Tuesday, June 30, 2015


30 June 2015: Let me apologize for the gap in posting - I was out in the American West - Montana, specifically, on a family matter. As a point of some interest, that is really spectacular country out there and Yellowstone National Park is beyond words. Perhaps I will bend the maritime framework later this week and put up a few pictures of that part of the world. I think you might enjoy seeing some of them. But for today, we're maritime all the way. 
Sadly, I missed (I was in Montana, remember?) the first real Tall Ships convocation which was this past weekend in Philadelphia PA and Camden NJ on the Delaware River. In spite of some really awful weather, the attendance was great, the ships were open for visiting and the people came out to see the spectacular. The only change necessitated by the unseemly weather was in the fireworks show which had to be moved to Sunday night, before the ships set sail (on Monday). Some were headed for New York City while others made their way directly to Greenport L.I. (next stop after NY for them all.) 

 In attendance were:

U.S. Coast Guard Barque EAGLE

Sagres (sistership to Eagle, owned by Portugal)

A.J. Meerwald (NJ state ship)
Pride of Baltimore II


Hindu (private Charter vessel - Key West)
Privateer Lynx

Gazela - Philadelphia's Tall Ship

         And of course, as mentioned before on these pages, the ever popular ... drum roll please ...
Rubber Ducky

Yep, our old friend, Rubber Ducky - and his Ma was there too, but had a little leaking problem!

     Those able, (but not Ducky!) when they left the Delaware River Monday AM, planned to race to the next port, be it New York City or Greenport LI. The NYC bound ships will be in New York 1 July - 4 July. Go and see them. They are worth your time!

Until next time, friends,

                                  Fair Winds,
                                    Old Salt

Thursday, June 18, 2015


18 June 2015: On this date, in 1812, James Madison, after receiving approval from Congress, declared war on Great Britain. It began quickly ashore with a dismally failed 3 prong attack into Canada. At sea, the navy had better success, with USS Constitution meeting and besting HMS Guerriere in August. It was here that Constitution won her long standing nickname, Old Ironsides, when her sailors realized that the British iron shot was bouncing off her sides.

Constitution and Guerriere
The war would continue until the two nations agreed to a peace, 24 December 1814 in what is now Ghent Belgium,  but the final battle (land) was fought in New Orleans in early January, 1815.
Andrew Jackson at New Orleans

Word of the peace had yet to reach the United States.

The war really proved little, but it did bring world-wide respect to the fledgling United States when they took on the mightiest nation in the world and fought them to essentially a draw. Our ships were now able to trade throughout the world in safety.

Wellington at Waterloo
And speaking of Belgium, June 18th also marks another important world anniversary, the Battle of Waterloo. You remember that, right? It was when the Iron Duke, the Duke of Wellington, combined with Prussian General Gebhard von Blucher to finally wind up Napoleon Bonaparte's 100 days of "resurgence" when he escaped from exile and tried to complete the mission he had begun in the late 1799. He was returned to exile, this time in the remote St. Helena, where he died.

And speaking of things French, I am sure that everyone is probably aware that l'Hermione made it successfully across the pond and is now touring the East Coast of the United States. While we did publish her schedule a while back (April, I think) I have been asked many times to reprint it.

 Hermione (left) will be in Baltimore MD 19-21 June, Philadelphia 25-28 June, then on to New York City 1-4 July, Greenport (Long Island) NY 6-7 July. She will be in Newport RI 8-9 July then Boston 10-12 July. From there, the ship will make her way to Nova Scotia with a stop in Castine Maine on the way.

Most of these visits will include several units of the TALL SHIPS AMERICA so it is clearly worth your while to have a look.

