Author Archives: Rick Spilman

The Deuce, the World’s Largest Iceboat — 54 Feet of Fast

A video shot and edited by Dave Elsmo about the Deuce, the world’s largest iceboat, on Lake Mendota, in Madison, WI during the Wisconsin Stern Steerers Association Regatta. The 54′ stern-steerer speed demon built in the 1930s and rebuilt in … Continue reading

Posted in Current, Lore of the Sea | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Tall Ship Providence Blown Over in Blizzard Winds

The sloop Providence, a 1976 built replica of the Continental Navy sloop of the same name, was blown off her jack stands while on shore at Newport Shipyard in Newport, Rhode Island on Tuesday in blizzard conditions.  The ship was dis-masted … Continue reading

Posted in Current, Lore of the Sea, Ships | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Peggy of Castletown, UK’s Oldest Yacht, to be Restored

Peggy, the oldest yacht in the UK and the oldest schooner in the world, is being restored. Sometime between 1786 and 1791, George Quayle of Castletown, on the Isle of Man, had a shallop built, which he named Peggy. A shallop is a … Continue reading

Posted in Current, History, Lore of the Sea, Ships | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Bombed Out Blizzards, Hurricanes and the Gulf Stream

A major blizzard is heading for the US Northeast coast today. It has been given the name Winter Storm Juno.  If the prediction models are accurate, Juno may set a new record for snowfall in metropolitan New York City.  So, it … Continue reading

Posted in Current, Lore of the Sea | Tagged , , , , | 5 Comments

Extraordinary Toroidal Vortices

A fascinating video of dolphins and whales creating and then playing with bubble rings — toroidal vortices, also known as vortex rings.  (Also a bit of volcanoes blowing smoke rings.) Extraordinary Toroidal Vortices

Posted in Current, Lore of the Sea | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

HMS Victory at 250 Years Old — Last Chance to Save the Historic Ship?

This May will be the 250th anniversary of the launching of HMS Victory, the 104-gun first-rate Royal Navy ship of the line best known as Lord Nelson’s flagship at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805.  HMS Victory was also Keppel’s flagship at … Continue reading

Posted in Current, Lore of the Sea, Ships | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

Redbird Reef — Subway Cars, Fish and Hurricanes

Redbird Reef lies sixteen miles out in the Atlantic Ocean from the Indian River inlet, near the ominously named Slaughter Beach, Delaware.  One of three explanations for the town’s name is that the first postmaster was William Slaughter. Likewise, while many … Continue reading

Posted in Current, Lore of the Sea | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Farewell to the Ferry Kalakala, Art Deco Icon Heads to the Scrap Yard

The ferry MV Kalaka is making its last voyage today, a short trip to the scrap yard. The 276′ ferry carried millions of cars in the Puget Sound between Seattle and Bremerton between 1935 and 1967 and was notable for her streamlined … Continue reading

Posted in Current, History, Lore of the Sea, Ships | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments

Salvatore Polisi 1935 – 2015

New York harbor has lost part of its living history with the passing of Sal Polisi, longtime volunteer and master carver at the South Street Seaport Museum. For three decades, Polisi carved everything from figureheads to wooden signs, using the time honored methods of … Continue reading

Posted in Current, History, Lore of the Sea | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Wind Power in New York Harbor — 1815 and Today

Recently, the NY Times and others have been reporting on the installation of the first commercial wind turbine in New York City. The Sims Municipal Recycling facility in Sunset Park on the Brooklyn waterfront has installed a 100 KW 160′ … Continue reading

Posted in City of Ships, Current, History, Lore of the Sea | Tagged , , , , , , | 3 Comments

The Vagina Kayak and Japanese Genital Politics

Last May, Japanese artist Megumi Igarash posted on her blog, Maybe you were thinking, “Hey, what happened to that vagina boat?” Well, good news: The vagina boat finally set sail.  (Honestly, the question hadn’t crossed my mind.) Igarash, who goes by the … Continue reading

Posted in Current, Lore of the Sea | Tagged , | 6 Comments

Vindskip Design Uses Its Hull as a Sail

The Norwegian firm Lade AS is developing a hybrid ship design, Vindskip, in which the ship sails using lift off its airfoil shaped hull. It is an intriguing design. Nevertheless, I can’t quite figure out how it would work in … Continue reading

Posted in Current, Lore of the Sea, Ships | Tagged , | 2 Comments

USS Donald Church Buzzed by Russian Fighter — What Really Happened?

At 1 p.m. on Friday, the breaking news on the New York Post and the United Press Twitter feeds was that the Chinese had attacked US naval ships with missiles and that the “US Navy was engaged in active combat … Continue reading

Posted in Current, Lore of the Sea, Ships | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Update: Navy Purchasing Scandal — Fat Leonard Cops A Plea

In October 2013, we posted that a US Navy purchasing scandal sounded like a bad novel.  Bribes, prostitutes, and Lady Gaga tickets were allegedly handed out to US Navy officers by a Malaysian businessman in exchange for classified information and … Continue reading

Posted in Current, Lore of the Sea, Ships | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Summer Camps for Teens Aboard the Oliver Hazard Perry

It doesn’t feel very much like summer right now, but at least we are on the far side of the winter solstice, so each day brings spring a bit closer.  And this spring, the Oliver Hazard Perry, the first ocean-going … Continue reading

Posted in Current, Lore of the Sea, Ships | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Flettner Fleet Doubles in Size — M/V Estraden Adds A Rotor

We have followed the E-Ship 1 for the last four years. The ship is a Ro/Lo cargo ship owned by the world’s third-largest wind turbine manufacturer, Germany’s Enercon GmbH and is distinctive because it is fitted with four Flettner rotors. The … Continue reading

Posted in Current, Lore of the Sea, Ships | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments

Ex-Miami Dolphin Rob Konrad Swims 9 Miles to Shore

Last Wednesday, Rob Konrad went fishing alone in his 36 foot Grady White boat. He left Deerfield Beach, FL and headed about nine miles out in the Atlantic Ocean. At about 1PM, with the boat trolling at about 5 knots … Continue reading

Posted in Current, Lore of the Sea | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

CSCL Globe — the World’s “Largest Container Ship” & Bragging Rights

The new generation of VLCC has arrived.  The acronym usually refers to tankers, specifically, Very Large Crude Carriers, but in this case I am referring to Very Large Container Carriers. Perhaps they should be designated VLCS, for Very Large Container … Continue reading

Posted in Current, Lore of the Sea, Ships | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments

Oasis of the Seas Passenger Falls Overboard Unnoticed, Rescued by Disney Ship

Frank Jade was a passenger on the Royal Caribbean cruise ship Oasis of the Seas until Thursday morning when he said that a large wave knocked him off an open deck and into the sea, approximately eight miles from Cozumel, Mexico. Reportedly, no … Continue reading

Posted in Current, Lore of the Sea, Ships | Tagged , , , , | 6 Comments

Update: Höegh Osaka Floats Free, Salvage Underway, Weather Permtting

One week ago the car carrier Höegh Osaka was intentionally beached on Bramble Bank off the Solent in the UK after the ship developed an unexplained list.  Last Wednesday, the ship floated free from the bank. It is still, however, floating with a severe … Continue reading

Posted in Current, Lore of the Sea, Ships | Tagged , , | Leave a comment