Maritime Monday for Decemeber 12th, 2016: Farpotshket

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December 11, 2016

Maritime Monday

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Latest Update from the Mary A Whalen at Portside NY:

David Levine contributed a useful word of the day: farpotshket. Yiddish for “broken because someone tried to fix it.” Our wheelhouse windows and doors qualify for that… Thank you Richard Evans for your hours of meticulous work undoing those errors of the past. Here John Weaver and Chiclet inspect a prior poor repair.

The shipworm, scourge of sailors everywhere, is actually a kind of ghostly saltwater clam. (blickwinkel / Alamy)

How a Ship-Sinking Clam Conquered the Ocean

Smithsonian: The wood-boring shipworm has bedeviled humans for centuries. What’s its secret? 

It’s easy to see why early naturalists classified members of the family Teredinidae as worms instead of clams. They possess ropy, translucent bodies that, depending on species and environment, may grow longer than a meter. The valves of their shells perch atop their heads like tiny helmets and bristle with rows of tooth-like protrusions. These allow shipworm larvae to drill into the surface of submerged wood, then burrow along the grain as they grow, funneling the shavings into their mouths, and turning wood into both a protective shell and a meal.

keep reading

Dutch print makers made various etchings of shipworms and the damage they did, including this one (left page) dated to between 1726 and 1744. The mollusks’ presence on the Dutch coast changed how the country built their dikes, sluices, and harbors. (Image courtesy of Rijks Museum)

Teredo navalis, the naval shipworm, is a species of saltwater clam, a marine bivalve mollusc in the family Teredinidae. This species may have originated in the northeast Atlantic Ocean, but has spread around the world. It tunnels into underwater piers and pilings and is a major cause of damage and destruction to submarine timber structures and the hulls of wooden boats. Teredo_navalis on wikipedia

Detail: His Majesty Reviewing the Fleet at Spithead, John Cleveley the Elder, 1773. Read more about it and see the full image on British Tars, 1740
Cruel Sea: Taken around the stern of the HMS Defence, an Armoured Cruiser which was hit by shells from SMS Lützow and Derfflinger and sunk with all 893 hands during the Battle of Jutland
Octopus as a cartography tool. Photo: PJ Mode Collection at Cornell’s Digital Library)

The Most Popular Sea Creature in Cartography

Many animals have been used in cartography to represent countries or landmarks, but one in particular has developed a stranglehold: the menacing, tentacled octopus.

“I can’t think of a good octopus,” says PJ Mode, the collector of over 800 persuasive maps that are in the process of being digitized at Cornell University Library. “It’s a great symbol of grasping, overreach, and evil.”  keep reading

Alexander Dmitrievich Litovchenko (1835 – 1890) “Charon carries souls across the river Styx” 1861; Russian Museum, St. Petersburg 

Mysterious Ocean Blob Seen for First Time in a Century

First, let’s be clear: in the ocean, mucus is king. On land, mucus is tragically confined to various animal orifices, unable to last long outside a moist environment. But in the ocean, slime is everywhere.

The larvacean species known as Bathochordaeus charon was first described by master jelly biologist Carl Chun in 1900. He named this ghostly creature after the first sight a Greek soul might see after death: Charon, the ferryman of Hades who shepherds souls across the river Styx and into the underworld. The name is fitting for such an evanescent creature. But in the 100 years since Chun’s work, this giant larvacean of the underworld was rarely seen, making some people wonder if it was even real.  (Deep Sea News)


This week, Scientists have confirmed the finding of (that) strange, elusive creature that hasn’t been conclusively seen since it was first described in 1900. The mysterious, blob-like animal was collected by a remotely operated vehicle deep in California’s Monterey Bay by scientists at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute. The translucent, tadpole-shaped creature itself is about three and a half inches long.

keep reading on National Geographic

A Ship Called Whydah by Steven Becker

Cape Cod Times: Whydah Movie In The Works

WEST YARMOUTH – The story of the Whydah pirate ship, which sank off the coast of Wellfleet in 1717, and its discovery more than 385 years later is now the subject of a planned film.

bellamyWhydah Productions has acquired the motion picture film rights to the story about how explorer Barry Clifford found the ship with a treasure of gold and silver onboard, according to a statement from local author and Whydah Productions founder Casey Sherman.

