The Maritime Heritage Project.

Archive for the ‘Books’ Category

Winter Reading

Rounding the Horn: Being the Story of Williwaws and Windjammers, Drake, Darwin, Murdered Missionaries and Naked Natives
A Deck’s-eye View of Cape Horn

Dallas Murphy

Fifty-five degrees 59 minutes South by 67 degrees 16 minutes West: Cape Horn—a buttressed pyramid of crumbly rock situated at the very bottom of South America—is a place of forlorn and foreboding beauty that has captured the dark imaginations of explorers and writers from Francis Drake to Joseph Conrad.

For centuries, the small stretch of water between Cape Horn and the Antarctic Peninsula was the only gateway between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. It’s a place where the storms are bigger, the winds stronger, and the seas rougher than anywhere else on earth.

Dallas Murphy has always been sea-struck. In Rounding the Horn he undertakes the ultimate maritime rite of passage, and brings the reader along for a thrilling, exuberant tour. Weaving together stories of his own nautical adventures with long-lost tales of those who braved the Cape before him — from Spanish missionaries to Captain Cook — and interspersing them with breathtaking descriptions of the surrounding wilderness, Murphy has crafted an immensely enjoyable read.

Prints available by clicking on images.Above: Ships in the Strait of Magellan Rounding Cape Horn
(Reprints available by clicking on images.)
Welcome to Cape Horn.Welcome Sign, Cape Horn Island, Chile
Ken Gillham


America’s Lighthouses

The Fyddeye Guide to America’s Lighthouses
The Fyddeye Guide makes your travel planning easier by showing you hundreds of fascinating lighthouses you can visit today on the east coast, Great Lakes, Gulf Coast, and the west coast, including Alaska and Hawaii. From remote islands in Maine to the metropolises of southern California, you’ll discover the towering historic structures that have inspired travelers for millennia. You can get close to virtually all America’s lighthouses, and many allow you to climb to the top and stay as long as a month in historic buildings.

  • More than 750 lighthouses, conveniently organized by coastal region and state
  • Brief histories and complete contact information, including website, email address, and phone
  • Three maps with suggested itineraries for discovering lighthouses in New England, Michigan, and California
  • Notes on whether you can stay overnight on the lighthouse grounds, possibly in the keepers’ historic quarters
  • Chapters on lightships and historic life-saving stations, including availability of overnight accommodations
  • More than 40 images of lighthouses from coast to coast

With a foreword by leading New England lighthouse photographer Jeremy D’Entremont.

America’s Lighthouses


Books, DVDs, Postcards, Puzzles, Paintings, Water Bottles, Mouse Pads . . . Right: Lighthouses of North America: Beacons from Coast to Coast by Sylke Jackson, a freelance writer with a BA cum laude in Literature from Yale University. Her passion for architectural preservation has led her to work on historic buildings in this country and abroad. Jackson teaches high school English and writing. She also races Lightning sailboats on the Hudson, and always keeps a grateful eye on the lighthouse at Sleepy Hollow, New York.


Seagoing Pirates

Seagoing pirates have pillaged and plundered ships and coastal villages throughout history — from Vikings to 14th and 15th century ships owned by the Kings and Queens of Spain, England, Holland and France to 17th and 18th century raiders who pillaged Spanish galleons. Today, a series of attacks off the Horn of Africa has shown that piracy can still be highly profitable as well as dangerous.

In Somalia, a country of grinding poverty and internal chaos, the pirate economy is an extension of the corrupt free-for-all that has raged on land since the central government imploded in 1991. It has turned the waters off of Africa into the most dangerous shipping lanes in the world.

Somalia’s Transitional Federal Government, the internationally recognized but relatively impotent authority based in the capital, Mogadishu, has little influence over the pirates. Neither do the traditional, clan-based militias that still operate in these areas but cannot afford the weaponry or manpower now fielded by well-financed pirate gangs.

The United States Navy has asked ship owners to stick to designated shipping lanes when passing through the Arabian Sea, where in the past few years, Somali pirates have hijacked hundreds of ships from a sailboat skippered by a retired British couple and rusty fishing trawlers to a 1,000-foot-long supertanker owned by the Saudi government. The pirates have netted hundreds of millions of dollars from the hijackings, money that they often reinvest in weapons and men. They have attacked ships as far away as Sri Lanka, more than 2,000 miles from home.

On October 23, 2009, a British couple was slowly edging away in their boat from Mahé, the main island in the Seychelles archipelago, for Tanga, Tanzania, the beginning of a two-week passage across the Indian Ocean. The wind was pushing them farther north than they’d planned to be. With no ships or land in sight, the Chandlers’ 38-foot sailboat, the Lynn Rival. Two skiffs materialized out of the murk, and when 57-year-old Rachel Chandler swung the flashlight’s beam onto the water, two gunshots rang out. Within seconds, eight scruffy Somali men hoisted themselves aboard, their assault rifles and rocket-propelled-grenade launchers clanging against the hull. 61-year-old Paul Chandler activated an emergency beacon, which immediately started emitting an S.O.S., and then went up on deck. The men stank of the sea and nervous musk, and they jabbed their guns at the Chandlers. The Chandlers would be held for the next 388 days. In the past few years, loosely organized gangs of Somali pirates, kitted out with Fiberglas skiffs, rusty Kalashnikovs and flip-flops, have waylaid hundreds of ships — yachts, fishing boats, freighters, gigantic oil tankers, creaky old Indian dhows, essentially anything that floats — and then extracted ransom in exchange for their return.

One has to love the British pluck . . . after the Chandlers were released, they continued their around-the-world sea journey and, of course, wrote their story: Hostage: A Year at Gunpoint with Somali Pirates and the New York Times Wesley Allsbrook illustrated Taken by Pirates for the October 2011 issue of the NYT Magazine.

The New York Times of October 2012 reported that the standard operating procedure is to swarm a vessel with a bevy of skiffs, each packed with armed men, gain control of the ship, steer it back to a pirate base and then demand a ransom from the ship’s owner, the families of the crew or both. Often the ransom money literally falls from the sky. The favored way of making payment is to drop a brick of shrink-wrapped cash from a small plane and let it drift down by parachute to the pirates.

