Maritime Monday for August 7th, 2017: Chips Ahoy

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August 6, 2017

– Museum of Found Photos

Abandoned Nuclear Lighthouse Near St. Petersburg, Russia – Video on You Tube (in Russian)
Russian Lightship Nekmangrund (1898)more Russian lighthouses
A saturation diver works to fix an undersea oil pump in the North Sea (BBC)

Pioneer North Sea Divers: In the 1970s, deep sea divers were at the sharp end of the North Sea oil boom. Alex Last has been speaking to the former diver David Beckett, who wrote The Loonliness of a Deep Sea Diver, about his dangerous life working under the waves. 

More on BBC World Service

Empty barrels of beer come in handy on a voyage in this woodcut illustration from Conard Gessner’s Historia animalium, Liber 4 of 1558 (link). Thrown overboard, they provide a playful diversion to marauding sea monsters.
Woodcut from Aubin’s Dictionnaire de Marine of 1736 (link)

Brewing and seafaring are ancient human endeavors. Beer was first fermented by at least the 5th millennium BC in Mesopotamia. From the land between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers of the Fertile Crescent, the grain beverage either traveled along trade routes or was spontaneously developed in other ancient civilizations (including Egyptian, Grecian, Roman, Norse, Aztec, Chinese) before landing in northern Europe in the early medieval period.

Producing beer became a standard domestic chore in households, and later, on a slightly larger scale, in taverns and monasteries. It is something of a myth that drinking beer was much safer and more common than imbibing the oft-contaminated water. There was plenty of fresh water abounding in lakes, streams and rivers and good wells. However, for seafarers, those sources were not always within reach…

Smithsonian Libraries: Beer on Board in the Age of Sail

And if you’ve got beer, you gotta have snacks…

Crispy Jellyfish Are The Next Weird Food Source Proposed by Danish Scientists

Typically, a jellyfish aimed for your plate is caught fresh and immediately – while still alive – steeped in a specialised mixture of table salt and alum, a potassium-aluminium compound commonly used in leather tanning and baking powder. Over the course of a month, the steeping process goes through multiple steps as the treatment reduces the water content of the jellyfish, preserving it and rendering it into a somewhat rubbery, chewy product.  keep reading

Or maybe salted stars? – Döderlein’s Photographs of Sea Stars (1917)
Photo: The Virginian-Pilot

The Time Thousands of Bags of Chips Washed Ashore in the Outer Banks

In November of 2006, the tastiest disaster struck on the waters around North Carolina’s Outer Banks. A shipping container stuffed full of Nacho Cheese, Spicy Nacho, and Cool Ranch Doritos tipped and went overboard into the ocean.

Thousands of bags of chips washed up on Hatteras Island, where locals then salvaged—ate—the shipwrecked snacks. 

more on Atlas Obscura

Notch Yo Cheese (say it out loud) – Photo: The Virginian-Pilot
Whisky Galore! is a 2016 British film, a remake of the 1949 Ealing Comedy of the same name. Whisky Galore! (1949)

Set in the Second World War when whisky rationing is in effect, Scottish islanders on the Isle of Todday, try to plunder cases of whisky from a ship that is stranded on rocks just offshore.

The SS Cabinet was carrying 50,000 cases of Scotch whisky to America when she ran aground affording the islanders the opportunity to get their hands on the ‘water of life.’

There are two problems though; the local minister (a strict Sabbatarian) who will not allow work to take place on a Sunday and Captain Waggett, the Home Guard officer who wants to stop any looting and who also searches for the whisky in the islanders homes afterwards. Official website

Video: Whisky Galore Trailer (2016)
South Uist man John Morrison with an empty bottle of Highland Nectar whisky he liberated from the SS Politician when she ran aground in 1941.
Washington, DC: An exhibit opening on Thursday at the National Museum of Natural History displays what is known about the creature. “Narwhal: Revealing an Arctic Legend” explores the arctic, the animal and the people adapted to the animal. Unicorn of the sea: Natural History Museum exhibit explores the narwhal
(detail) St. Davids, Wales – From an 1880/1890 album. The hill Carn Llidi is visible in the background. Original (3016 x 2031)
Oyster Houses, South Street and Pike Slip, Manhattan – 1935 photograph by Berenice Abbott

Hundreds of feet long, buried in the earth, thousands of oyster shells are pressed against one another, overtaking the few shards of bones and broken pottery within its depths. The monstrous heap is heavy and enormous—and it’s literally a pile of garbage.

