircraft is preserved at RAF Museum, Cosford.
Altogether nine hydrogen bombs were detonated over Malden Island and Christmas Island during a two-year test programme, culminating in the UK becoming the third recognised possessor of thermonuclear weapons.

2010: Australian sailor Jessica Watson (born 18th May 1993), unofficially becomes the youngest person to sail non-stop and unassisted around the world. However, her route did not meet World Sailing Speed Record Council (WSSRC) criteria for circumnavigation of the globe, as her she remained below the equator for much of the voyage, therefore the distance sailed was less than that of the earth's circumference.

Jessica Watson leaving Brisbane for Sydney with 'Ella's Pink Lady' (Sept. 8th, 2009).
Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - May 16th
Post by: ardarossan on May 16, 2013, 03:55:51 PM
May 16th...

Saint Brendan's feast day is celebrated on 16th May by Catholics, Anglicans, and Eastern Orthodox Christians.

One of the most famous early Irish monastic saints, Brendan the Navigator (or Brandan or Brenainn), also called Brendan of Clonfert or Bréanainn of Clonfert, was born in what is now County Kerry, Ireland, about 486 A.D.

A great traveler and founder of churches and monasteries, including his most famous one at Clonfert, County Galway. According to medieval legend, Brendan and a band of intrepid monks embarked in a small boat upon a long voyage around the Atlantic in search of "Terra Repromissionis," or the "Promised Land."
The 'Navigatio Brendani', which dates from the 11th century, contains the earliest surviving version of this story and became a multi-language “best-seller” in its time. Brendan was over 80 years old at the start.

Brendan, aged  93, died at Annaghdown c.577, while visiting his sister Briga. He was buried in the monstery in Clonfert.

Saint Brendan is known the patron saint of Sailors, Mariners, Navigators, Travelers, Older Adventurers and Whales.

1568: Defeated at the Battle of Langside, Mary, Queen of Scots, flees south. On 16th May, she crossed the Solway Firth into England by fishing boat. After landing at Workington in Cumberland in the north of England, she stayed overnight at Workington Hall, before she was taken into protective custody at Carlisle Castle by local officials.

1943: At 21:28hrs 'Operation Chastise' begins as the first of 19 specially modified Avro Lancasters of No.617 Squadron, RAF Bomber Command, takes off from their base at Scampton, Lincolnshire, to attack a series of German dams in the Ruhr Valley using 'Upkeep' rotating mines, commonly known as 'bouncing bombs', designed by Barnes Wallis.

1960: Theodore H. Maiman operates the first functioning laser at Hughes Research Laboratories, Malibu, California. Maiman's functional laser used a solid-state flashlamp-pumped synthetic ruby crystal to produce red laser light, at 694 nanometres wavelength - however, the device was only capable of pulsed operation, because of its three-level pumping design scheme. Later in 1960, Iranian physicist Ali Javan, William R. Bennett, and Donald Herriott, constructed the first gas laser, using helium and neon that was capable of continuous operation in the infrared.

1963: Mercury-Atlas 9, the final manned space mission of the U.S. Mercury program, concludes 34 hours 19 minutes 49 seconds after liftoff when the spacecraft named 'Faith 7', piloted by astronaut Gordon Cooper (then an Air Force major), splashes down 70 nautical miles southeast of Midway Island in the Pacific Ocean. Just four miles from the prime recovery ship, the carrier U.S.S. 'Kearsarge', this was the most accurate landing to date.

Major Cooper completed 22 Earth orbits and entered the record books as the first American to spend over a day in space.

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The crew of the aircraft carrier U.S.S. 'Kearsarge' (CVS-33) spell out the words 'Mercury 9' on the flight deck while on the way to the recovery area ( where the 'Faith 7' Mercury space capsule is expected to splash down.

2013: The Battle of Britain Memorial Flight's Avro Lancaster (in a new livery representing a previous aircraft of 617 Squadron - 'Thumper Mk.III') with a pair of Tornado GR4's of the present 617 Squadron, commemorate the 70th anniversary of the 'Dam Buster' raids of 16th/17th May 1943, with an overflight of the Derwent Reservoir (Ladybower dam) in Derbyshire, England.

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The BBMF Avro Lancaster passes over the Ladybower Dam, 16th May 2013.
Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - May 17th
Post by: ardarossan on May 17, 2013, 08:57:38 PM
May 17th...

1673: Louis Joliet, a French-Canadian explorer and Father Jacques Marquette, with two canoes and five voyageurs of French-Indian ancestry (now recognized as the ethnic group Métis), begin exploring the Mississippi River. Their journey would demonstrate that the Mississippi ran to the Gulf of Mexico.

1795: Two Royalnavy frigates, H.M.S. 'Thetis' (38-gun fifth-rate), and H.M.S. 'Hussar' (28-gun Enterprise-class sixth-rate), engaged five French supply ships ('Normand', 'Trajan', 'Prévoyante', 'Hernoux', and 'Raison') off Cape Henry, Chesapeake Bay. 'Raison' and 'Prévoyante' struck their colours and were taken.
'Prévoyante' was taken into the Royal Navy as H.M.S. 'Prevoyante'.

Capture of 'La Prevoyante' and 'La Raison' by 'Thetis' and 'Hussar', by Thomas Whitcombe

1888: The 'Jeune Hortense' was swept on to the beach when she came into Mount´s Bay to land the body of a Fowey man who had died in France. The Penzance lifeboat 'Dora', was pulled on to the beach by a horse-drawn carriage and was rowed out to the grounded brigantine. Once the 3 crewmen and a boy were safely aboard 'Dora', the rider and horse drew the lifeboat ashore to safety.
Conflicting sources state the 'Jeune Hortense' was refloated and returned to France, whilst others say she was broken up on the beach - the latter suggestion is supported by a wooden keel which still remains in the general location of the grounded ship.

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'Jeune Hortense' in 1888, and present-day image of her keel in the sand of Longrock Beach?

1942: H.M.S. 'Eagle' launched 17 Spitfire and 6 Albacore aircraft for Malta. The Spitfire fighters successfully reached Malta, but the Albacore torpedo bombers returned due to engine trouble. Later in the day, 6 Italian SM.79 torpedo bombers attacked her, but all torpedoes missed.

1943: The last of the nine surviving Avro Lancaster bombers of 617 Squadron, which attacked the German dams during the night, put its wheels on the ground at Scampton At 06:15hrs.
The raids had breached Möhne and Eder Dams, causing catastrophic flooding of the Ruhr valley, with the Sorpe dam sustaining only minor damage. Two hydroelectric powerplants were destroyed and several more were damaged. Factories and mines were also either damaged or destroyed. An estimated 1,600 people were drowned, whilst 53 of the 133 aircrew were also killed.

A Tornado of 617 Squadron with commemorative 'Dambusters' 70th Anniversary Tail-art, 2013

1970: Thor Heyerdahl's expedition sets sail from Safi in Morocco aboard a papyrus reed boat 'Ra II', bound for Barbados on the opposite side of the Atlantic Ocean.
Heyerdahl had used wall paintings of papyrus vessels from ancient Egyptian burial sites and reliefs in Mesopotamia, the Indus Valley and Central and South America as his starting points for the construction of his first reed boat, Ra (which failed during a similar attempt the previous year), but was determined to prove that reed boats could have carried people over wide expanses of ocean in ancient times.

Thor Heyerdahl's 'Ra II', named after the Egyptian Sun God.

1987: Sailing off the Saudi Arabian coast near the Iran-Iraq War exclusion boundary, the Perry class guided missile frigate, U.S.S. 'Stark' (FFG-31) was struck by two 1,500 pound Exocet anti-ship missiles fired from an Iraqi Dassault Mirage F1 plane, just after the plane was given a routine radio warning by the 'Stark'. The frigate did not detect the missiles with radar, which were spotted by the lookout only moments before they struck. Both missiles hit the ship, and one exploded in crew quarters, killing 37 sailors and wounding 21.

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Guided-missile frigate U.S.S. 'Stark' listing to port after being struck by Iraqi-launched Exocet missiles.

2006: After 25 years of service to the Navy in operations in Korea, Vietnam and the Mediterranean, the decommissioned aircraft carrier U.S.S. 'Oriskany' is sunk as an artificial reef. A U.S. Navy Explosive Ordnance Disposal team from Panama City, FL detonated C-4 explosive charges of approximately 500 lb net explosive weight, strategically placed on 22 sea connection pipes in various machinery spaces. The 888-foot ship took about 37 minutes to sink below the surface, coming to rest  (upright, as intended) in 210 ft of water in the Gulf of Mexico.

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Detonations aboard the U.S.S. 'Oriskany', now popularly known as the 'Great Carrier Reef'.
Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - May 18th
Post by: ardarossan on May 18, 2013, 05:42:09 PM
May 18th...

1499: Commissioned by the Catholic Monarchs to sail for America, Alonso de Ojeda sets sail from Cadiz with three caravels, on his voyage to what is now Venezuela. He travelled with the pilot and cartographer Juan de la Cosa and the Italian navigator Amerigo Vespucci. This was the first of a series of what have become known as the "minor journeys" or "Andalusian journeys" that were made to the New World.

1565: The Siege of Malta begins as the Ottoman Empire invade the island, then held by the Knights Hospitaller (also known as the Sovereign Order of Saint John of Jerusalem of Rhodes and of Malta, Knights of Malta, Knights of Rhodes, and Chevaliers of Malta).
The Turkish armada, which had set sail from Istanbul at the end of March, was by all accounts one of the largest assembled since antiquity. According to one of the earliest and most complete histories of the siege, the fleet consisted of 193 vessels, which included 131 galleys, seven galliots (small galleys) and four galleasses (large galleys), the remainder being transport vessels, etc.

The siege of Malta - 'Arrival of the Turkish fleet' by Matteo Perez d' Aleccio.

1756: Nearly two years after the first fighting of the Seven Years' War had broken out in the Ohio Country (North America), Great Britain formally declares war on France on 18th May.
The Seven Years' War  was a world war that took place between 1754 and 1763 with the main conflict being in the seven year period 1756-1763. It involved most of the great powers of the time and affected Europe, North America, Central America, the West African coast, India, and the Philippines.

1780: Admiral of the Fleet Sir Charles Hardy died at Spithead. The son of a vice admiral, Charles Hardy was born at Portsmouth, ca.1714. He joined the Royal Navy as a volunteer in 1731, becoming a captain in August 1741.
During his career, in which he was be involved in several notable naval engagements, he also served as governor and commander-in-chief of the British colony of Newfoundland; governor of the Colony of New York; the Member of Parliament for Rochester; and governor of Greenwich Hospital from 1771 to 1780. In 1779 he became Commander-in-Chief of the Channel Fleet remaining in that post until his death in May 1780.

Admiral of the Fleet Sir Charles Hardy (ca. 1714 – 18 May 1780).
Painted by George Romney, in 1780.

1803: The period now known as the Napoleonic Wars begins after Britain revokes the Treaty of Amiens and declares war on France on 18th May. Britain gave its official reasons for resuming hostilities as 'France's imperialist policies in the West Indies, Italy and Switzerland'.

1916: Early on the 18th May, Shackleton, Worsley and Crean - the three members of the island-crossing party - set out from the shelter provided by the up-turned 'James Caird', to make what would be the first-ever confirmed land crossing of the South Georgia interior. Aiming for the inhabited station at Stromness, their journey was far from straightforward, since they lacked any map and had to improvise a route which involved traversing mountain ranges and glaciers.

1940: Whilst supporting the Narvik campaign, Revenge-class battleship H.M.S. 'Resolution' is hit, but not sunk, by a 1,000 kilo bomb from a Junkers Ju.88 at Tjeldsundet.

H.M.S. 'Resolution', between the wars.

1972: Responding to a bomb threat received by the Captain of QE2, a specialist bomb disposal unit is flown from Britain to rendezvous with the liner in the mid-Atlantic. On arrival, and in far from ideal conditions, the unit parachutes into the sea close to the ship, for recovery by the ship's launch. No bomb was found and the incident eventually turned out to be a hoax (the FBI succeed in arresting the culprit).
The bomb disposal team were awarded the Queen's Commendation for Brave Conduct.

Two members of the combined SAS/SBS unit, parachuting into the Atlantic near the QE2.
Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - May 19th...
Post by: ardarossan on May 19, 2013, 08:21:28 AM
May 19th...

1535: French explorer Jacques Cartier sets sail on his second voyage to North America with three ships, 110 men, and and the Iroquoian natives* that Cartier had taken back to France during his first voyage.
*Sources conflict regarding the identities and method of 'removing' the natives to France. Some say they went willingly, whilst other say they were kidnapped.

1838: The paddle-steamer 'Sirius' sets the record for the highest average speed of a passenger liner during a west-to-east transatlantic crossing when she arrives at Falmouth, England from New York. Previously, she set the fastest 'east-to-west' record, holding it for less than a day, before it was broken by PS 'Great Western' in April 1838.

A static model of the Paddle-steamer 'Sirius' (1837).

1845: On the morning of 19th May, Captain Sir John Franklin and his ill-fated Arctic expedition, departed from Greenhithe, England,  with a crew of 24 officers and 110 men on board the ships H.M.S. 'Terror' and H.M.S. 'Erebus'. The ships stopped briefly in Stromness Harbour in the Orkney Islands in northern Scotland, and from there they sailed to Greenland with H.M.S. 'Rattler' and a transport ship, 'Barretto Junior'.

H.M.S. 'Erebus' and H.M.S. 'Terror' sail from Greenhithe, 1845.

1916: 36 hours after setting out from "Peggotty Camp" (i.e. the upturned lifeboat 'James Caird'), and travelling continuously, Shackleton, Worsley and Crean, reached their destination at Stromness. They were, in Worsley's words, "a terrible trio of scarecrows", their haggard faces dark with exposure, wind, frostbite and accumulated blubber soot.

Later that evening, a motor-vessel was despatched to King Haakon Bay to pick up McCarthy, McNish, Vincent, and the 'James Caird'. Worsley wrote that the Norwegian seamen at Stromness all "claimed the honour of helping to haul her up to the wharf", a gesture which was "quite affecting".

Owing to the advent of the southern winter and the prevailing ice conditions, it was more than three months before Shackleton was able to achieve the relief of the men at Elephant Island but eventually, with the aid of the steam-tug 'Yelcho', the entire party was brought to safety, reaching Punta Arenas, Chile, in September 1916.

Crean, Shackleton, and Worsley, twenty-four hours after arriving in Stromness.

1919: SS 'Bandırma', an Ottoman mixed-freight ship, becomes famous for her historical role in taking Mustafa Kemal Pasha (Atatürk), accompanied with 22 officers, 25 soldiers and 8 administrative staff, from Constantinople (present day Istanbul) on the 16th May, to Samsun on the Anatolian Black Sea coast. Upon landing, on 19th May, Mustafa Kemal Pasha started the Turkish national movement - contrary to the orders given to him by the Ottoman government -resulting in the declaration of Republic of Turkey after the Turkish War of Independence almost four years later.

1931: 'Deutschland', the lead ship of her class of heavy cruisers (often termed a pocket battleship), was launched at the Deutsche Werke shipyard in Kiel. Christened by German Chancellor Heinrich Brüning, the ship accidentally started sliding down the slipway while Brüning was giving his christening speech.
After the completion of fitting out work and sea trials, the ship was commissioned into the Reichsmarine on 1st April 1933.
In 1940, she was renamed Lützow, after the Admiral Hipper class heavy cruiser Lützow was handed over to the Soviet Union.

Deutschland at her launch, 19th May 1931.

2003: In view of the important historical role in the birth of the Republic of Turkey, the governor and the mayor of Samsun Province initiated the building of a replica of SS 'Bandırma'.
Taşkınlar Shipbuilding Co. started construction of the vessel in May 2000, which was completed by mid-April 2001. The new 'Bandırma' was opened as a museum ship on 19th May 2003 at Doğu Park (East Park) in Samsun. Wax figures of Mustafa Kemal Pasha and his followers on the ship are on display along with historical items in the museum ship today.

Full-size replica of 'Bandırma' at Doğu Park in Samsun. Opened 19th May 2003.
Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - May 20th
Post by: ardarossan on May 20, 2013, 06:00:41 AM
May 20th...
1497: Venetian navigator John Cabot sets sail from Bristol on the ship 'Matthew' (principally owned by Richard Amerike, a wealthy English merchant, royal customs officer and sheriff, of Welsh descent), to begin his second voyage of discovery (to the west) under the commission of Henry VII of England. (Some sources give 2nd May as the departure date).
A full-size replica of John Cabot's ship, 'Matthew'.

1498: Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama discovers the direct sea route from Europe to India, landing in Calicut on 20th May 1498.
The discovery paved the way for the Portuguese to establish a long lasting colonial empire in Asia. The route meant that the Portuguese wouldn't need to cross the highly disputed Mediterranean nor the dangerous Arabia, and that the whole voyage would be made by sea.
1506: Italian explorer and navigator, Christopher Columbus, aged probably 54, died in Valladolid, Crown of Castile, in present-day Spain.
Columbus's remains were first interred at Valladolid, then at the monastery of La Cartuja in Seville (southern Spain) by the will of his son Diego, who had been governor of Hispaniola. In 1542 the remains were transferred to Colonial Santo Domingo, in the present-day Dominican Republic. In 1795, when France took over the entire island of Hispaniola, Columbus's remains were moved to Havana, Cuba. After Cuba became independent following the Spanish-American War in 1898, the remains were moved back to Spain, to the Cathedral of Seville, where they were placed on an elaborate catafalque.
The tomb of Christopher Columbus, Seville cathedral, Spain.

1570: Gilles Coppens de Diest at Antwerp publishes 53 maps, created by Cartographer Abraham Ortelius, under the title 'Theatrum Orbis Terrarum' ("Theatre of the World"). It consisted of a collection of uniform map sheets and sustaining text (bound to form a book) for which copper printing plates were specifically engraved. The Ortelius atlas is considered the first true modern atlas and is sometimes referred to as the summary of sixteenth-century cartography.
The world map from Ortelius' 'Theatrum Orbis Terrarum', 1570.

1756: On 20th May, shortly after Great Britain declared war on the House of Bourbon, their squadrons met off the Mediterranean island of Minorca. The ensuing 'Battle of Minorca' between French and British fleets was the opening sea battle of the Seven Years' War in the European theatre. The fight resulted in a French victory. The subsequent decision by the British to withdraw to Gibraltar also handed France a strategic victory and led directly to the Fall of Minorca.
The British failure to save Minorca led to the controversial court-martial and execution of the British commander, Admiral John Byng, for "failure to do his utmost" to relieve the siege of the British garrison on Minorca.
1941: Codenamed 'Operation Merkur' (Mercury), the German invasion of the island of Crete begins with an airborne assault by the Luftwaffe's 7th Parachute Division. Although Allied ground units on Crete, and naval vessels in the surrounding waters, fight tenaciously, the defenders are forced to withdraw from the island during the period 28th May to 1st June.
1941: The German battleship 'Bismarck' and the heavy cruiser 'Prinz Eugen' pass through the Kattegat en route for the North Atlantic convoy routes.
1973: Britain sends three Royal Navy frigates - 'Cleopatra', 'Plymouth' and 'Lincoln' - to protect trawlers in the disputed Icelandic 50-mile zone as the so-called "cod war" escalates.
The skippers of the British trawlers (fishing in box formation), had said they would not return to the seas without naval protection against Icelandic gunboats which had been cruising the area since Iceland extended its no-fishing limit from three to 50 miles, eight months earlier.
H.M.S 'Plymouth' with the trawler 'Othello' during fishery protection duties off Iceland, 1973.
Title: Re: This Day In 'Boating' HistoryThe sinking of the "Maid of Kent"
Post by: Nordsee on May 21, 2013, 10:05:06 AM
She was a Southern Railways Cross Channel Ferry, about 2,600 tons, could carry about 1,400 Passengers. At the outbreak of War she was converted to a Hospital Ship, Nr 21,she was painted white with prominate red crosses on her sides and funnel and a wide green band around her hull, at night she was illuminated with green lights to signify a non-combatant in addition the crew had rigged a white awning with a large red cross over the Upper decks, The area along side the dock was cleared of grass and covered with chalk and a massive red cross painted on it.,She was sent to Dieppe on the 20th May, 1940.  Shortly after arrival she was attacked but received no damage. The following morning she was due to load injured soldiers and sail for England at 9.30 AM. The harbour was attacked by 2 waves of German Bombers, the Hospital train was hit and began to burn then the second wave attacked the ship, one bomb went down the funnel and exploded in the engine room followed by another thru the engine room gratings and 2 more thru the decks and exploded in the wards where the wounded were.Within minutes the ship was ablaze from end to end, but the aircraft continued to attack with machine gun fire. 17 Crew died in this attack, the rest fled, some helping to rescue, survivors on deck, all below deck died, including many nursing and medical staff. The remainer made their way to Le Havre, where they got a Fishing boat to take them to Dover and home. The survivors received 6 pounds "Shipwreck" payment and 7 days leave. (Wow!!)
 How do I know thuis? Well the sole surviving member of the Crew is my Brother in Law, now 94 years old, He has a photo of The Maid the day after the raid, burnt out and riddled with machine gun bullet holes.He won't let me copy it, so you will just have to believe me!
Title: Re: This Day In 'Boating' History
Post by: ardarossan on May 21, 2013, 06:30:49 PM
A couple of clickable images to accompany the previous post by 'Nordsee', ref; The sinking of the "Maid of Kent"

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(Left) HMHS 'Maid of Kent' in her hospital ship livery, and (Right) the wrecked HMHS 'Maid of Kent' in Dieppe harbour, beside a burned out hospital train, on the morning following the air-raids.
Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - May 21st
Post by: ardarossan on May 21, 2013, 07:19:30 PM
May 21st...

