Wednesday, August 30, 2023

30 August - The HMS Pandora sank in 1791


The HMS Pandora, a British Royal Navy ship, did indeed sink after running aground on the outer Great Barrier Reef on August 29, 1791. The ship was sent on a mission to capture the mutineers from the famous HMS Bounty, who had taken control of the ship and sailed it to Tahiti.

After capturing some of the mutineers, the HMS Pandora continued its journey but encountered treacherous waters and strong currents on the outer Great Barrier Reef. The ship struck a reef and began to take on water. Despite efforts to save the ship, it eventually sank on August 30, 1791. The incident resulted in the loss of several crew members, including some of the captured mutineers, as well as a significant amount of valuable cargo.

The wreck of the HMS Pandora was discovered in the late 20th century, and it has since become an important historical and archaeological site. The shipwreck provides insights into maritime history and the events surrounding the famous mutiny on the HMS Bounty.

Tuesday, August 22, 2023

The Roanoke Voyages during the late 16th century


The Roanoke Voyages refer to a series of expeditions to establish an English colony in the Americas during the late 16th century. The most well-known of these voyages is often referred to as the "Lost Colony" due to the mysterious disappearance of the settlers.

  1. First Roanoke Voyage (1584): Sponsored by Sir Walter Raleigh, an English explorer, the first expedition was led by Arthur Barlowe and Philip Amadas. They explored the coast of what is now North Carolina and established friendly relations with local Native American tribes. Their positive reports about the region inspired further expeditions.

  2. Second Roanoke Voyage (1585-1586): This expedition, led by Sir Richard Grenville and Ralph Lane, aimed to establish a colony on Roanoke Island. However, due to tensions with the Native Americans and a lack of supplies, the colony struggled. When Sir Francis Drake arrived to offer assistance in 1586, the colonists chose to return to England with him.

  3. Third Roanoke Voyage (1587): John White led this expedition, which aimed to establish a more permanent colony on Roanoke Island. White returned to England for supplies, leaving behind a group of colonists, including his granddaughter Virginia Dare, who was the first English child born in the New World. When White returned in 1590, he found the colony abandoned, with the only clue being the word "CROATOAN" carved into a post.

The fate of the Roanoke colonists remains a historical mystery. The term "Croatoan" referred to a nearby island and a Native American tribe. Some theories suggest that the settlers may have integrated with local tribes or relocated to a different area. Despite various archaeological and historical investigations, the exact fate of the "Lost Colony" continues to elude researchers.

The Roanoke Voyages are significant in the history of English colonization in the Americas and are often seen as a prelude to the more successful establishment of Jamestown, Virginia, in 1607. The mystery surrounding the fate of the settlers has captured the imagination of historians and storytellers for centuries.


Thursday, August 17, 2023

17 August - Robert Fulton's the first steamboat in public service


Clermont, byname of North River Steamboat of Clermont, the first steamboat in public service (1807), designed by American engineer Robert Fulton and built in New York City by Charles Brown with the financial backing of Robert Livingston.

Although named North River Steamboat of Clermont, it became known as the Clermont. The steamboat was 133 feet (41 metres) long and 12 feet (4 metres) wide and had a draft of 2 feet (0.6 metre). Engines built by Boulton and Watt in England drove the two side paddle wheels, each of which were 15 feet (5 metres) in diameter. On its first voyage, August 17, 1807, the Clermont averaged close to 5 miles (about 8 km) per hour for the 150 miles (240 km) up the Hudson River to Albany, New York. The Clermont inaugurated the first profitable venture in steam navigation, carrying paying passengers between Albany and New York City.

Friday, August 4, 2023

04 August - US Coast Guard Day


US Coast Guard Day is observed annually on August 4th to commemorate the founding of the United States Coast Guard (USCG). On this day, the nation honors the men and women who serve in the Coast Guard and their contributions to safeguarding the country's maritime interests and protecting its waters.

The US Coast Guard was established on August 4, 1790, when President George Washington signed into law the Tariff Act, which authorized the construction of ten revenue cutters to enforce federal tariff and trade laws and prevent smuggling. These early cutters, which were the predecessors of the modern Coast Guard, played a vital role in protecting American ports and ensuring the security of the nation's coastal waters.

Over the years, the Coast Guard's mission has evolved and expanded to include various roles such as search and rescue operations, maritime law enforcement, environmental protection, ice breaking, and maintaining navigational aids, among others.

On US Coast Guard Day, various events and ceremonies are held across the country to pay tribute to the service and dedication of Coast Guard members. It is a day to recognize their bravery, commitment to duty, and the sacrifices they make to protect and serve the American people and the nation's maritime interests.

Friday, July 28, 2023

28 July - S.S Komagata Maru was forced to leave Vancouver in 1914


On 28 July 1914, The S.S Komagata Maru was forced to leave Vancouver and sailed for India.

The Komagata Maru incident involved the Japanese steamship Komagata Maru, on which a group of citizens of the British Raj attempted to emigrate to Canada in 1914, but were denied entry and forced to return to Calcutta (present-day Kolkata), India. There they were fired upon by Indian Imperial Police, resulting in the deaths of 20 Sikhs.

Komagata Maru sailed from British Hong Kong, via Shanghai, China, and Yokohama, Japan, to Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, in 1914, carrying 376 passengers from Punjab, British India. Of them, 24 were admitted to Canada, but the other 352 passengers were not allowed to disembark in Canada, and the ship was forced to return to India.The passengers comprised 337 Sikhs, 27 Muslims and 12 Hindus, all Punjabis and British subjects. This was one of several incidents in the early 20th century in which exclusion laws in Canada and the United States were used to exclude immigrants of Asian origin.