The National Maritime Historical Society

Join Us for the 2016 Holiday Potluck and the Norseman Saga

Norseman Saga and Holiday Potluck party at Cortlandt Yacht Club
238 Kings Ferry Rd, Montrose, NY 10548
Saturday, 3 December
10:30 am Coffee; 11 am Lecture


James L. Nelsondraken_harald_sm
James Nelson is the author of The Two Hundred Year Invasion: Vikings, Their Raids, Their Settlements, and the Ships that Got Them There and former professional in traditional sail.  He  has written more than twenty works of fiction and nonfiction, all centered on the maritime world.

By the latter part of the 8th century, all of Europe was plunged into the Dark Ages, a violent and uncertain time. Then suddenly and seemingly without warning, a new menace swept onto the scene as Viking raiders from Denmark, Norway, and Sweden began crossing the oceans to plunder England, Ireland and the Continent. These Norse invaders came first to pillage, and later to conquer and settle. In less than a hundred years after their depredations began, the Vikings had become a major military and political force throughout Europe.

Author James L. Nelson, who has previously written on such topics as piracy and the naval action of the American Revolution, turns his attention to his own ancestors, the Norsemen, and their raiding and later settling in Europe, and Ireland in particular. He will also discuss the technological advances and unique aspects of Norse ship design and building, and how those advances helped drive the Viking invasion. Nelson is currently working on a series of novels that chronicle the adventures of Viking Thorgrim Night Wolf and company in 9th-century Ireland.

Join us for our Holiday Pot Luck Party with James Nelson after the presentation.
Please bring a dish, drink or dessert that serves six to eight people.
Reservations are required.

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NMHS Secretary Jean Wort Honored by Clearwater

clrwtrjw1We’re thrilled that Jean Wort was honored by Clearwater at their 2nd annual gala on 13 November. NMHS chairman Ronald Oswald, NMHS president Burchenal Green and trustees Walter Brown and Howard Slotnick were on hand to join in recognizing NMHS secretary Jean Wort, who received the Spirit of the Hudson award.

Captain Wort has worked to preserve the Hudson River’s natural beauty as a trustee or honorary director of the Hudson Highlands Land Trust, the Orange County Land Trust, the Nature Museum of the Hudson Highlands, the Orange County Citizens Foundation, the Fort Montgomery Battle Site and the Constitution Island Association. She has served on the Town of Highlands Planning Board and was appointed commissioner for Orange County for the Hudson Fulton Champlain Quadricentennial from 2002 to 2010.

This year’s gala also hosted the largest number of Clearwater captains ever assembled. They have a unique position as environmental leaders on the Hudson River. In addition to piloting the sloop, the captain and crew share a mission to educate and inspire all passengers who sail on Clearwater, as well as the Clearwater members who serve as weekly volunteer crew.

clrwtrjw2

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December Charles Point Council Seminar: Norseman Saga

Saturday, 3 December
‘Norseman Saga’ and HOLIDAY POT LUCK PARTY at Cortlandt Yacht Club
James L. Nelsondraken_harald_sm
By the latter part of the 8th Century, all of Europe was plunged into the Dark Ages, a violent and uncertain time. Then suddenly and seemingly without warning, a new menace swept onto the scene as Viking raiders from Denmark, Norway and Sweden began crossing the oceans to plunder England, Ireland and the Continent. These Norse invaders came first to pillage, and later to conquer and settle. In less than a hundred years after their depredations began, the Vikings had become a major military and political force throughout Europe.

Author James L. Nelson, who has previously written on such topics as piracy and the naval action of the American Revolution, turns his attention to his own ancestors, the Norsemen, and their raiding and later settling in Europe, and Ireland in particular. He will also discuss the technological advances and unique aspects of Norse ship design and building, and how those advances helped drive the Viking invasion. Nelson is currently working on a series of novels that chronicle the adventures of Viking Thorgrim Night Wolf and company in 9th Century Ireland.

James Nelson has written more than twenty works of fiction and nonfiction, all centered on the maritime world.  Book signing to follow.

Holiday Pot luck

Join us for our Holiday Pot Luck Party with James Nelson after the presentation.
Please bring a dish, drink or dessert that serves six to eight people.

