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Shipping Wonders of the World

Part 50

Part 50 of Shipping Wonders of the World was published on Tuesday 19th January 1937.

It included a centre photogravure supplement illustrating Sydney Harbour. It formed part of the article on Sydney’s Magnificent Harbour.

The Cover

This week’s cover was painted by Claude Muncaster specially for Shipping Wonders of the World. It shows the Olivebank, in which Mr Muncaster served, and is after a drawing he made on the spot, sitting out on the end of the jib-boom as the ship was coming up through the tropics. The Olivebank is one of Erikson’s ships and is a steel four-masted barque of 2,795 tons gross.

The Olivebank by Claude Muncaster

Contents of Part 50

Modern Ocean Raiders

Romance of Privateering

Sydney’s Magnificent Harbour

Sydney’s Magnificent Harbour (photogravure supplement)

Mystery of the Mary Celeste

Naval Intelligence

The Italian Navy

Cable Ships at Work

The Dresden Abandoned by her Crew

WITH GUNS STILL TRAINED ON THE ENEMY, the Dresden was abandoned by her crew at Juan Fernandez, where she was cornered by HMS Kent, HMS Glasgow and the Orama. This photograph was taken from one of the boats sent to take possession of her, but the Dresden was on fire aft and finally sank.

(Page 1573)

Romance of Privateering

Once a legalized form of sea-roving and raiding, a voyage in a privateer offered a seafaring life full of adventure and excitement, with enormous profits for those who were successful. Some confusion often exists between the terms “pirate” and “privateer”. A pirate is in the same class as a bandit or thief, but a privateer was a man who had authority to roam the seas subject to certain conditions. In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries and even later, seamen cruised about and searched for an opportunity to capture a treasure ship belonging to the enemy. Privateering was not, of course, confined to British seamen, and the Dunkirk raiders gave British sailors many an anxious moment. This chapter, by Lieut.-Commander E Keble Chatterton gives an enthralling account of the romance of privateering. The article contains accounts of many famous exploits and tells of the deeds of such men as Dampier, Woodes Rogers and Alexander Selkirk.

You can read more about privateering in Gomer Williams’ book, History of the Liverpool Privateers (1897).

(Pages 1577-1582)

Modern Ocean Raiders

The story of armed German merchantmen and certain independent cruisers such as the Dresden during the war of 1914-18. This chapter is by Lieut.-Commander E Keble Chatterton and is concluded from part 49.

(Pages 1573-1576)

Sydney Harbour Bridge

THE GREAT BRIDGE which spans Sydney Harbour was opened in march 1932. Its single span, 1,650 feet long, carries a roadway 57 feet wide, two footways and four lines of railway. A headway of 172 feet is provided at high water. The Manly ferry steamer Dee-Why, in the foreground, has a gross tonnage of 799 and carries 1,700 passengers. She has screws fore and aft, and travelled from Glasgow to Sydney under her own steam. She has a length of

220 feet, a beam of 36 ft 1 in and a depth of 14 ft 8 in.

(Page 1583)

Sydney Cove

SYDNEY COVE, seen from the bridge, incorporates Circular Quay, which has been famous since the days of sail. Nine berths are now in existence, with a total length of 3,574 feet, and a depth of water alongside of between 26 and 31 feet. Most of the town’s ferry traffic is concentrated in Circular Quay, and even since the opening of the bridge more than 20,000,000 passengers are carried each year. In 1788 Governor Phillip had his convict ships brought round from Botany Bay and anchored up the cove, which, in those days, ran much farther inland than the present Circular Quay. In this photograph the P and O liner Narkunda (16,632 tons gross) is seen being taken from her berth by a tug, while ferry steamers ply to and from Circular Quay.

(Pages 1588-1589)

French and British Ships in Action

FRENCH AND BRITISH SHIPS IN ACTION.  This illustration shows the capture of the Marquise d’Antin and the Louis Erasme by the famous privateers Prince Frederick and Duke in 1745. These two British vessels formed part of the privateering fleet raised by a syndicate of London merchants and commanded by George Walker.

