Search Results for: Thermopylae

Iconic Ships 13: Thermopylae – The Finest All-Round Clipper of Them All?

…h China Sea, 1872. Painting by Tim Thompson. In this episode we hear about Thermopylae, one of the most magnificent clipper-ships ever built, and some claim the finest of them all. In 1879, before her second wool voyage from Australia, the Sydney Morning Herald eulogised: ‘The fastest and handsomest ship in the world is now lying at the Circular Quay loading for London, and those who take pleasure in seeing a rare specimen of naval architecture sh… Read More

Robert Kemball (1823-87), Master of the Clipper Thermopylae and Commodore of the Aberdeen White Star Line

By Raymond J Skinner

…a clipper, commissioning numerous new ships, including the record-breaking Thermopylae, the fastest merchant sailing ship afloat at the time she entered service (1868). Suffolk-born Robert Kemball was the ship’s first master (1868-74), renowned for making fast passages on the China and Australia routes and nicknamed ‘Pile-on-Kemball’. Under Kemball’s command on her maiden voyage, the Thermopylae made the London-Melbourne run in 60 days, an astonis… Read More

Filed under: Atlantic | English Channel | Other (Nineteenth C) | Indian Ocean | Pacific
Subjects include: Biography | Merchant Marines | Ship Handling & Seamanship | Shipbuilding & Design

Thermopylae v. Cutty Sark: the 1872 Official Logs

By John Crosse

…the two clippers engaged in the famous tea race back from China. These appear not to have been consulted by Basil Lubbock who wrote the classic account. Cutty Sark’s log records that the first mate was seen as careless and was openly not trusted by her master George Moodie. The log of the Thermopylae shows that she won the race despite having to recruit most of her foremast crew in Shanghai following large scale desertion. Her officers were with… Read More

Filed under: Other (Nineteenth C) | Other (location)
Subjects include: Manpower & Life at Sea | Merchant Marines

Composite Tea Clipper Cutty Sark

By Commander G.C. Steele V.C. R.N.

Ordered by shipowner Captain Willis to beat Thermopylae’s record, Cutty Sark was designed by Hercules Linton and built at Dumbarton. Registered measurements are given, with details of spar plan, deck plan, rigging, figurehead and scroll work. Examples are given of loads of tea, wool, coal and cased oil. The history of the ship, her passages in tea and wool trades and other voyages are given until she was sold and re-named in 1895. She was operate… Read More

Filed under: Atlantic | Other (Twentieth C) | Other (Nineteenth C) | Indian Ocean | Pacific
Subjects include: Historic Vessels, Museums & Restoration | Merchant Marines

Great Sea Fights 10: Salamis – The Most Significant Battle in Naval History?

…sion of Greece had seen convincing wins for the Persians at the battles of Thermopylae and Artemisium. The Greek victory at Salamis became a turning point as the depleted alliance of Greek city states finally thwarted the seemingly unstoppable Persian king, Xerxes. Within a year, two further Greek successes put an end to any Persian attempt to conquer the Greek mainland. The Persian empire was immensely strong, was able to absorb the naval and man… Read More