Cortlandt Yacht Club
238 Kings Ferry Road, Montrose, NY  10548

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November Charles Point Council Seminar: Operation Eagle Claw

 Saturday, 12 November
Operation Eagle Claw – Rescue from the Sea – Iranian Hostage Crisis
Lawrence Brennan

Hendrick Hudson Free Library – 185 Kings Ferry Road, Montrose, NY 10548
Continental Breakfast and Registration:  10:30 AM
Presentation:  11:00 AM

One of Delta Force’s first missions, Operation Eagle Claw was a US Armed Forces operation ordered by President Jimmy Carter to attempt to end the Iran hostage crisis by rescuing 52 embassy staff held captive at the Embassy of the United States, Tehran.

Join us as author CAPT Lawrence Brennan, USN (Ret.) explores the origin of 35 years of conflict between the United States and the Islamic Republic of Iran and President Carter v. the Ayatollah. He was the JAG on the USS NIMITZ (CVN 68) which launched the eight RH helicopters which penetrated Iranian airspace bound for Desert One on the evening of 24 April 1981.  Captain Brennan writes extensively about naval history, maritime and legal matters. The US Naval Institute’s Naval History (December 2016) recently published his commentary about the court martial of the Commanding Officer of USS INDIANAPOLIS (CA35), Captain Charles B. McVay, III.

He is an adjunct Professor of Law at Fordham Law School who teaches the Admiralty and International Maritime Law Course. He was a Federal Litigator for the U.S. Department of Justice and is a lawyer in private practice in New York City.  Also, he served at sea and ashore for more than 33 years.

As a Navy Lieutenant, he spent months in the Persian Gulf Northern Arabian Sea areas on board an aircraft carrier.  He was counsel for the Navy Investigation into the fatal air crash on board NIMITZ that led to the “Zero Tolerance” anti-drug program following 14 deaths and more than 50 serious injuries, and was the action officer on CNO’s staff who reviewed the investigation into the shoot down of an Iranian Airbus by USS VINCENNES that resulted in more than 200 fatalities.

Professor Brennan has extensive experience litigating and investigating major marine casualties on both the civil and criminal side.

 

The public is invited. Please email the National Maritime Historical Society or phone 914 737-7878, ext. 0 if you plan to attend. A $5 to $10 donation is appreciated. If you would also like to join NMHS and the speaker for lunch following the presentation, it is $25 prepaid, with cash bar. Reservations required.

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Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum Receives Grant for Education Programs

The Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum has been given a $60,000 grant from the Wallace Genetic Foundation of Washington, DC, to expand the reach of its educational programming. The funds will support a new boatshop educational program for local sixth graders, and a new bus scholarship program that helps more students from throughout the Delmarva region participate in CBMM’s curriculum-based programs and field trips. The museum is seeking additional support for full funding and anticipates launching both programs in 2016.

CBMM_6thGradeBoatyardProgram_Oct2015-239x300The boatshop program is a pilot initiative in collaboration with the YMCA of the Chesapeake and the Academy Art Museum of Easton. The museum plans to offer two six-week afterschool boatbuilding sessions to Talbot County sixth-grade students. During the pilot program, students will learn woodworking and boatbuilding during fall and winter sessions, and in the warmer months will be invited to participate in on-the-water activities on CBMM small craft and other vessels, where they will be introduced to basic navigational and maritime skills through safe, supportive, and fun experiences. Students enrolled in the program will have the option of continuing on as an after-school participant, joining CBMM’s Apprentice for a Day (AFAD) program, or exploring the other athletic or artistic activities offered by the YMCA of the Chesapeake and the Academy Art Museum respectively.

The museum’s new bus scholarship program is designed to boost student visitation from states throughout the Chesapeake Bay watershed, prioritizing Title 1 schools, providing disadvantaged students the opportunity to explore the Chesapeake first-hand. Museum president Kristen Greenaway  points out: “Bus transportation can regularly cost upwards of $500 for a half-day field trip. By creating a bus scholarship program that will reimburse schools for up to $300 per bus, we will be able to expand our reach to area schoolchildren that have not previously been able to visit the museum.”

The museum is also developing a program for Talbot County’s sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders to participate in week-long camp sessions, offered in collaboration with the YMCA of the Chesapeake. When full funding is met, CBMM plans to condense its six-week after-school session into a week-long, full-day summer camp. The existing boatbuilding and maritime activities will be enriched by off-site trips to outdoor destinations that complement the Chesapeake maritime theme, while underscoring self-discovery, personal achievement, exploration, and fun for each participant.

