#476 – Telamon (Temple Hall) Shipwreck, Lanzarote 3

Last look at the Telamon, with a few in monochrome. I’d taken my ND filters to try some long exposures, as the weather forecast was for cloud. However it was a trifle windy and by the time I got there, the clouds had cleared but the wind hadn’t dropped, which didn’t make for ideal conditions for the long exposures I had in mind.

To get some ideas of what was there, I did some research on Flickr and Instagram before travelling. This gave me a few ideas for compositions (such as the one below), while with the others, I used the long end of my 18-55 lens to compress perspective and also get in close. 

I deliberately chopped the stern off the first image to emphasise the wedge shape of the ships remains, and the second image works equally well in colour or monochrome. That’s the beauty of monochrome, the entire nature of the image changes, as the colour is removed the emphasis becomes more one textures, lines, shapes and tones.


#475 – Telamon (Temple Hall) Shipwreck, Lanzarote 2

There are numerous reports on the internet  of plans to scrap the remains of the ship, with some quite definitive sounding plans from 2014 being posted: http://www.shipsnostalgia.com/showthread.php?t=90762#/topics/90762?page=1

There are implications on more recent webpages that the end is nigh, but as of my visit at the end of May 2017, no progress had been made. So if you’re on the island on holiday, call in for a look as it may not be there for much longer! 

The ship is easily viewable from a small beach that sits between the port and a power station, the location meaning that it doesn’t get many visitors or sunbathers. The ship is technically accessible if you have the wherewithal, which I didn’t, and I did see a couple of jet ski riders on some kind of tour pull up to it as I was leaving. It would have been good to have got some photographs of it from a different angle, but I’m not good on water, so I ruled out a jet ski, and the path down the side of the power station was home to some very large barking dogs that ran towards me as I approached (and then retreated).

#474 – Telamon (Temple Hall) Shipwreck, Lanzarote 1

Having recently photographed Merger at Glasson Dock, I was pleased to discover that just down the road from our holiday hotel in Lanzarote was the wreck of the Telamon. Given that there’s a limit to how much sitting by the pool I can tolerate (about an hour), I left my wife and daughter for an hour and made my way to this little cove near Arrecife.

The circumstances surrounding it being wrecked are well documented on the internet, but to save you a job of googling it,   I’ll give you a brief summary.

The Telamon was built in Dundee in 1954 as the Temple Hall, a cargo ship, for Lambert Brothers. The ship was sold in 1969 and renamed Pantelis, and then renamed again in 1977 to Telamon.

By 1981, the ship was approaching 30 years old and not in a good state of repair. On October 31st of that year, loaded with logs, it ran into a storm when in the Bocaina Straits between Lanzarote and Fuerntaventura in the Canary Islands. The hull sprung a leak and the captain radioed a request to the port at Los Marmoles in Lanzarote for assistance.

Los Marmoles is a small port and it was decided against bringing the ship into the harbour for fear of blocking it, so it was beached in a small cove adjacent to the main harbour. The cargo and fuel oil was taken ashore and although there was interest in refloating her, it never went ahead due to the cost.

And that’s where the story ended. The ship has been there ever since, or should I say the remains of it, as a subsequent storm heavily damaged the ship, breaking off the front half which has now sunk, leaving only the rear half on the beach. The remains of the bows can just be seen above the surface at low tide, and the sunken section is a popular spot for divers.

#410 – Library of Congress Images – Mackinac Dock

Arnold's Dock, Mackinac, Michigan pano

More steamers! This is a join up of two images to create a small panorama. It’s a bit distorted as the photographer perhaps didn’t reposition his camera too well between frames, but that’s always a problem if you’re photographing things close to the camera. I’ve had to crop quite a bit off the top and bottom to compensate, but it’s not come out too badly – you can see the curved horizon though where Photoshop has had to compensate.

I like the genteel feel of all these photographs of the steamers – the crisp white ship, the well turned out people on the dock all contribute to creating an impression of what it was like to travel on these ships at this time.

The Dock at Mackinac Island, Mich.-Edit

This one is taken a little closer up (and could have done with some straightening), and I’m intrigued by the huge stack of chopped wood on the dock. I thought that the steamers were coal fired, so I’m unsure if this is for fuel or for cargo.

The location is apparently Mackinac Dock, which I presume is on Mackinac Island, Lake Michigan. This became a popular holiday destination for residents of the cities of the Great Lakes from the 1880’s, and is still reached by ferry today. It’s not a steamer these days though, it’s a high speed catamaran.



#409 – Library of Congess Images – SS Majestic Outward Bound


The SS Majestic was launched in 1889 and so was maybe 12-15 years old when this photograph was taken. She held the Blue Riband for a brief 2 weeks in 1891 with an average speed of 20.1 knots.

She was taken out of service in 1912, replaced by Titanic. She was placed in reserve in Birkenhead, but then brought back into service after her replacement sank in April 1912. Following another years service, she was sold for scrap, and was broken up at Thomas Wards yard in MorecambeS.S. Majestic, outward bound, clearing the dock

As is often seen in these old liner photographs there is a definite sense of occasion – there’s not too much of the crowd in the dock visible, but the all the bowler and boater hats suggest a very middle class audience – I’m not sure whether it’s because it was a fashionable thing to do, or whether it was because of the travelling clientele they were waving off.

