The ‘City of Ottawa’: the Story of a Sailing Ship

The remains of the City of Ottawa still lie in Rhyl Harbour. The book explores the good times and bad of this wooden sailing ship and the men who sailed in her, the successes and failures, collisions, storms, accidents, disease, death …. and also the good times.  In a working life of 46 years the Ottawa sailed all around the world, and was finally towed to Rhyl Harbour to be broken up for salvage – but still manages to survive today.

I travelled to record offices and ports throughout Britain, and also to Quebec, France and Italy, hot on the trail of the story of the vessel.  Some of this was sad – not all her Masters had happy ends – but some of the men rose from obscure beginnings to enjoy long and successful lives. It took over my life for several years!



I have recently had two articles published on this project:

‘Shipshape in French’, The Linguist, Vol 53 No 4 2014 – go to:

‘Ancient Mariners’ in Mensa Magazine, August 2014

Comments on “The ‘City of Ottawa’: the story of a sailing ship”

– “I have read your book and found it very enjoyable.  Amazing and sad the number of lives that have been lost during the course of the ship’s life.  Thanks for a good painting, good talk and readable and enjoyable book.” – Helen, Liverpool

– “Congratulations on the publication of your book. It’s great that our local history with international connections is celebrated in this way.” – Chris Ruane, MP

– “Congratulations on an excellent piece of research and on telling such a complete story of her lengthy career. You greatly expanded our collective knowledge of her career and her historical significance. Among the many elements of the book, I thoroughly enjoyed the analysis of her masters and crews. It  added an important human element to her story, so often lacking in stories about vessels and their voyaging. Kudos for your diligence and perseverance in mining these original documents and presenting it so logically. Perhaps your telling of the  City of Ottawa’s  story will elevate local appreciation of her remains.” – Researcher, Canada

The research project was partly funded by Arts Council Wales.

Copyright Judith Samuel trading as Penlan Publishing

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