Maritime Monday for December 26th, 2016

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December 25, 2016

13 Things I Found on the Internet Today (Vol. CCXIX)

Oyster Houses, South Street & Pike Slip, Manhattan, April 1, 1937 – Museum of Found Photographs (photo by Berenice Abbott)
Berenice Abbott in New York City, November 18, 1979

Berenice Abbott (July 17, 1898 – December 9, 1991) was an American photographer best known for her black-and-white, scientific photography of New York City architecture and urban design of the 1930s.  Abbott first became involved with photography in 1923, when Man Ray hired her as a darkroom assistant at his portrait studio in Montparnasse. Later she wrote: “I took to photography like a duck to water. I never wanted to do anything else.”

In the 1950’s, Abbott traveled US 1 from Florida to Maine, and photographed the small towns and growing automobile-related architecture. After the project was complete, (over 2500 negatives)  she bought a rundown home in Blanchard, Maine along the banks of the Piscataquis River. She later moved to nearby Monson, and remained in Maine until her death in 1991. 

Her last book was A Portrait of Maine (1968).  more info and images

The 45-foot Christmas tree being installed on Boston Common. (Nova Scotia)

A Century-Old Boston Christmas Tree Tradition Costs Canadians Big Money

On last year’s tree and festivities alone, the Nova Scotian government shelled out more than $180,000, the CBC recently discovered. It’s information that could irk some Nova Scotians, who foot the bill for growing, cutting, transporting and lighting the tree along with costs related to broadcasting the lighting ceremony and sending Nova Scotia officials to Boston for the ceremony.

A disastrous event on December 6, 1917, bound the two cities together forever. That morning, two ships collided in Halifax’s busy harbor. What resulted was the third deadliest explosion of all time—and the birth of the unlikely Christmas tradition. 

keep reading on Smithsonian


Six Scientists Making a Difference in Our Understanding of the World’s Oceans

A New Sea Quadrant, George Adams, 1748

quadGeorge Adams entered the navigational instrument business at an early age, apprenticing under James Parker before opening his own shop in 1738.

Ten years later he had developed a new instrument for taking latitudinal readings. Intended to be more versatile than the backstaff and less expensive than the octant, Adams’ quadrant did not eclipse the recently invented octant, nor did it survive the growth of the soon to be invented sextant.

There is only one surviving example of his invention, which now resides in the collection of the Mariners’ Museum and Park in Newport News, Virginia.

more on British Tars, 1740

Here is your nightmare fuel, forever.

Found: A Lot of Terrifying Creatures From the Deep Sea, Thanks to This Russian Fisherman

Roman Fedortsov is a deep-sea fisherman, working on a trawler based near the Barents Sea, according to the Moscow Times, and he has Twitter. As the Russian website Ruposters discovered, that combination of skills has led Fedortsov to post pictures of the very real, terrifying, and often sharp-toothed creatures his boat pulls out of the depths of the ocean.

keep reading on Atlas Obscura

Pelagic Trawler Adenia in the Christmas spirit; berthed in Lerwick harbour as they await the start of the 2017 mackerel season. Photo posted by Ivan Reid

Check Out NASA’s Picks for This Year’s Best Images of Earth

 The Earth Science & Remote Sensing Unit recently released a video of its 16 favorite images of Earth from the International Space Station from this past year. The images include shots of iconic features, like Mount Fuji or the Sangeang Volcano in Indonesia. Others highlight human impacts on earth, including a nighttime shot of the lights of Dubai. 

