Category Archives: Maritime History

Images of Lighthouse ‘Nobska Light’ at Woods Hole, Cape Cod

Year Station Established: 1829
Year Present Tower Built: 1876
Year Automated: 1985                                                                                                                               Location: Nobska Rd., Falmouth, Massachusetts
Coordinates: 41°30′59″N 70°39′27″W
Area: 2.1 acres (0.85 ha)

Architectural Style: Italianate, Federal Revival
NRHP Referece No: 87001483

Construction Materials: Cast iron with brick lining
Auxiliary Buildings Still Standing: 1876 keeper’s house, oil house, storage building, radio beacon house.

Tower Height: 40 feet
Height of Focal Plane: 87 feet
Earlier Optic: Fifth-order Fresnel lens
Present Optic: Fourth-order Fresnel lens (1888)                                                                                     Characteristic: Flashing white every six seconds with a red sector
Fog Signal: Two blasts every 30 seconds

Active U.S. Coast Guard aid to navigation. 

In April 2016 the Town of Falmouth was granted a license by the Coast Guard to care for the light station property.  A nonprofit, the Friends of Nobska Light, has been formed.

Nobska Light, originally called Nobsque Light, also known as Nobska Point Light is a lighthouse located at the division between Buzzards Bay and Vineyard Sound in Woods Hole, Massachusetts on the southwestern tip of Cape Cod, Massachusetts. It overlooks Martha’s Vineyard and Nonamesset Island. The light station was added to the National Register of Historic Places as Nobska Point Light Station in 1987.

The original Nomination Form from June 1987 with the National Register of Historic Places Inventory, along with useful background information on lighthouses, can be found by clicking here!

Visitor Information: The tower and dwelling are not opened to the public currently, but Friends of Nobska Light plans to open them in the future. The lighthouse is owned by the Town of Falmouth. Grounds open, dwelling/tower closed.

Credit: various sources including Wikipedia, National Register of Historic Places, Massachusetts Lighthouses, Friends of Nobska Light. Images Credit:  Karatzas Images.

Nobska Lighthouse under the sun of a summer sunset. Image credit: Karatzas Images

Nobska Lighthouse under the sun of a summer sunset. Image credit: Karatzas Images

Nobska Lighthouse under the sun of a summer sunset. Image credit: Karatzas Images

Nobska Lighthouse under the sun of a summer sunset. Image credit: Karatzas Images

Nobska Lighthouse, made of cast iron and standing 40 ft high, under the sun of a summer sunset. Image credit: Karatzas Images

Nobska Lighthouse, made of cast iron and standing 40 ft high, under the sun of a summer sunset. Image credit: Karatzas Images

Nobska Lighthouse, made of cast iron and standing 40 ft high, under the sun of a summer sunset. Image credit: Karatzas Images

Nobska Lighthouse, made of cast iron and standing 40 ft high, under the sun of a summer sunset. Image credit: Karatzas Images

Nobska Lighthouse, made of cast iron and standing 40 ft high, under the sun of a summer sunset. Image credit: Karatzas Images

Nobska Lighthouse, made of cast iron and standing 40 ft high, under the sun of a summer sunset. Image credit: Karatzas Images

Top of the cast iron tower where the fourth-order Fresnel lens is situated. Nobska Lighthouse, made of cast iron and standing 40 ft high, under the sun of a summer sunset. Image credit: Karatzas Images

A U.S. Coast Guard active aid to navigations, flashes white light with red sector every six seconds. Nobska Lighthouse, made of cast iron and standing 40 ft high, under the sun of a summer sunset. Image credit: Karatzas Images

A U.S. Coast Guard active aid to navigations, flashes white light with red sector every six seconds. Nobska Lighthouse, made of cast iron and standing 40 ft high, under the sun of a summer sunset. Image credit: Karatzas Images

The lighthouse in action. Nobska Lighthouse under the sun of a summer sunset. Image credit: Karatzas Images

Facing west, the lighthouse in action. Nobska Lighthouse under the sun of a summer sunset. Image credit: Karatzas Images

IMPORTANT DISCLAIMERS:  Vessel descriptions (if any) are provided in good faith and believed to be correct and accurate but no assurances, warranties or representations are made herewith. Vessel descriptions (if any) are provided for entertainment  purposes only. We have no responsibility whatsoever for any errors / omissions in vessel description.

Access to this blog signifies the reader’s irrevocable acceptance of this disclaimer. No part of this blog can be reproduced by any means and under any circumstances, whatsoever, in whole or in part, without proper attribution or the consent of the copyright and trademark holders of this website. Whilst every effort has been made to ensure that information herewithin has been received from sources believed to be reliable and such information is believed to be accurate at the time of publishing, no warranties or assurances whatsoever are made in reference to accuracy or completeness of said information, and no liability whatsoever will be accepted for taking or failing to take any action upon any information contained in any part of this website.  Thank you for the consideration.

Images posted on this blog are available for purchase at www.karatzas.nyc 

aefcdec8-8d21-400c-ad1e-8ff0030b395dOriginal

Images of Explorer Ship MS ‘Nordstjernen’ in Hamburg

Explorer Ship MS ‘Nordstjernen’ pictured upstream and downstream Elbe River, Hamburg Vessel is designated national heritage by the Norwegian Directorate for Cultural Heritage (Riksantikvaren)

MS Nordstjernen
History
Name: MS Nordstjernen
Owner: 1956–1979: Det Bergenske Dampskibsselskap
1979-2006 Troms Fylkes Dampskibsselskap
2006–2012: Hurtigruten
2012–2013: Vestland Rederi
2013–2014: M/S Nordstjernen AS c/o RS Platou Finans
Operator: Vestland Marine
Port of registry: Bergen
Route: Norway and Spitsbergen
Builder: Blohm & Voss, Steinwerder
Yard number: 787
Launched: 26 October 1955
Completed: 24 February 1956
Identification:
Call sign: LATU3
IMO number: 5255777
MMSI number: 257276000
Status: In service

General characteristics
Tonnage: 2,191 GT
Length: 88.78 m (291 ft 3 in)
Beam: 12.64 m (41 ft 6 in)
Decks: 4 passenger
Speed: 15 knots (27.78 km/h; 17.26 mph)
Capacity:
400 passengers
149 berths

MS Nordstjernen (Norwegian: “The North Star“) is a vessel constructed in Hamburg, Germany in 1956, and used on the Hurtigruten coastal service until 2012. It was the oldest operational ship in the Hurtigruten fleet at the time of its withdrawal, and is the ship with the longest history of Hurtigruten service. In 2012, she was protected as a national heritage in Norway.

