Ships and Water Vessels Throughout History

By Andy Seamans

By Dawn Seamans-Shook

March 16, 2012 4 min read

1. In 1964, Danish inventor Karl Kryer came up with an idea to pump buoyant bodies into a sunken freighter. This would achieve a sufficient upward lift to bring the ship back to the surface. He received a patent for it, which was later called into question by some because of this cartoon character. Name the character.

2. The signals CDQ and SOS were used in Morse code transmissions to convey distress. Do these letters have a specific meaning?

3. What distress signal was used by the RMS Titanic when she sunk on April 14, 1912?

4. How many smokestacks were on the original Titanic ship, and what was their purpose?

5. Christopher Columbus used both a carrack and two smaller caravels in his voyages to the Americas. What are carracks and caravels?

6. School children are taught that Columbus sailed aboard the Niña, the Pinta and the Santa Marina, but that is not completely accurate. Can you give the ship's true names?

7. This 17th century English sea explorer and navigator explored the region around modern New York City and captained the Discovery ship after her voyages to Jamestown. He, his son and seven crewmembers were mutinied and set to sea never to be heard from again. Name him.

8. Francis Scott Key was aboard this ship in the Chesapeake Bay when he witnessed an American flag still waving above Fort McHenry. Name the ship.

9. Name the vessel that John F. Kennedy commanded in World War II.

10. Currently, this motor ship holds the record for the largest passenger ship ever constructed. Name her.



1. In a 1949, there was a Donald Duck story called: "The Sunken Yacht." The tale, by Carl Barks, tells how Donald and his nephews raise a ship by filling it with ping- pong balls shoved through a tube.

2. No. CQD was derived from the shorter CQ, a signal simply alerting all stations on a telegraph line, by adding the D for "distress." This was replaced by an international Morse code distress signal consisting of nine straight characters: three dots, three dashes and three dots, with no intervening spaces because it was easy to tap out on a telegraph key and caught an operator's attention.

3. Both CQD and SOS distress signals were dispatched by the first wireless officer aboard the RMS Titanic.

4. There were four smokestacks. Three of which were operational and used to release steam from the engine rooms. The other was only for aesthetics.

5. A carrack is a three- or four-masted sailing ship. Caravels are small, highly maneuverable sailing ships.

6. The Santa Maria nicknamed Gallega (the Galician), the Pinta and the Santa Clara nicknamed Niña (after her owner Juan Niño of Moguer).

7. Henry Hudson.

8. HMS Tonnant.

9. PT 109.

10. Royal Caribbean's "Allure of the Seas" is currently the world's largest cruise ship.

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Cold War World History

Cold War World History

By Andy Seamans
By Dawn Seamans-Shook
1. Name the conference where the leaders of the World War II superpowers — Great Britain, the Soviet Union and the United States — agreed on the postwar occupation of Germany. Keep reading