1502: The island of Saint Helena is discovered by the Portuguese explorer Joăo da Nova, and named after Saint Helena of Constantinople. Uninhabited when discovered, and one of the most isolated islands in the world, it was for centuries an important stopover for ships sailing to Europe from Asia and South Africa.

1542: Spanish explorer, Hernando de Soto, aged 45 or 46 years, (believed to be the first person to cross the Mississippi River) died of a semi-tropical fever on May 21st, (possibly) in the native village of Guachoya on the western banks of the Mississippi (near present-day McArthur, Desha County, Arkansas).
Since de Soto had encouraged the local natives to believe that he was an immortal sun god (a not wholly convincing ploy to gain their submission without conflict), his men had to conceal his death.
According to one source, de Soto's men hid his corpse in blankets weighted with sand and sank it in the middle of the Mississippi River during the night, whilst another possible location for his corpse is within Lake Chicot near present-day Lake Village, Arkansas.

Depiction of the burial of Hernando de Soto

1878: Glenn Hammond Curtiss is born in Hammondsport, New York to Frank Richmond Curtiss and Lua Andrews.
Curtiss would become an aviation pioneer, particularly notable for his experiments with seaplanes, which would lead to significant advances in naval aviation.

1879: The Battle of Iquique occurs off the then-Peruvian port of Iquique during the naval stage of the War of the Pacific (a conflict between Chile and Peru and Bolivia), when two Chilean ships blocking the harbour are confronted by two Peruvian vessels. After four hours of combat, the Peruvian ironclad 'Huáscar', commanded by Miguel Grau Seminario, sank the 'Esmeralda', a Chilean wooden corvette captained by Arturo Prat Chacón.

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The sinking of Esmerelda at the Battle of Iquique, by Thomas Somerscales

1894: The Manchester Ship Canal in England is officially opened by Queen Victoria from her position on the deck of the royal yacht 'Enchantress'.
During the ceremony she knighted the Mayor of Salford, William Henry Bailey, and the Lord Mayor of Manchester, Anthony Marshall. Not long after the official opening, the canal's designer, Edward Leader Williams was also knighted in recognition of his devotion to the project.
An earlier opening had taken place on New Year's Day of the same year, in which a procession of vessels had sailed the length of the Canal.

Queen Victoria knights the Mayors at the opening of the Manchester Ship Canal.

1941: Despite a pair of Bf 109 fighters circling overhead to protect 'Bismarck' from British air attacks, Flying Officer Michael Suckling sights the German battleship in a Fjord near Bergen in Norway and flies his RAF photographic reconnaissance Supermarine Spitfire directly over the German flotilla at a height of 26,000 ft to snap several photos of 'Bismarck' and her consorts.

Aerial reconnaissance photograph of 'Bismarck' in Norway, 21st May 1941.

1941: Around 700 miles off the west coast of Africa, the U.S.-flagged steamship 'Robin Moor' was stopped by German submarine U-69 (before the U.S. had entered World War II).
After allowing the passengers and crew to disembark, the U-boat sank the ship with a stern torpedo and 30 rounds from the deck gun. The Germans provided the survivors with some rations and reportedly promised to radio their position. The U-boat then left the area.

The survivors of three of the lifeboats were eventually picked up on 2nd June by a British merchant ship and landed at Capetown. The eleven occupants of the fourth lifeboat were picked up on 8th June by the 'Ozório' and landed at Recife, Brazil.
This sinking of a neutral nation's ship in an area considered until then to be relatively safe from U-boats, and the plight of her crew and passengers, caused a political incident in the United States.

1996:  The overloaded MV 'Bukoba', a Lake Victoria ferry that carried passengers and cargo between the Tanzanian ports of Bukoba and Mwanza, sank 30 nautical miles off Mwanza in 14 fathoms of water on 2st May 1996.
While the ship's manifest showed 443 aboard in her first and second class cabins,
her cheaper third class accommodation had no manifest. It is estimated that around 800 people died in the sinking, inclding Abu Ubaidah al-Banshiri, who was then second in command of Al Qaeda.

2001: The movie 'Pearl Harbor' is released and premiered at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, several days before it's U.S. release on 25th May 2001.
Described as a 'Waste of Film'; 'A two-hour movie, crammed into three-hours'; and 'A gross mis-telling of the story of Pearl Harbor and the Doolittle Raid', the $140 million film manages to justify it's 're-imagining' of the events of 7th December 1941 when it returns $450 million in worldwide box office receipts. Thus proving the Hollywood adage, that it isn't necessary to let the truth spoil a good story.

Theatrical Poster for 'Pearl Harbor' (2001).
Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - May 22nd
Post by: ardarossan on May 22, 2013, 05:46:22 PM
May 22nd...

853: The Sack of Damietta in 853 was a major success for the Byzantine Empire. On 22nd May, the Byzantine navy attacked the port city of Damietta on the Nile Delta, whose garrison was absent at the time. The city was sacked and plundered, yielding not only many captives but also large quantities of weapons and supplies intended for the Emirate of Crete.

1819: Built as a sailing ship, then modified to incorprate paddle-wheels, the SS 'Savannah' leaves port at Savannah, Georgia, United States, on a voyage to become the first 'steamship' to cross the Atlantic Ocean. The American-built hybrid arrived at Liverpool, England on June 20th - having made most of the crossing using sail power.

'Savannah' - Hybrid sailing-ship/side-wheel paddlesteamer, 1819.

1826: H.M.S. 'Beagle' embarks on first voyage, setting sail from Plymouth under the command of Captain Pringle Stokes. The mission was to accompany the larger ship H.M.S. 'Adventure' (380 tons) on a hydrographic survey of Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego, under the overall command of the Australian Captain Phillip Parker King, Commander and Surveyor.

1838: Brunel's paddle-steamer 'Great Western' completes her first eastbound transatlantic crossing at an average speed of 9.14 knots, arriving in Avonmouth less than 15 days after she left New York.

A static model of Isambard Kingdom Brunel's paddle-steamer 'Great Western'.

1849: Abraham Lincoln is issued with a patent for his invention of a device to lift boats over shoals and obstructions in a river. It is believed to be the only United States patent ever registered to a President of the United States. Lincoln conceived the idea for his invention when, on two different occasions, the boat on which he traveled got hung up on obstructions. Documentation of this patent was discovered in 1997. (Patent filed on 10th March 1849; Issued 22nd May 1849)

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Patent model of Abraham Lincoln's boat lifting mechanism.

1863: The Siege of Port Hudson begins when Union Army troops assault and then surround the Mississippi River town of Port Hudson, Louisiana, during the American Civil War. In cooperation with Maj. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant's offensive against Vicksburg, Mississippi, Union Maj. Gen. Nathaniel P. Banks's army moved against the Confederate stronghold at Port Hudson. On 27th May, after their frontal assaults were repulsed, the Federals settled into a siege that would last for 48 days.

Confederate batteries fire down onto Union gunboats on the Mississippi.

1897: The Blackwall Tunnel under the River Thames is officially opened by the Prince of Wales (the future King Edward VII) on 22nd May 1897.
The tunnel was built between 1892 and 1897, using tunnelling shield and compressed air techniques; the shield pioneer James Henry Greathead was a consultant. Sir Joseph Bazalgette, the architect of the London sewerage system, was also involved in the original planning of the project. To clear the site in Greenwich, more than 600 houses had to be demolished, including one reputedly once owned by Sir Walter Raleigh.

1902: The White Star liner, SS 'Ionic' is launched at the Harland and Wolff shipyard in Belfast. The steam-powered ocean liner was the second White Star Liner to be named 'Ionic' and would serve on the United Kingdom-New Zealand route. Her sister ships were the SS 'Athenic' and the SS 'Corinthic'.

White Star ocean-liner SS 'Ionic', launched 22nd May 1902.

1941: A Martin Maryland photographic reconnaissance aircraft of No.877 Squadron Fleet Air Arm confirms that the 'Bismarck' and  'Prinz Eugen' have left Bergen.

1941: While in the Kithera Channel, H.M.S. 'Gloucester', forming part of a naval force acting against German military transports to Crete, was attacked by German Ju.87 'Stuka' dive bombers. She sank about 14 miles north of Crete having sustained (at least) four heavy bomb hits and three near-misses. Crew-members who were able to escape the sinking ship were then heavily machine-gunned in the water. Of the 807 men aboard at the time of her sinking, only 85 survived. The loss H.M.S. 'Gloucester' is considered to be one of Britain's worst wartime naval disasters.

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A watercolour of the attack on H.M.S. 'Gloucester'. Painted by Jack Croasdaile from a magazine photo, whilst being held in the same POW camp as Lt. Cdr. Roger Heap, a survivor of the sinking.

1958: On National Maritime Day (U.S.A.), a ceremony is held in Yard 529 of the 'New York Shipbuilding Corporation' at Camden, to mark the laying the first keel plate of the NS 'Savannah', the first nuclear-powered cargo-passenger ship, and demonstration project for the potential use of nuclear energy.

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Keel plate laying ceremony for NS 'Savannah', 22nd May 1958.

1968: Scorpion (SSN-589), a Skipjack-class nuclear-powered submarine, sank with 99 men on board, on 22nd May, 460 miles southwest of the Azores in the Atlantic Ocean, apparently due to implosion upon reaching its crush depth. What caused the 'Scorpion' to descend to its crush depth is unknown at the present time.
'Scorpion' is one of two nuclear submarines the U.S. Navy has lost, the other being U.S.S. 'Thresher' (SSN-593).
In November 2012, the U.S. Submarine Veterans, an organization with over 13,800 members (all former submariners) asked the U.S. Navy to reopen the investigation on the sinking of U.S.S. 'Scorpion'.
Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - May 23rd
Post by: ardarossan on May 23, 2013, 06:48:09 AM
May 23rd...

1500: On 23rd or 24th May, the eleven ship fleet of Pedro Alvares Cabral encountered a severe storm in the South Atlantic's high-pressure zone as they were sailing from Brazil to the Cape of Good Hope, en route to India. Three naus and a caravel, commanded by Bartolomeu Dias - the first European to reach the Cape of Good Hope in 1488 - foundered, and 380 men were lost. The exact location of the disaster (and associated incidents) is unknown. Hindered by the rough weather and damaged rigging, the remaining seven ships were became separated.

A drawing from Memória das Armadas (c.1568), shows many of Cabral's fleet as either lost or damaged.

1701: After being convicted of piracy and the murder of William Moore, Scottish sailor Captain William Kidd is hanged on 23rd May 1701, at 'Execution Dock', Wapping, in London. During the execution, the hangman's rope broke and Kidd was hanged on the second attempt. His body was gibbeted over the River Thames at Tilbury Point for three years, as a warning to future would-be pirates.

1790: Jules Sébastien César Dumont d'Urville is born at Condé-sur-Noireau. He would go on to become a French naval officer, and explorer of the south and western Pacific, Australia, New Zealand and Antarctica.

1834: Voyage of H.M.S. Beagle (1831-36): The 'Adventure' joined up with the 'Beagle' and assisted in the survey of the Strait of Magellan.

1939: The U.S. Navy submarine U.S.S. 'Squalus' sinks off the coast of New Hampshire during a test dive, causing the death of 24 sailors and two civilian technicians. The remaining 32 sailors and one civilian naval architect are rescued the following day.

1967: Egypt announced that the Straits of Tiran had been closed and warned Israeli shipping that it would be fired upon if it attempted to break the blockade. The next day, Egypt announced that the Straits had been mined.

2010: The sad news starts to spread throughout the modelling world that the designer of the much-loved Veron range of model kits, Mr Phil Smith, had passed away during the early hours of 23rd May.
Title: Re: This Day In 'Boating' History
Post by: Nordsee on May 23, 2013, 11:36:37 AM
 Thanks so much, the second photo is the one he has, he has loaned so many pictures to various people and not got them back that he is now very wary!!
A couple of clickable images to accompany the previous post by 'Nordsee', ref; The sinking of the "Maid of Kent"

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(Left) HMHS 'Maid of Kent' in her hospital ship livery, and (Right) the wrecked HMHS 'Maid of Kent' in Dieppe harbour, beside a burned out hospital train, on the morning following the air-raids.
Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - May 24th
Post by: ardarossan on May 24, 2013, 07:25:57 PM
May 24th...

1218: The Fifth Crusade leaves Acre, bound for Egypt. The immediate objective would be Damietta, a town in the Nile delta that guarded the main route up river to Cairo, the ultimate objective.

Frisian crusaders confront the Tower of Damietta, Egypt.

1543: Nicolaus Copernicus, aged 70 years, died in Frombork, Royal Prussia, Kingdom of Poland. He is remembered as the Renaissance mathematician and astronomer who formulated a heliocentric model of the universe which placed the Sun, rather than the Earth, at the centre.
The publication of Copernicus' book, De revolutionibus orbium coelestium (On the Revolutions of the Celestial Spheres), just before his death, is considered a major event in the history of science.
It began the Copernican Revolution and contributed importantly to the rise of the ensuing Scientific Revolution.

1792: George Brydges Rodney, 1st Baron Rodney, KB, aged 74 years, died at Hanover Square, London. He is best known for his commands in the American War of Independence, particularly his victory over the French at the Battle of the Saintes in 1782. It is often claimed that he was the commander to have pioneered the tactic of "breaking the line".

Admiral Lord George Rodney, 1st Baron Rodney, (1719-1792).
Portrait by Jean-Laurent Mosnierc, painted c.1791.

1819: Her Royal Highness Princess Alexandrina Victoria of Kent is born. Just over eighteenth years later, she would replace her uncle as monarch, and become Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom.

1844: Samuel Morse sends the message "What hath God wrought" (a biblical quotation, Numbers 23:23) from the Old Supreme Court Chamber in the United States Capitol to his assistant, Alfred Vail, in Baltimore, Maryland to inaugurate the first telegraph line.

1881: One of Canada's worst marine disasters occurred on the Thames River, London, Ontario, as people celebrated Queen Victoria day, in recognition of Queen Victoria's (62nd) birthday.
The (aptly-named) 'Victoria', a small, double-decked stern-wheeler commanded by Captain Donald Rankin, was conducting holiday excursion trips between London and Springbank Park.

On a return trip to London the boat was dangerously overcrowded with more than 600 passengers. Oblivious of the danger, the crowd repeatedly shifted from side to side, resulting in flooding and a precarious rocking motion of the boat. It finally heeled over and the boiler crashed through the bulwarks, bringing the upper-deck and large awning down upon the struggling crowd. The 'Victoria' sank immediately and at least 182 people, the majority from London, lost their lives.

1882: Ninety-eight after sailing from New Zealand, the first cargo of frozen meat arrives in London aboard the refrigerated clipper 'Dunedin'. She sailed with 4331 mutton, 598 lamb and 22 pig carcasses, 250 kegs of butter, as well as hare, pheasant, turkey, chicken and 2226 sheep tongues.
The produce was found to be in excellent condition, selling at the Smithfield market over the next two weeks (with just a single carcass being condemned). The event would lead to the establishment of  New Zealand as an international exporter of meat and dairy produce, and as a permanent supplier to the UK.

Photograph of the "Dunedin", loading at Port Chalmers, New Zealand, in 1882.

1939: The Fleet Air Arm reverts to Admiralty control.

1941: The German battleship 'Bismarck' and 'Prinz Eugen' are engaged in surface action by the British battlecruiser H.M.S. 'Hood' and H.M.S. 'Prince of Wales'. During the engagement H.M.S. 'Hood' is sunk with the loss of all but three of her 1,418 crewmen, and 'Prince of Wales' is damaged'

'Bismarck' is also sufficiently damaged to require her to break off her attempt to enter the North Atlantic and head for Brest on the Atlantic coast of France. Shadowing British warships subsequently lose contact with the 'Bismarck' off Greenland.

Eyewitness sketch of the explosion of H.M.S. 'Hood' by the Captain of the H.M.S. 'Prince of Wales'.

1962: A targeting mishap during reentry results in Mercury spacecraft 'Aurora 7', piloted by astronaut Scott Carpenter, splashing down several hundred miles from U.S.S. 'Intrepid' - the primary recovery vessel.
Minutes after he was located by land-based search aircraft, two helicopters from 'Intrepid', carrying NASA officials, medical experts, Navy frogmen, and photographers, were airborne and headed to the rescue. One of the choppers picked him up over an hour later and flew him to the carrier which safely returned him to the United States

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A U.S. Navy Sikorsky HSS-2 'Sea King' recovers astronaut Scott Carpenter from the 'Aurora 7' capsule.

1968: 'K-27', the only Project 645 submarine, equipped with a liquid metal cooled reactor, was irreparably damaged by a reactor accident (control rod failure) on May 24th, 1968. 9 were killed in the reactor accident. After shutting down the reactor and sealing the compartment, the Soviet Navy scuttled her in shallow water (108 ft) of the Kara Sea on September 6th, 1982, contrary to the recommendation of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

2002: The Falkirk Wheel (below), a rotating boat lift in Scotland connecting the Forth and Clyde Canal with the Union Canal, is officially opened by Queen Elizabeth II as part of her Golden Jubilee celebrations.
The structure, which was built as part of a scheme to regenerate central Scotland's canals, is located sits near the Rough Castle Fort, near the village of Tamfourhil, and the nearby town of Falkirk. The site also includes a visitors' centre containing a shop, café, and exhibition centre.

Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - May 25th
Post by: ardarossan on May 25, 2013, 04:24:57 PM
May 25th...

1420: Henry the Navigator (aka Infante Henry, Duke of Viseu) is appointed governor of the very rich Order of Christ, the Portuguese successor to the Knights Templar, which had its headquarters at Tomar. Henry would hold this position for the remainder of his life, and the order was an important source of funds for Henry's ambitious plans, especially his persistent attempts to conquer the Canary Islands, which the Portuguese had claimed to have discovered before the year 1346.

1555: Gemma Frisius (born Jemme Reinerszoon), aged 46, died in Leuven, Belgium. He was a physician, mathematician, cartographer, philosopher, and instrument maker. He created important globes, improved the mathematical instruments of his day and applied mathematics in new ways to surveying and navigation. Most notably, he described for the first time the method of triangulation still used today in surveying, and was the first to describe how an accurate clock could be used to determine longitude.
The lunar crater 'Gemma Frisius', is named after him.

Gemma Frisius (9th December 1508 - 25th May 1555).

1878: Gilbert and Sullivan's comic opera H.M.S. Pinafore (aka, The Lass That Loved a Sailor) opens at the Opera Comique in London. The production (in two acts) ran for 571 performances, which was the second-longest run of any musical theatre piece up to that time. H.M.S. Pinafore was Gilbert and Sullivan's fourth operatic collaboration and their first international sensation.
The opera's  popularity has led to it's continued widespread and diverse reference in books, films and TV, including (but not limited to); Jerome K. Jerome's 'Three men in a Boat' and  'I, Robot' by Isaac Asimov; 'Chariots of Fire' (1981); Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981): The Hand that Rocks the Cradle (1992); 'Wyatt Earp' (1994); Star Trek: Insurrection (1998), 'House'; 'The Simpsons'...

