Wednesday, December 8, 2010

However, it was not just piracy for which Kidd was executed, but also for the murder of a member of his own crew. In 1697, he killed a mutinous gunner, William Moore, by hitting him over the head with a bucket, fracturing his skull. But Hamilton and Macort's latest research suggests that under Admiralty law – under which Kidd might have been, at worst, scolded for attempting to suppress a mutiny in such a violent manner – he should have been exonerated of that charge.

"The newest development is our examination of the key difference between civil and Admiralty law in the early 18th century," says Hamilton. "Our research reveals that if Kidd had been tried under Admiralty law, in a maritime court where virtually all other pirates were tried, he would probably have been exonerated on the charge of murder and perhaps even the charge of piracy.

"When Kidd threw a bucket at his gunner, he was within the rights granted to British navy captains, especially because Moore was stirring up a mutiny. But under civil law, the fatal blow helped cost him his life."

Over the years, many historians have argued that Kidd was simply a scapegoat, that he was used by some of the most powerful men in England to advance their wealth, then abandoned by those very men when the scheme imploded.

"What this was really about was some very powerful lords who had been frozen out of the English East India Company hiring a captain to chase pirates and bring back the wealth of the Indies – even if some of that wealth happened to be recently stolen from the English East India Company and some other very wealthy Englishmen," says Richard Zacks, author of The Pirate Hunter: The True Story of Captain Kidd.

"Kidd's mission was to bring stolen goods back to New York and then divvy up the profits. The origins of the items were not very important to the lords until the whole scheme blew up when Kidd was accused of piracy."

The captain of the Quedagh Merchant may have been an Englishman, but he had purchased passes from the French East India Company, promising him the protection of the French Crown. These passes, which may have saved Kidd from the hangman's noose, were suppressed at his trial and were not to surface again for more than a century.

- The Scottsman,10 July 2009, Alice Wyllie

Scottish Parlimantary Motion S3M-4427: Bill Kidd: Vindication of Captain William Kidd— That the (Scottish) Parliament welcomes a fresh bid to clear the name of Captain William Kidd, a legendary Scottish seafarer and privateer who was hanged for piracy in 1701, following new evidence from the United States of America that is under consideration by the Fraternity of Masters and Seamen in Dundee and contests the charge of piracy that condemned Captain Kidd to the gallows over three centuries ago.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Here are some recent documentations of my favourite ship, the Flying Dutchman.
  • 1823: HMS Leven skipper, Captain Owen logged two sightings in his log.
  •     1835: Crew on a British ship saw a sailing ship heading towards them in the middle of a storm. It appeared there would be a collision, but the ship suddenly no where to be found.
  •     1881: Three crew of   HMS Bacchante including King George V, saw the ship. The next day, one of the men who saw it fell from the rigging and died.
  •     1879: The crew of SS Pretoria saw the apparition of the ghost ship.
  •     1911: A whaling ship nearly struck with her before the ghost ship vanished.
  •     1923: British Navy crew saw the ghost ship and sent documentation to the Society for Psychical Research, SPR. Fourth Officer Stone wrote the findings of the fifteen minute sighting on January 26th. Second Officer Bennett, a helmsman and cadet also witnessed the ship. Stone drew a picture of the phantom. Bennett verified his explanation.
  •     1939: People aground seen the Flying Dutchman. Admiral Karl Doenitz  of the German submarine kept the recorded sightings by the U-Boat crews.
  •     1941: People at Glencairn Beach sighted the apparition ship that disappeared before she collided into rocks.
  •     1942: Four observers saw the ghost ship arrive Table Bay, and then disappeared. Second Officer Davies and Third Officer Montserrat, HMS Jubilee, saw the Flying Dutchman. Davis recorded it in the ship’s log.
  •     1959: The Straat Magelhaen ship nearly collided with the ghost ship.

"On 11 July 1881, the Royal Navy ship, the Bacchante was rounding the tip of Africa, when they were confronted with the sight of The Flying Dutchman. The midshipman, a prince who later became King George V, recorded that the lookout man and the officer of the watch had seen the Flying Dutchman and he used these words to describe the ship:

"A strange red light as of a phantom ship all aglow, in the midst of which light the mast, spars and sails of a brig 200 yards distant stood out in strong relief

It's pity that the lookout saw the Flying Dutchman, for soon after on the same trip, he accidentally fell from a mast and died. Fortunately for the English royal family, the young midshipman survived the curse."

