Author Archives: Rick Spilman

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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Update: New Home for World’s Oldest Clipper Ship, City of Adelaide

At the end of January, we posted Clipper Ship City of Adelaide Still Not Quite Home, where we noted: “The ship is sitting on a deck barge as a “temporary” accommodation at Port Adelaide’s Dock 1, with no permanent dock space … Continue reading

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Video Piracy and the Pirate Ship Queen Anne’s Revenge

A video producer who produced video of the excavation of a pirate ship is now suing the State of North Carolina and others for piracy. Nautilus Productions, which served as a videographer for the Queen Anne’s Revenge shipwreck project, is charging … Continue reading

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Delta Queen Moves Closer to Operation as Senate Approves SOLAS Waiver

Great news. The Senate has passed a waiver for the historic riverboat steamer Delta Queen from the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) regulations, moving it one step closer to returning to service. For several years now, we have been posting … Continue reading

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Search Continues for 22 Crew Missing After VLOC Stellar Daisy Sinks off Uruguay

So far, only two of the crew of 24 have been rescued after the Very Large Ore Carrier (VLOC) Stellar Daisy capsized and sank suddenly on Friday, March 31st. The 266,00 DWT Marshall Island registered  bulk carrier was reported to have … Continue reading

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Hauling Draken Harald Hårfagre at Mystic Seaport Museum

The Viking longship Draken Harald Hårfagre was hauled out of the water Friday, March 31 at the Mystic Seaport Museum, for several days of routine maintenance in the museum’s shipyard. The vessel has been spending the winter at Mystic Seaport … Continue reading

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Whale Breaching Delays Basketball Game

They probably shouldn’t have built the gym over the water. Whale Breaches Before a Basketball Game Happy April Fool’s Day.

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NOAA Ship Ronald H. Brown Returns After Record Deployment — 1,347 Days

NOAA’s largest oceanographic research vessel, Ronald H. Brown, is based in Charleston, SC, although if you haven’t seen her in her homeport for quite a while, you are not alone. She only recently returned from a record deployment of 1,347 … Continue reading

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Joe Stead, R.I.P.

We have learned that Joe Stead has passed away. He was a folk singer who sang with everyone from Paul Robeson to Pete Seeger. Around the turn of the 21st century, his focus shifted more toward the sea with his … Continue reading

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Congratualtions to Hōkūleʻa’s Master Navigator Nainoa Thompson

Congratulations to Nainoa Thompson who was honored recently with the 2017 Explorers Club Medal, the most prestigious recognition in exploration. The award was presented to Thompson at the 113th Explorers Club Annual Dinner at Ellis Island in New York City. Thompson was recognized … Continue reading

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Giant Squid, Cocaine & the Footballer

Last week, Peruvian customs officials, in the port of Callo, found more than a tonne of cocaine in three shipping containers packed with filets of giant squid about to be loaded on board a ship bound for Belgium. The cocaine … Continue reading

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Alien Sailors, FRBs & LightSails

Theorists at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics have a intriguing idea as to what might be the nature of FRBs (fast radio bursts), an unexplained phenomenon first observed about ten years ago. FRBs are very short but incredibly powerful bursts of radio activity that … Continue reading

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Three Years Later, Raising the Sewol Ferry — the Tragedy Which Helped Bring Down Korea’s President

On April 16, 2014, the cargo/passenger ferry Sewol capsized off the southwestern coast of Korea. Of the 476 passengers and crew aboard, 304 died, the majority of which were high school students on a school field trip. Now, almost three … Continue reading

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Captain John Barry — the Other Father of the US Navy

This seems like a good day to celebrate birthdays.  A repost from two years ago. Happy birthday to Commodore John Barry, born on this day in 1745, in Tacumshane, County Wexford, Ireland.  He is considered by many to be the “father of … Continue reading

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Admiral Paul Zukunft & the State of the Coast Gaurd — Billion Dollar Drug Busts and Geriatric Cutters

We recently posted about a budget proposal by the current administration which would drastically cut the US Coast Guard’s budget. While the budget proposal is unlikely to survive in its current form, it does suggest a fundamental lack of an … Continue reading

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Update: Coast Guard Report — Kayaks & NYC Ferry Collision, Enough Blame to Go Around

On August 30, 2016, just before 6PM, a commuter ferry collided with a group of nine kayakers, shortly after departing from the NY Waterway terminal at 39th Street on the Hudson River in Manhattan. Four of the kayakers were injured included the … Continue reading

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First New Citywide Ferry Sets Sail For New York City

The first of twenty new ferryboats has begun the 1,700 mile voyage from the Gulf Coast to its new home in the waters of New York harbor.  The new ferry is the first of a new fleet of aluminum catamaran ferries to … Continue reading

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US Navy — Take Bribes, Reveal Secrets, Get Caught & Convicted, Keep Your Pension, For Now

Last June, Rear Admiral Robert Gilbeau became the first active duty admiral in modern times to plead guilty to a felony. He will be sentenced next month and faces up to five years in Federal prison for charges related the … Continue reading

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