Sea-Fever blog


Seafood Cooking, Nature and Sex with Isabella Rossellini by Peter A. Mello
September 30, 2009, 9:01 am
Filed under: maritime

We can always count on Isabella Rossellini to take us to places we might not normally end up. These Sundance Channel videos entertain and educate us about the the ocean and man’s impact on it. Of course, calling them Green Porno catches our attention too!



A ship designed to knock those “condescending, supercilious bastards” down a peg by Peter A. Mello

Jesse Pesta wrote a great piece on the SS United States for the front page of today’s Wall Street Journal. Fans of World’s Fastest Ocean Liner Put Out a Distress Call Sept. 29, 2009) (free content) There’s a great nostalgic slideshow which includes the below photo of the author onboard at 2 years old.

Wall St. Journal article author Jesse Pesta onboard the SS United States at 2 years old. Courtesy of Jesse Pesta via the Wall Street Journal

The quote in the title of this post comes from the naval architect, William Francis Gibbs, a very interesting character who prided himself in beating his British counterparts in designing the fastest ship in the world. In fact, this was more a matter of national than personal pride during the post World War II technology boom. That’s him in the below photo watching his ship leave NY harbor.

Naval Architect William F. Gibbs watching the S UNited States in NYC. courtesy Susan Gibbs via the Wall Street Journal

If you’ve read Mr. Pesta’s article in the Wall Street Journal and you’re still not convinced that this grand old ship should be saved to preserve an important piece of America’s maritime heritage history, please watch this trailer for the PBS documentary by Big Ship Films, Lady in Waiting.

Here’s another promo for the documentary that has some different footage and is worth watching.

Wonder what it was like to sail the Atlantic on the SS United States? Here’s a home movie from the 1950′s (via ShipGeek):

[YouTube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PyI2ay1Mcww]
YouTube – SS United States Unknown Home Movies

Unfortunately, things look a little different now. Here’s a video from Phillip Buehler great Modern Ruins website where he rollerblades the Promenade Deck to music by the ship’s orchestra that he found on eBay. Make sure you check out all of the amazing then and now photos in the SS United States section of Modern Ruins.

[YouTube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V6gA7mHB6MA]
YouTube – Rollerblading on the SS United States Prominade Deck

This is a project of monstrous proportions.  We can only hope that this old grand dame does not end up on a beach to broken up somewhere far away. She deserves better than that.  Please raise awareness, spread the word and share this post with people you know who might care. Thanks.

Important links:

SS United States Conservancy (website / blog)

Coalition to Save the SS United States

Mike Alexander’s SS United States Site

The “SS United States Group” on Yahoo Groups



Moby Monday — A Bower Near Withernwick by MegDC
September 28, 2009, 9:30 am
Filed under: Moby-Monday | Tags: , ,

No locks on the trapdoors and shutters yet
We just got word from Yorkshire that the sperm whale skeleton described in Chapter 102 of Moby-Dick is once again on display at Burton Constable Hall, the same English country house where author Herman Melville located it in 1851. Melville described the skeleton as “articulated” and capable of being swung open and shut “like a great chest of drawers.” He also wrote of a plan to install locks on the skeleton and charge up to sixpence for a peek at it.

The whale as currently constituted—in a new, permanent display after years in storage—still seems to be awaiting its locks, but we don’t advise “swinging all day upon his lower jaw,” even though Melville said you could. The viewing fees, while more than sixpence, sound reasonable: Admission into the estate’s grounds (where you can see the whale) is £2.50 for adults; £1.25 for children; and £6.25 for a family ticket. Burton Constable is open three seasons of the year, including every day but Fridays through October 29. (It opens again from November 21 through December 6 before shutting until Easter.)

Photograph courtesy of The Burton Constable Foundation.

Margaret Guroff is editor and publisher of Power Moby-Dick.



Were you “Born Ready” for the US Coast Guard? by Peter A. Mello
September 27, 2009, 2:22 pm
Filed under: life, Marketing, work | Tags: ,

I like the view from her office.

Male version.



Captain Colbert stars in Battleship: The Game, The Movie by Peter A. Mello
September 26, 2009, 10:15 am
Filed under: maritime | Tags: , ,



FotoFriday: Old Man and the Sea by Peter A. Mello
September 25, 2009, 10:00 am
Filed under: FotoFriday, photography | Tags: ,

How is it possible that one of the greatest photographers of all time was sent to shoot one of the greatest American writers of all time in advance of a book that ended up selling over 5 million copies in 2 days and many of the photos remained hidden from the public view for 57 years?

