Author Archives: Rick Spilman

In Newfoundland’s Iceberg Alley, Bergs Threaten Ships & Attract Torusits

Hundreds of icebergs have drifted into major shipping lanes off Newfoundland, forcing ships to go far out of their way to steer clear of the massive ice mountains. “It’s the only place in the world where icebergs intersect in a … Continue reading

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Sloop Clearwater Sailing to Washington to Fight for Clean Water

The sloop Clearwater has been sailing since 1969, spreading a message of caring for the environment and for restoring clean water to our rivers, streams and oceans. Now that clean water is again under attack by the new administration, the … Continue reading

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NYC’s South Street Seaport Museum Kicks off 50th Year!

New York can be a tough town. Despite rough and tumble struggles over real estate, the vagaries of city politics, economic downturns, and not the least, being struck head-on my a monster hurricane which sent a 10′ storm surge through its … Continue reading

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Happy 85th Birthday Schooner Brilliant!

Happy birthday to Mystic Seaport‘s schooner Brilliant! On April 23, 1932, the 61′ schooner was launched from the yard of Henry B. Nevins at City Island, New York. Now 85 years later, she is still sailing and still a beauty. … Continue reading

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Songs of Snug Harbor Sailors Release Concert

If you are near New York harbor tomorrow and have the chance, head on over to the The Noble Maritime Collection at the Snug Harbor Cultural Center between 2 PM and 5 PM tomorrow, April 22, for a free concert celebrating the … Continue reading

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Arlene — Only Second Named April Tropical Storm in History

Tropical Storm Arlene has formed in the mid-Atlantic between Bermuda and the Azores, becoming only the second named tropical storm in history to form in the month of April. The only previous tropical to form so early was Anna in … Continue reading

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Three Ships Which Changed the World — Red Jacket, Rainbow and Great Britain

If you are in Manhattan next Monday night, April 24, feel free to stop by the meeting of the New York Ship Lore and Model Club. Stephen Hopkins and I will be giving a joint presentation on three remarkable ships. … Continue reading

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Prepared Crew on Charter Boat Stardust Rescues Dumb Kayakers

I guess if you are going to be stupid, it is also good to be lucky. A few days ago, two kayakers, a man and a woman, paddled out several miles into the Pacific ocean off Goleta, CA, 15 miles … Continue reading

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Report on Clipper Round the World Race Deaths Released

The Clipper Round the World Race is a race around the world held every two years sailed with a professional captain and paying amateur crews. In nine races starting in 1996, the contests were sailed without loss of life. That tragically changed … Continue reading

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Anti-Sea Sickness Glasses?

Charles Darwin once wrote, “If it was not for sea-sickness, the whole world would be sailors.” Some of us are more susceptible to mal de mer than others. Apparently, Darwin was very prone to sea sickness. From my own experience, I … Continue reading

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Granny is Dead — Starving Orcas in the Northwest & Antarctic

Granny is dead. In August of last year, we posted Orca “Granny,” 105 Years Old, Still Swimming the Pacific about the oldest member of  the ” J” pod of Puget Sound orcas, and also the known living orca. Sadly, in … Continue reading

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Mobula Rays — Making A Splash to Attract a Mate

A fascinating short video by the BBC. Apparently, the mobula rays which make the biggest slash when leaping from the ocean have the greatest chance of finding a mate.  Often referred to as “devil rays”, “flying mobula” or simply “flying … Continue reading

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Oceans Beyond Earth — Does Life Swim in the Icy Seas of Enceladus?

NASA scientists this week, made an exciting announcement. They have discovered the necessary chemical mix to potentially support life in the sea beneath a polar ice cap of Saturn’s moon, Enceladus.  What they have observed on Enceladus is similar to the … Continue reading

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Tellurium — Choosing Between Green Energy and Underwater Mining

Deep-sea mining has long been a controversial subject. For the last 50 years, proponents have called for the mining of silver, gold, copper, manganese, cobalt, and zinc from the seafloor, while environmentalists have argued that seabed mining should not be permitted because of … Continue reading

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Update: Reefing the USCG Cutter Tamaroa, ex-USS Zuni

Last October, we posted that the USCG Cutter Tamaroa, ex-USS Zuni, was to be reefed by the end of the month. The 205-foot ex-fleet ocean/salvage tug and ex-Coast Guard Cutter was to be sunk as part of an artificial reef … Continue reading

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Simulator Training at Fort Schuyler for NYC Ferry Captains

Captains on the new Citywide Ferry service in New York harbor are receiving training on a state-of-the-art simulator at SUNY Maritime College at Fort Schyler.

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Ultrasonic Anti-Fouling — Better Than Paint?

I am sure that I am not the only one who really does not like anti-fouling bottom paint. By definition, anti-fouling bottom paint is a biocide — it kills life — which is fine and dandy if that life is … Continue reading

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Norway to Build World’s First Ship Tunnel

Norway’s Stad Peninsula divides the Norwegian Sea to the north and the North Sea to the south. The seas, winds, currents and weather are extremely dangerous for any ship attempting to round the peninsula. Now, Norway intends to bore through … Continue reading

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Dolloping Doubloons, Captain Pugwash !

Real pirates tended to have very short careers. Edward Teach, better known as Blackbeard, was pretty typical, being active for only about two years from 1716 to 1718, before losing his head. Cartoon pirates, however, do generally much better. Captain … Continue reading

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Graphene to Desalinate Seawater, or Maybe Not

Recently science writers at various news outlets have been gushing over an announcement that scientists have been able to use graphene to remove the salt from seawater. CNBC lead with the exuberant headline, “Carbon-based filter which turns seawater into drinking … Continue reading

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