Saturday, November 20, 2010

"Rackam was enjoined to secrecy, and here he behaved honorably; but love again assailed the conquered Mary. It was usual with the pirates to retain all the artists who were captured in the trading-vessels; among these was a very handsome young man, of engaging manners, who vanquished the heart of Mary. In a short time her love became so violent, that she took every opportunity of enjoying his company and conversation; and, after she had gained his friendship, discovered her sex. Esteem and friendship were speedily converted into the most ardent affection, and a mutual flame burned in the hearts of these two lovers. An occurrence soon happened that put the attachment of Mary to a severe trial. Her lover having quarrelled with one of the crew, they agreed to fight a duel on shore. Mary was all anxiety for the fate of her lover, and she manifested a greater concern for the preservation of his life than that of her own; but she could not entertain the idea that he could refuse to fight, and so be esteemed a coward. Accordingly she quarrelled with the man who challenged her lover, and called him to the field two hours before his appointment with her lover, engaged him with sword and pistol, and laid him dead at her feet."

- Charles Ellms, 1837

Thursday, November 18, 2010

excerpts of sources, part 2

I am pleased to announce that I own these writings, one being the historical work that Robert Louis Stevenson is believed to have referred to to when concocting his fictional stories. These, however, are held to be true accounts and documentation of their respective subjects.

I have blotted out and faded certain points of these snapshots to maintain ambiguity.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

"That world is not real. You made it."

I'm super tired from staying up all night but short and to the point:

I was reading a news report about the rising plastic count in the ocean.

"For now all I will say to that is

In a world where televisions are more real to you than trees. Where cars are more important than the sky.

I have something to say and I will say it."

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

"Perhaps the most astounding case reported, came in Japanese waters back in 1977. A fishing trawler netted a huge heavy catch. When the fishermen brought it aboard, they saw the badly decomposed body of a strange unidentified gigantic sea creature. Its long neck dangled when they hung it up. This was no figment of their imagination. This decomposing sea creature's body weighed in at 4000 pounds. Upon careful observation, it was definitely not a fish, nor a whale nor any other recognizable creature. The captain of the ZUIYO MARU took pictures. [...] Flesh samples were taken along with full color pictures.
When he returned to shore, the captain developed the pictures and brought the findings to marine scientists. After they scoured over the information and photos of the remains, the scientists were truly baffled. This creature was totally unknown and could not be classified.
However in piecing together the story and the clipped samples of dead flesh brought back , Japanese scientists concluded the creature was perhaps closest to the large land dinosaur the Plesiosaur, evolutionists claim became extinct some 70 million years ago."

-Apparently written by K.K. 
Chief Petty Officer
United States Navy - Retired 

"Captain Kidd buried treasure on Gardiner's Island (a small island in the jurisdiction of Suffolk County not far from Sag Harbor and Orient Point) in 1699. A boulder with a bronze tablet marks the spot. [...] There is another story that Kidd also buried treasure at Montauk Point. Two small ponds at the foot of the hill on which Montauk Light stands have been called Money Ponds ever since Kidd's time. One is said to be bottomless.

He was on his way to Boston, where he hoped to prove his innocence of the crime of piracy. Kidd stopped at Gardiner's Island for three days. While there, he buried treasure worth about $30,000. at Cherry Harbor, a ravine between Bostwick's (Point) and the Manor House. He asked Mrs. Gardiner to have a pig roasted for him. It was done so well that he presented her with a piece of gold cloth [...]. When Kidd left the island, he promised to return for the buried treasure, and threatened John Gardiner: "If I call for it and it is gone, I will take your head, or your son's."

By that time there was no doubt in Lord Gardiner's mind that his visitor was a pirate. But there was nothing he could do about it except what he subsequently did. After Kidd's arrest, Gardiner was called upon by Lord Bellomont to deliver up the buried treasure. He took it to Boston. The inventory of those bags of gold dust, bars of silver, pieces of eight, rubies great and small, diamonds, candlesticks, porringers, and so forth is still preserved; a duplicate is in the East Hampton Library. One bit of booty, they say, remained with the Gardiners. A diamond was found, accidentally left in John Gardiner's traveling bag after his return from Boston. Mrs. Gardiner gave it to their daughter Elizabeth who married the Gardiner's Island chaplain, a Mr. Green.

