Ships Quotes

Quotes tagged as "ships" (showing 1-30 of 89)
Fernando Pessoa
“There are ships sailing to many ports, but not a single one goes where life is not painful.”
Fernando Pessoa, The Book of Disquiet

Erin Morgenstern
“Only the ship is made of books, its sails thousands of overlapping pages, and the sea it floats upon is dark black ink.”
Erin Morgenstern, The Night Circus

Clark Zlotchew
“Fiction has been maligned for centuries as being "false," "untrue," yet good fiction provides more truth about the world, about life, and even about the reader, than can be found in non-fiction.”
Clark Zlotchew

John Flanagan
“Get rid of their mast, knock holes in the hull, then get back on board."
"You want us to sink her?" Gundar asked, and Halt shook his head.
"No. I want her badly damaged but capable of making it back to port. I want the word to go out that the strange ship with the red falcon ensign"—he gestured to Evanlyn's ensign, flying from the mast top—"is manned by dangerous, hairy maniacs with axes and is to be avoided at all costs."
"That sounds like us," Gundar said cheerfully.”
John Flanagan, The Emperor of Nihon-Ja

Franklin D. Roosevelt
“A war of ideas can no more be won without books than a naval war can be won without ships. Books, like ships, have the toughest armor, the longest cruising range, and mount the most powerful guns.”
Franklin Delano Roosevelt

L.A. Meyer
“We clear the harbor and the wind catches her sails and my beautiful ship leans over ever so gracefully, and her elegant bow cuts cleanly into the increasing chop of the waves. I take a deep breath and my chest expands and my heart starts thumping so strongly I fear the others might see it beat through the cloth of my jacket. I face the wind and my lips peel back from my teeth in a grin of pure joy.”
L.A. Meyer, Under the Jolly Roger: Being an Account of the Further Nautical Adventures of Jacky Faber

Robert Thier
“Ships are my arrows, the sea my bow, the world my target.”
Robert Thier, Storm and Silence

Nathan Reese Maher
“All is as if the world did cease to exist. The city's monuments go unseen, its past unheard, and its culture slowly fading in the dismal sea.”
Nathan Reese Maher

Clark Zlotchew
“When they reached their ship, Ed gazed out at the bay. It was black. The sky was black, but the bay was even blacker. It was a slick, oily blackness that glowed and reflected the moonlight like a black jewel. Ed saw the tiny specks of light around the edges of the bay where he knew ships must be docked, and at different points within the bay where vessels would be anchored. The lights were pale and sickly yellow when compared with the bright blue-white sparkle of the stars overhead, but the stars glinted hard as diamonds, cold as ice. Pg. 26.”
Clark Zlotchew, Once Upon a Decade: Tales of the Fifties

“Waves crack with wicked fury against me ship's hull while ocean currents rage as the full moon rises o're the sea."
(Cutthroat's Omen: A Crimson Dawn)”
Capt. John Phillips circa 1723

“The City of Boston allowed us to dock at the dilapidated Mystic Wharves, right next to where the ships from the Havana Line used to tie up. Without knowing it, we were witnessing the end of an era. Steamship companies that connected Cuba with the United States were dwindling, as commercial aviation came into its own. The Havana Line was already gone, and the New York & Cuba Mail Steamship Company, commonly called the Ward Line, was a shipping company that operated from 1841 until 1954 and ran “Whoopee Cruises” during the prohibition years. Because of a number of accidents, including the fire on the SS Morro Castle off Asbury Park on September 8, 1934, the company was left hanging on by a thread. In the mid-1950’s it was still possible to buy a round trip passage from Miami to Havana for about $45.00, which was a bargain, even in those days.”
Captain Hank Bracker, "Salty & Saucy Maine"

Hank Bracker
“Farrell Lines was a concept envisioned by James A. Farrell Sr., the son of a ship’s captain and the president of the United States Steel Corporation during World War II. In 1910 he had already, established the Isthmian Steamship Company as a subsidiary of U.S. Steel with the primary purpose of reducing the costs of shipping the company’s freight. As the president of U.S. Steel he saved the company considerable money and because of this he decided to start his own steamship companies. By 1928, Farrell had three of the most prestigious companies in the Maritime Industry: Argonaut Lines, American South African Lines and Robin Lines with their ships flying the South African flag.”
Captain Hank Bracker, "Seawater One...."

