Wednesday, 20 May 2009

That other ship America

In this case the huge 'US 66 America' aircraft carrier,a fantastic photograph taken in St Maarten,West Indies around 1994/5 by my good friend Notty,yacht Jacana,by then there was a half kilometer exclusion zone around the ship,so this telephoto lens shot he took was a near as he got,we were lucky to be invited on board in the years before.

I asked Notty to pin point the date that US America was there,this is as close as he can get,does any crewmember have the correct date for me?

The nearest I can pin down the time is by working backwards, we were outside Simpson Bay Lagoon at the time so must have been preparing to leave St Marten. We arrived in the Azores after a 25 day trip, well in time for my Birthday on 26th July where we held a little party so we must have left St. Marten sometime in June. So the shot was taken in May or June 1995.
There is no information on the slide to say which camera took it but I think it may have been Dion's Cannon using a standard 50-mm lens and normal film as my Cannon had grown algae on the lens by then.

The First Fleet into Jamestown,USA,circa 1607

A Roy McBride photo,taken with a Canon FT camera and a 1.4 50mm lens.

On a visit to the USA IN 1977,I was surprised to see such a dedicated approach to the reconstruction of Americas first settlement town in Virginia,a full village had been constructed but also a sea port with three real ships,do they still exist?

Jamestown Colony
First years (1607-09)
English colony, North America
First years (1607–09)
Most Indian tribes of the region were part of the Powhatan empire, with Chief Powhatan as its head. The colonists’ relations with the local tribes were mixed from the beginning. The two sides conducted business with each other, the English trading their metal tools and other goods for the Native Americans’ food supplies. At times the Indians showed generosity in providing gifts of food to the colony. On other occasions, encounters between the colonists and the tribes turned violent, and the Native Americans occasionally killed colonists who strayed alone outside the fort.

On May 21, 1607, a week after the colonists began occupying Jamestown, Newport took five colonists (including Smith) and 18 sailors with him on an expedition to explore the rivers flowing into the Chesapeake and to search for a way to the Pacific Ocean. On returning, they found that the colony had endured a surprise attack and had managed to drive the attackers away only with cannon fire from the ships. However, when Newport left for England on June 22 with the Susan Constant and the Godspeed—leaving the smaller Discovery behind for the colonists—he brought with him a positive report from the council in Jamestown to the Virginia Company. The colony’s leaders wrote, and probably believed, that the colony was in good condition and on track for success.

The report proved too optimistic. The colonists had not carried out the work in the springtime needed for the long haul, such as building up the food stores and digging a freshwater well. The first mass casualties of the colony took place in August 1607, when a combination of bad water from the river, disease-bearing mosquitoes, and limited food rations created a wave of dysentery, severe fevers, and other serious health problems. Numerous colonists died, and at times as few as five able-bodied settlers were left to bury the dead. In the aftermath, three members of the council—John Smith, John Martin, and John Ratcliffe—acted to eject Edward-Maria Wingfield from his presidency on September 10. Ratcliffe took Wingfield’s place. It was apparently a lawful transfer of power, authorized by the company’s rules that allowed the council to remove the president for just cause.

Shortly after Newport returned in early January 1608, bringing new colonists and supplies, one of the new colonists accidentally started a fire that leveled all of the colony’s living quarters. The fire further deepened the colony’s dependence on the Indians for food. In accord with the Virginia Company’s objectives, much of the colony’s efforts in 1608 were devoted to searching for gold. Newport had brought with him two experts in gold refining (to determine whether ore samples contained genuine gold), as well as two goldsmiths. With the support of most of the colony’s leadership, the colonists embarked on a lengthy effort to dig around the riverbanks of the area. Councillor John Smith objected, believing the quest for gold was a diversion from needed practical work. “There was no talke, no hope, no worke, but dig gold, refine gold, load gold,” one colonist remembered.

