carriecaignet

Posts by carriecaignet

From the Pages of Modern Mechanix | June 1933

The June , 1933 edition of Modern Mechanix offered a four page spread on how to make an open circuit dive helmet. A do-it-yourself project from the good old days when people read how to make dangerous and bizarre DIY contraptions with common items found around the house.  Today we  just record ourselves using common […]

The Word on Old John Gomez from August, 1900

I knew this article existed but never could find a legible copy. The melancholy announcement and a primary recollection of “Panther Key” John Gomez upon his death in 1900. The second page has a picture of Old John and a quote. “Pioneer, hunter, sailor,  fisherman all in one, the school is closed that made them. […]

Rube Allyn and Great Outdoors Publishing

  Great Outdoors is a business with Florida publishing roots that go back four generations. Way back in 1913, Rube Allyn Sr., eccentric newspaperman and vaudevillian, produced the short-lived Sarasota Sun newspaper. Later in his career, he published a small, bimonthly magazine called “The Florida Fisherman”. Rube Senior was not so much noted as notorious. […]

A Reference to Jose Gaspar in the Historical Record

“Corsairs of the Gulf” (New York: Harcourt, 2005. xiv, 706 pp), William C. Davis provides a reference to some correspondence between two Naval Officers which provides insight on the existence and the fate of Jose Gaspar, the infamous privateer of the early 1800’s. Would-be privateers could find virtually no home port or agreeable junta to […]

Why the ball drops at midnight on New Year’s Eve

Originally published in the Cape Cod Times from December 31, 2007 “Why the ball drops at midnight” by Jim Coogan New Year’s Eve will see thousands of people in New York City’s Times Square eagerly waiting for the ball to drop. Millions more will watch it on television. At 11:59 the ball — actually now an apple […]

A Brief History of Diving in Florida

1600-1700’s After discovering pearl oyster beds in the Caribbean area of the Atlantic Ocean, Spanish explorers routinely enslaved native divers and make them retrieve pearls from the ocean floor. The Spaniards also forced many of their African slaves to learn to dive in the pearl fisheries.  The 1622, 1715 and 1733 Spanish fleets were lost in hurricanes […]

Florida Plunder and Loot

REMEMBERING THE SECOND GOLDEN AGE OF PIRACY IN THE FLORIDA KEYS SUBJECT:  Capt. Chuck Mitchell (1938-2006) VESSEL:  “Shaggy Cannon” VOCATION:  Treasure Hunter/Diver Chuck Mitchell (he is the one on the right) was early on the California diving scene through his acquaintances at Mel’s  (that is Mel Fisher’s) Aqua Shop in Redondo Beach.  He spent a majority […]

What’s in a dive boat’s name? The origins of “Plunger”

“Plunger?  Why Plunger?!” Captain Rod Brandenburgh has been asked that question ever since he named his first dive boat Plunger  in 1977 or so.  The name “Plunger” was a suggestion from a local ad man and friend of Dr. Brandenburgh (Capt. Rod’s Dad).  According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, Plunger is defined as follows: Plunger noun […]

The City Pier, Sarasota Alive

Rube Allyn’s Contrasting Decade in Sarasota

Author: Ann A. Shank, former County Historian Email: jlahurd@scgov.net Source: Sarasota County History Center He came as a humorist and entertainer. He left as an accused, but never tried, murderer. Rube Allyn’s decade in Sarasota was one of great contrasts. In “The Story of Sarasota,” Karl Grismer described him as: ” a cross between a genius and a bum…(with) the […]

Dedication to Service

“Dedication to Service” is the history of the men and women of the Tampa Bay Pilots Association.  Both narrative and primary sources are collected in this volume, covering the earliest accounts of the Spanish pilots to today’s Association and its 125 year commitment to public safety, industry and global trade. For a desktop view of […]

Dedication to Service: piloting on Tampa Bay through three centuries

Dedication to Service: the history of piloting on Tampa Bay through three centuries is the organizational history of the Tampa Bay Pilots Association researched and written by Carrie Caignet in 2012. For print inquiries contact the Tampa Bay Pilots Association 1825 Sahlman Drive Tampa, FL. 33605 Phone: 813-247-3737. An online version is available here.