Now, a report from Maritime Propulsion,” January 9, 2013:

Somali Pirates Use RPG to Attack Ship: 12 Arrested

EU Naval Force French Frigate ‘Surcouf’ and NATO Warship ‘USS Halyburton’ work together to apprehend twelve pirate suspects.

A merchant vessel sailing 260 miles off the Somali Coast in the Horn of Africa, made a distress call, reporting that she was coming under attack by six men in a fast moving boat, armed with rocket propelled grenades (RPG). Thankfully, having employed avoidance tactics, the merchant vessel was able to escape the attack.

Upon hearing the distress call, NATO warship USS Halyburton, operating as part of NATO’s counter piracy operation – Ocean Shield, on patrol 80 nautical miles away, launched her helicopter and was able to quickly locate a suspect boat – which was by now towing another vessel, with several men on board. (In October 2013, Captain Phillips, the movie starring Tom Hanks depicting this operation was released.)

EU Naval Force (EU Navfor) French Frigate Surcouf, operating as part of the EU’s counter piracy mission – Operation Atalanta, made best speed to the area, as a German EU Navfor Maritime Patrol Aircraft kept watch overhead.

Upon arrival, and in full cooperation with the NATO warship, the boarding team from Surcouf boarded the two suspect vessels and apprehended twelve men in total. All twelve men are currently being held on board for evidence collection in order to fully assess the possibility of legal prosecution.

In a recent press conference held on board Surcouf during her port visit to Port Victoria, Seychelles, the Commanding Officer, Commander Hugues Lainé stressed the importance of not lowering the guard towards piracy, as the threat remains, despite the drop in pirate attacks during the past year.

Africa Political Map.


New and Revised Books

Pioneer Jews: A New Life in the Far West

Harriet Rochlin

When people think of the Jewish immigrant experience, it’s usually the Lower East Side of New York that comes to mind. But, in fact, thousands of Jews lived in western mining towns and on ranches and trading posts in the late nineteenth century. In this “colorful history of Jewish settlers in the West . . . that stereotype of the urban Jew is vigorously and even exuberantly rejected” (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES). PIONEER JEWS is a vivid and thorough chronicle of the lives, experiences, and contributions of the Jewish men and women who helped shape the American frontier.

California Vines, Wines and Pioneers

Food genealogist Sherry Monahan traces the roots of California’s Vines, Wines & Pioneers. While cowboys and early settlers were writing the oft-told history of the Wild West, California’s wine pioneers were cultivating a delicious industry. The story begins when Franciscan missionaries planted the first grapes in Southern California in 1769. Almost a century later, news of gold drew thirsty prospectors and European immigrants to California’s promise of wealth. From Old World vines sprang a robust and varied tradition of wine cultivation that overcame threats of pests and Prohibition to win global prestige. Journey with Monahan as she uncorks this vintage history and savors the stories of California’s historic wineries and vineyards.


A Social and Cultural History of the Jews of the San Francisco Bay Area

Fred Rosenbaum

According to educator and historian Rosenbaum, Bay Area Jews have encountered relatively little anti-Semitism and have been deeply enmeshed in virtually every phase of local history since the Gold Rush. While Levi Strauss is arguably the city’s standout entrepreneur and Yehudi Menuhin and Isaac Stern its most celebrated musical prodigies, other Jews are also prominent. Both Judah Magnes, founder and first chancellor of Jerusalem’s Hebrew University, and influential writer Gertrude Stein credited the cultural diversity of their Oakland youth for setting them on a path of personal freedom and intellectual honesty. A patrician businessman who championed the poor, women’s suffrage and an improved fire department, San Francisco’s Adolph Sutro became the first Jewish mayor of a major American city in 1894. Rose Pesotta, Elaine Black and Samuel Adams Darcy were militant union organizers; and Harvey Milk, who was assassinated in 1978, became the first openly gay office holder in America. This is an absorbing and colorfully detailed story of a minority’s outsized impact on its society, particularly in the spheres of the arts, business and politics.

Women Trailblazers of California:

Pioneers to the Present

Women Trailblazers of California.

Dr. Gloria Harris began her career as a psychologist in the early 1970s after receiving her doctorate from the University of Washington. She has been a lecturer at San Diego State University, department of women’s studies, and was inducted into the San Diego Women’s Hall of Fame in 2010. She is a board member of the Women’s Museum of California.

Hannah Cohen has a Master’s of Science degree in Library and Information Sciences and an Advanced Diploma in Educational Administration. She was a public affairs consultant for several non-profit organizations developing strategies, writing grant proposals, and advocating for policy development for the homeless. She is currently a board member of the Women’s Museum of California, a member of their Speaker’s Bureau, and chairperson of the museum’s Fund Development Committee.

Immigration at the Golden Gate:

Passenger Ships, Exclusion, and Angel Island

Robert Eric Barde

Perhaps 200,000 immigrants passed through the Angel Island Immigration Station during its lifetime, a tiny number compared to the 17 million who entered through New York’s Ellis Island. Nonetheless, Angel Island’s place in the consciousness of Americans on the West Coast looms out of proportion to the numerical record. Angel Island’s Immigration Station was not, as some have called it, the Ellis Island of the West, built to facilitate the processing and entry of those welcomed as new Americans. Its role was less benign: to facilitate the exclusion of Asians-first the Chinese, then Japanese, Koreans, Indians, and all other Asians.

This was the era when a rampant public hostility to newcomers posed grave threats to the liberties of all immigrants, especially those from Asia. The phrase "Angel Island" connotes more than a rocky outpost rearing up inside the mouth of San Francisco Bay. Angel Island reminds us of an important chapter in the history of immigration to the United States, one that was truly a multicultural enterprise long before that expression was even imagined. This book shows how natives and newcomers experienced the immigration process on the west coast.

