Countdown to “Orb of Terra”: Research on the S.S. Savannah

I love to research an era. The sights, sounds and yes, smells of the times that our characters find themselves in present a challenge that is harder to meet on Earth than off world. In the stars, you can create whatever world you like (as Bob Ross used to say) however you want and it instantly becomes as real as our own (as long as you flesh it out well enough). 

The logbook of the S.S. Savannah, believed to be made of the sails of the ship.

With The Orb of Terra beginning on the high seas, I wanted to start with seafarers of that time who were real. I also wanted to align that character’s existence with what they were doing at the time, what route they were taking on their respective vessels and who were their ship mates.

It all begins with research.

I believe it was John Lasseter who said, I believe in research you cannot do enough research; believability comes out of what’s real. And I wholeheartedly agree.  So with that we begin with Moses Rogers, Captain of the first Steamship, the SS Savannah, in 1821. 

If you haven’t read the first chapter of The Orb of Terra, you can by clicking here.

On May 24, 1819, the  SS Savannah became the first Steamship to cross the Atlantic. Weighing in at 320 tons, she  was only 98 feet in length.  Installation of the steam-powered paddlewheel on the side of the ship was overseen by Captain Rogers himself.   Initially built as a sailing vessel, the ship only used steam propulsion for about 80 hours out of the 29-1/2 days it took to cross the pond since there was limited coal aboard. The owners of the ship did not think she would make the journey. No cargo or passengers were aboard during her voyage. 

After her return, she was stripped of her engine and remained a coastal ship until she ran aground in 1821 for unknown reasons. 

But if you want to find out what really happened, read chapter one.  ;o)

The Orb of Terra is available for preorder here. The paperback releases on November 17.

Chat soon!


Leonardo Ramirez is an author of Science Fiction and Fantasy. He is also a husband, father and a 4th degree Black Belt in American Karate. You can visit his website, Science Fiction for the Human Condition at  His books are available for purchase on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other retailers.



Newsletter Signup

Sign up for my newsletter!

Please wait...

Thank you for signing  up!