History

Nordstjernen was mainly used for the Hurtigruten coastal service and for cruises to the Svalbard archipelago. She was extensively refitted in 1980. From 2010 to 2012 she operated continuously on the Hurtigruten coastal service. In March 2012, she was withdrawn from the coastal service, and was replaced by MS Finnmarken, which came back in Hurtigruten service after it was in Australia. Hurtigruten was using her for Svalbard cruises in the summer of 2012. In November 2012, the ship was bought by Vestland Rederi AS. In connection with the sale, she was protected as a national heritage by the Norwegian Directorate for Cultural Heritage (Riksantikvaren). Nordstjernen’s new home port is Bergen, as it was with her original owner Bergen Steamship Company (Det Bergenske Dampskibsselskab, BDS). From the end of 2012 to July 2013, she underwent an extensive restoration in Gdańsk, Poland, which was subsidized with 2.5 million Norwegian krones by Riksantikvaren. After coming back to Norway and taking part in the Fjordsteam festival in Bergen in the first days of August 2013, the new owner market her as a hotel ship and for charter cruises. Finally she left Gdańsk on 9 November 2013. On her way back to Norway, she ran aground in the Karmsund strait on 11 November 2013. There was damage to the ship which was repaired at a dockyard in Ølensvåg, and at the end of January 2014, Nordstjernen left the dockyard. Since 2015, Hurtigruten has chartered  the ship they formerly owned and they deploy it under their own cruiseship fleet.


Information on the cruises ship MS ‘Nordstjernen’ has been reproduced from Wiki Commons under the entry SS Stettin, as accessed last on May 27th, 2017. Wiki Commons is the Copyright owner for the text hereabove, and the information is hereby reproduced solely for education purposes. However, copyright for the images published here belong exclusively to Karatzas Images.


A Norwegian-designated cultural heritage vessel, MS ‘Nordstjernen’, built in 1955 by Blohm + Voss in Germany and registered in Bergen, seen here upstream the Elbe River at Hamburg on a sunny, early summer evening. Image credit: Karatzas Images

A Norwegian-designated cultural heritage vessel, MS ‘Nordstjernen’, built in 1955 by Blohm + Voss in Germany and registered in Bergen, seen here upstream the Elbe River at Hamburg on a sunny, early summer evening. Image credit: Karatzas Images

A Norwegian-designated cultural heritage vessel, MS ‘Nordstjernen’, built in 1955 by Blohm + Voss in Germany and registered in Bergen, seen here upstream the Elbe River at Hamburg on a sunny, early summer evening. Image credit: Karatzas Images

A Norwegian-designated cultural heritage vessel, MS ‘Nordstjernen’, built in 1955 by Blohm + Voss in Germany and registered in Bergen, seen here upstream the Elbe River at Hamburg on a sunny, early summer evening. Image credit: Karatzas Images

A Norwegian-designated cultural heritage vessel, MS ‘Nordstjernen’, built in 1955 by Blohm + Voss in Germany and registered in Bergen, seen here upstream the Elbe River at Hamburg on a sunny, early summer evening. Image credit: Karatzas Images

A Norwegian-designated cultural heritage vessel, MS ‘Nordstjernen’, built in 1955 by Blohm + Voss in Germany and registered in Bergen, seen here upstream the Elbe River at Hamburg on a sunny, early summer evening. Image credit: Karatzas Images

A Norwegian-designated cultural heritage vessel, MS ‘Nordstjernen’, built in 1955 by Blohm + Voss in Germany and registered in Bergen, seen here upstream the Elbe River at Hamburg on a sunny, early summer evening. Image credit: Karatzas Images

Two days later, downstream the Elbe River at Hamburg, under strong showers. A Norwegian-designated cultural heritage vessel, MS ‘Nordstjernen’, built in 1955 by Blohm + Voss in Germany and registered in Bergen. Image credit: Karatzas Images

Two days later, downstream the Elbe River at Hamburg, under strong showers. A Norwegian-designated cultural heritage vessel, MS ‘Nordstjernen’, built in 1955 by Blohm + Voss in Germany and registered in Bergen. Image credit: Karatzas Images

Two days later, downstream the Elbe River at Hamburg, under strong showers. A Norwegian-designated cultural heritage vessel, MS ‘Nordstjernen’, built in 1955 by Blohm + Voss in Germany and registered in Bergen. Image credit: Karatzas Images

Two days later, downstream the Elbe River at Hamburg, under strong showers. A Norwegian-designated cultural heritage vessel, MS ‘Nordstjernen’, built in 1955 by Blohm + Voss in Germany and registered in Bergen. Image credit: Karatzas Images

Two days later, downstream the Elbe River at Hamburg, under strong showers. A Norwegian-designated cultural heritage vessel, MS ‘Nordstjernen’, built in 1955 by Blohm + Voss in Germany and registered in Bergen. Image credit: Karatzas Images

Two days later, downstream the Elbe River at Hamburg, under strong showers. A Norwegian-designated cultural heritage vessel, MS ‘Nordstjernen’, built in 1955 by Blohm + Voss in Germany and registered in Bergen. Image credit: Karatzas Images

Two days later, downstream the Elbe River at Hamburg, under strong showers. A Norwegian-designated cultural heritage vessel, MS ‘Nordstjernen’, built in 1955 by Blohm + Voss in Germany and registered in Bergen. Image credit: Karatzas Images


© 2013 – present Basil M Karatzas & Karatzas Marine Advisors & Co.  All Rights Reserved.

IMPORTANT DISCLAIMERS:  Vessel description is provided in good faith and is believed to be correct and accurate but no assurances, warranties or representations are made herewith. Vessel description is provided for entertainment  purposes only. We have no responsibility whatsoever for any errors / omissions in vessel description.

Access to this blog signifies the reader’s irrevocable acceptance of this disclaimer. No part of this blog can be reproduced by any means and under any circumstances, whatsoever, in whole or in part, without proper attribution or the consent of the copyright and trademark holders of this website. Whilst every effort has been made to ensure that information herewithin has been received from sources believed to be reliable and such information is believed to be accurate at the time of publishing, no warranties or assurances whatsoever are made in reference to accuracy or completeness of said information, and no liability whatsoever will be accepted for taking or failing to take any action upon any information contained in any part of this website.  Thank you for the consideration.

Images posted on this blog are typically minimally processed gpeg images of lower resolution. Original images are typically shot in RAW format, which can be provided upon special request.

Images of Museum Ship SS ‘Stettin’ in the Port of Hamburg

Images of Museum Ship SS ‘Stettin’, an ice breaker, in the Port of Hamburg

SS Stettin
Status: Museum ship
Owner: Association Dampf-Eisbrecher Stettin e.V.,Hamburg
Builder: Stettiner Oderwerke
Yard number: 769
Launched: 7 September 1933
Christened: 16 November 1933
Out of service: 1981

General characteristics
Class and Notation: Germanischer Lloyd 100 A5 K E
Tonnage: 783 tons
Displacement: 1,138 tons
Length: 51.75 m
Beam: 13.43 m
Height: 6.45 m
Draught: 5.40 m
Installed power: Steam, 2,200 hp at 115 rpm
Propulsion: 3-cylinder-expansion steam-piston engine with Stephenson ex-center-control
Crew: 22


Stettin is a steam icebreaker built by the shipyard Stettiner Oderwerke in 1933. She was ordered by the Chamber of Commerce of Stettin (until 1945 Germany, since 1945 Szczecin, Poland). The economy of the city of Stettin strongly depended on the free access of ships to and from the Baltic Sea. Therefore, icebreakers were used to keep the shipping channels free from ice during the winter.

