Author Archives: Rick Spilman

A Song for a Sunday Morning — Tom Munch Sings We Build the Ships

Singer/songwriter Tom Munch plays his original song about the last great historic wooden schooners of Maine in the early 20th century. The photos are historic shots of the Wyoming and other ships built at Percy and Small shipyard in Bath, Maine … Continue reading

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Day of the Seafarer 2016

June 25th is celebrated globally as the Day of the Seafarer, an official United Nations observance day. What does that really mean? Opinions vary. Click here to read Barista Uno’s slightly acerbic but largely on-target perspective on the official “observance … Continue reading

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12 Million Year Old Sperm Whale Fossils Found in California Landfill

You never know what you will find in a landfill.  Paleontologist Melissa Macias was looking for fossils in the Bowerman Landfill in Irvine, California, when she spotted teeth and bones as a construction crew moved soil to create a new waste disposal … Continue reading

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The Legacy of the Sailor Poet Gorch Foch, Killed in the Battle of Jutland

Johann Wilhelm Kinau was one of the more than 8,000 sailors who died in the Battle of Jutland just over 100 years ago. Kinau was 36 when he was killed while serving as a lookout on the German light cruiser … Continue reading

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Congratulations to the Schooner Spirit of South Carolina and All Who Sail Her!

Congratulations to the schooner Spirit of South Carolina and all who sail and support her! After languishing for years, the schooner has new owners, a new captain and officers and was recently re-certified to carry passengers by the US Coast … Continue reading

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Freed From the Vultures, Argentine Tallship Libertad Sails Again

After being tied to the dock for several years, the ARA Libertad, the Argentine Navy’s training ship, is sailing again. For the last three years, the ship has been entangled in a more than decade long battle over Argentine debt related … Continue reading

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A Closer Look at the America 2.0 — Replica, Hybrid or High-Tech Schooner?

Classic Harbor Line‘s schooner America 2.0 is a fascinating design. Designed and built by the Scarano brothers and delivered in 2011, the boat is, notionally, a replica of the schooner yacht America of 1851, after which the famous America’s Cup was … Continue reading

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State of Hawaii Evicts Falls of Clyde

In May 2015, we posted that the State of Hawaii has put the Friends of Falls of Clyde, the organization responsible for rescuing the historic ship of the same name, on notice that the state planned to terminate the permit … Continue reading

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The Mulberries Battle the Storm — June 19, 1944

Seventy-two years ago today, during the early days of the Allied invasion of Europe, the sea would prove to be as formidable an enemy as the Germans. A storm, the worst in 80 years, came close to wiping out the … Continue reading

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Guirec Soudee & Monique — a Sailor & His Chicken

Guirec Soudée, a 24 year old sailor, has spent the last two years sailing the globe with a female chicken named Monique.  Soudée began the cruise in the Canary Islands in May 2014, sailing to St. Barts in the Caribbean and … Continue reading

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Last Oil Company Abandons Arctic Drilling

Last week, Repsol, the last of a group oil companies which had invested billions of dollars in Arctic drilling rights in Alaska’s Chukchi Sea, abandoned its leases and sailed away. The Spanish drilling company gave up 55 leases and plans … Continue reading

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Defending New York Harbor — Photography on Historic Cutter Lilac

Defending New York Harbor: The City’s Waterfront Forts is an exhibit of photographs by Richard W. Golden which documents the fortifications that protectively ring New York Harbor. It is on view at the historic Cutter Lilac through July 31st during regular … Continue reading

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The Last Voyage of RMS St Helena & Oh, About That Airport…

The RMS St Helena, the last true Royal Mail Ship, recently departed from the UK on its final voyage for its namesake island.  St. Helena, which lies around 1,150 miles off the coast of Angola in the South Atlantic, is the most … Continue reading

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Remembering the General Slocum Disaster of June 15, 1904

One hundred and twelve years ago today, the disaster on the General Slocum resulted in one of the largest loss of life in New York City prior to the attacks of 9/11/01. At around 9AM on June 15, 1904, approximately 1,350 passengers, … Continue reading

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Return to the Gowanus Canal on the Gowanus Bay Hidden Harbor Tour

I am looking forward to going the Working Harbor Committee’s Hidden Harbor Tour of Gowanus Bay.  It will be lead by Captain Margaret Flanagan, Maritime Operations, Waterfront Alliance & Joseph Alexiou, tour guide and author of “Gowanus Brooklyn’s Curious Canal”  and will … Continue reading

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The Swedish East Indiaman Götheborg for Sale

Sad news. The Götheborg, a replica of an 18th-century Swedish East Indiaman, is for sale. The Ostindiefararen Götheborg Foundation which owns the ship says it can no longer afford to run the replica, which is one of the world’s largest operational wooden sailing … Continue reading

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Invasive Lionfish for Sale at Whole Foods – If You Can’t Beat ’em, Eat ’em

The upscale supermarket, Whole Foods, is taking an innovative approach to countering the spread of an invasive species of fish in Florida. They offering lionfish for sale. It is sort of a “if you can’t beat’em, eat’em” approach to managing … Continue reading

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SSV Oliver Hazard Perry: America’s Newest Tall Ship Looking for Deckhands

This sounds like a great opportunity for licensed deckhands.  The Sailing School Vessel (SSV) Oliver Hazard Perry is looking for crew.  From their recent announcement: Oliver Hazard Perry Rhode Island (OHPRI) is seeking to hire licensed deckhands for its brand new 200-foot … Continue reading

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Bom Jesus — More Gold From Shipwreck on a Beach of Diamonds

Once again, the media is reporting a story of the discovery of a shipwreck which sounds very familiar. Recently, the Independent reported: “The wreckage of a 500-year-old Portuguese ship filled with gold coins has been unearthed by miners in a … Continue reading

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UK Frigates & Russian Submarines — Increasing Challenges & Too Few Ships

Naval ships are very expensive to build and operate and in the best of all possible worlds would never be used.  Nevertheless, they exist for a purpose.  Recently, while taking part in commemorations for the Battle of Jutland centenary, HMS Kent intercepted … Continue reading

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