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Topics - Danny252

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Life in the Arctic and Antarctic / USS Atka, New Year's Day, 1953
« on: June 19, 2017, 03:00:48 pm »
The crew of USS Atka don't seem to have been enjoying their stay in Boston, MA on 1 Jan 1953:

Once again it comes to pass
This lass of ours in mass
is made fast to South Jetty
Shipyard Annex, Boston, Mass.

With standard mooring lanes from one to six
And if we weren't it'd be an awful fix.
A regulation watch we're standing too
All dressed up in snow covered Navy Blue.

The services we're getting from the dock
Won't come as any great shock:
Phone, power, water, and stuff they call steam,
The later so wet it's more like cream.

COMDRUDIV4 & SOPA are one and the same,
RADM H.B. JARRETT they call him by name,
In the U.S.S. Warchester (CL 114)
You call this poetry? God, but it's poor!

But what's more part of the U.S. Lant Fleet
Is tied up here real trim and neat.
Not to mention those vessels of smaller draft
Sometimes referred to as yard and district craft.

No use griping but still a hell of a way
To Welcome in the year, wet as a fish and cold as the day.
But into every life some rain must fall
Nothing else to report, so that's all.


Dockside Cafe / The HMS Cornwall Mystery Stone
« on: December 15, 2016, 07:37:38 pm »
In 2007, the pictured stone was unearthed during dock extension works at Simon's Town, South Africa, which was an RN Naval Base during WW2. HMS Cornwall had been dry docked at Simon's Town in 1940/41, and a similar crest exists on the dry dock walls.

However, what's strange about this stone is the date, 1946 - because HMS Cornwall was sunk on 5 April 1942! The current best theory is that the initals, "APJ", are those of a survivor of the sinking or other member of the navy with links to HMS Cornwall; the closest link the town's historical society can find is a known South African survivor "Jack, PA" - initial PAJ. The notice associated with the rock asks that any one with a better idea or link comes forward - see second image.

Now, if any group of people have the ability to solve an obscure naval mystery involving a ship that sank four years before a reference to that ship...  ::)

Crew List between 1st March 1904 and 30th September 1904

Index of Crew Listings

The crew list has finally outgrown a single post! In future, I will use this thread to contain the complete crew listings. For monthly listings, and listings for other time periods, see the link above for an index.

The list is split into three categories: Officers, Visitors and Scientific Staff, and Crewmembers.

The symbol -M in the "Joined" column indicates that a crewmember's enlistment date is not known, and instead that the date given is the first Mention of the crewmember on board the ship.

It is sometimes difficult to determine whether Asian names are recorded in the Asian (surname/forename) or Western (forename/surname) style. Where this is ambiguous, the name is entered verbatim, using the Surname column only.

Please leave any replies in the Albatross (1900) Crew Lists topic

What Does THAT Mean? / Crossent Saw?
« on: January 10, 2015, 07:38:40 pm »
From a list of supplies brought aboard the Albatross:

Received on board from F Pierce:
2 Hand Hatchets, 1 Grindstone, 8 drawer Locks,
2 Hammers, 100 Spikes, 6", 25# White Lime,
2 Crossent Saws, 6 Whitewash Brushes, 25 White Lead; and
from R Rodrick + Co: 1 band of Lime and a lot of lumber. - Two cutter loads
fresh water were hauled on board.

Any clue what the saws are? I'm also slightly doubtful of "1 band of Lime", as I'm not sure how you could make a band from lime...

Handwriting Help / Rank Help
« on: November 24, 2014, 09:09:42 am »

In the last paragraph, a mention is made of "V H Peabody, HC", although the C is rather questionable. However, I can't think of any rank that matches HC, and the rank abbreviations online don't list any such rank - widening it to any rank beginning with a H, the only things on Naval History are hospital related. A hospital rank seems unlikely, as the relatively small crew of the Albatross and low rate of injuries could presumably all be handled by the Surgeon - I'm not sure I recall seeing any crewmember suffer a major injury, nor are they likely to be involved in a shooting match, given that the ship's entire armament is 10 rifles and 9 revolvers.

Any thoughts on who he might be?

(The un-completed crew complement page, listing ranks, is available here)

The Logs and FAQ / Captain's Clerk
« on: November 22, 2014, 08:40:59 pm »

A Mr. L M Tongue joined the Albatross for duty as "Captain's Clerk" - I'm a bit lost as to whether he was a crewmember (i.e. US Navy) or not. I have only seen "Mr" used to refer to non-ranked crewmembers, but it also seems strange to hire a civilian to work in Naval matters on the ship (as opposed to the scientific team on the Albatross, who are all non-naval).