For the first time in Germany, the construction was characterized by a new bow design called Runeberg-bow. This new bow design broke the ice using a novel method. It was not broken by the weight of the ship but by a sharp cutting edge. Future development of icebreakers was influenced by this bow form.

Although diesel-engines were already in wide use by 1933, Stettin was equipped with a steam piston engine. Unlike diesel engines, steam piston engines can be reversed within a very short period of approximately 3 to 4 seconds. This was important during manoeuvres of the ship under icey conditions in order to liberate the ship if it were to get stuck. The icebreakers of Stettin were handled by the shipping company Braeunlich, which ran a seaside resort ferry service along the coast during the summer. Its other ships had similar engines, so a single technical staff could be employed year round. Stettin was run by a crew of 22 men. This system was in place until the end of World War II.

With the special hull design and an engine power with a maximum horsepower of 2200, measured at the cylinders, Stettin was able to break ice up to a thickness of half a meter, at a constant speed of one to two knots. Thicker ice could only be broken by boxing. Boxing was a process in which the ship ran several attacks until the ice gave way.

From 1933 to 1945, Stettin was used on the Oder River between Stettin and Swinemünde (Świnoujście), as well as on the Baltic Sea, in German Navy (Kriegsmarine) service. On the night of 8 April 1940, Stettin participated in the capture of Copenhagen by participating in a surprise landing of German troops in Copenhagen together with the railway ferry/minelayer Hansestadt Danzig. Stettin is also one of two or three surviving vessels of the east Prussia evacuation fleet. From 1945 on, she was used by the waterway and navigation authorities in Hamburg on the river Elbe.

In 1981, Stettin was slated to be scrapped due to uneconomic costs. With the establishment of a development association, thousands of working hours, and support by generous sponsors, the ship was saved. Today, she is a technical culture monument. Her homeport is the museum port of Oevelgoenne in Hamburg, Germany. During summertime, Stettin cruises with guests on occasions like “Hamburg port birthday,” “Hansesail Rostock,” and “Kieler Woche,” and is also used as a charter vessel.


Information on the ice breaker SS ‘Stettin’ has been reproduced from Wiki Commons under the entry SS Stettin, as accessed last on May 25th, 2017. Wiki Commons is the only and absolute holder of the Copyright, and the information is hereby reproduced solely for education purposes. However, copyright for the images published here belong exclusively to Karatzas Images.


Rare sight of a museum ship sailing: vintage icebreaker SS ‘Stettin’ enjoys the calm waters of the Elbe River on a sunny early summer evening, far away from its intended ice-infested seas. Retirement well earned! Image credit: Karatzas Images.

Rare sight of a museum ship sailing: vintage icebreaker SS ‘Stettin’ enjoys the calm waters of the Elbe River on a sunny early summer evening, far away from its intended ice-infested seas. Retirement well earned! Image credit: Karatzas Images.

Rare sight of a museum ship sailing: vintage icebreaker SS ‘Stettin’ enjoys the calm waters of the Elbe River on a sunny early summer evening, far away from its intended ice-infested seas. Retirement well earned! Image credit: Karatzas Images.

Rare sight of a museum ship sailing: vintage icebreaker SS ‘Stettin’ enjoys the calm waters of the Elbe River on a sunny early summer evening. Detail of the innovative bow design at the time, Runeberg-bow, for breaking ice not by the weight of the ship but by a sharp cutting edge. Image credit: Karatzas Images.

Rare sight of a museum ship sailing: vintage icebreaker SS ‘Stettin’ enjoys the calm waters of the Elbe River on a sunny early summer evening. Detail of the innovative bow design at the time, Runeberg-bow, for breaking ice not by the weight of the ship but by a sharp cutting edge. Image credit: Karatzas Images.

Rare sight of a museum ship sailing: vintage icebreaker SS ‘Stettin’ enjoys the calm waters of the Elbe River on a sunny early summer evening, far away from its intended ice-infested seas. Only ice concerns now are for the ice used for cocktails served onboard! Image credit: Karatzas Images.

Rare sight of a museum ship sailing: vintage icebreaker SS ‘Stettin’ enjoys the calm waters of the Elbe River on a sunny early summer evening, far away from its intended ice-infested seas. Retirement well earned! Image credit: Karatzas Images.

Rare sight of a museum ship sailing: vintage icebreaker SS ‘Stettin’ enjoys the calm waters of the Elbe River on a sunny early summer evening, far away from its intended ice-infested seas. Retirement well earned! Image credit: Karatzas Images.

Rare sight of a museum ship sailing: vintage icebreaker SS ‘Stettin’ enjoys the calm waters of the Elbe River on a sunny early summer evening, far away from its intended ice-infested seas. Retirement well earned! Image credit: Karatzas Images.

Rare sight of a museum ship sailing: vintage icebreaker SS ‘Stettin’ enjoys the calm waters of the Elbe River on a sunny early summer evening, far away from its intended ice-infested seas. Retirement well earned! Image credit: Karatzas Images.

Rare sight of a museum ship sailing: vintage icebreaker SS ‘Stettin’ enjoys the calm waters of the Elbe River on a sunny early summer evening, far away from its intended ice-infested seas. Retirement well earned! Image credit: Karatzas Images.

Rare sight of a museum ship sailing: vintage icebreaker SS ‘Stettin’ enjoys the calm waters of the Elbe River on a sunny early summer evening, far away from its intended ice-infested seas. Retirement well earned! Image credit: Karatzas Images.

© 2013 – present Basil M Karatzas & Karatzas Marine Advisors & Co.  All Rights Reserved.

IMPORTANT DISCLAIMERS:  Vessel description is provided in good faith and is believed to be correct and accurate but no assurances, warranties or representations are made herewith. Vessel description is provided for entertainment  purposes only. We have no responsibility whatsoever for any errors / omissions in vessel description.

Access to this blog signifies the reader’s irrevocable acceptance of this disclaimer. No part of this blog can be reproduced by any means and under any circumstances, whatsoever, in whole or in part, without proper attribution or the consent of the copyright and trademark holders of this website. Whilst every effort has been made to ensure that information herewithin has been received from sources believed to be reliable and such information is believed to be accurate at the time of publishing, no warranties or assurances whatsoever are made in reference to accuracy or completeness of said information, and no liability whatsoever will be accepted for taking or failing to take any action upon any information contained in any part of this website.  Thank you for the consideration.

Images posted on this blog are typically minimally processed gpeg images of lower resolution. Original images are typically shot in RAW format, which can be provided upon special request.

