Fan of Full Fathom Five? Be sure to check it out at its new home!

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Nantucket Historical Society Fellowship Offer

In an effort to enhance the public's knowledge and understanding of the heritage of Nantucket, Massachusetts, the Nantucket Historical Association offers the E. Geoffrey and Elizabeth Thayer Verney Fellowship.

Established in 1999, the award encourages research in the collections of the Nantucket Historical Association and other Nantucket repositories and is open to academics, graduate students, and independent scholars. The Nantucket Historical Association is the principal repository of Nantucket history, with extensive archives, collections of historic properties, and art and artifacts that broadly illustrate Nantucket's past.

Topics of research for recent scholars have included health aboard whaleships, women at sea, scrimshaw, samplers, local artists, Nantucket's architectural heritage, Quakerism, the African-American and Cape Verdean communities, the Quaise Asylum, and abolitionism.

The E. Geoffrey and Elizabeth Thayer Verney Fellow will reside in the Thomas Macy House, a historic property owned by the association, for up to a three-week period. Housing is available January - May and October - December 2006. NHA Visiting Research Scholars will be expected to produce an article suitable for publication in the summer edition of Historic Nantucket, the NHA's quarterly journal. Recipients of the award will receive a stipend of $300 per week during the time in residence, for up to three weeks. Travel expenses will be reimbursed for expenses up to $600.

To apply: Send a full description of the proposed project, a curriculum vitae, the names of three references, and an estimate of anticipated time and duration of stay. Application deadline is December 1, 2005. Applicants will be notified by December 21, 2005.

Send application packet to:

Georgen Gilliam Charnes
Curator of Library & Archives
Nantucket Historical Association
P.O. Box 1016
Nantucket, MA 02554-1016.

Christmas Wish List

Sure, it's only August 31 but its never too early to start thinking about Christmas. While some avid readers may be interested in buying maritime scholars may be more interested in the soon-to-be released Oxford Encyclopedia of Maritime History.

According to the Oxford Press:

the work's nine hundred entries will provide a detailed and synthetic overview of the scope and sweep of maritime history, and will bring together in a readily accessible form a range of historical and professional information that can otherwise be found only with the help of an extensive library. Informed by the expertise of a select group of editors and the insights of the international scholarly community, the encyclopedia will prove a ready reference tool of unparalleled depth and scope for students, teachers, researchers, and enthusiasts alike. The Encyclopedia will be multifaceted in scope, providing coherent and wide-ranging discussion of the field from its focus on naval engagements and systems of navigation to its consideration of the history of trade and the ethnography of seafaring communities. Entries will range from Nelson and the Napoleonic Wars to voyages of Cheng Ho, from the fortunes of the East India Companies to the particulars of fishing and whaling ports, from the Ark Royal to the Zeven Provinvien, with due consideration of maritime law, maritime art, m

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Hurricane Assistance

The Navy Newsstand reports that the USS Bataan is preparing to assist with relief efforts following hurricane Katrina. The Bataan is currently in the Gulf of Mexico and is based in Norfolk, VA. Navy spokesman Lt. Mike Kafka reports that the amphibious assault ship has a medical facility, large sealift capabilities and can make fresh water.

Red Cross workers from Norfolk are also preparing to join the Bataan.

The Bataan's website promises to keep the public informed of their hurricane relief efforts.

Monday, August 29, 2005

"Now, Show Me That Horizon"

Such are the inspiring words with which Captain Jake Sparrow concludes Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl. Now it appears that part of that horizon will be reached via Aberdeen, Washington's Grays Harbor Historical Seaport. Riggers there are busy constructing masts and spars for the sequels, just as they did for the first movie. The attention to detail and authenticity is impressive.

The Seattle Times has the full, fascinating story along with details on the ship Lady Washington and Seaport director Les Bolton.

Thanks to Peter McCracken for the heads up on this story!

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Old, But Important News

As of 7/27/2005 there is a new Director of Naval History. Retired Rear Admiral Paul E. Tobin accepted that position and promised to further the cause of naval history. In his opening address and in subsequent actions he appears to be committed to the promise of information technology to further those aims.

