Salty Sam’s Fun Blog for Children

Number 114

Mysteries at Sea


Hello Everyone




My lighthouse home is surrounded by sea. Sometimes the sea can be very mysterious, especially on foggy days.


Each day is exciting for me. You just never know what visitor or adventure could just turn up.


There are many mysteries of the sea that people talk about.


One of the most famous is that of the Marie Celeste. Have you heard the story?


Well, l will tell you…


ln 1872, the crew of a boat called the De Gratia noticed a ship that seemed to be out of control. lt was called the Mary Celeste. The crew of the De Gratia boarded the Mary Celeste and found her to be completely deserted.


There was a half-eaten meal on the table and no sign of a fight or an injury. lt was as if life had just stopped at a point in time and the people had just disappeared.


There were ten people: the captain, his family and the crew sailing on the Mary Celeste.


All the passengers’ possessions and valuables seemed to be still on board; only a lifeboat was missing.


The weather was calm and the boat was not damaged. The sails were tattered and some ropes were missing, one of the bilge pumps wasn’t working but the boat was still seaworthy.


lt had hit a storm just after leaving New York on 7th November as it headed for the city of Genoa in ltaly, but it was still afloat and mostly intact.


Had the people heard a noise outside, run on deck and been taken by kidnappers or some kind of sea monster?


Had they drunk some cider or eaten some biscuits that were contaminated which caused them to go mad and then jumped over the side of the ship?


Or had the people been transported away by an alien spaceship?


Or maybe they had even staged everything and just pretended that something had happened to them. Then left the ship, escaping in one of the life boats to claim insurance money for the lost Mary Celeste not thinking that the vessel would be found before it floundered and sank?


The ship had already had a bad history before this story happened. lt was originally called the Amazon when it was built in Canada in 1860 but then changed its name. There is a superstition at sea that it is not a good thing to change a ship’s name.


Just before they had left New York, one of their lifeboats was smashed and they had to leave port with only one on board. The ship was already old and ill-equipped so this was not a good start to the journey.


lt is true that the November of 1872 saw the worst Atlantic storms since before records began. Four hundred and fifty vessels were lost at sea.


When the Marie Celeste was found, the remaining lifeboat, navigational equipment and maps were missing and so was the treasured family photograph album.


The last entry in the ship’s log was on 25th November as it sailed past The Azores; a group of islands in the middle of the Atlantic west of Portugal.


Maybe the Captain, Captain Briggs, had decided for some reason it was best to abandon ship and head for the island of Santa Maria, one of the islands they had passed on their trip.


lf so, the lifeboat they were in didn’t make it.




This was not the only boat to be found abandoned. Another one called the Rosalie had been found some time before the Mary Celeste in the Atlantic in 1840 with all its sails up in place. The cargo and some animals were on board but the crew was never found.




But the strangest ship of all is the Flying Dutchman. lt is a ghost ship that people have reported seeing off the Cape of Good Hope (the southern tip of Africa) – but also in other places as well.


lt appears and disappears and is said to glow with a ghostly light, a vessel destined to haunt the seven seas forever.


Has anything mysterious ever happened to you?



Bye bye everyone – don’t forget to subscribe to my blog!


lf you like my blog, please support it by telling all your friends and followers about it.


Thank you!


And see you again next Fun Friday!


Love and kisses



Salty Sam





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Bill and Bob’s Joke of the Weekjokejoke


Bob: Do you know how Noah was able to steer his ark in the night?


Bill: No. How was he able to steer his ark in the night?


Bob: He used flood lighting!



Salty Sam © Christina Sinclair 2015

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of material from this blog without express and written permission from this blog’s author and owner is strictly prohibited.

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Picture Gallery


Marie Celeste


image011 The Rosalie


image012 The Flying Dutchman 


Ergot is a type of fungus that attacks grain crops and when food containing it is eaten by humans it can cause hallucinations (a confused brain that sees things that aren’t there)


image015 (Looking down into the bottom of a ship)

Bilge is water that collects inside the base of a ship’s hull –

this water needs to be pumped out so that it doesn’t eventually sink the ship


Santa Maria is an island in The Azores


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Do you know what a homophone is? 

It is a word that sounds the same as another word – but the two words have different spellings and different meanings like ‘there’ and ‘their’. (If you find it hard to remember how to spell ‘their’ remember it starts with ‘the’.) 

This is one of the strange things that can happen in the English language.

Bill and Bob had a test on homophones at school a while back. See if you can answer this question.


What do these homophones mean?

