The poulpe colossal – don’t try catching this one!
I’ve been very entertained this week by this illustration from a book called Strange Sea Mysteries, published in 1926 and written by a chap called Elliott O’Donnell.
The preface is good too, and just the thing to read to children on a dark winter night:
‘In compiling this volume of unpleasant happenings connected with the sea great care has been taken to select those only that are authentic.’ July 1, 1926
The chapters include ‘The massacre on board the E A Johnson‘, ‘The Ship of Strange Smells’, ‘The Ramsgate Mystery’ and ‘The Great’The Corpse Box of Hell Gate’. Oooo-errr! I can’t find any copies at ABE Books but I’d guess that one is likely to turn up some day – and if you do it might make a good book to read out loud when afloat late one night…
These tales may be entertaining at this distance in time, but I wonder how many of these stories were real tragedies in someone’s life? Does anyone know?
Pete Goss’s new boat, Spirit of Mystery – click on the photos for a much
larger image. All photos by Mark Lloyd of Lloyd Images
Pete Goss has been putting his new lugger Spirit of Mystery through sea trials, and It seems he’s positively ecstatic about her. ‘She is a thing of beauty; an organic living object that is everything I dreamed of and more,’ he says. ‘She sails well and is safe, fun, simple and kind. I couldn’t be happier.’
I’d say that he could have been describing many traditional style craft, but it’s great news that he’s so pleased with the new Mystery.
The crew including Pete, younger brother Andy; 14-year old son Eliot, and brother-in-law Mark Maidment is to undertake a two-week sea passage to prepare for their epic journey to Australia in October.
See this earlier post on the Spirit of Mystery including more of Mark Lloyd’s great photos.
Pete Goss’s new boat, Spirit of Mystery. All photos by
Mark Lloyd of Lloyd Images
Solo ocean racer Pete Goss’s latest project is to build a lugger to follow in the wake of the Mystery, which sailed from Cornwall to Australia to join the goldrush in 1854.
The Mystery was an open Mounts Bay lugger built in Newlyn. Times were hard and the seven Cornishmen, all related by either blood or marriage and shareholders in the boat, made the decision to try their luck in the goldrush over a pint in Newlyn’s Star Inn. It was suggested that the Mystery be sold to cover the passage, but being in good spirits after a couple of drinks Captain Richard Nicholls made an announcement. ‘I’ll take you in the Mystery,’ he said – and so the story began.
The Mystery measured 37ft in length with a beam of 11 feet 6 inches, and weighed 16 tons. Skipper and crew beached the boat to sheath her hull with zinc, decked her fore and aft, and set off.
The new Spirit of Mystery was launched a few days ago at Millbrook, near Torpoint in south east Cornwall, and was built by local craftsmen under designer and shipwright Chris Rees.
Goss’s intention is to research the original voyage, draw attention to the achievements of the original Mystery’s crew of seven Cornishmen, and to provide a vehicle to support the educational charity Cornwall Playing for Success.
But Pete also makes it clear that he has always wanted to build a wooden boat. And what a boat he has built! I’m sure we all hope the voyage is successful – but also that she comes back to the UK and finds a useful long-term purpose, as it would be nice to see her sailing around our shores.