Considering that the Naval Museums are undergoing a major reorganization and that they contain critical objects and documents we look forward to seeing more and more information being made available.

You can read the full story at the Navy Newstand

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Job Posting - Maritime Curator, Los Angeles

The Los Angeles Maritime Museum, a facility of the City of Los Angeles, Department of Recreation and Parks, is seeking a full-time Maritime Museum Curator.
Background: The Los Angeles Maritime Museum is located in San Pedro California, and is a community institution, focusing on the maritime history of the L.A. Harbor area. This position is not an academic curatorship, but rather a hands-on opportunity to work with the community to create new educational exhibits and encourage donations of relevant materials to the permanent collection. Under the supervision of the Museum Director, the Curator's primary duties will be exhibit design and fabrication, new acquisitions, loans, collections management, programming, with occasional tours or public speaking as assigned. Other duties as needed as determined by the Museum Director.
The Museum's collection includes ship models, photographs, textiles, works of art, nautical instruments and equipment, and an operating tugboat. The Museum is currently in the planning stages of a large-scale, permanent exhibit chronicling the local fishing and canning industries, and the Curator will play a key role in this project.
Qualifications: Master's Degree in History or Museum Studies with two years full-time curatorial experience, successful track record of creating exhibits, excellent writing and public speaking skills, grant writing experience, and experience supervising volunteers and interns. Familiarity with PastPerfect software preferred. Knowledge of maritime artifacts and the ability to interact successfully with visitors of diverse ages and backgrounds is a must, as is the ability to work collaboratively with staff as well as independently, while keeping Museum Director advised as to progress.
Hours are Monday - Friday 8-5, one Sunday per month with compensatory time. Some weekend and/or special events may be required. Current driver's license and ability to operate a City vehicle and lift heavy boxes is also required. Annual Salary is $43,764.00
Send resume, cover letter, and references to Curator Search, Los Angeles Maritime Museum, Berth 84 Foot of 6th Street, San Pedro CA 90731 or e-mail to, with "Curator" in subject line. The City of Los Angeles is an equal opportunity / affirmative action employer. Posted August 23rd

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Burial at Sea

Inspired by the ceremonies surrounding Hunter Thompson's recent service, the BBC posted a piece on the changing nature of burials. Estimating that in England about 50 people per year choose the maritime option.

"David Hughes, of the Maritime Volunteer Service, helps bury people at a licensed spot eight miles off Newhaven, and says it is not a choice confined to old sea dogs." BBC

Here in the states, those in the Service can turn to the United States Navy Mortuary Affairs Burial At Sea Program which offers final disposition from Naval Vessels.

For the rest of us the EPA requests that we follow Code 40CFR229.1 and notify them within 30 days.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

The Pirates Laffite

William C. Davis, the director of programs at the Virginia Center for Civil War Studies, has just published a new work on the mythic Laffite brothers of New Orleans infamy. "From just after the Louisiana Purchase through the War of 1812, the brothers ran a privateering cooperative that provided contraband goods to a hungry market and made life hell for Spanish merchants on the Gulf. Later they became important members of a syndicate in New Orleans that included lawyers, bankers, merchants, and corrupt U.S. officials. But this allegiance didn't stop them from becoming paid Spanish spies, handing over information about the syndicate's plans and selling out their own associates." Harcourt Publishers excerpt.

Amazon also provides additional materials and reviews.

I haven't read the book yet myself, but its on the pile.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

New England and the Maritime Provinces: Connections and Comparisons

This one is on my list of new books to read. Here's a excerpt from the publisher:

New England and Canada's Maritime provinces share centuries-old connections. In an important new contribution to the growing field of transnational studies, the authors in New England and the Maritime Provinces take a critical and analytical approach to comparisons between these two regions.