I like this little sequence of images, the sense of recession, of departure as the ship gets smaller in the scene. I’ve had to heavily crop the last one below due to the negative being heavily damaged, but the files are so big and with so much detail, it really doesn’t matter.


#407 – Steam on the River Dart


OK, time for a few holiday snaps, but mine consist of paddle steamers, factories and steam locomotives;)

The River Dart runs through 18.5 miles of Devon countryside and is navigable from Dartmouth to Totnes. Dartmouth is best known for its Regatta and the Naval College, but is also a deepwater harbour, although it sees little commercial shipping these days (aside from an occasional cruise ship visit). However, given the county’s popularity as a holiday destination, the river is home to hundreds of leisure craft as well as car and passenger ferries and tourist boats. The most significant of the latter is the Kingswear Castle, once one of several paddle steamers that were built on the river, for service on the river with the River Dart Steamboat Company. The Kingswear Castle is the only survivor and while it isn’t the only paddle steamer in the country, it is the last coal fired one.


 The remains of the original (1904) Kingswear Castle


 The 1924 Kingswear Castle in Dartmouth


 Making her way up the river

The current Kingswear Castle was built to replace an earlier ship that carried the same name, as well as the same engines. Built in 1904, she was withdrawn from service in 1924, her engines were donated to her successor and her hull left to rot at the side of the river where the last remains can still be seen today (just). The current Kingswear Castle was built in Dartmouth in 1924 for service on the Dart between Dartmouth and Totnes, a job it did until 1965. By then, it was more economic to use diesel powered / screw driven boats, so the steamers were withdrawn. Kingswear Castle is the only survivor. It ended up being bought by the Paddle Steamer Preservation Society, who also own PS Waverley, who took her to the Medway and over many years restored her to working condition. She re-entered service on the Medway in 1985 and returned to the Dart in 2013.

It was interesting to see how small she was compared to the steamers I’ve seen and blogged about on Lake Lucerne. Kingswear Castle is just shy of 35m in length, whereas the Swiss ones are around 62m. Interestingly Waverley is 73m long, but was designed as a sea-going ship rather than a lake / river steamer.

Also on the river is Philip and Sons shipyard where the Kingswear Castle was built. In its 141 year history, the yard built hundreds of vessels including the lightship Edmund Gardner that can be seen in the Albert Dock in Liverpool). This was the last industrial shipyard on the Dart and closed in 1999 but is still in use as a marina.




Finally, any visit to the area would be incomplete without a visit to the Dartmouth Steam Railway. This is a bit of a misnomer as the railway actually runs into Kingswear, which is on the opposite bank of the river to Dartmouth. Confused? You will be – there was actually a Dartmouth Railway Station on the quay in Dartmouth – passengers had to buy tickets there and cross the river by ferry to catch the train from Kingswear Station. Dartmouth station still exists but is now a cafe and I forgot to take a picture of it.

The railway itself was of course once part of the Great Western Railway network and was part of the Beeching cuts.

The railway, while a ‘heritage’ line in the sense that it runs steam trains along a former GWR branch, runs 7 days a week and is employs by full time staff rather than volunteers. It has also provoked anger amongst some of the railway enthusiast community by naming all of its locomotives (not all of the engines would originally have been named when in GWR / BR service). None of this particularly bothers me – it is a well run line with good facilities that is hugely popular with the many tourists to the area.


 7827 Lydham Manor





#400 – Library of Congress Images – SS Rotterdam at Holland America Line Terminal, Hoboken


Holland America Panorama

This is a panorama created from three separate 8×10 glass plate negative scans. Needless to say, the resultant file is rather large! I recently upgraded my computer as my 6 year old PC with 4GB of RAM struggled with files like this, but the new one has significantly more processing power and Photoshop CC made light work of merging these files. Thankfully the photographer had the incredible foresight to provide plenty of overlap on each individual frame and repositioned his camera intelligently between each exposure, so the merged file has little of the curvature that is often seen when merging pictures into a panorama.


Horses bringing cargo or provisions.


Passing steamboat and riverfront buildings in the background.


Some kind of loading or unloading going on alongside


A lot going on on deck



Young boys watching the proceedings

As is the norm with these glass plate scans, it’s the staggering level of detail that makes looking at these images quite rewarding. I don’t know how these images were viewed or presented when they were taken in the early 20th century, I’m quite certain they weren’t blown up to any kind of signficant size and the astonishing resolution was probably wasted. But when viewed on a high-res HD screen, it’s quite impressive and I dare say that a giant panorama print would be a sight to behold, if somewhat expensive and unwieldy.

Given the wide field of view in the resultant panorama, this is very much the depiction of a scene. By that, I mean that it is almost like standing at a window, or at a vantage point, and taking in the view by looking at different things, then using binoculars (magnifying glass tool) to focus on one particular element, then returning to view the whole scene. I suppose that’s the difference between this and the regular images that are of a lesser field of view.

If your internet connection and computer hardware will take it, I’ve uploaded a high res jpeg to my Google Drive for you to download and luxuriate in the detail! Beware – it’s 76mb, significantly smaller than the 1GB full size file!