The Life Aquatic | Part 1 (The Treasure Divers)

REMEMBERING THE SECOND GOLDEN AGE OF PIRACY IN THE FLORIDA KEYS SUBJECT:  Capt. Chuck Mitchell (1938-2006) VESSEL:  Shaggy Cannon VOCATION:  Treasure Hunter/Diver Chuck Mitchell was early on the California diving scene through his acquaintances at Mel’s  (that is Mel Fisher’s) Aqua Shop in Redondo Beach.  He spent a majority of his time at La Jolla […]

Building a Diving Helmet | Popular Mechanics, 1933

What’s In a Name? Hawk Channel

The territory of Florida was held by the Kingdom of Great Britain from 1763-1783.   Florida was a territory of Great Britain through out the American Revolutionary War.  It was during this time that Florida was divided into East and West Florida.  West Florida expanded its boundary into the lower third if modern-day Alabama and Mississippi. […]

“Adjuva me, Domine!” Tampa Bay Claims the First Martyrdom in the New World | PART II

For four years, he ministered with incredible success in these territories, as attested to by Las Casas in his 1545 pastoral visitation.  In 1546, fray Luis asked his Vicar Provincial for permission to return to Spain to recruit even more missionaries.  After returning to Spain to recruit more missionaries, fray Luis returned with six Franciscan […]

1775 Log of the British Warship H.M.S. St. John

“August 14, 1775 Fresh gales and cloudy.  Came up and spoke with four wreckers belonging to New Providence. Came to anchor at Key Tavernier with the small bower [anchor] in 3 fathom water.  Ditto Key W by S 2 miles as  also the wreckers.  At ½ past 6 weighed and came to sail going through […]

1979 Discovering Deep-Water Wrecks off Key Largo

Excerpts from Miami Herald articles, “Key Largo Surveyors: New Reef” by Barry Schatz and “Scientist Submerged in Search for Reef” by Anne Wilder: April 3, 1979, “Scientists taking a survey off Key Largo last week confirmed the existence of a deep-water reef that may hold organisms and sunken treasures so far unknown to the area. […]

PILOTS AND PILOTING ON TAMPA BAY V

PILOTS AND PILOTING ON TAMPA BAY V

[cleeng_content id=”900299457″ description=”Part V” price=”0.24″] As the Tampa Bay Pilots grew in size, and perhaps for other reasons, its members decided to establish their own office. Accordingly, in the latter part of 1922 or early 1923, they employed Charles M. Moore, son of the former light keeper of Egmont Key lighthouse He opened their office […]

CAPTURED SLAVER OFF INDIAN KEY-1860

CAPTURED SLAVER OFF INDIAN KEY-1860

In 1859, U.S. Government ships were ordered to enforce the laws against the slave trade.  In that campaign, three ships with 1,432 enslaved Africans aboard were brought into Key West in May 1860. Imagine the day Indian Key’s tiny population of 13 saw the U.S. sail assisted steamship Mohawk arrive off the island with one […]

PILOTS AND PILOTING ON TAMPA BAY VI

PILOTS AND PILOTING ON TAMPA BAY VI

Each Tampa Bay Pilot, insofar as the performance of his duties as a pilot is concerned, is a free-agent and is answerable only to the Board of Pilot Commissioners and/or the US Coast Guard. He does, however, on all other matters work within the framework of certain rules and regulations, which govern our association. He […]