During the colony’s second summer, President Ratcliffe ordered the construction of an overelaborate capitol building. This structure came to symbolize the colony’s mismanagement in the minds of some settlers. With growing discontent over his leadership, Ratcliffe left office; whether he resigned or was overthrown is unclear. John Smith took his place on September 10, 1608. To impose discipline on malingering colonists, Smith announced a new rule: “He that will not worke shall not eate (except by sicknesse he be disabled).” Even so, the colony continued to depend on trade with the Indians for much of its food supply. During Smith’s administration, no settlers died of starvation, and the colony survived the winter with minimal losses. In late September 1608 a ship brought a new group of colonists that included Jamestown’s first women: Mistress Forrest and her maid, Anne Burras.

In London, meanwhile, the company received a new royal charter on May 23, 1609, which gave the colony a new form of management, replacing its president and council with a governor. The company determined that Sir Thomas Gates would hold that position for the first year of the new charter. He sailed for Virginia in June with a fleet of nine ships and hundreds of new colonists. The fleet was caught in a hurricane en route, however, and Gates’s ship was wrecked off Bermuda. Other ships of the fleet did arrive in Virginia that August, and the new arrivals demanded that Smith step down. Smith resisted, and finally it was agreed that he would remain in office until the expiration of his term the following month. His presidency ended early nonetheless. While still in command, Smith was seriously injured when his gunpowder bag caught fire from mysterious causes. He sailed back to England in early September. A nobleman named George Percy, the eighth son of an earl, took his place as the colony’s leader.

The sailing yacht America,a replica

Left click on this image to view full screen size!

Seen here in Norfolk,Virginia,in 1977,this was a highlight and a major discovery for myself,taken with my Canon FT and a 200mm tele lens,using Kodaks Ektachrome slide film,copy right exists on this picture taken by Roy McBride.

Sunday, 17 May 2009

Salvador,cruising up the river with yacht Donella

Left click any picture to view full size,all pictures are taken with a Canon FT 35mm camera and a 50mm lens,using Kodaks Ektachrome slide film and are the property of Roy McBride.

Donella at her best,Chris knew what he wanted and found her in the UK,went over to buy her,then returned to South Africa and entered the Cape To Rio race.

We took the advantage of a full tide to go up river.

Claudia,Anija,Christian,in that order.

We took a lunch break here and discovered a local farmer brewed his own liquers,it was a memorable tasting session!

We were on Brer Terrapin one early morning,going up the river to a small village named Magrogipie,with us was Chris and his family,thats Claudia (cloudy) having her morning coffee,this was cruising at its best!Donnella,an all teak build Laurent Giles design was lost some years back when she hit a reef in the South Pacfic,the crew were fine,the locals stole as much as they could from the boat but I think Chris mangaged to salvage a lot of the boats gear? the story was in Cruising World magazine.

US 66 America,more pictures in Salvador,Bahia,Brasil,1977

Left click on any image to view fullscreen size.

All images by Roy McBride,using a Canon FT SLR camera and Ektachrome slide film,this image was with a 200mm tele lens.

Inside under the main flight deck,what type of planes are we looking at?

I was searching for the pictures of the 1903 SV Atlantic,when I discovered some more photos taken when the aircraft carrier,US 66 America was in Salvador,I know ex crewmen check for such pics,now and again,so here they are,please let me know what class of fighter plane and helicopter we are viewing?

Sailing ship,the Atlantic

The last owner tried long and hard to raise a fund to restore the Atlantic,this never happened,he had her cut up in disgust and refused offers of parts of her teak decks to be sold on as curios,this was just prior to the recent decades of grand restorations,its such a shame that a man with such vision could not realise his dream but at least I saw her.

A Roy McBride photo taken with a Canon FT 35mm film camera and a 50mm lens,the film was Kodaks Ektachrome Pro slide film.

The remains of the Atlantic,this picture is the property of Roy McBride.
Note there is a sailing vessel sunk in front of the Atlantic,she was then around seventy four years old.

I was recently asked by a blog viewer if I had heard about the launch of a copy of the SV Atlantic,my reply was yes but I also have pictures of the original Atlantic I took myself when she was a wasting hulk and tied up alongside in Portsmouth,Virginia,USA when I was there in 1977.