I'm also a bit confused about why an extra Clerk was needed - Wikipedia implies that clerical work is usually done by Yeomen. Again, if he was employed by the scientists, it would make more sense!

Does anyone have any thoughts about this?

On several occasions, the Albatross has sent mail on passing private steamers - sometimes they even received mail from other ships, so they must have been letting the nearby mail offices aware of their sailing plans to allow mail to be sent.

I'm somewhat surprised that the US Naval Service was happy to send mail on any old ship - who knows what might happen to the letters! It could understand passenger ship lines handling mail by contract, but some of the ships used were cannery-owned, and don't strike me as necessarily very reliable (seasonal workers and very variable sailing requirements). Was this normal practise to ask passing ships to take normal mail, and does it continue to this day?

Handwriting Help / US Ship Name
« on: September 09, 2014, 01:01:57 pm »

10am-Midnight, 5th line:

"The USS ~ stood down the sound about 3.50pm"

It looks like "Down" or "Dawn" to me, but there has never been a USS Down, and no USS Dawn was commissioned in 1901. Thoughts?

Handwriting Help / What by survey?
« on: September 06, 2014, 09:00:55 pm »

8am to Meridian, 2nd line - "~ed by survey: 248 lbs Corned Beef, 24 lbs roast beef and 716 lbs pickles, which were thrown overboard."

Presumably these items were rotten, although the thought of finding a third of a ton of rotten pickles isn't too nice a thought.

What Does THAT Mean? / Reduced One Class
« on: August 23, 2014, 06:12:39 pm »
I'm wondering what "Reduced one class" actually refers to - for example, if you reduce a Seaman by one class, does he become an Ordinary Seaman, or does the class refer to some separate part of his rate/rank which isn't usually mentioned? Similarly, would a Fireman 1st Class become a Fireman 2nd Class on reduction? (I suspect the answer to the second part is yes, but perhaps it's not so simple!)

Danny found the explanation! See

What Does THAT Mean? / Breaking Out Hold
« on: August 19, 2014, 08:44:20 pm »

Second watch mentions the crew being "Engaged in breaking out hold" - what does this mean? I'm aware of the term "breakbulk" in reference to items of cargo that are loaded piece by piece (e.g. barrels and sacks), so perhaps it's something to do with emptying the hold?

The Voyages, The Work, The People: Everyday Life at Sea / The Zealandia
« on: August 13, 2014, 10:26:39 pm »
A post that has very little to do with OW, but makes for some fun reading, I hope!

The Albatross' logkeeper on Nov 2nd reports the arrival of a ship with some unusual passengers in San Francisco:

The Steamer "Zelandia" with "Mystic Shriners" aboard entered the harbor.

It seems odd for the crew to pick out a specific steamer, never mind its passengers, given that dozens of steamers were passing to and from San Francisco daily.

However, on doing some research, it seems that this is actually part of one of the most exciting events that occurred in San Francisco that year. The Zealandia was contracted to take approximately 250 members of the Islam Temple of the Ancient Arabic Order of the Mystic Shrine from San Francisco to the Hawaiian Islands, for a month of exciting events and partying, with two days on Hilo alone costing over $20,000!

The steamer Zealandia didn't escape the festivities, being set upon by the Shriners with paint brushes and hammers, being put out in the colours of the group and their emblem appearing everywhere it could, along with a painting of their pet camel on the back! A series of newspaper articles capture the festivities (of which parts I've copied below), and it honestly sounds like the Zealandia was the most fun ship in the world for a few weeks in 1900.

San Francisco Call, July 13, 1900


Pilgrims Will Sail for Honolulu on the Zealandia.

Midst the Sulphurous Fumes of the Hilo Crater Novitiates of Hawaii Will Undergo Mystic Initiation.

The pilgrims of Islam Temple, Ancient Arabic Order Noble Mystic Shrine, will make Honolulu their Mecca on October 9. They go there on the Zealandia at the invitation of the Hawaiian Islamites to establish a new temple and to initiate several new members.


San Francisco Call, July 26, 1900


Nobles Alert in Making Arrangements for the Journey to the Paradise of the Pacific in October.

To Avoid Crowding the Number of Tickets to Be Sold Will Be Limited by Those Having Affair in Hand.

