Captain Alfred Bulltop Stormalong’s
TALL TALES BLOG
Coming next boating season ...
We want to hear about the tall tales experienced by our visitors!
Big catches and ones that got away ... Exciting cruises ... Caught in a storm ... Nautical legends you wish to share ... Safety tips ... Maintenance tips ... At sea rescues ... Special destinations ... Easy day trips on the LI Sound, into NYC, on LI's South Shore, and at the East End.
Stay tuned and in the meantime ... ...
Who is Captain Alfred Bulltop Stormalong?
Captain Alfred Bulltop Stormalong is an American folk hero and the subject of numerous nautical-themed tall tales. Stormalong was said to be a sailor and a giant, some 30 feet tall; he was the master of a huge clipper ship known in various sources as either the Courser or the Tuscarora. It was a ship purportedly so tall that it had hinged masts to avoid catching on the moon.
New England was where he was beached as a baby, already three fathoms (18 ft) tall. According to one telling, he outgrew Cape Cod and moved to Boston, where he signed aboard the first ship that would take him at the age of twelve.
He had a lifelong rivalry with a Kraken, a huge sea monster from Norse myth; in fact, the Kraken escaped from him in their first encounter, causing a dejected Stormalong to abandon the sea life for life as a farmer somewhere in the Midwest.
He returned to sea a short time later. Some sources say he had a ship so large that a stable of Arabian horses were aboard for his crew to get from one end of the ship to the other. Among other things, the ship was said to have gotten stuck in the English Channel, which required the crew to grease the ship's hull with soap. The soap combined with the scraping of the hull against the Gray Cliffs of Dover turned them bright white.
As Stormalong grew older, he eventually encountered the Kraken again, this time successfully drawing the beast into a whirlpool from which it never escaped.
Stormalong's death is not universally attested by all sources, but one ending to his life is as follows: After Stormalong angered a steamboat captain by dumping water down the boat's funnel in an attempt to put out what he thought was a dangerous fire on the boat, the steamboat Captain challenged Stormalong to a transatlantic race. The aged Stormalong won the race by several miles, but the stress of handling the wheel through the difficult Atlantic crossing killed him. Stormalong was buried at sea, and Davy Jones himself opened his famous locker to accept Stormalong's body.