A theatre poster and playbill for the original production of H.M.S. Pinafore at the Opera Comique, London, in 1878.

1939: Sir Frank Watson Dyson, KBE, FRS, aged 71, died while travelling from Australia to England in 1939 and was buried at sea.
He was an English astronomer and Astronomer Royal (and director of the Royal Greenwich Observatory) from 1910 to 1933. In 1928, he introduced in the Observatory a new free-pendulum clock, the most accurate clock available at that time and organised the regular wireless transmission from the GPO wireless station at Rugby of Greenwich Mean Time. He is remembered today largely for introducing time signals ("six pips") from Greenwich (via the BBC), and for the role he played in testing Einstein's theory of general relativity.
He was for several years President of the British Horological Institute and was awarded their Gold Medal in 1928.

The crater Dyson on the Moon is named after him, as is the asteroid 1241 Dysona.

Sir Frank Watson Dyson, (8th January 1868 - 25th May 1939)

1962: The Old Bay Line, the last overnight steamboat service in the United States, goes out of business after the stockholders of the Baltimore Steam Packet Company vote to liquidate the 122-year-old corporation. Thus, ending forever the melodious whistles of Old Bay Line steamboats on the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries.

The Baltimore Steam Packet Company's 'City of Richmond' steamboat. c.1949.

1973: At midday, whilst participating in a NATO exercise between Italy and Sardinia, 85 nautical miles (SW of Rome), Captain Nikolaos Pappas and the officers of HNS Velos (D-16), learned by radio that fellow naval officers had been arrested and tortured in Greece. In order to protest against the dictatorship in Greece, Captain Pappos left the NATO formation and sailed for Rome. Refusing to return to Greece, they anchored at Fiumicino, Italy from where they contacted the international press to motivate global public opinion.

Destroyer Velos D16 (formerly U.S.S. 'Charrette'), now a museum ship in the Gulf of Faliron in Athens.

1977: Written and directed by George Lucas, 'Star Wars' (Episode IV: A New Hope) is released in movie theatres. Groundbreaking in its use of special effects, unconventional editing, and science fiction/fantasy storytelling, the original 'Star Wars' would become one of the most successful and influential films of all time.

A long time ago...   Mark Hamill, Carrie  ( Fisher and Harrison Ford.

1982: H.M.S. 'Coventry', a Type 42 (Sheffield-class) destroyer of the Royal Navy was sunk by bombs dropped by Argentine Air Force A-4 Skyhawks during the Falklands War. The subsequent damage was so severe that within 20 minutes of being hit, 'Coventry' was abandoned and had completely capsized - she sank shortly after.
Nineteen of her crew were lost and a further thirty injured.
After the ship was struck, her crew, waiting to be rescued were reportedly singing "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life" from Monty Python's Life of Brian.

British destroyer H.M.S. 'Coventry' (D118) underway. In the background is the U.S.S. 'Bagley' (FF-1069).
Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - May 26th
Post by: ardarossan on May 26, 2013, 08:09:21 PM
May 26th...

1500: After encountering a storm in the South Atlantic on 23rd or 24th May, four ships of Pedro Alvares Cabral's fleet are lost, whilst the remaining seven ships, hindered by rough weather and damaged rigging, became separated.
One of those ships, commanded by Diogo Dias, wandered onward alone, although the other six ships were able to regroup, sailing east, past the Cape of Good Hope. Fixing their position and sighting land, they turned north and eventually landed somewhere in the Primeiras and Segundas Archipelago, off East Africa and north of Sofala, where they stayed for several days to make repairs.


1573: A naval engagement known as the Battle of Haarlemmermeer was a  fought during the Dutch War of Independence on the waters of the Haarlemmermeer - a large lake which at the time was a prominent feature of north Holland (it would be drained in the 19th Century).
A Spanish fleet, commanded by the count of Bossu, fought a Dutch fleet of rebellious Sea Beggars, commanded by Marinus Brandt, who were trying to break the Siege of Haarlem. After battle continued for several hours until the Sea Beggars were forced to retreat.

Sailing before the wind from the right are the Spanish ships, identified by the flags with a red cross. Approaching from the left are the ships of the Sea Beggars.

The Battle of Haarlemmermeer (c.1621) by Hendrick Cornelisz Vroom.

1703: Samuel Pepys' FRS, MP, JP, aged 70 years, died at his home in Clapham (Now part of Gtr. London, at the time, Clapham was in the countryside).
Remembered now more for the diary he kept for a decade while still a relatively young man, Pepys was an English naval administrator and Member of Parliament. Although Pepys had no maritime experience, he rose by patronage, hard work and his talent for administration, to be the Chief Secretary to the Admiralty under both King Charles II and subsequently King James II.
His influence and reforms at the Admiralty were important in the early professionalisation of the Royal Navy.
The detailed private diary Pepys kept from 1660 until 1669 was first published in the 19th century, and is one of the most important primary sources for the English Restoration period. It provides a combination of personal revelation and eyewitness accounts of great events, such as the Great Plague of London, the Second Dutch War and the Great Fire of London.

Samuel Pepys (23rd February 1633 - 26th May 1703).
Portrait painted by Sir Godfrey Kneller in 1689.

1787: A collier named 'Bethia', a relatively small sailing ship built in 1784 at the Blaydes shipyard in Hull, is bought by the Royal Navy for Ł2,600 on 26th May 1787 (Some sources suggest 23rd May). The ship had been purchased for a single mission in support of an experiment. The Royal Navy wanted a ship to travel to Tahiti, pick up breadfruit plants, and transport them to the West Indies in hopes that they would grow well there and become a cheap source of food for slaves. To enable her to accomodate this role, 'Bethia' would be refitted, and renamed H.M.S. 'Bounty'.

1940: The evacuation of British and French forces from Dunkirk begins (Operation Dynamo), with around 700 privately owned vessels (which became known as the 'Little Ships') sailing from Ramsgate to rescue Allied troops trapped on the beach at Dunkirk, France. As the beach at Dunkirk was a long shallow slope, the 'Little Ships' were necessary to ferry troops from the shallow approach of beach to larger boats waiting in deeper water off shore. By the end of the operation on the 4th June, 338,226 Allied troops were brought back to the United Kingdom.

An image taken during the evacuation of Dunkirk, May/June 1940.

1941: The German battleship 'Bismarck' is sighted by Ensign Leonard B. Smith of the United States Navy, approximately 550 miles west of Lands End. Although the United States is not yet at war with Germany, Ensign Smith is flying as a member of the crew of a Consolidated Catalina of No.209 Squadron piloted by Pilot Officer D.A. Briggs. Fairey Swordfish aircraft from the carrier H.M.S. 'Ark Royal' later cripple the Bismarck in a torpedo attack.

British aircraft carrier H.M.S. 'Ark Royal' with a flight of Fairey 'Swordfish' overhead, c.1939

1969: The Apollo 10 astronauts return to Earth after a successful eight-day test of all the components needed for the forthcoming first manned moon landing. The Command Module, "Charlie Brown", splashed-down at 16:52:23 UTC, about 400 miles east of American Samoa in the South Pacific, just over a couple of miles from her predicted landing point and the primary recovery ship, helicopter-carrier U.S.S. 'Princetown' (LPH-5).
The astronauts were picked up by a U.S. Navy 'Sea King' helicopter with assistance from U.S. Navy underwater demolition team swimmers, who also attached a flotation collar to the spacecraft.

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U.S.S. 'Princeton' at sea during the operation to recover the Apollo 10 spacecraft. The rounded structure on the forward part of the flight deck is for use in housing the space capsule.

2002: The I-40 bridge disaster occurred at 07:45hrs on 26th May southeast of Webbers Falls, Oklahoma, when the captain of the towboat 'Robert Y. Love', Joe Dedmon, experienced a blackout and loses control of the tow. This, in turn, causes the barges he was controlling to collide with a bridge pier. The result was a 580-foot section of the Interstate 40 bridge plunging into Robert S. Kerr Reservoir on the Arkansas River. Fourteen people died and eleven others were injured when several automobiles and tractor trailers fell from the bridge.

Rescue efforts were complicated when William James Clark, impersonating a U.S. Army Captain, was able to take command of the disaster scene for two days. Clark's efforts included directing FBI agents and appropriating vehicles and equipment for the rescue effort, before fleeing the scene. Clark, already a two time felon, was later apprehended in Canada.

The collapsed section of the Interstate 40 bridge, Webber Falls, Oklahoma, on 31st May 2002.
Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - May 27th
Post by: ardarossan on May 27, 2013, 09:03:49 PM
May 27th...

1821: On 27th May, during the Greek War of Independence (also known as the Greek Revolution), the Greeks use a fire ship under Dimitrios Papanikolis against an Ottoman frigate, which is successfully destroyed in the Gulf of Eressos near the Greek island of Lesvos. 

The attack on the Turkish flagship by a fire ship commanded by Dimitrios Papanikolis

1905: The naval Battle of Tsushima, (aka the 'Sea of Japan Naval Battle' and the 'Battle of Tsushima Strait' ) begins in the Tsushima Strait between the Japanese fleet under Admiral Tōgō Heihachirō and the Russian fleet, under Admiral Zinovy Rozhestvensky, which had traveled over 18,000 nautical miles to reach the Far East.

1941: With her steering gear rendered inoperable, the German Battleship 'Bismarck' comes under a relentless bombardment from a British fleet. By 10:00hrs 'Bismarck' had been reduced a shambles; aflame from stem to stern; suffering from a 20° list to port, and; was low in the water by the stern.

Whilst the barrage continued, an order was given for the crew on 'Bismarck' to open the watertight doors, set scuttling charges and prepare to abandon ship.

Around 10:35hrs, the combination of battle damage and scuttling charges resulted in 'Bismarck' capsizing to port and sinking slowly by the stern, disappearing from the surface at 10:40hrs.

Most experts agree that the battle damage would have caused her to sink eventually, and the scuttling only accelerated the inevitable. Out of a crew of over 2,200 men, aboard 'Bismarck', there were just 114 survivors.

'Bismarck' down by the stern, moments befores sinking (As seen from H.M.S. 'Dorsetshire').

1958: Originally developed for the U.S. Navy by McDonnell Aircraft, the F-4 Phantom II makes its maiden flight with Robert C. Little at the controls. A hydraulic problem precluded retraction of the landing gear but subsequent flights went more smoothly.
Early testing resulted in redesign of the air intakes, including the distinctive addition of 12,500 holes to 'bleed off' the slow-moving boundary layer air from the surface of each intake ramp.

The first U.S. Navy McDonnell YF4H-1 Phantom II (seen here in 1959) made its first flight on 27th May 1958.

1967: The U.S. Navy aircraft carrier U.S.S. 'John F. Kennedy' (CVA-67) is launched by Jacqueline Kennedy and her daughter Caroline, two days short of what would have been Kennedy's 50th birthday.
The carrier was the only ship of her class, a subclass of the Kitty Hawk-class aircraft carrier, and the last conventionally powered carrier built for the United States Navy.

Jacqueline Kennedy and John F. Kennedy, Jr. watch Caroline Kennedy break a bottle of champagne against the hull of the U.S. Navy aircraft carrier named after her father in May 1967.

1986: The ferry, MV 'Shamia' capsized and sank during a storm on the Meghna River in southern Barisa, Bangladesh. An estimated 600 people died.

2001: Arriving in two boats, members of an Islamist separatist group seize twenty hostages from an affluent resort in Honda Bay to the north of Puerto Princesa City on the island of Palawan in the Philippines - the hostage crisis would not be resolved until June 2002.
Title: Re: This Day In 'Boating' History - May 27th
Post by: Neil on May 27, 2013, 10:02:34 PM

1941: . Out of a crew of over 2,200 men, aboard 'Bismarck', there were just 114 survivors.
'Bismarck' down by the stern, moments befores sinking (As seen from H.M.S. 'Dorsetshire').

It's often quoted that the survivors were picked up by the Dorsetshire, but most indeed were picked from the water and transferred to the Dorsetshire by the crew of the  Tribal class destroyer Maori.
When I moved into my first house in Fleetwood after flying the nest, there was an old chap living next but one.
As I moved my stuff in he came to the door and asked myself and my mate if we fancied a G & T as it looked hard work.....couldn't pass up on a kind gesture like that and so went inside....and he introduced himself as "Barney's my name and the doctor has given me six months to I make hay whilst sun shines"
He proceeded to tell us as he let the gin flow, all about his amazingly interesting chap, and hanging on his wall was his  R.N. hat band and medals................I asked him what he had served in and his photo album came out..........WOW!!!!..........not only was he a gunner on the Maori, but an official Photographic War correspondent.....and it was then that he showed us his series of photos of the HMS Maori picking up the Bismarck survivors, the way they were graciously treated and cared for and shots of the survivors below decks.......................a collection of photos I will never ever see again.
Sadly old Barney died some years ago, and I went to his funeral. Apparently he had suffered from dementia after I had left the area, and the whereabouts of his records and war memoirs seemingly had been skipped by those who had looked after him in his final years..............what a waste and a they were just wonderful memories and stories..........he kept us entertained on many a rainy night.
A lonely man but a mighty man...........and God bless them all who serve, like him..........he will not be forgotten.
Title: Re: This Day In 'Boating' History
Post by: ardarossan on May 27, 2013, 11:04:47 PM
May 27th 1941...

With regards top the survivors of the Bismarck, I came across some information and images (below) at (, which may be of interest. However, in trying to keep individual events reasonably concise, I had 'filed' this for 27th May next year!

"After the sinking of the Bismarck, the Dorsetshire was ordered to pick up survivors. The heavy cruiser slowly sailed into the mass of humanity in the water where the Bismarck went down. Ropes were thrown over the side for the survivors to climb up, with the assistance of the British seamen. The Dorsetshire had taken on board 86 German sailors, and the destroyer Maori had picked up another 25 sailors when suddenly there was a submarine alert.

The Dorsetshire immediately got underway followed by the Maori, leaving hundreds of survivors behind, some still clinging to the ropes along her side before they dropped off.

The reasonableness of leaving the area depends most likely on the eyes that sees it, but the abrupt departure of the British ships sounded the death knell for nearly all of the several hundred German survivors left behind in the water.

Later the German submarine U-74 rescued three more sailors. The next day, the German weather ship Sachsenwald rescued two more. Out of her total complement of more than 2200 men, there were 115 survivors (originally 116 were saved but Gerhard Lüttich died due to his wounds on board Dorsetshire on 28. May 1941).

On 30 May 1941, the Dorsetshire landed her Bismarck survivors at Newcastle and the Maori landed hers at a base on the river Clyde. From there, the survivors went to London for interrogation, and they were then sent to sit out the war in prisoner of war camps in Canada..."

"This photograph shows a sea of heads floating in the oily water just after the Bismarck sank. For some reason the British censor has blotted out most of the faces."

"Survivors from the Bismarck struggled to reach the safety of the Dorsetshire. Most of the survivors didn't make it as the Dorsetshire suddenly left the area because of a possible U-boat sighting."

It's unfortunate that if it hadn't been for the U-Boat alert, there would have been significantly more survivors from the 'Bismarck'.
Do either of these two photos look like the ones that were taken by your neighbour, Neil?
Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - May 28th
Post by: ardarossan on May 28, 2013, 09:43:51 AM
May 28th...

1588: The Spanish Armada set sail from Lisbon (Portugal) and headed for the English Channel. The fleet was composed of 151 ships, 8,000 sailors and 18,000 soldiers, and bore 1,500 brass guns and 1,000 iron guns. The full body of the fleet took two days to leave port. It contained 28 purpose-built warships: twenty galleons, four galleys and four (Neapolitan) galleasses. The remainder of the heavy vessels were mostly armed carracks and hulks; there were also 34 light ships.

The Invincible Spanish Armada sails from Lisbon, 28th May 1588.

1833: Voyage of H.M.S. Beagle (1831-36): ( The 'Adventure' was heaved onshore at Maldonado on 28th May and was prepared to receive a new copper hull. The 'Beagle' stayed at Maldonado with the Adventure during all of June, probably because most of the crew was needed for the refit. About a week later Capt. FitzRoy heard that a packet ship was due at Montevideo, and on 8th July he sailed there to await the ship which arrived on the 18th of July.

1905: The two-day Battle of Tsushima, in the Tsushima Strait between Korea and southern Japan, comes to an end after two-thirds of the Russian Baltic Fleet is destroyed by the Imperial Japanese fleet under Admiral Tōgō Heihachirō.
This was naval history's only decisive sea battle fought by modern steel battleship fleets, the first naval battle in which wireless telegraphy played a critically important role, and has been characterised as the "dying echo of the old era - for the last time in the history of naval warfare ships of the line of a beaten fleet surrendered on the high seas."

Admiral Tōgō Heihachirō's Battleship 'Mikasa', c.1905

1959: Two monkeys became the first living creatures to survive a space flight. Able, a seven-pound female rhesus monkey, and Baker, an 11-ounce female squirrel monkey, were launched to an altitude of 59 miles in the nose-cone of a Jupiter missile AM-18 from Cape Canaveral in Florida.

They withstood accelerations 38 times the normal pull of gravity and were weightless for about nine minutes, during the 16-minute flight which reached a top speed of 10,000 mph and travelled 1,500 miles from the launch site. The Jupiter nosecone carrying Able and Baker splashed down in the South Atlantic near Puerto Rico and was recovered by the Navajo-class fleet ocean tug U.S.S. 'Kiowa' (ATF-72).

Space-monkey 'Baker' sits on a life-ring aboard recovery ship 'Kiowa'.

1967: Francis Chichester arrived back in Plymouth, England, aboard his yacht, 'Gipsy Moth IV', to become the first person to sail single-handed around the world by the clipper route - with one port of call at Sydney, Australia. He also became the fastest circumnavigator, crossing the finishing line at 20:58 hrs, nine months and one day after setting off from the historic port.
In July 1967, Francis Chichester was dubbed with Sir Francis Drake's sword by the Queen at Greenwich.

Francis Chichester arriving back in Portsmouth, May 28th 1967.

2001: Divers recovered what they believe to be the body of Donald Campbell from the bottom of Coniston Water in the Lake District. Thirty four years after his water speed record attempt ended in disaster, remains were found in blue nylon overalls near where his boat 'Bluebird K7' had been discovered.
There was no skull among the remains, which were taken to a hospital for a post-mortem and police DNA tests to be carried out.

Donald Campbell sitting in the cockpit of 'Bluebird K7', 1967.

2007: Following a camaign in 2003 by Paul Gelder, editor of Yachting Monthly magazine, to sail 'Gipsy Moth IV' around the world a second time in observance of the 40th anniversary of Sir Francis Chichester's epic voyage, funds were raised to rebuild the seriously neglected yacht. In September 2005, 'Gipsy Moth IV' began a  21-month educational journey around-the-world with the Blue Water Round the World Rally.

On this day in 2007, accompanied by a flotilla of boats, 'Gipsy Moth IV' sailed into Plymouth again docking at West Hoe Pier, as she had done exactly 40 years earlier, to complete her second voyage around the world.

The yacht's restoration and the second circumnavigation are described in Paul Gelder's 2007 book, "Gipsy Moth IV: A Legend Sails Again".

Restored 'Gipsy Moth IV' completed her second global circumnavigation, 28th May 2007.

"What I would like after four months of my own cooking is the best dinner from the best chef in the best surroundings and in the best company" - Francis Chichester, May 1967.
Title: Re: This Day In 'Boating' History
Post by: Neil on May 28, 2013, 11:50:55 PM
they are not ones I remember Andy........but if you ever come across any acredited to a Stanley Barnes....that was he.
Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - May 29th
Post by: ardarossan on May 29, 2013, 08:27:20 PM
May 29th...

1453: The 'Fall of Constantinople' was the capture of Constantinople (the Byzantine capital), after a siege by the Ottoman Empire, under the command of 21-year-old Ottoman Sultan Mehmed II, against the defending army commanded by Byzantine Emperor Constantine XI Palaiologos.
The siege lasted from Friday, 6th April 1453 until Tuesday, 29th May 1453 (according to the Julian calendar), when the city was conquered by the Ottomans armies, and ended the last remnant of the Roman Empire - an imperial state which had lasted for nearly 1,500 years.

The Ottoman army of Mehmet II attacking Constantinople in 1453.

