The Maritime Heritage Project.

Archive for April, 2012

Cunard Cruise Sale!

Cunard Spring Cruise Sale.

Cunard Cruise Line

Look for Early Booking Fares from CUNARD; discounted airfares and on board credit.

  • Cruising the Mediterranean for 9 days. August 28 from $1795 to $2595.
  • The Holy Land Explorer: – 12 Days. September 6, November 17, 2012 from $1,795 to $2,995*
  • Greek Isles & Aegean Treasures: – 12 Days. September 18, October 12, 2012 from $1,995 to $ $3,195*
  • Pearls of the Black Sea: – 12 Days. September 30, 2012 from $2,395 to $3,395*
  • Greek Isles & Ancient Wonders: – 12 Days. October 24, 2012 from $1,895 to $3,095*
  • Greek Isles & Turkish Splendours: – 12 Days November 5, 2012 from $1,795 to $2,995*
  • Mediterranean Moments: – 10 Days. November 29, 2012 from $1,495 to $2,495*

CUNARD is a favorite with all ages with great entertainment, excellent food, lots of activities for everyone, or just time to do absolutely nothing other than watch the light change!

(Note: Inside cabins are available at lower rates; we generally do not include them as we do not recommend sailing in an inside cabin.)


As I work through rebuilding the site and adding items of interest, I am finding gear and goods that I will be ordering and you might like. This is what I came across today.

Glasses etched with clipper ships.Tag.These Susquehana Glass Clipper Ship pattern glasses are beautiful. I no longer have a complete set of anything other than “French Jam Jars” and lots of coffee cups, but these are very appealing, so it’s tempting.

Details: Clipper ship pattern on 14-ounce double old fashion, “high-ball” glasses, and coffee cups. The are in sets of four and are hand-cut, sand etched, and lead-free. Whatever beverage you have in them forms the back drop . . . what about creme de menthe? They then will appear to be floating in a sea . . . or wine for the “wine dark seas” of Homer (more recently accredited to Patrick O’Brien’s wonderful novel “The Wine Dark Sea).

Oil Painting of Sailing Ship.Maritime Painting of a Sailing Ship, Nautical Oil Painting 20 x 24 inches

This is hand-painted oil on canvas (20×24), unstreched and unframed. Framed paintings are available.

This is a reasonable price for an oil; my favorite (of those I can afford) is still one I picked up at a garage sale.

Inquiries were sent to historical societies to no avail re the painter K. Haskell. Also it has been posted on a site for some years and received dozens of inquiries from people who had the same painting with the identical signature. All want to know of its painter and value. So far, it’s still a mystery.

American Ship Models and How to Build Them (Dover Maritime)
Easy-to-learn techniques, arranged in order of difficulty, range from relatively simple models to complicated square-riggers. American Ship Models and How to Build Them.Space.
Starting with the construction of a half-hull ship model, the book advances to a whole-hull model and replicas of twelve vessels, with separate chapters on rigging, gear and furniture, and tools and materials.


Taking the Sea

Taking the Sea: Perilous Waters, Sunken Ships, and the True Story of the Legendary Wrecker Captains
In the late 19th century, an intrepid, reckless group of men ruled the ocean. Known as “wreckers,” they earned their living by rescuing and raising sunken ships, even in the face of monstrous waves and fierce weather. To some, they were heroes, helping to rescue both passengers and ships with courage and skill. To others they were ruthless pirates, who exploited these ship wrecks purely for their treasure.

In Taking the Sea, Dennis M. Powers uncovers a fascinating, yet largely unknown, period in our history. Here he traces the journey of these legendary men through the story of Captain Thomas P. H. Whitelaw, the most important ship salvager of his day.

From their early beginnings when greedy villagers would lure ships to the rocky coasts of Europe to their heyday during the era of the fast but vulnerable American clipper ships and their founding of the city of Key West, Powers offers a compelling portrait of the wrecker captains and the dangerous lives they and their men led. From the East Coast to the Pacific, travel along with these men as they faced savage seas to save ships and plunder untold wealth.

Vividly told, this is a magnificent look at the untold history of the fearless and often mercenary men who made their living from the sea.

~ ~ ~ ~

Read on your Kindle.

Read history on your Kindle Fire. Many of the books herein are available free or at low cost for Kindle, have been republished specifically for mobile devices, and are easy to download.

California Pioneers and Famous People in History

Language Books and Videos

The ability to speak multiple languages is a gift. Years ago I worked with a woman who spoke fluent Russian, Japanese, English, French, and was learning German because she was about to marry a German industralist. I asked her "what language do you dream in?" Unhesitatingly she responded, "Depends on what country I’m in."