Zealandia, Which Is to Carry Merry Throng, Will Be Completely Overhauled for the Jolly Trip.

Hilo and Honolulu Will Provide Entertainment on Princely Scale for Those Making Peaceful Invasion.

(Photographs and illustrations of prominent shriners are given)


The Shriner's excursion to the Hawaiian Islands, in October, under the auspices of Islam Temple, A. A. O. O. T. M. S., is quickening the nobles comprising the membership into wonderful activity. The committees in charge are kept busy answering letters and telegrams from the interior and inquiries from the resident members. There have been various rumors circulated relativve to the Zealandia, the steamer of the Oceanic Steamship Company, chartered for the excursion, one being to the effect that the vessel would be used as a transport and that the needs of the United States Government for ships would neccesitate the abandonment of the excursion. The company has given the assurance to R. P. Hurlbut, potentate of Islam Temple, that the Zealandia will take the Shriners to the islands, agreeable to terms of the contract, which is now a matter of fact.


San Francisco Call, August 31, 1900


Native Dinner on Cocoanut Plates? No Knives or Forks Allowed.

On the Trip to Honolulu the Daughters of Isis Will Organize and Initiate Candidates for Shriners.

Advices recently received from the Hawaiian Islands are to the effect that the Shriners who are getting ready to go to the Paradise of the Pacific on an excursion will receive a most hearty reception at Hilo. The excursionists will be met at that place by the Aloha Temple of Shriners of Honolulu, of which Dr. C. B. Wood is the potentate and J. G. Rockwell is the recorder, with its membership of 150 in light suits and each wearing a red fez. These will offer an Arabic welcome and then they will escort the visitors, who are to be furnished with carriages and horses, to the Volcano House, thirty miles distant. The visitors are to have a Shriners' welcome there and a dinner that will be a dinner.

The next day the visitors will be taken to the crater of Halemaumau (the house of fire), which in certain parts is in a state of eruption. This is three miles from the hotel. Upon the return the visitors and their hosts will visit a place called Cocoanut Island, where they will be treated to a Hawaiian dinner. The relishes of the native dinner will be served up in dishes made of cocoanut shells and no knives or forks will be provided. The hungry Shriners and their ladies will have to do as the natives did in days of yore ? use their fingers. After the native dinner the visitors will be escorted back to the steamer and they will set sail for Honolulu.


San Francisco Call, October 4, 1900


Mystic Shriners' Emblem Will Appear in Flaming Colors.

The Mystic Shriners are making a floating palace of the Oceanic Steamship Company's Zealandia. From stem to stern the vessel is being overhauled and put into the very best of order. On the bow the emblem of the order has been painted in flaming colors. It will be reproduced on the smokestack and also on the port and starboard quarters. An elaborate painting was to have been put on the stern but Captain Howard, superintendent of the steamship company, would not allow the vessel's name to be painted out and the Shriners will have to be content with the decorations that are now on the Zealandia.

San Francisco Call, October 7, 1900


Big Gathering on the Brilliantly Lighted Vessel. Presentation to Potentate R. P. Hurlbut.

[An cartoon is included, showing two men wearing the traditional fezzes of the Shriners, one riding a camel. They are carrying bottles labelled "Extra Duty" and boxes of ice and cigars. In the background is the steamer Zealandia.]


THE Shriner steamer Zealandia, which on the 11th inst. will call for the Hawaiian Islands with a large number of the nobles of Islam Temple of the Ancient Arabic Order of the Mystic Shrine, and who are all going on a thirty-day pilgrimage accompanied bv many of their relatives of the fairer sex, was opened to inspection last night from 8 to 11 o'clock.

Nearly a thousand ladies and gentlemen accepted the invitation of the committee of arrangements to view the vessel that is to be the Shriners' home for a month. Those who had seen her prior to her refitting for this special occasion could hardly recognize the vessel. The emblem of the order, the scimetar, crescent and star, is painted in red on the bow and the same emblem adorns the funnel, while on the after quarter is a painting of the Shriners' pet camel crossing the hot sands. Last night the ship was brilliantly illuminated with electric lights, while from stem to stern were strings of red, white, blue and yellow lights, giving a gala appearance, which was heightened by the display of richly dressed ladies, who with their escorts examined the vessel. The upper deck, over which was spread a canopy, was crowded with those who wished to enjoy the music of an orchestra stationed in the after part of the steamer. During the evening the company was favored with vocal selections by the Concordia quartet.


