Category: Sea Stories

The World’s Largest Sailing Ship

On December 14, 1907, a large sailing ship wrecked off the coast of Annet, in the Isles of Scilly, killing all but two of her eighteen crew and causing the world’s first large marine oil spill. The ship involved in the accident, Thomas W. Lawson, was an incredible ship.

Can Russia bankrupt the Suez and Panama Canals

The shortest sea route between Europe and Asia passes through the Arctic Due to thick ice it is not traversable for most of the year. Russia has now decided to invest about $10 billion in the near future in order for the region to become an international transport corridor 365 days a year. Developing the route will require a huge investment, but the potential profit will be even greater.

Compulsory Companions thrown together stay together

British seamen cynically but in friendly fashion describe themselves not as the crew members or shipmates but as Board of Trade Compulsory Companions. That said, the bad eggs thrown together by circumstance were few and far between. From sailing day, a ship’s crew who were complete strangers to each other a day earlier became firm friends. 

Women And Children Last: The Infamous Sinking of La Bourgogne

The sinking of the French ocean liner SS La Bourgogne on the morning of 4 July 1898 was one of the most disgraceful of disasters in maritime history due to the cowardly and criminal behavior of the crew. Instead of the heroic sacrifice that has often been the shining moment in such a terrible tragedy, the crew of the steamer “fought like demons for the few lifeboats and rafts”, drawing out their knives and threatening passengers with it. Out went for a toss “Women and children first!”, famously established by the soldiers of the sinking Birkenhead, half a century earlier, and by the crew of the Titanic fourteen years later. Only one woman passenger from La Bourgogne was saved, and all children perished.

Inglorious End for a Mass Killer

There was an ominous feeling in the air as the old German passenger liner Steuben slipped her moorings under dark clouds and set off across a slate-grey Baltic Sea. Crowded onto the ship were 5,200 German refugees and wounded soldiers. Everyone on board was attempting to escape the fast-approaching American-armed Red Army that threatened destruction, rape and death.

The Curse of the Monte Rosa

The less charitable might be forgiven for suggesting that the Reich cruise ship, MV Monte Rosa, might better have been renamed MV Karma. This beautiful 13,882 ton twin-funneled German passenger liner was one of pre-war Germany’s fleet of super liners. Built in 1930 by Hamburg shipbuilders Bohm and Voss, MV Monte Rosa was one of five sister-ships.

Popeye the Sailor Man and Olive Oil really existed

His real name was Frank Rocky Fiegel. He was born in 1868 in Poland. A retired sailor he was contracted by Wiebusch’s tavern in the city of Chester, Illinois, to clean the town’s lawlessness and maintain order. Rocky Fiegel was notorious for his belligerent attitude and firmly believed that everything could be sorted out with his fists.