The Pocket Linguist:

A Practical and Highly Effective Guide to Learning any Language

The Pocket Linguist is a book dedicated to the practical aspects of language study. This is not a technical book for linguists; it is a common sense resource for anyone who wants to learn another language. It will show you how to save time and money by choosing the right materials and techniques based on your individual learning needs.

The book includes 50 innovative strategies and insights based on real-world examples and experiences. Some of the topics include: creative immersion, opportunistic learning, time management, the best uses for technology, non-verbal communication, finding free or low-cost learning materials, locating language partners, and the pitfalls of idioms.

Literature Based Instruction with English Language.Learning New Languages (A Selection)

This book takes a literature-based approach to how children learn language and how it is taught in today’s diverse K-12 classrooms. The material is based on the belief that literature offers the most effective instructional approach for English language learners. The book offers meaningful reading, writing, speaking, and listening activities, as well as new understandings about the forms and functions of written language. This is the first book that offers instructors guidance in expanding the range of materials they use for teaching ESL by going beyond the standard texts to include books of all kinds – children’s literature, trade books, magazines, and other media. “Voices from the Classroom: Scenarios from K-12 classrooms with English language learners” are provided throughout the chapters, offering practical stories from teachers’ points of view. K-12 Educators with diverse student populations.

Bonjour les Amis Language Instruction.

Learning New Languages

Bonjour les Amis!

Review from a teacher turned homeschooler: "I use this DVD with my four children that are in preschool – third grade. I think it’s great, but more importantly, my kids love it! Everything is taught by real French speakers, and every phrase is emphasized by both a male and female voice. The lessons are kept to a perfect size, so as to not overwhelm a child with new information. It is organized very well. The characters are fun and interesting, and they did a great job of giving them names that use some of the more difficult sounds in the French language. I have readers and non-readers in my family and the DVD works for both. The non-readers know that when the words are highlighted in yellow, it’s time for them to repeat what was said. I would highly recommend this."

Spanish for Everyone

Spanish for Everyone.

Hola, amigo! Learn to understand and speak Spanish with language expert William C. Henry.

Colorful graphics are integrated with easy-to-understand (and humorous!) vignettes that will have you speaking conversational Spanish in no time!

Includes special segments on greetings, telling time, numbers, food, and more. 50 min. Soundtrack: English and Spanish.

~ ~ ~ ~

Read history on your Kindle Fire. Many of the books herein are available free or at low cost for Kindle and they have been republished specifically for mobile devices and are easy to download.

Globes and Navigation

The first record of boats large enough to carry goods for trade is around 3500 B.C. and this would mark the birth of the art of navigation. Early navigators generaly stayed close to shore and navigated by sight of landmarks or visible land characteristics. Usually they traveled by day and sought a calm harbor or anchorage at night. They did not have charts but lists of directions, similar to today’s cruising guides.

Navigation Atlantic and Indian Oceans and China and Australian Seas by Becher.Navigation of the Atlantic and Indian Oceans and the China and Australian Seas: With an Account of the Winds, Weather, and Currents Found therein … Extensive Extracts from the Nautical Magazine

The first ocean voyages were dramatic – a vessel blown off course by a sudden storm or error by the helmsman could destroy the ship and crew. However, Vikings regularly sailed to Iceland and Greenland between 900 and 1000AD, apparently using only the sun, stars and wind as their guide.

Early navigators had to be  creative in compensating for their lack of technology. Viking explorer Floki Vilgjerdarsson, credited with the discovery of Iceland, carried aboard a cage of ravens. When he thought land should be near, he would release one of the birds. If it circled the boat without purpose, land was not near, but if it took off in a certain direction, the boat followed, knowing the bird was headed toward land.

One of the earliest man-made navigation tools was the mariner’s compass, an early form of the magnetic compass (c.13th Century). Initially used only when the weather obscured the sun or the North Star, these first compasses were very crude. The navigator would rub an iron needle against a lodestone, stick it in a piece of straw and float it in a bowl of water. The needle would point in a northerly direction. Early mariners found the compass inconsistent – most likely because they did not understand that it pointed to the magnetic north pole, not true north. At the time, they could not explain these variations and could not put much trust in the readings when navigating an unknown area.

Shop Rand McNally Travel StoreAt this time, mariners began to realize that maps would be helpful and began keeping detailed records of their voyages that land-based mapmakers used to create the first nautical charts called Portolan Charts (c. 13th Century).

The charts, created on sheepskin or goatskin, were rare and expensive and  often kept secret so that competing mariners would not have access to this knowledge.     What they lacked in accuracy they made up for in beauty, which you can review by visiting Geographicus. Lands and ports on the chart were highly decorated with depictions of buildings and flags.

The size of lands on charts were more a reflection of their importance to trade routes than their actual geographical size and, of course were not very accurate. The charts did not have latitude or longitude lines but did have compass roses indicating bearings between major ports.