1692: The related naval battles of Barfleur and La Hogue took place between 29th May and 4th June 1692 (19th -24th May in the Old Style/OS Julian calendar then in use in England).
The first action took place near Barfleur when a French fleet of 44 ships of the line (carrying a Franco-Irish invasion force), under Comte Anne Hilarion de Tourville, boldly engaged an Anglo-Dutch fleet of 82 ships of the line, under Edward Russell.

After a fierce but indecisive clash of many hours, which left many ships on both sides damaged (albeit none lost), Tourville was able to disengage. He slipped off into light fog, and for several days tried to escape the pursuing superior forces. Scattered and in disaray, some of the French  ( fleet managed to reach the safety of home ports, but not all of them.

On 3rd June, three French ships were lost to Dutch at Cherbourg, and on the following day, a dozen ships thought to be safe at La Hougue (under the protection of the assembled land forces and a battery), were attacked the Dutch and English using long boats.
By this time the French crews were exhausted and disheartened. The allies successfully deployed shore parties and fire ships which burned all twelve French ships of the line which had sought shelter there. This last action became celebrated in England as the Battle of La Hogue.

The Battle of Barfleur, 19th May 1692. An 18th century painting by Richard Paton.

1652: On 29th May (19th May in the Julian Calendar then used in England), The Battle of Goodwin Sands (aka the Battle of Dover) became the first engagement of the First Anglo-Dutch War, due to an unfortunate encounter which occurred in the English Channel near Dover, between a Dutch convoy escorted by 40 ships under Lieutenant-Admiral Maarten Tromp and an English fleet of 25 ships under General-at-Sea Robert Blake.

An ordinance of Oliver Cromwell required all foreign fleets in the North Sea or the Channel to dip their flag in salute (reviving an ancient right the English had long insisted on), but when Tromp was tardy to comply, Blake fired three warning shots. When the third shot hit his ship, wounding some sailors, Tromp replied with a warning broadside from his flagship 'Brederode'. Blake then fired a broadside in anger, and the five-hour Battle of Goodwin Sands ensued. Tromp lost two ships but escorted his convoy to safety.

A painting of the Dutch flagship 'Brederode' off Hellevoetsluis, by Simon de Vlieger.

1792: George Vancouver's expedition, aboard H.M.S. 'Discovery' (accomanied by H.M.S. 'Chatham'), enters the Strait of Juan de Fuca, between Vancouver Island and the Washington state mainland.
His orders included a survey of every inlet and outlet on the west coast of the mainland, all the way north to Alaska. Most of this work would be done in small craft propelled by both sail and oar as manoeuvering larger sail-powered vessels in uncharted waters was generally impractical and dangerous.

1914: The ocean liner R.M.S. 'Empress of Ireland', which operated on the North Atlantic route between Quebec and Liverpool in England, sank in the Saint Lawrence River after being struck amidships by the Norwegian collier, SS 'Storstad', in foggy conditions during the early hours of 29th May 1914.
The 'Empress' had just begun her 96th sailing when she sank, claiming the lives of 1,012 (840 passengers, 172 crew) of the 1,477 persons on board. The number of deaths is the largest of any Canadian maritime accident in peacetime.

R.M.S. 'Empress of Ireland', c.1908.

1940: The first flight of the Chance-Vought XF4U-1 'Corsair' prototype (BuNo 1443) is made, with Lyman A. Bullard, Jr. at the controls. The maiden flight proceeded normally until a hurried landing was made when the elevator trim tabs failed because of flutter.

The XF4U-1 'Corsair' prototype in flight. The cockpit would be relocated further aft on the production version.

1950: Having already become the first vessel to negotiate the Northwest Passage in both directions, the 'St. Roch', a Royal Canadian Mounted Police schooner, becomes the first ship to circumnavigate North America (via the Panama Canal), when she arrives in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
The 'St. Roch' is now on display at the Vancouver Maritime Museum in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

( (
'St Roch' -A 1:72 scale display model by Billing Boats.

 Happy 70th Birthday to Mayhem member 'trawlerman', aka Rod - Born on this day in 1943.  
Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - May 30th
Post by: ardarossan on May 30, 2013, 11:03:53 AM
May 30th...

1815: The East Indiaman 'Arniston' is wrecked during a storm at Waenhuiskrans, near Cape Agulhas, South Africa. She had been requisitioned as a troopship and was on a journey from Ceylon to England  to repatriate wounded soldiers from the Kandyan Wars when the tragedy happened. 372 lives were lost, with ust 6 survivors.

Controversially, the ship did not have a marine chronometer on board - a comparatively new and expensive navigational instrument that would have enabled her to determine her longitude accurately. Instead, she was forced to navigate through the heavy storm and strong currents using older, less reliable navigational aids and dead reckoning.[3] Navigational difficulties and a lack of headway led to an incorrect assumption that Cape Agulhas was Cape Point. Consequently, the ship was wrecked when the captain headed north for St Helena with the incorrect belief the ship had already passed Cape Point.

After spending several days stranded on a nearby beach, the six survivors of the sinking were eventually discovered by a local farmer´s son.

The 'Arniston' - A heavily armed East Indiaman, equivalent to a Royal Navy fourth-rate ship of the line.

1832: The Rideau Canal (aka the Rideau Waterway) is officially opened to traffic, connecting the city of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, on the Ottawa River to the city of Kingston, Ontario, on Lake Ontario.
The canal remains in use today (primarily for pleasure boating) and is the oldest continuously operated canal system in North America. In 2007 it was registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

1914: Under the command of Captain W.T. Turner, the new, and then the largest, Cunard ocean liner R.M.S. 'Aquitania', 45,647 tons, sets sails on her maiden voyage from Liverpool, England, to New York City. Unfortunately, the event is overshadowed by the tragic news of the sinking of the Canadian Pacific liner 'Empress of Ireland' in Quebec the previous day with over a thousand drowned.

Cunard liner R.M.S. 'Aquitania' leaves Liverpool on her maiden voyage, 30th May 1914.

1959: The Auckland Harbour Bridge, crossing the Waitemata Harbour in Auckland, New Zealand, is officially opened by Governor-General, His Excellency Lord Cobham, whose car made the first crossing that day. The ceremony was held on the Toll Plaza, at Sulphur Beach, with about 1000 guests in attendance.
The Bridge Superintendent, Mr DG MacPherson made the first entry in the daily log book on opening day: “11.10 Bridge open. Good luck to you and God bless. May it never close”.

Present-day Auckland Harbour Bridge - Note: If you look closely near the top of the left-hand concrete support, there is a small blue & white boat  ( suspended just below the steelwork...

1990: Israeli soldiers thwart a terror attack on Nitzanim beach, near Tel Aviv, by a group of PLF guerrillas using speedboats armed with a variety of assault weapons. Israeli ships and aircraft intercepted the raiders, killing four of the militants and capturing twelve.
A captured speed boat is later put on display at the Clandestine Immigration and Naval Museum, Haifa, Israel.

( (
A modified speedboat used in an attempted attack against Israeli targets, on 30th May 1990.
Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - May 31st
Post by: ardarossan on May 31, 2013, 11:31:13 AM
May 31st...

1669: English naval administrator, Member of Parliament and diarist, Samuel Pepys, believing that his sight has been affected by the long hours he has worked, writes his last entry dated 31st May 1669. He reluctantly concludes that, for the sake of his eyes, he should completely stop writing and, from then on, only dictate to his clerks.

1853: Led by American explorer Dr. Elisha Kane, the second Arctic expedition financed by Henry Grinnell, leaves New York on board the 144-ton brig 'Advance' to search for Captain Sir John Franklin's lost expedition north of Beechey Island and also a likely open summer Polar sea.

1875: SMS 'Grosser Kurfürst' , an ironclad turret ship of the German Kaiserliche Marine, was sunk on her maiden voyage in an accidental collision with the ironclad SMS 'König Wilhelm'.
The two ships, along with SMS 'Preussen' were steaming in the English Channel when they encountered a pair of sailing boats ahead. Turning to avoid them, 'Grosser Kurfürst' inadvertently crossed too closely to 'König Wilhelm'. The 'ram bow' of 'König Wilhelm' tore a hole in 'Grosser Kurfürst' which sank in about eight minutes, taking around 270* of her crew with her (*sources vary between 269 and 276 fatalities).

Channel watermen and boats from the 'König Wilhelm', rescue survivors from the 'Großer Kurfürst'.

1911: After successfully completing her sea trials, R.M.S. 'Olympic' leaves Belfast bound for Liverpool - her port of registration, on 31st May 1911. As a publicity stunt the White Star Line deliberately timed the start of this first voyage to coincide with the launch of 'Titanic'.

R.M.S. 'Olympic' on her sea trials in Belfast in 1911.

1911: The hull of (what will be) R.M.S. 'Titanic' is launched at 12:15hrs in the presence of Lord Pirrie, J. Pierpoint Morgan and J. Bruce Ismay and 100,000 onlookers. 22 tons of soap and tallow were spread on the slipway to lubricate the ship's passage into the River Lagan. In keeping with the White Star Line's traditional policy, the ship was not formally named or christened with champagne.
'Titanic' being launched at the Harland & Wolff shipyard in Belfast, May 11 1911.

1942: Three Ko-hyoteki-class midget submarines, each with a two-member crew, entered Sydney Harbour, Australia, avoided the partially constructed Sydney Harbour anti-submarine boom net, and attempted to sink Allied warships.
Two of the midget submarines were detected and attacked before they could successfully engage any Allied vessels, and the crews scuttled their boats and committed suicide. These submarines were later recovered by the Allies.
The third submarine attempted to torpedo the heavy cruiser U.S.S. 'Chicago', but instead sank the converted ferry H.M.A.S. 'Kuttabul', killing 21 sailors. This midget submarine's fate was unknown until 2006, when amateur scuba divers discovered the wreck off Sydney's northern beaches.

A Japanese midget submarine on display at the Australian War Memorial.

2010: In international waters of the Mediterranean Sea, a flotilla of six ships (calling itself the "Gaza Freedom Flotilla") sailing from Cyprus to Gaza with the intention of breaking the Israeli-Egyptian naval blockade, is intercepted by Israeli naval vessels after flotilla skippers ignore IDF requests to change course.

Five of the six activist ships are commandeered by Israeli Shayetet 13 naval commandos without incident. However, when they attempt to board the sixth vessel (the Turkish cruise ship MV 'Mavi Marmara'), they are attacked by a number of activists wielding clubs, metal rods and knives.

During the subsequent confrontation, several Israeli commandos are seriously injured, and nine Turkish activists are killed when the commandos switch from non-lethal to live rounds.

Israeli forces approach one of six ships bound for Gaza in the Mediterranean Sea, 31st May 2010.

2013: Following a celebratory launch day, the museum housing sixteenth century Tudor warship 'Mary Rose' opens fully to the public today, in an elliptical timber-clad building at the Historic Dockyard, Portsmouth.
The new museum reunites the 'Mary Rose' with many thousands of the 19,000 artefacts raised from its wreck, to form what is being described as "essentially a vast and fascinating Tudor time capsule".

The new museum housing the 'Mary Rose', located next to Nelson's flagship, H.M.S. 'Victory'.
Title: Re: This Day In 'Boating' History
Post by: dreadnought72 on May 31, 2013, 12:57:06 PM
And the Battle of Jutland, 1916!

Title: Re: This Day In 'Boating' History
Post by: Netleyned on May 31, 2013, 03:26:17 PM
And the Battle of Jutland, 1916!


Able Seaman Joseph Vaughan Gun layer
HMS Defence.
Went down with his ship.

My Great Uncle.

Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - May 31st
Post by: ardarossan on May 31, 2013, 09:07:53 PM
May 31st...

1916: The British Grand Fleet under the command of Sir John Jellicoe and Sir David Beatty engage the Kaiserliche Marine under the command of Reinhard Scheer and Franz von Hipper in the North Sea at Jutland, Denmark. Fought from 31st May to 1st June, The Battle of Jutland (aka 'The Battle of Skagerrak') would be the largest naval battle, and the only full-scale clash of battleships, of World War I.

Title: Re: This Day In 'Boating' History
Post by: Bob K on June 01, 2013, 12:07:36 AM
Adross:  I always read your topic first when I visit. What has me concerned is will it all end on December 18, or will you be able to find even more interesting historical items without repeating yourself?
Title: Re: This Day In 'Boating' History
Post by: ardarossan on June 01, 2013, 10:06:24 AM
Adross:  I always read your topic first when I visit. What has me concerned is will it all end on December 18, or will you be able to find even more interesting historical items without repeating yourself?

Hi Bob,

That's nice to hear, thank you As for December 18th being an 'end' date, it's not something that I have 'scheduled', and as I keep accidentally finding little tid-bits of info (which I've now been saving for a couple of months or so) which are ready for next year!.

The only 'problem' is that this has turned into a bit of a double-edged sword and is taking up more time than I could have imagined. I realise that I have posted most on this thread, but it's not exculsive and I'm really pleased to see other people add info (Capt Podge and Herit... Hertop... Andy, where are you?!), as that was the idea - and if you miss a date - there's always next year.

Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - June 1st
Post by: ardarossan on June 01, 2013, 04:08:47 PM
June 1st...

1794: "The Glorious First of June" (also known as the 'Third Battle of Ushant' of 1794 was the first and largest fleet action of the naval conflict between the Kingdom of Great Britain and the First French Republic during the French Revolutionary Wars.

The British Channel Fleet under Admiral Lord Howe attempted to prevent the passage of a vital French grain convoy from the United States, which was protected by the French Atlantic Fleet, commanded by Rear-Admiral Villaret-Joyeuse. The two forces clashed in the Atlantic Ocean, some 400 nautical miles west of the French island of Ushant on 1st June 1794.

In the aftermath of the battle both fleets were left shattered and in no condition for further combat, with both sides claiming victory: Britain by virtue of capturing or sinking seven French ships without losing any of her own and remaining in control of the battle site; France because the vital convoy had passed through the Atlantic unharmed and arrived in France without significant loss.

Lord Howe's action, or the Glorious First of June, by Philippe-Jacques de Loutherbourg (1795).

1813: Almost immediately after leaving port on 1st June, the U.S.S. 'Chesapeake' engaged the blockading Royal Navy frigate H.M.S. 'Shannon' in a fierce battle. Although slightly smaller, the British ship disabled 'Chesapeake' with gunfire within the first few minutes.
Captain James Lawrence, mortally wounded by small arms fire, ordered his (famous last words to his) officers, "Don't give up the ship!"
Men carried him below, and his crew was overwhelmed by a British boarding party shortly afterward. James Lawrence died of his wounds on 4th June 1813, while his captors directed the 'Chesapeake' to Halifax, Nova Scotia.

U.S.S. 'Chesapeake'. Painted by F. Muller c.1900.

1831: Serving under Sir John Ross (his uncle) on his second Arctic voyage, James Clark Ross discovers the North Magnetic Pole on 1st June 1831 on the Boothia Peninsula in the far north of Canada.

1910: 'Terra Nova' leaves London bound for Cardiff, to make final preparations for Robert Falcon Scott's second (ill-fated) South Pole expedition.

A static scale model of the 'Terra Nova'.

1939: Built by Cammell Laird in Birkenhead, H.M.S. 'Thetis' (N25), a Group 1 T-class submarine of the Royal Navy, sank in Liverpool Bay during her final diving trials, whilst accompanied by the tug 'Grebecock'.
Unfortunately, some enamel paint blocking a test cock (on tube number 5) and a confusing layout of the bow cap indicators resulted in the inner door of the tube being opened and the inrush of water causing the bow of the submarine to sink to the seabed 150 ft below the surface.

Four of the crew managed to escape, but ninety-nine lives were lost. In addition to her normal crew, 'Thetis' also had 9 naval officers, and employees of both Cammell Laird and Vickers-Armstrong on board when the accident occurred.

'Thetis' was later salvaged, repaired and recommissioned as H.M.S. 'Thunderbolt' serving in the Atlantic and Mediterranean theatres until she was sunk with all hands, off the coast of Sicily by an Italian corvette in 1943.

Ship's badge of the submarine HMS Thetis (N25)

1999: Inventor of the Hovercraft, Sir Christopher Sydney Cockerell CBE RDI FRS, died four days before his 89th birhday at Hythe, Hampshire.
Born in Cambridge, where his father, Sir Sydney Cockerell, was Curator of the Fitzwilliam Museum, Christopher Cockerell went on to study engineering, before moving to the Marconi Company.

In the early 1950s he started to consider the possibility of a vehicle that could move across land or water on a cushion of air. Testing his theories using a vacuum cleaner and two tin cans, his hypothesis was found to have potential. Forced to sell personal possessions to finance his research, by 1955, he had built a working model from balsa wood and was able to file his first patent for the hovercraft - No. 854211.

Four years later, the first fully operational full-scale hovercraft, was unveiled to the public where it showed its capability to cross both land and water.

A memorial to Sir Christopher Cockerell stands on the site at Hythe, where he and his team conducted the early hovercraft development.

Sir Christopher Sydney Cockerell,
(4th June 1910 - 1st June 1999).
Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - June 1st
Post by: ardarossan on June 01, 2013, 10:16:22 PM
June 1st... 'Space Shuttle Endeavour'

2011: Space Shuttle 'Endeavour' (Orbiter Vehicle Designation: OV-105) makes it's final landing at the Kennedy Space Centre at 06:34:17 UTC, prior to being decommissioned.

Authorized by Congress in August 1987 as a replacement for the Space Shuttle orbiter 'Challenger', 'Endeavour' was the fifth and final spaceworthy NASA space shuttle to be built, using many structural spares built during the construction of 'Discovery' and 'Atlantis'.

'Endeavour's First Mission Patch: STS-49

'Endeavour's maiden flight (above) was on 7th May 1992, mission designation STS-49. During her flight career, 'Endeavour' would complete 25 missions altogether, covering a distance of 122,883,151 miles and spend 299 days in space.

The orbiter is named after H.M.S. 'Endeavour', the ship which took Captain James Cook on his first voyage of discovery (1768 - 1771) which is why the name is spelled in 'proper' English, rather than Americanised English (i.e. "Endeavor"). The spelling has occasionally caused confusion, most notably when NASA itself misspelled a sign on the launch pad in 2007.

( (
The Shuttle's name also honoured 'Endeavour', the Command Module of Apollo 15, itself also named after Cook's ship.

Illuminated by Xenon lights Space shuttle 'Endeavour' makes its final landing at 06:34 UTC, on 1st June 2011 at the Kennedy Space Center's Shuttle Landing Facility, completing a 16-day mission to the International Space Station.
Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - June 1st
Post by: ardarossan on June 01, 2013, 11:59:11 PM
June 1st...

1916: The Battle of Jutland (aka 'The Battle of Skagerrak'), fought by the Royal Navy's Grand Fleet (which also included ships and individual personnel from the Royal Australian Navy and Royal Canadian Navy) against the Imperial German Navy's High Seas Fleet, comes to an end when the German Fleet withdraws, however the result would remain inconclusive.

First and second battleship squadrons and small cruiser of the German Navy (in Kiel Harbour, Germany, circa 1911-14)

The Germans would claim that Jutland was a victory for them as they had sunk more capital ships than the British. Jellicoe claimed that the victory belonged to the British as his fleet was still a sea worthy entity whereas the German High Seas fleet was not. The British did lose more ships (14 ships and over 6,700 lives) than the Germans (9 ships and over 3,000 casualties), but the German fleet was never again to be in a position to put to sea and challenge the British Navy in the North Sea.

The British Grand Fleet steaming in parallel columns (at the outbreak of war in 1914).
Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - June 2nd
Post by: ardarossan on June 02, 2013, 06:50:19 PM
June 2nd...

1676: The naval Battle of Palermo takes place during the Franco-Dutch War, between a French force led by Abraham Duquesne and a Spanish force supported by a Dutch maritime expedition force. Largely because the Dutch and Spanish ships were at bay making repairs from earlier a battle, the French fleet destroyed four Spanish and three Dutch ships with fireships. This battle secured the supremacy of the French fleet in the mediterranean until 1678.

Antique print, original hand-coloured lithograph of a naval battle: Battle of Palermo, 1676.

1805: Besieged by a Franco-Spanish fleet under orders from Napoleon to recapture Diamond Rock, British defenders (with their ammunition almost exhausted and water supplies running critically short) eventually agree terms to surrender the uninhabited basalt island at the entrance to the bay leading to Fort-de-France, the main port of the Caribbean island of Martinique.

