Captain William Leidesdorff

On March 4, 2015, in History, by CaptRR

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Captain William Leidesdorff

Captain Leidesdorff’s father was a Danish sea captain; his Creole mother was from Danish-held St. Croix, where Leidesdorff was born in 1812. Educated in New Orleans, William Alexander Leidesdorff became an accomplished linguist. Young William began his sailing career delivering and selling cotton to New York from New Orleans. After becoming a naturalised US citizen in 1834 he worked his way up to Captain.

Vice-Consul William Alexander Leidesdorff assisted in the establishment of the Bear Flag Republic, declared California under American occupation, was San Francisco Treasurer and helped establish the first public school in the State. Leidesdorff had also become a naturalized Mexican qualifying himself for a 35,000-acre land grant on the American River (see attached photo showing record of land grant). He called it Rancho Río de Los Americanos and made it into a cattle and wheat ranch to serve both the needs of food and hides. The holdings, extended from today’s Bradshaw Road along the south side of the American River to the present city of Folsom. Part of his vast estate, now the City of Folsom, includes Rancho Cordova. Vice Consul Leidesdorff had invested in numerous city lots when he died from cholera in May 1848–only months before the Gold Rush immensely increased the value of his estate.

Mr. J.C. Jones, who had been a former U.S. Consul in the Sandwich (Hawaiian) Islands owned the 106-ton schooner, Julia Ann, and contracted with Captain Leidesdorff during the 1840s to work the boat between Yerba Buena (San Francisco), the California, Canadian and Mexican coasts, via Cape Horn, and to the Sandwich Islands, mainly transporting for trade of cattle hides.

Leidesdorff died in 1848 – just 12 days before the signing of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo – and the land passed to his heirs in the Danish West Indies. He was buried at Mission Dolores in San Francisco (in the floor of the Church).


500 year old map

On March 3, 2015, in History, Navigation, by CaptRR


Collective Evolution is reporting:

…One great example is the Piri Reis map, a genuine document that was re-made (copied from older documents) at Constantinople in AD 1513, and discovered in 1929. It focuses on the western coast of Africa, the eastern coast of South America, and the northern coast of Antarctica. It was drawn by the military intelligence of Admiral Piri Reis of the Ottoman era. He is a well-known historical figure whose identity is well established. The Admiral made a copy of it, and the original was drawn based on documents that date back to at least the fourth century BC, and on information obtained by multiple explorers.

Why The Map Is So Compelling

Right off the bat, one of the most compelling facts about the map is that it includes a continent that our history books tell us was not discovered until 1818…

The complete Collective Evolution post by Arjun Walia is here.




MarineLog is reporting:

MARCH 2, 2015 — A  federal grand jury in Anchorage, AK, has returned a three-count indictment against Kimberly Christina Reidel-Byler, 46, and Darren K. Byler, 54, both residing near Kodiak, AK, charging them with offenses relating to the improper disposal of human waste into waters in and around Kodiak, Alaska.

According to the indictment filed in this case, the Bylers owned and operated the Wild Alaskan, a converted 94-foot Bering Sea crabber anchored in St. Herman Harbor, Kodiak, Alaska.  Between June 25, 2014, and November 30, 2014, the Wild Alaskan was a floating bar and strip club.  Customers were ferried to the vessel from shore by the Gulf Coast Responder, a 35-foot landing craft.

The complete Marine Log post is here.


Western Flyer Update

On March 2, 2015, in History, by CaptRR

western-flyer-ship-raised-swinomish_copyright-capt-richard-rodriguez-bitterendblog_472 Rights Reserved.

nw news network is reporting:

Steinbeck Vessel To Be Refloated By New Owner And Northwest Shipwrights

New ownership is giving new hope to a decrepit, unseaworthy fishing boat with a notable literary pedigree.

Northwest shipwrights will be hired to restore the Western Flyer, a vessel made famous by the author John Steinbeck.

In 1940, Steinbeck and marine biologist Ed Ricketts — who later inspired the character Doc in “Cannery Row” — chartered the Western Flyer for a Mexican cruise, which Steinbeck immortalized in the non-fiction classic, “The Log From the Sea of Cortez.”

The 76-foot wooden boat passed through many hands since then. It sunk twice in Puget Sound in recent years. The historic vessel is currently propped up on blocks in dry storage at the Port of Port Townsend, Washington.

The complete nw news network post by Tom Bonse and related audio is here.

(Thanks to Joe Petrich for the link.)



On March 1, 2015, in Humor, by CaptRR


Global Ship Traffic from Space

On February 28, 2015, in Shipping, by CaptRR

Published on Oct 17, 2012

A week of ship traffic on the seven seas, seen from space. Get a glimpse of the vibrant lanes of goods transport that link the continents.
The vessel movements were captured using newest terrestrial and space-borne AIS technology from FleetMon and its partner Luxspace. The records cover the world’s merchant fleet with some 100.000s of cargo ships, tankers, ferries, cruise ships, yachts and tugs. FleetMon provides advanced fleet monitoring services, software APIs, reports and analyses of maritime traffic data. The inset shows live monitoring with the FleetMon Explorer software. More information:

(Thanks to Larry Fay for the link, via facebook.)


Polish yacht reaches the ends of the earth

On February 27, 2015, in General Boating, by CaptRR



        The ‘Selma’ reaches the Bay of Whales on 9 February 2015. Photo: PAP

        Radio Poland is reporting:

        “We cannot sail any further,” skipper Piotr Ku?niar told the PAP news agency after reaching a latitude of 78°43’926” S, breaking the previous sailing record of 78°43’566” S set by ‘Katharsis II’, a British vessel manned by a Polish crew under Mariusz Koper. The boat managed the feat at 2029 UTC on Thursday evening. On reaching the coastline, Ku?niar managed to place a Polish flag on the shore which had been given to him by Polish president Bronis?aw Komorowski. “We touched the ice of the Antarctic,” skipper Ku?niar said, underlining that the plan to reach the Bay of Whales had been done almost solely under wind power.

        The complete Radio Poland post is here

         (Thanks to John Chessell for the link)


        Holy Shit Indeed

        On February 26, 2015, in Things Octopod, by CaptRR


        Waterworld What IF

        On February 25, 2015, in Environment, by CaptRR


        The Scuttlefish has the post:

        When the film Waterworld was released in 1995, I gazed in silent wonder at the opening, as the Universal globe, and my beloved Earth’s landmasses disappeared beneath the waves. It was a jaw-dropping Hollywood moment, but was there really, truly enough water locked up in the polar ice caps to swallow up the Rockies, the Sierra Nevada and the Andes – leaving only the tops of what are presumably maybe Everest or a couple of other Himalayan spires peaking up from the briny depths? Let’s just say Kevin Costner’s Magnum Oceanus was not a film to let facts stand in the way of a rip-roaring yarn

        The complete Scuttlefish post by Chris Dixon is here.

        (Ed. note: Chris’s best quote is…” Business Insider. Normally B.I. – I’d call it a clickbaiting cross between the Wall Street Journal, Buzzfeed and TMZ – would not be much of a source of news for TheScuttlefish….”)


        Evolution of Ice Breakers

        On February 24, 2015, in Coast Guard, History, by CaptRR


        Seattle based USCGC Polar Star

        Gizmodo has a great post by Attila Nagy on the evolution of Polar Ice Breakers, HERE.

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