Angel Island: Gateway to Gold Mountain

Russell Freedman

Angel Island, off the coast of California, was the port of entry for Asian immigrants to the United States between 1892 and 1940. Following the passage of legislation requiring the screening of immigrants, “the other Ellis Island” processed around one million people from Japan, China, and Korea. Drawing from memoirs, diaries, letters, and the “wall poems” discovered at the facility long after it closed, the nonfiction master Russell Freedman describes the people who came, and why; the screening process; detention and deportation; changes in immigration policy; and the eventual renaissance of Angel Island as a historic site open to visitors. Includes archival photos, source notes, bibliography, and index.

The Immigrant and the University:

Peder Sather and Gold Rush California

Karin Sveen

Peder Sather was a scribe before he emigrated from Norway to New York in 1832. There he worked as a footman and a clerk at a lottery office before opening an exchange brokerage. During the gold rush he moved to San Francisco to help establish the banking house of Drexel, Sather & Church on Montgomery Street. Sather was a founder and a liberal benefactor of the University of California at Berkeley where he is memorialized by the Sather Gate and Sather Tower (The Campanile).

Karin Sveen, one of Norway’s most accomplished writers, pieces together a story yet untold — a beautifully crafted biography based on her dedicated search for scraps of information. The result gives readers a look at the life of a successful entrepreneur and a leading California patron who engaged in public education on all levels, supported Abraham Lincoln, and made efforts to give emancipated slaves housing, schooling, and work after The Civil War. His legacy, vivid persona, and the frontier city of his time are intertwined with interesting anecdotes of the lives of many famous people — General William T. Sherman, Walt Whitman, Mark Twain, Robert Louis Stevenson, the famous Norwegian violinist Ole Bull, and above all, his close friend Anthony J. Drexel, legendary financier in Philadelphia.


Changes in Latitude . . .

TRAVEL! Because I do not mind travelling alone, I’m looking for single cruise fairs, which are difficult to come by. However, I prefer shoulder season travel anyway (fewer crowds), so bargains are to be had on many cruise lines. Some considerations:

  1. Try one-way, shoulder-season cruise itineraries. The shoulder-season—when families aren’t traveling—is a fine time to save on the single supplement on cruise ships. Some cruise lines, such as Royal Caribbean, charge less for the supplement on many cruises, including “repositioning cruises,” when cruise lines move their ships from their summer cruising waters to their winter waters (from the North Atlantic to the Caribbean in the fall), or vice versa. These cruises often last longer (between 7 and 12 days) than standard cruises—yet cost up to half as much per day per person as the norm. Norwegian, for instance, recently had interior berths on a late October transatlantic cruise going for as low as $399 per passenger.
  2. Pick the type of repositioning cruise that suits your style. Some itineraries have themes, such as wine tastings, and multiple port stops, like Holland America’s Zaandam’s recent itinerary between San Diego and Vancouver. Other routes cover a lot of sea with few—if any—port stops, such as an early November Carnival itinerary between Dover, England, and Boston. Some people might find the lack of port stops boring. But others won’t mind: Because these cruises are less popular, the ships are often well below capacity—which means you receive additional special attention from the on-board staff without having to pay additional gratuities.
  3. One-way cruises: Booking an affordable one-way flight home is key to keeping total trip costs down. For international itineraries, check your airline mileage. Many airlines now offer frequent flier miles for one-way tickets. Domestically, JetBlue, and Southwest sell one-way fares that are also inexpensive.

    If you love travelling, be sure your credit cards, supermarket cards, etc., all have mileage attached to your purchases. My brother just called to say he has 40,000 miles — that’ll take him to just about anywhere in the world for the price of airport taxes only. Also, never use airline miles for domestic flights — not worth it. Learned that in 1970 when friends wanted me to visit them in Miami. For the same mileage, I was able to meet them in FranceAn example from the Huffington Post: Say you’re deciding how to use 30,000 American Airlines miles and you’ve got it narrowed down to one domestic location (Chicago) and one international (Lima, Peru). 30,000 miles is enough for a roundtrip flight to either location, but look at the difference in value. Flying from New York to Chicago for the second week of September costs either 25,000 miles or $188, which means you’re using 133 miles-per-dollar that you would have spent otherwise. Flying to Peru, on the other hand, costs either 30,000 miles or $883 (34 miles-per-dollar). In this case, you get nearly four times the value from using frequent flyer miles to fly abroad than domestic.

  4. One of the MANY advantages of being retired: Look for last-minute deals. Some companies try to off-load unbooked cabins in the weeks before a departure by offering “happy hour” specials in which they reduce the supplement. Such sales are typically held the same day they’re announced on the companies’ websites. (From a travel agent who founded a website listing discounts on supplements for solo cruisers: Most travel agents receive advance warning of the sales.)
  5. Look Around the Globe: The small Hebridean Princess ship looks rather like a British country home and has only 30 cabins, with 10 reserved for singles at no extra charge. Everything is included, from meals, wines and cocktails to shore excursions, on-board guest speakers and guided tours. Itineraries include the Scottish coast, Ireland and Wales, Northern France and England and her Channel Isles. Guests are provided with bicycle, fishing tackle and picnic baskets on request. Tipping is not allowed. This is one, of course, where you have to watch airfare costs, so that mileage you are racking up with purchases just may get you to/from without undue additional expense.
  6. Note: If you can avoid it, never travel in an interior cabin, unless you don’t mind sleeping in a closet. Your health will stay better if you have a balcony room and can get fresh air throughout your cruise.


Dangerous Book for Boys

The bestselling book for every boy from eight to eighty, covering essential boyhood skills such as building tree houses*, learning how to fish, finding true north, and even answering the age old question of what the big deal with girls is.

In this digital age there is still a place for knots, skimming stones and stories of incredible courage. This book recaptures Sunday afternoons, stimulates curiosity, and makes for great father-son activities. The brothers Conn and Hal Igguiden have put together a wonderful collection of all things that make being young or young at heart fun—building go-carts and electromagnets, identifying insects and spiders, and flying the world’s best paper airplanes.

