Riding the wave

The Naval Technical Museum in La Spezia keeps a figurehead of neapolitan make; it is one of the Cyclops who, according to Greek mythology, were the blacksmiths of the gods and lived in the viscera of Sicilian volcanoes: their panting and the thud of the anvils are the the rumble of sicilian volcanoes and the fire of their forge reddens the summit of Etna, formerly called Mongibello, like the neapolitan ship active around 1840. Purchased by the Piedmontese, it was renamed Monzambano and became the first hydrographic ship of the Kingdom, employed by the Hydrographic Commission headed by Commander Imbert.

The same figurehead from a different perspective is in the next image.

In the mid-nineteenth century the ship Mongibello originated a mysterious accident at sea, that caused the loss of the Genoese ship Pollux : an intriguing story that we summarize in the page devoted to that distant event and to the recent recovery of the Pollux in the waters close to Elba island.