San Francisco Call, October 12, 1900


Cheers, Waving Flags and Music Mark Departure of the Pilgrims for Hawaiian Islands.

(Text surrounds a cartoon illustrating the Shriners' plans for the trip)


EVERY vessel in the bay that had steam up blew a whistle and every person of the thousands on Pacific-street wharf who could cheer or call out "good-by, good luck to you" did so as the gayly decorated steamer Zealandia backed out of her berth at 12:30 o'clock yesterday afternoon and turned toward the Gate to begin her voyage to the Hawaiian Islands, carrying a number of nobles of the Ancient Arabic Order of the Mystic Shrine and their wives and lady relatives, who are to be pone on a three weeks' pilgrimage to the Paradise of the Pacific.

The gallant steamer was decked from stem to stern and from truck to taffail with gay colored signals, while the emblem of the Shriners proudly floated from the fore peak and the glorious stars and stripes swung out in the breeze at the stern. As she rounded the end of the dock and moved for the Golden Gate a band ashore played the "Star Spangled Banner," and those on board waved hundreds of small silk American flags and cheered. A moving picture was presented such as has seldom if ever before been seen in the bay of San Francisco. From the Pacific-street wharf and adjacent ones almost every one responded to the flutter of the flags on board by waving handkerchiefs. A long, shrill blast from the steamer's whistle as she passed out of view of those on the wharves was "goodby all" from those who had started on a round of uninterrupted pleasure that has been programmed for sea and shore.

Before 9 o'clock in the forenoon the pilgrims wended their way to the steamer to arrange their belongings in the quarters assigned to them. Then came hundreds upon hundreds to bid them a fond farewell and to take a daylight view of the ship and its prettily decorated cabin and dining salon. A feature that attracted the attention of the visitors was that the emblem of the Shriners appeared on almost everything in sight. It was even painted on the panels of the pianos. Every pilgrim wore a white cap with gold braid, with the scimitar and crescent on the front, while the members of the committee wore a red badge, at the end of which was a piece of rope, emblematic of the injunction which is whispered into the ear of the novitiate as he enters the temple of the Shriners. In the dining hall were great floral pieces that added to the charm of the place. For a time it was hurry and bustle on all sides on the decks, a rush and a crush to reach friends and relatives to say a last farewell. That was kept up until the whistle sounded the warning to all who ?were not of the pilgrims to go ashore. As the gang plank was drawn some one threw a rope to Potentate R. L. Hurlbut with the injunction, "Hold on to the rope." He did so until it was payed out its full length, when some one cut it, and the potentate jovously held it aloft, calling out to those on the wharf through a ribboned megaphone, "I'm still holding: on to the rope."


The vessel is under command of Captain Thomas Dowdell, one of the most able and genial masters who ever took a ship out of the bay of San Francisco. He, of course, has a set of competent officers under him and a good crew, but in case of emergency he will be assisted by an organization on board styled the "Ancient Mariners," or "The Mystic 101," of which the following named are the officers:
R. P. Hurlbut. Chief Shellback; B. D. Pike. Vice Chief Shellback; A. F. Gunn. keeper of the locker; George F. Neal, sky pilot; Thomas H. Browne, extraordinary sailor; J. Alfred Marsh, able seaman; James G. Spauldlng, captain of marines; J. H. Goldman, yardarm lookout.

These are likewise the executive officers of the pilgrimage committee.

San Francisco Call, October 13, 1900

Made a Pretty Picture.

Never in the history of the port has there been a prettier picture than the departure of the Zealandia with the Mystic Shriners last Thursday. The big steamer was loaded "just right," and not a longshoreman but what said as she parsed along the water front. "There goes a vessel loaded for any kind of weather." The Zealandia was 24 feet aft and 16 feet forward, and if the Shriners do not have a weatherly trip it will be the fault of old Neptune. Captain McCullough of the pilot service, who took the Zealandia out, says all hands were making good weather of it except Andy Houselman, and when last seen he was vowing vengeance on Lou Azner. Lou gave Andy a remedy for seasickness that failed to connect.

San Francisco Call, 3 November, 1900


Zealandia Brings Back the Pilgrims From the Pacific Paradise.

Welcoming Committee on Steamer Caroline Meets Voyagers Down the Bay and Escorts Them to Wharf.

