New York Times – Sea of Trash (June 22, 2008 )

Sea of Trash - Ted Raynor for the NY Times

Donovan Hohn wrote a disturbing article for today’s (June 22, 2008 ) Sunday NY Times Magazine entitled Sea of Trash. It’s amazing how much plastic waste can wash ashore in a place where no people actually live. This is not a good sign for our planet!

Hohn’s article reminded me about my first hand experience with litter at sea in beautiful Southwold, England.  Here’s a link to my post from Blog Action Day 2007Litter@sea: A tragedy in the making.

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tall ship Mir Celebrating graduations across Russia!

Russia Graduation_t600

Stunning photo!

“People look at fireworks with the Russian tall ship Mir illuminated in the background, on the Neva River in St. Petersburg, Russia, early Saturday, June 21, 2008. The tall ship Mir participated in festivities marking school graduation. Graduation ceremonies are held all over Russia now as students of elementary and high schools and military academies finish their education.”

via “Day in Pictures – June 21, 2008”

Photo: AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky

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Sailing and Books

On Thursday we got a call from Luke’s (5) daycare that they would be closed on Friday because electricity had to be turned off in that part of town for a few hours. A little while later my mother called to say that she couldn’t babysit Joy (3) like she does every Friday because she and my father had to attend a funeral. My wife Jenny has been extremely busy with work over the past few weeks so that left me to entertain our little people. Uh, oh! Thank god for friends! More on that in a bit.

Thursday night Luke and I took my podcasting partner, gCaptain CEO/blogger and friend Captain John Konrad with us to a book signing at The Book Stall in Marion. Another friend, Randy Peffer, is an English professor at Phillips Academy Andover and prolific author. His newest book is titled Old School Bones; fortunately for Randy, but unfortunately for us, the book signing was so successful that he ran out of books by the time we arrived so we had to back order it. Logs of the Dead Pirates Society

Randy also has several great maritime themed works including Watermen, a classic, and Logs of the Dead Pirates Society: A Schooner Adventure Around Buzzards Bay, one of my all time favorites. As its name suggests, Logs chronicles a sail training adventure with Andover students around Buzzards Bay on Randy’s Nova Scotia schooner Sarah Abbott. He also has a US Civil War maritime series coming out later this year. Randy writes!

At the book signing Randy asked if we wanted to go sailing Friday. Well, Captain Konrad unfortunately had to work but the little people and me were free so we took him up on the offer. Saved by sailing!

What an great day we had on Buzzards Bay. Here are a couple of pictures and a short video (the sound is terrible but you get the idea what kind day it was on the bay.)

Rounding the biggest mark in Buzzards Bay. Cleveland's Ledge lighthouse.

What was that? SSV Tabor Boy sailing by!

Continuing on the topics of sailing and books, in today’s (June 21, 2008 ) Weekend Wall Street Journal Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, the first man to solo circumnavigate the globe nonstop lists his 5 favorite sailing books:

  1. The Last Grain Race by Eric Newby (Houghton Mifflin, 1956)
  2. Two Years Before the Mast by Richard Henry Dana. 1840
  3. The Acts of the Apostles circa A.D. 60
  4. Sailing Alone Around the World by Joshua Slocum, 1899
  5. Last Man Across the Atlantic by Paul Heiney (Mainstream, 2006)

Those are all great books for your maritime library. Of course, make sure you also have Watermen and Logs of the Dead Pirate Society too!

Finally, if you need more to read this summer, Bookmarks Magazine had a great article in August 2006 entitled 101 Crackerjack Sea Books by Dean King. This list should keep you busy for a while!

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Be a Virtual Lobsterman

Fresh Maine Lobster copy

So the Deadliest Catch or Lobster Wars might be just a tad more of an “Experience” than you’re ready for but thanks to the Internet, now you can be a virtual lobsterman with Catch a Piece of Maine. Never get wet, seasick or have to handle that stinky bait while having pride of ownership of your own lobster trap and being able to eat the critters whenever you like.

Here’s the part you’ll be missing:


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The Coast Guard is going to the DOGs


In 2007, the United States Coast Guard established the Deployable Operations Group (DOG)  From a press release:

A new Coast Guard command that would bring together the service’s various specialized incident response and security teams into adaptive force packages is expected to be up and running with an initial capability by next summer, according to Commandant Adm. Thad Allen.

The new command would create a single force structure for “surge operations,” Allen said in an interview with Defense Daily last Friday.

The Deployable Operations Group would mix and match elements of the service’s Maritime Safety and Security Teams (MSST), hazardous material and oil spill response units, law enforcement detachments, port security units, Airborne Use of Force capabilities, and some of patrol boat capabilities, to be trained to respond to specific mission requirements, Allen said.

The DOG Seal / Patch:


Here’s another video about the DOG which is a bit longer than the one above.


Bio of the DOG’s Commanding Officer

Standard Government Issue PowerPoint on the DOG

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Voice Your Choice for Rocking the Boat

top2_enviro_vte_4  I just got an email from one of my favorite maritime / environmental / youth development nonprofits, Rocking the Boat. I’ve previously posted about them here and here.

The email was about an opportunity they have to win a grant from Patagonia, one of the coolest, most environmentally conscious and socially responsible organizations on the planet. The program is called Voice Your Choice and this is from their website:

Activism takes many forms, but you can cast a vote at your neighborhood Patagonia store this summer as one way to get involved in local environmental issues, show support for your favorite environmental group or just warm up for the November elections.

