The Maritime Heritage Project.

Archive for the ‘For Kids’ Category

Seafaring Books for Kids


Treasure Hunters

Treasure Hunters.
James Patterson

Treasure Hunters.
The Kidd siblings have grown up diving down to shipwrecks and traveling the world, helping their famous parents recover everything from swords to gold doubloons from the bottom of the ocean. But after their parents disappear n the job, the kids are suddenly thrust into the biggest treasure hunt of their lives.

They’ll have to work together to defeat dangerous pirates and dodge the hot pursuit of an evil treasure hunting rival, all while following cryptic clues to unravel the mystery of what really happened to their parents–and find out if they’re still alive.


Ghost Ship

(Paula Wiseman Books)
Mary Higgins Clark

Thomas loved his summer visits to his grandmother’s on Cape Cod.

Ghost Ship.He spent hours wondering about the sailing ships of the past and imagining their stories. He dreamed of being on a sailing ship himself. One afternoon after a night of terrible thunderstorms, Thomas finds, deep in the sand, a weathered, old-fashioned belt buckle. When he picks it up, a boy his own age, Silas Rich, who was a cabin boy on a ship called the Monomoy that sailed almost 250 years ago, appears. Suddenly the world of sailing ships is very near as Silas tells his tale.

Beloved and bestselling author Mary Higgins Clark tells a story of mystery and adventure that will transport readers to a time and place beyond their imaginings in her first book for children. Wendell Minor’s inspired paintings make a time long ago very real.


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.


PirateIn 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.

Pirates.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.

Pirates of Somalia.Pirates of Somalia.
The Pirates of Somalia
Inside Their Hidden World

Jay Bahadur
Somali Pirates.Somali Pirates.
A Captain’s Duty
Somali Pirates, Navy SEALs
Dangerous Days at Sea
Richard Phillips
Somali Pirates.Somali Pirates.
Pirates of Somalia [HD]Pirates of Somalia.
The Somali Pirate
Quinn HaberThe Somali Pirate.
Pirates.The Somali Pirate.
The Somali Pirate Project
Human Prey in the Gulf of Aden

J. C. Carlson, Robert C. Hinz,
Aubrey Boardman, Matt Boardman
Pirate State.
Pirate State:
Inside Somalia’s Terrorism at SeaPirate State.
Peter Eichstaedt

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 PhillipsPirates., 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.

November 8, 1896
Los Angeles Herald
Los Angeles, California

Most Notorious Thieves in the World’s History
The Rifs Have Plundered Vessels for Centuries

France Has Determined to Wipe Them Out and Incidentally Change the Map of Africa.

It is generally supposed that pirates no longer exist, except in the lurid litertaure sold to small boys. This is a mistake. France has just fitted out three warships for the purpose of wiping out a nation of pirates, and Spain stands ready to help France, if any help be needed.

The pirates are the Rifs of Morocco.

Long before the dawn of the Christian era these people were pirates, and they are just as much in the business today as ever. Century after century they have plundered on sea and on laud, and none of the great powers have been ambitious to declare war upon them and bring them to terms. This is all the more strange for the reason that the great modern guns of the English, mounted on the rock of Gibraltar, could almost throw a projectile across the strait and into the country inhabited by the pirates. Rlf means “the coast” ln the native language, and while the Rifflans are nominally the subjects of the sultan of Morocco, he has as much control over them as he has over the Indians of Alaska. All of the resources of Moorish ferocity, cruelty, craft and power have been employed to bring the Riffian to. terms, but without success.

The sultan of Morocco if not a peaceful gentleman, by any means, and deeds of gross inhumanity are of common occurrence with him, but he is not the equal of the Rlf pirate in these matters. The ltif country is not extensive, being but fifty-eight mill s wide and 210 miles in length, but if the sultan could control it, it would yield rich returns to his tax-gatherers. Moreover. It could be made of immense commercial value, as it includes all of that part of Morocco fronting upon the Mediterranean sea, running from the city of Centa, which is directly opiinsHe-ftiiMa-ltar, to the boundary line ‘Hvfaing Algeria and Morocco.


A few weeks ago a swarm of Rif pirates in their peculiar little boats called feluccas sailed out to the French ship Corinte. overpowered the crew and plundered her. While they were at work the Spanish steamship Sevilla came to the rescues of the Frenchmen, but the pirates swarmed up on the decks of the Seviila, killed five men, gathered up a lot of booty and then disappeared.

When the news of this outrageous act reached the French people they were angry, but the statesman of France were mightily pleased. The outrage has given them an excuse for descending upon the Rif country, conquering it t and adding it to their already large possessions in Algeria.

There would be no use appealing to the sultan of Morocco for redress, for, as has been stated, he is  powerless to punish the niftians. He could be made to pay immense damages for the depredations of his nominal subjects, but France prefers to seek her own vengeance and collect her own damages.

These latter will probaly take the form of the whole Rif country, and, if accomplished, it will be the first step on tha part of a European power to break into the territory of the sultanate of Morocco.

