Online Resources

My recent post on the Spanish cotton steamer Aldecoa made use of several new (to me) online resources that are worth exploring in their own right. Two are free, and one nearly so. All three have been added to list of links at right, under the heading “History.”

Aldecoa1937
Aldecoa in the 1937-38 Lloyd’s Register.

PlimsollShipData.org is a subproject of PortCitiesSouthampton, a website that provides extensive information (both current and historical) on that city and its long connection to the sea. PlimsollShipData.org specifically provides a name-searchable index for Lloyd’s registers for the period 1930-45. Links take the user to a high-resolution scan of the actual printed pages of the book, which typically contains all manner of esoteric technical detail. (The before-mentioned Aldecoa, for example, had a triple-expansion reciprocating steam engine, for example, with cylinders of 27, 44 and 73 inch diameters, on a 48-inch stroke. Rivet-counters love this stuff.) The site also provides a helpful guide to deciphering the register entries.

Traveller
Charente Steamship Co.’s
Traveller, launched in 1921, by Tony Westmore.

Old Ship Picture Galleries is a site housing an extensive collection of images of merchant and naval vessels. Some modern vessels are included, but most date from the 1960s and before. Images are listed by vessel name, and can either be browsed with or without thumbnail images. Shipping companies, when known, are indexed as well. There is also a gallery of watercolors by Tony Westmore, many of which are for sale, either as originals or as prints.

Miramar2

Finally, from New Zealand, comes the Miramar Ship Index. This project, begun in 1992 by retired N.Z. Army Major Rodger Barrington Haworth, currently includes entries on 235,943 (!) single ship names, with basic data on construction, ownership and final disposition of each. While the information in most cases is limited to a handful of names, dates and locations, these provide the critical outline essential when starting out to track down a vessel. While the Miramar Index is a subscription-only site, prospective new users can register for a free 7-day trial, and a full year’s subscription is only US$20 — a genuine bargain. For those without regular Internet access, the index is also available (for a somewhat higher fee) on CD-ROM.

I hope that Maritime Texas readers will find these sites as useful as I do.

Testing MarineTraffic.com


There are two major sources of real-time (or near-real-time) marine traffic data available online that I know of, MarineTraffic.com and VesselTracker.com. Both rely on volunteer shore stations to monitor local Automatic Identification System (AIS) nets, and both offer a variety of subscriber services. They provide somewhat varying coverage, depending on whether there’s a local source for monitoring shipping data and sharing over the Internet; MarineTraffic.com has generally lagged in providing this data for the Galveston Bay entrance region. Overall, however, choosing between one or the other seems largely a matter of personal preference. I happen to like MarineTraffic.com’s map interface a bit more than the other, but have also previously used the tools available from VesselTracker.com to illustrate posts here on Maritime Texas.

That said, MarineTraffic.com has had data for the Galveston Entrance¬† up and running for several days now, so I’m going to test an embedded map. I may make this a regular feature, perhaps linked from the main page. Thoughts?

One Year of Maritime Texas

StobartPainting
Painting by John Stobart, “The Barque Elissa Leaving Port in 1884.”

January 1 marks Maritime Texas‘ one-year anniversary. I’d like to thanks all who contributed (and there are many), and those who visit this site on a regular basis. A special thank-you goes out to Rick, Susan, Christina, Layne, Dan, Steve, Ed, Tom, Craig and Amy, whose correspondence always brightens up the inbox.

I hope to introduce several new features in the coming year. My official New Year’s resolution is to provide more coverage for events, both historic and current, outside the Houston/Galveston area. While this blog’s “beat” covers the entire coast from the Sabine to the Rio Grande — and as far inland as a cotton packet could run — it’s fallen a little too much into the habit of mainly focusing on local stuff. That needs fixin’.

December 2009 Stats

Dec 2009 Stats

Monthly Stats for 2009: Vistors, Pageviews, Hits and Bytes

2009 Visitors

2009 Pageviews

2009 Hits

2009 Bytes