Of Fanás and Forecastles: The Indian Ocean and Some Lost Languages of the Age of Sail.
Amitav Ghosh is tracing the culture and language of the lascars, the diverse Indian Ocean "natives" who made up the rosters on so many sailing ships. In 11 parts, the first nine are up now: 1
. RIDLH, of course
posted by OmieWise
on Dec 27, 2012 -
is a website packed full of evocative, interesting and historical pictures of old ships from A
. It's a feast of all kinds of other vintage maritime images
, including ports
, docks, ferries
, harbors, paintings
, canals, rivers
, maritime scenes, onboard pictures
, shipboard menus
, lots of great postcards
and other old historical nautical memorabilia
(even the ship's cat
). [more inside]
posted by nickyskye
on Aug 24, 2012 -
(No NSFW images in this link, but some weeks there will be a random picture or two of a topless mer-person or sailor.)
posted by resurrexit
on Jul 30, 2012 -
Donald Crowhurst (1932–1969) was a British businessman and amateur sailor who died while competing in the Sunday Times Golden Globe Race, a single-handed, round-the-world yacht race. Crowhurst had entered the race in hopes of winning a cash prize from The Sunday Times to aid his failing business. Instead, he encountered difficulty early in the voyage, and secretly abandoned the race while reporting false positions, in an attempt to appear to complete a circumnavigation without actually circling the world. Evidence found after his disappearance indicates that this attempt ended in insanity and suicide. (previously: 1, 2)
posted by Trurl
on Nov 17, 2011 -
[vimeo 8:48] — They began their voyage in their apartment, using a homemade machine to process cacao beans. Over time they cultivated their creation, sourcing beans from family farms in Madagascar, Venezuela, the Dominican Republic, and Ecuador. Each bar is handmade with incredible reverence for the process and history of chocolate. They are bound in ornamental papers and golden foil like a collection of rare books. Each bar offers its own story of flavors, and no two are exactly alike. [more inside]
posted by netbros
on Nov 25, 2010 -
passed away last week at 78 years old. He was a Master Navigator
from the tiny island of Satawal
. In the seventies, he traveled to Hawaii to help the Polynesian Voyaging Society
revive the wayfinder
's art, navigating by the sun, moon, stars, animals, waves and clouds. In 1976, he steered the Hokule'a, a traditional sailing canoe,
from Hawaii to Tahiti without even so much as a compass. He began teaching a new generation of navigators and helped launch
a revival of Polynesian culture. To honor him, the Polynesian Voyaging Society is raising money
to assist the people of Satawal, while also preparing for a world wide voyage on the Hokule'a, to use their ancient wisdom to help imagine a new relationship to the planet
posted by cal71
on Jul 21, 2010 -
On June 27, 1898, all but unnoticed, a Canadian seaman named Joshua Slocum
sailed his rebuilt oyster boat Spray
into Newport, Rhode Island, completing a 3-year, 46,000 mile voyage conducted solely by dead reckoning
that made him the first man to ever achieve a solo circumnavigation of the world
. His account of the feat, Sailing Alone Around The World (HTML with illustrations, plain text, EPUB, audio)
, was described by Arthur Ransome
as "one of the immortal books". In 1909, Slocum set out in the Spray
for the West Indies. Neither he nor the craft were ever seen again.
posted by Joe Beese
on Apr 30, 2010 -
often known as "The Last Shantyman
," authored a book
called Shanties From the Seven Seas
, based on his own work experiences in the last days of sail. Influential in the folk revival, the book is one of the most important written sources for music sung aboard ships in the 19th and early 20th century, the "Bible" of sea music
. Decades of chanteying in pubs and at festivals have kept many of the songs alive, but in most cases they've strayed stylistically from the verses and versions Hugill collected, or dropped out of popularity entirely. Now, one musician
is returning to the source and creating a new audio archive for the original versions of the songs as written, by singing through the more than 400 songs in the book, one song each week, and posting the songs on YouTube, with commentary
. [more inside]
posted by Miko
on Jun 15, 2009 -
Around Cape Horn
- if you've ever wished for an authentic glimpse into the bygone era of the majestic age of sailing, this is it - a rare 1929 true adventure film about sailing a four-masted commercial barque around the Cape Horn during a huge gale. It was shot with a hand-cranked camera by Captain Irving Johnson who offers a spirited narration. 36 minutes, B&W
posted by madamjujujive
on Apr 11, 2009 -
The United States Exploring Expedition, 1838-1842
and funded by the U.S. government, six ships
sailed with 346 men (including officers
, and artists
) on a four-year scientific and surveying mission, logging 87,000 miles
around the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian oceans. Two ships and 28 men were lost, and the Expedition's contentious
commander Charles Wilkes
was court-martialled for his erratic behavior, and was sued
by former officers and crew members. During the Civil War in 1861, he boarded a British ship
, seized two Confederate agents, and nearly provoked military retaliation by England (he was court-martialled once again in 1864
for insubordination.) Wilkes' 1845 Narrative of the United States Exploring Expedition
and the Ex. Ex.'s journals were published
by Congress, and some 40 tons of Expedition specimens and artifacts
became the foundation
of the Smithsonian Institution
's collections. [Nathaniel Philbrick (video lecture) chronicles this almost-forgotten voyage in his 2003 book Sea of Glory (NYT review).]
posted by cenoxo
on Oct 25, 2008 -
are out there. In February, Mike Beaumont
completed the fastest circumnavigation of the globe by bicycle. Tomorrow, Rosie Swale
, age 62, finishes her 4 1/2 year run around the world. As posted previously
, Zac Sunderland is now attempting to break the record for the youngest sailing circumnavigation of the planet, now held by Jesse Martin
posted by Xurando
on Aug 24, 2008 -
Confessions of A Long Distance Sailor
- I had been sitting in dark rooms, punching computer keys, for years. I had always wanted to learn SCUBA diving, hike around in the tropics, so I booked a flight to Hawaii. But a month later I was in — are you ready? — a traffic jam on Maui.
