Author Archives: Rick Spilman

The Battle Against the Narco Submarines

On November 13, a U.S. Coast Guard cutter intercepted a self-propelled submersible loaded with over 3,800 pounds of cocaine in international waters off the coast of Panama. All three suspects will face charges in the U.S. The crew of three was … Continue reading

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Volvo Ocean Racers Battered in the Southern Ocean

The third leg of the Volvo Ocean Race from Cape Town to Melbourne has subjected the fleet to the fury of the Southern Ocean.  With steady winds of 50 knots with gusts to over 60, the seven boats have been surfing … Continue reading

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Florida Shark-Draggers Might End Up in Prison

A disturbing video of a shark being dragged backward at high speeds behind a motorboat off the Gulf Coast of Florida hit the internet this summer. Now, three men behind the video may be facing prison time. The Miami Herald identifies … Continue reading

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Dressing for Tall Ships Sunderland — the Tall Ships Hat and the Belle Poule Pouf

The Sunderland Tall Ships Festival is projected to attract m ore than 1.5 million people next July. For those of us lying awake at night wondering what we should wear to the event, designer Kathryn Russell has at least one … Continue reading

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North Atlantic Right Whales Pushed Closer to Extinction

North Atlantic right whales are among the rarest of marine mammals. Only about 450 of the whales are thought to exist. In 2017 alone an estimated 17 right whales have died while only 5 whales are believed to have been … Continue reading

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Ian Farrier, Designer & Builder of Folding Trimarans

The Sailing Anarchy blog has posted a note from Rob Densem, General Manager of Farrier Marine, of Christchurch, NZ.: It is with a heavy heart that I tell you Ian Farrier passed away in San Francisco on his way back from the … Continue reading

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Old Salt Blog Ranked in Feedspot’s Top 50 Oceanic Blogs and Websites on the Web

We are pleased to learn that the Old Salt Blog has been ranked 14th in Feedspot’s Top 50 Oceanic Blogs and Websites on the Web. The criteria for selection were: Google reputation and Google search ranking Influence and popularity on Facebook, … Continue reading

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136 Year Old Steamer Jane Miller Found in Georgian Bay

On November 25, 1881, the steamer Jane Miller sank in the Georgian Bay off Lake Huron with the loss of 28 passengers and crew. This summer, American shipwreck hunters Jared Daniels, Jerry Eliason and Ken Merryman, located the wreck in Colpoys … Continue reading

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Evening Gray Morning Red on gCaptain’s Best Nautical Books Of 2017 List

I am very pleased and grateful that my new novel, Evening Gray Morning Red, has been selected to be on gCaptain‘s list of the Best Nautical Books Of 2017.   About the novel: In Evening Gray Morning Red a young American … Continue reading

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Chief Boatswain’s Mate Joseph L. George, No Longer the “Unknown Sailor” on USS Vestal

Joe George is no longer the “unknown sailor” on the USS Vestal. The Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer has announced the posthumous award of the Bronze Star Medal with V device for valor to Chief Boatswain’s Mate Joseph L. George for … Continue reading

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High Tech Square Rigger Black Pearl, Inspired by Maltese Falcon

Russian billionaire oligarch Oleg Burlakov recently spent around $200 million to purchase the Black Pearl, a new sailing yacht built by Oceanco Yachts.  The yacht has three free-standing DynaRig masts and is strongly reminiscent of the three-masted Dynarig Maltese Falcon, launched in 1990. The … Continue reading

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Red Hook WaterStories — 1860: Slave Ship Erie Sold in Atlantic Basin

Red Hook WaterStories delves into the rich and varied past and present of the waterfront of the Red Hook section of Brooklyn.  If you haven’t discovered the site, a project of PortSide New York, be sure to check it out.  Here … Continue reading

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Norman Baker — Adventurer & Navigator Dies in Plane Crash at 89

As a teenager growing up in Brooklyn, Norman Baker dreamed of adventure.  And he didn’t just dream. At the age of 13, he won a contest where the first prize was flying lessons. He became an avid pilot and at the age … Continue reading

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16 Year Ban on Fishing in Central Arctic Ocean

Nine nations; the United States, Canada, Norway, Russia, Denmark, Iceland, Japan, South Korea, China; and the European Union have agreed to ban commercial fishing in the Central Arctic Ocean for at least the next 16 years. The goal of the pact … Continue reading

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Magnificent Panoramas from Tallinn Maritime Days

We are several months late in posting about Tallinn Maritime Days from last July. The port of Tallinn, on the Gulf of Finland, is the capital and largest city of Estonia and hosted 50 sailing ships in this summer’s Tallships … Continue reading

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American Diver Dies in Cocos Island Shark Attack

An American diving in a tour group off Costa Rico’s Cocos Island was attacked and killed yesterday by a tiger shark. The name of the victim has not been released and the circumstances of the attack are not known. The … Continue reading

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Building a Petrel Play Strip Kayak in One Minute

I am a big fan of strip kayaks in general and the designs of Nick Schade of Guillemot Kayaks in particular. Given that our family already owns five kayaks, it has become harder for me to argue that I really need … Continue reading

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103 Year Old MV Doulos — on the Beach at Bintan

MV Doulos once held the title of the oldest operating passenger liner. Now 103 years old, the historic ship may be close to beginning a new life as a shoreside hotel in the resort town of Bintan, Indonesia.  When the refurbished ship … Continue reading

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Latest Ghost Ships Wash Ashore in Japan

A derelict wooden boat washed ashore on Monday on Miyazawa beach in the northwest of Japan’s main island Honshu. The boat’s only cargo was eight skeletons. Evidence suggests that the boat and the bones came from North Korea. This boat is … Continue reading

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Captain James Colnett’s Barrel & the World’s Most Unusual Post Office

In 1793, Captain James Colnett of the merchant ship Rattler placed a barrel a short distance from a bay on the island of Floreana in the Galapagos archipelago. Captain Colnett was a British Naval officer, an explorer, and a maritime … Continue reading

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