The photographer: Alfred Eisenstaedt; the writer: Ernest Hemingway; the book: Old Man and the Sea; the setting: Cuba

Check out Life’s great slideshow (19 slides)

Report via Sea-Fever Twittersphere Correspondent Mia Chambers.

Hemingway - Life Sept 1 1952

Hemingway - Life cover Sept 1 1952



Don’t miss New Bedford’s Working Waterfront Festival this weekend! by Peter A. Mello

New Bedford Working Waterfront FestivalIf you are anywhere near the Southcoast of Massachusetts, or more specifically New Bedford, you will not want to miss the 2009 Working Waterfront Festival. This year’s theme is Surf & Turf: Fishermen and Farmers Finding Common Ground. From the website:

Farming, like fishing, is a way of life. Fishermen and farmers share a deep knowledge of, reverence for and dependence upon the natural world. Both groups pass traditional skills and knowledge from one generation to the next, often incorporating new technologies alongside traditional practices. And both communities face many of the same economic, environmental and political challenges.

There are all kinds of wonderful activities for the entire family that will entertain and educate you about what takes place everyday on one America’s most active waterfronts. Here are the schedules for Saturday and Sunday as well as a downloadable festival map(PDF). It’s all FREE!

Here are a few videos from past festivals of the types of activities that you’ll experience:

[YouTube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pRWNF3N7xc0]
YouTube – Scallop Shucking

[YouTube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7nEzW39fC_I]
YouTube – Coast Guard Rescue Demonstration

In addition to all of the activities on the waterfront, New Bedford is like a theme park for maritime heritage/culture fans. Located on Johnny Cake Hill is the Whaling Museum (website / blog / twitter), homeport of the largest ship model in the world and which has two “not to miss” exhibits: From Pursuit to Preservation and Working Waterfront, Photographic Portraits which I’m proud to say is a great show of my cousin Phil’s photography. Across the street from the Whaling Museum is the historic Seamen’s Bethel made famous by Herman Melville in his classic Moby-Dick. A little further up the hill you’ll find the new Ocean Explorium which is the home to one of NOAA’s very impressive Science on a Sphere installations. All of this and more is located in the New Bedford Whaling Historical National Park.

Looking for some great food and refreshments? Check out the Rose Alley Ale House for great chicken wings, burgers and a wide selection of beers and No Problemo for the best Mexican around.  Want something a little fancier, Cork or Waterfront Grill would be god choices. All are steps from the festival grounds. 

If you are on Twitter and interested in learning more or if you attend and want to share your experiences use the hash tag #workingwaterfront.



Old Buoys Network by Peter A. Mello
September 24, 2009, 10:27 am
Filed under: maritime | Tags: , , ,

This post got me thinking.

If @redballbuoy, @redflatheadbuoy and @blueconebuoy were all on Twitter, they were probably not alone. (N.B. @blueconebuoy seems to have been bad buoy because Twitter suspended his account.)

Sure enough, the Sea-Fever research department has unearthed an old buoys’ network that spans the globe from ocean to ocean. Thanks to Buoy Alarm, the below graphic gives an indication of just how pervasive this network is today.

Buoy Alarm

Now you can monitor the ups and downs and what’s “current” with these old buoys on Twitter (@buoyalarm).

Thankfully, it seems like some members of this old buoys’ network have been up to some good work as far as maritime heritage and the environment is concerned:

Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail

NOAA’s Chesapeake Bay Interpretative Buoy System



Surprise “Stimulus Package” for Canadian Maritime Lobstermen by Peter A. Mello
September 22, 2009, 8:12 pm
Filed under: life | Tags: , ,

"World's Largest Lobster" by ellenmac11 on Flickr.com

Earlier today Canadian Maritime Lobstermen got a surprise when they called a government number regarding financial support for the struggling industry. According to The Canadian Press:

Maritime lobster fishermen in need of financial help got a lift of another kind Tuesday when they were directed to a toll-free number that was supposed to detail an aid package but connected them to a lusty sex line instead.

One of the several toll-free information numbers released by Fisheries Minister Gail Shea hooks callers up to a sex line that offers fishermen nary a detail on the lobster stimulus package.

(A spokesperson) said he didn’t know how many people had called before the correction was made, but added that the department hadn’t received any complaints.

Photo credit: World’s Largest Lobster by ellenmac11 on Flickr.com



Oh buoy, wrong color! by Peter A. Mello
September 22, 2009, 9:00 am
Filed under: maritime art, maritime heritage | Tags: , ,

Alan in Belfast tells the rest of the story.




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