Two segments from the Brendan Voyage TV film

These are just two short segments from the original TV film about a crossing the North Atlantic from Ireland to North America in a leather boat led by Tim Severin – however, they’re quite enough to make my hair stand on end.

My thanks go to Brian Anderson for spotting them.

St Brendan is said to have made the same journey in the early 6th century. The Wikipedia page about St Brendan includes the wonderful image below.

Saint_brendan_german_manuscript

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Restored Hendrick van Anthonissen painting reveals whale on Scheveningen beach

Cambridge’s Fitzwilliam Museum’s gallery of Dutch Golden Age paintings has gone back on display display this week following a refurbishment – and includes the surprising image of a beached whale on Scheveningen beach that had previously been painted out.

The whale appears in a 1641 work by Hendrick van Anthonissen.

The beach at Scheveningen must be one of the most painted stretches of coast anywhere – this Googlewhack shows what I mean. Many of them contain fishing and other boats working from the beach, and often a fish market in operation. See an earlier post on this topic here.

PS – I have a modern example of a Scheveningen beach painting that my parents bought years ago on my wall. Can anyone tell me anything about it please? Who was the artist with the illegible signature?

Scheveningen beach with fishing boats

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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