Thursday, April 25, 2024


 25 April 2024: And now another month winds down - amazing how quickly they seem to go by.... must have something to do with our age! But, that notwithstanding, Spring is here; boats have been - are are almost done - scraping and painting. Marinas are sprucing up their docks and another (hopefully) wonderful season of boating is upon us.... And speaking of boats (yes, I know; that's what this blog is all about, so no surprise there), the following from a source in Australia ("Supercarblondie") on a surprising find off their coast.


The SS Nemesis, a ship lost to the depths of the ocean over a century ago, has emerged from the shadows of history.

In September 2023, the mystery has finally been solved.

The discovery of the SS Nemesis, lying nearly 525 feet underwater off the coast of Sydney, is a momentous occasion

The SS Nemesis, a ship lost to the depths of the ocean over a century ago, has emerged from the shadows of history.

[ed: not sure this is Nemesis, but maybe could be?]

The disappearance of the Nemesis in 1904 during a powerful storm off the coast of Australia sparked a mystery that had puzzled maritime experts for generations.

More than a century later, in September 2023, the mystery was finally solved.

Ships and airplanes disappearing without a trace are rare occurrences, but they do happen.

The vanishing of the SS Nemesis is one such historic event, making its name in the books of maritime history.

For more than a century, the fate of the 240-foot vessel and its 32 crew members remained unknown, until now.

The SS Nemesis was found lying nearly 525 feet underwater off the coast of Sydney, marking a momentous discovery.

The wreck was accidentally stumbled upon by Subsea Professional Marine Services, and remains remarkably untouched, preserving its historical significance.

Confirmation of the ship’s identity came from CSIRO, Australia’s national science agency.

Key structures, including two anchors, were found intact, providing some clues to its tragic demise.

Experts believe the ship succumbed to the fury of the storm, eventually overwhelmed by powerful waves. 

The rapid sinking left no time for the crew to deploy lifeboats, resulting in the loss of all on board.

Now, government officials seek to bring closure to the remaining families of the crew members, offering hope after more than a century of uncertainty.

Of course, with this incident having taken place more than 100 years ago, it’s doubtful that any direct relatives remain.

“Around 40 children lost their parents in this wreck and I hope this discovery brings closure to families and friends connected to the ship who have never known its fate,” Penny Sharpe, the New South Wales minister for environment and heritage, said.

“The loss of Nemesis has been described as one of Sydney’s most enduring maritime mysteries and has even been described by shipwreck researchers as the ‘holy grail’.

“Thanks to collaborative work with CSIRO and Subsea, using modern technology and historical records, Heritage NSW has been able to write the final chapter of SS Nemesis’ story.”

The discovery of the SS Nemesis serves as a reminder of the risks faced by seafarers in the past – and to this day – as well as the importance of maritime safety measures.

As CSIRO works to create a 3D model of the wreck for further investigation, the SS Nemesis takes its place among other notable shipwrecks, contributing to our understanding of maritime archaeology.

After more than a century without a trace, the mystery of SS Nemesis can finally take a permanent rest.


From the same source, an update on a previous story we offered a while ago:


‘Holy Grail’ shipwreck worth $20 billion to be raised from the ocean floor 

[ed: this may be a bit misleading - I doubt they will be bringing the entire and very fragile vessel to the surface - just the "good stuff," would be my guess]

The Spanish ship San José has 200 tons of treasure onboard
The treasure includes gold, silver, and emeraldsRecovery of the shipwreck could begin before April ends.


WOW! two for the price of one! Reminds of a sign I noticed outside a pub recently: "buy 1 beer for the price of 2 and get the second one free!" 

Enjoy - until next time

                                           Fair winds,

                                                         Old Salt

Monday, April 8, 2024


 8 April 2024: Eclipse day! Wear your safety eclipse glasses. We're in April now and spring is upon us. Boats are emerging from winter covers and paint brushes and scrapers are showing up in boat yards as boat-starved owners look forward to getting back on the water. And speaking of water, a recent discovery off the Dry Tortugas in Florida has identified the ship that due to her captain's really bad navigation, wound up ashore there in the mid 1700's. From "Smart News:"


Sunken British Warship That Left Crew Marooned for 66 Days Has Been Identified

Found off the coast of Florida, the HMS “Tyger” left some 300 crew members stranded on Garden Key in 1742.

HMS Tyger off Spain

In 1742, amidst a war between Britain and Spain, a British warship ran aground off the Florida Keys. The crew evacuated, and the vessel was lost.

Now, thanks to a note in an old logbook, researchers have confirmed that sunken wreckage near the islands of Dry Tortugas belongs to the doomed HMS Tyger.

The ship’s remains were first found in 1993 off the coast of Garden Key, the second-largest island in Dry Tortugas National Park and home to the 19th-century military stronghold Fort Jefferson. According to a statement from the National Park Service (NPS), the new research provides “definitive evidence” of the wreck’s identity.

The project is a collaboration between archaeologists from Dry Tortugas National Park, the Submerged Resources Center and the Southeast Archaeological Center. When they surveyed the site in 2021, they found five coral-coated cannons some 1,500 feet from the ship.

The weapons’ location matches an account of the Tyger’s demise found in the margins of an old logbook, which described how the ship’s crew had “lightened her forward” after running aground, per the NPS. The crew members likely dumped the Tyger’s heavy cannons from the boat to slow her descent.

concreted cannon balls from Tyger

“This discovery highlights the importance of preservation in place as future generations of archaeologists, armed with more advanced technologies and research tools, are able to reexamine sites and make new discoveries,” says Josh Marano, the maritime archaeologist who led the project, in the statement.

According to the researchers—who recently published their findings in the International Journal of Nautical Archaeology—the 130-foot-long Tyger was built in 1647, making it nearly a century old when it floundered in 1742.

It was the first of three British man-of-war ships to sink in the Keys, where it was stationed during the conflict known as the War of Jenkin’s Ear—“aptly named after British captain Robert Jenkins, who allegedly had his ear cut off by Spanish Coast Guards,” writes the Independent’s Amelia Neath.

According to the NPS, the man-of-war sailed near Cuba and Jamaica before following Spanish ships into the Gulf of Mexico, “logging but not fully registering the increasingly shallow depths.” Ultimately, the Spanish didn’t get the vessel—but the coral reefs of Dry Tortugas did. [ed: the captain's poor navigation made him think they were in the Bahamas, but sadly, not so much!]

When the ship hit the coral, it began taking on water. Despite the crew’s efforts to throw some items overboard and move others to the rear, “bad weather and a series of missteps worsened the situation,” writes the NPS. “It became clear that Tyger was lost, and the captain ordered everyone to abandon ship.” The 300 crew members made their way to Garden Key, where they were marooned for 66 days.

The Tyger’s survivors created Garden Key’s first fortifications—over a century before the construction of Fort Jefferson. Working through heat, thirst and mosquitoes, the crew built small boats from salvaged pieces of their ship, per Artnet’s Richard Whiddington. Using those vessels, they then sailed through enemy territory to Port Royal, Jamaica, traveling 700 miles in 55 days.

“This particular story is one of perseverance and survival,” says James Crutchfield, Dry Tortugas’ park manager, in the statement. “Archaeological finds are exciting, but connecting those finds to the historical record helps us tell the stories of the people that came before us and the events they experienced.”


There's a lesson there for any who are listening: learn how to navigate and pay attention to your depth! 

Until next time,

                                         Fair Winds,

                                                Old Salt