 

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20th Annual Moby-Dick Marathon

The New Bedford Whaling Museum will mark its 20th marathon reading of Moby-Dick the weekend of 7–10 January. The reading will begin at noon on Saturday, 9 January and include more than 150 participants reading short passages from the novel; it will last 25 hours. Tie-in events include the opening of the exhibit Oásis by Nuno Sá, Portugal’s most awarded wildlife photographer, the dedication of the museum’s Herman Melville Room, a Moby-Dick-inspired dinner (a ticketed event), and a lecture. The exhibition Mapping Ahab’s “Storied Waves”: Whaling and the Geography of Moby-Dick will make its debut as well.

image: New Bedford Whaling Museum

image: New Bedford Whaling Museum

Prior to the reading, the museum will test the Moby-Dick trivia mastery of Melville Society Cultural Project members with Stump the Scholars. Once the reading marathon begins, readings held around the museum will be interspersed with performances and music; and select passages will be read in languages other than English. The museum will also host an abridged reading for children, as well as an abridged one conducted in Portuguese.

For more information, visit the event website.

 

 

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Peking will Return to Hamburg

The South Street Seaport Museum has announced that the 1911 barque Peking will return to Hamburg, Germany, to serve as the centerpiece of that city’s new waterfront museum.

Photo: Bob-AthinsonLaunched at Hamburg’s Blohm & Voss shipyard, Peking was one of the famed Flying P line sailing for the Reederei F. Laeisz in the nitrate and wheat trade around Cape Horn. One of only four surviving ships of the Flying P fleet—the others are Kruzhenstern (ex-Padua), Pommern, and PassatPeking was made famous by sailing legend Irving Johnson. In 1929 Johnson and his friend Charles Brodhead signed on as paying passengers aboard the barque, with the intention of soaking up the experience of sailing a tall ship, working with the crew as much as they could get away with it. The experience was captured both in Johnson’s book The Peking Battles Cape Horn,  which can be found in the NMHS bookstore) and the film Around Cape Horn, available through Mystic Seaport.

Peking came to the South Street Seaport Museum in 1975, joining the Liverpool-built Wavertree of 1885, Ambrose, Pioneer and Lettie G. Howard. In recent years, however, South Street determined that financial realities would not support two such large ships, given the cost of maintaining them in good condition.  Capt. Jonathan Boulware, executive director of the Seaport Museum, summed it up:

“South Street Seaport Museum has long worked to maintain a fleet of well-maintained, relevant historic ships at her East River piers. The idea of recreating the “Street of Ships” is an important one, but what is clear is that two huge sailing ships are a crushing burden of maintenance. Our 1885 ship Wavertree, currently the subject of a $13 million city-funded restoration project, is the right ship for the Seaport Museum and for New York. Wavertree called at New York. She is the type of ship that built New York. Peking has a similar relationship to Hamburg. With the return of Wavertree in the middle of 2016, there will again be a huge square-rigged sailing ship at South Street  in outstanding condition. Peking will return to Hamburg, the city of her birth, and there be cared for in much the same way. This is good for the Seaport Museum and it’s good for Peking.”

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Group Searching for Episodes of the British Seafarer

A group of sailing, folk music and old-time radio enthusiasts in the UK has put out the call for recordings of the BBC radio series The British Seafarer: A history in 26 parts in the words of those who have made the history. The documentary series was broadcast in 1980, 1981, and 1982, but has never been aired again.

towerThe British Seafarer was composed and directed by Michael Mason, in collaboration with the National Maritime Museum. Mason debuted his popular approachable documentary style with a program about the Bayeux Tapestry and went on to produce such popular series as The Long March of Everyman and Plain Tales from the Raj.

The preservation group, “a loose collective of sailing and folk enthusiasts,” has noted that radio productions from our not-so-distant past are disappearing, and strives to search out recordings in private hands to make digitized copies that can be made available to libraries and interested enthusiasts. This is done on an amateur basis, using their own funds and computing equipment.

By User Iain from en:Wikipedia, via Wikimedia Commons

By User Iain from en:Wikipedia, via Wikimedia Commons

If you own a recording of an episode of The British Seafarers, please contact Mr. Chris Brady, who has been spreading the word of this latest project. If you know of someone who recorded BBC radio programs in the 1980s or collected recordings of them, please let them know of this appeal.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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