Feb 6, 2009

Victory is Risen

Under swirling clouds, its four-story hull illuminated by lanterns tied to its masts, the massive warship sinks beneath the waves. For more than two centuries, Peter Monamy's dramatic painting was one of the few images available of the tragic end of HMS Victory, which mysteriously disappeared, along with its crew of 1,100 men, one stormy night in 1744. Now, however, shipwreck salvage company Odyssey promises to fill out the picture. On Feb. 2, the Florida-based company announced it had recovered the Victory's remains. --Lisa Abend, Time Magazine

Given the recurring theme of the Goddess Victoria/Nike in the noosphere, I find it particularly interesting that the wreck of the HMS Victory has been discovered by Florida "treasure hunters": Odyssey Marine Exploration. I note the 11, 17, 44 and the 22 (Feb. 2).

Victor/Victoria seems to be hovering around this occulted and recently very busy intersection of Maritime signals: Mary, Shiva, and the Trident. The Trident submarine is the world's deadliest weapon - oddly based in the mouth of Hood Canal, my boyhood playground, also home to the Dungeness crab (symbol of my mother, and perhaps of the Catholic church) - and gateway to the Olympic mountains.

I've seen an Ohio Class submarine (known as Tridents because of the missiles they carry) in the flesh a few times, the most memorable was on a ferry ride to Port Townsend. It was heading south toward its subase - an ominous black torpedo of destruction. I couldn't help but feel a shiver as this dreadnaught of potential global annihilation passed by - leaving its atomic wake astern.

The Victory was sunk while holding a "King's ransom" of gold coins - potentially the richest treasure ship in history. OMS has previously run afoul of the Spanish:

Currently, the company is locked in a court battle with the country of Spain over ownership of the remains of a ship that experts believe to be the 17th-century Nuestra SeƱora de las Mercedes.

Our Lady of the Tripura? Huh. Curiously, it is attorney James Goold who represents the Spanish government in the case. It is wonderfully piquant for the Spanish to call OMS "piratical" in its approach to seeking ancient artifacts. Spain owes ALL her wealth to stolen gold from the new world - a galleon was a (state sanctioned) pirate ship. Likewise, the Victory was also laden with gold, coerced from the Spanish, who coerced it from the Incas, and God only knows where THEY coerced it from. It's ALL pirate gold.

So we have "Victoria" the treasure ship submarining up from the "deep" (subconscious) in the form of a previous generation's "ultimate weapon". It's interesting to me that my private journal is named "Michael's Odyssey" (begun petulantly on 6/6/06) of which snippets occasionally appear at gosporn.

It makes me wonder... the treasure would never have even been FOUND if not for a certain "treasure seeking" impulse on the part of OMS. No one else was even looking for it, but are quick to stake their claim - based mostly on factors of "noble" inheritance - the sons of pirates.

I think... I am a treasure seeker. I seek a trail long abandoned - the pearl of great price - a track nearly gone cold. I seek for my own reasons... some sublime, and some admittedly piratical in nature. I am Odysseus. I am Ponce de Leon.

8 comments:

JB said...

From "Family Guy":

"So, what do you guys in the Navy do all day long?"

"Well, we like to go out on boats, FULL OF MEN, and sail the seven seas, SURROUNDED BY MEN, and live a sailor's life, ALWAYS SURROUNDED BY BIG, STRAPPING MEN."

"So... you guys are like pirates?"

"Well, a certain KIND of pirate... yes, we've been called that."

lmao ;)

Michael said...

Yes, the Family Guy - nothing like telling a joke a thousand times. My favorite along those lines is the definition of a submarine:

"What's long and hard and full of seamen?"

Visions of Captain Nemo's Nautilus and his "all male cast" dance in my head...

Cheers, Michael

Christopher Knowles said...

Is this a bad time to mention my wife is named Vicky?

Eunus Noe said...

I was reading Joseph Campbell the other day and it said something in conjunction w/ your fascination of boats/vessels: "The dreamer is assisted across the water by the gift of a small wooden box[.] This is a symbol of her own special talent and virtue by which she has been ferried across the waters of the world."
-basically that which floats our boat is what makes us, us. And because you admire boats and vessels, you must also admire people? I dunno, maybe, are you a people person?

I really enjoyed this post. I love your connection to the water. I've been landlocked now for about five years, but before, the fisherman's terminal and the golden gardens were some of my favorites spots.
-my wife and I are always partial to getting fish n chips from sunfish and skipping rocks on alki.

Michael said...

Thanks for the Joseph Campbell reference. An interesting interpretation. And thanks for reading.

Fish n' chips, the poor man's surf n/ turf. Love Spuds fish and chips at Alki.

Cheers, Michael

Christopher Knowles said...

Aussie wildfires are in the state of Victoria...

Eunus Noe said...

"I think... I am a treasure seeker. I seek a trail long abandoned - the pearl of great price - a track nearly gone cold. I seek for my own reasons... some sublime, and some admittedly piratical in nature. I am Odysseus. I am Ponce de Leon."

-the pearl is a symbol of wholeness--Maybe one's soul in completion. Are you journeying to re-find your lost soul, to find your true self?

Mine has always been a Grail quest. My mantra has been. "The Holy Grail is in the Belly of the Whale."
take care,
e.n.

Michael said...

E.N. - "the belly of the whale" is a poetic metaphor, I love it. A rediscovery of my true Self - a land lost long ago and only dimly remember.

Thanks so much for commenting. Michael

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