Shenandoah Down Under

Shenadoah Down Under Episode 31

As the CSS Shenandoah prepares to steam into the Sea of Okhotsk, things are getting decidedly chilly. In three weeks of sailing and steaming the ship has gone from 100 fahrenheit temperatures (38 celsius) to a below freezing 26 (-3 Celsius). It is just lucky that Midshipman Mason has been making so many pairs of pants, although with his chilblains playing up, a pair of slippers would also come in handy for the long evenings he spends reading Les Miserables…

With the Shenadoah off the Russian coast, Rob and MOB further explore the strange case of the Dogger Bank incident, also known as the “Russian Atrocity”, where the Russian Baltic fleet in 1904 mistook a fleet of British fishermen for Japanese torpedo boats (as you do). Tune in to hear more about this great day in Russian naval history, if, by great day, you mean embarrassing  ommnishambles.

Shenandoah Down Under Episode 30

The CSS Shenandoah forges ever northwards towards the sea of Okhotsk, its path taking it close to the Kuril Islands, an archipelago running between Japan and Russia. Rob and MOB examine the complicated history of these islands, whose ownership is disputed to the present day. This involves describing the unfortunate fate of the Russian Baltic fleet in 1905, who sailed almost the entire way round the world, arriving just in time to be sunk by the Japanese.

All this was in the future for the crew of the Shenandoah however, who are faced with heavy weather, storms, squalls, and temperatures that are starting to get a little chilly. Nothing can stop Midshipman Mason however, in his implacable quest to make himself another pair of pants, even if it means getting some unfortunate  candle grease stains.

Shenandoah Down Under Episode 29

As the CSS Shenandoah continues her journey into the Northern Pacific, Midshipman Mason wonders if the ventilation duct in the Midshipman’s berth is about to turn from a turn from a pleasant supply of cool tropic breezes to a less pleasant supplier of arctic gales. Arctic gales spoiler alert: he is right to worry about this!

Back in the USA, the Northern States cope with their own cold wave of grief over Lincoln’s death, as his body is carried in state on a last railway journey back to Springfield Illinois. With the war in the continental United States reaching its end, questions remain about the war in the Pacific. Will the Shenandoah ever take another prize? Will the time-expired sailors re-enlist, and why does the plot of Dicken’s Martin Chuzzlewit annoy Americans so much?

Shenandoah Down Under Episode 28

As the CSS Shenandoah scuds north, towards towards the Russian sea of Okhotsk (not to be confused with toddlers fashion label Oskosh Bigosh) they look in vain for a sail on the ‘China Path’, the route between San Francisco and the Orient. With not a prize in sight, Midshipman Mason wrestles with one of the most difficult parts of the sailors life – making himself a new pair of pants.

150 years later, Rob and MOB recount some of the strange tales found in “Leviathan, the History of Whaling in America”, by Eric Jay Dolin, including the epic tale of the great stone fleet. This was the Yankee’s plan to blockade the harbours of the South, using sunken whaling ships to block the harbour channels. What happens when BOTH sides of the Civil War are busy sinking Whaling ships? Find out in episode 28 of Shenandoah Down Under, the one with the pants.