Friday, April 22, 2016

S is for Ships


S is for Ships

My father and I often have this exchange:

Me:  That's a nice boat
Him: That's not a boat.  It's a ship.
Me: What's the difference?
Him: It's too big to be a boat.
Me: So how can you tell it's too big.
Him: .....

I can't remember what he says next (if it floats, it's a boat is my logic and I tend to tune out to specifics).  I would probably have known the difference between a boat and a ship if I'd listened to him. But I didn't, so I was forced to google it the other day in preparation for this post. (Gasp of shock from fellow librarians)  
Google told me that if you can put a boat on another boat, then it's a boat and the other one is a ship.  Or something like that. If you wish to investigate further then you can go here or here.

Here's a ship for you.

HMAS Choules RAN

Can you see all the sailors lined up neatly on the deck?

Here is a boat.  And my dear father.


These photos were taken from Garden Island last week.  I should do a blog post about that one day. But back to ships.

Last weekend I was a bit excited to see that I could borrow Log of Logs by Ian Nicholson from the QFHS lending library.  Any Australian family historian worth their salt knows about Log of Logs.  We all turn to it when we want to find out more about the ship our ancestor came out on (convict, immigrant or first fleeter).  There are 3 volumes.  As a QFHS member you can only borrow 2 books at a time from the Lending Library.  So I borrowed Volumes 2 and 3.  

Log of Logs.  Isn't that a great title?  It says what it is.  It's a log of....logs.  The description on the title page says this:

A catalogue of logs, journals, shipboard diaries, letters, and all forms of voyage narratives, 1788 to 1993, for Australian and New Zealand, and surrounding oceans.

It's useful for people with ancestors in the Navy too.  I looked up HMS Shah (remember my post about the Zulu War?)  Log of logs tells me its vital statistics (screw frigate, 6250t. (b. 1873): Flagship Pacific & S. America.)

And furthermore, Log of Logs tells me where I can find the logs and even diaries of people on board. How marvelous is that?  So, for HMS Shah, it tells me that the RN logs are at the Public Record Office, London (now called The National Archives) and that there is a Diary from 1877 of Captain FGD Bedford in the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich.  BED/5.

The first volume of Log of Logs was published in July 1990, the second volume in 1993 and the third volume in 1999.  Every volume is different so you do need to search across all three volumes.  

Basically the response was so magnificent to the first volume that as other logs came to light and more information came to hand, the need for further volumes was recognised.  The author does emphasize though that:

only those where a log, contemporary record, or some form of narrative still exists are applicable.  To list every voyage that ever was, if details were available, would probably even tax the Internet, but only a small proportion of old logbooks etc, have survived and been preserved in public repositories.

Log of logs ....keep an eye out for it if you haven't heard of it before.

One more story about my Dad...he feverishly counts the lifeboats on all the cruise ships that come in to harbour and mutters darkly about their capacity to hold ALL the passengers in the event of a disaster. He's got me counting them now too.  

PS Also, as well as listing ships by name, Log of Logs also has interesting subject headings interspersed throughout with bibliographies of relevant material...so, for example, under "S" you will find material on Salvage of Ships, Cargoes & Bullion, School Ships & Sail Training Ships and Stowaways to name a few.  So, if you'd heard a story about some ancestor who was a stowaway on board a ship, you could search by subject heading and find out what logs there were featuring stories about stowaways. How good is that?


This is my contribution to Blogging from A to Z.

7 comments:

Wendy said...

Your exchange with your father reminds me of a scene in a movie in which the police chief boards a sailboat to interview a suspect. "Nice boat," he says to the owner. "It's a schooner," says the bad guy.

My high school was named for an admiral in the Navy, so everything about our school had a nautical connection. Our newspaper was The Shipmate. Our literary magazine was The Log.

historyroundabout said...

Log of Logs sounds wonderful - I had never heard of it. My youngest daughter (age 9) insists she will only go on ships. In her view boats are too small and therefore far too dangerous. I remember my eldest daughter's shock discovering that the ferry which crosses the River Wey at Weymouth was a rowing boat. She had only been on a car ferry before that and was expecting something rather larger!

Suzanne McClendon said...

What a fascinating post! I especially like reading about the interactions between you and your daddy.

According to our oldest son, Chief Petty Officer in the US Navy, the only thing called a boat in our Navy is a submarine. Everything else is a ship or a craft. He is in a boat, under the sea somewhere. Our youngest son, the US Marine, may be put on a ship soon.

I always enjoy your very informative posts. Have a blessed day!

Dianne Nolin said...

When my husband was in the Marines they went to the Mediterranean on a huge ship and every time they left a port he was sick for 3 days. When the first time he went on a sail boat he didn't get sick he was so surprised. So he bought one. I was the log keeper of all our sailing trips. Even when he sailed with a friend to Hawaii from Vancouver he called me on a Sat phone every 3Rd day or so and told me their lat./long and what's been going on, and I put it on a website for all our and the other guys families to keep track of them.

Jill Ball said...

You've helped me, I think. When we go cruising I take lots of photos of craft I see in harbours and at sea and always have difficulty deciding if they are boats or ships ( I tag all my photos). I now have a measure to separate the ships from the boats.

Cassmob (Pauleen) said...

Mr cassmob has a response when I walk why he says it's such and such an aircraft "it just looks like it" Is that helpful? Not a lot. Ditto ships :(

I've used Log of Logs a lot but it never has as much as I want...greedy aren't I? I had an idea that Log of Logs was online now...I think this is the link http://zenodo.org/record/6901#.VyXpodQmKrU

Another useful L word is Lloyds, the shipping insurer. Nat library of Australia has at least some of the relevant books. Handy when yo need to check out size and weight and ship number, which you need when searching the CLIP database.

Cassmob (Pauleen) said...

Mr cassmob has a response when I ask why he says it's such and such an aircraft "it just looks like it" Is that helpful? Not a lot. Ditto ships :(

I've used Log of Logs a lot but it never has as much as I want...greedy aren't I? I had an idea that Log of Logs was online now...I think this is the link http://zenodo.org/record/6901#.VyXpodQmKrU

Another useful L word is Lloyds, the shipping insurer. Nat library of Australia has at least some of the relevant books. Handy when yo need to check out size and weight and ship number, which you need when searching the CLIP database.