Friday, 3 December 2010

Ships in social and military history - Malcolm Kidd

The Vittoria

The first Vittoria (carrack) was owned by Ferdinand Magellan, a Portuguese explorer. In 1519, he sailed eastwards from Europe, but was killed fighting in the Philippines. Most of his crew died too from hunger or disease. A few survivors fled by sea and Sebastian Del Cano managed to complete Magellan's planned voyage, and returned home to Europe weak but triumphant in 1522. Magellan had set off from Europe with a fleet of five ships, but only the Vittoria survived.

HMS Sovereign of the Seas

The Sovereign of the Seas was commissioned by King Charles I and launched in 1638. Sovereign of the Seas was the first warship to have three full gun decks, carrying 102 bronze cannons. Her size and costs were unprecedented - the gilding alone cost the same as the whole hull of a two deck ship - and she later proved herself unbeatable in battle.

HMS Victory

The HMS Victory was launched in 1765 at Chatham dockyard and was commissioned in 1778. She continued in active service for the next 34 years which included her most famous moment in the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805. She is now preserved in a dry dock at Portsmouth.

Gypsy Moth IV

In 1967 this yacht made history when Sir Francis Chichester sailed around the world in it single-handedly, it is now being sold for £250,000. The record-breaking Gypsy Moth IV, a 54ft Honduras Mahogany Ketch, has been restored to top condition and has been put up for sale by the owners of the UK sailing academy. The yacht broker Sue Grant, who is handling the sale said; 'She is such an important thing - half boat and half historic object'. However Sir Francis, who was 65 when he completed the 226 day voyage, was not too pleased with her at the time. He wrote after his return 'Gypsy Moth IV has no sentimental value for me at all. She is cantankerous and difficult.'

1 comment:

  1. Malcolm Perhaps we were ships passing in the night . When were you a student at Sion Mills school ? William Lindsay an 1941/42 evacuee.