Regent Navigator Los Angeles to Auckland
January 8, 2018 @ 8:00 am - February 6, 2018 @ 5:00 pm
Join Andy on Seven Seas Navigator “Lands of the Gods” voyage for a great trip to Hawaii, French Polynesia and Samoa starting from Los Angeles and ending in Auckland, New Zealand. He will be speaking on the first segment of Navigator‘s World Cruise.
His talks will include:
In Harm’s Way
Out of Tinian on July 28, 1945, after a secret mission to deliver atom bomb parts for the attack on Hiroshima, the cruiser U.S.S. Indianapolis (CA-35) was torpedoed by a Japanese submarine two days later and swiftly sank. Only a quarter of her crew survived the sinking and the ordeal of days in shark-infested waters (colorfully described by “Quint,” Robert Shaw, in the 1970 movie “Jaws”) to be rescued on August 3. The surprise discovery last August of Indianapolis’ wreckage, on the bottom below 18,000 feet in the Pacific between Guam and Leyte, has pushed one of World War II’s most dramatic stories back into the news.
The Cook Expeditions
Magellan introduced the Pacific Ocean to Europe, but the three Pacific expeditions of the brilliant British explorer, navigator, and marine surveyor Captain James Cook, RN, between 1768-1779 explored and charted much this vast ocean (larger than all the land masses on earth together) and opened it to European exploitation. Cook’s murder by Hawaiian islanders in 1779 ended his life but made permanent his legacy.
Expedition of Jean-Françoise de Galaup, Comte de la Pérouse
After a superb career at sea as a junior naval officer during the colonial wars of the late 18th century, the Comte de la Pérouse led two French Navy ships on an around the world scientific expedition. Both ships and all hands vanished mysteriously in 1788, soon after departing the new British prison colony in Australia to continue their mission in the islands of Oceania. Their wreck site was discovered forty years later on tiny Vanikoro island, and has been extensively explored in this century, adding to La Pérouse’s own excellent documentation of his adventures.
Bligh and the HMS Bounty
The mutiny on board His Majesty’s transport Bounty in April 1789 ended with Captain Bligh and 18 loyal crewmen adrift in the ship’s launch with five days rations. Their 48 day 3,600 mile voyage across open water is history’s greatest warm water survival story.
In 1832 President Andrew Jackson sent the U.S. Navy’s newest squadron around the world via Cape Horn and the Cape of Good Hope, carrying diplomats on a years’ long, 40,000 mile mission to the courts of Southeast Asia and Arabia. Their purpose was to negotiate agreements to open exotic markets to New England’s manufacturers and merchants. Contemporary documents reveal colorful details of these first contacts between Eastern potentates and Yankee traders, and about life at sea in the age of fighting sail.
The U.S. Navy’s Ex. Ex. Expedition
Between 1838-42 six ships of the young U.S. Navy’s enormously ambitious “Exploring Expedition” sailed 87,000 miles over the oceans of the world, surveying and collecting geographic knowledge and scientific specimens while showing the American flag in distant and unlikely places. (Four of the six ships and all but 28 of the 346 men on board made it home.) The “Ex. Ex.’s” superb artifact and specimen collections eventually formed the basis of the early Smithsonian Museum.
Robert Louis Stevenson
Robert Louis Stevenson, the brilliant Scottish-born author who wrote Treasure Island (1883), Kidnapped and The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde (both in 1886) among other much-admired classics, spent the last six years of his short life (1850-1894) living on Samoa and visiting the Pacific Islands around which we’ll be sailing. His life, works, and death are a fascinating small piece of Pacific history.
The Spanish American War
The war at the end of the 19th century signaled the end of history’s first truly global empire, Spain, and the rise of the brash new imperial power, the United States, which would soon dominate the 20thcentury. The short, decisive naval battles in Philippine and Cuban waters sharpened American interest in building “a path between the seas” and reshaped the map of the world.
Empires in Collision: the Russo-Japanese War, the Neglected First Great War of the 20th Century
Japan’s destruction in 1904-05 of Tsar Nicholas II’s army and navy in the Pacific and the ensuing peace treaty negotiated by President Teddy Roosevelt at Portsmouth signaled great changes in the balance of power in Asia: the impending collapse of the Russian Empire in the Great War, and the sudden rise of Japan to forty years of great power status. This shattering first defeat of Europeans by Asians also encouraged colonial independence movements everywhere, further shaping the history of the coming century.
The Guns of August: World War I at Sea
The story of USS Tennessee’s extraordinary mission during the first months of World War I (to deliver gold to prime the continent’s paralyzed banking system; to ease the path home for tens of thousands of stranded American tourists, students and expatriates; and to relocate thousands of impoverished refugees in the Middle East, all desperate to avoid the fighting), and of the cruiser’s sudden and public death on the Santo Domingo waterfront a century ago.
Gallipoli and the ANZACS
The bloody stalemate on the Great War’s Western Front pushed allied strategists into thinking about alternatives. Churchill’s dreadful idea was an amphibious attack in 1915 through the “soft underbelly” of the Central Powers, the Turkish Peninsula of Gallipoli, to capture Istanbul and open a route to Russia. The tragic sacrifices of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps during the botched campaign are remembered every April 25th.
The search for the missing aviatrix, lost somewhere in the islands of the South Pacific while piloting her Lockheed “Electra” aircraft around the world, continues apace today. The quest for the site of her disaster and disappearance, and the solution to the mystery about what happened to the bold and beautiful woman and her hard-drinking navigator Fred Noonan on July 3, 1937, still attract a level of interest seen before only in the search for Sir John Franklin’s Royal Navy expedition, lost with all hands in the Canadian Arctic in 1848, and since in the fruitless three year hunt for the remains of Air Malaysia MH370.
Why We Fought: Propaganda and World War II: a two part talk
These two talks skim the history of World War II in both oceans, focusing on the Pacific, through the fascinating documentary and animated movies Frank Capra and the Disney Studios released during wartime to explain to Americans and their allies the great stakes in the conflict.
The fifteen men of Navy AF 586 went down in their stricken plane off Siberia in late October 1978, 90 minutes after a propeller failure ended their sensitive Cold War mission. Ten lived through the ordeal and were rescued by Soviet fishermen, ultimately to be returned home. Hear about the flight crew’s courageous fight to survive in stormy seas from someone who has flown the same aircraft over the same waters.
Maritime Chokepoints and Strategic Waters (Extra)
Beginning with the Age of Sail, the geography of the oceans, as well as their winds and currents, became important to governments and their navies. The Strait of Hormuz is today the best known of these choke points, but other such places have been flash points throughout history.