Author Archives: Rick Spilman

Blue 52 — Which May or May Not Be the Loneliest Whale

Somewhere in the vast North Pacific Ocean, there is a singular whale singing a unique song, which was first recorded in 1989. For close to thirty years, researchers monitoring anti-submarine hydrophone arrays have heard a whale call which is much higher than the calls … Continue reading

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Only Total Naval History Nerds Should Even Try This Quiz

Buzzfeed has a quiz for naval history nerds. I got 11 out of 13. The modern naval questions gave me some problems. How well would you do? Click on the link or the image below. Only Total Naval History Nerds … Continue reading

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Sinking of the Cutter Alexander Hamilton — the USCG First Loss in WWII

Seventy five years ago today, the USCG Cutter Alexander Hamilton was the first United States Coast Guard ship to be be lost in World War II. The cutter was named after the first Secretary of the Treasury, often referred to as the “Father of the … Continue reading

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Mike Peyton, the Picasso of Sailing, Dies at 96

You may not necessarily know his name, but if you have been reading yachting magazines over the years, his cartoons probably brought a smile to your face. British cartoonist Mike Peyton, who died on January 25th at the age of … Continue reading

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Clipper Ship City of Adelaide Still Not Quite Home

In February 2014,  the City of Adelaide, the world’s oldest surviving composite clipper ship, returned to her namesake city. Now almost three years later, she still have not quite found a home. The ship is sitting on a deck barge … Continue reading

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Taiwan Operating World’s Oldest Submarines While Planning for New

Taiwan is now operating the two oldest submarines in service in the world, the 72 year old SS-791 Hai Shih, ex-USS Cutlass, and the 71 year old SS-792 Hai Pao, ex USS Tusk. The Taiwanese government has announced that the Hai … Continue reading

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Winter Storm Breaks Up SS Palo Alto — the Strange Career of the “Cement Boat,”

Over the weekend, winter storm Kori sent record high waves smashing into the California coast. The National Weather Service said a new wave record was set as the Monterey Bay buoy recorded 34-foot waves. At Seacliff State Beach in Aptos, … Continue reading

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Master Storyteller of the Sea, Douglas Reeman, a.k.a Alexander Kent, 1924 — 2017

We understand that writer Douglas Reeman has died at this home in Cobham, Surrey, at the age of 92. Reeman, perhaps best know for the novels written under the pen-name Alexander Kent, wrote close to 60 books and has left an indelible … Continue reading

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Scottish MP Supports Rescue of the Falls of Clyde

A UK member of parliament from Glasgow, Scotland has joined in the effort to save the endangered historic sailing ship Falls of Clyde. MP Alison Thewliss has written to David Ige, Governor of Hawaii, in support of returning the ship to the … Continue reading

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HMS Vengeance Trident Missile Failure and Possible Coverup

Last June, the Royal Navy submarine HMS Vengeance test fired a dummy Trident II D5 nuclear ballistic missile while cruising in the Atlantic off the coast of Florida.  The missile was supposed to fly 5,600 miles (9,012 km) to a target at sea off … Continue reading

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Jumping Mako Shark in Gulf off Indian Rocks Beach

This video brings back memories of fishing in an open boat in the Gulf off John’s Pass, FL when I was in high school, back in another century. I remember when a friend landed a fairly small 3-4′ shark and … Continue reading

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Global Sea Ice at Record Lows as Temperatures Set New Record for Third Year

The latest observations from the US National Snow & Ice Data Center in Boulder, say that the extent of global sea is now as low as it has been since satellite monitoring began in the 1970s.  It is also likely that it … Continue reading

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Armel Le Cléac’h Wins the 8th Vendée Globe Singlehanded Round the World Race

French sailor, Armel Le Cléac’h, 39, won the 8th Vendée Globe singlehanded round the world race today at 15:37:46 UTC after 74 days 3 hours 35 minutes and 46 seconds at sea on his 60ft racing yacht Banque Populaire VIII.  He … Continue reading

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Vendee Globe — A Two Boat Race for the Finish Line

After sailing over 24,000 nautical miles and just 300 nautical miles from the finish line of the Vendee Globe singlehanded round the world race, Armel Le Cleac’h sailing Banque Populaire VIII is holding a slim 30 nautical mile lead on … Continue reading

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Wilson & Roura — Oldest and Youngest Vendee Globe Racers Round Cape Horn

Swiss sailor, Alan Roura, 23, is the youngest competitor in the Vendee Globe single-handed ’round the world race. American, Rich Wilson, 66, is the oldest. Both recently rounded Cape Horn, with Roura roughly 12 hours ahead of Wilson. The two sailors … Continue reading

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On Martin Luther King Jr. Day

On Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, a quote: We may have all come on different ships, but we’re in the same boat now. Martin Luther King, Jr.

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NY Harbor Ferries & the Other “Miracle on the Hudson”

Eight years ago today, US Airways Flight 1549  made an emergency water landing in the Hudson River. If the plane’s pilots, Captain Chesley “Sulley” Sullenberger and First Officer Jeffrey Skiles had not glided the plane in at just the right … Continue reading

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A Week Aboard Oliver Hazard Perry

A video for a cold winter day. We recently posted about the exciting voyage plans for 2017 on the School Sailing Vessel (SSV) Oliver Hazard Perry. This year, the ship will be sailing to Florida, Bermuda, Cuba and the Arctic. … Continue reading

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Antarctic’s Larsen Ice Shelf on the Verge of Collapse

In December of 1893, Captain Carl Anton Larsen, the master of the Norwegian whaling ship Jason, sailed along a vast Antarctic ice shelf in the northwest part of the Weddell Sea on the east coast of the Antarctic Peninsula. Now, just over 120 … Continue reading

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Hudson River Sloop Clearwater & the Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant

It was announced this week that the Indian Point nuclear power facility will close by 2021. The Indian River plant is about 25 miles north of New York City. It sits on, not one, but two geological fault lines. A core breach … Continue reading

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