Category Archives: History

A Nonpareil sharpie for sale

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clapham, nonpareil, sharpie, colin mudie, wildlifesailing, for sale

clapham, nonpareil, sharpie, colin mudie, wildlifesailing, for sale clapham, nonpareil, sharpie, colin mudie, wildlifesailing, for sale

Nonpareil sharpie for sale in Kent

You don’t see a sharpie in the UK too often, and a Clapham-style Nonpareil sharpie’s even rarer – even though they’re clearly a good form for large areas of our coastline.

From memory, this particular boat for sale was designed by Colin Mudie and has been used for pleasure trips – but would nevertheless make the basis for a very nice centreboard cruiser, and would therefore would be perfect for the East Coast.

Heck, if I had the time to work this boat up into a suitable cruiser, I’d certainly consider buying it…

For more photos and information see http://www.wildlifesailing.com .

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Abner’s whale, from the Cruise of the Cachalot

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abner's whale, bullen, cachalot, whaling, whaler

‘We went alone, with barely a hundred fathoms of line, in case he should take it into his head to sound again. The speed at which we went made it appear as if a gale of wind was blowing, and we flew along the sea surface’

Everyone’s heard of Melville’s blockbusting novel Moby Dick – but perhaps fewer know about Frank T Bullen’s real-life description The Cruise of the Cachalot or Round the world after sperm whales.

My copy was published in 1901 and I think it’s a piece of work that brilliantly captures the cruelty, fear, hardships and excitements the whalers must have known while about their ghastly trade. Here’s a short chapter that I hope makes the point – do take time out to read it; I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

Abner's whale from the Cruise of the Cachalot Abner's whale from the Cruise of the Cachalot Abner's whale from the Cruise of the Cachalot

Abner's whale from the Cruise of the Cachalot Abner's whale from the Cruise of the Cachalot

Abner's whale from the Cruise of the Cachalot Abner's whale from the Cruise of the Cachalot Abner's whale from the Cruise of the Cachalot

Abner's whale from the Cruise of the Cachalot

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The sinking of HMS Colossus

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HMS Colossus, sunk ship, Scilly Isles, 1797

HMS Colossus

‘The Water gained upon us fast… before day light, I was obliged to Order the People on the Quarter Deck & Poop, the Water being up to the Cills of the Upper Deck, and as the Ship rolled, struck with so much violence against the Quarter Deck, as to break several of the Beams… About 8 o’Clock in the Morning, I had the pleasure to see several Boats coming to our assistance’

So wrote Captain George Murray describing the events leading up to the 1797 sinking of HMS Colossus while anchored off the Scilly Isles. The horrific story is vividly described in an extract from the ship’s log included in an appendix to an impressive archaeological survey, and it makes harrowing reading until rescue comes in sight.

See a pdf file of the survey here; the story of the sinking appears on page 94 onwards.

My thanks to Martin Corrick of the Openboat Yahoogroup for spotting and reporting this astonishing piece of material.

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