Inside the Ghost Ships of the Mothball Fleet | Beyond the Photos
An important change was raising them off the ground, to avoid drafts, dirt, and pests.
The mothballed ships once numbered close toand invessels still lined the waters of Suisun Bay. We had to overcome numerous obstacles just to get to the ships without even addressing the issues involved in getting on them.
At this time great personages were in the habit of carrying most of their property about with them, including beds and bed-hangings, and for this reason the bedsteads were for the most part mere frameworks to be covered up; but about the beginning of the 16th century bedsteads were made lighter and more decorative, since the lords remained in the same place for longer periods.
Ticking Environmental Time Bombs The ships have shed more than 20 tons of toxic paint debris that have settled into bay sediments, where they will cause problems long after the ships are gone. Around noon, we would wake up and eat and explore the bowels of the ships. About 15 retired ships are already gone; bythe entire fleet will be just a memory.
In this case, we continuously pumped up the boat while still on the water. When we agreed it was safe, we breached the foot barrier, and found a place with good cover where we could scope out potential ways aboard.
Getting inside the ships was usually not straightforward, and sometimes impossible.
Not only were we now lacking an essential piece of equipment that we needed to get back to shore, but worse, the paddles might float out in view of the security boat. At Versailles women received their friends in their beds, both before and after childbirthduring periods of mourningand even directly after marriage —in fact in any circumstances which were thought deserving of congratulation or condolence.
At a later period the bedstead was often veneered with expensive woods; sometimes it was of solid ivory veneered with tortoise-shell and with silver feet; often it was of bronze.
To get across the channel, we acquired a small, inflatable raft that was just big enough for the three of us and our gear, along with a small motor powered by a car battery. We did not bring our cameras or overnight gear, and we approached the ships cautiously. Before making our first trip on the water, Stephen scoped out the environs to assess how close we could get to the water on foot, which along with satellite imagery, helped us determine our route.
Aboard the Ships On subsequent trips, we spent the entire weekend aboard the ships, each time on a different row.
To our surprise and delight, it was easier to climb aboard than we had imagined. After a couple false starts when it initially appeared security had moved on, we frantically dropped our boat in the water, followed by our gear and ourselves, trying to be careful not to dunk our expensive cameras in the frenzy.
Often there was a head-rest as well, semi-cylindrical and made of stonewoodor metal. Odysseus also gives an account of how he crafted the nuptial bed for himself and Penelopeout of an ancient, huge olive tree trunk that used to grow on the spot before the bridal chamber was built.
Silkvelvetand even cloth of gold were frequently used. His detailed description finally persuades the doubting Penelope that the shipwrecked, aged man is indeed her long-lost husband. In May, it was towed out again, this time to Texas, in a swap for its sister ship, the President Lincoln, which was deemed too un-seaworthy to make the voyage to Texas.
Feathers were used towards the end of the Republicwhen custom demanded luxury. In 12th-century manuscripts, the bedsteads appear much richer, with inlays, carving, and painting, and with embroidered coverlets and mattresses in harmony.
They also used folding beds, which served as couches by day and had cushions covered with twin slot shelf board laid upon leather. We decided to detour to retrieve the paddle, which would burn a couple minutes and leave us vulnerable if the security boat returned.
But the Iowa will likely see a different fate than its sister ships who await their ultimate demise at a shipbreaker. Mainland European sizes differ, not merely because of the use of the metric system.
The bed is mentioned by Shakespeare in Twelfth Night.
We had fantasized for years about getting aboard, but it always seemed too difficult and other sites presented fewer challenges. All three of us began to panic, but there was little we could do. Planning As news began to mount that the ships would finally be towed out for scrapping, we knew we had to act fast if we wanted to explore and document them.
Warning signs posted on the hulls instruct you to stay at least feet away. We also purchased a scanner to eavesdrop on nearby radio communications and studied tidal patterns, planning our trips accordingly. After a decade of impasse, the ghost fleet is slowly dwindling as the ships are towed out one-by-one for scrapping.