Archive for the ‘For Kids’ Category
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.)
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
- 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
- Cloud Formations
- The States of the U.S.
- Mountains of the U.S.
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
This recently dropped into our eMail from a shop in Australia and might interest some of our visitors:
Greetings From Downunder:
If you haven’t heard of us before perhaps now is a good time to get acquainted. The Prospectors Patch is the largest Prospecting Supplies outlet in the Southern Hemisphere (Australia, specifically) and we supply a wide range of products that support the casual prospector right on through to Small Scale Mining ventures.
We have a comprehensive On Line presence and provide our customers with substantial discounts as a reward for membership to our On Line Community. We also publish a popular Electronic Newsletter providing further discounts and advice to our membership.
Membership has no obligation yet we provide substantial discounts and additional services to those that are members.
We are also the main distributors for the Nugget Tech (Gold Magnet) range of detector Coils that are manufactured by us here in Western Australia, perhaps the toughest place on Earth by viritue of our geology when it comes to detecting gold.
If you’d like to find out more about us and our activities in the marketplace why not take a look using the links below. Hopefully, you will ‘Treasure The Experience’.
Here’s a link to their store: The Prospector’s Patch, which includes Buying or Selling Gold.
Jamie and Maddy
Editor’s Note: We LOVE Australia. Wandered through Brisbane, Cairns, Port Douglas and dove the Great Barrier Reef a few years ago. Some of the nicest people on the planet live in Australia and their history as noted on The Maritime Heritage Project site is fascinating.
Anthropologists believe that Aboriginal peoples reached Sydney Harbour at least 40,000 years ago. Tribes lived in the area now known as Sydney until the English arrived and caused violent disruption to their lives.
Children are fascinated with sailing ships, lighthouses, whaling, shipwrecks, and mutinies, and these 50-plus activities will provide them with a boatful of fun. This activity guide shows kids what life was like for the greenhands, old salts, and captains on the high seas during the great age of sail in the 19th century: aboard square-riggers, clippers, whalers, schooners, and packet ships.
Life aboard ship was an exciting subculture of American life with its own language, food, music, art, and social structure. Children will learn that many captains brought their wives and children aboard ship, and that kids who learned how to walk at sea often found it difficult to walk on dry land.
The book begins with the China Tea trade in the late 18th century and ends with the last whaler leaving New Bedford in 1924. Kids will create scrimshaw using black ink and a bar of white soap; make a model lighthouse using a bike reflector, an oatmeal box, and a plastic soda bottle; and paint China with traditional designs using a blue paint pen and a basic white plate. Included are additional simple activities requiring common household objects.
Pirates of the Caribbean for Children
including “Melissa & Doug Travel Memory Game,” License Plate Game, Zobmondon “Would You Rather . . . ? Pocket Travel Game, Quick Picks Password Travel Game, Travel Magnetic Game Board, Bingo, Dr. Seuss Cat in the Hat Card Game, 6-in-1 Travel Magnetic Games