If you’re in one of the coastal areas of the world, particularly in New York, that oyster garbage might even be beneath your feet right now. These huge, ancient heaps of shells are called oyster middens, and they’ve fascinated people for centuries.

A midden is an archaeological term for a pile of trash left by humans long gone, and oyster middens are some of the oldest and largest piles of intact garbage dating from after the late ice age.

The Voluminous Shell Heaps Hidden in Plain Sight All Over NYC

Mining an Oyster Midden: Damariscotta River epicenter of oyster shucking some 2,200 and 1,000 years ago

The heaps were begun at least 2,200 years ago and contain ceramic materials (pottery) from the earliest period. Since no European artifacts have been found in the midden, its construction apparently ceased well before they arrived. Whaleback Shell Midden on MaineEncyclopedia

A typical Native American oyster deposit, or midden, dating to about 1,000 years ago – Ancient Native-American methods may be key to sustainable oyster harvests on Smithsonian
Deck tours are available daily from 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM. Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for children aged 5-11, and children under 5 are free! Tickets may be purchased online or at the docks

El Galeón Andalucía is a replica Spanish galleon, owned by the Fundación Nao Victoria and completed in 2009. El Galeón is a tall ship unlike any other – a floating museum with over 3,400 square feet of deck space filled with exhibits for visitors to explore.

The structural design process of El Galeón took six months, and construction of the vessel lasted 17 months. She was launched in Huelva, Spain in November 2009. El Galeón is 164 feet long, with a 33 foot beam, 10.5 foot draft and 500 ton gross tonnage. Since her launching, she has travelled the world sailing over 48,000 nautical miles through the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific Oceans.

Hudson River Maritime Museum: El Galeón Andalucía departs Wednesday, August 9

Denizler Kitabevi Bookshop in Istanbul, specializing in antique maps and maritime books – 13 Things I Found on the Internet Today
Lieutenant with Japanese skull used as a mascot aboard a Navy torpedo boat, 1944

Winfield Townley Scott’s poem “The U. S. Sailor with the Japanese Skull” details the process by which a head becomes a skull. Skinned, gutted, dragged behind a ship in a fishing net, and finally bleached white in the sun, the skull in Scott’s account evolves until it is “made elemental, historic, parentless by our Sailor boy,” a sailor who cannot now, after all that work, say, “Alas! I did not know him at all.”

Human Trophies: For some soldiers of the Second World War, the best souvenir was a human skull

lobstahlady: My husband and his sternman rescued a one eyed eagle today.

BIRCH HARBOR, Maine (AP) — A Maine lobster boat crew used some Yankee ingenuity to rescue a waterlogged eagle that it spotted struggling offshore in the North Atlantic. 

Lobsterman John Chipman, of Birch Harbor, said Monday that the struggling bird seemed to be relieved to see his boat and even tried to hop on board after Chipman came across the unusual sight of an eagle flopping around about a quarter-mile offshore, near Schoodic Island.

“The way he was acting, I knew that he wanted help. He seemed to try to come to the boat on his own and tried to get in. He wanted out of the water,” he said. more

Maine Lobster Boat Rescues Eagle From Ocean (video)

Young men on the waterfront; Photo found in Florence, Italy – Museum of Found Photographs *An astute (and well traveled) reader is of the opinion this location is somewhere along the Cinque Terre
Greetings from Bath, Maine

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