Category Archives: Talks

“Chasing the Whale” at National Maritime Museum

The National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, England, continues to come up with new and different displays and shows. Last summer I managed to snag two kids (actually, my son and nephew) to get me in to see their fantastic interactive production, “Against Captain’s Orders”, produced with Punchdrunk Entertainment.

I realize that this show is different — it’s not really at the Museum, and it’s not a show they produced, but it’s in the same place, sort of.

What I didn’t realize is that Cutty Sark, a stone’s throw from the National Maritime Museum, uses its space inside the ship to put on productions and host musicians. But I read of a show — two shows, one night — that looks great, and wish I could be there to see it. The folk group Kings of the South Seas, along with Tim Eriksen and Philip Hoare, will present “Chasing the Whale” on April 1.

If you can make it, please check it out and report  back!

ShipIndex as bag sponsor at 9th Maritime Heritage Conference

I’m excited to report that ShipIndex is a Bronze level sponsor for the upcoming Maritime Heritage Conference in Baltimore, this coming September. We’ll also be sponsoring the conference bags, which is particularly cool. This is the first sponsorship that we’ve undertaken so far, and we hope that it will go well.

A lot of what we need to do right now is get our name out there, so that the appropriate people learn what we’re doing, what our benefits are, and why their institutions should subscribe. (Of course, we also offer individual subscriptions, which are certainly a good thing, too — but they’re not appropriate for institutions, for a variety of reasons.)

So, getting our name (and our very cool logo) in front of several hundred maritime historians should be a very good thing. I’m going to attend, and I’ll spend my time talking with folks, too, about what we offer. We’ll have to see what comes from the event, and decide if it’s worth doing at other conferences in the future. It costs money, obviously, and that’s in reasonably short supply at the moment, but I think that, in the end, it’ll be worth doing. We’ll just have to wait and see, I guess.

A friend told me I should have put together a presentation about, and he pointed out all sorts of great stuff I could have done — talking about how we’re actually doing it, what problems we’re facing, what the implications are for unique vessel identifiers (especially for ships of a previous era, before IMO numbers and other modern identifiers), how developing identifiers for non-extant vessels could benefit researchers, and more. I wish I’d thought of it in time to submit a proposal, but I didn’t. Alas. But I think it’s actually a very interesting story, and I think that there’s quite a lot one can learn just from analyzing and discussing this very big database we’ve built (and continue to add to), so I hope I’ll find a good opportunity to talk about this some time in the not-too-distant future. If you think of a spot, please let me know.

And, of course, if you’ll be attending the conference, or if you’ll be in Baltimore during it, and you’d like to talk about, please tell me. It’s nearly my favorite subject, so I’m always happy to talk about it.

Talk tonight at MOHAI about USS Decatur in Seattle


Long time no post. Sorry about that. Will try to do a better job soon.

I just saw mention of a talk tonight at Seattle’s Museum of History and Industry about the USS Decatur in the Pacific Northwest by the author of a new book from University of Washington Press. I’d love to go, if I weren’t 2500 miles away. But, if you’re closer, you might want to consider.

And if you go, I’d love to hear how it is. Should we add contents from the book’s index to

Let me know.

More posts coming soon; I promise.