Tag Archives: History

Pirates of the Virgin Islands

pirates BVI

The British Virgin Islands have long been associated with pirate activity. There’s fantasy, hearsay, hyperbole, myth and fiction – and a nugget of truth here and there. We know that Sir Francis Drake passed through these islands in 1595 in …

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How Toilet Seat Cut in Islamorada Came to Be

Toilet Seat Cut

Toilet Seat Cut, a bona fide tourist attraction, is in the waters of Florida Bay around mile marker 90 in Islamorada. About 250 decorated toilet seats line a 60-feet-wide manmade channel near mangrove islands and seagrass flats enabling boat travel …

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Sailcloth … Art and Science

Sailcloth...Art and Science

The use of sails is as old as history itself. Maybe the modern era was born with the yacht America in 1851. She sailed to Cowes and unlike her fellow competitors had not only chosen cotton for her sails but …

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Fairfax Moody and the Founding of the Ladies Regatta

Fairfax Moody at the helm. Courtesy of the Houston Yacht Club

In 1852, the Grand Hotel in Point Clear, Alabama hosted sailors from New Orleans and the Mississippi Coast for the post-regatta festivities accompanying the finish of the third annual running of what is today the oldest point-to-point sailboat race in …

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Plimsoll Line and Coffin Ships

Graphics by Hannah Welch

A coffin ship was the name given to a ship that was so poorly maintained that it had only a slim chance of making its destination. These ships were very prevalent in the latter 19th century when emigrants from Ireland …

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The Darién: In the Wake of Discoverers and Pirates

Outer San Blas Islands. Photo by Birgit Hackl

  After Columbus’ discovery of the ‘new world’ in 1492, the Spanish conquistadores subjugated islands in the Caribbean and then focused on South and Central America. The first colonies were founded in the Darién—a region between today’s Panama and Colombia. …

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Cra Cra – A Carib Canoe Links Past and Present

Christopher Columbus sent his men ashore on November 14, 1493 to explore and find water. Instead, they encountered a canoe full of Caribs armed with bows and arrows in the Salt River on the island called Santa Cruz — now …

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