Author Archives: Rick Spilman

A Mariners’ Christmas — Mystic Seaport Wreaths and Lobster Pot Trees

Now that Thanksgiving is behind us, it is time to start decorating for Christmas with lights, trees, and wreathes. At the Mystic Seaport Museum, 170 wreaths are being constructed or decorated over a period of 18 days to provide decorations … Continue reading

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No Sign of Missing Submarine ARA San Juan, Reports of Explosion

The news of the Argentine submarine ARA San Juan, missing since a week ago last Wednesday, has been uniformly grim.  A report on Tuesday of a “heat stain” picked up by a US search place has come to naught.   More … Continue reading

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Remembering the Godmother of Thanksgiving — Sarah Josepha Hale

Happy Thanksgiving for those on this side of the pond and below the 49th parallel.  (The Canadians celebrated the holiday in October.) Here is repost of a story I think is well worth retelling.  In the United States, Thanksgiving only … Continue reading

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US Navy May Have Located Missing Argentine Submarine

A US Navy plane may have located the position of the Argentine Navy submarine ARA San Juan which has been missing since last Wednesday. Sensors aboard the plane detected a ‘heat stain’ at 230 ft below the surface, roughly 185 miles … Continue reading

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America’s Cup Concept Yacht AC75 — Foils But no Keel

The Emirates Team New Zealand and Luna Rossa design teams have unveiled the AC75, a concept design for the 36th America’s Cup in 2021. The design is a 75 foot long foiling monohull. Most notably, the AC75 lacks a keel.  … Continue reading

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Coconut Crabs, the Size of Dogs, Hunt Sea Birds

Coconut crabs are the stuff of nightmares. They live on remote coral atolls and are the largest land-living arthropod in the world. They can grow to over three feet long and weigh up to about 9 pounds. They can climb trees and use their … Continue reading

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British Sailor, Simon Speirs, Dies in Clipper Round the World Race

Simon Speirs, a 60 year old sailor from Bristol, UK, has died in the Clipper Round the World Race. On Saturday, Speirs,  was washed overboard while handling sails on the foredeck of the Clipper CV30 Great Britain, while sailing in … Continue reading

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Argentines Search for Missing Submarine ARA San Juan

ARA San Juan, an Argentine Navy diesel-electric submarine, was on a routine mission when it went silent on Wednesday. Communications ended while the submarine was en route,with a crew of 44, from Ushuaia naval base, near the southern tip of South America, … Continue reading

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Solo Sailor François Gabart Sets New Record — 851 Miles in 24 Hours

François Gabart has set a new solo 24-hour speed record of an extraordinary 851 miles sailed in 24 hours on his 98′ trimaran MACIF.  Gabart set the new record sailing in the South Atlantic, averaging 35.4 knots. Gabarts’ record is only about … Continue reading

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Wreck of “Chile’s Titanic,” SS Itata, Located

The wreck of the Chilean steamship, SS Itata, has been located in 650 feet of water off the port of Coquimbo, in Elqui Province, in northern Chile. The ship sank in a storm on August 28, 1922 with an estimated loss of … Continue reading

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The Mercy — Colin Firth as the Ill-Fated Donald Crowhurst

“The Mercy” is a soon to be released film about Donald Crowhurst‘s attempt to win the Sunday Times Golden Globe Race, the first single-handed, non-stop, around-the-world race in 1969. The film stars Colin Firth as Crowhurst and Rachel Weisz as his wife, Clare.  Crowhurst was … Continue reading

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Invasion of the Sea Pickles — Pyrosome Bloom in the North Pacific

The Pacific Ocean appears to under attack by a horde of sea-pickles. The bumpy, translucent, pickle-shaped organisms called pyrosomes are filling fishing nets, clogging hooks and washing up on beaches along the coast of the Pacific Northwest of the US and … Continue reading

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Does US Navy Can-Do, Never-Say-No Culture Promote Accidents?

The US Navy has rightfully been undertaking a considerable review and revaluation of the problems that led to the recent ship collisions between the USS Fitzgerald and the USS John S. McCain with commercial vessels, resulting in the deaths of  17 sailors. … Continue reading

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Swimming with Galápagos Green Sea Turtles

Like so many other species, Galápagos green sea turtles are unique to the archipelago. Here is a short video of snorkeling with Galápagos green sea turtles off Punto Cormorant on Floreana Island in the Galapagos in early November.  Galápagos Sea Green … Continue reading

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Repost: On Armistice Day, Remembering the German High Seas Fleet Mutiny of 1918

In the US, today is Veteran’s Day, when we honor those who have served in the military.  It coincides with Armistice Day, the anniversary of the signing of the armistice which ended World War I, on the 11th hour of the … Continue reading

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The Unsolved Mystery of the Sinking of the SS Edmund Fitzgerald

SS Edmund Fitzgerald, an American Great Lakes ore carrier, sank in Lake Superior in a storm on November 10, 1975, 42 years ago today.  The crew of 29 were lost when the freighter sank loaded with 26,000 tons of taconite, iron ore pellets, in 530 … Continue reading

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The Sad Saga of Greenings (CV24) in the Clipper Round the World Race

  There was a joke, of sorts, in the Clipper Round the World Race, that in the over two decades of racing around the world, only one boat has ever sunk. It was the boat least likely to sink, at least … Continue reading

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Caribbean off Roatán Awash in Plastic and Rubbish

I was recently shocked and disturbed to see photos of a significant quantity of floating plastics and trash in the Caribbean near the Honduran Island of Roatán. Roatán is the largest of the Bay Islands of Honduras.  It is a beautiful island with incredible diving. My … Continue reading

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Swimming with Sea Lions in the Galapagos

My wife and I just got back from an incredible trip to the Galapagos. We spent a week on Ecoventura‘s 83’ MY Eric and visited six of the more eastern islands of the archipelago. We saw many of the species of … Continue reading

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Tour of Volvo Ocean 65 Team Brunel

Here is a fascinating tour of the Volvo Ocean 65Team Brunel, one of seven identical yachts now racing around the world in the Volvo Ocean Race. The Volvo Ocean 65s are high-performance one-design racers created by Farr Yacht Design and … Continue reading

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