Until next time, friends, I wish you

                                       Fair Winds,
                                             Old Salt

Saturday, June 13, 2015


13 June 2015: As I mentioned in the last post, I was in Boston last week and had the opportunity not only to see the United States Ship of State in Dry Dock #1 at the Charlestown Navy Yard, but also to view (and photograph) a few of the wonderful new artifacts acquired by the USS Constitution Museum during the last year. The Museum is, as many of you know, the Voice of Constitution and contains artifacts relative to the ship and those who sailed her, both in the early period including the War of 1812 and her later period before she became an exhibit herself. The ship is, of course, still a commissioned vessel in the United States Navy. But let me show you a few of the really wonderful recent additions to the Museum's collections.

A trunk belonging to a lieutenant stationed aboard Constitution in the early 19th century recently went to auction. The Museum was the successful bidder and the contents were remarkable.


 The trunk in question belonged to Lt. McKinney who died while embarked in another ship in the Med. He had served aboard Constitution prior to his final tour. When he died, his belongings were packed up and sent to the New York Navy Yard. In it, were uniform elements, a pair of dancing slippers, gloves, his sword, fishing tackle, and writing paraphernalia.

 Also found in the trunk was a ladies watch which apparently Lt. McKinney had purchased for maybe his intended back home, but never returned to give it to her.

 Here is a detail of his sword. Interesting to note that the lieutenant was quite small in stature and his sword may have been made shorter than a "normal" one due to his diminutive size!


Another addition to the Museum's collection is this splendid oil painting of the launch of USS Constitution in 1797, done by internationally known marine artist Paul Garnett. It is particularly appropriate to the Museum now with the ship in dry dock and their new exhibit titled "From Forest to Frigate"

If you should find yourself in the Boston area, I would recommend a visit to the Navy Yard to see the Museum and catch a most unique perspective of the ship. The ship, by the way, is open now for tours.

Until next time, friends, I wish you
                                Fair Winds,
                                  Old Salt

PS Maritime Maunder has now passed 5,000 visits from people around the world! Thank you!

Tuesday, June 9, 2015


9 June 2015: Last week, I had the opportunity to spend some time in Boston - Charlestown Navy Yard, specifically - and not only saw the U.S. Ship of State in Dry Dock #1 at the Navy Yard, but was allowed to go down to the floor of the dock and see the ship from underneath. It's not an opportunity that comes along very often and I thought my readers might enjoy a few images of Old Ironsides from an unusual angle.

First off, here is how she looks in the dock from street level:

And now - drum roll please - from

Note that her copper clad bottom
is still, after only a power washing, in pretty good shape after 20 years!

During the next three years, Constitution will get new sheets of copper put on her hull after the old is stripped off.


That will do it for this one, friends. I hope you enjoyed seeing my favorite ship from a different perspective!
Until next time, then,
                                 Fair Winds,
                                      Old Salt

Saturday, June 6, 2015


6 June 2015: Nothing cute or frivolous today, no "snark" or rants. Just this video. It's 7+ minutes long and worth every minute you spend to watch it. While it was made last year, it is just as relevant today.


We'll get back to the fun stuff next time.

                       Fair Winds,
                        Old Salt

Wednesday, June 3, 2015


3 June 2015: Last year we had a bit of fun posting about the "Rubber Ducky" bathtub toy of gigantic proportions that had been on a world tour - turning up in distant harbors both overseas and in the United States. Then it seemed to have simply disappeared. Well, guess what! The Rubber Ducky is back!

This is the fellow we"re talking about here - in case you forgot. 

So, the word is, he will be making a guest appearance in Camden/Philadelphia later this month when l'Hermione and the tall ships are in port.
l'Hermione Revolutionary War French Frigate

The event in Philadelphia/Camden is expected to be the largest Tall Ships event of the year, country-wide and opens 25th June on the Deleware River. 

The Duck is inflatable and is 60' tall, part of an art "installation" by Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman. He's (the Duck) has been touring the world since 2007 and has appeared in Hong Kong, Sydney, Sao Paulo, and Los Angeles among other places. 

It sounds like it's going to be a fun weekend on the Delaware River. 

Until next time,
                                              Fair Winds,
                                           Old Salt