(Page 1577)

Sydney’s Magnificent Harbour

Extending inland for 13 miles, Sydney’s famous harbour claims to be the finest in the world. So broken is the foreshore that the total length of water frontage is 188 miles, which permits of facilities for yachting as well as for commerce. The citizens of Sydney are rightly proud of their wonderful harbour and the magnificent bridge which spans it. Sydney must indeed be a delightful spot, for Sidney Howard, who contributes this chapter on the port, tells us that while there he met a man who had travelled extensively and preferred Sydney to any place he knew. Indeed, he had refused an advantageous appointment in London because he would not leave Sydney. Besides being a delightful spot in which to live, Sydney is one of the world’s most important ports. The harbour runs inland for about 13 miles and has a total water area of some 22 square miles. The famous bridge was opened in 1932. This chapter is further illustrated by four pages in photogravure and other pictures. The article is the fifteenth the series on Great Ports of the World.

(Pages 1583-1590)

Mystery of the Mary Celeste

Of all the unsolved mysteries of the sea, none has excited such interest and speculation as the fate of the Mary Celeste, which was found in December 1872 under full sail and in perfect order, but without a soul on board. The strange circumstances in which the derelict was found by the Dei Gratia have caught the imagination of countless lovers of the sea and have caused endless speculation as to what really happened. The story has inspired writers, too, and many authors have offered solutions to the mystery - solutions which agree in varying degrees of accuracy with the established facts. Many accounts alleged to have been survivors’ stories have appeared from time to time, but some of them will not bear much scrutiny. For example, one story was supposed to be told at third-hand by the Mary Celeste’s boatswain, whereas it is well established that she had none. Lieut.-Commander R T Gould has made a special study of the evidence in this famous mystery, and this chapter contains a concise and lucid statement of the known facts. The author puts forward the theory that the mystery is incapable of solution at this late stage, and the story of the Mary Celeste will probably go down to fame as one of the unsolved mysteries of the sea. Incidentally, the Mary Celeste was put into service again after she had been salved, though it was not easy to find anyone willing to sail in her. She was a most unlucky ship and always seemed to bring disaster to everyone concerned with her.

(Pages 1591-1594)

The Track of the Mary Celeste

THE TRACK OF THE MARY CELESTE up to the last entry found in her log. That entry was made on November 24, 1872 (eleven days before her discovery by the Dei Gratia), and gave her position as 36° 56’ N, 27° 20’ W, rather more than 100 miles west of Santa Maria, an island in the Azores. A rough note, however, had been made of her position on November 25, which was given as 6 miles north-north-east of the eastern extremity of Santa Maria. What happened to the Mary Celeste’s people has never been discovered.

(Pages 1592-1593)

Naval Intelligence

The extraordinary success of the Naval Intelligence Division of the British Admiralty during the war of 1914-18 has never been fully disclosed, but it is known to have given the Allies many important advantages. Napoleon I once said that the issue of battles and the fate of empires would be determined “if one could only see what is happening on the other side of the hill”. Undoubtedly the greatest single factor in warfare is the element of surprise, and for this reason all nations have their own intelligence departments to probe into the secret movements of other nations. Here, Hector Bywater contributes a chapter on Naval Intelligence - that game of hide and seek in which the stakes are nations and empires. This is the thirteenth article in the series The Navy Goes to Work.

(Pages 1595-1598)

Sydney’s Magnificent Harbour: Photogravure Supplement

AN ORIENT LINER berthed in Woolloomooloo Bay, which is separated from the heart of Sydney by the Domain, Hyde park, and other open spaces. Fourteen berths for ships are available, with an aggregate length of 6,188 feet, and the depth at low tide is between 30 and 35 feet. The main jetty is 1,140 feet long and 208 feet wide, with a covered concrete roadway down the centre. Five of the fifteen large cargo sheds are double-decked and fitted with electric cargo-handling cranes. The foreshore of this bay is the only one that has not been preserved from encroachments on the part of industrial or commercial enterprise.

