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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in seafaring history and explorers' LiveJournal:

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Monday, February 2nd, 2009
9:44 pm
Fantastic shipwreck find:


I don't know anything about the story of the Victory. Nathaniel Philbrick, please write the book!
I love that guy, but there are other great historical narrative writers, too. I hope somebody good gets on it, 'cause I'm not a primary-source reader, for the most part.
Sunday, March 11th, 2007
10:53 am
A Great Film For Both African-American And Sailing History Buffs
A few weeks ago I saw a great film on The History Channel that combined my two of my favorite sub-areas of US History.

Time Machine: USS Constellation: Battling for Freedom :

"As the United States sought to close a dark chapter in its history, it relied on a small, intrepid fleet and its splendid flagship to bring an end to the evil trade in human lives."

"A little-known chapter in our young nation's history is masterfully retold in this dramatic examination from THE HISTORY CHANNEL®. Centered on the USS Constellation?s pursuit of the slaveship Cora, this remarkable documentary examines slavery in the years leading up to the Civil War."

"Simply outlawing the unconscionable trade in human lives in 1808 didn't bring the horrid practice to an end. Importing slaves from Africa was just too profitable, and even Northern businessmen - men who would take an entirely different stance once Civil War erupted - continued to reap its devilish rewards."

"TIME MACHINE examines every side of this complicated story with exhaustive research, first-person narratives, and cinematic re-enactments. Follow the travails of a young hunter torn from his village and sent to his doom aboard Cora. Board the USS Constellation to match wits and firepower with the slave smugglers. And learn how the slave trade continued to thrive Stateside long after it had been outlawed."

"USS CONSTELLATION: BATTLING FOR FREEDOM realistically and forcefully recreates the horror of the slave trade, the challenging mission of the African Squadron, and Constellation's heroic effort to stop slave smugglers." (Source: http://store.aetv.com/html/product/index.jhtml?id=77235)

As a student of African American history, I liked how the film because it was a realistic view of how the sailors and officers felt about slavery right before the US Civil War along with a gritty look of how Africans were captured, treated and sometimes rescued.

As a newcomer to sailing history, I liked how the film shows daily live aboard ship for both slave traders and US Navy personnel. You also get an insight into how the ship operated under pressure during difficult times.

I hope you check it out on tv or dvd.

Current Mood: calm
Saturday, January 6th, 2007
2:03 pm

I’m working on an assignment about Dr. Livingstone, and my research question is: ”Was Dr. David Livingstone the idealist he is considered to be?”

Does anyone have anything they want to say about this? I would like to hear your opinion! Thank you :)
Saturday, December 30th, 2006
11:58 pm
Lieutenant Jerrold
In the fiction realm, has anyone read the Lieutenant Jerrold books (The Reluctant Adventures of Lieutenant Martin Jerrold)?  I've read the first one, The Blighted Cliffs, and right now I'm reading the second, The Chains of Albion.  Apparently the third one has just come out, Treason's River, but I haven't gotten it yet.  I think I read that this was supposed to be a trilogy, but I hope this third book ISN'T the last!  They are so funny and entertaining.  I'm always giggling out loud when I read them, so I hope the series will go on.

The books are full of one-liners that crack me up, such as:
Few people had ever expressed such confidence in me; fewer still had been vindicated by it.
The First Lord, I saw, had become only the latest, if most illustrious, of those superiors who believed me to be a credulous simpleton.
Perhaps I thought of the joy on my mother's face when she had received the unique letter from my uncle stating that I had not, contrary to all expectation and precedent, disgraced myself in Dover.
If there was one thing I hated about command, other than the master's endless gibes, it was the great scope it gave me to make an idiot of myself.
"It must be a cipher!" I spoke with the wonder of revelation, and looked at the two Frenchmen before me.  "Do either of you know any secret French codes?"
Thursday, December 21st, 2006
6:41 pm
Motoo Eetee...
I just finished reading a nautical book, Motoo Eetee, and I've been discussing it over at my journal.  I thought it was dismal.  Has anyone else read it?  Hmm, I think I'm off to amazon to write it a bad review.

  Bwahaha, have now written a review at amazon.  (I'm G. White.)  Poor Irv C. Rogers.  But really.

Current Mood: annoyed
Sunday, November 19th, 2006
11:49 am
books and hello
Hello, I'm a newcomer.  I'm excited to find this community!  I've seen other communities about ship things, but they either seem to be too technical for me or too focused on the Napoleonic wars.  Mind, I do love the Napoleonic wars very much, and I'm interested in technical things about sailing even though I don't really understand, but I also love stories of whaling, fishing, shipwrecks, immigration, merchant travels, and especially exploration.  I love the history and people and events much more than the actual ships and the sailing.  (Is that heresy?)