Poseidon’s Temple at Cape Sounion

Cape Sounion, at the southernmost tip of the Attica peninsula, is a promontory located appr. 70 kilometres (45 mi) south-southeast of Athens, Greece. The cape is the point for ships to enter the Saronic Gulf and reach the Port of Piraeus and the city of Athens and it’s an approximate cut-off point of the Aegean Sea.

According to Greek mythology and the founding myth of the city of Athens, Cape Sounion is the spot from where King Aegeus of Athens, leapt to his death off a cliff and thus giving his name to the sea. The Aegean Sea has been the backdrop of the Greek culture since historical records exist. It’s the sea where many city-states on smaller islands flourished, where great trade took place among Hellenistic and foreign peoples. To ancient Greeks in Athens, the Aegean Sea was the window to the world of the Dardanelles and the Black Sea (Hellespont, etc) to the north, to the eastern Mediterranean Basin (Phoenicians, Egyptians, etc) and to the western Mediterranean Basin (Romans, Carthaginians, etc) The Aegean Sea was the life and the blood of the ancient Greece (and of course, of the modern Greece).

What a better place for a temple to the god of Poseidon, brother of Zeus and a major deity among the Olympian gods, and the god in charge of keeping the seas and the waters in control? Cape Sounion is the location of a majestic temple to god of the seas, a great place from where to oversee his kingdom and stay in touch with his subjects, nested atop steep cliffs of appr. 60 meter high (200 ft), a place with commandeering views and fantastic sunsets, at the crossroads of the trading routes and still, a place close enough to the city of Athens.

Archaeological finds on the site date from as early as 700 BC. The original, Archaic-period temple of Poseidon on the site, was probably destroyed in 480 BC by Persian troops during Xerxes I’s invasion of Greece. The later temple at Sounion, whose columns still stand today, was probably built ca. 440 BC. This was during the ascendancy of the Athenian statesman Pericles, who also rebuilt the Parthenon in Athens. In 413 BC, during the Peloponnesian War against the Spartans, the Athenians fortified the site with a wall and towers to prevent it from falling into Spartan hands. This would have threatened Athens’ seaborne grain supply route from Euboea.

The temple of Poseidon was constructed in 444–440 BC, over the ruins of a temple dating from the Archaic period. The design of the temple is a typical hexastyle, i.e., it had a front portico with six columns. It has been hypothesized that it would have closely resembled the contemporary and well-preserved Temple of Hephaestus beneath the Acropolis, which may have been designed by the same architect.

The Poseidon building, with a southeastern orientation, is rectangular, with a colonnade on all four sides. The total number of original columns was 34; only 18 columns still stand today. The columns are of the Doric Order. They were made of locally quarried white marble. They were 6.10 m (20 ft) high, with a diameter of 1 m (3.1 ft) at the base and 79 cm (31 inches) at the top.

At the center of the temple colonnade would have been the hall of worship (naos), a windowless rectangular room, similar to the partly intact hall at the Temple of Hephaestus. It would have contained, at one end facing the entrance, the cult image, a colossal, ceiling-height (6 meters (20 ft)) bronze statue of Poseidon. Probably covered in gold leaf, it may have resembled a contemporary representation of the god, appropriately found in a shipwreck, shown in the figure above. Poseidon was usually portrayed carrying a trident, the weapon he supposedly used to stir up storms. On the longest day of the year, the sun sets exactly in the middle of the caldera of the island of Patroklos, the extinct volcano that lies a mile offshore, suggesting astrological significance for the siting of the temple. The temple of Poseidon was destroyed in 399 by Emperor Arcadius.

Archaeological excavation of the site in 1906 uncovered numerous artifacts and inscriptions, most notably a marble kouros statue known as the Sounion Kouros and an impressive votive relief, both now in the Athens National Archaeological Museum. A column from the temple can be seen in the British Museum.


Certain material on the blog has been reproduced by Wikipedia; an article on Poseidon and images of a marble statue of the god (Poseidon of Milos) from the National Archaeological Museum in Athens can be found at a previous posting on this blog.


sounion-1-bmk_7617

Temple of Poseidon, Cape Sounion. As seen from the east side. Image credit: Karatzas Images

sounion-2-bmk_7664

Background info from the Department of Culture. Image credit: Karatzas Images.

sounion-3-bmk_7669

Additional background information. Image credit: Karatzas Images.

sounion-4-bmk_7737

Temple of Poseidon, Cape Sounion. As seen from the east side; view of the portico. Image credit: Karatzas Images

sounion-5-bmk_7759

Temple of Poseidon, Cape Sounion. As seen from the east side; the south colonnade. Image credit: Karatzas Images

sounion-6-bmk_7807

Temple of Poseidon, Cape Sounion. The south colonnade. Image credit: Karatzas Images

sounion-7-bmk_7980

Temple of Poseidon, Cape Sounion. As seen from the east side; the south colonnade and the portico. Image credit: Karatzas Images

sounion-8-bmk_7991

Temple of Poseidon, Cape Sounion. As seen from the east side; the south colonnade. Image credit: Karatzas Images

sounion-9-bmk_8218

Temple of Poseidon, Cape Sounion. As seen from the east side; south colonnade and portico. Image credit: Karatzas Images

sounion-10-bmk_8302

Temple of Poseidon, Cape Sounion. As seen from the west; south colonnade. Image credit: Karatzas Images

sounion-11-bmk_8332

Temple of Poseidon, Cape Sounion. As seen from the west; south colonnade and partial view of the north colonnade. Image credit: Karatzas Images

sounion-12-bmk_8422

Temple of Poseidon, Cape Sounion. Detail of a column head from the south colonnade. The simplicity of the Doric Order is imposing. Image credit: Karatzas Images

sounion-13-bmk_8541

Temple of Poseidon, Cape Sounion. As seen from northwest. Image credit: Karatzas Images

sounion-14-bmk_8706

Temple of Poseidon, Cape Sounion. As seen from northeast. Image credit: Karatzas Images

sounion-15-bmk_9027

Temple of Poseidon, Cape Sounion. As seen from the east with a typical sunset. A god would be pleased only with the very best! Image credit: Karatzas Images

sounion-16-bmk_9055

I would not mind a temple with such a view every evening! Image credit: Karatzas Images


© 2013 – present Basil M Karatzas & Karatzas Images.  All Rights Reserved.

IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER:  Access to this blog signifies the reader’s irrevocable acceptance of this disclaimer. No part of this blog can be reproduced by any means and under any circumstances, whatsoever, in whole or in part, without proper attribution or the consent of the copyright and trademark holders of this website. Whilst every effort has been made to ensure that information here within has been received from sources believed to be reliable and such information is believed to be accurate at the time of publishing, no warranties or assurances whatsoever are made in reference to accuracy or completeness of said information, and no liability whatsoever will be accepted for taking or failing to take any action upon any information contained in any part of this website.  Thank you for the consideration.