One breathtaking photo captures a sunset over the South Atlantic Ocean. The image, taken in October, shows the planet’s surface in inky darkness while the sunset stretches like flame across the sky. It’s the type of photo that can only be taken in space, with the sunlight illuminating light and dark shades of blue, highlighting the different layers of the atmosphere. Go See

engruss How Do they Build Wooden Ships in Karelia

One of the most interesting places in Petrozavodsk (on the shore of Onegskoe Lake) is the club “Polar Odyssey,” a team of true romanticists who are in love with the sea. The club has its own operating fleet, most of of which are copies of wooden ships and historical sailboats.  more on EnglishRussia

R.N. Baranov “From the height of the port crane,” 1974; Visual Arts of the USSR on English Russia
Paintings by Simon Stalenhag commissioned for the Fossils and Evolution Exhibition at the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm (Naturhistoriska Riksmuseet)
Heteractis magnifica: Anemone, Fujikawa Maru, Chuuk Lagoon – Photo by Russell Gilbert
photo by Hani Bader


The Royal Navy Was Scared the Volley Gun Might Accidentally Burn Down Its Own Ships

7gunIn 1779, James Wilson present a design for a seven-barrel volley gun to the British government’s Board of Ordnance. The board decided that the gun, while of no use to the British Army, would be useful aboard the Royal Navy’s warships.

The volley gun’s impressive firepower could be devastating at the relatively short ranges aboard ships. The navy imagined that the volley guns’ firepower could help Marines defend their ships from boarding parties?—?and also lend them the firepower to themselves successfully board and seize heavily-defended enemy vessels.

Once the flintlock ignited the central barrel, the surrounding barrels ignited through vents. All seven barrels fired almost at once, producing significant recoil?—?reputedly sufficient to dislocate shoulders.

keep reading on War is Boring

see also: The Nock Gun on Firearms History, Technology & Development

A Flash of Joy, Captured at Sea – DownEast Magazine

All of the pride, courage, and roguishness woven into Maine’s seafaring heritage are on display in the grin and the posture of Captain Lincoln A. Colcord, photographed here on the deck of his ship, the State of Maine, as it rounded the Cape of Good Hope on a journey to Asia in 1900.Keep reading on

Harbor Harvest owner Bob Kunkel (fifth from left) and the them who designed the hybrid vessels used at the Maritime Aquarium and in the future Harbor Harvest sustainable marine shipping project.

Norwalk might be homeport for food ferry fleet

Connecticut – Bob Kunkel, one of the owners of Harbor Harvest in East Norwalk, said he’s seen a marked change in the way people shop, think about food and care where it comes from. So with millennials returning to locally produced goods and a deepening interest in lowering their carbon footprint, Kunkel is looking to take that one step further.

Kunkel has a vision — a fleet of hybrid electric catamarans with refrigeration ferrying organic and locally produced foods across Long Island Sound. If it sounds like a lofty ambition, consider that Kunkel’s not just a food market owner, he also owns AMTECH, the company that built the Maritime Aquarium’s cutting-edge new research vessel.
Harbor Harvest is partnering with Derecktor Shipyards of Mamaroneck, N.Y., to develop the alternative transportation platform. The goal is to create an emissions-free eco-delivery marine coastal farm-to-table distribution network. The projected trade routes for the Harbor Harvest sustainable shipping project include ports in Stamford, Norwalk, Bridgeport and New Haven. The first route would be from Norwalk to Glen Cove, Long Island.

keep reading

via Old Salt Blog

Christmas at Sea by Robert Louis Stevenson

author Robert Louis Stevenson

Born in Edinburgh in 1850, Robert Louis Stevenson was the son of a light-house engineer. He was a sickly child and a life-long invalid, but an inveterate traveller.  This poem first appeared in the Scots Observer in 1888, several years after the publication of the enormously successful adventure novel Treasure Island. 

It vividly depicts, from the point of view of a crew-member, the life-or-death struggle of steering a sailing-ship through winter storms. Unfolding at a smooth, unhurried pace, the narrative maintains tension, and a happy ending for the ship and her crew seems by no means guaranteed. 

Whether you’re literally at sea, or only metaphorically “all at sea” this Christmas, here’s wishing “Poem of the Week” readers a a cheery and storm-free passage through the festivities … “Fetch aft the rum, me hearties.” 

More on The Guardian

Portland Tugboat LLC; Portland, Maine (via Facebook)
Chesapeake Bay Christmas evening – Photo by Meow Man
See you next week!

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