And by the way, I'm excited to talk about In the Heart of the Sea.  I really loved that book!  It took me a while to get into it, but then I got totally hooked.  I finished reading it on a plane trip to visit my best friend, and I actually cried on the plane (very discretely).  And then I was desperately finishing the last several pages as I walked through the airport to go find her, reading as I walked though the halls and rode the escalator and the little shuttle train to the terminal...  I thought I would have to hide somewhere for just a few minutes to finish reading it before I met up with her, but fortunately (ha) she wasn't there yet, so I got to finish while waiting for my luggage.

Right now I'm reading Motoo Eetee: Shipwrecked at the Edge of the World which is a fiction book I picked up at my used bookstore.  It sounds sort of similar, with conflicts of power and desperation.  Has anyone read it?  I've only just barely started.  I hope it will be good.  I also picked up Caroline Alexander's The Bounty.  I hardly know anything about the Bounty incident.

Has anyone read The Island of the Day Before?  I revere that book.  Umberto Eco is awe-inspiring, even though his writing is sometimes difficult to read because he's just so incredibly intelligent and knowledgeable.  It takes place during the race to find a way to calculate longitude.

Other stuff - I first got interested in the age of sail by seeing the Benjamin Britten opera Billy Budd, and then read the Herman Melville novella it's based on.  (It takes place aboard a British man o' war in 1797 and deals with impressment, mutiny, articles of war, etc.)  Then I read Island of the Day Before.  Then I started watching and reading the Horatio Hornblower series, and more recently the Patrick O'Brian books.  (So yes, I do love the Napoleonic wars.) 

In parallel events, I had always loved Robert Falcon Scott (a very distant relative of my family, so I'm told) and had grown up with stories about him, listening to Vaughan Williams' Sinfonia Antartica, etc., and more recently I fell in love with Shackleton.  And I began reading more about other explorers, especially in the polar regions, and then randomly picked up In the Heart of the Sea (because the desperation reminded me of Shackleton's boat journey, etc.) and so on to the present.

And in another parallel, I fell in love with the Scottish islands (Hebrides, Orkneys, Shetlands) and took a naturalist and history cruise of them.  I absolutely love the archeology of those islands, and their isolation.  They're inevitably connected with the sea, were first inhabited by the Vikings, many of them.  And that got me interested in other Viking regions too - the Faroes, Iceland, Greenland, Norway, Denmark, etc...  And then the people's lifestyle on the islands, catching birds and fish.  Fascinating.

There are so many books I must read!
Saturday, November 18th, 2006
4:51 pm
Check out our new affiliate community.
Hi everybody! I still love seafaring history, even though I haven't posted in a while. Sorry there hasn't been that much on here to read... but that might be changing soon. The moderator of sir_shackleton asked me to affiliate with them, since our members might like both communities. So go check them out! I haven't read much of their comm yet, but I like that "sucks to be you" list of books about disaster on the seas, a few posts down.
sir_shackleton is also affiliated with the community _antarctica_. Tangentally, one of my pet peeves is popular culture linking penguins with the arctic. Am I correct in thinking that penguins are strictly Southern critters?
Monday, October 16th, 2006
3:01 pm
ship sites
I want to post some cool sites here. I have been Image Googling.

This site has great pictures.

This site is devoted to treasure hunting, which does not intrigue me, but here is a page from it that I like:

Embrace the websurfing!

Viking longships:
Thursday, September 28th, 2006
9:20 pm
Thanks, fornaxus for lending me Island in the Sea of Time. I like it so far. I usually have a few reads going at once, and as usual, this one is on top of Mayflower, and a thick biography of Nelson that I haven't cracked in months. (I'll come back to it, though. I took over a year to finish American Sphinx.)

Do any of you have any recommendatory books or websites on the Spanish Armada? I almost wrote "recommendary", but then I looked it up, and it's not a word.
Thursday, September 21st, 2006
10:33 am
Ahoy there, sluggish community!
Greetings, sailing fans.
I'm reading Nathaniel Philbrick's new book, Mayflower. It's good! It doesn't focus on the Mayflower at all; it deals with the settlers. But I love history in general as well as seafaring, and I'm loving this book.
Any of you read anything good lately?
Friday, October 28th, 2005
6:45 am
I am entering an essay contest for a local group and need your help, How did Christopher Columbus' journey compare to that of the Apollo mission to the moon? I have some ideas but every bit counts....Deadline is December 2.
Friday, August 12th, 2005
8:32 am
While searching for Antarctica
I found this group. Ever since learning about the Shackleton expedition, I've been interested in exploration and the history of sailing. I don't actually know much, so I won't post much.

I first learned about Schackleton and the other Antarctic explorers by reading a fiction book, Antarctica by Kim Stanley Robinson. He writes amazing descriptions of the Antarctic landscape, and one can't help picking up some history of the explorers by reading his book. From there I picked up Alfred Lansing's Endurance Shackleton's Incredible Voyage. I didn't like the modern movie documentary nearly as much as the actual movies and stills taken by Frank Hurley.