"Home Again From a Foreign Shore" was the air that greeted the Shriner pilgrims yesterday morning as the steamer Caroline approached the majestic Zealandia off Alcatraz Island, on the latter's return from the Hawaiian Islands.

The Shriner steamer, decked out above and below with holiday bunting and with the Islam temple flag at the forepeak, was met by the Caroline, having on board about one hundred ladies and gentlemen. The welcoming Shriners all wore the red fez of the temple and the ladies each carried a silk American flag, which they waved and waved again in token of gladness that their relatives and friends were with them again. When the two vessels approached to hailing distance. there was a loud hurrah from those on the Caroline and a hearty response from those on the Zealandia. The band on the ocean steamer played "Ain't I Glad I'm Out of the Wilderness." and Steam Pianist Levy on the Caroline responded with "Home Sweet Home" on the calliope. Before the last strains of the "music" had died away there was a chorus of shrill whistles all along' the water front in token of welcome home. The Caroline escorted the Zealandia to her berth. Then there was a rush for the Zealandia, and for the next few minutes there were handshaking, kissing, crying and laughing, as the spirit of each individual moved him or her in expression of joy at again meeting those who had been absent for nearly a month. It was a happy meeting, and the consensus of expression was "we had a good time and a delightful trip, but we're glad to be home again."

The welcoming party was under the charge of Frank W. Marston. C. S. Benedict. Thomas L. Henderson, Captain George Wittman and Hiram T. Graves.

Captain Hurlbut, potentate of the temple, said that the trip down after first night, when nearly every one was seasick, was a delightful one.

"Why," said he, "every dinner that was served was a banquet The tables were decorated each day with fresh flowers that were kept in cold storage. At Hilo, our first stopping place, we remained two days, and were the guests of as hospitable people as I ever met with. In expectation of our coming they had erected a dancing pavilion, which was made brilliant with flags, bunting and native greens. We were treated to a native dinner, which we had to partake of with only the right thumb and forefingers. These native dinners are no hurry-me-quick affairs, for they are all prepared in beds of hot stones, and it takes three or four days to cook such a meal as was served to us."

While at Hilo the visitors went to the volcano and took in all the sights. The Shriners kept open house on board of the ship, where they entertained about a thousand of the people of Hilo in that manner for which Shriners are noted.

At Honolulu the hospitality of the islanders won the admiration of all. At this point the Shriners held a reception on the steamer and entertained about two thousand people. Thirty of the pilgrims, who combined business with pleasure,  remained over to transact their business, and will come up on the next regular steamer. The Zealandia left the islands on the 25th of October and had a pleasant trip up.

George F. Neal, who started out with a full determination to issue an edition of the Moslem Herald each day on the trip, fell down in his good resolution. Some days the Herald appeared and some days it did not. When it did appear Neal issued two or three editions to keep the record straight.

Arrangements are being made to give the returned pilgrims a formal reception in Golden Gate Hall.

Handwriting Help / Sent surgeon ashore for...?
« on: August 04, 2014, 10:09:35 pm »

Two bits have me lost in the last paragraph:

"At 4.58 stopped off the Flyer Dock and sent the Surgeon and an officer ashore for ~ and ~ accomodations".

"Angles from anchorage - Sawmill Wharf to ~ ~ E Bluff:- 72* 50', to ~ ~ W Bluff 179*"

On the latter one, they look like r tan and l tan to me, which suggests right/left tans, but I can't assign any meaning. Also, does "angles from anchorage" have the same meaning as "bearings from anchorage"?

Handwriting Help / Coaling terminology
« on: August 03, 2014, 10:35:49 pm »
I've got a bit lost on some of the naval terms on the last part - my interpretation is as follows:

Meridian to midnight. Clear + pleasant. Calms and variable light airs from NNE to SW. Standing up Baynes Sound the Captain conning. At 12.45 made fast to buoy off Wellington Coal Company's wharf and at 4.30 ~ stbd chain to buoy. Found Str Hero alongside coal wharf. Made preparations for coaling ship. Received ~ ~ from shore for covering decks and hatches. Sent mail ashore. C S Kempff Ens

The first word is clearly something to do with attaching the stbd chain to the buoy (and might actually be a fairly simple word, I suspect), and the latter phrase is some sort of covering, presumably to catch coal dust.

Handwriting Help / Confined in irons for 5 days for...?
« on: August 01, 2014, 11:14:51 pm »

Very last sentence of the bottom paragraph - someone annoyed the CO, but I can't work out what they actually did...

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