George R.R. Martin
“Every Captain is a king aboard his own ship.”
George R.R. Martin, A Clash of Kings
tags: sea, ships

Tracy Guzeman
“When Alice was younger, her father had fashioned a rough mask from evergreen needles and lake grass glued to a rotten shell of pine bark, shed like a skin. He secured it to the end of their canoe with heavy yellow cord, telling Alice their ancient Dutch relatives believed water fairies lived in the figureheads of ships, protecting the vessels and their sailors from all manner of ills- storms, narrow and treacherous passageways, fevers, and bad luck. Kaboutermannekes he called them. If the ship ran aground, or even worse, if it sank, the Kaboutermannekes would guide the seafarers' souls to the Land of the Dead. Without a water fairy to guide him, a sailor's soul would be lost at sea forever.”
Tracy Guzeman, The Gravity of Birds

Hank Bracker
“The Hoboken waterfront was still familiar to me from earlier years when I walked along River Street on my way to catch the trolley or the electrified Public Service bus home from the Lackawanna Ferry Terminal. Remembering the gray-hulled Liberty Ships being fitted out for the war at these dilapidated piers, was still very much embedded in my memory. Things had not changed all that much, except that the ships that were once here were now at the bottom of the ocean, sold, or nested at one of the “National Defense Reserve Fleets.” Many of them were moved to the Reserve fleet located on the western side of the Hudson River, south of the Bear Mountain Bridge. I vividly recall seeing these nested ships when I occasionally drove north to Bear Mountain State Park on the west side of the Hudson River along Route 9W in Rockland County, New York.”
Captain Hank Bracker, "Seawater One...."

Hank Bracker
“Side-Wheelers were built following the time sail ships were popular. It was a time when engineers experimented with various ways to transfer the thrust of steam engines to useful ways of propelling vessels through water. Side-Wheelers are a subspecies of paddleboats that were popular for a time, until it was determined that they were actually dangerous in heavy seas. Paddle steamers have a paddle wheel on each side of the ship’s hull making the vessel vulnerable to wave action coming in from abeam. If the seas were heavy enough the upper paddles could actually push water in the opposite direction from the ships heading, although the upper reach of the paddles were usually encased in a wooden housing. If the vessel rolled far enough the paddles or blades on one side or the other could come completely out of the water, thereby losing the necessary resistance. It was dangerous at best and was most frequently used on river boats.
One of the best examples of a side-wheeler lost at sea was the sidewheel steamer Portland owned by the Eastern Steamship Company. It was 7 p.m. on Nov. 26, 1898 when Capt. Hollis Blanchard, convinced that he could outrun an oncoming storm and make it back to Portland in the morning left Boston. The 219-foot vessel had 120 passengers and 60 crew members including the night watchman, Griffin S. Reed of Portland. That night, hurricane-force winds and 40-foot seas blew up as blinding snow from two storms hit simultaneously and ravaged the New England coast. The Portland must been swamped by the violent sea just a few hours later. Although a ship’s whistle was heard on Cape Cod giving a distress signal of four short blasts, nothing could be seen through the heavy snow. Later that night bodies started washing ashore, late that night however. Many of the victims of the gale were laid to rest in the Portland Evergreen Cemetery. Griffin Reed’s body was never recovered however a stone has been placed in the cemetery in his memory. A total of about 400 New Englanders died in this storm still known as “The Portland Gale.” A hundred and fifty vessels, including the Portland sank in this ferocious storm leaving no survivors. In 2002, divers finally located the Portland in 500 feet of water. From her location, Highland Light, on Cape Cod, bears 175 degrees true at a distance of 4.5 miles.”
Captain Hank Bracker, "Seawater One...."