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The Capture of Diamond Rock, 2nd June1805.

1943: Whilst on anti-submarine patrol over the Bay of Biscay, a RAAF Short Sunderland of No.461 Squadron, is attacked  by eight Junkers Ju.88s. The ensuing combat last for 45 minutes and sees the Sunderland shoot down three of the attacking Ju.88s. and damage three of the others. The Sunderland is also heavily damaged, with one of its crew killed and three wounded. Nevertheless, the pilot, Flight Lieutenant C.B. Walker, nursed the aircraft back to the Cornish coast, where he managed to land and beach it at Praa Sands. Flt. Lt. Walker was subsequently awarded the Distinguished Service Order.

A Short Sunderland Flying Boat (Mk.V).

1969: During the night of 2nd/3rd June, whilst participating in SEATO exercise Sea Spirit in the South China Sea, a collision occurred between the the Majestic-class light aircraft carrier H.M.A.S. 'Melbourne' of the Royal Australian Navy and the Allen M. Sumner-class destroyer U.S.S. 'Frank E. Evans' of the U.S. Navy. At approximately 03:00hrs, when ordered to a new escort station, the 'Frank E. Evans' 'sailed under 'Melbourne's bow, where she was cut in two. Her bow section sank and the stern remained afloat. Seventy-four of destroyer's crew were killed.
'Melbourne' had prviously been involved in a similar incident in 1964, earning her the dubious title of the only British Commonwealth naval vessel to sink two friendly warships in peacetime collisions.

1981:The third and final vessel of Invincible-class of light aircraft carriers, H.M.S. 'Ark Royal' (R07) is launched at Swan Hunters shipyard, Wallsend, on the River Tyne on June 2nd 1981, and named by Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother.

Slightly larger than her sister ships, H.M.S. 'Invincible' and 'H.M.S. 'Illustrious', and with a steeper ski-jump ramp, H.M.S. 'Ark Royal' would go into service in 1985.

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H.M.S. 'Ark Royal' slides into the River Tyne at her launch ceremony, 2nd June 1981.

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  "Zeal Does Not Rest"
Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - June 2nd
Post by: ardarossan on June 02, 2013, 09:28:09 PM
June 2nd...

2013: Three miles off the coast of Kent, salvage teams on board two barges, the GPS Apollo, and the Boxer, attempt to raise the last surviving WW2 German Dornier Do-17 bomber from it's resting place in 50ft of water  (at around 21:00hrs).

The salvage attempt at the Goodwin Sands was scheduled to take place at midday on Monday 3rd June 2013, but was moved forward when reports said that the conditions (currently bright sunshine and calm waters) were expected to deteriorate over the next 24 hours.

Graphic showing the method which is hoped will lift the last surviving WW2 Dornier Do.17 Bomber.
Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - June 3rd
Post by: ardarossan on June 03, 2013, 07:42:53 PM
June 3rd...

1787: Three weeks after they leaving England, the town of Santa Cruz on Tenerife in the Canary Islands is the first port of call for the First Fleet, arriving to take on fresh water and vegetables, before continuing their voyage to Australia.

1836: Voyage of H.M.S. Beagle (1831-36): When H.M.S. 'Beagle' called at Cape Town, Captain Robert FitzRoy and the young naturalist Charles Darwin visited John Herschel on 3rd June 1836. Later on, Darwin would be influenced by Herschel's writings in developing his theory advanced in The Origin of Species. In the opening lines of that work, Darwin writes that his intent is "to throw some light on the origin of species - that mystery of mysteries, as it has been called by one of our greatest philosophers", referring to Herschel.


1839  In Humen, China, Lin Tse-hsü destroys 1.2 million kg of opium confiscated from British merchants, and providing Britain with a casus belli to open hostilities, which would result in the First Opium War.

1880: On June 3rd, Alexander Graham Bell and his assistant transmitted the first wireless telephone message on their newly invented photophone (later given the alternate name radiophone) from the top of the Franklin School in Washington, D.C. to the window of Bell's laboratory, some 213 meters (about 700 ft.) away.
The photophone, which allowed for the transmission of speech on a beam of light, was a precursor to the fibre-optic communication systems which subsequently achieved worldwide popular usage around a century after the principle was first tested by Bell.

1864: On the night of 3rd June in Ossabaw Sound, a Confederate boat force under the command of First Lieutenant Thomas P. Pelot, CSN, succeeded in boarding (the third) U.S.S. 'Water Witch', a wooden-hulled, sidewheel gunboat in the U.S. Navy. In 1864 she was   and capturing  After a brief scuffle 'Water Witch' was captured by the Confederates, and subsequently taken into their navy as C.S.S. 'Water Witch'.

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Side-wheel paddle-steamer U.S.S. 'Water Witch' by Bucky Bowles (cropped).

1898: Samuel Plimsoll, aged 74 years, died in Folkestone. He was a British politician and social reformer, and was for some years the honorary president of the National Sailors' and Firemen's Union. However, he is best remembered for having devised the Plimsoll line  - a line on a ship's hull indicating the maximum safe draft, and therefore the minimum freeboard for the vessel in various operating conditions.
Samuel Plimsoll (10th February 1824 – 3rd June 1898) is buried in St Martin's churchyard, Cheriton, Kent.

1911: R.M.S. 'Olympic' arrives at Southampton, to be made ready for her maiden voyage departing in eleven days time. The deep-water dock at Southampton, then known as the "White Star Dock" had been specially constructed to accommodate the new 'Olympic'-class liners, and had opened earlier in 1911.

1942: Codenamed Operation Style, H.M.S. 'Eagle', escorted by the cruiser H.M.S. 'Charybdis' and destroyers H.M.S. 'Antelope', 'Ithuriel', 'Partridge', 'Westcott' and 'Wishart', transports another consignment of Spitfires from Gibraltar to Malta. Of the thirty-two aircraft flown off the carrier, twenty-eight of them arrived safely, with the other four being shot down en route.

1967: Arthur Michell Ransome, aged 83 years young, died at Cheadle Royal Hospital, Greater Manchester.
The English author and journalist, best known for writing the Swallows and Amazons series of children's books about the school-holiday adventures of children, mostly in the Lake District and the Norfolk Broads. The books remain popular and "Swallows and Amazons" is the basis for a tourist industry around Windermere and Coniston Water, the two lakes Ransome adapted as his fictional North Country lake.
He and his wife Evgenia lie buried in the churchyard of St Paul's Church, Rusland, Cumbria, in the southern Lake District.

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Arthur Ransome (18th January 1884 - 3rd June 1967), and the dust cover from a first edition of 'Swallows and Amazons' c.1930.

1979: A blowout at the Ixtoc I exploratory oil well being drilled in waters 160 ft deep by the semi-submersible drilling rig Sedco 135-F in the Bay of Campeche in southern Gulf of Mexico causes at least 3,000,000 barrels (480,000 m3) of oil to be spilled into the waters. It wouldn't be brought under control until the end of March 1980, resulting in one of largest oil spills in history.

The Ixtoc I oil well blowout, after the platform Sedco 135 burned and sank in the Gulf of Mexico.

"Some say that his knees bend backwards and that he can spin around so fast, he can see the back of his own head. All we know is that he's called 'Neil' and it's his birthday!"
Happy Birthday to Mayhem member 'Neil', aka Neil - Born on this day in 1951.
Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - June 3rd
Post by: ardarossan on June 03, 2013, 11:57:33 PM
June 3rd...

1959: Whilst Neil Howard-Pritchard was celebrating his eighth birthday, 'crabbing' (with a mussel on the end of a string), from the Fleetwood Lifeboat slipway, another local tike thought it would be funny to drop a crab down the back of the birthday boy's shirt. Unfortunately, young Neil "nearly jumped out of his skin" and fell into the water.

Known for it's strong currents and deep water, young Neil was washed underneath the slipway structure in an instant. Unable to get back out, he easily have drowned, but for a quick acting lifeboatman who waded in to the water and rescued the little fella from his watery prison, before sending him off home to his Mum.

Now older and wiser, the 'little fella' is all grown up and enjoys supporting the RNLI and Fleetwood lifeboat station...

Mayhem's 'Neil' and his model of the 'Grace Paterson Richie', with crew members from the Fleetwood Lifeboat Station and their D-boat.

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Title: Re: This Day In 'Boating' History
Post by: Neil on June 04, 2013, 12:08:19 AM
and where did you get that from that photo makes me look half human, {-) {-) {-) {-)
Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - June 4th
Post by: ardarossan on June 04, 2013, 10:39:06 PM
June 4th...

1692: The related naval battles of Barfleur and La Hogue, which began a few days earlier (29th May 1692, NS) in response to a French invasion fleet sailing toward England, finally reach a conclusion at La Hogue on 4th June (NS) with the destruction of twelve French ships of the line, resulting in an Anglo-Dutch victory and lifted the threat of invasion of England.

The Battle at La Hogue (1692) by Adriaen van Diest.

1855: Major Henry C. Wayne aboard the U.S.S. 'Supply', a ship-rigged sailing vessel under the command of then-Lieutenant David Dixon Porter, departs from New York and head for the Mediterranean to procure camels with which to establish the U.S. Camel Corps in the desert west of the Rocky Mountains..

U.S.S. 'Supply' a ship-rigged sailing vessel used as a stores ship.

1914: Laid down in November 1911, SMS 'Markgraf', the third battleship of the four-ship König class was launched at the AG Weser shipyard in Bremen on 4th June 1913.
At her launching ceremony, the ship was christened by Frederick II, Grand Duke of Baden, the head of the royal family of Baden, in honour of which the ship had been named. The name 'Markgraf' being a rank of German nobility equivalent to the English Margrave, or Marquess.
The wreck of the 'Margraf is currently a dive-site in Scapa Flow.

SMS 'Markgraf', launched 4th June 1913.

1939: Within sight of the lights of Miami, the MS 'St. Louis', a German transatlantic ocean liner carrying approximately 937 Jewish refugees from Nazi Germany, is denied permission to land in Florida, after already being turned away from Cuba.
U.S. Coastguard vessels patrolled the waters to make sure that no one jumped to freedom and did not allow the ship to dock in the United States. After an appeal for help from Canada is refused, the ship is forced to return to Europe. It is estimated that more than 200 of the passengers later died in Nazi concentration camps.

The event was the subject of a 1974 book, Voyage of the Damned, by Gordon Thomas and Max Morgan-Witts. It was adapted for an American film of the same title, released in 1976.

'St. Louis' surrounded by smaller vessels in the port of Havana, June 1939.

1910: Christopher Sydney Cockerell is born at 'Wayside' Cavendish Avenue, Cambridge, UK. He would be educated at Gresham's School, Holt, and later enter Cambridge University where he would study engineering, return later to study Radio and Electronics.
He would become known to the world at large in 1959 as the inventor of the Hovercraft, a project he had proved viable a few years earlier following the successful testing of a proof-of-concept model, made from Balsa wood and a couple of empty food tins.

1940: The evacuation of Dunkirk, codenamed Operation Dynamo comes to an end. The Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, described the "miracle of deliverance" during a moving speech to Parliament on the same day the last allied soldier arrived home from France.

At the end of the 10-day operation, hundreds of thousands of retreating allied troops trapped by the German Army were rescued from the beach at Dunkirk by the hastily assembled fleet of 933 boats.

Some of the troops were able to embark from the harbour's protective mole onto 42 British destroyers and other large ships, while others had to wade from the beaches toward the ships, waiting for hours to board, shoulder-deep in water. Some were ferried from the beaches to the larger ships, and thousands were carried back to the United Kingdom by the famous "little ships of Dunkirk" - the smallest of which was the 14 ft 7 inch fishing boat 'Tamzine', now in the Imperial War Museum.

During the evacuation, the Luftwaffe attacked whenever the weather allowed, reducing the town of Dunkirk to rubble and destroying 235 vessels and 106 aircraft. At least 5,000 soldiers lost their lives.

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Historic fishing boat 'Tamzine', the smallest known 'little ship' of Dunkirk, on display at Imperial War Museum London.

1942: Only six months after Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor, and one month after the Battle of the Coral Sea, the Battle of Midway, one of the most important naval battles of the Pacific Campaign of World War II, begins with the Japanese Admiral Chuichi Nagumo ordering a strike on Midway Island by much of the Imperial Japanese navy.

1968: A three-day  Dover Seagull purge begins to remove the creatures, regarded as noisy and dirty pest, from the centre of the seaside resort town.
Since the birds had the nerve to move from the world-famous cliffs to nest in the comfort of the chimney pots and roof tops of the town centre some years ago, not only have their droppings been an "embarassment" and caused damage to buildings but the birds have been known to scavenge from rubbish bins and in some cases to attack people.

One theory suggests they were frightened away during the war by explosions in the Channel - another that they have been encouraged in by bird-loving townspeople who are feeding them.
Whatever the reason for the gulls' invasion, today residents and workmen are starting to remove hundreds of nests and eggs on Dover's buildings.

Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - June 5th
Post by: ardarossan on June 05, 2013, 09:54:53 PM
June 5th...

1283: Battle of the Gulf of Naples: Roger of Lauria, admiral to King Peter III of Aragon, captures Charles of Salermo.
The naval Battle of the Gulf of Naples took place on 5th June 1284 in the south of the Gulf of Naples, Italy, when an Aragonese-Sicilian galley fleet commanded by Roger of Lauria defeated a Neapolitan galley fleet commanded by Charles of Salerno (later Charles II of Naples) and captured Charles.

1817: The 700-ton side-wheel paddle-steamer 'Frontenac', the first Great Lakes passenger steamship to be launched (September 1816), departs from Kingston on her first trip for the head of Lake Ontatrio on 5th June 1817. The opening route of the 'Frontenac', commanded by Capt. James McKenzie, a retired officer of the Royal Navy, was between Kingston and Queenston, calling at York (now Toronto) and Niagara and other intermediate ports.

The passenger steamboat 'Frontenac' by James Van Cleve (1827).

1829: Following a pursuit that continued throughout much of the day and into the evening, H.M.S. 'Pickle' is engaged by the at close range by the Spanish slave schooner 'Boladora' at around 23:30hrs.

Hoping that her superior size, heavier armament and larger crew might prevail, the action lasted until 00:50hrs of the 6th June when 'Boladora' surrendered, having had her masts shot away and been reduced to a wreck. In view of the darkness, the crew of 'Pickle' (which suffered little damage), waited until daylight before boarding and towing 'Boladora' (with 335 slaves on board) to the Port of Xibarra.

H.M.S. 'Pickle' capturing the armed slave ship 'Boladora' in the early hours of 6th June.

1863: After a successful six months in the Caribbean, the Confederate commerce raider C.S.S. 'Alabama' moved its operations to the islands off Brazil to continue to disrupt U.S. maritime trade. The 'Talisman', captured on this day in 1863,  was one of the twenty-nine ships she seized during this period. The 1200-ton clipper ship was bound from New York to Shanghai in China with a cargo of coal together with four cannon and two steam boilers for gunboats for use against the Taiping Rebellion. As usual, the 'Alabama' took off what she could use and burned the captured vessel.

During her two-year career, 'Alabama' conducted a total of seven expeditionary raids, causing disorder and devastation across the globe for Union merchant shipping. All together, she burned 65 Union vessels of various types, most of them merchant ships.
During all of Alabama's raiding ventures, captured ships' crews and passengers were never harmed, only detained until they could be placed aboard a neutral ship or placed ashore in a friendly or neutral port.

Confederate commerce raider C.S.S. 'Alabama'.

1914: Six days after leaving Liverpool, the R.M.S. 'Aquitania' arrives safely in New York to complete her maiden voyage.
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R.M.S. Aquitania completes her maiden voyage, arriving in New York, 5th June 1914.

1916: Several days after she participated at the Battle of Jutland, H.M.S. 'Hampshire' , a Devonshire-class armoured cruiser of the Royal Navy, was directed to carry the Secretary of State for War Field Marshal Lord Kitchener, from Scapa Flow on a diplomatic mission to Russia via the port of Arkhangelsk.

Sailing in gale force conditions, 'Hampshire' was approximately 1.5 miles off the mainland of Orkney when an explosion (believed to be caused by a mine laid by German submarine U-75) blew a hole in the cruiser between bows and bridge. She sank by the bows around 15 minutes later. Of over 600 personnel aboard, only 12 men on two Carley floats managed to reach the shore; Kitchener and his staff were lost.

Later, Fritz Joubert Duquesne, a Boer and German spy, claimed to have sabotaged and sunk H.M.S.' Hampshire', killing Kitchener and most of the crew. Allegedly, Duquesne assumed the identity of Russian Duke Boris Zakrevsky and joined Kitchener in Scotland. On route to Russia, Duquesne signaled a German U-boat to alert them that Kitchener’s ship was approaching. He then escaped on a raft just before 'Hampshire' was destroyed.

Her wreck is listed under the Protection of Military Remains Act, though part was later illegally salvaged. A number of films have been made exploring the circumstances of her loss.

H.M.S. 'Hampshire' (c.1903).

1944: In preparation for D-Day, more than 1000 British bombers drop 5,000 tons of bombs on German gun batteries on the Normandy coast.

1964: Deep-submergence vehicle (DSV) 'Alvin'. a manned deep-ocean research submersible owned by the United States Navy and operated by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) in Woods Hole, Massachusetts is commissioned on this day in 1964.
Named to honour the prime mover and creative inspiration for the vehicle, Allyn Vine, 'Alvin' is still in service and with continual modifications has (to date) made over 4,400 dives.

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Deep Submergence Vehicle 'Alvin' (DSV-2).
Title: Re: This Day In 'Boating' History
Post by: Rottweiler on June 06, 2013, 12:30:48 AM
On this day 69 years ago, June 6th 1944 the greatest sea-borne invasion ever was about to start. The Normandy Invasion.
Already in position,off "SWORD" Beach,the British Battleship HMS RAMILLIES,was about to start her bombardment of strategic targets on the mainland,such as the enemy gun battery at Benerville,which was soon knocked out. During the campaign,"Ramillies" fired 1008 15 inch shells,each weighing 1 ton,up to 8 miles inland.This feat will never ever be equalled. She was lucky to escape a torpedo attack,when 3 torpedoes passed down either side of her,whilst she was maneuvering. Had she not been doing so,she would undoubtedly have been hit,but instead they hit a destroyer behind her the "Svenner",which immediately blew up and broke in half.
This "luck" was always to be believed,due to a lucky grass skirt,a PiuPiu,presented to the ship by a Maori Tribe,whilst the ship was in New Zealand earlier in the war,and blessed by them,with the wording of "when this skirt is warn into battle,no harm will befall the ship or crew" Not one loss of life on board occurred,because the Captain,did indeed wear the skirt. The original has long been lost,but a replacement was obtained from the same tribe,from the son of the original presenter.This replica is now in the Royal Marines' Museum at Portsmouth,and is still revered by the surviving members of her crew.
Title: Re: This Day In 'Boating' History
Post by: Rottweiler on June 06, 2013, 02:20:07 PM
A newsreel film of the event (
Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - June 6th
Post by: ardarossan on June 06, 2013, 08:20:01 PM
June 6th...

1586: Having sacked the port of Santo Domingo and captured the city of Cartagena de Indias (in present-day Colombia), an English expedition fleet led by Francis Drake, captures and burns the Spanish settlement of St. Augustine in Spanish Florida on 6th June 1586.
This was part of Francis Drakes Great Expedition and was the last engagement on the Spanish main before Drake headed north for the Roanoke colony. The expedition also forced the Spanish to abandon any settlements and forts in present-day South Carolina.

1762: British naval forces begin a siege of Havana when they place 12 British ships of the line in the mouth of the harbour entrance channel to block in the Spanish fleet.

The British planned to capture the city of Havana, which at the time was an important Spanish naval base in the Caribbean, by the reduction of the Morro fortress through a formal siege. The commanding position of this fort over the city would then force the Spanish commander to surrender.
However, the plan did not take into account the fact that the fortress was located on a rocky promontory where it was impossible to dig approach trenches and that a large ditch cut into the rock protected the fort on the land side. Consequently, the battle for of Havana would last until the end of August.

The Spanish preparing the Morro Castle and the Boom Defence before the siege, by Dominic Serres the Elder.