Morocco is classed with other small portions of Africa under the sinister head of “unappropriated.” But if the plans of the French succeed this will have to be changed, as well as the map of Africa. If the sultan of Morocco should show fight against the French he would be in danger of losing the whole of his kingdom, as other European nations would not be likely to interfere in his behalf while France and Russia are so closely attached.


Not the least curious thing about the Riffians is that nothing, or comparatively nothing is know about them, although their country is nearer to southern Europe than any other in northern Africa. The reason of this is their barbarous cruelty and hostility to all strangers. The most venturesome tourists never travel into their territory, as such a venture would be certain death. Two or three men by disguising themselves as Moors have within the past twenty years succeeded in making some investigations of the country, but nothing of a certain and extensive character has been gleaned. It is estimated that the population of the Rif country is about 105,000. They are not Moors, but come of Berber or aboriginal stock. They are Mohammedans, but they would murder one of their own religious belief as soon as they would kill a Christian. They are divided Into countless little tribes, and when they have nothing better to do fight among themselves. But on a threatened invasion by the regular forces of the sultan they flock together and present a united front to the enemy.


The Rifs are well armed and know how to use the modern munitions of war with considerable skill. Within the past year they have plundered about a dozen vessels, and the crews of these have reported that the pirates had rifles of recent make. They wear body sashes holding many knives and pistols, and in boarding vessels always use short swords or daggers in preference to firearms. The last venturesome explorer who succeeded in getting a partial glimpse of the Rif country was an Englishman named Harris. Disguised as a Moorish trader, with his arms and legs stained a deep brown, he managed to avoid detection for some months. He spoke Arabic fairly well, but demed it wiser to pose as a deaf mute. He was accompanied by an Arab boy who did all the talking, and who proved a valuable assistant. This trip was made in 1888.

This explorer found that the Lesser Atlas mountains, which run along the Rlf country parallel with the coast, were splendidly fortified with cannon. Every Rif native is something of a blacksmith and armorer, understanding how to mold bullets, make powder and to repair guns. They buy their guns by making secret Journeys to Algerian and Spanish ports, and it is believed that they exchange their plunder with certain traders for whatever they need. Moorish customs officers have endeavored to break up the traffic and thereby cripple the Rifflans, but the latter worsted them so badly that of late years they have done as they pleased. It remains to be seen what the French will do with them. A French cruiser has been ordered from Toulon to the Rif coast, and Admiral Gervals, commander of the Mediterranean squadron, has, under orders from Paris, sent the cruiser Troude and the dispatch boat D’lbervllle to the scene of what promises to be a bloody conflict

Africa Political Map.

Africa Political Map.

Ship Building Kits and Instruction

Revell 1:72 Caribbean Pirate Ship

The galleon appeared on the early morning horizon, off the port, bearing down on us from out of the blood-red sunrise. At first, we mistook her for another merchant ship, traveling home from Jamaica or the Bahamas, heavy with cargo. But no, she was moving too fast. As she approached, she dropped her main sail to reveal the skull and crossbones. We went hard to starboard, full speed. praying she would not catch us” and that was the last entry in the journal found floating.

Da Vinci Catapult Kit, Wood, 3B Scientific W64067

Fully functioning, scale model of Leonardo Da Vinci catapult for demonstration of historical launching device. Flings soft clay balls (included) up to 15 feet for realistic reproduction of discharge.
Made of wood for durability. Assembly required.

Revell RMS Titanic

1/350 Scale Model

RMS Titanic of Britain’s White Star Corporation was the biggest moving object ever built. She was backed with superior quality and performance. The RMS (Royal Mail Ship) Titanic, an Olympic class luxury passenger liner, sank on April 15, 1912, en route to New York from Southampton, England on its maiden voyage. She had a double-bottomed hull divided into 16 watertight compartments.

The Titanic struck an iceberg on the night of April 14, at 11:40 PM and sank, with great loss of life, at 2:20 AM, on April 15, 1912.
The United States Senate investigation reported that 1,517 people perished in the accident, while the British investigation has the number at 1,490. The disaster ranks as one of the worst peacetime maritime disasters in history, and is by far the best known. It carried some of the richest, most powerful industrialists, multi-millionaire entrepreneurs of her day. The sinking of Titanic has been the basis for many novels describing fictionalized events on board the ship, such as Titanic: The Long Night written by Diane Hoh. The book A Night to Remember was made into a movie in 1958 and was also transformed into ‘Titanic: The Musical’, with a book by Peter Stone and music and lyrics by Maury Yeston. The 1997 film Titanic, starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet was a critical and commercial hit, winning eleven Academy Awards and holding the record for the highest box office returns of all time.

Waterline Warships: An Illustrated Masterclass

Philip Reed, Seaforth Publishing

Reed, best known for his superb models of ships from the age of sail, turns his attention to the other highly popular subject for ship modelers-the warships of the Second World War. The book is a step-by-step manual for building a scratch waterline model of the Ca Class destroyer HMS Caesar, the sistership of Cavalier now on display in drydock at Chatham Historical Dockyard. These emergency built ships were launched between 1943 and 1945.