  1. beech beach
  2. key quay
  3. mayor mare
  4. muscle mussel
  5. buoy boy
  6. pearl purl
  7. peal peel
  8. fare fair
  9. our hour
  10. boar bore





Bill and Bob borrowed my camera this week and took photographs of some every day objects up close. They thought that you would like to see the photographs that they took.


Can you see what their mystery photographs are of?





 2.                                                                          3.

















 crafty tip

 Crafty Tip


This is an easy pattern you can use to make a beach set for your twelve inch doll.



Using 4mm knitting needles and rainbow dk yarn cast on 26 stitches 

Knit 46 rows of garter stitch and cast off 

Sew up the back seam. 

You don’t have to use rainbow yarn, you could use another yarn with an interesting texture or colour variations to make an interesting looking dress.





Using 4mm knitting needles and dk yarn (colour 1) cast on 20 stitches

Knit 1 row 

Change to colour 2

Knit 1 row, purl 1 row, purl 1 row, knit 1 row 

Change to colour 3

Knit 1 row, purl 1 row, purl 1 row, knit 1 row 

Change to colour 4

Knit 1 row, purl 1 row, purl 1 row, knit 1 row

Repeat the last four rows 12 times

Knit 1 row 

Change to colour 3

Purl 1 row, purl 1 row, knit 1 row, knit 1 row 

Change to colour 2

Purl 1 row, purl 1 row, knit 1 row 

Change to colour 1

Knit 1 row

Cast off 

Neaten all the loose ends.



Using 4mm knitting needles and white dk yarn cast on 20 stitches 

Stocking stitch 14 rows 

Knit 1 row

Knit 1 row

Knit 1 row 

Purl 1 row

Purl 1 row 

Knit 1 row 

Cast off 

Sew up bottom and side seams and turn the bag the right way out. 

To make a strap to thread through crochet 60 chains in a length of dk yarn.



Crochet 5o chains in a length of dk yarn and thread around the top of the bottom of a net bag that had held bulbs of garlic or something similar.





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lt’s the Weekend!




Hem a piece of fabric (50cm/20 inches square). 

You can trim it with some fringing if you would like to make it look more theatrical. 

Wrap it tightly around a large book and on the top place three coins in a row. The centre coin should be thinner than the other two.

Place the rim of an upturned plastic beaker onto the two outer coins. 

Ask your audience if they can pick up the centre coin without touching either the beaker or the two coins holding it. 

Prepare to dazzle your audience with your wizardry!



Start scratching the cloth with your fingernail in front of the beaker and watch the centre coin gradually move under the beaker – when it is clear you can pick it up! 

To make it easier for yourself it is probably easier to put the centre coin quite near to the rim of the beaker. 

For your next trick you can turn the cloth into a toys’ picnic blanket! 


This trick also works on a table cloth – it is very important that the fabric is taught for the trick to work. 

You could also use the magic hat from Blog Post 50.








Please note that the material on this blog is for personal use and for use in classrooms only.

It is a copyright infringement and, therefore, illegal under international law to sell items made with these patterns.

Use of the toys and projects is at your own risk.

©Christina Sinclair Designs 2015sand


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Answers to the News Desk Quiz


  1. beech beach
  2. key quay
  3. mayor mare
  4. muscle mussel
  5. buoy boy
  6. pearl purl
  7. peal peel
  8. fare fair
  9. our hour
  10. boar bore
  1. tree / land by the sea
  2. unlocks a lock / harbour wall
  3. the chief magistrate of a borough / female horse
  4. part of the body that causes movement / a shellfish
  5. a floating marker on the sea / a young, male human
  6. a gem produced by an oyster / a knitting stitch
  7. a series of loud sounds from bells or thunder / the skin of a fruit such as an orange
  8. money you pay to travel on transport / the colour of light hair or a place of entertainment with swings, roundabouts and dodgem cars
  9. belonging to us / a unit of time
  10. a male pig / a person who is boring (or a verb meaning to drill)

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A lot of jokes in English come out of the fact that the sound of a word can mean more than one thing. This play on words is called a pun and one of our most famous writers William Shakespeare created humour in this way. You can use homophones or homonyms to do this. 

Homophone means same sound and homonym means same spelling for example ‘jam’ and ‘jam’ (fruit jam and traffic/log jam). 

Here is an example (from Bill and Bob not Shakespeare)…


Why did the piglets stop listening to their father?


Because he was becoming a bit of a boar! 
smile1 (2)





A boar 


The mystery photographs are: the bottom of an egg box, a present bow, an umbrella, a fork and a light bulb.


Did you get them all?



  • Elise says:

    I appreciate you writing this blog every week. It is very entertaining.

  • BobbuBrowne says:

    Hello! Cool post, amazing!!!

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