Admiral Duncan, Battle Of Camperdown, Captain WIlliam Kydd, Dundee, Robert Falcon Scott, Sir Andrew Wood of Largo, Terra Nova, The frigate Unicorn, The mars Training ship, The North Carr Lightship, The Yellow Carvel
Okay finally, here it is, les pirates and les ships of les home city. BUT before we talk this-
and this –
Yuss…the Battle of Camperdown, the sea not the park one, I am going to talk this….
The fact that the lovely S.L Stacy of Urge 2 Write, a blog follower, who has a great blog on writing, opted to suffer me as her First Friday Feature!
Whazzat? Well, you can find out here,
And here… vacationcrashers.reneamason.com
who the crashers are and what you have to do. You can find out what the prizes are too. But a Kindle, $75 Amazon gift card, book swag and more, does sound good.
Why am I blogging ships, more ships and pirates? I forgot. But it is certainly different from chatting to garden gnomes and having spiders scuttling about the place. Hell hounds too. Of course Fury should be doing this post over on her blog, since she and Flint were the ones to offer great affront to Captain Scott.
But she has gone noticeably quiet about that, so I gets left with the mop up. I’m going to look today at why Captain Scott’s ship, the Discovery, is berthed in my hometown Dundee, and what famous sea-farers the city gave the world. How very serious. Master that yawn now.
Dundee is of course a sea-faring city, in its past being home to the Arctic Whalers. No. Not a US football team. Pay attention here. Proper whalers with harpoons and all as in Moby Dick–a book not a mobi app. Discovery was the last traditional wooden three-masted ship to be built in Britain and the reason Dundee ship builders were chosen to build it and we now have all these penguin statues hopping all over the place, nearly breaking your ankle as you stroll about the city centre trying to look cool, sexy and all, was because of the skills in building whaling ships. Maybe these boats came back with their hulls reshaped. The fact was they came back at all. Unlike the tourists encountering the penguin statues…
The Discovery (above, penguin statues below)
took Captain Scott–no not the damn penguin statues, will you please pay attention – on his first Antarctic Expedition, which was forced to turn back from the Pole because of the state of Shackleton’s feet. (And that was without meeting a god-damned penguin statue) (a penguin maybe )(Look, do you also know some idiot recently thought it would be whizzo to have real penguins hopping about as if the statues weren’t enough.) The ship was stuck in ice but rescued and blown free by another Dundee ship, the Terra Nova. Co-incidentally the self same ship that took Scott on the ill-fated expedition of 1911, in which he perished.
The same ship that was recently discovered off the coast of Greenland, having been submerged in water for over 70 years.
So, what other ships are associated with Dundee? Well, there’s the frigate Unicorn, one of the six oldest ships in the world, Scotland’s only preserved warship and the most completely original ship in the entire world to have survived from the golden age of sail. Phew…Puleaze note the figure head there. It is not a penguin.
I just don’t want to say too much more there as Fury kind of has her eyes on it. Inside it is something else…..and very roomy, although not sure about the My Little Pony figurehead. Then there’s the North Carr Lightship….
the last remaining Scottish lightship, the purpose once being to warn mariners of the dangers of the North Carr rocks. That it was in trouble itself was the reason the local lifeboat, the Mona, was launched in 1959 with the loss of its crew of eight, a tragedy that stunned the area.
Dundee was also once home…or rather Wormit, across the river was, to the infamous Mars Training vessel. The threat ‘Yir going tae Mars,’ having nothing to do with shortly becoming an astronaut.
So. that’s some of the ships…what about the sailors Dundee has produced who have stepped on the world stage. Well, it claims an association with Sir Andrew Wood of Largo, a privateer no less, who had trading connections with the port.
The Yellow Carvel
But in larger world terms Admiral Duncan, who defeated the Dutch fleet off Camperdown in a victory that is considered one of the most significant actions in naval history, was born in Dundee no less. What is more…unusually for the city that prefers penguins there is even a statue to prove it.
With a telescope’n all. You can tell he’s not going to break an ankle penguin-spoting. And lastly we come to Captain Kydd. Yes, that is as in either ‘one of the most notorious pirates in the history of the world or one of its most unjustly vilified and prosecuted privateers in an age typified by the rationalisation of empire.’
Forget the Greenock claims, Kydd’s baptismal records turned up in Dundee where his father was a sea captain. The first records of his life date from 1689, when he was a member of a French-English pirate crew that sailed in the Caribbean. Kidd and other members of the crew mutinied, ousted the captain of the ship, and sailed to the English colony of Nevis. Exciting? Yes. And but the start too.
Kidd also once sailed away during the night to preserve his crew, rather than subject them to Royal Navy impressment. So wrong really?
After an impressive and colourful list of exploits, he was however tried and executed for piracy–awww- which brings me finally to the end of this post. Tall ships and stars. If I write any more I will be seeing them. So will the other penguin statues….. cute huh?