The completely revised The Dangerous Book for Boys (American Edition) includes:

  • The Greatest Paper Airplane in the World
  • The Seven Wonders of the Ancient World
  • The Five Knots Every Boy Should Know
  • Stickball
  • Slingshots
  • Fossils
  • Building a Treehouse
  • Making a Bow and Arrow
  • Fishing (revised with U.S. Fish)
  • Timers and Tripwires
  • Baseball’s “Most Valuable Players”
  • Famous Battles-Including Lexington and Concord, The Alamo, and Gettysburg
  • Spies-Codes and Ciphers
  • Making a Go-Cart
  • Navajo Code Talkers’ Dictionary
  • Girls
  • Cloud Formations
  • The States of the U.S.
  • Mountains of the U.S.
  • Navigation
  • The Declaration of Independence
  • Skimming Stones
  • Making a Periscope
  • The Ten Commandments
  • Common United States Trees
  • Timeline of American History


Co-author Conn Iggulden is also the bestselling author of six historical epics. He lives in Tasmania where he has a troupe entitled “Small and Mighty,” and a series of books about Tollins, tiny creatures with wings who aren’t fairies and are about as fragile as a brick wall.


Strange Trips and Cruises

A group named The Travel Writers’ Life has posted an article on “Strange Tours,” which you may find amusing/interesting and worthwhile to delve into.

Many of their selections are unusual simply because of the location, i.e. riding a Harley through Australia. We see Harley tours all over the U.S., so, again, location is the key to many of these ideas. Tours through vineyards, growing grounds, plantations, factories, etc. are also held around the world so if your budget keeps you close to home, we’re sure you will be able to find an interesting site within some miles of your home.

If none of the following “speak” to you, pick up Patricia Schultz’s 1,000 Places to See Before You Die (second edition: Completely Revised and Updated with Over 200 New Entries)

Following is a selection of listings from The Travel Writer’s Life, along with our comments and some tours we have taken around the world. (Prices vary, of course, depending on length of the tour, transportation needs, season):

Harvest Tours

Join a harvest tour during prime picking season and learn about agriculture and botany from knowledgable guides on spice plantations, wine growing, tea making, coffee, etc., just about anywhere in the world.

Harley Davidson Motorcycle Winery Tour
This does not seem strange to us; we live in California and frequently see Harley riders cruises between vineyards. We know a group of men who did travel via ship with their motorcycles to various ports. This particular tour is in Australia and that would be stunning.

Chocolate Tours

One of our family favorites: Visit a Chocolate Factory anywhere in the world. Hop on the old town trolley in Boston and tour some historic American chocolate sites, including the first chocolate factory in the U.S., and the origin of Tollhouse cookies and hot fudge sundaes. Or stop by the Ghirardelli Chocolate Factory in San Francisco’s Ghirardelli Square near Fisherman’s Wharf . . . plus you’re near internationally noted seafoods restaurants all along the Wharf. Find chocolate factories in Hobart, Australia; Zurich, Switzerland (including the Lindt Chocolate Shop); try a beer and chocolate tasting tour in Dunedin, New Zealand . . .

C’est Cheese Tours
From Paris, France through Burgundy and the Cote d’Or to Beaune. Learn all about the history of cheese-making, experience local markets, taste regional wines. Locations: Paris and Burgundy, France

Ethiopia Coffee Harvest Tour
Enjoy indigenous ceremonies and coffee tasting as you tour coffee farmers’ coops through Ethiopia. You’ll also tour the walled city of Oromia and see and partake in harvesting, washing, drying, and coffee pulping processes.

Chilean Wine Harvest Tour

Over seven days, you’ll participate in harvesting, wine-making, and lots of “taste testing” in seven of Chile’s top wineries. Horseback through orchards, historical sites, visit wine shops of Santiago
Location: From Santiago de Chile through the wine country

Mystical Tours

Celtic Mystical Journeys
See crop circles, druid stones, mysterious structures, and more over 12 days through England, Scotland, and Northern France.

Crop Circle Tour in England
Take a four-day tour through the crop circles of England.

Dark Deeds, Monks, and Great Castles Tour
In one day, you’ll explore castles, medieval cities, cathedrals, battlefields, Benedictine chants, and tales of the “real” Macbeth in Scotland.

Ghost Tours

Night-time Ghost Tours take you through haunted houses, hotels, and other buildings around the world. Find out who’s haunting them, and see where the haunters were buried. Such tours include creepy stories about abductions, conspiracies, mysteries, etc. Samples:

Voodoo Tour

New Orleans Cemetery and Voodoo Tour
Follow the ghosts of the numerous characters of New Orleans’ mysterious past! Tour one of the city’s most haunted cemeteries, St Louis Cemetery No. 1 and visit the tomb of the Voodoo Queen of New Orleans, Marie Laveau. Your guide will explain the unique above-ground burial custom and will give you an in-depth overview of the fascinating evolution of voodoo.

Bermuda Triangle Shipwreck & Glassbottom Snorkel
Snorkel through the Bermuda Triangle… or cruise through it in glass-bottom boat… and see for yourself the remains of ships in the treacherous “wreck capitol of the Atlantic.” You’ll visit a reef site and a shipwreck, and sip a “Bermuda Rum Swizzle” or a free soft drink on the way home.

Egyptian Meditation Tour

Outdoor Experiences

Bering Sea Commercial Crab Fishing Tour
Board a commercial fishing vessel and watch real crab fishermen at work on the Bering Sea from the comfort of a heated viewing platform. See and touch the 17 American Writers & Artists Inc. catch of the day, as it’s held in tanks on the boat, then watch as it’s released back out into the ocean.

Flora, Fauna, and Natural Phenomena Tours

Night Vision Penguin Tour
Phillip Island, Australia, is home to the world’s smallest penguin species, the Little Penguin, or Fairy Penguin. And if you opt for the “Ultimate Penguin Experience” tour, you’ll be able to view the penguins at sunset, and then by night with night vision goggles. Phillip Island, Australia.

Active Volcano Tours

Volcano Tours: Hawaii, Arenal (Costa Rica), Pacaya Volcano (Guatemala)
With tour difficulty levels ranging from easy to “expedition” level, amateur volcanologists, geologists, and nature-lovers alike will enjoy exploring an erupting volcano. You can find daily volcano tours of varying difficulty around the world.

Bat Watching Riverboat Cruise
Float through Austin, Texas, on the Lonestar Riverboat. At sunset, 1.5 million Mexican free-tail bats flap out from under the Congress Avenue Bridge, blackening the sky. Location: Austin, Texas. Similar tours are also available in New Mexico, Central and South America.