1832: Voyage of H.M.S. Beagle (1831-36): After checking survey readings in the Abrolhos Shoals off the coast of Salvador, the 'Beagle' returned to Rio de Janeiro on 6th June.
At some time during the next few weeks the ships surgeon, Robert McCormick, resigned his position and headed back to England on the H.M.S. Tyne (a British warship with a crew of 175 men). On British survey ships it was standard practice for the ship's surgeon to collect specimens during a voyage, and McCormick felt his duty was usurped by Charles Darwin. Benjamin Bynoe (formally Assistant Surgeon) was made head surgeon for the rest of the voyage.

1837: After several years use as a convict hulk at Dún Laoghaire, H.M.S. 'Essex', formerly the first U.S.S. 'Essex', is sold at public auction on 6th June 1837 for Ł1,230.
Whilst serving with the U.S. Navy, the 30-plus gun sailing frigate had participated in the Quasi-War with France, the First Barbary War, and the War of 1812, during which she was captured by the British (in 1814), and taken into the Royal Navy as H.M.S. 'Essex'.

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1868: Robert Falcon Scott is born on 6th June 1868, the third child out of six and elder son of John Edward and Hannah (née Cuming) Scott of Stoke Damerel, near Devonport, Devon. Although his father was a brewer and magistrate, there were naval and military traditions in the family.
In accordance with the family's tradition, Robert and his younger brother Archibald were predestined for careers in the armed services. He would go on to join the Royal Navy officer and later become known as the explorer who led two expeditions to the Antarctic regions: the Discovery Expedition, 1901/04, and the ill-fated Terra Nova Expedition, 1910/13.

1896: With a compass, a sextant, a copy of the Nautical Almanac, oilskins and three sets of oars lashed safely in place, Franky Samuelsen and George Harbo, two Norwegian-born Americans set out from New York City in an 18-foot ship-lap (clinker-built) oak rowboat - built with water-resistant cedar sheathing with a couple of watertight flotation compartments and two rowing benches - at the start of their voyage to become the first people ever to row across an ocean (The North Atlantic).

Franky Samuelsen and George Harbo under way in 'The Fox'.

1944: The Battle of Normandy begins. D-Day, code named Operation Overlord, commences with the landing of 155,000 Allied troops on the beaches of Normandy in France. The allied soldiers quickly break through the Atlantic Wall and push inland in the largest amphibious military operation in history.

In support of the D-Day landings, 'Operation Taxable' was creating the impression of a large convoy of ships crossing the narrowest part of the English Channel. To achieve the effect, eighteen small naval vessels steamed towards France at seven knots, and to make their radar response correspond to that created by a large convoy, the Lancasters of No. 617 Sqdn (The Dambusters) circled overhead, continually droping bundles of Window (small metal strips which produced a false echo on the enemy radar screens).

Meticulous timing was necessary, as an error of only four seconds would have been sufficient to make the "convoy" look suspect. As the last Lancaster turned for home its crew had the satisfaction of seeing the German guns open radar-predicted fire on the non-existent 'ghost convoy. Meanwhile the real invasion force was nearing the coast many miles away.

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U.S. Army troops wading ashore on Omaha Beach on the morning of 6th June 1944.
Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - June 7th
Post by: ardarossan on June 07, 2013, 07:16:50 PM
June 7th...

1494: Spain and Portugal sign the Treaty of Tordesillas (at Tordesillas, now in Valladolid province, Spain) which divides the newly discovered lands outside Europe between the two countries along a meridian 370 leagues west of the Cape Verde islands (off the west coast of Africa).
This line of demarcation was about halfway between the Cape Verde Islands (already Portuguese) and the islands discovered by Christopher Columbus on his first voyage (claimed for Spain), named in the treaty as Cipangu and Antilia (Cuba and Hispaniola).

1672: The first naval battle of the Third Anglo-Dutch War, the Battle of Solebay, takes place on 7th June (28th May Old Style) 1672, as a fleet of 75 ships, 20,738 men and 4,484 cannon of the United Provinces, commanded by Lieutenant-Admirals Michiel de Ruyter, Adriaen Banckert and Willem Joseph van Ghent, surprise a joint Anglo-French fleet of 93 ships, 34,496 men and 6,018 cannon at anchor in Solebay (nowadays Sole Bay), near Southwold in Suffolk, on the east coast of England.

Losses were heavy on both sides and the battle ended inconclusively at sunset. Both sides claimed victory, the Dutch with the more justification as the English-French plan to blockade the Dutch was abandoned.
The fleets met again at the Battle of Schooneveld in 1673.

The skirmish of Michiel Adriaensz de Ruyter against the Duke of York, commanding the 'Royal Prince' during the Battle of Solebay, 7th June 1672, by Willem van de Velde II, 1691..

1692: Port Royal, Jamaica (previously a favoured safe harbour for privateers and pirates), is hit by a catastrophic earthquake at 11:43hrs. The earthquake, followed by a tsunami and fires, is believed to have killed between 1000 and 3000 people. Improper housing, a lack of medicine or clean water would lead to hundreds more people dying of malignant fevers over the next few months. Many viewed the horrific event as God’s punishment for unlawful proceedings by a group of sinful people.

1761: John Rennie (the Elder),is born at Phantassie, near East Linton, East Lothian, Scotland. The son of a farmer, Rennie showed a taste for mechanics at a very early age. He would become a civil engineer designing many bridges, canals, and docks.

The Holyhead Mail Pier Lighthouse at Gwynedd, Wales, built by John Rennie in 1921.

1906: Cunard Line's R.M.S. 'Lusitania' is launched at the John Brown Shipyard, Glasgow (Clydebank), Scotland on 7th June 1906 - eight weeks later than planned because of strikes and eight months after Lord Inverclyde's death.
Princess Louise was invited to name the ship but could not attend, so the honour fell to Lord Inverclyde's widow, Mary. The launch was attended by 600 invited guests and thousands of spectators. 1000 tons of drag chains were attached to the hull by temporary rings to slow it once it entered the water. The wooden supporting structure was held back by cables so that once the ship entered the water it would slip forward out of its support. Six tugs were on hand to capture the hull and move it to the fitting out berth.

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R.M.S. 'Lusitania' ( being launched at the John Brown Shipyard on 7th June 1906.

1940: A converted Farman NC2234 civilian transport aircraft (F-AIRN 'Jules Verne'), operated by French Navy squadron B5, bombs Berlin. It is the first Allied air raid on the German capital during the Second World War and the only such raid to be carried out on Berlin before France falls.
According to one account of this raid, the aircrew threw incendiary bombs out of the passenger entry door. One enraged French airman even went so far as to pull his shoes off and throw them out as well!

1942: The three-day Battle of Midway ends with the U.S. Navy decisively defeating an Imperial Japanese Navy attack against Midway Atoll, inflicting irreparable damage on the Japanese fleet.

The Japanese had invaded two Aleutian islands, Attu and Kiska, and attacked Dutch Harbour as a diversionary ploy to draw U.S. forces away from the key battle at Midway, But the U.S. had broken Japanese military codes and knew about the secret strategy - thus denying Japan an easy victory at Midway.

Midway was Japan's worst naval defeat in 350 years, and the loss of four aircraft carriers during the battle was more than the Japanese Navy could endure. The confrontation would prove to be  a turning point in the Pacific War.

The burning Japanese heavy cruiser 'Mikuma' (on 6th June) after she had been bombed by planes from USS 'Enterprise' (CV-6) and USS 'Hornet' (CV-8) during the Battle of Midway.

1944: United States submarine U.S.S. 'Gudgeon' is officially declared overdue and presumed lost. 'Gudgeon' sailed for her 12th war patrol on 4th April 1944. The submarine stopped off for fuel at Johnston Island on 7th April, and was never seen or heard from again. Some sources suggest 'Gudgeon' was sunk on 18th April 1944 at a known location by the Japanese, southeast of Iwo Jima, whilst others believe the submarine was more likely to have sunk by attack near Maug Islands.

U.S.S. 'Gudgeon' (SS-211), a Tambor-class submarine of the U.S. Navy.
Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - June 8th
Post by: ardarossan on June 08, 2013, 07:51:17 AM
June 8th...

793: Vikings raid the abbey on the Holy Island of Lindisfarne in Northumbria. The incident is commonly accepted as the beginning of the Scandinavian invasion of England.

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A 1:25 scale static model of the Viking Ship Oseberg, from a kit by Billing Boats (B720).

1708: A confrontation known as Wager's Action takes place (as part of the War of Spanish Succession), off Cartagena on 8th June (28th May O.S.) 1708, between a British squadron of four ships under Charles Wager and the Spanish treasure fleet of fourteen merchant ships, a hulk lightly armed, and three escorting warships, commanded by José Fernández de Santillán.
A Spanish ship is captured, another forced to fail, and the 'San Jose' carrying the bulk of the Spanish treasure is destroyed and sinks when her powder magazine explodes.

Action off Cartagena, 28 May 1708. Oil by Samuel Scott.

1871: White Star liner SS 'Atlantic' begins her maiden voyage, sailing from Liverpool bound for New York (via Queenstown) on the 8th June, 1871.
Built by Harland and Wolff in Belfast in 1870, she was powered by a steam engine producing 600 horsepower driving a single propeller, along with four masts rigged for sail. 'Atlantic' was the second ship built for the 'newly born' White Star Line.

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Engraving of the White Star Line's steam-ship 'Atlantic'.

1940: The RAF contingent is evacuated from Norway. In the early hours of the 8th June, ten surviving Gloster Gladiators and seven Hawker Hurricanes of No.263 and No.46 Squadrons are embarked upon the aircraft carrier H.M.S. 'Glorious', the first time that either the Hurricanes (without tailhooks) or their pilots have landed on a carrier deck. Despite this, the landings are carried out without undue difficulty.

During the afternoon, whilst making the return journey, the 'Glorious' and her escorting destroyers H.M.S. 'Ardent' and H.M.S. 'Acasta' are sighted (at 15:45hrs) by the German battlecruisers 'Scharnhorst' and 'Gneisenau'. After a gallant struggle, during which the 'Scharnhorst' is damaged by a torpedo from the 'Acasta', all three Royal Navy warships are sunk. A total of 1,519 British personel lose their lives, with just 40 or so survivors - including two of the RAF airmen who landed aboard 'Glorious'.

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Royal Navy aircraft-carrier H.M.S. 'Glorious'.

1955: Tim Berners-Lee, is born in southwest London, England, on 8th June 1955, one of four children born to Conway Berners-Lee and Mary Lee Woods - His parents worked on the first commercially-built computer, the Ferranti Mark 1. A keen trainspotter as a child, 'TimBL' would develop an interest and learn about electronics from tinkering with a model railway. From these modest beginnings he would go on to become known as the British computer scientist and engineer who invented the World Wide Web.

1959: Off the northern Florida coast, the U.S.S. 'Barbero' (SS-317), a Balao-class submarine of the U.S. Navy, assisted the United States Post Office Department (predecessor to today's USPS), with their first and only delivery of 'Missile Mail'.
Shortly before noon 'Barbero' fired a Regulus cruise missile towards the Naval Auxiliary Air Station, Mayport, Florida. Twenty-two minutes later the training type missile landed at its target; its training-type warhead having been configured to carry two official mail containers, holding 3000 pieces of mail, consisting entirely of commemorative postal covers.

A piece of 'Missile Mail, post-marked 'USS Barbero 8 June 9.30 am 1959'.

1978: Naomi James breaks the solo round-the-world sailing record by two days with her 53ft yacht 'Express Crusader', when she crossed the finish line in Dartmouth at 09:11hrs BST after almost nine months at sea. The 29-year old also became the first woman to sail solo around the globe via Cape Horn - the classic "Clipper Route".
Naomi James was made a Dame in 1979 in recognition of her achievements. She gave up sailing in 1982 after winning the two thousand mile Round Britain Race (with her husband Rob James), after suffering badly from sea sickness during the voyage.

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Naomi James (with husband Rob) greeted by crowds on her arrival at Dartmouth, 8th June 1978.

1992: World Oceans Day, which had been unofficially celebrated every 8th June since its original proposal in 1992 by Canada at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, was officially recognized by the United Nations in 2008. Since then it has been coordinated internationally by The Ocean Project and the World Ocean Network with greater success and global participation each year.

2004: The first Venus Transit in modern history takes place, the previous one being in 1882. The next transits of Venus will be 10th-11th December 2117, and in December 2125.

2007: Early on the morning of 8th June 2007, Newcastle Port Corporation (New South Wales, Australia) radioed 56 moored ships waiting off the coast to load coal to warn them to move out to sea to escape the State's worst storms in 30 years.
The MV 'Pasha Bulker' (a Panamax bulk carrier of 76,741 metric tons deadweight), along with 10 other ships, did not heed the warning. As the storm hit, the 'Pasha Bulker' could not clear the coast and it grounded at 09:15hrs on Nobbys Beach.

The ship never called for tug assistance, ran aground with a fully operational engine room and still had both anchors stored in the hawsepipes leading some maritime experts to believe that proper precautions were not taken by the ship's captain. [sic]

It was eventually refloated and moved to a safe location offshore on 2nd July 2007, before being towed to Japan for major repairs on 26th July 2007. The 'Pasher Bulker' is currently operating as the 'Drake'.

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The MV 'Pasha Bulker' on Nobbys Beach, Newcastle, NSW, 2007.
Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - June 9th
Post by: ardarossan on June 09, 2013, 11:04:50 AM
June 9th...

1772: A significant event in the lead-up to the American Revolution occurs on 9th June, when H.M.S. 'Gaspée', a British customs schooner enforcing unpopular trade regulations, is lured across a bar on the northwestern side of Rhode Island’s Narragansett Bay, by the 'Hannah', a packet boat she was chasing.
Although the crew of 'Gaspée' was unable to free her immediately, the rising tide might have allowed the ship to free herself. However, a band of Providence members of the Sons of Liberty rowed out to confront the ship's crew before this could happen. At the break of dawn on 10th June, they attacked the ship and after removal of the crew, in a final gesture of defiance they burned the 'Gaspée' to the waterline.

The burning of H.M.S. 'Gaspée'.

1834: Voyage of H.M.S. Beagle (1831-36): During the first week of June they had surveyed down to Port Famine and then continued along the Strait.
Tierra del Fuego was very misty this time of year, but by 9th June the weather had cleared up quite a bit and the crew had great views of Mount Sarmiento and the glaciers flowing into the sea.
On 10th June the Beagle went through the Magdalen Channel, on through the Cockburn Channel, and past Mt. Skyring. On 11th June 1834 they passed through the East and West Furies, the Tower Rocks, and finally into the Pacific ocean.

1934: Donald Duck, most famous for his semi-intelligible speech and his mischievous and irritable personality, makes his screen debut in a Walt Disney Silly Symphonies cartoon called 'The Wise Little Hen'. Donald's appearance in the cartoon, as created by animator Dick Lundy, is similar to his modern look - his feather and beak colours are the same, as is his blue sailor shirt and hat - but his features are more elongated, his body plumper, and his feet smaller.
The film's release date of 9th June is officially recognised by the Walt Disney Company as Donald Duck's birthday.

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1942: Another 32 Spitfires fly to Malta from the deck of aircraft-carrier H.M.S. 'Eagle' as part of Operaton Salient. All the aircraft reached Malta safely, while 'Eagle' and her cruiser and destroyer escorts returned to Gibraltar.

1959: U.S.S. 'George Washington' (SSBN-598), the lead ship of her class of nuclear ballistic missile submarines is launched at the Electric Boat Division of General Dynamics, Groton, Connecticut on 9th June 1959. Originally laid down as the attack submarine USS Scorpion (SSN-589), during construction, she was lengthened by the insertion of a 130 ft-long ballistic missile section and renamed 'George Washington'; another submarine under construction at the time received the original name and hull number. Inside 'George Washington's forward escape hatch, a plaque remained bearing her original name.

Ballistic-missile submarine U.S.S. 'George Washington' slides down the ways during her launching ceremony.

1996: seaQuest DSV, the American science fiction television series created by Rockne S. O'Bannon, comes to an end after it's third series on 9th June 1996. Originally starring film star Roy Scheider as Captain Nathan Bridger, designer and commander (for the first two seasons) of the titular naval submarine seaQuest DSV 4600, the story was set 'the near future' and mixed high drama with realistic scientific fiction. The series, which first aired on NBC between 1993 and 1996, was revamped and renamed 'seaQuest 2032' for the final season.

The 'seaQuest DSV' logo from the NBC television series.
Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - Jun 10th
Post by: ardarossan on June 10, 2013, 04:21:31 PM
June 10th...

1787: After restocking with fresh water and vegetables, the First Fleet departs from Tenerife in the Canary Islands bound for Rio De Janeiro. One of Phillip's officers, Marine Captain Watkin Tench recorded:
"During our short stay we had every day some fresh proof of his Excellency's esteem and attention, and had the honour of dining with him, in a style of equal elegance and splendour".

1805: The First Barbary War (1801–1805), is brought to an end on this day in 1805 when Yusuf Karamanli, wearied of the blockade and raids, signs a treaty ending hostilities between Tripolitania and the United States, thus lifting the threat of an advance on Tripoli proper and ending a scheme to restore his deposed older brother Hamet Karamanli as ruler.

1829: The first Oxford and Cambridge inter-university boat race takes place on 10th June 1829 - Oxford won.
Originally held at Henley, it was briefly moved to a route between Westminster Bridge and Putney.
It has taken place along its current route, between Putney and Mortlake, since 1836, and became an annual event in 1856.
The record time on the current course was set by Cambridge in 1998 at 16mins 19secs.
The only dead heat in the history of the race came in 1877 when both teams completed the race in exactly 24mins 8secs

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1871: After Korean shore batteries fired on two American warships on June 1st, 1871, and the Koreans subsequent refusal to provide the commanding American admiral with an official apology, around 650 Americans (including 109 U.S. Marines) under Captain McLane, landed and captured several Han River forts on Kanghwa Island, Korea, killing over 200 Korean troops with a loss of only three dead.
Known as the United States expedition to Korea, the Shinmiyangyo, or simply the Korean Expedition, the conflict, which took place predominantly on and around the Korean island of Ganghwa, marked the first American military action in Korea.
Korea continued to refuse to negotiate with the United States until 1882.

A Korean fishing junk with sails, May 1871. This photograph was taken before the Americans reached the mouth of the Han River. It may also be the the first ever photo of Korean nationals.[/center]

1918: The final mission of SMS 'Szent István', a Tegetthoff-class dreadnought of the Austro-Hungarian Navy (the only one built in the Hungarian part of Austria-Hungary), began on the evening of 9th June when she sailed to rendezvous with the other dreadnoughts for an attack on the Otranto Barrage, scheduled for the following day.
Two Italian MAS (Motor Torpedo Boat), discovered 'Szent István' and her half-sister 'Tegetthoff' early in the morning of 10th June while returning from a night patrol off the Dalmatian coast.
They penetrated past her escorts and torpedoed her twice abreast her boiler rooms. They flooded, which knocked out power to the pumps, and 'Szent István' capsized less than three hours after being torpedoed. All but 89 of her crew were rescued.
'Szent István' is believed to be the only battleship whose sinking was filmed during World War I.

SMS 'Szent István' in the Fažana Strait.

1942: From 10th-12th June Bristol Beaufort torpedo bombers of No.217 Squadron, and Bristol Beaufighters of No.235 Squadron, arrive on Malta to enhance the Royal Air Force's anti-shipping campaign from that island.

A Bristol Beaufort II torpedo bomber in Malta, 1942.
Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - June 11th
Post by: ardarossan on June 11, 2013, 07:10:20 PM
June 11th...
1666: The Four Days' Battle, a naval battle of the Second Anglo–Dutch War, begins on this day in 1666 with an outnumbered English fleet of 56 ships commanded by George Monck, 1st Duke of Albemarle (who also commanded the Red Squadron), opposing an 84-strong Dutch fleet commanded by Lieutenant-Admiral Michiel de Ruyter.
Fought from 11th June to 14 June (1st June to 4 June Old Style) off the Flemish and English coast, it becomes one of the longest and largest naval engagements during the age of sail.
The 'Royal Prince' and other Vessels at the Four Days Battle, 11-14 June 1666, by Abraham Storck.

