Category Archives: Sailing ships

In the Heart of the Sea

‘In the winter of 1820, the New England whaling ship Essex was assaulted by something no one could believe: a whale of mammoth size and will, and an almost human sense of vengeance. The real-life maritime disaster would inspire Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick. But that told only half the story.

‘In the Heart of the Sea reveals the encounter’s harrowing aftermath, as the ship’s surviving crew is pushed to their limits and forced to do the unthinkable to stay alive. Braving storms, starvation, panic and despair, the men will call into question their deepest beliefs, from the value of their lives to the morality of their trade, as their captain searches for direction on the open sea and his first mate still seeks to bring the great whale down.’

Well, it’ll be fun – but no doubt it will also feature pretty young people, and some serious dollops of the schmaltz Hollywood uses to sell films to the youngsters that buy most of the tickets. But at least the story of the Essex is not being forgotten.

HMS Pickle leaves Gibraltar

HMS Pickle leaves Gibraltar – sadly she lost part of one of her masts off Cape Trafalgar, but that didn’t stop Mal and his crew from placing wreaths in the sea in memory of the sailors lost at the Battle of Trafalgar, and the loss of the original HMS Pickle off Cadiz.

I gather the next leg is to the Channel Islands, where they plan to pick up the head of National Historic Ships, Martin Heighton.

Pickle 2

Mal Nicholson and friends get Pickle ready to sail to the UK

This is a selection of photos from the past couple of weeks as Mal Nicholson and his team get Pickle ready to sail back to Blighty. The topsail schooner is a replica of HMS Pickle, aboard which Captain’s Lapotenaire brought news to Britain of the victory at Trafalgar and the death of Nelson.

She’s planning to leave on the 4th October, and I’ve heard there are discussions about organising a welcome home for her. When I know more, I’ll post it here.

Pickle is an interesting vessel in other ways also, as she was originally built in Bermuda, and is of a type known as a Bermuda sloop. It’s interesting that the term’s used to describe something quite different these days…