Captain Archibald Haddock is a seafaring, pipe-smoking, short tempered, Merchant Marine Captain of coarse humanity, sarcastic wit and best friend to Tintin in The Adventures of Tintin by Belgian cartoonist Herge. A somewhat alcoholic character with a love of rum and Loch Lomond whisky, he is descended from the pirate Sir Francis Haddock, whose treasure he finally recovers and with his newfound wealth he regains his ancestral home Marlinspike Hall. In The Shooting Star he is appointed President of the Society of Sober Sailors (No, I’ve never heard of it either!). Haddock remained without a first name until the last completed story (Tintin and The Picaros – 1976) when the name Archibald first appears. In the same book, Professor Calculus ‘cures’ him of his taste for alcohol. What a horrible way to end – told you it was only a cartoon!!
Ferdinand Magellan (c.1480 – 27 April 1521) was a Portuguese navigator and explorer who organised the Spanish expedition to the East Indies from 1519 to 1522 resulting in the first circumnavigation of the Earth. The expedition was completed by Juan Sebastian Elcano, who few people have ever heard of, as Magellan was killed in the Philippines in April 1521. The 373 mile long passage from the South Atlantic to the Pacific originally called (by Magellan) All Saints Channel because the fleet travelled through it on 1st November or All Saints Day, is now called the Strait of Magellan. His navigational skills have also been acknowledged in the naming of celestial objects: the Magellanic Clouds – now known to be two nearby dwarf galaxies; twin lunar craters of Magelhaens and Magelhaens A; and the Martian crater of Magelhaens. Of the 5 ships and 237 men who set out with Magellan only one ship, the Victoria – the smallest carrack in the fleet – and 18 men completed the first circumnavigation.
Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh (born Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark 10 June 1921) is the husband and consort of Queen Elizabeth II and a former Royal Navy Officer – and for a time a bearded one at that! Prince Philip joined the Royal Navy in 1939, passing-out from Britannia Royal Naval College, Dartmouth the following year. His wartime service included the battleship HMS RAMILIES, protecting convoys of the Australian Expeditionary Force in the Indian Ocean, the cruisers HMS KENT and HMS SHROPSHIRE and the battleship HMS VALIANT in the Mediterranean Fleet. He saw action during the Battle of Crete and at the Battle of Cape Matapan, winning a Mention In Dispatches during the latter action in control of VALIANT’s searchlights during the point-blank battleship night engagement with elements of the Italian Fleet. He was First Lieutenant of the destroyer HMS WALLACE in convoy escort tasks on the east coast of Britain and for the invasion of Sicily. In 1944 he was appointed to the new destroyer HMS WHELP where he saw service with the British Pacific Fleet and he was present in Tokyo Bay when the instrument of Japanese surrender was signed on 2nd September 1945, the Japanese having surrendered on 15th August. After his marriage in 1947 his naval service included tours in the Admiralty, Malta, as First Lieutenant of the destroyer HMS CHEQUERS and command of the frigate HMS MAGPIE (1950-1951).
Captain Jack Sparrow is a fictional pirate character in the Pirates of the Caribbean film series who first appeared in the 2003 film Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl and four sequels. Sparrow is one of the nine pirate lords of the Brethren Court, the Pirate Lords of the Seven Seas. He can be treacherous and survives mostly by using wit and negotiation rather than by force, opting to flee most dangerous situations and to fight only when necessary. He is shrewd, calculating and eccentric. Sparrow claims his “first and only love is the sea.”
Jacques Cartier (31 December 1491 – 1 September 1557) was a French (Breton) explorer who claimed what is now Canada for France. Born in Saint-Malo on the north west coast of Brittany, he was the first European to describe and map the Gulf of Saint Lawrence and the shores of the Saint Lawrence River. His first voyage in April 1534 sailed under a commission from the French King Francis I to discover a western passage to the wealthy markets of Asia. His first crossing of the Atlantic took only 20 days and between May and August of 1534 he explored parts of Newfoundland, returning to France in September of that year convinced he had reached an Asian land. His second voyage (1535 – 1536) explored what is now the Saint Lawrence River reaching Hochelaga (now Montreal) on 2 October 1535. From mid November 1535 to mid-April 1536 his three ships lay frozen solid at the mouth of the St Charles River, under the Rock of Quebec. The ice was over a fathom (6 feet) thick, with snow four feet thick ashore. The expedition made it back to France in July 1536. He undertook his third and final voyage between 1541 and 1542 and this time any thoughts of finding a passage to Asia were long gone. The aim was to find the riches of Canada and to establish a permanent settlement along the St Lawrence River. On this trip Cartier’s men began collecting what they believed to be diamonds and gold, but which upon return to France turned out to be quartz crystals and iron pyrites, giving rise to a French expression: “faux comme les diamants du Canada” (“As false as Canadian diamonds.”). Cartier was one of the first to formally acknowledge that the New World was a separate land mass from Asia.
Captain Ahab, “a brilliant personification of the very essence of fanaticism”, is the main protagonist in Herman Melville’s book Moby-Dick, first published in 1851. The monomaniacal captain of the whaling ship Pequod, on an earlier whaling trip, Ahab had a leg bitten off by the white whale Moby Dick, leaving him with a false leg made out of whalebone. Ahab is 58 years old at the time of Pequod’s last voyage. Instead of embarking on a regular whaling voyage, Ahab declares that he is out for revenge and nails a doubloon to the main mast by way of reward for the crewman who first sights the great white whale. When Moby Dick is eventually sighted, a disastrous three-day chase begins. Ahab’s hatred robs him of all caution and finally, entangled by the line of his own harpoon, Ahab is dragged beneath the waves and drowns as Moby Dick dives and takes the still cursing Ahab with him.