Sea-Fever blog


Messing About In Ships podcast episode 33 by Peter A. Mello
January 31, 2009, 2:51 pm
Filed under: maritime, maritime heritage, Messing About In Ships, podcast

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This week I interviewed Rich Lazzara, VP Marketing for Lazzara Yachts. Three generations and 5 decades of building quality American yachts.


(68 minutes)

Download MP3: Messing About In Ships podcast episode 32

Subscribe Via iTunes HERE

Shownotes @ Messing About In Ships blog



Three Fun Videos with The Beatles and Boats by Peter A. Mello
January 25, 2009, 12:01 am
Filed under: Sunday VOW's | Tags: , , , , ,

A Beatles song, cartoon and full length movie, now that’s the type of entertainment and value you’ve come to expect from Sea-Fever.

First, here’s The Beatles navigating the canals of Amsterdam and performing Long Tall Sally with Jimmy Nicol replacing Ringo on drums.

[YouTube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M6Nl0VnBGe4]
YouTube – The Beatles – Long Tall Sally (Jimmy Nicol drums, Holland)

From 1965 to 1967, The Beatles Cartoon ran on ABC television network. In this episode The Beatles go to see the movie Mutiny On the Bounty at a local theater. Ringo ends up being hit upon his head and dreams that he is Captain Ringo Bligh and the other three Beatles are planning a mutiny against him. Ringo makes the other Beatles aboard the ship “walk the plank”.

[YouTube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ax0WYhlFZSI]
YouTube – The Beatles Cartoon – Chains

Finally, here’s the full version of the 1968 The Beatles animated feature film Yellow Submarine. The Beatles actually weren’t too crazy about doing the film and other than their music and a brief scene at the end, they hardly appear in it. Voice-over actors played their roles throughout. But the music is great and the graphics are groovy, so if you’ve never seen it take the trip on the Yellow Submarine. (warning – 1.5 hours)

[GoogleVideo=http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-1444637107417806305&hl=en]
The Beatles Yellow Submarine

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Tallest Ship Brings High Hopes to Littlest State by Peter A. Mello

Oliver H. Perry by Onne Van der Wal

While the title of this post sounds a bit like a children’s story, it’s really all big business.

On January 23, 2009, Ariana Green wrote an article in the NY Times titled In Rhode Island, Hoping a Tall Ship Can Help a Sagging Economy about a nonprofit organization, Tall Ships Rhode Island, purchasing a less than half finished tall ship from a foundering Canadian organization with the hopes boosting their tiny states economy, among other things.

Tall ships in America got their start in Newport, RI back in 1973 when Barclay Warburton III, along with a group of like minded maritime enthusiasts including Bart Dunbar, also member of the current group, established a new nonprofit to advance the concept of sail training and organize the US Bicentennial Tall Ships Celebrations in 1976. The American Sail Training Association was founded and over the years has grown to become a national and international nonprofit whose mission is to “encourage character building through sail training, promote sail training to the North American public and support education under sail.” (I was the executive director of the ASTA from 2001 through 2006.)

Warburton and the ASTA founders actions were very important to the local community because up until 1973 Newport was a Navy town. However, in that year, the fleet left, the base was downsized significantly and Newport was left pondering a potentially dismal economic future. Tall Ships and the Americas Cup would end up saving the day by transforming the city into one of the sailing capital’s of the world and a maritime heritage tourism destination.

Fast forward 36 years and can the current group pull another miracle out of their duffle bag? Green writes:

As Rhode Island struggles with one of the nation’s highest unemployment rates, city and state officials hope that turning the hull into a tall ship will create jobs, attract tourists and spur interest in the state’s maritime history.

“Today cities realize they benefit from having a flagship for their community,” said Timothy Walker, who teaches maritime history at the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth. “It’s a way to be really visible and make an impression that can travel. It can literally fly the flag for a community.”

But not everyone is aboard with an optimistic assessment:

But Jeff Bolster, a professor of maritime history at the University of New Hampshire, said officials should not overestimate the economic contribution a ship project would make.

“A vessel of this scale is not going to be a huge help to the ailing economy,” Mr. Bolster said. “It has a modest operating budget, so it alone can’t solve the state’s fiscal problems in a major way.”

It will be all very interesting to watch. This is a very experienced group being led by Captain Richard Bailey who for years ran popular sail training programs aboard the HMS Rose until to she was sold to Fox to star in Master & Commander as the HMS Surprise. Today the Rose/Surprise is part of the San Diego Maritime Museum’s fleet of historic ships.

On the downside is that the Oliver Hazard Perry is a very large ship, second only to the USCGC Barque EAGLE in the United States. Ships this size are very costly to run and often difficult to fill. While nearly anyone who has sailed aboard a tall ship will vouch for it’s power in being a life changing experience, marketing the concept to wider public has always been challenging. The current projected cost of the project is $5 million and her scheduled launch is 2011, but I have yet to see a ship of this scale come in on budget and on time. Tall Ships Rhode Island has always been good at raising money and in this economy and for the foreseeable future, they have to really count on all of the contacts, connections and tricks they can pull out of their ditty bags.