Poseidon – The Olympian God of the Sea

According to Greek mythology and the story of the genesis of the gods of Olympus (Olympian Gods), Poseidon was the god of the sea and protector of all aquatic features. He spent most of his time in his watery domain, although he was officially one of the supreme gods of Mount Olympus. Also, while there were various rivers personified as gods, these would have been technically under Poseidon’s sway. Similarly, Nereus, the Old Man of the Sea, wasn’t really considered on a par with Poseidon, who was known to drive his chariot through the waves in unquestioned dominance. Poseidon had married Titan Oceanus‘ daughter, and sea-nymph Amphitrite.

Poseidon was a son of Cronus (the youngest of the 12 Titans) and of Cronus’s sister and consort Rhea, a fertility goddess. Poseidon was a brother of Zeus, the sky god and chief deity of ancient Greece, and of Hades, god of the underworld. When the three brothers deposed their father, the kingdom of the sea fell by lot to Poseidon. Zeus became ruler of the sky, Hades got dominion of the Underworld and Poseidon was given all water, both fresh and salt. Poseidon was widely worshipped by seamen.

His weapon and main symbol was the trident, perhaps once a fish spear, with which he could make the earth shake, causing earthquakes, and shatter any object. According to the Greek poet Hesiod, Poseidon’s trident, like Zeus’s thunderbolt and Hades’ helmet, was fashioned by the three Cyclopes. He was second to Zeus in power amongst the gods. He was considered by Greeks to have a difficult quarrelsome personality. Combined with his greed, he had a series of disputes with other gods during his various attempts to take over the cities they were patrons of.

In dividing heaven, the watery realm and the subterranean land of the dead, the Olympians agreed that the earth itself would be ruled jointly, with Zeus as king. This led to a number of territorial disputes among the gods. Poseidon vied with Athena to be patron deity of Athens. The god demonstrated his power and benevolence by striking the Acropolis with his three-pronged spear, which caused a spring of salt water to emerge. Athena, however, planted an olive tree, which was seen as a more useful favor. Her paramount importance to the Athenians is seen in her magnificent temple, the Parthenon, which still crowns the Acropolis. The people of Athens were careful, all the same, to honor Poseidon as well.

At one point , Poseidon desired Demeter. To deter him, Demeter asked him to make the most beautiful animal that the world had ever seen. So, in an effort to impress her, Poseidon created the first horse. In some accounts, his first attempts were unsuccessful and created a variety of other animals in his quest; thus, by the time the horse was created, his passion for Demeter had diminished. Poseidon himself fathered many horses, best known of which was the winged horse Pegasus by the Gorgon Medusa.

The Romans’ name for Poseidon was Neptune.


On a recent summer visit at the National Archeological Museum in Athens, we have had the opportunity to take several pictures of the statue of Poseidon of Melos. According to Wiki Commons:

The Poseidon of Melos is a statue of Poseidon in the National Archaeological Museum, Athens (NAMA), with the inventory number 235, which is dated to the last quarter of the second century BC.

The statue was found in 1877 on the island of Melos. It is made of Parian marble and has a height of 2.35 metres, which makes it more than lifesize. The statue was found in several pieces, which have been reattached to one another. Portions of the left foot and of the himation are modern recreations. Parts of the nose, beard and hair are missing.

The sea god is depicted naked to the waist in an awe-inspiring pose, with his muscular right arm raised, probably in order to hold a trident (now lost). His himation hangs around his hips, covering his legs and genitals; he holds it in place at his side with his left hand. His back is also partially covered; a bit of cloth lies, mysteriously suspended, on his left shoulder. His weight rests on his right leg, his left leg is left free. The musculature of his arms and his body generally are very finely worked. The head is slightly tilted to the left and his gaze is directed into the distance. There is a dolphin behind the statue to the right, which serves as an additional support for the weight of the statue. The pose is a standard one for Poseidon, Zeus and Hades.

POSEIDON OF MILOS 1_en face left BMK_2610 @

Image of Olympian god Poseidon: larger-than-life statue made of Parian marble, known as ‘Poseidon of Melos’. Discovered in shipwreck in 1877. ca 125-100 BC. Image credit: Karatzas Images.

POSEIDON OF MILOS 2_plaque BMK_2586 @

Plaque at the base of statue ‘Poseidon of Melos’. Discovered in shipwreck in 1877. ca 125-100 BC. Image credit: Karatzas Images.

POSEIDON OF MILOS 3_whole body left BMK_2604 @

Image of Olympian god Poseidon: larger-than-life statue made of Parian marble, known as ‘Poseidon of Melos’. Discovered in shipwreck in 1877. ca 125-100 BC. Image credit: Karatzas Images.

POSEIDON OF MILOS 4_whole body right BMK_2595 @

Image of Olympian god Poseidon: larger-than-life statue made of Parian marble, known as ‘Poseidon of Melos’. Discovered in shipwreck in 1877. ca 125-100 BC. Image credit: Karatzas Images.

POSEIDON OF MILOS 5_torso and head BMK_2616 @

‘Poseidon of Melos’. Throwing his trident. Upper torso detail. Image credit: Karatzas Images.

POSEIDON OF MILOS 6_torso and head BMK_2622 @

‘Poseidon of Melos’. Upper torso detail. Image credit: Karatzas Images.

POSEIDON OF MILOS 7_torso and head BMK_2635 @

‘Poseidon of Melos’. Upper torso detail. Image credit: Karatzas Images.

POSEISON OF MILOS 7A_torso and head BMK_2672 @

‘Poseidon of Melos’. Upper torso detail. Image credit: Karatzas Images.

POSEIDON OF MILOS 8_head BMK_2627 @

‘Poseidon of Melos’. Detail of the head. ca 125-100 BC. Image credit: Karatzas Images.

POSEIDON OF MILOS 9_dolphin BMK_2664 @

‘Poseidon of Melos’. Detail of the dolphin by the right foot of the statue. ca 125-100 BC. Image credit: Karatzas Images.

POSEIDON OF MILOS 10_LEFT HAND BMK_2683 @

‘Poseidon of Melos’. Detail of left hand supported at the waist, counter-balancing the right hand’s cast of the trident. ca 125-100 BC. Image credit: Karatzas Images.

POSEIDON OF MILOS 11-back BMK_2702 @

‘Poseidon of Melos’. View from the back. ca 125-100 BC. Image credit: Karatzas Images.

POSEIDON OF MILOS 12_whole body_right_BMK_2687 @

Image of Olympian god Poseidon: larger-than-life statue made of Parian marble, known as ‘Poseidon of Melos’. Discovered in shipwreck in 1877. ca 125-100 BC. Image credit: Karatzas Images.

POSEIDON OF MILOS 13_whole body lef BMK_2696 @

Image of Olympian god Poseidon: larger-than-life statue made of Parian marble, known as ‘Poseidon of Melos’. Discovered in shipwreck in 1877. ca 125-100 BC. Image credit: Karatzas Images.

CAPE SOUNION 1_windy BMK_8951 @

Temple of the god of the sea Poseidon propitiously situated at Cape Sounion, a sharp promontory ca 65 km south of Athens. Image credit: Karatzas Images.


