Maritime Monday for October 10th, 2016: Training the Strap

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October 9, 2016

Stril Explorer; via

State of the art maritime archaeology expedition conducted in Black Sea

ScienceDaily – An international team, involving the University of Southampton’s Centre for Maritime Archaeology (UK) and funded by the charitable organisation for marine research, the Expedition and Education Foundation (EEF), is surveying the Bulgarian waters of the Black Sea.

During these surveys, members of Black Sea MAP have also discovered and inspected a rare and remarkable collection of more than 40 shipwrecks, many of which provide the first views of ship types known from historical sources, but never seen before. The wrecks, which include those from the Ottoman and Byzantine Empires, provide new data on the maritime interconnectivity of Black Sea coastal communities and manifest ways of life and seafaring that stretch back into prehistory.

Professor Adams comments: “The wrecks are a complete bonus, but a fascinating discovery, found during the course of our extensive geophysical surveys. They are astonishingly preserved due to the anoxic conditions (absence of oxygen) of the Black Sea below 150 metres.  more

Known as the “Queen of Sea,” the Merchants and Miners Transportation Company Steamship Line operated one of the finest fleets of passenger steamers on the Atlantic Coast and ranked foremost as one of America’s top tourist routes.

A 1929 home movie aboard a coastal liner cruising from Florida to Savannah aboard the SS NANTUCKET; on Cruising the Past

replica of Batavia at Bataviawerf. Photo credit: Malis/Wikimedia

The Historic Dutch Ship Batavia, And Its Blood-Curdling History

Willem Vos originally owned a company that built wooden and polyester boats, but with modernization demand for handmade boats was falling. Once, when Vos went to the bank to ask for credit, the bank tried to belittle his company by saying that his profession belonged in a museum —and inadvertently gave him the idea for Bataviawerf.

Batavia was a ship of the Dutch East India Company, built in Amsterdam in 1628. She wrecked on her maiden voyage, and was made famous by the subsequent mutiny and massacre that took place among the survivors.

Vos realized that if he could successfully build a large 17th-century ship using only 17th-century materials and methods, people would be more than willing to pay to see this kind of work in action. Willem Vos decided that he would reconstruct the Dutch merchant vessel Batavia, a project that soon developed into a unique experiment in historical shipbuilding.

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Alaskan Glacier Watching; posted by birdlives9 (click to see bigger)
Skipper Andrew W. Piotrowski, left, and documentarian Peter Rudzinski hold Polish flags Wednesday at RCR Yacht’s marina. The sailors are on a 4,000-mile nautical journey to find Polish heroes who have made a difference in America. Robert Kirkham/Buffalo News

Polish sea captain discovers heroes and history

Skipper Andrew W. Piotrowski and filmmaker Peter Rudzinski faced down hurricanes, tropical storms and ferocious heat during their 4,000-mile nautical journey that started in Chicago three years ago.

To tell the story of Polish heroes in North America, Piotrowski and Rudzinski are traveling a route known as America’s Great Loop. It combines the country’s inland river system to the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean. The voyage takes them on the Mississippi River, around Florida, up the Atlantic coast, the Hudson River, the Erie Canal and finally the Great Lakes. They struck gold in Buffalo…  more

candlecoveDo You Remember Candle Cove?

Does Candle Cove sound familiar? That old children’s show with the sinister talking boat, and the skeleton, The Skin-Taker? It aired on the local channel in Ironton, a small town in Ohio, back in the ’70s, and had that creepy calliope music playing over every episode. There were those rumors, too, that when kids said they were watching it, all the parents could see was static.

Without spoiling the ending of the short tale, folks began to realize that Candle Cove was much more than just a normal kid’s show…  keep reading

Toledeo Panorama by Aaron J. Border – CSL’s Spruceglen makes her way up the Maumee River to load grain on a gorgeous morning in the Glass City. Stitched in Lightroom from 10 sequential images shot from the Anthony Wayne (aka High Level) bridge. click to see full size (2048 x 681)
Maritime history lies on the bottom of Lake Tahoe – Beneath the surface of the brilliant blue waters of Lake Tahoe lies the wreckage of a bygone era of maritime history. The Steamers “Tahoe,” “Nevada” and “Meteor” were scuttled in the watery depths of Tahoe and have been joined by the “Marian B,” lost in a storm.