(Page 1587)

Naval Intelligence

THE POSITION OF ENEMY WARSHIPS during the war of 1914-18 was accurately determined by a novel and reliable method of wireless directional cross-bearings. Wireless stations were established at many ports round the coast of Great Britain for the primary purpose of picking up enemy wireless signals. By means of directional wireless such stations could tell from which direction the signals came. This information was immediately sent to the Admiralty in Whitehall. Cross-bearings from separate stations, such as Lowestoft (Suffolk) and Aberdeen would be plotted on a map as shown in the illustration. The point where the lines crossed indicated the position of the enemy vessel. This system enabled the Admiralty to ascertain the position of every German submarine in a given area.


(Page 1597)

The Italian Navy

During the war of 1914-18 the Italian Navy did not feature in any major action but distinguished itself by outstanding feats of a dashing nature. The present fleet has been built almost entirely since the war, and is one of the most powerful modern fleets in existence. One of the most dramatic feats of the war of 1914-18 was the sinking of the Austrian battleship Szent Istvan by a tiny Italian motor-boat. This was typical of the dashing exploits of the Italian fleet during the war of 1914-18. The Italian fleet lost many ships, however, and was much depleted by the end of the war. Thus the Italian Navy as we know it is essentially a product of the post-war age. This chapter is by Hector Bywater and is the fourth article in the series on Fleets of Foreign Powers.

(Pages 1599-1603)

The Dresden abandoned by her CrewFrench and British Ships in ActionSydney Harbour BridgeAn Orient liner berthed in Woolloomooloo Bay, SydneySydney CoveSydney Cove

Sydney’s Magnificent Harbour

THE SMOOTH WATER of Sydney harbour, with its innumerable coves and bays, makes possible wonderful yachting. The spread of sail carried by some of the racing yachts is tremendous, and the crews act as shifting ballast, leaning out to windward to prevent capsizing.

A STRIKING CONTRAST to the photograph of Sydney Cove (above) is afforded by this view of Sydney Harbour, also taken from the bridge. The natural bays and coves make the harbour an ideal pleasure resort, and small craft of all kinds mingle with warships and passenger liners.

(Page 1590)

Sydney HarbourThe Track of the Mary CelesteThe Track of the Mary Celestenaval intelligenceThe Giulio Cesare

The Giulio Cesare

SPEED WAS INCREASED FROM 22 TO 27 KNOTS and horse-power from 31,000 to 75,000, when the Italian battleship Giulio Cesare (above) and her sister, the Conte di Cavour emerged from extensive reconstruction and modernization in 1936. Completed in 1914, the Giulio Cesare has an overall length of 577 ft 6 in, a beam of 92 feet and a mean draught of 28 ft 4 in. Her displacement tonnage is 25,000.

(Page 1599)

Cable Ships at Work

The history of cable ships begins with the laying of the first successful cable between England and France in the middle of the last century. Despite tremendous opposition and heavy misfortune, the laying of the Atlantic cable began a new era in world communications. This is the second chapter on the work of the cable ships by Captain S A Garnham, his earlier article being on Laying the Ocean Cables The Great Eastern is sometimes referred to as the first cable-laying ship, but the first ship to be permanently fitted out for the laying of cables was the Monarch. The article is concluded in part 51.

(Page 1604)

You can read about the first Atlantic cable in Wonders of World Engineering.

The Monarch

The Monarch

A POST OFFICE CABLE SHIP, the Monarch, successor to the famous Monarch of 1883, is a twin-screw vessel of 1,150 tons gross, built at Newcastle-on-Tyne in 1916. The Monarch berths off the Post Office Cable Depot at Woolwich, on the River Thames. She has a length of 222 ft 8 in, a beam of 32 ft 2 in and a moulded depth of 22 feet.

(Page 1604)