© 2013 – present Basil M Karatzas & Karatzas Images.  All Rights Reserved.

IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER:  Access to this blog signifies the reader’s irrevocable acceptance of this disclaimer. No part of this blog can be reproduced by any means and under any circumstances, whatsoever, in whole or in part, without proper attribution or the consent of the copyright and trademark holders of this website. Whilst every effort has been made to ensure that information here within has been received from sources believed to be reliable and such information is believed to be accurate at the time of publishing, no warranties or assurances whatsoever are made in reference to accuracy or completeness of said information, and no liability whatsoever will be accepted for taking or failing to take any action upon any information contained in any part of this website.  Thank you for the consideration.

Save

Save

Save

Save

Key West Beach Rules

Treasure Hunting in Key West, Florida…

Of writers and poets and pirates                                                                                                           who walked the dirt beneath this path                                                                                                  each carrying a pocket full of dreams.                                                                                                    And none as unusual as yours,                                                                                                              but all of which came true.                                                                                                                                                  David L. Sloan                                                                                                                                                

Kew West_There's no place I'd rather be

Key West, There’s no place I’d rather be

Of poets and dreamers_SLOAN

Of writers, poets and pirates…

Write your worries in the sand

Write your worries in the sand… and let the sea wash them away

You can shake the sand off your shoes

Sand never leaves the soul…

Happines is

Toes in the water…

Home is where the ocean meets the shore

Where the ocean meets the shore…

sandy toes and salty kisses

Sandy toes and salty kisses!

Go jump in the ocean

Go jump in the ocean! – Can never be taken as an insult!

If you are lucky enough to be at the beach

if you are lucky enough to be at the beach…

On beach time

On beach time…

Beach rules

Beach rules…

Beach rules 2

And, more beach rules…

Captain's Rules

And, some Captain’s rules…

Crew knows best

The crew knows best!

same ship...different day

Same ship…different day! Not a good motto for a shipbroker!

No working on drinking hours

No working during drinking hours! – Well, how a shipbroker is supposed to get anything done then?

Dream require wide open seas

Wild dreams, open seas!

Inner compass

Inner compass!

Best ships are friendships

Best ships are friendSHIPS!

Shell warehouse

She sells sea shells by the sea shore! Key West!

Bart Roberts

‘In an honest service there is thin commons, low wages and hard labor; in this plenty and satiety, pleasure and ease, liberty and power… No, a merry life and a short one will be my motto.’                                                                                  Captain Bartholomew ‘Black Bart’ Roberts, Pirate

As legendary Steve Jobs once said: ‘It’s more fun to be a pirate than to join the Navy’!


 

© 2013-2015 Basil M Karatzas & Karatzas Marine Advisors & Co.  All Rights Reserved.

IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER:  Access to this blog signifies the reader’s irrevocable acceptance of this disclaimer. No part of this blog can be reproduced by any means and under any circumstances, whatsoever, in whole or in part, without proper attribution or the consent of the copyright and trademark holders of this website. Whilst every effort has been made to ensure that information here within has been received from sources believed to be reliable and such information is believed to be accurate at the time of publishing, no warranties or assurances whatsoever are made in reference to accuracy or completeness of said information, and no liability whatsoever will be accepted for taking or failing to take any action upon any information contained in any part of this website.  Thank you for the consideration.

The Salt of the Earth

There are crocodile tears, but salt tears are always the ones that are genuine, memorable, passionate and sometimes pedagogical. It has been said that the cure for everything is salt, in salt tears, sea water and sweat (Isak Dinesen). Although life cannot exist without salt, for those of us involved with seaborne affairs, whether for business or pleasure, salt has a center place in our lives. It’s not only the washing of a boat off the salt after a sailing excursion, it’s the constant attention to keep up with the rust caused by the corrosive yet life-living sea water effect on the steel – most prevalently seeing in the ballast tanks of ships. The ‘ball’ (Plimsoll Line engraved on the hull of the ships) is another indirect reminder of water salinity affecting trade by affecting the draft of ships. Even the Navy has on occasion used the so-named ‘Salt and Pepper’ uniform (black pants and white shirts for the summer), and more recently ‘SALT’ has become the ticker symbol for a publicly traded shipping company.

Salt everywhere!

Salt (NaCl, sodium chloride) is a mineral substance made of molecules of sodium and chlorine in equal amounts and forming a translucent, white, cubic crystal in its pure form. In strictly chemical terms, salts are created by the neutralizing reaction between an acid and a base. Naturally occurring salt is a crystalline mineral known as rock salt (halite); salt is also readily present in vast quantities in the sea as the main mineral constituent of sea water with concentration in the open ocean of approximately 35 grams (1.2 oz) per liter (3.5% salinity). Salt’s melting point is 801 °C (1,474 °F), its boiling point is 1,465 °C (2,669 °F), its freezing point is −21.12 °C (−6.02 °F at 23.31 wt% of salt), and the boiling point of saturated salt solution is around 108.7 °C (227.7 °F). Salt’s density is 2.17 grams per cubic centimeter and it is readily soluble in water.

Salty Waters in the Caribbean_Karatzas_MAR2014

The Salty Waters of the Caribbean!

Rock salt (sel gemme in French, literally ‘gem salt), produced in salt mines, occurs in vast beds of sedimentary evaporite minerals that result from the drying up of enclosed lakes, playas, and seas. Salt beds may be hundreds of meters thick and underlie broad areas. In the United States and Canada, extensive underground beds extend from the Appalachian basin of western New York through parts of Ontario and under much of the Michigan Basin. Salt domes are vertical diapirs or pipe-like masses of salt that have been essentially “squeezed up” from underlying salt beds by mobilization due to the weight of overlying rock. Salt domes are a gross indication of the presence of trapped crude oil deposits underneath, and they have extensively been used for storage of crude oil underground (such as in the US Strategic Petroleum Reserve). Sea salt, also known as bay salt or solar salt, is produced by evaporation of seawater and primarily used for cooking and flavoring. Sea salt is readily produced in countries around the Mediterranean Sea, where the weather is hot and dry, through ‘salt pans’ (salt evaporation ponds) allowing for the seawater to evaporate. Salt water produced by evaporation can be Fleur del sel, sel gris, esprit du sel, and pink, black, and brown salts. In certain places, such in Kalloni, Lesbos, Greece, sea salt can naturally have higher iodine for the production of the much desirable iodized salt. Saltiness is one the five basic tastes, the rest being sweetness, sourness, bitterness, and umami.

Dissolved salt into water can abundantly be found in the open ocean; however, there are many salt water lakes worldwide with varying degrees of salinity. Most of such lakes (or ‘seas’ as some of them are known) are endorheic lakes (terminal lakes where water can flow in but cannot flow out, and only means of escape for water is by evaporation). The Dead Sea is the most famous of all with salinity ten times higher than ocean seawater where no life can exist; the Great Salt Lake in Utah, US, is considered ‘America’s Dead Sea’ with varying salinity ranging from twice to sevenfold of the open ocean. The Aral Sea in Kazakhstan, Lake Van in Turkey, Qinghai Lake China and Lake Urmia in Iran are other prominent salt lakes of our planet.