I understand now, from the moment I touched that sailboat's dock lines, I was doomed to sail.
posted by phrontist
on Jun 17, 2007 -
Reid Stowe and Soanya Ahmad
have embarked on a 1000 day journey aboard a 60 foot schooner named Anne which Reid built. They will remain beyond sight of land and will not be resupplied during the voyage. Reid has considerable experience
as a sailor, having first sailed at 20 to Tahiti from Hawaii...and later building a a catamaran which he sailed across the Atlantic.
posted by rmmcclay
on Apr 22, 2007 -
born in 1676 in Lower Largo
, Scotland, was the unruly seventh son of a cobbler. In 1703, having grown tired of life in his village, he was able to convince successful buccaneer William Dampier
that he was the man to navigate Dampier’s next privateering
expedition to South America. After a dispute with the young captain of the ship on which he served as sailing master, Selkirk was left behind on a small island 418 miles west of Valparaiso, Chile
. Rescued four years later, he was the subject of several contemporary accounts
of his ordeal, and likely served as one of Daniel Defoe's
primary inspirations for Robinson Crusoe
posted by killdevil
on Apr 25, 2006 -
The Mysterious Voyage of Donald Crowhurst and the Teignmouth Electron
In the autumn of 1968, Crowhurst set out from England in a homebuilt trimaran, to compete in the first solo nonstop around-the-world sailing race. Eight months later, the boat was found drifting and abandoned in mid-Atlantic. Crowhurst's diaries revealed that, although he had apparently radioed messages from his round-the-world course, he had in fact never left the Atlantic.
posted by carter
on Mar 18, 2005 -
Ever dreamed of building a boat and sailing away?
Two clearly mad Canadians decide to built a yacht. Clearly mad because they actually do it! It's a bit of a saga but well worth the read for the vicarious pleasure. I'm green with envy!
N.B. the site navigation can be a bit dicky so you may have to change the url to get to the next day sometimes. It goes up to day 222.
posted by milkwood
on Jan 6, 2005 -
Ellen Macarthur is trying to break the solo round-the-world sailing record. From her website
you can see stills and videos while she’s enroute, and track her progress. Meanwhile, the Vendee Globe
is underway, with 20 sailors racing a similar course – also nonstop, and with no outside assistance allowed. The first solo nonstop circumnavigation was only 35 years ago, and the record has gone from 313 days to 72
. It’s the slow way around, to be sure, and that’s probably why only a few dozen people
have done it.
posted by Framer
on Jan 5, 2005 -
They that go down to the sea in ships
, a really hauntingly beautiful collection of images of seafarers from the past. Some of the images have handwritten notes on the back as well. It's good to get a glimpse of the people and decades lived in by most of our grandparents. Who knows where all those digital images we all take will end up one day.
posted by rhyax
on May 2, 2004 -
What happens when you mix Star Trek fan with webblogging yachtsman? You get Starship Enterprise
: sailing stories blogged as Star Trek adventures. I sure like the cut of his jib. Engage.
posted by brownpau
on Mar 31, 2004 -
, an Ottawa area entrepreneur, and her husband reevaluated their priorities in the early 90's after Diane was diagnosed with malignant melanoma and her husband had a work related accident. After her cancer went into remission, and fearful that her 3 children would grow up without remembering her, the family took the bold decision to pack up everything and circumnavigate the world. Despite having less than 4 days of sailing experience, the family took to the seas with great enthusiasm.
The Northern Magic
became the Steumer's home for 4 years as they travelled around the world. During that time Diane wrote a series of weekly dispatches
to the readers of her hometown's newspaper. It became a tradition in many Ottawa households to read Diane's column in the saturday paper while dreaming of the exotic locals she was writing about (a sharp contrast from Ottawa's winters).
In those 4 years, readers got to experience Herbert (the husband) become a master mechanic, Diane adapt to life afloat, and the 3 sons grow up. When the Stuemers finally arrived home in Ottawa in August of 2001 they where greeted by thousands
Sadly, Ottawa residents learned early in February that Diane had been readmitted to hospital where she was fighting a very aggressive melanoma battle. Today, Diane succumbed to her illness and passed away
During their voyage, the entire family took on several projects
in the countries they visited which are still active today. What amazes me about Diane is the experiences she lived through with her children, the memories they will cherish and the lasting effect their travels will have on the people they met.
posted by smcniven
on Mar 15, 2003 -
is an all too brief gallery of terrifying photos of huge waves crashing down around large boats & drilling rigs. I wish it were a little longer, but I did think the photos were impressive, as one who has never been at sea in very rough weather.
posted by jonson
on Mar 9, 2003 -
If only I can dream.
Okay, everyone listen up. I had this great idea last night -- first, I'm going to purchase a 144 ft. yacht. No, better yet, someone else
will purchase the yacht for me. Then, I'm going to sail from Australia to Greece, stopping in 65 countries. Also, I will producing eight highly anticipated television shows along the way. It's going to be great
! Okay, who's on board? Anyone? Hey, where's everyone going? Hello?
posted by aaronchristy
on Apr 28, 2002 -
The Volvo Ocean Race,
formerly known as Whitbread Round the World, starts today. After years of preparation for the crews, boat builders and designers, 1500 BST this afternoon will see the eight participating boats cross the Cowes start line on the first leg to Cape Town. The website is more advanced than ever, with virtual racing
available, as well as WAP/SMS
services and brand new virtual spectator
software. Will you be following the teams
as they sail round the world, or is sailing simply no spectator sport?
posted by dagny
on Sep 23, 2001 -