Leading scholars examine the relationship through analysis of historic, economic, political, social, cultural, and environmental themes common to both regions. They show what the effects have been, on both sides of the border, of the evolution of the region from a borderland with ill-defined boundaries to a bordered land with defined political borders. They further demonstrate that such boundaries are never absolute and that in some ways the region remains a social, cultural, and environmental borderland.


The list of contributors is impressive.

Transportation History

There were several "Letters to the Editors" this week in regards to the recent transportation bill and its allocation of $2.75 million to the National Packard Museum and $400 thousand to the Erie Canal Museum in Syracuse, New York. Many writers felt the funding was pure Pork.

Bill Nichols of USA Today takes a slightly indepth look at the other perspective, that of History being an important part of transportation.

Considering some of the other "pork" included in the bill, maritime history preservation seems like a worthy addition to me, but others certainly may differ.

Big Apple T-Party?

This one falls under the "who'd a thunk it" category. It seems that Haines T-Shirt is promoting its newest t-shirt line aboard the Peking - one of the last remaining sailing merchant barks, and the vessel featured in Irving Johnson's amazing video Around Cape Horn.

According to the press release:
Dillon (a TV star) will stage his version of a Boston Tea Party-like revolution to ensure land- loving guys receive their own Hanes perfect T as the first shipment is uncrated on The Peking. Afterwards, Dillon will "par-T" with his own entourage at a celebrity-studded bash onboard the ship during the first ever "Big Apple T Party."

Full Story

Monday, August 15, 2005

Great Harry's Navy : How Henry VIII Gave England Seapower

Has anyone read this book by Geoffrey Moorehouse? Henry VIII has always been a fascinating character, or should I say, force, and now it appears that he was the man who set England on its course to becoming a major sea power. According to the publisher, Orion Books:

It was Henry VIII who began the process of making England a first-rate sea-power. He inherited no more than seven warships from his father King Henry VII, yet at his own death the King's Navy had 53 seaworthy ships afloat (much the same size as the Royal Navy today) manned by almost 8,000 sailors. Here was the springboard for Queen Elizabeth's captains (such as Francis Drake) a decade later.
As G R Elton has commented (in 'England Under he Tudors') Henry VIII originally needed a navy to hold the English Channel and blockade the enemy while he invaded France. Later when invasion from the continent grew serious Henry's navy fought in many actions. complete article

New London Customs House Position

The Robert Mills United States Custom House is seeking a new Director. I don't know much about the position, just saw an article on it recently.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Puzzle Pirates - Yo ho ho

Yes, anything maritime.

Ubisoft Entertainment has realeased Puzzle Pirates a new online role playing game "devoted to the golden age of buccaneers," After a quick download you can design your very own pirate aviatar and sail the thirty seven seas. Starting out as a greenhorn you advance through the ranks by successfully completely puzzles. Sometimes against yourself, sometime by challenging other pirates. I downloaded the free trial, and played around for about an hour last night and picked up a good many pieces of eight.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Inventory of the Naval Records Collection of the Office of Naval Records and Library

The Navy Department Library has posted a detailed finding aid for the National Archives' Record Group (RG) 45, Inventory of the Naval Records Collection of the Office of Naval Records and Library. This is a valuable tool for researching the U.S. Navy's history, beginning with the American Revolution through 1927. The records described are held by the Civil and Old Military Branch, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, DC.

The Inventory is online at Inventory of the Naval Records Collection of the Office of Naval Records and Library

Bermuda Maritime Museum Theft

The theft of a gold nugget (circa 1621), a large round gold ingot (circa 1595) and a gold chain (circa 1621 took place on or before July 12 at the Bermuda Maritime Museum. Officials are looking for the items to appear for sale on the internet.

News Article

Nova Scotia and the Sea

Nova Scotia Archives and Records Management has recently mounted an exhibit of over 6700 digitized items that explore and tell the story of Nova Scotia's continuing relationship with and dependence upon the sea.

Covering four centuries of European settlement the exhibit includes a searchable shipwreck database, diaries and correspondence of Captains Dewis and Spicer, photographs, and online curriculum activities for Social Studies teachers and students, Grades 7-9.