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

Friday, August 31, 2007

Save the Date: Liverpool 2010.

A recent news report announced the funding of a Maritime Park at Liverpool, and made an interesting case for booking your travel plans to see many maritime museums in one stop.

the National Museums Liverpool has been awarded £220,000 from the government-managed DCMS/Wolfson fund to improve and interpret some of the city’s most important docks and quaysides, including the graving docks, Canning Half Tide Basin quayside and Canning Dock.

The new park, due to open in 2009, will link the Merseyside Maritime Museum and the new International Slavery Museum with the forthcoming Museum of Liverpool, opening in 2010.

This part of Liverpool’s dock system has been used for more than 200 years and includes the dry basin of the original Old Dock – the world’s first commercial wet dock and the foundation of Liverpool’s maritime power. It forms part of the Liverpool Maritime Mercantile City UNESCO World Heritage Site.


Book Review: Clifford Beal. "Quelch's Gold: Piracy, Greed and Betrayal in Colonial New England"

Quelch's Gold: Piracy, Greed, and Betrayal in Colonial New England

From H-Net The Tale of John Quelch, Privateer or Pirate In the southern-hemisphere summer of 1703-04, John Quelch commanded the Brigantine
Charles in a series of attacks on Portuguese shipping off the Brazilian coast. The Charles had sailed from Marblehead, Massachusetts the previous August, and it returned to its home port with a huge quantity of gold in May, 1704. Soon thereafter Quelch was arrested. He claimed that he had been operating as a legitimate privateer, but there were difficulties with this story. He had a commission from Massachusetts Governor Joseph Dudley, but it was addressed to the ship's original captain. Quelch had taken over the Charles only after that man fell ill, became incapacitated, and died under slightly suspicious circumstances. Another problem with the commission was that it authorized the Charles to operate only against Spanish and French shipping, with no hint of any action against the Portuguese. But the biggest difficulty stemmed from the alliance that had been formalized between England and Portugal just weeks before Quelch's arrival on the Brazilian coast. The Charles had been attacking England's allies, and therefore Quelch was put on trial for his life in what would be the first capital trial conducted by an English admiralty court sitting in North America....

Sure sounds like a great read.

Friday, August 10, 2007

NASOH: Call for Papers

North American Society for Oceanic History and the Council of American Maritime Museums 2008 Annual Conference

Hosted by the University of West Florida Pensacola, Florida

"Defining the Maritime Edge: The History and Archaeology of Inland Environments, Coastal Encounters and Blue Water Connections," the 27th Annual Conference of the North American Society for Oceanic History (NASOH) co-sponsored by the Council of American Maritime Museums, will be hosted by the University of West Florida in Pensacola, Florida, May 7-11, 2008. The Conference Program Committee invites proposals for papers and sessions exploring all aspects of history and archaeology related to saltwater or navigable freshwater environments. Suggested areas of research include, but are not restricted to, archeology and anthropology, arts and sciences, history, or museum exhibitions. Proposals that identify the unique characteristics and influence of coastal and inland waters and explore their interfaces with the larger Continental or Oceanic Worlds are especially encouraged.

The Program Committee welcomes the submission of individual papers and full sessions, preferring panels with three papers and a chair. Proposals should include a brief abstract for each paper or a one-page abstract for panels and brief C.V.s for each participant, including chairs. Graduate students are strongly encouraged to submit proposals for presentations. Accommodations for PowerPoint presentations will be provided; however, any other requirements, including audio-visual equipment, special outlets, or accommodations for disabilities should be included in the proposal. Scholars interested in chairing sessions are welcome to send a brief C.V. to the Program Committee Co-chairs. Please note that all participants must register for the conference. Specific questions may be directed to Program Committee Co-Chair, Bill Thiesen at The deadline for submissions is January 31, 2008.

Send or email submissions to the two Program Committee Co-Chairs listed below:

Victor T. Mastone and John O. Jensen

Co-chair, NASOH Program Committee Co-chair, NASOH Program

Board of Underwater Archaeological Resources Sea Education

251 Causeway Street, Suite 800 P.O. Box 6

Boston, MA 02114-2199 Woods Hole,
MA 02543

Program Committee:

John O. Jensen, Sea Education, Co-Chair

Victor T. Mastone, Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Co-Chair

William H. Thiesen, United States Coast Guard, Co-Chair

James M. Allan, St. Mary's College

Cathy Green, National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration

C. Douglas Kroll, College of the Desert

Timothy G. Lynch, California State Maritime Academy

Christopher P. Magra, California State University-Northridge

Salvatore R. Mercogliano, Central Carolina Community College

Amy M. Mitchell-Cook, University of West Florida

James M. Morris, Christopher Newport University (emeritus)

Brian J. Payne, Old Dominion University

Gene A. Smith, Texas Christian University

Channing M. Zucker, United States Navy (ret.)

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Possible Discovery

This morning's AP story regards the possible discovery of a life ring from the Edmund Fitzgerald. Forbes reports the the life ring was found 200 miles from the shipwreck.
Tom Farnquist, executive director of the Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society which has one ring, reports that the found ring is "identical in size and configuration. ... Is it possible? Certainly it is."
Others doubt that it would have survived in the open that long.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Independence Seaport Moves On

Independence Seaport has named Lori Dillard Rech as their new President.She is currently the Executive Director of the Betsy Ross House. Rech brings sixteen years of experience as an administrator and educator in history museums. Prior to her tenure at the Betsy Ross House, she was Director of Education and Public Programs for the National Museum of American Jewish History. Earlier roles include Education Director at Fort Mifflin on the Delaware, and Education Coordinator at Brandywine Battlefield. Ms. Dillard Rech is an avid competitive sailor and currently
serves as Vice Commodore (2002-2007) of Liberty Sailing Club. She has a B.A. degree in art history from the University of Florida and an M.A. in museum studies from Syracuse University, with a specialization in education.

She starts work Sept 5.

Interestingly enough the press release also notes that Independence has been raising a great deal of money during these recent troubled times:

Since May 2006, the Museum's invested funds have grown from about $7 million to $14 million, ade possible by prudent management of the investments, the sale of assets that were unrelated to its core educational mission, and an anonymous $1 million gift. Since December 2006, nine new members joined the Board. The philanthropic community returned to the Museum in 2006, moreover, when
total public and private funding increased by 188 percent, from $1.2 million in 2005 to $3.5 million.

Press Release