Category Archives: Lore of the Sea

Harriett Tubman and the Great Combahee Ferry Raid

This is an updated repost from 2014. Now that it has been announced that Harriet Tubman will replace Andrew Jackon on the US $20 bill, it seems worthwhile to recall the Great Combahee Ferry Raid, which Harriet Tubman helped plan, scouted and … Continue reading

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New York’s Working Harbor Committee Seeking Executive Director

Last year, John Doswell, the Executive Director of  New York’s Working Harbor Committee, died after a long illness. The Committee is now seeking an Executive Director to continue the great work that John and his colleagues have undertaken. For those interested, click … Continue reading

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NTSB Locates El Faro’s Voyage Data Recorder

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) announced that “cargo ship El Faro’s voyage data recorder was located early Tuesday morning in 15,000 feet of water, about 41 miles (36 nautical miles) northeast of Acklins and Crooked Islands, Bahamas, by a … Continue reading

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Ngoc Nguyen, From Boat Refugee to Maersk Captain

In 1981, Ngoc Nguyen was 13, one of the at least 800,000 of the so-called Vietnamese “boat people” who fled Vietnam by boat after the end of the war. He was crammed in an overcrowded boat with his family, among 65 … Continue reading

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“Bubble Man” Reza Baluchi Tries Again — Coast Guard Says ‘No’

“Bubble Man” Reza Baluchi is at it again, but this time, the Coast Guard told him to turn around not far from shore  before putting himself or others in danger. After warning him not to leave port without a support vessel, the US … Continue reading

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SS Great Britain — “The Greatest Experiment Since the Creation”

  I recently visited the museum ship SS Great Britain, in Bristol, UK.  When she was launched in 1843, the iron-hulled luxury passenger steamship SS Great Britain was described as “the greatest experiment since the Creation.”

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Loch Ness Monster (Movie Prop) Located in the Loch

At long last, Nessie has been located on the bottom of Loch Ness! The monster is, however, not the legendary beastie, but instead a 30-foot long movie prop which sank in the Loch almost 50 years ago.  The prop was … Continue reading

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Sinking of MV Cemfjord with Loss of Eight Entirely Avoidable

In January of 2015, we posted about the capsize and sinking of the Cyprus-registered cement carrier MV Cemfjord while attempting to navigate the Pentland Firth in extremely rough weather. Eight officers and crew aboard died in the sinking. The UK’s Marine Accident Investigation … Continue reading

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Sailor Grub — CHOW: Creamed Sliced Beef on Toast (S.O.S.)

Yesterday, we posted about a project to recreate sailor’s grub from the 17th century. Food for sailors has improved dramatically in the last three hundred years. Or has it?  The Naval Historical Foundation has a new blog titled CHOW which … Continue reading

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Recreating 17th Century Sailor’s Grub on the Tall Ship Elissa

What we know of the diet of 17th-century sailors comes from written records — log entries, diaries, and journals. Most accounts say that it was pretty bad.  Now, Grace Tsai, a Ph.D. student specializing in nautical archaeology at Texas A&M University, … Continue reading

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“Boaty McBoatface” Wins in a Landslide & No, That Won’t be the Ship’s Name

We previously posted about how the British Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) was asking for suggestions for a name for the new polar research ship, currently under construction at Cammell Laird’s yard in Birkenhead. The suggestion period ended on April 16th … Continue reading

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Search Resumes for El Faro Black Box in Very, Very Deep Water

Last November, we posted that the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) had ended its search for the El Faro‘s Voyage Data Recorder (VDR), the so-called “black box,” which might have provided answers to questions about the sinking of the 790-foot … Continue reading

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US Sailor Rescued 9 Times Sells Sloop Nora

Steve Shapiro’s frequently rescued sailboat Nora, has been sold. In January, we posted about a pair of American sailors who had been rescued nine times in sailing from Norwalk to Cornwell in the UK on a 40′ gaff rigged sloop named Nora. … Continue reading

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Civil Blockade Runner Agnes E. Fry Believed Found Off Oak Island, NC

The Confederate blockade runner Agnes E. Fry is believed to have been located off Oak Island, North Carolina. She is one of three blockade runners lost in the area during the Civil War, but the only ship longer than 200 feet. … Continue reading

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Titanic’s Unsinkable Survivors — Arthur John Priest & Violet Jessop

In observance of the anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic on April 15, 1912, here is a repost from 2012, about two hardy souls who survived not only the sinking of the RMS Titanic but also the RMS Britannic when she was … Continue reading

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US Navy Destroyer Donald Cook Buzzed Again by Russian Fighters in Baltic

The Russians do not appear to like the US Navy operating ships in the Baltic Sea.  On Aprill 11, two unarmed Russian SU24 fighter jets made low attitude passes at the US Navy destroyer USS Donald Cook.  Then, on April 12, two Russian … Continue reading

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Why are the Big Boats Burning? More Than Just Superyachts at Risk

The headlines in the UK Daily Mail and Bloomberg ask the same question — “Why Are All These Superyachts Catching on Fire?” This year has seen a string of fires on “superyachts.”  In early January, in the Mediterranean resort town … Continue reading

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USS Zumwalt is Too Stealthy — Adding Radar Reflectors

The Navy’s newest destroyer, the $7.5 billion USS Zumwalt, is designed to be stealthy. The ship is intended to be 50 times harder to detect on radar than current destroyers thanks to its angular shape and other design features. This is turning … Continue reading

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Nauticus Buying Schooner Virginia with $1M State Grant

In the Summer of 2014, the schooner Virginia ended her season early. The Virginia Maritime Heritage Foundation which operated the schooner announced that she would be put up for sale.  Now, Nauticus, a maritime-themed science center and museum located on the downtown waterfront in … Continue reading

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Remembering Captain Robert M. Cusick

Captain Robert M. Cusick was born today on April 10, 1923, in Boston, Massachusetts. He was the chief mate and one of only three survivors on the SS Marine Electric when she sank on February 12, 1983. His testimony in … Continue reading

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