Rainforest Canopy Zip Line Tour

Costa Rica features dozens of active adventure tours. Clip into your harness, and glide through the trees of the Costa Rican rainforest by zip-line. There, you’ll see and hear birds and other exotic wildlife of the rainforest while you zip from tree to tree.

Carpet Weaving Tour
Visit a nomadic Turkish village with a population of 100 and learn traditional carpet weaving techniques. Experience village life, and spend some time at the beach, too. These are incredible tours. If you have the funds, consider buying a hand-woven Turkish carpet during this visit.

Craft and Folk Art Tours

Generally small group tours organized to buy and practice arts, Craft World and Folk Art Tours are featured in cities around the world from Oaxaca, Mexico, to South Africa to Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan.


Major cities around the world have a wonderful, colorful Chinatown portion of their city. We have been to San Francisco’s Chinatown hundreds of times, but we still enjoy visting Chinatown in New York, Hong Kong, Singapore, Bangkok, Vancouver . . . Chinatown is fabulous for picking up small attractive gifts for everyone in the family and not breaking your budget.

Tours and Cruises

Irish Folklore Tour
Irish musician and folklore professor Mick Moloney takes you on a tour through the back roads of Ireland. You’ll meet artists, artisans, musicians, dancers, storytellers, and more. Choose from different itineraries that’ll take you through days of music and folklore across Ireland and Scotland.

Amsterdam Red Light District

The tour takes you to the area that’s synonymous with Amsterdam, the Wallen (Red Light District), passing monuments and entering narrow old streets such as the well-known Zeedijk street. In the past it was one of the most dangerous streets in Amsterdam, where sailors could be found searching for local amusement. Nowadays, instead of the shady bars of yester year you’ll find lively and welcoming Dutch pubs and restaurants. The walk includes a visit to the Prostitute Information Center, where you will be offered a free drink and can chat with a former prostitute who will explain the system and answer any questions you might have.

The Catacombs of Paris

Paris is known for the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame and the Louvre, but in the City of Lights a darker reality lurks in the infamous Catacombs of Paris.
Buy your tickets at a little booth and then descend into the dark, dripping tunnels of the Paris Sewer. Walk on grates as raw sewage runs through the tunnel below your feet. See displays of sewer maintenance equipment, and read about the history of waste control in the French capital city.

Sumo Wrestler Tour

Spend the day touring Tokyo, Edo-Tokyo Museum, and learning about Sumo Cultures. See daily rituals of sumo wrestlers… from what they eat to how they stretch and practice to techniques they use in the ring. In Ryogoku, you’ll also see where the traditional sport of sumo wrestling is presented at the Ryogoku Kokugikan sumo arena, and learn more about this traditional sport at the Sumo Museum. See where sumo wrestlers live and train, and visit the sumo shop for Japanese souvenirs with a difference.

Battlefield Tours

Battlefield Tours have been established for battlefields around the world, some in large groups, others more intimate with personal guides. Normandy, Hong Kong, France, Istanbul, Gallipoli, Germany.

Pirate Tours

Take a pirate tour of Nassau, Portugal, or the French Quarter in New Orleans and hear stories about buried treasure and famous pirates. The New Orleans walking tour includes pirate history and stories about the real pirates of the Caribbean. As you follow your knowledgeable guide through the French Quarter, learn about the famous Lafitte Brothers, French pirates who came to New Orleans in the early 19th century. Visit their blacksmith shop – one of the city’s oldest surviving buildings – as well as other interesting landmarks such as Pirate’s Alley and the site of the Spanish colonial prison where both brothers were jailed.

Shipwreck Tours

Dive to view ship wrecks in locations around the world: Florida, Cayman Islands, Australia, Aruba, South Africa . . .

Water, Water Everywhere . . .

Underwater Tours

Journey under the sea and get a whole panorama of underwater life, often without getting wet in your guided Underwater Tour. Options include glass-encased semi-submersible vessel, snorkel gear, full dive gear . . . you’ll see salmon, starfish, sea cucumbers, moon jellyfish, and, in most tropical waters, exotically colored fish darting between coral reefs. Of course, if you’re near water, you’ll also see bird life around the shore. Locations are just about anywhere in the world. One of our favorites was Roratonga, where we went swimming with bat rays and pink reef sharks.

Cruise Ships

CruiseDirect - Cruise Price Guarantee - Book NowCheck out Family Cruises for a host of “on-the-water” activities for you and your kids. You can find cruises for scrabble players, video gamers, adventurers, Who-Done-It-Cruises, competitions for dancing or costumes, fully-clothed travellers and barely clothed travellers on oceans and seas anywhere in the world. You can bring along your scrapbooking projects or start a new one. Learn to dance from experts and notable performers. Choose from cruises in Alaska, the Bahamas, Mexico, the Caribbean, and other, destinations.


Captain “Bully” Waterman

For more than a decade, it has been a goal to publish small books about sea captains who sailed into San Francisco during the 1800s with hundreds of passengers and thousands of tons of merchandise on each vessel.

We have found a near-perfect method . . . Kindle eBooks. The first of the publications is online and available now just by clicking here:

Captain Robert (Bully) Waterman

This is a small book with news of Captain Waterman’s sailing life; this Captain set sailing records on clipperships during the mid-1800s which have not been bested to date.

The ePublication contains several images and news stories of his sailing adventures and misadventures.

List of Captains Sailing into San Francisco during the Gold Rush

Passenger Lists: Thousands of names of immigrants from around the world sailing into the Port of San Francisco during the 1800s

Reprints available by clicking on the image.
Challenge, Leaving New York
Roy Cross


Arrival of the “Baringer”

I found information on the arrival of the Baringer in January 1870 at your website “The Maritime Heritage Project” date entered April 2009; Updated February 2011.

My question is regarding one of the sources cited as Daily Alta California. I got the Daily Alta California newspapers on microfilm but could not find any info about “As soon as the vessel reached the harbor, Mr. Smith, the Fenian Head Centre of California, etc.”