“The first sailors didn't sail in friendships...they sailed in warships.”
Anthony T. Hincks

Hank Bracker
“With the first rays of dawn coming from a huge orange sun, rising out of the Indian Ocean from the East, the Dominion Monarch passed the Durban bluffs and entered the protected harbor. A police boat escorted the ship in and stood by as it was secured. Everybody crowded close to the railings and looked down onto the concrete dock. From the ship you could see that there were police cars blocking the entry to the wharf area and it became quite apparent that something was amiss. The reason was soon made clear when the loudspeakers announced that before clearing the ship, everyone on board would be required to get a smallpox vaccination or present their international immunization card, to verify that they were in compliance. There had been an outbreak of smallpox and yellow fever throughout Africa especially in the Cape Province and in tribal areas. During the previous year, nearby Northern Rhodesia had reported several thousand cases of these diseases. It took hours, however everyone was happy when the health officials finally came aboard to do the vaccinating. The police boat lay in wait, until every last one of the passengers was immunized. Finally the announcement came that the ship was cleared so that we could go ashore. Not until then did the band strike up and play “God Save the King.”
Captain Hank Bracker, "Suppressed I Rise"

“As cadets, we constantly hammered, scraped and wire brushed rusting steel, before applying red lead paint. Most of the paint we used was Navy surplus or a concoction made up of fish oil, lampblack and china dryer. We found that by mixing all different color paints, we would wind up with a paint we called “Shit Brindle Brown.” Inventiveness was key as we repaired, replaced, and painted the “TS State of Maine” from stem to stern. This work, being in addition to our studies, consumed all of our time. How we managed to fit all of this into the time we had, is still a mystery. The conversion of the ship was labor intensive and expensive, but the U.S. Maritime Commission contributed to the Academy’s financial needs where possible. The mounting expenses remained a challenge but we didn’t give up. We never did finish the entire conversion prior to our first cruise, but one thing we managed to do was paint over the name “USS Comfort” and hand letter in her new name “TS State of Maine.” If you looked carefully, you could still see her previous name outlined by a welded bead, but this was a minor detail that would eventually be taken care of. Perhaps because of my experience… the task of lettering her name and her new homeport on the stern became mine.”
Captain Hank Bracker, "Salty & Saucy Maine"

Hank Bracker
“From the beginning, the SS Deutschland was beset by problems, She was known as the “Cocktail Shaker” when she was first launched in 1923. On her trials, it was noticed that the ship had a serious vibration problem due to an imbalance in her twin shafts or perhaps her massive bronze propellers. Because of a lack of funding, this vibration was accepted and remained so for the first six years of her existence. It was an embarrassment to have a ship represent the German Merchant Marine, Handelsmarine, that was handicapped from the start. However, she was still considered the pride of the Hamburg-Amerika Line, a company with rich traditions that was founded in 1847. So, when the Deutschland left Hamburg for the first time on March 27, 1924, she moved slowly down the Elbe River past Blohm und Voss, the massive dockyard where she had been built.
At the time of her maiden voyage, the entire city celebrated when the Deutschland headed down the Elbe River towards the North Sea. Other ships in the harbor fittingly saluted her by blowing their deep throaty whistles, as small craft such as tugboats and fireboats pumped frothy white streams of the brackish river water high into the air.
By the time I boarded her for my voyage to the United States in November, 1934, the SS Deutschland was over 11 years old and, although she was still Hamburg-Amerika Line’s flagship, she was beginning to show her age. Germans, who prided themselves in their knowledge of science and engineering, were falling behind other European countries. Paying retribution to the victors of World War I had drained the German treasury and as a nation, they resented it. Hostility had increased and the pressure it put on the people was obvious. Many looked to Hitler to make “Germany great again.”
Captain Hank Bracker, "Seawater One...."

