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I publish them regularly on topics based around my enduring love for all matters maritime. I keep them short and light, so they should be no longer to read than the time it takes to drink a coffee. If you want to receive them, please subscribe below

July 30, 2018

The Teredo worm is a long, slimy, grey mollusc that can grow up to three feet long and an inch thick. It was feared by 18th century sailors, because of its voracious appetite for wood. Teredos bore long cylindrical holes into the timbers of ships, often in such numbers...

July 23, 2018

In the summer of 1702, an Anglo/Dutch force under the command of Admiral George Rooke was attempting to capture the Spanish port of Cadiz. The city had been targeted both to use as a naval base, and because it was the main port where their treasure fleets from the New...

July 16, 2018

By the 1980s, Deptford in southeast London was a rundown and dilapidated shadow of its former self. Pound-shops and fast food outlets competed with tattooing parlours and tanning salons along much of its high street. Friends of mine, who grew up in South East London at...

July 9, 2018

By the close of the 18th century, warships were self-contained communities, capable of operating away from land for months at a time. Cook’s first voyage of exploration lasted almost three years, much of it spent in the uncharted waters of the South Pacific. In their c...

July 2, 2018

In 1747, the French dispatched a vital convoy of thirty merchantmen to carry reinforcements and supplies to their troops in North America. They were being protected by a small naval force, including four ships of the line. On the 14th of May, off Cape Finisterre in Spa...

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