The reason I am asking is that one of the passengers, Eugene Geary, is my great grandfather. I am writing a story about his involvement in the 1867 uprising in Ireland, conviction of treason, etc. I have source material from everything except his arrival in San Francisco (other than the shipping info in the newspapers.)

Could you please tell me the actual sources for the arrival celebration?

Thank you,

M.F. Columbia, CA 95370

PS. The Headline in the Maritime Heritage Project “Arrival of Escaped Irish Political Prisoners”. The group that arrived aboard the Baringa were pardoned from Fremantle Prison.

Editor’s Note: The source for the article you mention regardingArrival of Escaped Irish Political Prisoners is the New York Herald, Thursday, January 17, 1870 as noted at the top of the article. Additional articles in have been found from the Daly Alta Californiaand the Sacramento Daily Union and are also included on that page.

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The Birth of the Fenian Movement American Diary, Brooklyn 1859
(Classics of Irish History)
Fenian Movment.

Fenians.James Stephens
American Diary is an important document of early Fenianism. It uncovers the difficulties facing the movement’s founders, and offers insight into mid nineteenth-century American life and the Irish-American community.

It is also one of Stephens’s scarce full-length pieces and one of the best written, although it has not previously been published in its entirety.

James Stephens (1825-1901) was born in Kilkenny. He founded the Irish Republican Brotherhood, the Irish branch of the Fenian movement, in 1858.

The Fenians Were Dreadful Men: The 1867 RisingFenians.
Irish Republican Brotherhood.Fenians.

Padraig O Concubhair
This is the first new book in forty years to study the Fenian Rising, its background, and the foundation of the Irish Republican Brotherhood. It examines the 1867 Rising in detail, providing descriptions of the battles, the British response, and the civilian casualties that resulted.

Padraig O Concubhair is a member of the Clogher Historical Society, former President, and current Vice-President of the Kerry Historical and Archaeological Society. Vividly illustrated, the research is careful and thorough. – Irish American News

The American Fenian Invasion and the 1866 Battle that Made Canada
The History of Canada

Investigative journalist and filmmaker Peter Vronsky uncovers the hidden history of the Battle of Ridgeway and explores its significance to Canada’s nation-building myths and traditions. On June 1, 1866, more than 1,000 Fenian insurgents invaded Canada across the Niagara River from Buffalo, N.Y. The Fenians were mostly battle-hardened Civil War veterans; the Canadian troops sent to fight them came from a generation that had not seen combat at home for more than 30 years. Led by inexperienced upper-class officers, the volunteer soldiers were mostly young; they were farm boys, shopkeepers, apprentices, schoolteachers, store clerks and two rifle companies of University of Toronto students hastily called out from their final exams. Many had never fired live rounds from their rifles.

Irish San Francisco
(Images of America: California)

John GarveyTag.
Irish in San Francisco.The Irish have always been an important part of San Francisco. An 1852 census showed that almost nine percent of the city of 36,000 hailed from Ireland; by 1900, nearly a quarter of the population had come here from the Emerald Isle. Today a walk through any part of the city will showcase influential Irish street names such as Downey, Fell, Kearney, O’Farrell, O’Shaughnessy, and McAllister. Churches such as St. Brigid’s and St. Patrick’s still are supported by many of the faithful, while landmark buildings such as the Fairmont, Phelan, and Flood stand sentinel over the city’s bustling downtown. Many businesspeople handle their finances through the successors of the original Hibernia Bank, established here by Irish immigrants in 1859. And after work, many folks like to relax with a pint at pubs such as Kate O’Brien’s, Abbey Tavern, or the Little Shamrock.


Old Books, New Art

In the midst of completely updating The Maritime Heritage Project, we have come across quality reprints of historical images. These images bring history to life and are being included on all pages as appropriate. You will surely enjoy seeing paintings depicting the seaports our ancestors travelled during the 1800s. Japan was updated yesterday . . . Imagine sailing from dreary, crowded English seaports, for example, and landing in Japan, the Middle East, the South Pacific, South America. That is still a fascinating journey for the senses, but nevermoreso than during the 1500s, 1600s, etc.

The following is from Seaports of the World: Japan. Click through to view the new selection of historical fiction and the full text.

Prior to the mid-nineteenth century, Japan secluded itself from much of the rest of the world guided by myths. Japanese legend describes an early foray out of Japan and into Korea under Queen Jingo and her son Ojin. According to legend, the surprised and terrified Koreans surrendered at once and promised to pay homage and tribute to Queen Jingo until the sun rose in the west, rivers flowed backwards and stones turned into stars.

Map of Japan by Aaron Arrowsmith c. 1812.
Japan, c.1812
Aaron Arrowsmith

Japan was first brought into contact with Europe in the sixteenth century when Francisco de Jasso y Azpilicueta (1506-1552), a Portuguese Jesuit missionary, began his teaching in the Far East in a country greatly devastated by perpetual feudal war. St. Francis Xavier reached Japan in 1549 and directed to the port of Yamaguchi.

For a time Japan welcomed European interaction, and the Christian missionaries were able to convert the Japanese to Christianity. For forty-five years the Jesuits were the only missionaries in Asia; eventually Franciscans also began proselytizing in Asia. Christian missionaries were later forced into exile, along with their assistants. Some were able to stay behind, however Christianity was then kept underground as to not be persecuted

Reprints of the Shogun are available by clicking on the image.
Kokugawa Ieyasu Japanese Shogun Lawgiver
Founder of the Tokugawa Dynasty

In 1638, closed its islands to Europeans, and they remained closed for over 200 years. During those two centuries it was forbidden to build any ship larger than a mere coasting boat. No Japanese could go abroad, and no European could enter the country.

An early steamship in Japan.
An Early Steamship among traditional
Japanese craft, watched by a warrior from the coast.

Then in 1837 a ship sailed into Yedo Bay flying a strange flag of stripes and stars, and carrying some Japanese sailors she had picked up far adrift in the Pacific. She was driven off by a cannon shot. This flag presently reappeared on other ships. In 1853 four American warships under Commodore Perry sailing into Japanese waters. Perry sent messages to the rulers. In 1854 Perry returned with ten ships, amazing ships propelled by steam, and equipped with big guns, and he made proposals for trade and intercourse that the Japanese had no power to resist. He landed with a guard of 500 men to sign the treaty.

