(via Bitter End blog) The 39-year-old blue blood “Dick” Byrd from Virginia, was a slight but strong man with a chiseled, smooth-shaven face. He looked the part of a hero and acted like one, too, admired already for the responsible, safety-first ethics he had demonstrated exploring the North Pole by ship and plane in 1926. Now he had his eye on the South Pole… You’re about to shove off from a New York dock and helm an exploration to the bottom of the earth, where the ice is more than a mile thick and it’s cold enough to freeze spit in midair. Any sailor headed for Tahiti, much less Antarctica, knows you need booze to make a long voyage bearable.
(But) You can’t drink because it’s 1928 and that marvelously stupid morality law, Prohibition, is in effect.
Since the late 1990s, Bar Harbor has been a popular port of call for cruise ships. Much of the attraction is nearby Acadia National Park, where deep evergreen forests meet the craggy, glacier-sculpted coast of the Atlantic and where Cadillac Mountain, the highest point along the Eastern Seaboard, offers spectacular views.
But in recent years, the number of cruise ships has sharply escalated, aggravating tensions between residents whose livelihoods depend on tourists — and want to cater to the cruise ships — and others who may or may not depend on tourists but who worry that too many could spoil what draws people here in the first place.
The records comes from the “Daily Weather Reports” stored in the U.K.’s Met Office. Robert FitzRoy, the founder of that office and captain of the voyage that took Charles Darwin around the world, started these telegraphed transmissions in 1860, soon after the organization began.
Another project, called Old Weather, led by Kevin Wood of the University of Washington, is looking through the log books of whaling vessels as well as Navy and Coast Guard vessels to find older data about weather in the Arctic.
In 1793, the brand new United States of America needed a standard measuring system because the states were using a hodgepodge of systems. For example, in New York, they were using Dutch systems, and in New England, they were using English systems. This made interstate commerce difficult.
Secretary of State Jefferson knew about a new French system and thought it was just what America needed. He wrote to his pals in France who sent over a scientist named Joseph Dombey, carrying a small copper 3 inches tall cylinder with a little handle on top. Except, while crossing the Atlantic, Dombey ran into a giant storm. Keep reading
Clifford Warren Ashley was an artist who studied under the influential illustrator Howard Pyle, painted expressive maritime scenes, and published histories of whaling related to the waterfront of his hometown, New Bedford, Massachusetts. Yet he’s best remembered for a wildly popular book on knots.
Work by conservationists from North Carolina’s Department of Natural and Cultural Resources shows that Blackbeard and his crew got a kick out of reading “voyage narratives” — a popular form of literature in the late 17th and early 18th century that chronicled the true accounts of maritime expeditions.
The conservators made the discovery while working on artifacts pulled from the wreckage of Blackbeard’s flagship, the Queen Anne’s Revenge, which ran aground near Beaufort Inlet, North Carolina in 1718.
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