Hank Bracker
“It was during the early summer of 1952 that I found myself in the small community park next to Stevens Institute of Technology. Although I had a job, I had only worked as a “soda jerk” for a little over a week before I started looking for something else.
The Hoboken waterfront was still familiar to me from earlier years when I walked this way to catch the trolley or the electrified Public Service bus home from the Lackawanna Ferry Terminal. Remembering the gray-hulled Liberty Ships being fitted out for the war at these dilapidated piers, was still very much embedded in my memory. Things had not changed all that much, except that the ships that were once here were now at the bottom of the ocean, sold, or nested at one of the “National Defense Reserve Fleets.”
The iconic movie On the Waterfront had not yet been filmed, and it would take another two years before Marlon Brando would stand on the same pier I was now looking down upon, from the higher level of Stevens Park. Labor problems were common during this era, but it was all new to me. I was only 17 years old, but would later remember how Marlon Brando got the stuffing kicked out of him for being a union malcontent. When they filmed the famous fight scene in On the Waterfront, it took place on a barge, tied up in the very same location that I was looking upon.”
Captain Hank Bracker, "Seawater One...."

“The color of the ocean certainly looked different as we steamed north, using the Gulf Stream to give us an additional 3 knots of headway. The beautiful green sea gave way to a steel-colored blue-gray frigid foam. It was early spring now and although the weather in New England still had the feeling of winter, the migratory birds knew better. The cold wind hummed as it blew through the ships rigging and with every turn of the screw, we relentlessly inched farther North. After three months of tropical weather, we now welcomed the dryer frosty air. We represented Maine, this was our environment, and this year, March did not disappoint us. We knew enough to expect that in this changeable weather it could snow well into April. In fact the farmers in the Northeast call a late snow “Poor man’s fertilizer.”
Captain Hank Bracker, "Seawater One"

“With the sound of three short blasts on the ship’s whistle, we backed away from the pier. This ship was unlike most ships and we all noticed a definite difference in her sounds and vibrations. At that time, most American vessels were driven by steam propulsion that relied on superheating the water. The reciprocating steam engines, with their large pistons, were the loudest as they hissed and wheezed, turning a huge crankshaft. Steam turbines were relatively vibration free, but live steam was always visible as it powered the many pumps, winches, etc. Steam is powerful and efficient, but can be dangerous and even deadly. Diesel engines were seldom used on the larger American ships of that era, and were not considered cost or energy efficient.
The Empire State was a relatively quiet ship since she only used steam power to drive the turbines, which then spun the generators that made the electricity needed to energize the powerful electric motors, which were directly geared to turn the propeller shafts. All in all, the ship was nearly vibration free, making for a smooth ride.
We all had our sea projects to do and although they were not difficult, they were time consuming and thought of as a pain in the azz. The best time to work on these projects was while standing our make-work, lifeboat watches. One of the ship’s lifeboats was always on standby, hanging over the side from its davits. Day and night, we would be ready to launch this boat if somebody fell overboard. Fortunately, this never happened, so with little else to do we had plenty of time to do our projects.”
Captain Hank Bracker, "Salty & Saucy Maine"

“It was hard for me to believe that I had graduated from High School the week before and was now a crewmember on a Dutch ship. This was my first job aboard ship and now I found myself heading down the Hudson River, past the Statue of Liberty. There wasn’t much time for sightseeing since the dinner chimes had been rung and the few passengers we had, were coming into the dining room. No one had explained my duties but I watched the other stewards and followed suit. I must have been a fast learner since amazingly enough all went well, and before I knew it the dining room was empty and it was cleanup time. I’m certain that having worked in my uncle’s restaurants helped but I’m glad I survived without any mishaps. I knew that tomorrow would go even smoother now that I understood the routine.
I really don’t know if getting a job aboard a foreign ship was easier in the “50’s” or was it that the ship needed another steward and I was willing to be a strike breaker? No one on the ship mentioned the strike and everyone treated me as just another member of the crew. Mostly everyone aboard spoke Dutch and amazingly enough I understood them. Dutch being a Germanic language was very similar to the German spoken in the lowlands, which included Hamburg. It didn’t take long before I was answering and then conversing with the crew…. Although I was on the bottom rung of the ladder I felt right at home. My bunk was at the top of a three bunk stack in the crew’s quarters, high up against the chain locker. The bathroom, called the “head” in English, didn’t have toilets or urinals. Instead I had to perfect my aim as I balanced myself over a hole in the deck. Fortunately there were places for my feet and handholds to help me stabilize myself in this balancing act. With no partitions for modesty I soon lost my inhibitions and became deft at this. At least they furnished the paper and considering it all, life was good!”
Captain Hank Bracker, "Seawater One"

