Jim Stark Blog

That Terrible Gale

When winds blow across Lake Erie, they drag water levels from one end of the lake and pile it up on the other. Ships anchored along Cleveland’s western lakeshore often find themselves sitting on lake bottom, while the streets of Buffalo, NY, at the eastern end of the lake are flooded four and five-foot deep. […]

Hunting Submarines in the Vietnam Jungle

During the Vietnam war, the Viet Cong and the North Vietnamese Army moved massive amounts of munitions by truck and troops down the Ho Chi Minh Trail. The route was the most heavily defended area of Viet Nam. Radar controlled anti-aircraft guns surrounded the Trail and moved daily to avoid detection. Secretary of Defense, Robert […]

Aunt Mary and the loss of the schooner New Connecticut

Captain Appleby’s aunt, Mrs. Mary Whiteside, had plans to sail on her nephew’s ship the New Connecticut but because of a change in scheduling, he was not aboard when the ship departed. En route to Black Hawk, Pennsylvania, a terrible squall caused the ship to capsize. Although the interior was flooded it did not sink […]

USS Indianapolis

In July 1945, the cruiser USS Indianapolis was torpedoed and sunk following a top-secret mission to deliver atom bomb components to Tinian Island. This was the bomb dropped on Hiroshima that led to the Japanese surrender, three weeks later. After departing Tinian, the ship’s captain, Captain Charles McVay, set a high speed, direct course toward […]

Over Niagara Falls in a Ship

On September 8, 1827, staged as a tourist attraction, three Niagara hotel owners decorated the schooner Michigan as a pirate ship and sent it over Niagara Falls. On deck were human-like dummies costumed in three corner hats, swords, and eyepatches, as well as two bears, a couple of raccoons, and a dog and a goose. […]