PILOTS AND PILOTING ON TAMPA BAY VII

PILOTS AND PILOTING ON TAMPA BAY VII

[cleeng_content id=”291566475″ description=”Part VII” price=”0.24″]   Certain physical hazards incidental to piloting are ever-present, tragic proof of which has been provided on numbers of occasions One pilot lost his life by drowning and another was permanently disabled, necessitating his premature retirement. Some months ago another of our members was injured and is still unable to […]

THE KEY WEST BUBBAS AND THE GROUNDING OF HERCULES Part III

THE KEY WEST BUBBAS AND THE GROUNDING OF HERCULES Part III

Key West was sold twice in 1821.  Spanish owner Juan Pablo Salas sold it September 21 (recorded in St. Augustine on September 24) to John B. Strong, of that city.  Three months later he sold it again, to John Simonton, and Simonton “took peaceable possession of the said island on the 19th of January, 1822, […]

HORSESHOE REEF COAL BLOCKS

HORSESHOE REEF COAL BLOCKS

Introduction: Denis Trelewicz is a resident of Key Largo and for several years working with Chuck Hayes has photographed wreck sites and coral formations from Fowey Rocks to Long Key (see History Talk, Issue 3, page 41). JW Scattered on the sea bed at Horseshoe Reef off Key Largo are numerous rounded blocks of coal […]

THE KEY WEST BUBBAS AND THE GROUNDING OF HERCULES Part II

THE KEY WEST BUBBAS AND THE GROUNDING OF HERCULES Part II

The day before, wrecker Charles M. Johnson, 52, had seen the Hercules.  According to his crewmember, Herman Rich, Johnson told the men and his son, John W. Johnson, “that brig thinks she is going fast through the water, but she will find herself mistaken.  I think she will be ashore before tomorrow morning – we […]

THE KEY WEST BUBBAS AND THE GROUNDING OF HERCULES

THE KEY WEST BUBBAS AND THE GROUNDING OF HERCULES

       The ship, Hercules, Capt. Walter Seaman, left New York in September, 1825, bound to Mobile with a crew of 9.  The cargo was assorted merchandise:  tools, clothing, crockery, etc.  It was valued at $ 180,000 (in 1825 dollars), insured for $ 154,000 and the ship was insured for $ 8,000.  Within a few days […]

KEY WEST BUBBAS AND THE GROUNDING OF HERCULES

KEY WEST BUBBAS AND THE GROUNDING OF HERCULES

Early Wrecking By Gail Swanson In 1994 Nancy Jameson, then Director of the Oldest House/Wreckers’ Museum in Key West asked me to let her know if I ever came across information on a Charles M. Johnson, arrested for his wrecking practices, according to a brief  newspaper article she had found.  Johnson was the father-in-law of […]

U.S. Maritime Services Training Center 1939-1950 St. Petersburg, Florida

  The Unites States Maritime Services Training Center at Bayboro Harbor in St. Petersburg, Florida opened as an active training center for the Merchant Marine in 1941 and was one of the largest training facilities along the southern coast of the United States. Over twenty thousand cadets as young as 17½ arrived in St, Petersburg […]

MARINELAND OF FLORIDA

MARINELAND OF FLORIDA

Marine Studios of Florida | Established 1938 Industrialist family descendants such as W. Douglas Burden (the great-great-grandson of Cornelius Vanderbilt), Cornelius Vanderbilt Whitney (cousin of W. Douglas Burden), Sherman Pratt (a descendent of a partner of Standard Oil), and Ilia Tolstoy (grandson of Russian novelist Leo Tolstoy) built the world’s first Oceanarium and the first underwater […]

A BRIEF HISTORY OF DIVING IN FLORIDA

A BRIEF HISTORY OF DIVING IN FLORIDA

By Carrie Caignet After discovering pearl oyster beds in the Caribbean area of the Atlantic Ocean, Spanish explorers routinely enslaved native divers and make them retrieve pearls from the ocean floor. The Spaniards also forced many of their African slaves to learn to dive in the pearl fisheries.  The 1622, 1715 and 1733 Spanish fleets were […]

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