Ayesha's last cruise

In 1914, the German cruiser SMS Emden and Kapitanleutnant Helmuth Karl von Mucke found themselves in the South Pacific upholding the Imperial interests of Kaiser William. On Nov. 9, Emden disembarked 50 men, including von Mucke, at Direction Island in the Keeling group, to wreck its vital cable and radio station. The landing party quickly vandalized the facility, and the British operators were made "prisoners," although no one was actually constrained or locked up. In fact, the interaction of the two groups was so cordial that von Mucke agreed to a British request that the station's radio tower be felled…
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Mariners Museum supporting marine research

The Mariners' Museum in Newport News, Va., is a maritime treasure, its exhibitions on nautical arcana, art and artifacts is vast and well catalogued. The museum also supports research and exploration efforts. Most recently, Mariners' has offered a $750 research grant for nautical research, whether a doctoral thesis, monograph or scholarly presentation. The museum reports that the subject matter need not be too specific, potential subjects, for example, being lifeboats, life saving, safety at sea and the U.S. Coast Guard. Applications are accepted each year from January through May -- May 15 this year -- and are reviewed by the…
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How to get a ship's Inmarsat-C address

From Ocean Navigator #99 July/August 1999 Sailors interested in contacting merchant vessels via Inmarsat-C can now look up telex and email addresses by visiting a web site. The site, www.inmarsat.org/ships, provides addresses free of charge for all merchant ships with Inmarsat-C service. Imagine the possibilities: "Mind if we pop over for lunch?" "Could you spare your engineer for the afternoon? My generator is down and we haven't had ice for a week." "Could you spare 50 gallons of fuel from your 10-million-gallon supply?" or the civilized Mayday message, "Pardon me, but we are in a sinking condition and would be…
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Their father's work

Their Fathers' Work - Casting Nets with the World's Fishermen by William McCloskey Their Fathers' Work documents 30 years of experience in the world's fishing industry from the perspective of the fisherman. McCloskey, whose personal interest has always brought him down to the docks, worked on fishing boats around the world and brought his varied and raw accounts together in this book.Crabbing in Alaska, long-lining on the Grand Banks, or seining for sardines off Chile's bold shore, the author describes the fishing life, long hours and back-numbing labor. It is as hard a life as it ever was, according to…
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Vikings' succeed in epic crossing

The crew of modern-day Vikings who were attempting to recreate Leif Ericson's historic expedition from Greenland to mainland Canada this past summer successfully crossed the Davis and Hudson straits, effectively proving that the trip could have been accomplished in such a boat. Before the first big crossing, the crew of the open 54-foot wooden knarr Snorri had been holed up in a fjord, awaiting fine weather, before a weather-routing specialist spotted a break. "The weather windows are pretty darn short in this area of the world, so when I saw this scenario coming up I said, go, go, go!" explained…
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Low bridge shears off schooner's topmasts

The 145-foot West Coast training schooner Californianwas sheared of its topmasts in May after a navigational error resulted in the vessel passing under a low bridge. Californian, which is operated by the Nautical Heritage Society in San Clemente, Calif., as a training vessel for school groups and private charters, was being piloted under the Benicia Bridge upriver from San Francisco Bay when the incident occurred. "Both topmasts hit the bridge, and when that happened the flying jib stay sprung the jibboom and bowsprit upward," said Steve Christman, founder and president of the Society. "It was the result of someone not…
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Voyager's gold

Over the centuries, alchemists devoted their lives to converting lead into gold. Had they asked any sailor they would have been told that their fortunes would be better assured by finding a way to convert sea water into drinking water. An adequate supply of water is the most critical supply for any voyage lasting more than a few hours. The amount of water available often defines the difference between a pleasure cruise and a survival exercise. Most pleasure boats depend on periodic replenishment of water storage tanks. This process works well for voyages of short duration or, with stringent control…
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Grissom's Liberty Bell found at sea

A search for Gus Grissom's Mercury capsule Liberty Bell 7, which sank accidentally following a 1961 suborbital flight, was partially successful in May. The Discovery Channel sponsored the expedition that found the capsule in 15,600 feet of water 350 miles east of the Florida coast, but an attempt to recover the nine-foot capsule failed when a deep-towed sonar unit broke loose and sank. Liberty Bell 7 sank suddenly in July 1961 when the hatch unexpectedly blew off during recovery operations. Grissom barely escaped alive before it flooded and sank. A team of ocean engineers and salvage experts with Oceaneering International…
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CrossPac' to depart for Sydney in 2003

A new short-handed race that will run between San Francisco and Sydney, Australia, via Hawaii will be held in 2003. Appropriately called the CrossPac, the 6,500-nm race will depart the Golden Gate Yacht Club during the summer of 2003. Participants will be sailing either single- or double-handed in boats up to 60 feet in length. (The race committee is still considering allowing multihulls.) Organized by Californian Alan Hebert, the race is being coordinated and sponsored in San Francisco by the Golden Gate Yacht Club, in Hawaii by the Waikiki Yacht Club and the Hawaii Yacht Club, and in Sydney by…
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Hutton's Sea Cloud

Like Bill Gates' mansion and Donald Trump's Tower, millionaire financier, Edward F. Hutton's yacht had to scream "success." To that end, in 1930, Hutton ordered the construction of an extravagant pleasure vessel as a wedding gift for his equally well-heeled wife, Marjorie Merriweather Post (of Post Grape Nuts fame). The 316-foot, four-masted barque initially slipped down the ways at the famous Krupp Germania Werft shipyard at Keil, Germany, on April 25, 1931, bearing the name Hussar. Krupp was instructed to install every cutting-edge convenience 1930's technology could offer. This included four auxiliary 800-hp diesel engines feeding power through an electric…
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