Building Ship Models: Patterns and Instructions for a Clipper Ship and a Whaler

George B. Douglas, Joseph T. Higgins, et al.

Clearly written text, detailed illustrations and full-size working plans provide novices and experienced model builders with a treasury of information for creating the Benjamin F. Packard, a classic American clipper, and the Alice Mandell, a famous 19th-century whaler.

American Ship Models and How to Build Them

Victor Redmond Grimwood

A particular suitability for beginners distinguishes this classic guide to ship modeling from the many other available manuals. Both text and plans are especially geared toward the growing skills of novices, with projects presented in easy-to-learn techniques arranged in order of difficulty, from relatively simple models to complicated square-riggers. The plans are drawn from those of the original builders or from measurements of existing craft, showing all the necessary details.

The Built-Up Ship Model

Charles G. Davis

Dover Trade Paperback

A classic in its field, THE BUILT-UP SHIP MODEL is an expert guide aimed at model builders with experience, patience, and a passion for building “the real thing.” Photographs illustrate day-to-day work in progress. Over 100 drawings demonstrate correct implementation of the more complex instructions. In his introduction, the author chronicles the exciting career of the Lexington and the role it played in America’s fight for freedom.

A Day in the Life of a Colonial Shipwright

PowerKids Press

Canada-Pre Confederation (to 1867)

Part of a series that includes Millers and Glassblowers

Age range: 12 to 16

Describes a day in the life of a shipbuilder in 1777 discussing training, key figures in the field, and steps to building a ship.

Travel back in time and spend a day in the life of a real citizen during the earliest days of our nation. The book is part of a series featuring a person who actually lived and worked during Colonial times. The books offer original period documents, oil paintings, etchings, and woodcuts that portray the colonial era. These primary sources bring depth and authenticity to young readers’ exploration of life before the American Revolution. The captivating stories of these real-life characters, some of them American icons, will make history tangible and fun. John Langdon, a former representative to the second Continental Congress, owned the Langdon Shipyard in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. (Note: Is not always available.)

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.

Seafaring Films for the Family

Blue Planet.

Blue Planet:
Seas of Life
(Five-Disc Special Edition)

David Attenborough

Producer Alastair Fothergill and his team from the BBC put together one of the most breathtaking explorations of the world’s oceans ever assembled: The Blue Planet: Seas of Life. The film is the winner of two Emmy Awards and is the definitive exploration of the marine world, chronicling the mysteries the deep in ways never before imagined.

The Little Mermaid.The Little Mermaid

(Two-Disc Platinum Edition)

Master and Commander.

Master And Commander

Based on a series of books by Patrick O’Brian, and directed by Peter Weir, “Master And Commander” plunges viewers deep into the story of a British Navy ship at sea during the Napoleonic war.

Master and Commander (Movie Tie-In Edition)

Great Barrier Reef.

The Great Barrier Reef (IMAX)

The Great Barrier Reef unveils the most colorful and diverse undersea world ever seen. Viewers will be taken on a breathtaking journey through the largest coral reef system on the planet, stretching over 1,400 miles along the east coast of Australia. Experience the beauty of the reef while learning about its colorful and often dangerous inhabitants and their remarkable interrelationships. This spectacular film opens an unparalleled window on this beautiful and fragile world. Like most of our incredible reefs, the Great Barrier Reef is suffering from overuse and carelessness.

Dive travel.

Dive Travel Belize Home of the Famous Blue Hole

Belize is known for its ancient Maya ruins, beautiful rainforest, magnificent barrier reef and wonderful miles of cave system. This film takes you to Lighthouse Reef Atoll, one of four coral atolls in the Caribbean and home to two World Heritage Sites; Halfmoon Caye and Blue Hole National Monuments, both managed by the Belize Audubon Society. Blue Hole was first made famous by Jacque Cousteau and has since become one of the most popular dive destinations in the world.

Coral Reef Adventure.

IMAX: Coral Reef Adventure [Blu-ray]

Liam Neeson.
CORAL REEF ADVENTURE offers a breathtaking look at the picturesque scenery of the South Pacific. With a combination of awesome underwater cinematographers and oceanographic experts, this is an intriguing look at some of the coral reef and ocean bed that surrounds the tropical islands. Some of the reefs are slowly eroding, so this is an important historical document of sights that are sadly not destined to be around forever.

Muppet Treasure Island.

Muppet Treasure Island
Kermit’s 50th Anniversary Edition

Legendary Pirate Movies:

  • Captain Kidd
  • The Son Of Monte Cristo
  • Long John Silver’s Return To Treasure Island

Disney’s 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea

(Two-Disc Special Edition)

Atlantis – The Lost Empire

Belial is an evil man advising the royal family of Atlantis, who is discovered by a courageous princess to be attempting to gain God-like controls over nature. Will she be able to stop him before he destroys their entire world?