The Ship Residence, Put-In-Bay, Ohio

High upon a promontory on South Bass Island in Lake Erie at Put-in-Bay, Ohio, sits the Owners and Captains Quarters of the former Great Lakes Shipping Boat, The Benson Ford. The boat was built by Henry Ford and named after his grandson many years ago. After fifty years of service on the Great Lakes, the Benson Ford was scheduled in 1986 to be scrapped at the Port of Cleveland, Ohio. On the top front section of the boat were the walnut paneled state rooms, dining room, galley, and passenger lounge designed by Henry Ford for his own pleasure while traversing the Great Lakes on business. This is when an Ohio husband and wife stepped in realizing that these elegant quarters would be a magnificent residence, if they could only be removed from the rest of the ship and brought to land. After many days with torches and cranes, the Quarters were removed from the ship and floated by barge some sixty miles west to the tranquil island of South Bass Island. Additional cranes were needed to lift the Quarters off the barge at the Island up a steep eighteen foot promontory to its final site on solid bedrock on a single family home lot. The Quarters became The Ship Residence, a private home on South Bass Island. (from Dutton Auction and Realty Co.)

(Photo credit Donna Baker via Webshots.com)

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Diversity at Sea (Jubilee Sailing Trust Video)

jstlogo-2 The Jubilee Sailing Trust (JST) is an incredible sail training organization that operates two tall ships, the Lord Nelson and the Tenacious, that are fully accessible. From their website:

The JST is a UK based charity (registered charity number 277810) that aims to promote the integration of able-bodied and physically disabled people through adventure tall ship sailing holidays. The JST welcomes people from all over the world onto its two specially designed tall ships the LORD NELSON and TENACIOUS.

Each ship is able to take a voyage crew of 40 aged 16 years and over, who sail alongside the professional crew of 10. The voyage crew is divided into 20 able-bodied voyagers and 20 disabled voyagers, including up to eight wheelchair users. To date the JST has taken well over 28,600 people to sea; over 11,100 of them have been disabled and over 4,280 of those have been wheelchair users. The ships have been designed with many special features, ensuring that everyone on board is able to take a full and active part in the running of the vessel.

In order to fulfil the aims of the JST and to be able to run and maintain these two wonderful ships, the JST relies on charitable donations. If you would like to support the aims of the JST, or sponsor an individual to sail with us please visit our fundraising section.

This video does a great job of capturing the incredible opportunities available on these extraordinary vessels.

Tired of life without adventure? Hop aboard one of the Jubilee Sailing Trust vessels for a “tall ship sailing adventure for everyone!” You will be inspired!

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The Germans are coming! The Germans are coming! (by pickup and trailer)

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In the category of “some people have the damnedest hobbies,” John Asmussen of Germany and William Terra of Maine have certainly each found one that suits them.

Mr. Asmussen created a fascinating and comprehensive website, Bizmark & Tirpitz, the purpose of which is “to give the visitors a detailed and informative place on the Internet related to the history of the battleships of the Bismarck Class.” His “criteria of success:”

I want to make a website that I would like to find myself if I want information about Bismarck and Tirpitz. I hope to have many visitors who’ll find this website useful and informative. Whether you like a website like this or not, (the level of details, design etc) is more or less a matter of taste.

Four years in the making and a few more needed to “complete” the project, Mr. Terra built a 1:20 scale, 30′, navigating model of the World War II German pocket battleship Admiral Graf Spee. (Wikipedia entry) Per Bizmark & Tirpitz:

  • The model is scratch built like a canoe using 2,54 – 10,16 cm (1 – 4 in) bass wood strips and then covered with fiberglass.
  • Estimated weight 318 kg (700 lbs).
  • The beam is 1,32 meter (52 in).
  • The length is about 9,1 meter (30 foot).
  • It can carry 2 persons.
  • The model is powered by a 15 hp (11,2 kw) outboard engine under rear gun turret.
  • It can sail 24 kilometer per hour (15 mph).
  • Furthermore the model has a music system build in.
  • While William Terra cruise the lakes of Maine he enjoys listening to Wagner.
  • The Commander-in-Chief in the photographs is William Terra.
  • William Terra would like to see more models build in this scale.

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Continue reading The Germans are coming! The Germans are coming! (by pickup and trailer)

An Open Offer to Tom Perkins

MalteseFalcon In case you missed it, here’s a link to the 60 Minutes segment on Tom Perkins, one of the most successful venture capitalists and owner of the largest, most technically advanced privately owned sailing yacht in the world, the Maltese Falcon. It is definitely worth watching if you have 13 minutes to spare.

Perkins and his superyacht are the subject of David A. Kaplan new book, Mine’s Bigger: Tom Perkins and the Making of the Greatest Sailing Machine Ever Built which I wrote about here.

In case you are in the market for a new home, here is a listing for Mr. Perkins’ beautiful estate in Belvedere, California. $20.5 million and it’s yours! This website also has a interesting profile of the man.

I found the 60 Minutes segment fascinating and entertaining. The only time that Mr. Perkins hedged in the interview (4:10) was when Lesley Stahl tried to get him to confirm the cost of the Maltese Falcon which has been estimated to be anywhere from $100 – $300 million. Perkins admits that he is “embarrassed” by the vessels price tag because “there’s the homeless, charity and lot’s of things you could do with that money that could improve the world.” Now that’s an understatement!

With 1/100th of the estimated price tag of Maltese Falcon, we could send thousands of youth to sea under sail for positive life changing sail training experiences and that could help change the world!

So in the off chance that Mr. Perkins ever stumbles upon this post, I’m standing by to help you deal with any embarrassment you may feel for owning the Maltese Falcon. Let’s help get more kids out to sea under sail and change the world in the process!

(photo from Wikipedia)

Ex-president of Maritime Museum get Sentenced to 15 Years for Fraud

John Shiffman of the Philadelphia Inquirer reports that John S. Carter, the ex-president of the Independence Seaport Museum in Philadelphia, was sentenced to 15 years in jail for fraud. On Thursday the Court heard six hours of testimony from the FBI about Carter’s crimes.

The sentence was among the highest handed down in federal court in Philadelphia for a white-collar crime in recent years.

U.S. District Judge R. Barclay Surrick said such a stern sentence was justified, in part, because Carter tried to steal another $1 million by converting a museum life insurance policy after the FBI raided his home, and, after his guilty plea, lied to the IRS about his assets.

“This case is truly a tragedy,” Surrick said.

John Carter Criminal Restitution and Loss Chart (via Philadelphia Inquirer)

For more on this story, go here and follow the links.

End of a sad story.

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Sharkwater (The Movie)

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“Sharkwater” is a movie that attempts to shed a different light on one of the ocean’s most interesting inhabitants. Matt Zoller Seitz writes in today’s NY Times (Critics Pick):

The ocean is just large enough to contain the ambition of “Sharkwater.” This beautiful and horrifying debut feature by the underwater cameraman Rob Stewart of Toronto characterizes the depletion of the world’s shark population as an ecological catastrophe with dire consequences for humanity. Brazenly melodramatic and furiously angry, “Sharkwater” aims to be nothing less than the “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” of aquatic conservation: propaganda with teeth. (full review)

Amazing full browser HD version of the movie trailer.

The movie, which opened nationally today (Nov. 2), also has a great website.

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