Unfinished Voyages a Chronology of Shipwrecks in the North Eastern United States 1606-1956

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9780936972107: Unfinished Voyages a Chronology of Shipwrecks in the North Eastern United States 1606-1956
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Unfinished Voyages draws together the intricate strands that make up the history of shipwrecks in the continental shelf waters of the northeastern United States. Illustrated with photographs of shipwrecks from New York to northern Maine, the book describes some of the most noteworthy shipwrecks to occur on these shores over a 350 year period. Included in the book are the early shipwrecks of Captain Adrian Block s Tiger in New York, the HMS Astrea in New Hampshire and the many warships sunk in the Penobscot disaster during the American Revolutionary. The book further details the tragedies occurring in Gloucester, Boston and Cape Cod during the triple hurricanes of 1839 when maritime fleets of the northeast were devastated in a series of December storms. It was these storms that moved Henry Wadsworth Longfellow to pen his famous poem The Wreck of The Hesperus. The author also describes the activities leading to the formation of the Life Saving Services and how, often against terrific odds, their job was accomplished. The lifesavers work on the Long Island wreck of the Circassion form, the background for the story of this famous shipwreck. The book gives us a fresh look at some of the more interesting maritime activities along these shores with descriptions of the loss of the world s largest wooden sailing cargo carrier Wyoming and how she sailed her last days. Also described is the last voyage of the mysterious Portland and her frail human cargo. The appendices are a valuable reference to the researcher and historian as well as the armchair sailor. A major addition to this work is a list of over 5,000 shipwrecks that have occurred during the period.

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About the Author:

John Perry Fish is an authority on researching, locating and mapping sunken shipwrecks. Apart from contributing numerous articles to magazines and journals, he has presented many technical papers describing innovative techniques used to explore the seabed in search of shipwrecks. In the northeastern United States the author has been researching and discovering shipwrecks for over 35 years. He has been involved in the discovery of over 325 previously undiscovered shipwrecks including the Vanderbilts palatial yacht Alva, the colossal schooner Wyoming and the long sought steamer Portland. He has acoustically and digitally mapped many underwater shipwrecks and manages a vast database of underwater obstructions. His work has taken him to over twenty two countries across four continents where he has deployed sonar systems, deep sea cameras and remotely operated vehicles used to explore the ocean floor.

Review:

Unfinished Voyages - A chronology of shipwrecks provides the reader with a fascinating narrative of shipwrecks and the modern techniques used to locate these drowned time capsules. It is sometimes easy to forget that history is much more than simply names and dates and that what now is rubble once was a proud vessel, and at the end, was perhaps the scene of an intense struggle for survival. The author has woven the tales of the last voyages of selected ships and daring rescues to portray the development of American maritime commerce and the evolution of the lifesaving service into the modern Coast Guard. The book also provides practical information. The chapter 'Locating Lost Ships' is an excellent concise discussion of modern methods methods of discovering the resting sites of old ships. The appendices which span half the length of this well-illustrated book, definitively list regional newspaper research sources, northeastern life saving stations and a chronology of over 5,000 vessels lost off the northeastern United States in nearly 400 years of maritime history. Unfinished Voyages is an exceptionally well-crafted work that will be of value to anyone who has an interest in maritime history. --Terrence M. Rioux, Diving Officer, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole, Massachusetts USA

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Published by Orleans, Massachusetts, U.S.A.: Lower Cape Pub Co (1986)
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