Sherman and his partner, Ted Collins – both from Cape Cod – will produce the film, according to the statement. The film is expected to include the story of how Clifford and John F. Kennedy Jr. searched for the ship, which was found again in 1985, as well as the story of the ship’s captain, Samuel “Black Sam” Bellamy

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more: Black Sam Bellamy, the Pirate Who Fought Smart, Harmed Few, & Scored Big on The New England Historical Society

Marie Tharp (July 30, 1920 – August 23, 2006) was an American geologist and oceanographic cartographer who, in partnership with Bruce Heezen, created the first scientific map of the entire ocean floor. Tharp’s work revealed the presence of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, causing a paradigm shift in earth science that led to acceptance of the theories of plate tectonics and continental drift. more on wikipedia

Give a woman some data, and she’ll change the science world. From Smooth to Bumpy, How Marie Tharp changed our view of the sea floor on Deep Sea News

Million Dollar Point; 2013 Vanuatu Underwater – A 200 image collection on Flickr by Keith&Denise

The Million Dollar Point of Vanuatu

Located off the coast of Espírito Santo, an island belonging to the South Pacific nation of Vanuatu, is a vast undersea junkyard of military trucks, jeeps, bulldozers, tractors, unopened boxes of clothing and cases of Coca-Cola create. It’s called the Million Dollar Point, so named for the millions of dollars’ worth of US military equipment that was dumped in the ocean at the end of the second world war.

The island was used by the Americans during WWII as their primary military supply and support base and headquarters for major navy and army units operating in the Pacific. It was the second largest US base in the Pacific after Hawaii, and had over 40,000 troops stationed permanently on base. Being a supply base meant that it had everything that was required to sustain troops fighting the war.

Once the war ended, the Americans were faced with the problem with what to do with all the military equipment that had accumulated. The colonial authorities thought that if they refused to buy it, the Americans would have to leave everything behind, and the British and French would get everything for free. So they dumped it in the drink, instead.

keep reading on Amusing Planet

Detail from Pictorial St. Louis, the great metropolis of the Mississippi valley; a topographical survey drawn in perspective (1875), by Richard J. Compton and illustrated by Camille N. Dry (via Library of Congress Geography and Map Division)
Panoramic map of the city of New York (1870), published by Currier & Ives (via Library of Congress Geography and Map Division)

The Library of Congress has joined the Digital Public Library of America as a content hub and is sharing around 5,000 objects from its map collections.

Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden stated in a release that the LOC “will be sharing some beautiful, one-of-a-kind historic maps that I think people will really love. They are available online and I hope even more people discover them through DPLA.” Specifically, the initial records will involve 5,000 objects from the LOC Geography and Map Division, including those charting the American Revolution and the late 18th century, the American Civil War, and panoramic maps.  keep reading

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Nantes – A bord de “l’Isabelle” – Postcard Memory Palace

The Big Picture: Robert Greenleaf was a 19-year-old gunner’s mate third class in the US Navy when Japanese warplanes attacked Pearl Harbor. (Jonathan Wiggs/Boston Globe Staff)

Boston Globe: Pearl Harbor 75th Anniversary

Seventy five years after the attack that drew the United States into World War II, thousands gathered in Hawaii to commemorate the anniversary.

Photo essay on The Big Picture

usnNaval Academy Glee Club Tribute to Pearl Harbor, “Eternal Father” (The Navy Hymn)

White 1967 Mercedes with a red interior, possibly along River Elbe; Hellenic Lines freighter visible in the background – Museum of Found Photographs


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