Each store will profile five groups that have done something extraordinary to help restore and protect the local environment. These groups have been our partners, helping us to further our stated mission to "build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm and use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis."

rocking-the-boat-logo-thumbRocking the Boat has some stiff competition in their neighborhood with Riverkeeper, Bronx River Alliance, Newtown Creek Alliance, and Solar One, all worthy organizations.

So if by chance you read this and live in their “neighborhood” which is New York City, stop by the Upper West Side Patagonia store and voice your choice!

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Monday Morning Motivator – Managing Attention, Not Time

Do find yourself frustrated and overwhelmed by never ending to do lists? Do you sometimes feel that your workspace looks like this?

Post it notes

Linda Stone, a writer, speaker and consultant focused on trends and their
strategic and consumer implications, is a Huffington Post blogger who recently wrote a post that I found very interesting. Is it Time to Retire the Never-Ending List? 

Experiencing this herself, Stone turned to friends and asked:

"Do you have a never-ending list? Do you manage your time? Do you manage minutes, tasks, and lists? Do you start each day with a list that has more on it at the end of the day than it did at the beginning of the day, in spite of how many items are completed and crossed off?

Or do you manage your attention? Do you manage emotions, intention, and make choices about what will and will not get done? What are your favorite ways to do this?"

Well, she got a number of different answers from a variety of occupations which caused her to embark on an informal research project where she found that many high achievers manage their attention and time rather than tasks and to do lists. She makes some solid suggestions about how to accomplish this including:

1. Each evening or morning before you start your day, make a short list of your intentions (the result and feeling of something you want) for the day and by each, write the related to do’s for that day. Try to keep your list to 5 intentions. Consciously choose what you will do and what you will not do. Keep a different list of what you will review for inclusion on other days.

2. List only what you really expect to do that day. As other things come to mind, write them on a separate list. By putting these items on a separate list, you are creating the space to be in the moment with each of your day’s priorities. Review that list as you plan for the next day and determine how they fit in to your plans. Give yourself some down time, enjoy your successes at the end of the day.

3. Give yourself meaningful blocks of uninterrupted time to focus on each intention. Turn OFF technology each day during those blocks and focus on your intentions.

4. At home, be clear about what technology you’ll use and where. Computer in the kitchen? Maybe not. A friend of mine just removed the computer from her kitchen and said she is now far less likely to stop to constantly check email or news. In the kitchen, she pays attention to her family and prepares food. Sometimes they do group family activities at the kitchen table. When she heads into her office to work on her computer, her children know not to disturb her while she works.

Some interesting food for thought and action. Coincidently I’ve been using a few of these strategies lately and found them to be very effective. So if you have a neverending to do list, give it a try.

Photo credit: BlueBadge

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Maritime Art Week – Lawrence Weiner, Navigating the Conceptual

There are some cool contemporary maritime influenced art projects currently on exhibit across the globe, so we’ve declared this Maritime Art Week on the Sea-Fever blog. Here’s the final and maybe most challenging and interesting installment of this series.

Lawrence Weiner was born in the Bronx, NY in 1942. Early in his life, Weiner had a variety of maritime jobs including working on an oil tanker and being a dock worker. In the early 1960’s he returned to New York where he began producing and exhibiting his art, the earliest of which included experiments with systematic approaches to shaped canvases. Weiner is considered one of the modern masters of conceptual art. Today he lives in New York and on a houseboat in Amsterdam. (Lawrence Weiner’s biography on the Guggenheim Museum’s website.)

In 2007, Weiner created an exhibit for the New Visions contemporary art program at the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, England, titled Inherent in the Rhumb Line.

From the National Maritime Museum website:

The National Maritime Museum explores how human beings have sought meaning in the sea, time and the stars. At Greenwich the imponderables of time and space collide: this is the home of Longitude 0°, where one can stand on an arbitrary line marking out the starting point of each new day, year and millennium. Every place on the globe is measured east or west from this Prime Meridian, creating a framework for individuals to understand their place in the world. Lawrence Weiner’s artistic practice questions the subjectivities that create such constructs of understanding. Using observation and experiment, the artist interrogates the relationship of material objects to each other, and the relationship of material objects to individuals.

Like Simon Patterson, another Maritime Art Week artist as well as an New Vision’s artist, Weiner medium is often language and ideas.

Much of Lawrence Weiner’s artistic practice takes the form of language and his statements have been inscribed as text inside and outside the gallery, as well as taking the form of spoken words and printed matter. At the centre of this exhibition the words to a somewhat romantic song, Sailing Sailing, point elsewhere: songs, after all, are designed to be sung and heard, rather than read. Shown beside Weiner’s 2005 film Inherent in the Rhumb Line from which this exhibition takes its name, this song alludes to the freedom of the seas and navigating over the bounding main. As with traditional songs of the sea, Sailing Sailing has been handed down, passed around, reinterpreted and repeated, with each version as true as the next.


Currently, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles is exhibiting a career retrospective of Weiner’s work which is titled AS FAR AS THE EYE CAN SEE. (through July 14, 2008 )


MOCA Guide to Lawrence Weiner’s AS FAR AS THE EYE CAN SEE (download)


Tate Online Events (Video Interview) – Lawrence Weiner talking art – February 2, 2008

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