Salt has been known to humans from time immemorial, for its taste but also for its many uses and applications in life. Salt has had a prominent stage in different cultures and religions through the ages. 200 million years ago, Switzerland and Central Europe were covered by seawater. Due to tectonic shifts and the creation of the Alps, salt deposits were trapped deep in the mountains. Alpine salt has been mined for centuries in the Salt Mines of Bex. Spring water, traditional salt (Sel à l’Ancienne), taken directly from the saliferous rock, is high in minerals, and it is traditionally dried on larch wood.

Some of the earliest evidence of salt processing dates back to around 6,000 years ago, when people living in Romania were boiling spring water to extract the salts; a saltworks in China has been found dating to approximately same period. More modern records show a widespread culture of salt mining in Central Europe with mining taking place as early as in 800 B.C. Salzburg, Hallstatt, and Hallein lie within 17 km (11 mi) of each other on the river Salzach in central Austria in an area with extensive salt deposits. Salzach literally means ‘salt river and Salzburg ‘salt castle’, both taking their names from the German word Salz meaning salt and Hallstatt was the site of the world’s first salt mine. The town gave its name to the Hallstatt culture that began mining for salt in the area in about 800 BC. Around 400 BC, the townsfolk, who had previously used pickaxes and shovels, began open pan salt making. In the early years of the Roman Empire, roads such as the Via Salaria were built for the transportation of salt from the salt pans of Ostia to the capital. The Via Salaria (salt road) owes its name to the Latin word for ‘salt’, since it was the route by which the Sabines came to fetch salt from the marshes at the mouth of the Tiber, one of many ancient salt roads in Europe. During the first millennium BC, Celtic communities grew rich trading salt and salted meat to Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome in exchange for wine and other luxuries.

The word salary originates from the Latin word salarium (meaning ‘money for salt’) which referred to the money paid to the Roman Army’s soldiers for the purchase of salt. The word salad literally means “salted” comes from the ancient Roman practice of salting leaf vegetables.

Salt has been having many uses throughout history: seasoning / flavoring, preservation, disinfectant and cleaning agent (soaking / washing infected body parts with salted water or treating a sore throat by gargling with salt water, burial (salt was one of the spices that was traditionally used to prepare a body for burial, in biblical times), unit of exchange (in biblical times, salt was considered quite a valuable mineral, a commodity for trading in the marketplace) and thawing and melting ice (used even in our times for iced roads).

The most important value of salt throughout history has been its use as a preservative (desiccant or substance that promotes drying). Salt has also hygroscopic properties (absorbing moisture from the atmosphere) thus maintaining a dry atmosphere which contributes to preservation most notably in closed environments (caves, underground vaults, etc). Salt also draws water out of cells via the process of osmosis (water moves across a cell membrane in an attempt to equalize the salinity or concentration of salt on both sides of the membrane). As early as 3,000 BC Ancient Egyptians of the Old Kingdom were preserving meat and fish with salt, and the first Europeans in America experienced great commercial success when they learned to salt the fish they caught in order to transport it to their home markets. Some products are preserved using fermentation through salting since salt dehydrates the growing medium and acts to maintain fluids in the yeast or mold growing environment (cheeses, etc). Un-iodized salt, free from anti-caking agents, is used for this type of preservation.

1280px-Última_Cena_-_Da_Vinci_5

Da Vinci’s ‘Last Supper’ – Judas spilling the salt (Image source: Wiki Commons)

Salt in ancient times was a valuable commodity due to its scarcity to the common people and high price, and as such a symbol of trust and friendship. In ancient times, Romans gave salt, and thus wisdom, to newborns. Guests were presented with salt as a gesture of friendship, which may be reflected in Cicero’s ‘Nemini fidas, nisi cum quo prius multos modios salis absumpseris’ (‘trust no one unless you have eaten much salt with him’) – we call it ‘breaking bread’ and ‘business lunch’ in our times. A German proverb held that ‘whoever spills salt arouses enmity’. The 1556 Hieroglyphica of Piero Valeriano Bolzani reports that “salt was formerly a symbol of friendship, because of its lasting quality. For it makes substances more compact and preserves them for a long time: hence it was usually presented to guests before other food, to signify the abiding strength of friendship. Wherefore many consider it ominous to spill salt on the table, and, on the other hand, propitious to spill wine, especially if unmixed with water.” Salt can disappear but cannot de-materialize even when dissolved into a liquid such as water since it will appear once again as soon as the water evaporates, and thus the symbolism of loyalty, trust and friendship. In the ‘Last Supper’ (Il Cenacolo, or L’Ultima Cena) painted by Leonardo da Vinci in 1494 – 1498, Judas Iscariot is tipping over the salt cellar with his elbow. Spilling salt had been a sign of bad luck and also a sign of betrayal referring to the near-Eastern expression to ‘betray the salt’ meaning to betray one’s Master.

Salting the earth, or sowing with salt, had been the ritual of spreading salt on conquered cities to symbolize a curse on their re-inhabitation. It originated as a symbolic practice in the ancient Near East and became a well-established folkloric motif in the Middle Ages. An ancient legend says that Odysseus feigned madness by yoking a horse and an ox to his plow and sowing salt. Tossing salt however can be a favorably superstitious sign in certain cases, to avert the evil omen, as the common contemporary gesture of tossing a pinch of the spilt salt over one’s left shoulder, into the face of the Devil who lurks there.

Great Salt Lake_Image source_NASA

The Great Salt Lake (Image source: NASA)

Salt has also a prominent place in religion as well. Salt is used to make holy water in the Roman Catholic Church rite, and as such figures as a religious symbol of sanctity, associated with exorcism. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus Christ says to His people “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men.” (Matthew 5:13), meaning that the people of God were to stand out from the rest of the world and impact others in a positive way. In the Old Testament (Ezekiel 16:4) newborn babies were rubbed with salt (“As for your nativity, on the day you were born your navel cord was not cut, nor were you washed in water to cleanse you; you were not rubbed with salt nor wrapped in swaddling cloths”) meaning that rubbing a newborn with salt is to indicate that the child would be raised to have integrity, to always be truthful. Still in the Old Testament, Genesis 19, when the angel commands Lot and his family to “Flee for your life! Do not look behind you, nor stop anywhere in the Plain; flee to the hills, lest you be swept away”, Lot’s wife turns into a pillar of salt when she glances over her shoulder to see the destruction (burning sulfur over) of city of Sodom. Sodom, a city close to the Dead Sea, a sea well known through history for its salt rocks and tenfold salinity of the open sea, was enjoying the riches (and much more…) of closeby salt deposits, and Lot’s wife is punished by the same token that made their city notorious. The Scriptures don’t say whether her death was a punishment for valuing her old life so much that she hesitated in obeying, or if it was a simple consequence of her reluctance to leave her life quickly.
Besides having a well-referenced presence in religion, salt has been the cause of political resistance and even revolution through the ages. There was a time when people were paying a ‘salt tax’ (a tax levied directly on salt, usually proportional to the amount of salt purchased – salt was extremely valuable as a preservant, and, in some cultures, nearly worth its weight in gold). How would one ever thought of a ‘salt tax’? But again, today we have no issue paying a ‘federal communications tax’ on our mobile phone bill just to communicate! Salt offered an easy target for taxation for the authorities, but equally well, offered a highly visible target for social effort to dodge paying or even repealing the tax which fuelled human antipathy and revolt on repeated yet different historical circumstances.

