Using Old and New Media to Advance the Climate Change Cause

I love this World Wlidlife Fund billboard raising the awareness of the global warming issue. It’s also a pretty clever and thought provoking use of old media (billboard) and new media (YouTube).

Enjoy and pass it on to someone who might care.

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Another Sailing Adventure Departs New York Harbor

Schooner Anne departing NYC by Will Van Dorp - Seventy eight days ago, Reid Stowe and Soanya Ahmad set sail from NYC on the Schooner Anne for voyage of 1,000 days without touching land. I have to admit that I was originally a bit skeptical of this whole endeavor and especially so after they wandered into some naval war games and then survived a collision with a freighter; all in the first few weeks! This is all being chronicled in a blog called 1000 Days at Sea: The Mars Ocean Odyssey. My skepticism is now gone and each day I marvel at their resourcefulness. They are also wonderful teachers and I am grateful for that they have undertaken this adventure and are sharing it with us. (Above image from tugster)

Abora 3 in NYC Tomorrow another group of adventurers set sail from NYC. The Abora 3 is a reed boat that is embarking on an expedition reminiscent of those of Thor Heyerdahl from 50 years ago. While Heyerdahl’s Kon-Tiki and Ra expeditions involved reed vessels traveling downwind and with following seas on intercontinental voyages, the Abora 3 will be sailing at angles to the wind in an attempt to cross the Atlantic from NYC to Spain.

DW- article: A Modern High Seas Adventure in a Reed Boat

Here is a video explaining the expedition:

What is it about New York, or more accurately New Jersey, that has made it the point of departure for these modern day adventurers?

Godspeed to these brave and adventurous souls!

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"The Heart of Sail Training"

TSYT brigs Today’s (Monday, July 9th) Portsmouth Herald has a great article by Susan Nolan about the power of sail training.

Captain Liam Keating, the skipper of the tall ship Prince William, one of 4 tall ships that visited Portsmouth, NH this weekend, tells a great story about how a young man’s life was changed by a sail training experience several years ago. Nolan writes:

When Keating joined the Prince William five years ago, a young man from Dublin named Paul was on one of his first voyages. Paul had scars on his body from cigarette burns and from being bitten by his alcoholic father, Keating said. But the voyage on the Prince William changed the young man’s life. In fact, it changed the lives of Paul’s entire family.

The Christmas after his summer voyage, Paul sent Keating a card. Continue reading "The Heart of Sail Training"

Sunday NY Times – Tall Ships in Newport

NY Times - TSRI - by Bill Cunningham

Today’s NY Times society page had a pretty amazing spread of photos of the Tall Ships event in Newport. Figures that that this would happen after I left as the American Sail Training Association executive director! :-( Unfortunately, there wasn’t a mention of the ASTA who is the organization which created this phenomenon over 30 years ago right in Newport.

Cities host these types of events for just this reason. It reinforces Newport’s brand as a maritime heritage tourism destination and it provides great national media. And if you are a Vanderbilt or Whitney, it’s a great excuse to organize a family reunion!

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PA Historical and Museum Commission Sites and Museums to Close Due to Budget Impasse, Furlough of State Workers

US Brig Niagara

Just received a Google Alert that the US Brig Niagara has been caught up in the budget problems in Pennsylvania.

Here is a link to the press release.

This seems to be pretty unfortunate news for the amazing vessel and her unique education programs. The US Brig Niagara just received her SSV (sail school vessel) status and developed her 2007 schedule predominantly around sail training instead of port appearances. Education Day Sail Schedule and Sail Training Program Schedule

In August, Niagara, with Professor Timothy Walker and in conjunction with the University of Pittsburgh, is offering a 4 credit college course aboard the vessel entitled Maritime History and the Great Lakes.

Hope this budget impasse is soon resolved so that the US Brig Niagara can pursue her mission “to preserve the skills of square-rig seafaring, interpret War of 1812 history and to promote the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the City of Erie.”

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Sea-Fever Cinema – July 2007 – Heavy Weather

Sea-Fever cinema logo

There is a new round of videos in Sea-Fever Cinema for July.

“Heavy Weather” is the theme and there is some incredible footage of Mother Nature having her way with large ships. In Heavy Sea watch closely for the flex in the hallways and imagine the wild rides in Straits Shipping, Voyager in Cyclone and Monster Wave. There’s also a clip from Deadliest Catch that you should think about next time you order crabs or seafood in a restaurant.

Grab some popcorn and enjoy being on terra firma as you watch this incredible footage.

Watch the video in the sidebar VodPod or Sea-Fever Cinema July 2007

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Canadian Tall Ship Aground In British Columbia

Robertson II image from

Earlier this week the Robertson II, one of Canada’s historic tall ships, experienced a significant casualty when she grounded on Mink Reef off Winter Cove near Saturna Island. Unfortunately, the situation does not sound very good.

The Bosun’s Mate website has been closely monitoring developments with updates and photos. The Robertson II has a rich history as a working schooner followed by service as the first sail training vessel owned and operated by S.A.L.T.S. (Sail and Life Training Society), Victoria, BC, Canada.

According to an update (07/07/07) by The Bosun’s Mate the Robertson II is privately owned by Atlantic and Pacific Fisheries of Victoria but has been used by Merchant Marine Sail and Steam International Society which has a mission “to preserve the spirit of our merchant marine heritage forever under both sail and power.”

It’s always sad to see a vessel founder and more so with one that has given thousands of young people positive life changing experiences over the years. The power of vessels like Robbie lies in the experiences, memories and dreams that they leave with people who sail them as well as with those who simply witness the majesty of a tall ship from shore. Look for some powerful stories to be told as the situation develops.

Update: Interesting OakBay News story July 6, 2007

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Happy Birthday Irving Johnson!

Irving Johnson Mystic Seaport

It seems only fitting that sail training pioneer Irving Johnson was born on Independence Day 1905.

For information about this extraordinary sailor, adventurer, educator and leader check out his Wikipedia entry and his biography on the Irving and Electa Johnson Collection page on the Mystic Seaport website.

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Exciting and Bizarre Finish to 32nd America’s Cup

Americas Cup 32 logo Although Alinghi retained the Cup with 5 wins to 2 losses this will go down as one of the most exciting sailing competitions ever. Team New Zealand incurred the only penalty in the series and was forced to sail a 360 degree turn at the finish line and ended up losing by 1 second!

With all of the nostalgia for the old days of America’s Cup races off the coast of Newport, RI, the 32nd series turned out to be one of the most exciting of all time. It could have easily stretched out to nine races and either team was capable of winning. There has been a lot of discussion about Alinghi being a faster boat but in the end, it came down to teamwork, strategy and execution.

Enjoy this video recap.

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