Author Archives: Rick Spilman

Red Rock IV in 57 Knots of Wind in the Bristol Channel

A video for a Saturday. Sailing on Red Rock IV  in 57 knots of wind in the Bristol Channel on June 28, 2016. Red Rock IV is a 43 footer designed by German Frers and built by Marland Marine for … Continue reading

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Obama Expands Papahānaumokuākea — Largest Marine Sanctuary with the Longest Name

The Obama administration announced the four-fold expansion of the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument, a marine sanctuary northwest of the main Hawaiian Islands. The expanded sanctuary will be the largest in the world at more than 580,000 square miles. As noted by the NYTimes: Created by … Continue reading

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26 Hours of Information Recovered from El Faro Voyage Data Recorder

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) announced Wednesday that they had successfully retrieved 26 hours of information from the El Faro Voyage Data Recorder (VDR). The VDR was recovered earlier in August in 15,000 feet of water.  The US flagged … Continue reading

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Latest US Attempt to Invade Canada Fails Again

On July 12, 1812, General William Hull led a force of roughly 1,800 US militia across the Detroit River to invade Canada. It did not go well. Within days Hull and his forces were driven out by British, Canadian and … Continue reading

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An Underwater Microscope Views Coral Up-Close

Coral are individual invertebrate polyps living in communities, which can grow to become vast reefs. Until recently, there was no way to examine the living coral polyps in their own habitat. Now, researchers at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at … Continue reading

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U.K. Approves Hornsea Two, World’s Largest Offshore Wind Farm

Recently, we posted about the first offshore wind farm in the US — the Deepwater Wind Project which is installing five turbines with an installed capacity of 30 MW off Block Island, RI.  While this is definitely progress, it is … Continue reading

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Windjammer Peking Returning to Hamburg from New York in the Spring

German media is reporting that sometime next spring, the historic Laeisz Flying P-Liner Peking is expected to leave New York harbor, where she has been a museum ship at the South Street Seaport Museum for over 40 years. She will be returning to … Continue reading

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Faroe Islands SheepView 360

One day, I would love to sail to the Faroe Islands. The Faroes are an archipelago of eighteen strikingly beautiful islands between the Norwegian Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, approximately halfway between Norway and Iceland, and 200 miles north-northwest of … Continue reading

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Crystal Serenity, RRS Ernest Shackleton & the Northwest Passage — What Could Go Wrong?

The 1,070 passenger 68,870 GT cruise ship Crystal Serenity is arriving in Nome, Alaska on Sunday, August 21st, before continuing on in a 1,500 km voyage to transit the Northwest Passage via Canadian and Greenland. The 32 day voyage, which began … Continue reading

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Tall Ships Duluth 2016

Tall Ships Duluth 2016, billed as the “Greatest Spectacle on Lake Superior,” kicks off this morning at 11AM and runs through Sunday, August 21th. The festival features eight tall ships including El Galeon Andalucía, the US Brig Niagara, and the … Continue reading

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Fire on Passenger/RoRo Ferry Caribbean Fantasy Off Puerto Rico, 500 + Evacuated

A fire broke out on the passenger/roro ferry Caribbean Fantasy as she was approaching San Juan, Puerto Rico on Wednesday morning. A reported 512 passengers were evacuated from the burning ship, roughly a mile off Puerto Rico’s north coast. The … Continue reading

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Manatee Orgy Stops Traffic in Florida, Again

Recently, what is being described as a “manatee mating ball” stopped traffic on the Courtney Campbell Causeway between Tampa and Clearwater, Florida. Dozens of people abandoned their cars to line the shore to watch manatees having sex. Video after the … Continue reading

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First US Offshore Wind Farm Off Block Island, an Island with a Long History of Wind Power

Last November, we posted Wind Power Returns to Block Island about a planned offshore wind farm.  The installation of America’s first offshore wind farm has finally come to pass.  America’s very first offshore wind turbine was erected recently off the coast of … Continue reading

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Orca “Granny,” 105 Years Old, Still Swimming the Pacific

Orcas live in complex multi-generational pods led by a matriarch.  In the pod that scientists have labeled as the “J pod,” the matriarchal orca, designated as J2, also-known-as “Granny” was recently sighted swimming with her pod off the coast of … Continue reading

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Etched Into Art: Scrimshaw at Mystic Seaport

A new and fascinating video from Mystic Seaport Museum. From their website: From the history and lore inspired by whaling in the 19th century, it can be hard to imagine the whalers being idle at sea. However, whaleships were often … Continue reading

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Falls of Clyde Ordered to Leave Honolulu Harbor

Sad, if not surprising news. The Hawaii Department of Transportation Harbors Division (HDOT Harbors) has ordered that the 138-year-old sailing ship Falls of Clyde be removed from Honolulu harbor. Previously, in a letter dated June 15th, the Harbor Division had … Continue reading

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Wavertree — Stepping the Final Mast Before Returning to South Street Seaport

Forty six years ago yesterday, the  full-rigged iron sailing ship Wavertree, arrived in South Street Seaport after being towed from Argentina. The 1889 built windjammer had languished as a sand barge in Argentina for decades, before being purchased and partially restored … Continue reading

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Repost: The Battle of Stonington, CT 1814 — Rocket’s Red Glare, Bombs Bursting in Air

Two hundred and two years ago this week, in a three day battle, the militia at Stonington, CT drove off a four ship Royal Navy flotilla during the War of 1812.  Here is lightly edited repost about the battle from July … Continue reading

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Lifting Maud from the Mud — Amundsen’s Ship Floats Again

A team of Norwegians have spent the last six summers in Cambridge Bay off the Nunavut territory of northern Canada attempting to raise Arctic explorer Roald Amundsen‘s research ship Maud from where it has been sitting in ice and mud … Continue reading

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Voyage Data Recorder from El Faro Recovered from 15,000′

A National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) press release announced today that the voyage data recorder (VDR) from El Faro, the US flagged cargo ship that sank during Hurricane Joaquin in October 2015 with the loss of all 33 aboard, was successfully recovered … Continue reading

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