Author Archives: Rick Spilman

The Indian Ocean Gyre, the Garbage Patch and Malaysia Air Flight 370

A wing flap from Malaysia Air Flight 370, which disappeared in 2014, has washed up on the island of Reunion in the Indian Ocean off the coast of Africa, roughly 2,300 miles away from where most believe that the plane crashed, on … Continue reading

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

What Happened to the Polina Star III? New Oyster 90 Sinks off Spain

In early July, the year old Polina Star III – an extended 90ft version of the Oyster 825 — suffered some sort of hull failure and sank off the East Coast of Spain. The Oyster press release describes it as a … Continue reading

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

The Problem with Boat Names & Double-Enders

As we posted today, Donna Lange has just set off on her second solo circumnavigation on her Southern Cross 28, Inspired Insanity. A photo of the Donna and the boat points out one problem with painting a boat name on … Continue reading

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

Bon Voyage — Donna Lange & Inspired Insanity on Second Solo Circumnativation

Today, Donna Lange set off today from Bristol, RI on her Southern Cross 28, Inspired Insanity, attempting to sail single-handed nonstop around the world. This will be her second circumnavigation, although the first non-stop. She made two post calls on … Continue reading

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

The Hallucinogen Magic of Sea Sapphires

Sea sapphires are amazing creatures. These tiny crustaceans flash in brilliant shades of blue, green, red and gold, and then seem to disappear completely, as if by magic. RR Helm wrote in Deep Sea News, “When I first saw a … Continue reading

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

The French Prize by James Nelson — a Review

For fans of his “Revolution at Sea Saga,” Jame’s Nelson’s The French Prize is an introduction to the next generation. Isaac Biddlecombe, the Revolutionary War naval hero of the previous saga, has a son, Jack, coming of age in the … Continue reading

Posted in Lore of the Sea, Newbooks, Reviews, Seastories | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

The Glory and the Danger of Open Water — Thoughts on Two Missing Teens

On Friday, two 14 year old boys went missing in the Atlantic off Jupiter, FL. Their 19′ boat was found capsized on Sunday night. The Coast Guard, and now the Navy, is continuing the search for the teens, Austin Stephanos … Continue reading

Posted in Current, Lore of the Sea | Tagged , , , , , | 10 Comments

‘Sea Slaves’: the Human Misery that Feeds Pets and Livestock

Slave labor on fishing boats, particularity in Asia, has been a serious problem for many years. In 2011, we posted about reports that the crews of of chartered fishing vessels operating in New Zealand waters were being systematically abused and … Continue reading

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

Will Pollution Limit Faroe Island Pilot Whale Hunts?

Around the world, pollution is a serious threat to whales. Ironically, on the Faroe Islands, pollution may help to curtail whaling, where protests have failed.  The residents of the Faroe Islands in the North Atlantic have been hunting pilot whales for almost … Continue reading

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

Kick ’em Jenny – Ready to Rock Out From Underwater

Back in 2011, we posted a short quiz: Is Kick’em Jenny a Dutch rockabilly singer, a Dutch Celtic Symfo-Folk band or an active submarine volcano on the floor of the Caribbean Sea? The answer is yes to all three. I am not sure … Continue reading

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

Fifty One Years Ago, Trawler Snoopy and Eight Crew Casualties of Torpedo Alley

Fifty one years ago this week, on July 23, 1964, the scallop trawler Snoopy was trawling off Currituck Sound, NC.  During World War II that stretch of the coast earned the grim nickname, Torpedo Alley, when German U-boats sank nearly 400 ships in the … Continue reading

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

Stowaways — Complicated, Messy, Expensive and Possibly Dangerous

First published in gCaptain. Recently, the New York Times published Stowaways and Crimes Aboard Aboard a Scofflaw Ship, the first of a four part series, by Ian Urbina. At the core of the article, Urbina tells the story of two South … Continue reading

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

Lucy Bellwood’s Baggywrinkles: A Lubber’s Guide to Life at Sea

I have long been a fan of Lucy Bellwood. A tall ship sailor and cartoonist; she is talented, smart and funny. Her  wonderful series, Baggywrinkles, based on the time she has spent working aboard replica 18th-century tall ships, has appeared an issue at … Continue reading

Posted in Newbooks, Seastories | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Fanning to Shark — “Thanks For Not Eating Me!”

Shark attacks are rare. Shark attacks on live television are virtually unprecedented, which is why the video of an encounter between Australian champion surfer, Mick Fanning, and a large shark in the waters off South Africa caught on live TV spread so rapidly … Continue reading

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

SSV Oliver Hazard Perry on Her Maiden Voyage

Last weekend, Oliver Hazard Perry, America’s newest and largest civilian sailing school ship sailed into Portland harbor in Maine on her maiden voyage, to participate in the Tall Ships Portland 2015 festival, which wrapped up yesterday.  Based in Newport, RI, the … Continue reading

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

Outlaw Ocean — An Excellent New Series in the NY Times

The New York Times is featuring a new four part series, Outlaw Ocean, by Ian Urbina, which presents a vivid and disturbing look at crime at sea.  Definitely worth reading. The first installment, Stowaways and Crimes Aboard Aboard a Scofflaw Ship, looks … Continue reading

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

What’s in a Name? Google Drops Chinese Name for Scarborough Shoal

What’s in a name? Google has renamed a shoal located between the Macclesfield Bank and Luzon island in the South China Sea on their maps as Scarborough Shoal.  They had previously identified the hazard to navigation by its Chinese name, … Continue reading

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

Key & Peele’s Feminist Pirate Song (Just Barely NSFW)

The sketch comedy team of Key and Peele have come up with what may be the very first feminist pirate song, examining issues of respect, equality and consent, as sung by a bunch of scurvy sea dogs. (It is just … Continue reading

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

Bitten by Blackfish, SeaWorld Responds with Falsehoods

Seaworld continues to be bitten by the “Blackfish effect.”  In October of 2013, CNN aired “Blackfish,” a scathing documentary which looked at the almost 40 year history of orcas in captivity, leading up to the killing of SeaWorld trainer Dawn … Continue reading

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

Goodreads Giveaway — Water Ghosts by Linda Collison

We recently reviewed Linda Collison’s Water Ghosts and called it “an absolutely gripping paranormal nautical adventure.” From July 18th — 25th. Linda will be giving away ten copies of her book on Goodreads. Click here to learn more.

Posted in Lore of the Sea, Newbooks, Seastories | Tagged , , | Leave a comment