Visingsö Oak Forest: a forest of immensely tall and unusually straight trees planted nearly 200 years ago to build naval ships that never existed

Oak has traditionally been used in shipbuilding since centuries, as its wood is incredibly strong, and if tended just right, the grain is straight and true. Going back even to the Vikings, the slow-growth trees have been used in Sweden for vessels of all kinds, including naval ships. On the lake island of Visingsö, a narrow island in the middle of Vättern, Sweden’s second largest lake, there are hundreds of acres of tall and orderly oaks, all planted with an eye to the long term. As far back as the…

Read More

Seaman’s Memorial Tower: a tower that pays homage to local sailors who perished under the waves

The Seaman’s Memorial is a tower about 25-meters high that stands at the entrance to Conn Brown Harbor in Aransas Pass, Texas, where many commercial fishers set sail for the bays and estuaries along the South Texas coast. The tower, paid for by public donations, was dedicated on May 9, 1970, and is a permanet tribute to honor local seamen lost at Sea. A plaque that honor six Coast Guard airmen who perished when a flare was accidentally fired inside their aircraft can be found on the memorial’s walls, while…

Read More

Zipper Fastener Ship: the boat shaped like giant zip that looks like It’s opening the water

Japanese designer Yasuhiro Suzuki has created a unique boat shaped like a giant zipper puller that looks like it’s opening up the water when sailing. Unveiled as part of the Designart Tokyo 2020 event, the zipper puller boat, officially known as Zipper Fastener Ship, is the brainchild of Japanese designer who claims it was the result of a simple observation. He was looking down from the window of an airplane and saw a ship sailing through Tokyo Bay. The movement of the water as the boat passed created the illusion…

Read More

Fanad Head: sandy beaches, epic views, whales and sunken treasure…

Standing between idyllic Lough Swilly, one of Ireland’s very few glacial fjords, and sandy Mulroy Bay, lies Fanad Head Lighthouse. With its location in the Donegal Gaeltacht, an Irish speaking area, on the eastern shore of windswept Fanad Peninsula, it’s little wonder that it is considered one of the most beautiful lighthouses in the world. In addition, this area is regularly visited by creatures including whales, porpoises and dolphins. Fanad Lighthouse was proposed in response to a maritime tragedy, the wrecking of HMS Saldanha just in Lough Swilly. On the…

Read More

Lepanto: the battle that saved Europe

Considered by many to have been the most important naval engagement in human history, the Battle of Lepanto was fought on this day, October 7, 1571. In short, It saved the Christian West from defeat by the Ottoman Turks. In the battle, which lasted about five hours, more than 30,000 Muslim Turks and 8,000 Christians lost their life. Not until the First World War would the world again witness such carnage in a single day, and the battle was also remarkable as the last and greatest engagement with oar-propelled vessels.…

Read More

Historical Regatta: in the Grand Canal the ancient Venetian maritime tradition between races and historical re-enactments

The Historical Regatta is the most traditional among the venetian events. It is a show that, each year the first Sunday of September, brings the ancient boats of the glorious past of Venice to the Grand Canal including passionate competitions and historical re-enactments. And, in 2020, this was the event that probably has repopulated the beautiful Venice, after a lockdown that saw the city completely free of tourists (and people). For a city born on water, boats have always been indispensable means of survival, since it was with these that…

Read More

SS United States and its unknown fate

SS United States is an ocean liner that still makes America proud, even though it is now fully docked and immovable. Historically, It was initially inspired by ships from the United Kingdom. During the Second World War the United States required service from the United Kingdom to help them transport their soldiers to the shores of Europe. In order to do it, the United Kingdom put some of their best vessels up to the task: the famous RMS Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth. Pleased with what they saw, the United…

Read More

The unsolved mystery of Madagascar, the gold ship vanished in 1853

The frigate Madagascar left Melbourne for London on this day, August 12, 1853 with more than 150 passengers and its crew…but also nearly three tons of gold on board. It was never seen again. The Madagascar was a sturdy British merchant vessel built in 1837, used for carrying soldiers to India as well as passengers looking for an exotic vacation on the Indian sub-continent. However, by the 1850s, Victoria was in the grip of a gold rush and the ship found it had a new role in its life: instead…