Right now I am slowly making my way through Apsley Cherry-Garrard's account of the Scott expedition, The Worst Journey in the World. What an amazing book!

I have some other books on seafaring and exploration in my reading pile (longitude, &c.) but they have been pre-empted for a while by other topics.

looking forward to reading the posts here (though I probably will not have as much time as I'd like to keep up)
Sunday, July 3rd, 2005
12:15 pm
Hi folks! I just finished Over the Edge of the World: Magellan's Terrifying Circumnavigation of the Globe, by Lawrence Bergreen. It was awesome! Just the kind of writing I like- based on lots of primary sources, and fast-paced. The author is a journalist and biographer.
Also, I was watching a History Channel marathon on the American Revolution the other day, and there was a tidbit about the battle of Valcour Island. I'm intrigued by Benedict Arnold's adaptability, and that of his troops. It's awesome that they were not sailors, but soldiers; yet built their own ships, and accomplished their mission (not a victory, but a delay to the British). I'd like to read something about it.
Ooh, I also want to buy a book of Samuel Taylor Coleridge's Rime of the Ancient Mariner.
And on a more girly note- my sister is getting married, and the venue is Silver Bay on Lake George (upstate NY- setting of Last of the Mohicans). She's doing a nautical theme. There may be cute little lighthouse shaped candle holders, and such-like frippery.
Happy fourth of July, and have a lovely summer!
1:09 pm
Ahoy there!
Just making my presence known. Name is Mick, I'm a sailor in the US Navy, currently in Pensacola, Florida, for technical training, heading to the fleet sometime in August, hopefully.
Been interested in nautical history for most of my life, naval history especially. If I decide to make a career out of this, one of my goals is to serve aboard the USS Constitution, the oldest comissioned ship in the US Navy.
Anyway, just saying ahoy.
Sunday, June 19th, 2005
12:47 pm
Pirate History-They Weren't as Bad as We Thought.
I found this in my local newspaper: http://www.dailystar.com/dailystar/news/80470.php.

It is an article about the different images of pirates in society, and how historical research is making their real history more accurrate.

Current Mood: busy
Monday, May 16th, 2005
10:56 am
Dutch Navies

Hi mr_machiavelli,

I think you might be able to help me? I would like to list the official names (in Dutch) for the various incarnations of the Dutch navy on my website. This would be for the period 1650-1850. So far, I haven't been able to find them in the references I have...they usually just say "Dutch Navy." :(

I know for a period during the Napoleonic Wars the Netherlands was referred to as the Batavian Republic. Did the name of the navy change to reflect this?



Thursday, April 28th, 2005
1:16 pm
A poem on the battle of Chatham
I recently managed to finally acquire the diaries of Samuel Pepys, secretary to the admiralty in the reign of Charles II and James II. On the accounts of the Netherlandic raid upon Chatham, a poem was included by one Sir John Denham from Poems on State Affairs. The poem in question relates the story of the Netherlandic conquest of the Thames at the close of the third Anglo-Dutch war (1665-1667). As a Netherlander I find these poems very interesting, but I thought I would not only be indulging in shameless chauvinism, but also offer something which some of you might find useful yourselves. Since, of course, it also tells of the neglectful state of the English defenses under Charles II, who would not even be bothered during all of these events, instead opting to isolate himself in Whitehall palace with friends. In either event, I present to you Sir John Denham's poem;

"Painter! Let thine art describe a story,
Shaming our warlike island's ancient glory:
A scene which never on our seas appeared
Since our first ships were on the ocean steered;
Make the Dutch fleet, while we supinely sleep,
Without opposers, Masters of the deep;
Make them securely the Thames-mouth invade,
At once depriving us of that, and trade;
Draw thunder from their floating castles, sent
Against our forts, weak as our government:
Draw Woolwich, Deptford, London, and the Tower,
Meanly abandoned to a foreign power.
Yet turn their first attempt another way
And let their cannons upon Sheerness play;
Which soon destroyed, their lofty vessells ride,
Big with the hope of the approaching tide:
Make them more help from our remissness find,
Than from the tide, or from the eastern wind,
Their canvass swelling with a prosperous gale,
Swift as our fears make them to Chatham sail:
Through our weak chain their fire-ships break their way,
And our great ships (unmanned) become their prey,
Then draw the fruit of our ill-managed coast,
At once our honour and our safety lost:
Bury those bulwarks of our isle in smoke,
With their thick flames the neighbouring country choak;
The Charles* escapes the raging element,
To be with triumph into Holland sent;
Where the glad people to the shore resort,
To see their terror now become their sport.
But, Painter! fill not up thy piece before
Thou paint'st confusion on our troubled shore:
Instruct then thy bold pencil to relate
The saddest marks of an ill-governed state.
Draw th' injured seamen deaf to all command,
While some with horror and amazament stand:
Others will know enemy but they
Who have unjustly robbed them of their pay;
Boldly refusing to oppose a fire,
To kindle which our errors did conspire:
Some (though but a few) persuaded to obey,
Useless, for want of ammunition, stay:
The forts designed to guard our ships of war,
Void both of powder and of bullets are:
And what past reigns in peace did ne'er omit,
The present (whilst invaded) doth forget."