The Salt War of 1540 was a result of an insurrection by the city of Perugia against the Papal States during the pontificate of Pope Paul III (Alessandro Farnese). Pope Paul III decided to levy a new tax on salt for all his subjects, revoking treaties between Perugia and previous popes, treaties which Paul III had confirmed at the beginning of his pontificate. Perugian protests were to no avail and the Perugians decided to rebel. On on 4 June 1540, papal troops, led by the pope’s very own son (Pierluigi Farnese), forced Perugias to surrender. Shortly thereafter, the enormous fortress Rocca Paolina (Pauline Fortress) was constructed not to protect Perugia, but, in Julius III’s words, “to slow down the burning of the Perugians and get rid of the opportunity to rebel against the Holy See”. The fort was for centuries a symbol of oppressive papal rule, and despite the fact that a later Pope, Julius III, gave the Perugians back a semblance of local rule in 1559, the city became part of the Papal States and remained so until Italian unification in 1860.

The Salt Riot, also known as the Moscow Uprising of 1648, started because of the government’s replacement of different taxes with a universal salt tax for the purpose of replenishing the state treasury after the Time of Troubles. This drove up the price of salt, leading to violent riots in the streets of Moscow. The riot was an early challenge to the reign of Alexei I, eventually resulting in the exile of Alexei’s advisor Boris Morozov. Salt tax was a factor of the French Revolution as well: the gabelle (from the Italian gabella (a tax), itself from the Arabic qabala) was a very unpopular tax on salt in France before 1790. In France, gabelle was originally applied to taxes on all commodities, but was gradually limited to the tax on salt. In time it became one of the most hated and most grossly unequal taxes in the country. It was abolished in 1790, then reinstated by Napoleon in 1806; abolished briefly by the French Second Republic, and then finally abolished permanently in 1945. Salt taxation was also a point of the events during the Swiss Peasant War in 1653.

Salt played a role during the Civil War in the United States as well. Salt not only preserved food in the days before refrigeration, but was also vital in the curing of leather. Union general William Tecumseh Sherman once said that “salt is eminently contraband”, as an army that has salt can adequately feed its men. The most important saltworks for the Confederacy were at Saltville, Virginia. In late 1864, the Union army twice advanced to capture the saltworks, as it was the last prominent source of salt for the eastern Confederate states. The October 1864 Battle of Saltville I saw the Confederate able to repulse the charge, but the next December in the Battle of Saltville II Union forces under George Stoneman managed to destroy the vital saltworks. Two months later the salt works were back to work for the Confederacy, although the destroyed railroad system around the area hampered its distribution. It is said that Florida’s greatest contribution to the Confederate war effort was in producing salt. Floridian salt plants worked 24 hours a day employing 5,000 workers (a popular profession at the time since they were immune to drafting) boiling salt from sea water, mostly in the area between Saint Andrews Bay and St. Marks, Florida.

The Salt March, better known as the Salt Satyagraha, began with the Dandi March on 12 March 1930, and led to the Indian independence movement. Mahatma Gandhi led the Dandi march from his base, Sabarmati Ashram near Ahmedabad, to the coastal village of Dandi in the state of Gujarat. As he continued on this 24-day, 240-mile (390 km) march to produce salt without paying the tax, growing numbers of Indians joined him along the way. It was a direct action campaign of tax resistance and nonviolent protest against the British salt monopoly in colonial India, and triggered the wider Civil Disobedience Movement. When Gandhi broke the salt laws, it sparked large scale acts of civil disobedience against the British Raj salt laws by millions of Indians. The campaign had a significant effect on changing world and British attitude towards Indian independence and caused large numbers of Indians to join the fight for the first time.

No wonder that in the Malagasy language (in Madagascar) they have the same word for ‘salt’ and ‘sacred’: fanasina. Salt sacred for the existence of life itself, and sacred for its flavor to life and all the pleasures and endeavors herewith, from sailing ships to swimming in the salty cobalt waters of the Pacific, the jade and turquoise waters of the Caribbean to the azure waters of the Mediterranean Sea!

Navagio

Greek blues! Enough salt to flavor a lifetime!

Idioms and Expressions of Salt:

According to Merriam-Webster dictionary and old salt is an experienced sailor, a seafaring man. An ‘old salt’ in the English speaking naval services is often a raconteur, or teller of sea stories. Much of the history and traditions of the naval services are passed from generation to generation of service members by these sea stories as told and retold by old salts.

Back to the salt mines: time to return to work, school, or something else that might be unpleasant conjuring the image of the image of menial labor working in salt mines.

To eat someone’s salt: to be someone’s guest. (Example: The least you can do when you’re eating someone’s salt is to help them out around the house.)

Salt of the earth: the most worthy of people; a very good or worthy person. (A biblical reference, Matthew 5:13.)

To take something with a pinch / grain of salt and take something with a grain of salt: to listen to a story or an explanation with considerable doubt.

Worth one’s salt: worth (in productivity) what it costs to keep or support one.

To sit below the salt: To be of a low social rank. This phrase, first seen in print around 1597, comes from European dining halls where the host sat at the head of the dining table, and his guests were seated in order of importance along the sides. The salt cellar was placed in the middle of a dining table, which caused another division. Those seated below this point were considered the lowest ranking people at the table.

To salt away: to put money in savings, wherever it comes from. In ancient times, salt was very valuable and was used to pay soldiers in the Roman army. Our modern word “salary” comes from the Latin word for salarium (paying in salt).

To have something hung up and salted: to know everything about something. (Often meant ironically)

To salt something down: to place salt on something, such as icy roads

Please, pass the salt!


 

© 2013-2014 Basil M Karatzas & Karatzas Marine Advisors & Co.  All Rights Reserved.

IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER:  Access to this blog signifies the reader’s irrevocable acceptance of this disclaimer. No part of this blog can be reproduced by any means and under any circumstances, whatsoever, in whole or in part, without proper attribution or the consent of the copyright and trademark holders of this website. Whilst every effort has been made to ensure that information here within has been received from sources believed to be reliable and such information is believed to be accurate at the time of publishing, no warranties or assurances whatsoever are made in reference to accuracy or completeness of said information, and no liability whatsoever will be accepted for taking or failing to take any action upon any information contained in any part of this website.  Thank you for the consideration.