Category Archives: Lore of the Sea

Longest Underwater Cave Identified in Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula

Several years ago, my wife and I went snorkeling in the Dos Ojos cenote in Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula near Tulum.  A cenote is a deep, water-filled sinkhole in limestone, often connected to freshwater underwater caverns and tunnels. The limestone filtered water was crystal … Continue reading

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What Did Pirates Read? Blackbeard, Captain Cooke, and Woodes Rogers

A lump of paper wadding found in a cannon from the pirate Blackbeard‘s ship Queen Anne’s Revenge has been identified as containing scraps of paper from a book by Captain Edward Cooke written in 1712.  Researchers were able to identify … Continue reading

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The History Behind “Evening Gray Morning Red” — Shiplore NYC January 22nd, Melville Library

If you are in the area next Monday night, January 22nd at 7:30 PM, be sure to stop by the South Street Seaport Museum’s Melville Gallery at 213 Water Street, in lower Manhattan.  I will be presenting “From John Hancock’s … Continue reading

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Ex-Commanders Facing Criminal Charges for Fitzgerald and McCain Collisions

The Navy has announced that five officers involved in two deadly ship collisions are facing a variety of criminal charges including negligent homicide. The officers facing charges include Cmdr. Bryce Benson, former captain of the USS Fitzgerald, and Cmdr. Alfredo J. Sanchez, former captain … Continue reading

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How Damaging is a Condensate Spill? With Sanchi Sinking, We May Find Out

On January 6th, the Iranian tanker Sanchi carrying 130,000 tonnes of condensate collided with the Chinese bulk carrier CF Crystal. The condensate on the Sanchi caught fire, resulting in the death of all 32 of the tanker’s crew. The tanker … Continue reading

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Fire on Florida Casino Shuttle Boat Kills at Least 1 and Injures 15 in Gulf of Mexico

A fire broke out on the casino shuttle boat, Island Lady, around 4PM on Sunday, in the Gulf near Port Richey, Fl. The 34 passengers and 14 crew aboard were forced into the 59-degree water. At least one passenger, a … Continue reading

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Kilkea, Luxury Yacht Converted from Platform Supply Vessel — No, Not a Container Ship

The article begins, “Your average container ship could never be described as luxurious, but the Kilkea is not your average container ship.” Indeed. And it never was. Several other media sources also describe the yacht as a “converted container ship.” … Continue reading

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“Hero” Humpback Whales to the Rescue

Recently, biologist Nan Hauser was snorkeling in the Cook Islands in the South Pacific, when she was approached by a humpback whale. The whale nudged her forward with its closed mouth, tucked her under its pectoral fin, and even maneuvered … Continue reading

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Royal Clipper — the Not Always Obvious Technology Behind a Modern Clipper Ship

Here is a look at a modern sailing ship, Star Clipper’s Royal Clipper, a high-tech square-rigger whose technology is not always obvious.  Click here for a photo tour of the Royal Clipper recently featured in USA Today. We recently posted about … Continue reading

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Restoring the Schooner Rhoda Mary

A crowdfunding campaign is underway to rescue what is left of the Cornish schooner Rhoda Mary, lying in the banks of the Medway river, Kent, UK. The goal is to rescue the remains of the schooner and transport it back … Continue reading

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Everett A. Pearson — Founding Father of Fiberglass

A day before Christmas, Everett A. Pearson died at the age of 84. The co-founder of Pearson Yachts and Tillotson-Pearson Inc., Everett Pearson was a pioneer in the production of fiberglass boats and played a significant role in bringing affordable production … Continue reading

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Tanker Sanchi’s Condensate Cargo Still Burning — What is Condensate?

An Iranian tanker, Sanchi, carrying 134,000 tonnes of cargo collided with the Chinese bulk, CF Crystal, on Saturday, in the East China Sea off Singapore. Sanchi’s crew of 32 were killed or are missing in the resulting fire. There has … Continue reading

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Fire on Iranian Tanker Sanchi Risks Major Oil Spill

Response teams are struggling to bring a fire aboard the Iranian Suezmax tanker Sanchi under control following a collision on Saturday night with the Chinese bulk carrier CF Crystal.  The body of one crew member from the tanker has been … Continue reading

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Iranian Tanker & Chinese Bulk Carrier Collide in East China Sea, 32 Missing

Thirty-two crew are reported to be missing from an Iranian Suezmax tanker which collided with a Chinese bulk carrier in the East China Sea on Saturday night. The 160,000 DWT tanker, Sanchi, collided with the bulk carrier CF Crystal, which was loaded with … Continue reading

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Ark in Urk Goes Berserk — Second Casualty in Two Years

A half-scale notional replica of Noah’s Ark went adrift in storm winds of 70 mph in the Dutch port of Urk last Wednesday, damaging several boats. People and animals aboard the “ark” were rescued, possibly two by two. To be … Continue reading

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Quarterdeck Review of Evening Grey Morning Red by George Jepson

A review of Evening Gray Morning Red by George Jepson in the Winter 2018 issue of Quarterdeck: Cracking open Evening Gray Morning Red, Rick Spilman’s new novel, I was hooked by the first paragraph, which took me back four decades to … Continue reading

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Update: Looking Back at When New York Harbor Froze

Today, the East Coast is being pummeled by what meterologists are referring to as a “bomb cyclone,” a term which is equal parts concerning and confusing. A “bomb cyclone” is simply a rapidly intensifying low pressure front, which is now … Continue reading

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HMS Ocean to be Sold to Brazil

HMS Ocean, amphibious assault ship and flagship of the Royal Navy has reportedly been sold to Brazil for £84.3million. HMS Ocean is the last British warship capable of launching aircraft.  The Ocean carries 18 helicopters. Britain has lacked the capacity to launch and land … Continue reading

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Russia Reported to be Supplying Oil to North Korea; More Ships Seized

Sanctions do not mean much if they are not enforced. The UN has been imposing increasingly stricter limitations on the importation of crude and refined oil to North Korea. Still, oil has been getting through.  In the past few days, South Korea … Continue reading

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Happy New Year! A Ballad by Cicely Fox Smith Sung by Larry Kaplan

Happy New Year to all!  Here is a poem by Cicely Fox Smith, from Full Sail: More Sea Songs and Ballads, sung as a ballad by Larry Kaplan. New Year by Cicely Fox Smith

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