*The Charles mentioned here is not King Charles II, but the ship Royal Charles which took part in the sacking and burning of the Netherlandic coastal town of Scheveningen at the onset of the Anglo-Dutch wars. The Royal Charles was one of the ships taken as a prize in retribution to committed English atrocities, hence the line: "Where the people to the shore resort, to see their terror now become their sport."

The conquest of the Thames resulted in the signing of the Peace of Breda shortly thereafter, as English diplomats suddenly showed far greater willingness to compromise to Dutch demands.

Current Mood: curious
Monday, April 18th, 2005
6:55 am
"Good grief, it is as if the devil is shitting Dutchmen" - Pepys at the battle of Chatham, 1667

Salutations to ye, other members of this community,

Whilst vigorously browsing through livejournal I noticed this here community on sailing and the world at sea and, without a moment of hesitation, I decided to join.

By means of introduction; I am a 23 year old Dutchman (prefer the term Netherlander as Dutch is a non-sequiter in the Netherlands itself) and have a strong passion for the world at sea with, in particular, the 17th century exploits of the Netherlandic navy. Though recently I've moved to Iowa for a while to study at ISU, I've worked at the batavia shipyards (www.bataviawerf.nl) where old 17th century ships-of-the-line and east indiamen are being replicated through traditional means. Currently the most illustrious 17th century sailing ship lies in the stocks of creation: the "Zeven Provincien" or "Seven Provinces", which was the flagship of admiral Michiel de Ruyter (see user icon) who, amongst many other exploits, sailed up the Thames in 1667 sacking the English fleet in their own port in reprisal for the sacking of the coastal town of Scheveningen. This all took place during the second Anglo-Dutch wars (1665-1667).

In either event, I am about to study history at ISU and have the hopes to one day teach the subject myself while remaining closely involved in the research on naval history. I hope to be able to deliver the occassional contribution to this community by writing down accounts of episodes at sea during one of the four Anglo-Dutch wars and/or perhaps write the random fictional piece on these wars. Hopefully I'll also learn a bit more in the process about the English and American navies from other members here.

On a final note, I have a seperate livejournal completely dedicated to the Netherlands in the 17th century and most entries so far have dealt with some of the battles fought during the Anglo-Dutch wars (tactics, results, ship listings and so forth). This livejournal can be found under the name bestevaer , should anybody be interested.

Anyhow, this introduction has become lengthy enough.

Thank you for letting me join and,

een behouden vaart.



Current Mood: chipper
Saturday, April 9th, 2005
11:53 pm
A couple of questions
I'm in the middle of writing a very short short-story, and - unfortunately for me - the setting is on a ship.
I know next to nothing about ships or how they're built, so I would be very, very grateful if someone here could point me in the direction of where I can find some good sources dealing with them? Google didn't really help since I have no clue where to start searching.

The story is set somewhere between 1750-1850, around the British Islands.

Anything and everything is very much appreciated.
Thanks in advance!
Sunday, March 13th, 2005
4:07 am
Hey there. I'm new. Thought I would share my own little nugget of Californian sailing history...

The CV 22 Independence, a WWII aircraft carrier, highly radio active, is sunk no less than 20 miles off the coast of San Francisco.

*Named to commemorate three US warships which had previously borne the name. "Independence" means "freedom of control by others; self-government."

*Ordered on 1 July 1940 as a Cleveland-class light cruiser; designated CL-59. Named Amsterdam after a manufacturing city located in eastern New York, 28 miles northwest of Albany; her name was personally chosen by President Roosevelt on 2 August 1940.

*Designated for completion as an aircraft carrier, was renamed Independence (CV-22) on 12 February 1942; reordered from New York S.B. on 18 March 1942.

*Reclassified as a "Small Aircraft Carrier" and redesignated CVL-22, 15 July 1943.

Fate: Assigned as a target vessel for the Bikini atomic bomb tests (Operation Crossroads), she was placed within one-half mile of ground zero for the 1 July 1946 explosion. She did not sink, however, and after taking part in another explosion on the 25 July was taken to Kwajalein. The highly radioactive hulk was later taken to Pearl Harbor and San Francisco for further tests and was finally sunk in weapons tests off the coast of California 29 January 1951.

Even after all that, it still took three torpedos to put her down.
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