1770: Not long into Captain Cook's northward voyage from from Botany Bay, a mishap occurs just before 23:00hrs when the 'Endeavour' runs aground on a shoal (today called Endeavour Reef) within the Great Barrier Reef system.
The sails were immediately taken down, a kedging anchor set and an unsuccessful attempt was made to drag the ship back to open water. The reef 'Endeavour' struck, rose so steeply from the seabed, that whilst the ship was hard aground, Cook was able to measure depths up to 70 feet less than one ship's length away.
1865: The Naval Battle of Riachuelo is fought on the rivulet Riachuelo (Argentina), between the Paraguayan Navy on one side and the Brazilian Navy on the other. The Brazilian victory was crucial for the later success of the Triple Alliance (Brazil, Uruguay and Argentina) in the Paraguayan War.
1910: Jacques-Yves Cousteau is born, in Saint-André-de-Cubzac, Gironde, France to Daniel and Élisabeth Cousteau. He had one brother, Pierre-Antoine. Cousteauwould go on to study at the Collčge Stanislas in Paris. In 1930, he would enter the École Navale, graduating as a gunnery officer. Follwing an automobile which accident cut short his career in naval aviation, Cousteau would indulge his interest in the sea becoming known as a filmmaker, scientist, author and pioneered marine conservation.
1935: Inventor Edwin Armstrong gives the first public demonstration of FM broadcasting in the United States at Alpine, New Jersey.
1937: Reginald Joseph (R. J.) Mitchell CBE, FRAeS, died on 11th June 1937 at age 42. His ashes were interred at South Stoneham Cemetery, Hampshire four days later.
The legendary British aircraft, born in Kidsgrove, Staffordshire, England, joined the Supermarine Aviation Works at Southampton in 1917, becoming Technical Director by 1927. He was so highly regarded that, when Vickers took over Supermarine in 1928, one of the conditions was that Mitchell stay as a designer for the next five years.
Between 1920 and 1936, Mitchell designed 24 aircraft including light aircraft, fighters and bombers. As Supermarine was primarily a seaplane manufacturer, this included a number of flying boats, although he is best remembered for his work on a series of racing aircraft, which culminated in the Supermarine S.6B, and the famous Supermarine Spitfire fighter.
An R. J. Mitchell designed Supermarine Walrus (serial K5783) from H.M.N.Z.S. 'Leander'.

1944: The U.S.S. 'Missouri' (BB-63) the last battleship built by the United States Navy and future site of the signing of the Japanese Instrument of Surrender, is commissioned with Captain William Callaghan in command. The ship was the third of the Iowa class, but the fourth and final Iowa-class ship commissioned by the U.S. Navy.
1959: The worlds first practical hovercraft, the Saunders Roe SR-N1, is unveiled to the public at Cowes, Isle of Wight, at it's official launch in the Solent, off the south coast of England.
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The official launch of the SR-N1 Hovercraft, marking a new era in transportation, 11th June 1959.

1962: During the night of 11th/12th June,  Frank Morris, John Anglin and Clarence Anglin allegedly become the only prisoners to escape from the prison on Alcatraz Island.
Escaping from their cells via the ventilation system, the prisoners elaborate two-year escape plan culminated in them pumping up an inflatable raft, made from more than 50 rubberised raincoats that inmates were assigned, before paddling out into the bay at sometime around 22:00hrs.
The next morning police searched for the escapees on Alcatraz and Angel Island without success. Despite this. the official report on the escape says the prisoners drowned in the bay. However, the U.S. Marshall’s office is still investigating the case, which will remain open on all three escapees until their 100th birthdays.
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Alcatraz Island in San Francisco Bay, Calif., U.S.A.
Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - June 12th
Post by: ardarossan on June 12, 2013, 09:31:27 PM
June 12th...

1653: The naval Battle of the Gabbard, also known as the Battle of Gabbard Bank, the Battle of the North Foreland or the second Battle of Nieuwpoort took place on 12th/13th June 1653 (2nd/3rd June Old Style) during the First Anglo-Dutch War near the Gabbard shoal off the coast of Suffolk, England between fleets of the Commonwealth of England and the United Provinces.

The English fleet had 100 ships commanded by Generals at Sea George Monck and Richard Deane and Admirals John Lawson and William Penn (also joined by Admiral Robert Blake on 13th June). The Dutch had 98 ships under Lieutenant-Admiral Maarten Tromp and Vice-admiral Witte de With, divided in five squadrons.

A combination of English line-of-battle tactics, and a lull - which presented the Dutch ships as sitting ducks to the superior guns of the English, resulted in the Dutch being routed. The battle ended with the Dutch losing in total seventeen ships, of which six were sunk and eleven captured. The English lost no ships, but Deane was killed. Tactically this was the worst defeat in Dutch naval history with the exception of the Battle of Lowestoft; strategically the defeat threatened to be disastrous.

The Battle of the Gabbard, 1653.

1770: After initial attempts to free Captain Cook's stricken ship 'Endeavour', from a shoal within the Great Barrier Reef in Australia ended in failure, Cook then ordered that the ship be lightened to help her float off the reef.
Iron and stone ballast, spoiled stores and all but four of the ship's guns were thrown overboard, and the ship's drinking water pumped out. Buoys were attached to the discarded guns with the intention of retrieving them later, but this proved impractical. Every man on board took turns on the pumps, including Cook and Banks.

When, by Cook's reckoning, about 40 to 50 long tons of equipment had been thrown overboard, on the next high tide a second unsuccessful attempt was made to pull the ship free. During the afternoon of 12th June, the longboat carried out two large bower anchors, and block and tackle were rigged to the anchor chains to allow another attempt on the evening high tide. The ship had started to take on water through a hole in her hull. Although the leak would certainly increase once off the reef, Cook decided to risk the attempt and at 22:20hrs the badly damaged ship was floated on the tide and successfully drawn off.

1941: Fourteen Bristol Beaufort torpedo aircraft fly a search from Leuchars and Wick for the German pocket battleship 'Lutzow', which has been sighted off the coast of Norway. Spotting the battleship by moonlight, Flt Sgt Loveitt conducts a successful torpedo attack which forces the 'Lutzow' to return to Kiel in Germany for repairs. Flt Sgt Loveitt was subsequently awarded the Distinguished Flying Medal for the action.

1942: Operation Harpoon (12th-15th June), and Operation Vigorous (12th-16th June), were a pair of simultaneous Allied convoys sent to supply Malta in the Axis-dominated Mediterranean Sea in mid-June 1942, during the Second World War.
One convoy, Operation Vigorous, sailed from Haifa and Port Said but encountered heavy Axis air and sea opposition, returning to Alexandria on 16th June. The other convoy, Operation Harpoon, travelled to Malta from Gibraltar. Also meeting with fierce Axis opposition, only two of 'Harpoon′s six merchant ships completed the journey, at the cost of several Allied warships.

1953: The SS 'Chusan', a British ocean liner and cruise ship, built for the Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company (P&O)'s Indian and Far East Service, accidentally collides with the freighter 'Prospector', off the Goodwin Sands in the English Channel. The collision tore an 26-foot  breach in her hull, but did not sink her. Resultantly, she was sent back to London for two days of repairs.

P&O liner SS 'Chusan'.

1957: The first run of Sapphire Films television drama series 'The Buccanneers' comes to an end. Starring Robert Shaw as Dan Tempest, the series, aimed at children, followed the adventures of Tempest and his crew of former pirates as they made their way across the seven seas in 'The Sultana'.

A header for 'The Buccaneers' TV series, 1956/57.
Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - June 13th
Post by: ardarossan on June 13, 2013, 09:22:36 PM
June 13th...

1665: The Battle of Lowestoft takes place on 13th June (New Style) 1665 during the Second Anglo-Dutch War. A fleet of more than a hundred ships of the United Provinces commanded by Lieutenant-Admiral Jacob van Wassenaer Obdam attacked an English fleet of equal size commanded by James Stuart, Duke of York forty miles east of the port of Lowestoft in Suffolk, England.
The Dutch were desperate to prevent a second English blockade of their ports after the first was broken off by the English only for lack of supplies. The leading Dutch politician, Johan de Witt, ordered Van Wassenaer to attack the English aggressively during a period of stable eastern winds which would have given the Dutch the weather gage. Van Wassenaer however, perhaps feeling that his fleet was still too inferior in training and firepower to really challenge the English in full battle, postponed the fight till the wind turned in order to seek a minor confrontation in a defensive leeward position from which he could disengage quickly and return without openly disobeying orders. His attitude would cost him a sixth of his fleet and his life.

The Battle of Lowestoft, 1665, showing HMS Royal Charles and the Eendracht by Hendrik van Minderhout.

1740: The Siege of St. Augustine begins on the 13th June. A military engagement with naval support, it was a part of the much larger conflict known as the War of Jenkins' Ear, between Great Britain and Spain.

1770: As expected, once Captain Cook's ship 'Endeavour' had been drawn off the shoal within the Great Barrier Reef, the leak in the badly damaged ship increased, and all three working pumps had to be continually manned.

The prospects if the ship sank were grim. The vessel was 24 miles from shore and the three ship's boats could not carry the entire crew. Midshipman Jonathon Monkhouse proposed fothering the ship, as he had previously been on a merchant ship which used the technique successfully. He was entrusted with supervising the task, sewing bits of oakum and wool into an old sail, which was then drawn under the ship to allow water pressure to force it into the hole in the hull. The effort succeeded and soon very little water was entering, allowing two of the three pumps to be stopped.

On 13th June, the ship came to a broad watercourse that Cook named the Endeavour River. Attempts were made to enter the river mouth, but strong winds and rain prevented 'Endeavour' from crossing the bar for several days.

Full-size replica of the 'Endeavour' under full sail.

1805: Whilst the Lewis and Clark Expedition was mapping the course of the Missouri River to establish whether a river route to the Pacific Ocean existed, Meriwether Lewis (scouting ahead of the expedition) discovered the Great Falls of the Missouri. Having learned of the "great falls" from the Mandan Indians while wintering at Fort Mandan several months earlier,  Lewis became the first white person to see them on 13th June 1805. Exploring the following day, Lewis discovered Crooked Falls, Rainbow Falls, Colter Falls, and Black Eagle Falls.

1881: Although the expedition ship U.S.S. 'Jeannette'  (originally H.M.S. 'Pandora', a Philomel-class gunvessel of the Royal Navy), under the command of Lt Cdr DeLong was trapped in the arctic ice pack, the expedition had continued to keep full records of meteorology, soundings, astronomical observatoions, positions, etc,  as they drifted northwest, ever-closer to the North Pole itself
Unfortunately, on the night of 12th/13th June, the pressure of the ice finally began to crush 'Jeannette'. DeLong and his men unloaded provisions and equipment onto the ice pack before the ship sank the following morning.

Steam Yacht 'Jeannette' (later U.S.S. 'Jeannette') at Le Havre, France, in 1878.

1942: Convoy OG 85 sails from the UK to Gibraltar on 13th June as part of Operation Pinpoint. The convoy, comprising of freighters 'Empire Shackleton', 'Guido' and 'Lublin', was carrying 32 Spitfires, plus ground crews and pilots. On arrival at Gibraltar, the aircraft were assembled at North Front air strip in preparation fopr transfer to Malta.

1954: Henry George Blogg GC BEM, aged 78, died on this day in 1954. The retired lifeboatman from Cromer on the north coast of Norfolk, England remains the most decorated in RNLI history.

Henry Blogg of the Cromer Lifeboat Station is referred to as 'the greatest of the lifeboatmen. From the rescue of the crew of the 'Pyrin' and then of half of the crew of the 'Fernebo' in 1917, through to his near drowning in the service to the 'English Trader' in 1941, he was awarded the gold medal of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution three times and the silver medal four times, the George Cross, the British Empire Medal, and a series of other awards.

When Henry Blogg retired in 1947, after 53 years service and at age 71 (11 years past the usual retiring date), the new lifeboat at Cromer was named after him. He had been coxswain for 38 years of his service during which he had launched 387 times and rescued 873 people. Henry Blogg's nephew Henry 'Shrimp' Davies took over as coxswain of the Cromer Lifeboat.

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Henry George Blogg GC BEM
(6th February 1876 - 13th June 1954)

A museum dedicated to the memory of Henry Blogg - 'the greatest of the lifeboatmen' - opened in 2006. It was the first purpose-built RNLI museum to be opened since the Grace Darling museum opened in 1938.
A memorial and bronze bust of Henry Blogg (above) stands on the Cliff Top in North Lodge Park, Cromer.
Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - June 14th
Post by: ardarossan on June 14, 2013, 05:23:08 PM
June 14th...

1285: Forces led by Prince Tran Quang Khai of Vietnam's Trần Dynasty destroys most of the invading Mongol naval fleet in a battle at Chuong Duong.

1666: The Four Days' Battle of the Second Anglo–Dutch War, ends in victory for the Dutch fleet commanded by Lieutenant-Admiral Michiel de Ruyter following a successful disengagement of the outnumbered English fleet under George Monck, 1st Duke of Albemarle, after both sides had inflicted significant damage on each other and expended much of their ammunition.
The Four Days Battle (1666) became one of the longest and largest naval engagements during the age of sail.

The capture of the English flagship the 'Royal Prince' during the Four Days Battle,
by Willem van de Velde the Younger, c.1666/70.

1777: The Second Continental Congress passes the Flag Resolution which stated: "Resolved, That the flag of the thirteen United States be thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new constellation." Flag Day is now observed on 14th June of each year.
The 1777 resolution was most probably meant to define a naval ensign, as in the late 18th century, the notion of national flag did not yet exist, or was only nascent.

The Francis Hopkinson design for the U.S. flag features 13 six-pointed Marian stars arranged in rows, creating an optical effect of the crosses used in the British flag.

1789: The nineteen survivors of the mutiny on HMS Bounty (including captain Lt. William Bligh), reach Timor in the Dutch East Indies, after a 47-day journey in a 23-foot open launch.
Bligh navigated using a quadrant and a pocket watch (but no charts or compass), recording a distance of 3,618 nautical miles from where they were set adrift. During the voyage, they were chased by cannibals in what is now known as Bligh Water, Fiji and passed through the Torres Strait along the way, landing in Kupang. Shortly after reaching Timor, the cook and botanist died. Three other crewmen died in the coming months.

1822: Charles Babbage proposes a difference engine in a paper to the Royal Astronomical Society entitled "Note on the application of machinery to the computation of astronomical and mathematical tables".

1839: The first Henley Regatta was held on 14th June 1839, when a group of citizens offered a Grand Challenge Cup worth 100 guineas for eight-oared amateur crews and the Town Challenge Cup for local four-oared crews. They were inspired by the first Oxford versus Cambridge Boat Race which took place at Henley in 1829 and a handful of matches that took place on the reach in the intervening years.
The regatta became known as Henley Royal Regatta in 1851, when Prince Albert became the first royal patron.

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An extremely rare race card from the first Henley Regatta.

1900: The Reichstag (the Parliament of the German Empire) approves a second law that allows the expansion of the German navy.

1911: As the largest ship in the world, and the first in a new class of superliners R.M.S. 'Olympic' commences her maiden voyage from Southampton, calling at Cherbourg and Queenstown, en route to New York. The maiden voyage was captained by Edward Smith who would lose his life the following year in the 'Titanic' disaster. Designer Thomas Andrews was present for the passage to New York (and return), along with a number of engineers, as part of Harland and Wolff's "Guarantee Group" to spot any problems or areas for improvement. Andrews would also lose his life in the 'Titanic disaster'.

R.M.S. 'Olympic' just before leaving Southampton on her maiden voyage, 1911.

1927: Jerome K. (Klapka) Jerome, aged 68, died in Northampton General Hospital, after suffering a paralytic stroke and cerebral haemorrhage a couple of weeks earlier whilst on a motoring tour from Devon to London via Cheltenham and Northampton. He was cremated at Golders Green and his ashes buried at St Mary's Church, Ewelme, Oxfordshire.
Best known for the comic travelogue Three Men in a Boat (1889), the English writer and humorist's other works include the essay collections Idle Thoughts of an Idle Fellow (1886) and Second Thoughts of an Idle Fellow; Three Men on the Bummel, a sequel to Three Men in a Boat; and several other novels.

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The original 'Three Men' - from left to right Carl Hentschel, George Wingrave
and Jerome K. Jerome (2nd May 1859 - 14th June 1927).

1936: A contract for 'New Construction G' was issued by the German Navy to the Kriegsmarine Werft in Wilhelmshaven, Germany. The vessel originating from the contract would become the Bismarck-class battleship 'Tirpitz'.

1952: The keel is laid for the world's first nuclear-powered submarine, U.S.S. 'Nautilus' (SSN-571), by Harry S. Truman at General Dynamics' Electric Boat Division in Groton, Connecticut.

1982: At 21:00 hours on 14th June 1982, the commander of the Argentine garrison in Stanley, General Mario Menéndez, surrendered to the Major General Jeremy Moore. The surrender was in conflict with the Argentine Army code stating that a surrender was illegal unless more than 50% of the men were casualties and 75% of the ammunition was spent.
The terms of the surrender document  ( were slightly changed after negotiation by General Menéndez. The phrase unconditional surrender was changed for the term surrender.

The ocean liner SS 'Canberra' and H.M.S. 'Andromeda' (F57) outside Port Stanley, Falkland Islands, just after the unconditional surrender of Argentine forces on 14th June 1982.

The Argentine Junta had falsely claimed that the liner had been crippled during the Battle of San Carlos.
'Canberra' was used to repatriate 4,167 of the 11,313 Argentine prisoners of war, landing them at Puerto Madryn, Argentina.
Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - June 15th
Post by: ardarossan on June 15, 2013, 08:54:13 PM
June 15th...

1184: The naval Battle of Fimreite is fought on the 15th June 1184 between King Magnus Erlingsson and the Birkebeiner pretender Sverre Sigurdsson, off the coast near the hamlet of Fimreite in the long and narrow Sognefjord in  Norway. Sverre eventually defeated and killed Magnus in the battle, and successfully usurped the Norwegian throne.

1502: Christopher Columbus lands at Carbet on the island of Martinique (Martinica) on the island of Martinique on his fourth voyage. Columbus charted the island in 1493, making the region known to European interests, but it was not until 15th June 1502, on his fourth voyage, that he actually landed, leaving several pigs and goats on the island. However, the Spaniards ignored the island as other parts of the New World were of greater interest to them.

1904: The 235-ft sidewheel paddle-steamer 'General Slocum', was a passenger steamboat built in Brooklyn, New York, in 1891. She was owned by the Knickerbocker Steamship Company and operated in the New York City area as an excursion steamer. During her service history, she was involved in (and survived) a number of mishaps, including multiple groundings and collisions.

However, her 13-year career came to a tragic  end on 15th June 1904, when she caught fire and sank in New York's East River. At the time of the accident she was on a chartered run carrying over 1,400 passengers, mostly women and children, of St. Mark's Evangelical Lutheran Church (German Americans from Little Germany, Manhattan) to a church picnic site in Eatons Neck, Long Island. An estimated 1,021 of the people on board either died in the fire or were drowned.
The events surrounding the 'General Slocum' fire have since appeared in a number of books, plays and movies.

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Illustration of the 'General Slocum' disaster.

1910: A large, excited and noisy Cardiff crowd cheered as the heavily laden SS 'Terra Nova' left Bute Dock carrying the British Antarctic Expedition. Such was the support in Wales for the expedition that Cardiff was designated the home port of the 'Terra Nova'. Captain Scott, detained by expedition business, sailed later on a faster passenger liner and joined the ship in South Africa.

The 'Terra Nova' sails from Cardiff, Wales, 15th June 1910.

1941: The air defences of Malta are reinforced by Hawker Hurricanes flown off the aircraft carriers H.M.S. 'Ark Royal' and H.M.S. 'Victorious' and of the 47 aircraft despatched, 43 arrive safely. A further 64 aircraft are flown in by the end of the month.

1944: Following a two-day naval bombardment of the island of Saipan in the Mariana Islands by fifteen U.S. battleships (firing in the region of 165,000 shells), the Battle of Saipan begins at 07:00 hours when more than 300 LVTs begin landing U.S. Marines on the west coast of the island. By 09:00 hours, around 8,000 troops had landed with cover being provided by eleven fire support ships.
Careful Japanese artillery preparation - placing flags in the lagoon to indicate the range - allowed them to destroy about 20 amphibious tanks, and the Japanese strategically placed barbed wire, artillery, machine gun emplacements, and trenches to maximise the American casualties. However, by nightfall the 2nd and 4th Marine Divisions had established a beachhead about 6 mies wide and 0.5 miles deep. The battle would last until 9th July 1944.