Thirty years later, [...] Gardiner's Island was overrun by a pirate band."

-Excerpted from, "East Hampton History," by Jeannette Edwards Rattroy,
copyright 1953; Printed by Country Life Press, Garden City, NY

A mysterious chart most likely drawn by William Kidd himself that hangs on my own wall.

Monday, November 15, 2010

"Nations," argues historian Timothy Brennan, "are imaginary constructs that depend for their existence on an apparatus of cultural fictions..." (cited in Davis 1993: 132).

Sunday, November 14, 2010

regarding "The Gold Coast"

the song can be found at the above link.


If you wouldn't mind, i do have a few more questions about your lyrics [...]

"Purple sky" any significance of the color purple, which is traditionally a royal color... does that somehow signify, if not necessarily divinity, a calling of some nature or importance?


Purple sky. This has quite alot of significance to me personally. I frequently mention a purple sky in my lyrics and have for years. You hit home base when you said "divinity, a calling of some nature or importance." That is precisely what it is about. Several significant events and pivotal moments of my life have occured under a purple sky, by the sea. There is a specific sense of calling and longing that I have come to associate with it. Longing with a positive purpose. At times it could feel negative if I was too grounded in the human myth of the commonplace and mundane. It is more of a persuasive, sense of beauty than a physically sensual longing. Not like, longing for pizza or sex, but more along the lines of a sense of destiny and wonder, that everything is much bigger than what we think it is and there is a certain ethereal pull that I believe nags at us to get us to realize this.


 "Moon and purple sky... tells me that its time to join the tide"- the moon being something almost mysterious and unknown. Is it an example of an unexplained mysterious calling?


Yes, it indeed is. I think a sense of mystery is something our modern, nonsensically idealistic culture thinks we have grown out of. At one time a rigid, hypocrital form of Christianity ruled the "civilized" part of the world. Now our foolish scientific idealism rules us. It is our new religion. The new "opium of the masses." Not everyone submits to it as much as others, but I guarantee you that the Western world is plagued by it a far cry more than it knows. You don't have to believe in evolution to be a victim of this. It's essentially our entire outlook on life. Sience led to the steamboat era and many biological advances and medicinal discoveries but it just couldn't stop there. Sience looked out upon the hypocritical mess of Christians and decided to take everything 100 notches further, building theory upon theory upon theory of made up nonsense until everyone accepts most of it as fact even if they are a devout Creationist. It is drilled into us like language itself.

Examples of what this has done to us are right in front of our noses. Peoples individual worlds are based on a culture of purebred tech business. Computers and shows. Your corporate job and the top 40 on the radio. The indie scene. We don't believe much more than than the street right in front of our noses, than the city of metal billboards we built. Our biggest sense of wonder comes from Disney, or depending on who we are, our run-of-the-mill tv dinner relationships. (I am NOT poking fun at folks who truly are in love)

In the meantime, Europe and America and all the big know-it-all tech countries make up a very small percentage of the real world. It is scientific fact that the 95% of the ocean is unexplored. Go figure. There is more evidence for the existence of a living, breathing Kraken than there is for much of the things we are taught in school.

So yes, unexplained and mysterious calling. Seeing real things that God made like the moon and the sky out over the sea and being pulled to true beauty, called to something real and utterly bigger than what is considered real.

I think those "simple" folks from the 1600s who drew sea monsters and cherubim on their maps were closer to the truth than modern man.


"Splintered Boardwalk"- My boyfriend and I have a disagreement on this term. He believes "splintered" is a reference to just the age... that the boardwalk (going with the ocean theme) is particularly old. In my opinion I agree with him on a surface level, i am curious as to whether or not there is a deeper meaning. A boardwalk is a holding station, more or less, where people wait (for what)... they are not venturing out into the ocean (unknown... question of Faith perhaps) but instead are waiting around, being subjected tot he same old-same old (a place in line) As far as "splintered"... is that an indication of it being unstable? That yes, it is old and weathered... and perhaps the character from the song is restless, and that all the stirring inside of his/her soul (from whatever calling to the sea/harbor/destiny/unknown) is too much to just wait around on a boardwalk. Because it is splintered, does that imply that the boardwalk (or the same-old same-old drawn out style of life) is going to eventually wither away?