Russia, Holland, and Britain followed in the wake of America. Foreigners entered the country, and conflicts between them and Japanese gentlemen of spirit ensued. With astonishing energy and intelligence the Japanese set themselves to bring their culture and organization up to the level of the European powers. Never in all the history of mankind did a nation make such a stride as Japan then did.

In 1603, after decades of civil warfare, the Tokugawa shogunate (a military-led, dynastic government) ushered in a long period of relative political stability and isolation from foreign influence. For more than two centuries this policy enabled Japan to enjoy a flowering of its indigenous culture. Japan opened its ports after signing the Treaty of Kanagawa with the US in 1854 and began to intensively modernize and industrialize.

Daily Alta California, November 18, 1864

Very Late from Japan

By the arrival of the Edith Rose from Shanghai, via Yokohama, we have received a copy of the Japan Herald of October 15th.

If our readers will refer back to the Herald of October 25th, 1862, they will find an account of what we then termed a “great revolution,” under which Japan had just passed, and by which a great change in the whole constitution of the country had been wrought.

1855 Map of Jaapan showing preecture boundaries.
1855 Map of Japan, showing prefecture boundaries

They will find there that amongst the laws framed by Iyeyas for the government of the country, was one by which it Daimios were compelled, with their wives and families to live alternately at Yedo (instead of Miako, as formerly) and in their provinces; and that this important law had been reversed; that by this new constitution the highest Daimios were released from this service thus far; that the highest class were compelled to visit Yedo once only in seven years, and then only for 100 days at a time; the second class only in three years; the third class remaining as heretofore; whilst in all cases their wives and families were released from the obligation to remain in Yedo, and permitted to return to their provinces. Amongst the important news of the past week is that by which, as we learn, a decree has passed by which this has been again reversed; the original order of things reconstructed, and the obligation of the Daimios to reside in Yedo again reasserted.

We are also made aware of the issuing, by the Mikado, of a decree for the entire degradation of Choshiu, Matzdaira Daizen no Daiboo.

The Prince of Nangto, it is known, has entered into engagements with the Admiral Commanding-in-chief, to pay all indemnities as they should be fixed by the foreign representatives, for past outrages on foreign flags, all the expenses of the expedition, and a ransom for Simonseki . . .

For the last ten days Silk has begun again to come to Yokohama freely and in considerable quantities. Just at first all that found its way down was either contracted for or under advances; but other parcels were soon put upon the market, and gave rise to a very animated demand at gradually increasing prices, culminating in the highest figure that was ever paid in Japan. The market now seems to be more quiet, and should the arrivals from the country continue upon a liberal footing, prices may experience a slight reaction. To all appearance, the supply will continue abundant tor at least some time to come. A considerable portion of the late arrivals turns out to be last year’s silk, in a good state of preservation. The coarse Hatchogrees of good quality. which had been all but invisible throughout this year, have again made their appearance, to a fair extent hitherto.

The prospects held out in our last for imports have been realized; through the sale of a comparatively large quantity of raw silk during the week, a considerable amount of capital has become disengaged amongst the native dealers, which aided by the exchange of Itziboos in their favor, they have been able to invest freely in imports. A considerable amount of business has been done in staple articles, and prices, with few exceptions, show a considerable advance upon last quotations.

In 1866 Japan was a caricature of the extremist romantic feudalism. By 1899 visitors to the Land of the Rising Sun found a completely Westernized people, on a level with the most advanced European powers, and well in advance of Russia.

During this time, Russia began an assault on China, which alarmed the Japanese and led to a war with Russian financial adventurers surrounding the Tsar who had gambled in the prospective looting of Manchuria and China. Japanese soldiers crossed the China sea to Port Arthur and Korea. The Russians were beaten on sea and land alike and the Russian Baltic Fleet was utterly destroyed in the Straits of Tsbusbima.

The Courtesan Kashiku in Japan.
The Courtesan Kashiku
Utagawa Kuniyasu

In joining the world powers in 1858 the shogun signed disadvantageous commercial treaties with the United States and several European countries. Tokugawa leadership was questioned, and numerous samurai attacks were made on the foreigners now allowed to enter Japan. By 1864 most activists realized that the foreigners’ military power prevented their exclusion, and they turned against the Tokugawa instead. In 1867 Japan’s warriors finally forced the resignation of the shogun, and imperial government was restored under the young Meiji emperor in 1868.

During the Meiji period, people flocked to Edo and adopted as the imperial capital. Emperor of Japan Meiji and His World from 1852 to 1912 by Donald Keene.

The government imported foreign advisors and technology for industrial, commercial, and educational purposes. Official missions were sent to examine modern Western societies. Adopting the slogan “rich country, strong army,” Japan determined to gain a position of equality with the West.

London and China Telegraph, August 8, 1892

London, United Kingdom

A Reuter’s telegram from Yokohama states that Count MATSUKATA, the Premier, has resigned in consequence of the recent appointment of Mr. KONO TOKANA, who retains his portfolio as Minister of Justice, to the Ministry of Home Affairs, which had been for some time under Count MATSUKATA’S own control. In all probability the task of forming a new Ministry will be entrusted to Count ITO, President of the Privy Council. The changes in the Ministry have certainly been made with almost kaleidoscopic rapidity of late. With the return of Count ITO, one of the strongest men in Japanese politics, it is to be hoped that further stability will be acquired.

Colonies and India, March 31, 1894
London, United Kingdom

The match makers’ returns in Japan for December last are as follows:—500 gross of safety matches, valued at 130.00 yen, exported to Australia; 108,600 gross of safety matches, valued at 32,232.50 yen, to British India; 156,100 gross of safety matches, valued at 40,325.90 yen, and 12,425 gross of phosphorus matches, valued at 5,615.20yen, to China; 25,56G gross of safety matches, valued at 5,292.50 yen, and 0,425 gross of phosphorus matches, valued at 5,620.00 yen, to Korea; 679,200 gross of safety matches, valued at 181,708.00 yen, to Hong Kong; 50 gross of safety matches, valued at 12.00 yen, to the Philippines ; 60 gross of safety matches, valued at 15.50 yen, to the United States; and 150 gross of safety matches, valued at 52.00 yen, to other countries.