Evidence of the battle now forms the The WWII Maritime Heritage Trail, a collection of underwater heritage sites featuring Japanese and U.S. shipwrecks, assault vehicles, and aircraft wrecks from the Battle of Saipan (June-July 1944). The trail has become a popular attraction for swimmers, snorkelers and divers who wish to visit a part of Saipan’s WWII history underwater.

This U.S. LVT (Landing Vehicle Tracked) is part of the Saipan Maritime Heritage Trail.

1966: The Admiral of the Fleet, Lord Mountbatten of Burma, opened the world's first Hovercraft show (Hovershow) at Browndown near Gosport in Hampshire. It was expected to attract up to 4,000 official visitors and was intended to promote export sales of hovercraft. The show got off to a perfect start with news of a Ł1-million Ministry of Defence order for two new prototypes, a fast patrol boat capable of 75 knots and a logistics support craft.

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A Saunders-Roe SR-N3 c.1966.
Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - June 16th
Post by: ardarossan on June 16, 2013, 08:57:22 PM
June 16th...

363: Emperor Julian marches back up the Tigris and burns his fleet of supply ships. During the withdrawal Roman forces suffering several attacks from the Persians.
The Roman army starts its retreat northward to Corduene (Armenia). Julian marches back up the Tigris and burns his fleet of supply ships. During the withdrawal Julian's forces suffering several attacks from the Persians.
A second council of war on 16 June 363 decided that the best course of action was to lead the army back to the safety of Roman borders, not through Mesopotamia, but northward to Corduene.

1779: In support of the United States, Spain (already in alliance with France) declares war on the Kingdom of Great Britain, leading to the Great Siege of Gibraltar.

1795: Occurring from the 16th to 17th June during the French Revolutionary Wars, the First Battle of Groix otherwise known as "Cornwallis' Retreat" was a naval engagement in which a British Royal Navy battle squadron of five ships of the line and two frigates was attacked by a French Navy battlefleet of 12 ships of the line and 11 frigates in the waters off the west coast of Brittany.
Hugely outnumbered, the British commander Vice-Admiral William Cornwallis turned away from the French on 16th June and attempted to escape into open water, the French fleet under Admiral Villaret de Joyeuse in close pursuit. After a full day's chase the British squadron had lost speed due to poorly loaded holds on board two ships, and the French vanguard pulled within range on the morning of 17th June.
Unwilling to abandon his rearguard, Cornwallis counterattacked with the remainder of his squadron and a fierce combat developed, culminating in Cornwallis interposing his flagship H.M.S. 'Royal Sovereign' between the British and French forces.

H.M.S. 'Royal Soverign' in Pymouth, 1805.

1836: The remains of the 'Mary Rose' are discovered by diver and inventor, John Deane after a fishing boat's net caught on the wreck. He recovered timbers, guns, longbows, and other items from the shipwreck but the location of the shipwreck was forgotten after John Deane stopped work on the site of the Mary Rose shipwreck in 1840.

1903: Heading an expedition to conduct scientific experiments at the magnetic North Pole and to complete the route through the Northwest passage, Roald Amundsen sets sail from the Christiania harbour in the Oslofjord with six companions on board the 'Gjřa'.
The 70 ft by 20 ft square-sterned sloop of 45-nrt, originally built by Knut Johannesson Skaale in Rosendal, Norway in 1872 (the same year Amundsen was born), had served for 28 years as a herring fishing boat. Now, specially adapted for the purposes of the expedition, 'Gjřa' was destined to become known as the first vessel to navigate the Northwest passage.

Static model of the 'Goya', the first vessel to navigate the Northwest passage.

1955: On the morning of 16th June, H.M.S. 'Sidon', one of the third group of Royal Navy S-class submarines built by Cammell Laird & Co Limited, Birkenhead, was moored alongside the depot ship H.M.S. 'Maidstone' in Portland Harbour.
Accompanying the the fifty-six officers and crewmen on board were two 21-inch Mark 12 peroxide-powered 'Fancy' torpedoes for testing.
At 08:25 hrs, an explosion in one of the torpedoes burst the number-three torpedo tube it was loaded into and ruptured the forward-most two watertight bulkheads. Fire, toxic gases, and smoke accompanied the blast. The submarine sank around 25-minutes later.

Altogether, 13 men were killed - 12 of them, in the forward compartments died instantly when the torpedo exploded. The thirteenth casualty was the medical officer from the 'Maidstone', who boarded the submarine with the rescue party, but suffocated whilst assisting survivors.

One week later the wreck was raised and towed into a causeway on Chesil Beach. The bodies of the 13 casualties were removed and buried with full honours in the Portland Royal Naval Cemetery overlooking the harbour.

A Court of Inquiry determined the loss of the boat was due to a malfunctioning 'Fancy' torpedo. The torpedo programme was terminated and the torpedoes taken out of use by 1959.
'Sidon' was refloated, then sunk to act as an ASDIC target on 14th June 1957.

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Ship's badge of submarine H.M.S. 'Sidon' (P259).
Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - June 17th
Post by: ardarossan on June 17, 2013, 10:40:34 PM
June 17th...

1579: On 17th June 1579, Drake landed somewhere north of Spain's northern-most claim at Point Loma, in Alta California. He found a good port, landed, repaired and restocked his vessels, then stayed for a time, keeping friendly relations with the natives. He claimed the land in the name of the Holy Trinity for the English Crown and called it 'Nova Albion' (Latin for "New Britain").

The precise location of the port was carefully guarded to keep it secret from the Spaniards, and several of Drake's maps may have been altered to this end. All first-hand records from the voyage, including logs, paintings and charts, were lost when Whitehall Palace burned in 1698.

Now a National Historic Landmark, the officially recognised location of Drake's New Albion is Drakes Bay, California.

The 'Golden Hind' sailing along the Pacific coast of New Albion (Modern-day California), 1579.

1596: On his third voyage to search for the elusive Northern Sea Route, Dutch explorer Willem Barentsz discovers (and names) the Arctic archipelago of Spitsbergen - The name, meaning “pointed mountains” is from the Dutch spits - pointed, bergen - mountains).

A 1599 map of Arctic exploration by Willem Barentsz. Spitsbergen, here mapped for the first time, is indicated as "Het Nieuwe Land" (Dutch for "the New Land"), centre-left.

1673: One month after leaving St. Ignace with two canoes and five voyageurs of French-Indian ancestry (now recognized as the ethnic group Métis), French explorers Louis Joliet, and Father Jacques Marquette, reach the Mississippi River, from where they will become the first Europeans to make a detailed account of its course, demonstrating that it ran to the Gulf of Mexico.

1770: During the morning of 17th June, Captain Cook's badly damaged ship 'Endeavour' was able to cross bar and enter the mouth of the Endeavour River. Briefly grounding on a sand spit, she was refloated an hour later and warped into the river proper by early afternoon. The ship was promptly beached on the southern bank and careened to make repairs to the hull. Torn sails and rigging were also replaced and the hull scraped free of barnacles.

An examination of the hull showed that a piece of coral the size of a man's fist had sliced clean through the timbers and then broken off. Surrounded by pieces of oakum from the fother, this coral fragment had helped plug the hole in the hull and preserved the ship from sinking on the reef several days earlier.

A 1:64 static scale model of 'Endeavour' from a kit by Caldercraft.

1791: Roberto Cofresí is born in Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico. He would eventually become known as "El Pirata Cofresí," the most renowned pirate in Puerto Rico. His "steal from the rich, give to the poor" attitude would make him legendary in Puerto Rico and throughout the rest of Latin America, inspiringd countless songs, poems, books and films.

1885: The French Steamer 'Isčre', laden with the Statue of Liberty, arrives in the New York port safely. New Yorkers displayed their new-found enthusiasm for the statue, as the French vessel arrived with the crates holding the disassembled statue on board. Two hundred thousand people lined the docks and hundreds of boats put to sea to welcome the 'Isčre'.

1940: H.M.T. (formerly R.M.S.) 'Lancastria', a British Cunard liner commandeered by the UK Government for war service, was sunk off the French port of St. Nazaire with the loss of at least 4,000 lives, possibly many more, while taking part in Operation Ariel, the evacuation of British nationals and troops from France, two weeks after the Dunkirk evacuation.
After sustaining three direct hits from Luftwaffe Ju.88's, the ship rolled over and sank within twenty minutes. Over 1,400 tons of fuel oil leaked into the sea and was set partially on fire, possibly by strafing. Many drowned, were choked by the oil or were shot by the strafing German aircraft.

It is the greatest ever loss of life in the sinking of a single British ship, claiming more lives than the combined losses of the R.M.S. 'Titanic' and R.M.S. 'Lusitania'. It had also the highest death toll for UK forces in a single engagement in the whole of World War II.

R.M.S. 'Lancastria'.

1977: Directed by Peter Yates and based on Peter Benchley's novel of the same name, the adventure movie 'The Deep', is released on June 17th, 1977. Starring Robert Shaw, Jacqueline Bisset, and Nick Nolte, 'The Deep' was well received by the public, and remembered for its opening scene of Jacqueline  ( swimming underwater wearing a thin, white T-shirt and bikini bottom. 'The Deep' was the ninth highest grossing film of 1977.

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Theatrical Poster for 'The Deep' (1977).
Title: Re: This Day In 'Boating' History
Post by: sparkey on June 18, 2013, 06:35:32 AM
My dad was on the Lancastria and was badly wounded being machine gunned in the water, he died some years later as result of his injuries still a relative young man,sad day for me,regards ,Ray.
Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - June 18th
Post by: ardarossan on June 18, 2013, 09:54:18 PM
June 18th

1767: Whilst on a voyage of discovery around the world in command of H.M.S. 'Dolphin' (a 24-gun sixth-rate frigate of the Royal Navy used as a survey ship from 1764), Captain Samuel Wallis first sights the island of Tahiti, or, as he called it, Otaheite. (Some sources suggest Wallis discovered Tahiti on 17th June, 1767).

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A wash drawing (presumably of 'Dolphin') by Samuel Wallis, from the sketchbook he kept during his voyage around the world in command of H.M.S. Dolphin, 1766-1767.

1799: As part of the French Revolutionary Wars, the naval engagement known as The Action of 18 June (1799) was fought off Toulon in the wake of the Mediterranean campaign of 1798. The confrontation began when a frigate squadron under Rear-admiral Perrée, returning to Toulon from Syria, met a 30-ship British fleet under Lord Keith. Three ships of the line and two frigates detached from the British squadron, and a 28-hour running battle ensued. When the British ships overhauled them, the French frigates and brigs had no choice but to surrender, given their opponents' overwhelming strength.

1858: Charles Darwin receives a paper from Alfred Russel Wallace that includes nearly identical conclusions about evolution as Darwin's own, prompting Darwin to publish his theory.

1908: After a journey of 52 days from the port of Kobe, the first Japanese immigrants arrive in Brazil when the 'Kasato Maru' docks at the port of Santos. The 781 Japanese national disembarked the following day, beginning a wave that would continue into the 1950’s and which would bring more than 1.5 million Japanese to Brazilian shores.

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Depiction of the first Japanese immigrants sailing towards Santos, aboard 'Kasato Maru', 1908.

1928: Roald Engelbregt Gravning Amundsen disappeared while flying on a rescue mission with Norwegian pilot Leif Dietrichson, French pilot René Guilbaud, and three more Frenchmen, looking for missing members of Nobile's crew, whose new airship 'Italia' had crashed while returning from the North Pole.
Afterwards, a wing-float and bottom gasoline tank from the French Latham 47 flying boat he was in, improvised into a replacement wing-float, was found near the Tromsř coast. It is believed that the plane crashed in fog in the Barents Sea, and that Amundsen was killed in the crash, or died shortly afterwards. His body was never found. The search for Amundsen was called off in September by the Norwegian Government.

During the Heroic Age of Polar Exploration, the Norwegian explorer had been the first to traverse the Northwest Passage (1903–060; he led the Antarctic expedition (1910-12) to discover the South Pole in December 1911; and he was the first expedition leader to (undisputedly) reach the North Pole in 1926.

"Victory awaits him, who has everything in order - luck we call it.  Defeat is definitely due for him, who has neglected to take the necessary precautions - bad luck we call it" - Roald Amundsen (from 'The South Pole').

Roald Engelbregt Gravning Amundsen,
(16th July 1872 – c.18th June 1928).

1944: On 16th June 1944, SS 'Albert C. Field', a Canadian cargo ship requisitioned by the British government,  sailed from Penarth as part of Convoy EBC-14 bound for the Normandy beachhead. She was carrying 2,500 tons of munitions and 1,300 bags of mail. On 18th June, when 20 miles south-west of The Needles, the convoy was attacked by German aircraft, and the ship was hit by a torpedo and sank within three minutes. Four of the crew were killed.

1976: The Technicolor war film 'Midway' is released n the U.S., although it is retitled as 'Battle of Midway' for the UK market.
The dramatisation of the battle that turned out to be the turning point of the Pacific Theatre of World War II featured an international cast of superstars including Charlton Heston, Henry Fonda, James Coburn, Glenn Ford, Hal Holbrook, Toshiro Mifune, Robert Mitchum, Cliff Robertson, Robert Wagner, James Shigeta, Pat Morita, Robert Ito and Christina Kokubo, among others.

The soundtrack used Sensurround to augment the physical sensation of engine noise, explosions, crashes and gunfire.

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Theatrical Poster for 'Midway' (1976).
Title: Re: This Day In 'Boating' History
Post by: ardarossan on June 19, 2013, 12:08:58 PM
June 19th...

1667: The Dutch naval action known as The Raid on the Medway, began on this day during the Second Anglo-Dutch War. Also known as the Battle of the Medway, the Raid on Chatham or the Battle of Chatham, the assault would go on for five days, from 19th to 24th June (9th to 14th June. O.S.), and see the Dutch fleet, under nominal command of Lieutenant-Admiral Michiel de Ruyter, attack the largest English naval ships, laid up in the dockyards of their main naval base Chatham.

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The burning of the English fleet off Chatham, 20th June 1667, by Peter van de Velde.

1820: Sir Joseph Banks, 1st Baronet, GCB, PRS, aged 77, died on 19th June 1820 in Spring Grove House, London.
An English naturalist, botanist, and patron of the natural sciences, Banks took part in Captain James Cook's first great voyage (1768–1771) and the exploration of Botany Bay.

Banks is credited with the introduction to the Western world of the eucalyptus, the acacia, and the genus named after him, Banksia. Approximately 80 species of plants bear Banks's name.
He also directly fostered several famous voyages, including that of George Vancouver to the northeastern Pacific (Pacific Northwest), and William Bligh's voyages to transplant breadfruit from the South Pacific to the Caribbean islands.

Joseph Banks was buried at St Leonard's Church, Heston.

Joseph Banks (13th February [24th February N.S.] 1743 - 19th June 1820),
As painted by Sir Joshua Reynolds in 1773.

1864: C.S.S. 'Alabama' was a screw sloop-of-war built for the Confederate States Navy in 1862 by John Laird Sons and Company at Birkenhead, England. 'Alabama' served as a successful commerce raider, attacking Union merchant and naval ships over the course of her two-year career, during which she never anchored in a Southern port.
On 19th June 1864, 'Alabama' was sunk in battle by the Mohican-class screw sloop-of-war, U.S.S. 'Kearsarge', at the Battle of Cherbourg outside the port of Cherbourg, France.

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U.S.S. 'Kearsarge' sinks Confederate-raider C.S.S. 'Alabama' outside the French port of Cherbourg, 1864 - Painting by Jean-Baptiste Henri Durand-Brage.

1914: (Rear-Admiral Sir) Morgan Charles Morgan-Giles, (DSO, OBE, GM, DL), is born. The eldest son of F. C. Morgan-Giles O.B.E., (Naval Architect and yacht designer) and Ivy Constance Morgan-Giles. Morgan-Giles' childhood was spent idyllically "messing around with boats" at Teignmouth, where his father had his boatyard.

Morgan-Giles' first memory was of his father building a little dingy for his young son (whilst on sick leave from from the Royal Navy with petrol poisoning during WWI).
Due to the war, there was a shortage of good wood, and legend has it that F.C. Morgan Giles couldn't find quite what he wanted to finish her off. His wife came home one day to find the best table in the house had mysteriously vanished but the little boat had a new mahogany transom.

When the boat was completed (she was called 'Pip Emma' and is now in the National Maritime Museum Cornwall in Falmouth) the three year old Morgan was placed in her and launched out to sea. This started off his lifelong passion for boats and the sea...

'Pip Emma' at Beale Park Boat Show, promoting the National Maritime Museum, Falmouth (June 2010).

1937: Sir James Matthew Barrie, 1st Baronet, OM, aged 77, died of pneumonia in London. The Scottish author and dramatist is best remembered today as the creator of Peter Pan. Before his death, he gave the rights to the Peter Pan works to London's Great Ormond Street Hospital, which continues to benefit from them.
J. M. Barrie was buried at Kirriemuir next to his parents and two of his siblings. He left the bulk of his estate (excluding Peter Pan) to his secretary Cynthia Asquith.

1940: At the start of World War II, R.M.S. 'Niagara', an ocean liner operated by the Canadian-Australasian Line was maintaining a service from Auckland, New Zealand, to Suva and Vancouver.
On 19th June 1940, she had just left Auckland when, off Bream Head, Whangarei, she struck a mine laid by the German auxiliary cruiser 'Orion' and sank in 121 metres of water. No lives were lost.
Unbeknown to all but a few, a secret and large consignment of gold from the Bank of England was in the ship's strong room and went down with the ship. The gold was payment from England to the United States, which had not yet entered the war, for munitions in the fight against Germany.

1944: The first day of the Battle of the Philippine Sea (19th-20th June 1944) took place during the United States' amphibious invasion of the Mariana Islands during the Pacific War. The battle was the fifth of five major 'carrier-versus-carrier' engagements between American and Japanese naval forces, and involved elements of the United States Navy's Fifth Fleet as well as ships and land-based aircraft from the Imperial Japanese Navy's Mobile Fleet and nearby island garrisons.

U.S.S. 'Bunker Hill' (CV-17) is near-missed by a Japanese bomb, during the air attacks of 19th June 1944.
Title: This Day In 'Boating' History - June 20th
Post by: ardarossan on June 20, 2013, 09:29:39 PM
June 20th...

1597: Stranded in the Arctic since his ship (and expedition) became trapped by ice, Dutch navigator and explorer Willem Barentsz died at sea in a small boat whilst studying charts. It is not known whether Barentsz was buried on the northern island of Novaya Zemlya or at sea.

The Death of Willem Barentsz by Christiaan Julius Lodewyck Portman (c.1836).

1631: The Sack of Baltimore took place on June 20st, 1631, when the village of Baltimore, West Cork, Ireland, was attacked by North African pirates from the North African Barbary Coast. The attack was the biggest single attack by the Barbary pirates on Ireland or Britain. The attack was led by a Dutch captain turned pirate, Jan Janszoon van Haarlem, also known as Murad Reis the Younger. Murad's force was led to the village by a man called Hackett, the captain of a fishing boat he had captured earlier, in exchange for his freedom. Hackett was subsequently hanged from the clifftop outside the village for his conspiracy.

1819: Twenty-seven days after she left port at Savannah, Georgia, the U.S. hybrid sailing ship/sidewheel steamer SS 'Savannah' arrives at Liverpool, England, to become the first steam-propelled vessel in the world to cross the Atlantic Ocean - although most of the journey was made under sail.

'Savannah' was originally built as a sailing packet at the New York shipyard of Fickett & Crockett in 1818. While the ship was still on the slipway, Captain Moses Rogers persuaded a wealthy shipping firm from Savannah, Georgia, to purchase the vessel, convert it to a steamship and gain the prestige of inaugurating the world's first transatlantic steamship service. 'Savannah' was therefore equipped with a steam engine and paddlewheels in addition to her sails.
In spite of her historic voyage, 'Savannah' was not a commercial success as a 'steamship' and was converted back into a sailing ship shortly after returning from her tour of Europe.

A static model of the 'Savannah' - arguably the first steamship to cross the Atlantic.

1837: Queen Victoria succeeds to the British throne. Her reign (of 63 years and seven months) would be a period of industrial, cultural, political, scientific, and military change within the United Kingdom, and be marked by a great expansion of the British Empire.

1895: The 61-mile long Kiel Canal (known as the Kaiser-Wilhelm-Kanal until 1948), crossin