Life at Sea

The Wake Astern Ship State of Maine

Artistic photograph of the wake behind the ship State of Maine, which Joanna Colcord sailed with her father as captain to China and back in 1899.

Children and Pet Goat aboard Ship

Many children grew up at sea. These two children have a young goat as a pet. An older goat aboard ship would be good for providing goat's milk. Besides being more mobile than a cow on a moving deck, goats required much less feed per pound of milk so were economical at sea.

Ralph Starratt and Dog on Luarca

When the bark Carrie Winslow was in port, Ruth Montgomery, the captain's daughter and ship photographer, went over to another vessel, the Canadian barkentine Luarca. Aboard was Capt. Starratt's son Ralph with his dog, sitting at the base of a mast.

Chart Detail of North Pacific Ocean, Noting Birth of Baby

Capt. Phineas Alexander Griffin of Searsport wrote on this chart of the North Pacific a note identifying the spot where his daughter Anita was born. Captain Griffin's ship was the 1869 Belfast launched and owned Leonora, which was sold to Italy about 1885. The museum has another copy of this chart, published two years later, on which Capt. Griffin again made a mark showing where his daughter was born.

Sea Moss Book

These sea mosses were artistically pressed by Ellen Cutter Starrett, wife of Captain Henry A. Starrett, while they were aboard the ship T.J. Southard.  Ellen notes in the beginning of the album, "Mosses pressed at the Chincha Islands in the spring of 1864." This was a popular activity for captains' wives, particularly in a place like the Chincha Islands, where a ship might wait for a long time before it could load guano. The eagle pressing has a label that says "Made of moss taken at the Chincha Islands Peru."

Ma on Top of the Cabin House on Bark Carrie WInslow

Ruth Montgomery's stepmother is shown here putting laundry out to dry on the roof of the captain's cabin. The photograph was taken by the captain's daughter (Ruth) aboard the bark Carrie Winslow.

Seamen's Friend Society Library Box

American Seamen's Friend Society Loan Library box with books, Library No. 3931. The Society loaned these boxes of books to ships, so that the seamen could have the opportunity to read encouraging literature about life and faith.

Pa and Ma Standing by the Pilot House Door of the Bark Carrie Winslow

Captain Adelbert Montgomery and Mary Thorpe Montgomery standing by the pilot house door aboard the bark Carrie Winslow. The photograph was taken by the captain's daughter, Ruth Montgomery, in 1898.

Ship Electric Spark at the Chincha Islands

Photograph taken on board the clipper ship Electric Spark at the Chincha Islands. In this group are four Searsport ship masters with their wives and children: John Pendleton, William Blanchard, Albert Nickels, and Nathan Carver, whose ships were at the Chincha Islands at the time. All of these vessels would have been waiting to load guano, a wait that sometimes took weeks. The 1190 ton Electric Spark was built in Medford, Massachusetts in 1855. Her master, Medford's R.F. D. Candage is second from the left.

Chart Detail of Rio de Janeiro Harbor

Here is a view of the harbor of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. as shown in 1873 on a British Admiralty chart. The chart includes engravings of views of entering the harbor, showing the famous mountain called Sugarloaf.


Subscribe to RSS - Life at Sea