The Mariner's Mirror Podcast


Maritime Africa 2: The Skeleton Coast of Namibia

The skeleton coast of Namibia is one of the most iconic maritime locations on earth. Here the fearsome Namib desert runs right to the sea. Over the centuries the sand dunes have grown and the shoreline has moved further away as the desert reclaims the sea. The coastline itself is formidably dangerous. Plagued by shallow sandbars, fog and treacherous currents, thousands of ships are known to have wrecked here from the earliest period of European exploration of the African coast. The result is an extraordinary collection of shipwrecks surrounded by desert. To help understand the rich history of this extraordinary place Dr Sam Willis spoke with Eliot Mowa, a lecturer at the University of Namibia with an expertise in maritime history and the maritime culture of Namibia.

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Iconic Ships 19: HMS Agamemnon - Nelson's Favourite Ship

Our series on Iconic Ships continues with one of the most battle-honoured ships of Nelson's Navy: HMS Agamemnon. Today we got back to those days of the wooden walls to hear about this 64-gun Third Rate that saw service in the American Revolutionary War, the French Revolutionary War and the Napoleonic War. She fought in many of the major naval battles of those conflicts and had a reputation as being Nelson’s favourite ship. After a remarkably eventful career her working life ended in 1809 when she was wrecked off the River Plate on the coast of Uruguay. The location of the wreck has been known since the early 1990s but in recent months has become the focus of efforts to preserve it, as the wreck is threatened by erosion, treasure hunters and ship worm decay.To find out more Dr Sam Willis spoke with Mary Montagu-Scott, director of the museum in the historic shipbuilding village of Buckler’s Hard on the Beaulieu River in Hampshire, where HMS Agamemnon was built. Mary has always had a passion for maritime heritage, the sea, and sailing. She is currently active in maritime archaeology, keeping boatbuilding skills alive and as a trustee to the National Museum of the Royal Navy, HMS Victory, HMS Medusa and is commodore of her local yacht club. Mary's dream is to dive on the wreck of HMS Agamemnon, built in Bucklers Hard in 1781, and to see this great ship's story brought to life again on the original slipways.