Can we save UK’s oldest fishing vessel, celebrate the unique Fal Oyster and help recruit youth into a traditional sailing fleet?

Can we save UK’s Oldest Fishing Vessel, celebrate the unique Fal Oyster and help recruit youth into a traditional sailing fleet. from Fal Oyster on Vimeo.

I’m not sure about the claim that Shadow is the oldest fishing boat in Britain (see Boadicea, Emma and another local star Vivid), but that doesn’t change the story in a way that matters a jot in the grand scheme of things – those Fal folks have a good idea and I hope they succeed.

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1812 style warship will set sail this summer

New 1812 style warship to be launched this year Oliver Hazard Perry

There’s a new tall ship on the block – the Oliver Hazard Perry. Read all about it here.

Folks on my side of the pond may not know about Perry, and might even find it hard to believe that there has ever been serious naval combat on the Great Lakes – history being written and celebrated by the victors, not the losers.

Nevertheless, Perry was a US naval officer whose small fleet won a decisive victory against the Royal Navy on Lake Erie during the War of 1812.

The new steel-built ship was originally built as a kind of replica of a British warship captured by Perry and his men, but when the group behind the project ran out of money, folks from Perry’s native Rhode Island bought the unfinished 138-foot-long hull, named it after him and six years later, the three-masted, 20-sail 1812 style warship will set sail this summer from the Newport Shipyard.

In future, high-school, college and adult students can join expeditions to study underwater archaeology and maritime history, while working the ship under the direction of a permantent crew.

There is to be, however, one iron rule that students must observe: they are not permitted mobile phones. In this day and age, I’m not entirely sure I could live with that myself!

My thanks to Chris Brady for spotting this one!

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Dazzle-painted warships of World War I


From the wonderful Retronaut – these fantastic geometric paint schemes used during World War I were not designed to hide the ships as to make range-finding difficult and make it more difficult for enemy gunners to find their target.

Read about dazzle-painted warships here. Google finds a many examples here.

My thanks to Malcolm Woods for spotting this one!

PS – Inspired by his discoveries, Malcolm went on to find more examples of dazzle in art and elsewhere, including this painting of the Olympic, paintings by John  Everett, and examples of a very demure 1919 fashion for dazzle swimsuits published by the weblog Camoupedia.

There are still more here, including an article headed ‘Camouflage Sylphs on Coney Island an Optical Illusion: Stripes of Bathing Costumes Used by Plump Persons to Conceal Full Extent of Their Plumpness’ – this concludes thus:

‘Following the service yesterday of fourteen summons upon persons who appeared in the streets in uncovered bathing suits the suggestion was made that camouflage might be perfected to the point where it would hide offenders from the eagle-eyed Coney Island police.’

Elsewhere, a fashion writer puts it this way:

‘If you see coming toward you a woman who in some unaccountable way seems to melt into a sort of rainbow mass above the shoulders, don’t be alarmed; try to find her hat.’

Gosh. Swimming costumes are a bit of a departure for this weblog. If you need more images of dazzle-painted ships to return things to their usual calm order, there are many more examples on the Google Image search.

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