Lake Tahoe’s storied past lies not only on her shores, but also under her waters where countless wrecks have found a watery grave

The 80 ft Meteor, launched on Aug. 27, 1876, was the first iron-hulled ship on the lake and reached a record speed of 19.5 knots during her trial run on Sept. 15, 1876. In her day, she was the fastest inland steamer in the world and the fastest boat on the Pacific Coast. She towed thousands of log booms from areas around Lake Tahoe to Glenbrook for the mines of Virginia City between 1876 and 1896. Afterwards, she became a passenger ship and mail carrier, and was ordered to be scuttled after more than 60 years of service. keep reading

photo by Rogelio Bernal Andreo

Deep Sky Colors: A Gorgeous Astro-Photography Book

Rogelio Bernal Andreo’s book, Deep Sky Colors, is a ridiculously stunning collection of his astro-photographs. Andreo’s work is simply phenomenal, and basically you should just go and buy both that book and his other, Hawai’i Nights, because your brain will love you for it.

When his photo came up on my screen, I may have choked on my morning coffee. It’s magnificent. And truly unique, showing a depth and beauty I had literally never seen before; the nebulosity strewn across the constellation sharp and colorful, every color balanced, the stars spread like jewels on polychrome velvet. It was, quite simply, the most beautiful astro-photograph I had ever seen.  more


After more than 30 years of poking around the murky waters off Cape Cod, the explorer who discovered the Whydah Gally, the first authenticated pirate shipwreck in North America, believes he’s found where the ship’s legendary treasure lies

Undersea explorer Barry Clifford said his expedition recently located a large metallic mass that he’s convinced represents most, if not all, of the 400,000 coins and other riches believed to (have been) on board the Whydah.

The Whydah sank in stormy seas in 1717 and nearly all of its roughly 150-person crew perished, including the pirate captain Samuel “Black Sam” Bellamy. Clifford discovered the wreck in 1984. It’s believed the heavily laden ship sunk quickly, leaving the stolen riches from over 50 other ships at the bottom of the ocean.  keep reading

 AP News Video

Beer from the deep. (Photo: Mike Nash/Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery, Sydney Cove collection)

Yeast Rescued From 220-Year-Old Shipwreck, Put to Work Making Beer

In 1796, the Sydney Cove sailed from India with a cargo of goodies, including tea, tobacco, and, most importantly, booze. The ship was headed towards Sydney, Australia, but, rounding the continent’s southern coast, it sank near Preservation Island, where the wreck was discovered centuries later, in 1977. Among the artifacts found in the ship were still-corked bottles of wine and beer. Now, 220 years after the ship sank, a team of scientists have rescued surviving brewer’s yeast from those bottles and used it to make new beer.

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Christian FALASCHI; Sur le Samoen (click to see full size)
The Giffords on the bow holding their “shell phones”. (Behan Gifford)

Sailing around the world for eight years with three kids taught us to live without structure

Behan Gifford and her husband Jamie had it all. Three young children, a lovely home on an island near Seattle and two well-paying professional jobs. So why did the couple leave it all behind and decide to live aboard a sailboat for eight years?

The Giffords are part of a growing, but little-known community of people called cruisers. While many cruisers are couples or individuals who have given up the rat race to live a life-long dream, some are families who spend months, even years at sea or living on a boat. “It’s about the absolute sense of freedom. You get to explore the world and bring your home along with you,”  keep reading

Fotographer and Ship by Tino Peisker (click to see larger)

Straps in Training, Part 1: 1740-1790

liberty-of-the-subjectBritish Tars: In Bill Sullivan’s recent article on, I found this intriguing little gem: “Sailors wore their shoes ‘sailor fashion,’ swaggering around with one buckle strap flapping out of the buckle and tugged to the front.

Others in the backcountry and German-speaking areas turned both buckle straps outward to flap up and down like mule ears…”

I decided to see what I could find, to illustrate or verify the notion of shoes worn “sailor fashion”.

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Electrospark: US Aircraft Carrier arriving Ford Island, Honolulu, Hawaii – 1950s
Electrospark: Ford Island, 1950s Hawaii

Vintage Hawaii; 180 images

engrussaralAbandoned Soviet-Era Ships in the Dried Up Aral Sea

A desalination plant in Al Khobar, Saudi Arabia. The state is investing $24.3bn to expand its desalination capacity. Photograph: Alamy Stock Photo

Peak salt: is the desalination dream over for the Gulf states?

The Guardian – The Middle East is home to 70% of the world’s desalination plants – mostly in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, and Bahrain. Tens of billions of dollars, $24.3bn (£18.8bn) in Saudi Arabia alone, are being invested over the next few years to expand desalination capacity. The more they desalinate, the more concentrated wastewater, (brine) is pumped back into the sea; making the Gulf even saltier. “Peak salt” describes the point at which desalination becomes economically unfeasible.

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Photo Ewan Lebourdais (click to see full size)
Little Venice, West London, UK; posted by Peter H
The Museum of Found Photographs

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