“Being constantly active made time fly, and so it didn’t take long before the day of departure came. With the last of everything aboard, we set sail just as many did before us. We were among those that continued the tradition of... “they that go down to the sea in ships” and we were very aware that this tradition rested on our shoulders.
On January 4, 1953, with the sound of three short blasts on the ship’s whistle, we backed away from the pier. This ship was unlike most ships and we all noticed a definite difference in her sounds and vibrations. At that time, most American vessels were driven by steam propulsion that relied on superheating the water. The reciprocating steam engines, with their large pistons, were the loudest as they hissed and wheezed, turning a huge crankshaft. Steam turbines were relatively vibration free, but live steam was always visible as it powered the many pumps, winches, etc. Steam is powerful and efficient, but can be dangerous and even deadly. Diesel engines were seldom used on the larger American ships of that era, and were not considered cost or energy efficient.
The TS Empire State was a relatively quiet ship since she only used steam power to drive the turbines, which then spun the generators that made the electricity needed to energize the powerful electric motors, which were directly geared to turn the propeller shafts. All in all, the ship was nearly vibration free, making for a smooth ride.”
Captain Hank Bracker, "Salty & Saucy Maine"

“A sailing ship may not fly in the sky, but it can sail pretty close to it.”
Anthony T.Hincks

“Throughout the year we worked at maintaining and painting the vessels secured at the Academy waterfront. The school had lifeboats, running boats, sailboats, a wooden-hulled “Submarine Chaser” and the “Training Ship.” During the years that I was at the Academy, most of these ships and boats, being holdovers from World War II, were hardly new. They were in constant need of maintenance and repair, which, of course, fell to us midshipmen. Most of the other academies had the funding to hire a permanent maintenance staff, but not us. At MMA we took pride in what we did and we were the ones who took care of almost everything.
Every winter, for all the years that I was at Maine Maritime Academy, we sailed from Castine, Maine, to the warm waters of the Caribbean in January. In The Tricks End, our yearbook, the Caribbean was called our third home. It gave us something to look forward to, and it gave us the practical, seagoing training we needed to become officers in the United States Maritime Service.”
Captain Hank Bracker, "Salty & Saucy Maine"

“When ships & nature sail through life together, friendships will last forever.”
Anthony T. Hincks

Josephine Angelini
“You can’t be afraid of your power anymore, Helen,” Lucas said gently. “You are the strongest of us all, but all that strength is for nothing until you own it.”
Josephine Angelini, Starcrossed

“Since its founding in 1941, the Academy had training ships that were furnished by the U.S. Maritime Commission. The first one was the training ship TS American Seaman and then the TS American Sailor. Both ships were loosely termed “West Coast Hog Islanders,” which meant their hulls were raised in the bow, stern and amidships and they had a counter-stern. This gave them the same basic appearance as the well-known “Philadelphia Hog Islanders,” though they were somewhat smaller. These ships were designed as freighters to be used during the First World War. Their construction was completed in Seattle, Washington, in 1919, just a little too late for the war. Had they been preserved, they would now be museum pieces, but this was not to be the case. Instead they were towed to the breakers, where they were converted into razor blades. A mural of the TS American Sailor was painted onto the dining room bulkhead. Later when we got a new ship, the training ship TS State of Maine, I painted her likeness on another Bulkhead.”
Captain Hank Bracker, "Salty & Saucy Maine"

« previous 1 3