Ahh. Your take on this is gorgeous. All of your questions are essentially the answers to themselves.

There is a certain beach I went to for many years since I was a child which has a huge boardwalk. I walk always walk right to the end of it and stare at the sea, feeling my sense of longing whilst crowded by people. It always was a very busy boardwalk, but most seemed to just be there because being on the boardwalk is "the thing to do." I would occasionally run into a starry eyed couple who would ask me to take their picture, and they seemed to understand at the moment. As far as everyone else goes, from my experience they're just there because its a nice place to be. Or perhaps they're even thinking about things they'll never do. Then they'll go home and watch Pirates of the Carribean and believe that Disney actually made up The Flying Dutchman. Lol.

So yes, don't keep my place in line, because I'm actually going there while everyone else is watching it on tv and reading about it and considering it fantasy.

The old splintered boardwalk is getting old. But you are proficient with your words my friend. Again, for more answers to your own questions, read your questions, because all of them answer themselves, and they are all correct!!


By "despot ocean", do you mean that the ocean (representing the unknown) is tyrannical... meaning that we are sometimes controlled and paralyzed by our fears of the unknown or the future? And by "the moon and purple sky tells you that somewhere the harbor lies"... is that in a way sayign that we are meant for a destiny of some sort, that we have a purpose, and sometimes you have to face your fears and take chances... because something beyond understanding (moon/sky...God/faith?) keeps calling you to be more than what you are? (thus the journey...)


It's actually "desperate ocean." Yes. "You're reaching far and wide" for it. Trying to find it everywhere but staying on the land. One must get into the ocean, desperate and treacherous as it may be, it is natural and it is life. Once you get out on it and learn the honest ways of the sea, you'll realize that somewhere there is a harbour, and the sea cannot destroy your immortal soul. The apostle Paul says we are always a work in progress. There is a world beyond our imagination that we will reach at the end if we believe (in my faith, in Christ as my saviour). But on the way to that place, I'd like to answer the call I had in this life that can be so so much more than the tiny little box of idiocy that we've made it.


Is it "hold on to my arms" or "hold on to my heart"? in the second verse? Why not the other, and what does that mean?


It is hold onto my arms. I know my hands aint steady because I am human and inherritantly flawed. But if Christ is at my core, and I keep it that way, no matter what I'm going to end up with my path straightened out. In Psalms it says "The Lord is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path." I didn't write this line to make a statement of absolute truth. It's just me talking to the person in the song, saying. Ok. I know I'm going through stuff. I know my hands are shaky. But hold onto my arms.

It's me asking them to hold on. In the end the only people we keep are the ones God wants us to.

I suppose "hold onto my heart" could have gone there, but it wasn't exactly what I meant.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

excerpts of sources, part 1

- a page from Handbook for Travellers in Greece, by John Murray (firm) published 1900, public domain, digitized by Google.

"Around the walls of a room known as the "Graveyard" in the Royal Exchange, the home of the famous shipping corporation of Lloyd's, London, are many hundreds of green-backed volumes telling strange tales of adventures at sea.

The records range back for more than a century, yet, even in thiese scientific days of transatlantic radio telephones from ship to shore, direction finders and echo-sounding devices against the perils of fog and darkness, Lloyd's are continually adding to these secret archives tales as true and strange as any ever written in the far off days before the first paddle steamer churned the waters on the long track from Liverpool to New York.

Many of these skeletons in Davy Jones' cupboard are never revealed to newspaper readers. Some of them are in the shape of genuine bottle messages cast ashore years after..." by Harold T. Wilkins. from magazine Popular Mechanics, December 1929

Friday, November 5, 2010

well now. i am not usually a fan of Neosurrealist art nor digital art in general, but a a certain Mr George Grie grasped hold of something quite good here. For several years now I've kept an eye on his work and occasionally posted his pictures. Here is one of special significance to me, and you will see why.