This is a very exciting project for the City of Newport, the State of Rhode Island, the entire region and even the nation. While it seems pretty ambitious in scale, it’s no less so than what Barclay Warburton III pulled off in the early 1970’s. I bet he’s looking down and giving Tall Ships Rhode Island a big Huzzah for their efforts.

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BMOW, FTW! by Peter A. Mello
January 24, 2009, 9:11 am
Filed under: life, maritime, work

First of a series of videos found on YouTube about Jobs@Sea.

[YouTube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lkzit8coZ9g]
YouTube – Coast Guard Boatswain Mate of the Watch

ONBOARD THE USCGC BOUTWELL — Interview with Joseph Klemencic, from the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Boutwell, about his job as the boatswain mate of the watch (BMOW). The Boutwell is currently deployed as U.S. Coast Guard representatives for the North Pacific Coast Guard Forum (NPCGF). This forum was developed to increase international maritime safety and security on the Northern Pacific Ocean and its borders. (Coast Guard video by Petty Officer Jonathan R. Cilley)

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FotoFriday: The Raising of USAir 1549 by Peter A. Mello
January 23, 2009, 10:37 am
Filed under: FotoFriday, maritime

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You’ve probably seen more than enough photos of USAir 1549 by now but the above shot is from a series of it’s raising that’s worth a final look. Via Reasonpad.

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The Obama Ship’s Here! Hop Aboard! by Peter A. Mello
January 20, 2009, 2:09 pm
Filed under: life, maritime art

Courtesy of gCaptain.com 

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Amazing Photos of US Air 1549 Raised from the Hudson (via Tugster) by Peter A. Mello
January 18, 2009, 11:32 am
Filed under: maritime, social media

Friend and one of my favorite maritime blogger, Will Van Dorp of tugster, took some amazing photos last night of the raising of US Air Flight 1549 from the banks of the Hudson River in Lower Manhattan and posted them on his blog. Check out the entire series!

US Air 1549 raised by Will Van Dorp

Nothing happens in and around New York harbor without tugster capturing it. Kudos!

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Messing About In Ships podcast espisode 32 by Peter A. Mello

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(64 minutes)

Download MP3: Messing About In Ships podcast episode 32

Subscribe Via iTunes HERE

Shownotes @ Messing About In Ships blog

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Amazing US Coast Guard Video of US Air Flight 1549 Emergency Landing on the Hudson River by Peter A. Mello
January 17, 2009, 10:09 am
Filed under: life, maritime, social media

[YouTube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3mLKfRVU3qM]
YouTube – Video of US Airways descent into Hudson River released

Also check out: FotoFriday with Bonus Audio: US Air Flight 1549 Crash into the Hudson Plus Tug Captain Interview

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FotoFriday with Bonus Audio: US Air Flight 1549 Crash into the Hudson Plus Tug Captain Interview by Peter A. Mello
January 16, 2009, 6:17 pm
Filed under: life, maritime

Plane Crash Into Hudson River by Grego on Flickr.com

Here is one of the first photos taken of US Air flight 1549 “landing” in the Hudson River on January 15, 2009. There are no vessels in the vicinity and you can still see the plane’s wake! (BTW, planes aren’t supposed to make wakes!) Click on photo for link to larger version to get full appreciation of how miraculous it was that no one was killed or even seriously injured.

One of the first vessels on the scene was a tug owned by Tucker-Roy Marine Salvage hailing from New Bedford, MA. The tug captain was Conrad H. Roy Jr. who also happened to graduate from my alma mater, Tabor Academy. Ken Belson of the NY Times, who interviewed Captain Roy, wrote “his quick decision proved critical, because his tugboat played a big role in stabilizing and then hauling the US Airways jet, an Airbus A320, to shore.”

Untitled by 3-rjs on Flickr.com

Here’s a six minute interview with Captain Roy from the City Room blog of NY Times website:


Just yesterday I posted about the horrendous maritime casualties that have been experienced on Asian ferries over the years. (Scary Asian Ferries) In contrast, the story about the incredible judgment and execution by everyone involved in the US Air water landing from the pilot, flight crew, US Coast Guard, NY police and fire departments, the NYC ferries and Captain Roy and his crew makes this one of the most amazing maritime rescue stories for a long time. Maybe ever!

Kudos to all and especially Captain Roy and his crew for an amazing demonstration of leadership and seamanship that should make all Tabor alums proud! If you want to learn more about Tabor Academy’s long history and tradition of maritime heritage please check out The Tabor Boy Project.

Thanks to fellow Tabor alum and Facebook friend Saran ObamaMama Mignott-Vialva for the tip!

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