Author Archives: Rick Spilman

Princess Cruises Hit by Record Fine for ‘Deliberate Pollution & Cover-up’

The Justice Department has announced that Princess Cruise Lines will pay a record $40 million fine for “deliberate pollution of the seas and intentional acts to cover it up” in what it called “the largest-ever criminal penalty involving deliberate vessel … Continue reading

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Start to the Finishline — Schooner Virginia

For Throwback-Thursday, here is a video beginning with the construction of the schooner Virginia in 2005 through to the sailing of the Gloucester Schooner race of 2007, which the Virginia won. Start to the Finishline from Mike Goodwin on Vimeo.

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Update: Fighting Fishing Piracy with Satellites and in Ports

Overfishing is a huge problem in the world’s oceans. Exacerbating the problem is fishing piracy. A year ago, we posted “Can Big Data Stop Overfishing? Will Google’s Global Fishing Watch Succeed?”  The post described how Oceana, SkyTruth and Google were launching … Continue reading

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HMHS Britannic, Only Slightly Luckier Sister of the Titanic

Titanic had two sisters — the Olympic and the Britannic. While the Olympic had a productive 24 year operating life, the Britannic was only slightly more lucky than her ill-fated sister, Titanic. Just over 100 years ago, on November 21, … Continue reading

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Historic Ferryboat Binghamton to be Broken Up

When the New York Times features your obituary on the front page, it probably means that you are dead. Sadly, that is the case of with historic ferryboat Binghamton. Yesterday, the New York Times featured an article “Final Departure for … Continue reading

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Tall Ship Lynx — Sailing from St. Petersburg & Nantucket

The Tall Ship Lynx is reported to have found a winter home in St. Petersburg, FL. The ship visited St. Pete last winter and is now expected to make the Gulf Coast city its permanent winter home, according to a … Continue reading

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A Video for a Saturday : Magnificent Three Masted Top Sail Schooner Oosterschelde

A beautifully shot video of a beautiful ship, the three-masted top-sail schooner Oosterschelde. The schooner with a sparred length of 164′ is described as “the last remaining representative of the large fleet of schooners that sailed under the Dutch flag … Continue reading

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Mayflower II Arrives in New York in 1957

Yesterday, we posted about the renewal and reconstruction of the Mayflower II at Mystic Seaport Museum. Here is a short video of the ship in 1957 arriving in New York on its maiden voyage across the Atlantic. I love the … Continue reading

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Hauling the Mayflower II at Mystic Seaport

I hope everyone who celebrates the American holiday is having a wonderful Thanksgiving. The holiday is associated with a group of English settlers now known as the Pilgrims who arrived on the Massachusetts coast around 1620 on the ship Mayflower. … Continue reading

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USS Zumwalt Breaks Down in Panama Canal

More teething problems on USS Zumwalt, the US Navy’s newest, most advanced and most expensive destroyer. While transiting the Panama Canal, the ship lost propulsion on its port shaft. Two of the four bearings that connect the ship’s port and … Continue reading

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Douglas Reeman (Alexander Kent) Needs Our Help

Douglas Reeman needs our help. If you have ever read any of the thirty volumes of the nautical adventures of Richard Bolitho, you probably know the author by his pen name, Alexander Kent. In total, Reeman has written close to … Continue reading

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Menhaden & Humpbacks — Small Fish & Large Whales

Last week, a humpback whale swam into the Hudson River as far north as the George Washington Bridge. Humpbacks have been returning to the waters around New York in significant numbers in recent years, although a whale swimming in the … Continue reading

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Mystery of the Vanished Dutch WWII Shipwrecks

In 2002, amateur divers discovered the wrecks of three Dutch warships sunk off Indonesia in World War II. The three ships; the HNLMS De Ruyter, HNLMS Java and HNLMS Kortenaer;  were found at 70 meters deep, 60 miles off the … Continue reading

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Oldest Operating Steamship & Boats, Redux

We recently posted, “Which is the Oldest Operating Steamship?” We thought that “the oldest steamer may be the Norwegian PS Skibladner, which began service in August 1856 on Lake Mjøsa. We also asked, “So, which vessels have we missed? Any … Continue reading

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Humpback Whale In New York’s Inner Harbor

Yesterday, we posted about the remarkable recovery of humpback whales after have been hunted to near extinction in the 1980s. Coincidentally, yesterday morning, a humpback whale was spotted swimming in the Hudson River in New York’s inner harbor near the … Continue reading

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Return of the Humpback Whales — the Case for Cautious Optimism

Humpback whales are back, or, at the very least, there seems to be a good case for cautious optimism. In 1986, at the beginning of the moratorium on commercial whaling, the global population of humpback whales had dropped by 90% … Continue reading

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Which is the Oldest Operating Steamship?

Everyone likes superlatives. The oldest, fastest, newest, largest and so on. Often superlatives need to be very specific to be made to apply. HMS Victory, for example, is the oldest naval ship still in commission, while USS Constitution is the oldest … Continue reading

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Saga of ex-Presidential Yacht Sequoia Continues with New Owner

The National Historic Landmark and ex-presidential yacht Sequoia has fallen on hard times. In a recent ruling, Delaware judge Sam Glasscock describes her current condition. “The Sequoia, an elderly and vulnerable wooden yacht, is sitting on an inadequate cradle on an … Continue reading

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The Supermoon and King Tide — Big Deal or Not?

The media has been full of stories about tonight’s “supermoon,” which is the largest in 68 years. Supermoon is the popular term for what astronomers call a moon perigee–syzygy. This means that the moon is at its closest point to … Continue reading

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One-Day Ship Model Exhibit at National Lighthouse Museum

The National Lighthouse Museum on Staten Island is having a one-day model ship exhibit on Saturday, November 19th from 11:00 am to 4:00pm, featuring models and demonstrations by members of the Ship Model Society of New Jersey. From the NLM … Continue reading

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