"This picture was inspired by Franklin's lost expedition that departed England in 1845. It was a doomed British voyage of Arctic exploration of 128 men led by Captain Sir John Franklin. Royal Navy officer and experienced explorer had served on three previous Arctic expeditions. His fourth and last, was meant to traverse the last un-navigated section of the Northwest Passage." -George Grie

This is of special significance to me because I recently recorded an intense cover of legendary Canadian Singer/Songwriter Stan Rogers' (November 29, 1949 – June 2, 1983) song Northwest Passage. Stan's song is on the very same topic. It will be available soon for free download, I will post the info about that up here shortly. Here are the lyrics:

Ah, for just one time I would take the Northwest Passage
To find the hand of Franklin reaching for the Beaufort Sea;
Tracing one warm line through a land so wild and savage
And make a Northwest Passage to the sea.

 Westward from the Davis Strait 'tis there 'twas said to lie
 The sea route to the Orient for which so many died;
 Seeking gold and glory, leaving weathered, broken bones
 And a long-forgotten lonely cairn of stones.

 Three centuries thereafter, I take passage overland
 In the footsteps of brave Kelso, where his "sea of flowers" began
 Watching cities rise before me, then behind me sink again
 This tardiest explorer, driving hard across the plain.

 And through the night, behind the wheel, the mileage clicking west
 I think upon Mackenzie, David Thompson and the rest
 Who cracked the mountain ramparts and did show a path for me
 To race the roaring Fraser to the sea.

 How then am I so different from the first men through this way?
 Like them, I left a settled life, I threw it all away.
 To seek a Northwest Passage at the call of many men
 To find there but the road back home again.
"Stan seemed to regard the sea as the last great romantic frontier." -Evans & Doherty, from "The Lock-Keeper" on the album "An East Coast Tribute"

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

"To the best of my knowledge no one has ever caught one or found the bones of one. So until there is proof of existence, there is not such creature."

"Beyond eyewitness sightings there remains no physical evidence of the creature’s existence. Although many of the witnesses who report are highly credible, until modern science has an actually corpse, the creature will remain nothing but a legend."

you need to do better than that.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

"It actually feels like a dark mirror image of our own society's past, when people were banished for trying to prove there was so much more to the world we thought we knew." -Prester Dilly

"here I came to the very edge
where nothing at all needs saying,
everything is absorbed through weather and sea,
and the moon swam back,
its rays all silvered,
and time and again the darkness would be broken
by the crash of a wave,
and every day on the balcony of the sea,
wings open,fire is born,
and everything is blue again like morning." -Pablo Neruda

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Song Lyrics: Hallock Landing

I took a vow just to break the silence today
I wrote these songs just to keep you from wishing away
As you grew older did you think you think you could escape
further than the fearful heart can see?

I walked along the vacant rocky point streets last night
the moon broke my silence and told me that I could escape

the crickets and the faces in the fog
the unshaven face and the ciphers in the dark
the old world ghosts that keep you where you are
set off tonight I think you can escape

well you know the sea
and how it calls to me
well i know the green of the grass and how things here in the harbour might seem
so much less than what they were at first
ill break the masts if you cover the street lights with dirt

If beauty cleaves to things untold
I hope you remember
these coastal lights could turn to gold
If we leave no trace of our souls in this earth

can you hear the gulls or the crabs when you rest your head on the sand?
can you tell me i cant be a man if i never insist on my plans?
can you hold the dirt in your hand and honestly say it isnt good?
could my love for this land be enough to make me love the Lord like I should?

If beauty leaves the things you hold
I know you'll remember
these cold still eyes could leave their holes
if you leave no trace of your life in this soil
picture by Jonathan Little

well here it goes

Hello there! Welcome to my official blog for Kalamos, both a book and a musical album that have slowly been underway since 2007. I am undertaking the writing of the book primarily for the same reason that I compose music: because I feel a dire need to. There are many things that I have experienced and learned that have intensely interested and amazed me, and I have done and am still doing much research into those topics. All these are things that will be and are supporting this book. More information on just what these subjects are is forthcoming.

I have begun the actual writing process, and this is the blog wherein from this point forward I will regularly post entries that essentially concern this work.

Enjoy if you please,