Sea-Fever blog


Foto Friday – Night Shift / Coast Guardsmen (NY Times Lens Series) by Peter A. Mello
Lens CG by Michelle Agins for the NY Times

Boatswain's Mate Estrella, who was born in the Dominican Republic, works to protect the infrastructure and to assist in search and rescue operations. Photo: Michelle V. Agins/The New York Times

The above photograph is one of a series from a slideshow from the NY Times Lens Series.  From the City Room blog, Lens: Night Shift | Coast Guardsman:

Luis Estrella, 26, a boatswain’s mate third class, patrols the waters from the Staten Island Ferry to the Outerbridge Crossing to Newark Bay on a Marine Domain Awareness patrol, which involves a four-man crew that works two 12-hour shifts over 48 hours.

The patrols work in three areas — the upper Hudson River, Lower Manhattan and the Newark Bay area — to protect the infrastructure and to assist in search and rescue operations.

About the Lens Series:

For the past three months, Michelle V. Agins, a staff photographer for The Times, worked the night shift alongside them, patrolling New York Harbor for security breaches with the United States Coast Guard, presiding over the empty pews with the night watchman at the Marble Collegiate Church on Fifth Avenue at 29th Street, feeding infant twin boys with a baby nurse in Park Slope, riding an ambulance all over with emergency medical technicians. Here Gary Louhisdon, a security guard at the American Museum of Natural History, walks among the exhibits, much as Ben Stiller did in “Night at the Museum.”

Each week for the next three months, photographs will appear of other members of the city’s secret club that meets after midnight. Please, they asked, do not call it the graveyard shift. They are not dead.

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Sea-Fever Style: Tugboat Lentil Soup by Peter A. Mello
October 22, 2008, 9:57 am
Filed under: Sea-Fever Style | Tags:

It’s a cold, damp, dark Wednesday here in Mattapoisett. It’s that sad time of year where boats are hauled every day and the harbor get’s handed back to the winter sticks.

It’s also the time of year to begin thinking of putting away the BBQ and lining up recipes for winter comfort food. Everett, WA based Herald food columnist Judyrae Kruse (Sea-Fever approved last name!) wrote about a great sounding recipe, Tugboat Lentil Soup by Carole Meagher, author of the cookbook Seasoned with love: Favorite heart-healthy recipes and reflections about food, family, friends, and faith. And to top that Kruse writes:

It then made an immediate debut in a Sept. 18, 2002, Forum column, wherein Carolyn told us, “Tugboat lentil soup was named when it was a mainstay during weekend outings on our old tugboat, Sea Fever.”

Now that’s a soup after my own heart!

Here it is:

Continue reading



Guy’s Excellent Naval Adventure by Peter A. Mello
October 21, 2008, 11:38 pm
Filed under: maritime | Tags: , , , ,

Some of you might be familiar with Guy Kawasaki. He’s a hockey player, author, former Apple employee and prolific Twitterer. I’m not sure but he might even be part of the famous Kawasaki motorcycle dynasty.

One thing I do know is that he’s a pretty famous blogger and he recently wrote the “longest post in the history of blogging” about 26 hours aboard the USS John C. Stennis, a Nimitz-class nuclear-powered supercarrier in the US Navy, named for Senator John C. Stennis of Mississippi.

Stennis66-r_s

Guy had the great fortune to see America’s finest up close and personal and he took lots of pictures and posted them to his blog. There’s also some video there too like this scan from the ADMIRAL’s seat and a few landings.

[YouTube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n4t3oJJaJuk]
YouTube – Admiral’s View

[YouTube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v4eiemipI_w]
YouTube – Landings

Stennis20-r_s

It’s a great post! Check out and subscribe to Guy’s blog, you won’t be disappointed.

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Rocking the Boat’s WhiteHall Award by Peter A. Mello

Rocking the Boat White Hall Awards 2008

Most Sea-Fever readers will know that I’m a big fan of the NYC based nonprofit Rocking the Boat. Here’s a link to some previous posts.

This Thursday they’ll be hosting their Annual Whitehall Award event which

recognize(s) leaders in the fields of experiential education, environmental activism, and youth development. The honor is named for the distinctively elegant and practical wooden boat design that forms the majority of Rocking the Boat’s hand-built fleet. The Whitehall represents a “golden period” of maritime design and craftsmanship, its reliable and beautiful form remaining largely consistent since 1690.

This year they’ll be honoring The Public Service Project at Stroock & Stroock  & Lavan LLP and here’s the good work that they do:

The Public Service Project is the cornerstone of Stroock’s longtime commitment to serving the public interest. Created in March 2001 after a century of pro bono service, the Public Service Project provides a broad array of legal assistance, with a special focus on underserved and under-resourced communities in New York City.

A principal goal of the Public Service Project has been to engage in more transactional pro bono work, advising non-profits engaged in serving and rebuilding communities in need.

Stroock’s representation of Rocking the Boat goes back to 2001, when RTB was first getting its oars in the water. Since that time, over two dozen different Stroock attorneys have worked on RTB’s behalf, contributing well over 400 hours of pro bono legal advice, valued at almost a quarter of a million dollars. Stroock has truly become full service general counsel to RTB, calling on lawyers from no fewer than ten departments, including: intellectual property, entertainment, insurance, non-profit, employment and tax. These lawyers have helped RTB with everything from commercial lease issues and environmental law to employment policies and general corporate law advice.