Young Japanese women studying.
A young woman writing at a desk.
A girl with a book looks on.
Utamaro Kitagawa


Kobe in the 1870s.
The Port of Kobe in Japan
before and after the typhoon of 1871

Kobe covers a long and narrow stretch between the coast and the mountains and was one of the first cities to open for trade with the West, in 1868. Because Kobe is surrounded by calm, deep water, it was a desirable port. By the early 20th century, Kobe’s trade value accounted for 40 percent of Japan’s entire trade value.

London and China Telegraph, London, United Kingdom
November 1, 1892


Government sanction has been given for the erection of Oil Tanks in Kobe and work will be proceeded with forthwith, the material having already arrived. The site chosen is alongside the warehouses already existing for case oil at Wada Point, which is convenient for the discharge of steamers, which will be able to come alongside a Pier and discharge by means of a pipe line direct to the Tanks. The extension of the harbour limits having at the same time been pushed forward and promulgated, foreign vessels will, from the 1st October, be allowed to discharge at Wada. Messrs. Samuel Samuel and Co., expect their first cargo to arrive next January, and its advent will no doubt greatly lessen the sale price of Oil. Similar arrangements are also in progress as regards Yokohama.

The extension of the harbour limits of Kobe is approved of by the native Press as a necessary and judicious step to meet the requirements of the increasing prosperity of foreign trade at that place. The extension carries with it the opening of Hiogo, entirely, to foreign trade.

For some months past there has been a movement on the part of certain influential Japanese in favour of the opening of Hiogo port to foreign commerce. Practically Kobe and Hiogo are contiguous, and one and the same; it is only the bed of the Minatogawa—dry for half of the year—which divides one from the other. The petition lately forwarded to the authorities in Tokio, and backed by the personal influence of the Governor of the ken, has received official sanction, and an Imperial Ordinance has been published in the Official Gazette fixing the limits of Kobe port and harbour from Oct. 1 at Wada Point, on the south-west, and the former bed of the Ikuta River (Onohama) on the east. This decision on the part of the Government receives the hearty approval of foreigners as well as Japanese.


Daily Alta California, February 22, 1890


Important Discovery of a Japanese Druggist of Hikone.

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Silk-Worm Culture by women
Utamaro Kitagawa

Mr. Nayemnra Sakusaburo, a druggist of Hikone in Omi, after many years of experiment and patient research, has succeeded in converting wild hemp (yachyo) into a substance possessing all the essential qualities of silk. Nothing is said about the process, but it is asserted that trial of the thread has been made at the First Silk Weaving Establishment in Kyoto and at other factories with excellent results in every case. The highest encomiums have been bestowed on the inventor, and complete success appears to be within his reach. The plant in question grows wild on moors and hill-sides. Its fibre is strong and glossy, in no wise inferior to silk when properly prepared. Cultivation on an extended scale would present no difficulties. The present idea is to form a company for working it, and to establish a factory in Kyoto, where land is cheap, water exceptionally good, and facilities of transport are provided. The capital of the company will be 300,000 yen, and the name of the factory “Yachyo-ito Seizo-sho.”

Hiroshige's Kyoto Bridge by Moonlight.
Kyoto Bridge by Moonlight

Ando Hiroshige

Ando Hiroshige was born in Edo (Tokyo), the son of a samurai and fireman. At the age of twelve, both his parents died. Two years later, in 1811, the young Hiroshige received a chance to join the famous Utagawa painting school. At that time, the ukiyo-e master Toyohiro Utagawa was the head of the studio. In 1812 he was formally allowed to take the name Utagawa. From then on he called himself Utagawa Hiroshige. In the ukiyo-e literature he is usually referenced as Hiroshige Ando.

The first work by Utagawa Hiroshige was a book illustration published in 1818, when he was 21 years old. Until 1830, Hiroshige created prints in the traditional style learned from his master Toyohiro Utagawa. Typical subjects out of that time were Kabuki actors prints, beautiful women and a few warrior prints.

From 1830 on, Hiroshige Utagawa tried his luck with a new genre – landscape prints. One of his great masterpieces is the series Tokaido gojusan-tsugi no uchi created from 1833 to 1834 with 55 Hiroshige prints in oban format. In literature you will find slightly varying English translations such as Fifty-three Stages of the Tokaido or From the Fifty-three Stations of the Tokaido.


During the final years of the feudal Edo period, remained secluded and had the least contact with the Western world.

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Noge Hill in Yokohama (Japan)
Felice Beato

It was considered a small fishing village until 1853-1854 when Commodore Matthew Perry sailed in with American warships with the goal of opening ports for commerce. Initially Kanagawa-juku, one of the 53 towns along the Tokaido Road (connecting Edo to Kyoto and Osaka), was designated a port hub. However, the Tokugawa shogunate designated the village of Yokohama in the year 1859 to be the hub for foreign trade.

During the Meiji Restoration of 1868, the area developed trade agreements with Great Britain mainly and Yokohama developed into an international city.

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Russian Views of Japan, 1792-1913: An Anthology of Travel Writing, David N. Wells

Before Japan was ‘opened up’ in the 1850s, contact with Russia as well as other western maritime nations was extremely limited. Yet from the early eighteenth century onwards, as a result of their expanding commercial interests in East Asia and the North Pacific, Russians had begun to encounter Japanese and were increasingly eager to establish diplomatic and trading relations with Japan. This book presents rare narratives written by Russians – explorers, official envoys, scholars and, later, tourists – who visited Japan between 1792 and 1913. The introduction and notes set these narratives in the context of the history of Russo-Japanese relations and the genre of European travel writing, showing how the Russian writers combined ethnographic interests with the assertion of Russian and European values, simultaneously inscribing power relations and negotiating cultural difference. Students of Japanese history, nineteenth-century Russia, literature and cultural studies will find this book an invaluable insight|into the contact between two civilizations at a time when they were particularly ignorant of each other.