Read More

Wreck of the MV Creteblock – North Yorkshire, England

Probably the name “Creteblock” seems rather strange for a vessel, but it’s extremely accurate for one that was essentially just a concrete block. Although concrete might at first seem to be a wholly impractical and rather cumbersome material to use in shipbuilding, in fact it makes a lot more sense than you might think. For boats over 7 meters long its often the cheapest and easiest material to employ. It doesn’t need a weatherproof coating and it won’t rust. Also a 10 meters, 8 ton displacement vessel made of wood…

Read More

The beautiful old shipwrecks visible from sky above to crystal clear water of Lake Michigan

In these days of quarantine, in which nature seems to be reborn thanks to the forced interruption of human activities, many photographs circulating on the web of clear waters, or animals that reclaim spaces previously occupied by man. The images of wrecks that stand out distinctly on the bottom of Lake Michigan, in the United States, could seem to be taken these days, due to the extraordinary transparency of the water. Instead, each spring on this lake, if you’re lucky, you’ll be able to see shipwrecks due to the incredibly…

Read More

The New York City’s cemetery where ships go to die

As with the legendary elephants’ graveyard, ships go to die at Rossville on Staten Island, although this wasn’t always the original intent of the space. Squeezed between Staten Island and New Jersey is Arthur Kill waterway (“Kill” is merely a dutch word for “creek”, in this case not as creepy as it sounds) and the Witte Marine Equipment Company. Since the 1930s, the company would dredge, salvage, and resell materials from the wrecked and disused vessels of the New York and New Jersey waterways – the space originally being called…

Read More

Macuti Lighthouse and Shipwreck – Mozambique

We are in Beira, Mozambique. Macuti Beach is along the main coast road between Beira city and the airport. If you find yourself there, a visit to the beach it’s well worth, to witness this unusual scene: the remains of an old shipwreck lying on the sand directly in front of a mysterious but quaint abandoned lighthouse. At high tide, only a few rusted bulkheads are visible above the breakers, but at low tide, you can walk or wade right through the wreckage. The red-and-white-striped Macuti Lighthouse (the beach is…

Read More

Cemitério de Navios – The Angolan Ship Cemetery

We are in Angola. Sitting on the Western Coast of Africa, the port of Luanda is the capital and largest city in a nation that has been one of Africa’s most war-torn, with rival factions battling between 1962-2002. Founded by the Portuguese in 1575, the city has finally achieving peace in 2002 after a long civil war, and the country is just now beginning to recover. About a 30-minute drive north of Luanda there is an incredible sight: a barren beach with as many as 50 rusting ships on or…

Read More

The charm of the SS Ayrfield, the ship-wreck transformed into a floating mangrove forest

Once cargo freighter and now a floating forest, the SS Ayrfield is a beautifully broken-down wreck, locked in Australia’s Homebush Bay probably for eternity. Once a center of industry, Homebush Bay was unfortunately contaminated with toxic waste and is now a commercial and residential suburb of Sydney. Before the 2000 Olympic Games, this place was a ship breaking zone, and the dozens of shipwrecks that still remain here, slowly rusting in its waters, are a constant reminder of its history. Once used to transport coal, oil, and war supplies, the…

Read More

The mystery of the missing keepers at the Flannan Isles Lighthouse

The Flannan Isles, off the coast of northwestern Scotland and named after an Irish priest called St. Flannan, have been the subject of a mystery lasted over 100 years. On December 15th, 1900 a boat called Hesperus set sail for the island of Eilean Mor, one of the seven islets (also known as the “Seven Hunters”) of the Flannan Isles. Captain James Harvey was tasked with delivering a relief lighthouse keeper as part of a regular rotation. The journey was delayed a few days by bad weather, and when Harvey…

Read More

Mallow Bay: the largest fleet of sunken ships in the United States

If there were ever a place that could be described as a ship graveyard, it is the murky waters of Mallows Bay. The history of these maritime vessels in the U.S. is preserved in an unlikely place: at the bottom of a river! Here, nearly 200 military shipwrecks, dating as far back as the Revolutionary War and including ships from the Civil War and both World War I and World War II, were deliberately sunk over centuries, in an area of the Potomac River called Mallows Bay, in Maryland. At…

Read More