The event is being hosted at the beautiful New York Yacht Club thanks to the generous sponsorship of Stroock, Toyota, LexisNexis and Sims Metal Management. You can still purchase tickets to the event here.

Why am I such a fan of this organization? Read Steve Rappaport’s grat article Rocking the Boat – Old ways teach kids new life lessons in the current issue (Sept./Oct. 2008) of WoodenBoat magazine and you’ll see why.  (download via RTB website.)

If you really need more reason to get excited by this organization, then you better watch this. On second, thought, watch it anyway, you won’t be disappointed!

[GoogleVideo=http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=3804036650927743103&ei=_yD9SKGgM5CYrAKhtozrDg&q=rocking+the+boat+bronx]
Building Kids: A short documentary about Rocking the Boat

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The Sad Story of the Bishop Museum and the Falls of Clyde by Peter A. Mello

Falls of Clyde by Christopher Pala for The NY Times The Sunday New York Times published a sad story written by Christopher Pala about the uncertain future of the Hawaiian Tall Ship, The Falls of Clyde, a National Historic Landmark since 1989. (Historic Ship Stays Afloat. for Now – October 19, 2008) 

What is particularly troubling about this story is the mismanagement and lack of leadership exercised by the Bishop Museum’s board in their stewardship of this historically significant asset and for which they collected considerable public funding and private donations over the years.  The ship has recently been “sold” for a symbolic $1 to a group of well meaning but grossly underfunded supporters. After years of neglect by the Bishop Museum, The Falls of Clyde now requires millions of dollars for rehabilitation and restoration work, a daunting task for a new nonprofit.

The Falls of Clyde story is not a simple one. Her history as represented in the Statement of significance in the National Historic Landmark Study on the National Park Services’ website:

The 1878 ship Falls of Clyde is the world’s only surviving four-masted full-rigged ship. Built in Great Britain in the last quarter of the 19th  century during a shipbuilding boom inspired in part by increased trade with the United States, Falls of Clyde made several voyages to American ports, notably San Francisco and Portland, Oregon, while under the British flag.

Sold to American owners in 1898, Falls of Clyde gained American registry by a special act of Congress in 1900. Henceforth she was involved in the nationally important Hawaiian transpacific sugar trade for Capt. William Matson’s Matson Navigation Co., a shipping firm of international scope and significance that continues in business. Falls of Clyde, ninth vessel acquired by Matson, is the oldest surviving member of the Matson fleet.

After 1907, Falls of Clyde entered another nationally significant maritime trade, transporting petroleum as a sailing oil tanker. Specifically modified for the petroleum trade as a bulk cargo carrier, Falls of Clyde retains integrity of design, materials, and workmanship, and is of exceptional national significance as the oldest surviving American tanker and as the only surviving sailing oil tanker left afloat not only in the United States but also in the world.

Pala writes in the NY Times article:

In 1963, as she was about to be sunk to serve as a breakwater, another group of enthusiasts in Hawaii had her towed back to Honolulu and, over the next two decades, almost fully restored.

In 1984, a new maritime museum, the Hawaii Maritime center, acquired the Falls, which was docked next door, but the center foundered financially. In 1994, the Bishop Museum reluctantly took over the center and the ship. One of the Falls’s chief supporters, Robert Pfeiffer, then the chief executive of the company that owns today’s Matson Navigation Company, set up a half-million-dollar endowment for the care of the Falls.

But over the next 14 years, the Bishop Museum spent little more than the endowment’s annual income of about $50,000 on the ship, according to a former museum official who would not be identified because he did not want to appear critical of the Bishop’s present management.

Though it is customary to place a ship in dry dock every five years to inspect and repair the hull, the museum did not do so with the Falls of Clyde, which was last in dry dock in 1987. Nor did it install zinc anodes, at a cost of a few thousand dollars a year, which would have prevented the hull from decaying.

In 2001, Senator Daniel Inouye, a Democrat, announced a Congressional earmark of $300,000 to preserve the Falls, and Mr. Pfeiffer, who died in 2003, contributed a personal matching grant of $300,000.

Nonprofit cultural institutions, like the Bishop Museum, have a moral and fiduciary responsibility to their communities and supporters to act competently as stewards of the treasures in their care.  While there have been a number of cases over the years where museums have been criticized for selling or deaccessioning works in their collections for various reasons, it’s difficult to recall many that show the alleged incompetence at this scale in preserving a nationally significant treasure.

Cross-posted at Weekly Leader.


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As If The Titanic Story Isn’t Sad Enough – Last Survivor Trying To Survive The HealthCare System Now by Peter A. Mello
October 17, 2008, 10:15 am
Filed under: life, maritime heritage | Tags: , , , , ,

[YouTube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iaP2LvrllM4]
YouTube – Last Titanic Survivor

Titanic survivor sells mementos to pay for care – The Associated Press Oct. 16, 2008

Henry Aldridge & Son The Devizes Auctioneers

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Foto Friday – Miniature maritime? by Peter A. Mello
October 17, 2008, 9:39 am
Filed under: FotoFriday | Tags: , , ,

Foto Friday

The above photo by Flickr photographer Yueh Hua Lee uses an interesting Photoshop technique called “tilt shifting” to make his photograph of Jhongjhu Port look like a miniature. Please click on the photo above for a larger version to get the full effect.

Here’s a link to some other tilt shifted images on Flickr.com.

Here’s an interesting Youtube video that applies the same process.

[YouTube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NJDGkkEI7hU]
YouTube – Flip Camera Tilt-Shift Visual Experiments.

Technorati tags: ,

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