The ride around the various docks and harbours,with a local resident named Charlie was a total eye opener,across the river in Norfolk,was the imaculate copy
of 'SV America',further along the US Navy had stockpiled all sorts of warships,mothballed for future service need,even the worlds fastest ocean liner,the 'United States' was there,also mothballed as a possible troup carrier,so here we had in view of each other the worlds fasters liner,she still held the Blue Ribbon and before my eyes was all that was left of the worlds fastest sailing ship The Atlantic!

The history:

In 1903, the three masted schooner yacht Atlantic hit 20 knots during her sea trials. In 1905, she became a legend when she crossed the Atlantic, winning the Kaiser’s Cup, sailing 3006 miles in 12 days, 4 hours, 1 minute and 19 seconds. Her record would stand for a full 93 years, the longest standing speed record in the history of yachting.
A brief history of the 3-masted schooner Atlantic
Commissioned by New York Yacht Club member Wilson Marshall, the Atlantic was launched in 1903. William Gardner, one of America's foremost designers of large yachts, designed her. From the moment Atlantic went to sea, it was clear that she was an exceptionally fast and beautiful schooner. When a yacht in 1903 hits twenty knots during her sea trials, she is a promising yacht, but even then nobody could imagine two years later this yacht would set a record that would stand unmatched for almost a century.

Nevertheless, while Wilson Marshall wanted Atlantic to be the fastest schooner on the water, at the same time he felt there was no reason to compromise on comfort. Unlike contemporary racing schooners, Atlantic was equipped with every imaginable luxury. Fitted out with the finest mahogany panelling, she had two steam driven generators powering up the electric lights, refrigerators and a large galley. On deck her halyard winches and primary sheet winches were steam driven too. She had two double and three single staterooms, a lobby, a large full beam saloon, a dining room, a chart & gunroom, three large bathrooms and in the deckhouse there was a comfortable observation room. She had retractable chimneys, so while under sail the below deck steam heating, lighting and refrigerating systems could keep running. Atlantic's fo'c'sle accommodated her thirty-nine strong crew and officers, who would live aboard throughout the year.

During her first season Atlantic proved fast, winning both the Brenton Reef and the Cape May Cup hands down, but it was only in 1905 she made the headlines by winning the Kaiser's Cup, a Transatlantic race from Sandy Hook to the Lizard. Referred to as "The last Great race of Princes" the entries for this race included all the yachts that the rich and powerful from Britain and America could send to sea. The legendary Captain Charlie Barr, who had already successfully defended the America's Cup three times, was hired to skipper Atlantic. Charlie Barr's determination to win was as legendary as his skills for driving the largest of yachts to the very limit. Therefore, he did, sailing 3006 miles in 12 days, 4 hours, 1 minute and 19 seconds. Atlantic's 24-hour record was 341 miles, an average speed of 14,1 knots. Uncountable attempts were made to break this record but it would hold firm until 1998, the longest standing speed record in the history of yachting.

Atlantic's story continued for another seventy-seven years with ownership passing through the likes of Cornelius van der Bilt and Gerald Lambert. She was used as a mother ship for other racing yachts like Vanity, for America's Cup defenders and the J-Class Yankee on her voyage to England. Her guest book included the rich and famous of the world. She was simply the most famous and beloved racing schooner of all time.

Although after World War II Atlantic would never sail again, she refused to give up her existence. Somehow she was saved from the scrap yard on three different occasions, broke loose from her moorings, sailing back to sea without a man aboard and ended up used as a houseboat, a restaurant and a floating dock at a fuel station, until finally on 30th of January 1982, she was broken up at Newport Harbour, Virginia.

The Schooner Atlantic's General Specifications
Design: William Gardner
Year originally built: 1903
Extreme length: 227 feet 69.24 meters
Length over deck: 185 feet 56.43 meters
Waterline length: 135 feet 41.18 meters
Beam: 29 feet 8.85 meters
Draught: 16½ feet 4.90 meters
Displacement: 298 tons 303 tonnes
Sail area to windward: 18,500 feet2 1,720 M2