Category Archives: Lore of the Sea

She Sells Seashells by the Seashore — Remembering Mary Anning

Remember the old tongue twister, “She sells seashells by the seashore?” (Try saying that three times fast.) The tongue twisting seashell seller was inspired by a real woman named Mary Anning, who was an English fossil collector, dealer, and paleontologist, and … Continue reading

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Proposed Budget Slashes Billions from Coast Guard to Fund Border Wall

The current administration is considering major cuts to the Coast Guard budget in order to fund it’s plans to build a multi-billion-dollar border wall and to crack down on illegal immigration. In the draft budget proposal, the already over-stretched Coast Guard will … Continue reading

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Secrets of the Sea — A Tang Shipwreck and Early Trade in Asia

A new exhibit opens today at the Asia Society Museum in New York City, ‘Secrets of the Sea: A Tang Shipwreck and Early Trade in Asia.‘  The exhibit features a selection of 78 artifacts including ceramics, gold and silver items … Continue reading

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Danny Spooner — Thames Bargemen, Historian & Folk Singer

We have learned that Danny Spooner died last week.  Spooner was a well loved singer of traditional and contemporary folk songs of Britain and Australia. As a social historian, he explored British and Australian culture through folk music. Leaving school at … Continue reading

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Will Royal Cone Snail Venom Help Solve the Opioid Overdose Epidemic?

The United State is facing an epidemic of fatal drug overdoses due to the use of prescription opioids as painkillers. In the US in 2015, there were over 20,000 overdose deaths related to prescription pain relievers, and 12,990 overdose deaths related to … Continue reading

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Incat Passenger/Car Ferry Francisco — World’s Fastest Ship

The car/passenger ferry Francisco, built in 2013 by Tasmanian shipyard Incat, is billed as the fastest ship in the world. The 99 meter ferry has clocked speeds of 58 knots (67 mph; 107 km/h). Operated by Buquebus, an Argentine-Uruguayan ferry company, Francisco is capable of accommodating … Continue reading

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When Peggotty Met Petunia Seaways — an iPad Assisted Collision

The UK Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) recently released a report on a collision between the 50 ft wooden WWII-era training boat Peggotty and the 32,000 GT cargo ferry Petunia Seaways on the UK’s Humber estuary. The report concluded that … Continue reading

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William Liebenow, Decorated WWII PT Boat Skipper, Dies at 97

William “Bud” Liebenow recently died at the age of 97. He served on patrol torpedo boats, PT boats, in both the Pacific and the Atlantic during World War II. He was best known as the commander of PT-157, which rescued Jack … Continue reading

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Carnival’s First Ship — TSS Mardi Gras

Today Carnival Corporation is the largest operator of cruise ships in the world with a combined fleet of over 100 vessels across 10 cruise line brands. Back in 1972, however, it owned exactly one ship, the RMS Empress of Canada, which … Continue reading

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African American Whaling Ship Captains: Part 2 — William Thomas Shorey, the Black Ahab

As we noted in our post yesterday, over nearly three centuries of whaling, some 175,000 men went to sea in 2,700 ships. Of the 2,500 masters who captained whaling ships, at least 63 were men of color. Many of the … Continue reading

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African American Whaling Ship Captains: Part 1 — Absalom Boston

As Black History Month for 2017 comes to a close, we look at African American whaling ship captains. Over nearly three centuries of whaling, some 175,000 men went to sea in 2,700 ships. Of the 2,500 masters who captained these … Continue reading

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2nd Annual Kalmar Nyckel Foundation LEGO Shipbuilding Contest

I do not not immediately associate a replica of a 17th century Dutch pinnace with LEGOs, which may only reflect the limits of my imagination.  The Kalmar Nyckel Foundation is hosting their Second Annual LEGO Shipbuilding Contest. It sounds like a lot … Continue reading

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This is Windjamming — Maine Schooners Captured by Fred LeBlanc

A relaxing video for a Saturday afternoon. I’ve long been a fan of Fred LeBlanc’s photography, particularly his photos of schooners. Here is a video of LeBlanc’s photos of scenes from Maine Windjammers fleet. LeBlanc hosts photo sailing adventure aboard … Continue reading

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German Bomb Dredged up in Portsmouth Harbor

In 2011, a drought lowered the levels of the Rhine River, revealing unexploded munitions from World War II partially buried in the river banks exposed by the falling waters. Now, in Portsmouth harbor in the UK, World War II bombs are also being uncovered, not due … Continue reading

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Black History Month — Harriett Tubman & the Great Combahee Ferry Raid

As Black History Month winds to a close, here is a throwback Thursday repost of a story I think is well worth telling and retelling.   Born a slave, Harriet Tubman escaped and would become a leading “conductor” on the “Underground … Continue reading

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“North Into the Mist” — A Hovercraft on the Arctic Ice

Between 1893 and 1896, the Norwegian explorer Fridtjof Nansen allowed his ship Fram to freeze into the Arctic icepack and attempted to drift with the ice across the North Pole. He came close but ultimately failed in the attempt. Recently, … Continue reading

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The Dragon in Winter — Draken Harald Hårfagre at Mystic Seaport

On a recent visit to the Mystic Seaport Museum in Mystic CT, I came across the Viking longship, Draken Harald Hårfagre, tied up alongside a wharf, wrapped in glistening white plastic shrink-wrap, its single mast piercing what looked almost like … Continue reading

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Drama in Gibraltar — Sailing Yacht A Seized

Sailing Yacht A, one of the largest, most technologically advanced and, to my eyes at least, the ugliest, sailing yacht in the world, arrived in Gibraltar recently to be turned over to its owner, Andrey Melnichenko, following extensive sea trials. … Continue reading

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Seven Still Sailing in Vendee Globe

One month ago, French sailor, Armel Le Cléac’h, 39, crossed the finish line at Les Sables d’Olonne, France to win the 8th Vendée Globe. Since then another 10 boats have followed Le Cléac’h across the line. It is a testimony to … Continue reading

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King Harald “Blåtand” Gormsson, Bluetooth & the Jelling Stone Ship

Remember King Harald “Blåtand” Gormsson? No? The king of Denmark and later Norway in the late 10th century. The name still doesn’t ring a bell?  His rune mark is embedded in your phone and possibly your earbuds and speakers. His … Continue reading

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