Sea-Serpent in Nantucket!!!

 Post Card of the Sea Serpent - NHA

Back in 1937 a sea-serpent landed on this quiet New England island and the Nantucket Historical Association has the pictures to prove it. The NHA recently joined Flickr Commons so it you want the rest of the story, make sure that you head over there.

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Moby Monday: Frank Stella and Herman Melville


The Grand Rapids Museum of Art currently has an exhibition of a modern master who get inspiration from a literary classic: MOBY-DICK: Frank Stella and Herman Melville.

If you have never experienced Frank Stella’s monumental artworks you are missing out. His large three dimensional paintings/sculptures on twisted metal (stainless steel) in vivid colors are some of my favorite works of art.

From the Grand Rapids website:

From 1985 to 1997, leading American painter and printmaker, Frank Stella, created a major series of works linked to Melville’s classic Moby-Dick. He created one or more works for each of the novel’s 135 chapters. The completed series consists of 266 pieces: large metal reliefs, monumental sculptures, a mural, and an extended series of mixed-media prints.  The series that Stella named for Melville’s novel is his greatest sustained achievement in four decades of making art.

The exhibition MOBY-DICK: Frank Stella and Herman Melville brings together more than thirty monumental printed works from Stella’s series, including his definitive masterpiece, The Fountain. Twenty-four feet in length, The Fountain is Stella’s largest and most complex work on paper. The woodblocks with metal inlay plates for The Fountain are included in the exhibition on loan from The National Gallery of Australia. A preamble to the exhibition includes a group of Rockwell Kent’s ink-drawings for Moby-Dick and the original Lakeside edition of the book.

You can download the Grand Rapids Art Museum’s audiotour of the exhibition from the museum’s website and view a short video interview with the artist on

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FotoFriday: Rare Australian Ferry Duck Giving Berth!

Australia Day Duck Ferry by Bryan Heywood from Australian Maritime Museum on Flickr

Bryan Heywood captured this photo of the rare Australian Ferry Duck. If you look closely, you’ll see the even rarer occurrence of the “berthing” process, which is confirmed by the expression of relief on the duck’s face, being caught on film .

The Australian National Maritime Museum is one of the few maritime museums that has a great blog and an active Flickr account.

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Messing About In Ships podcast Episode 34


Download MP3: Messing About In Ships Episode 34 March 12, 2009

(52 minutes)

This week John interviews Stas Magaronis, President of Santa Maria Shipowning and Trading about green and short sea shipping and the marine highway. Music: Radioghost by Norwegian Recycling from

Subscribe Via iTunes HERE

Shownotes @ Messing About In Ships blog

Preserving Maritime Heritage: The Port Society Website

Sea-Fever Consulting LLC recently launched a new unit called seaz media which focuses on helping maritime and nonprofit organizations use social media to advance their missions.

One of our first projects was to create a web presence for the New Bedford Port Society, a small nonprofit organization that has been serving mariners and the local community continuously for nearly 180 years.  The Port Society owns and maintains two of the most significant buildings in our nation’s rich maritime heritage: The Seamen’s Bethel and The Mariner’s Home.

To learn more about this project, check out the seaz me blog and visit the Port Society website.

NBPS frontpage 2

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The Impeccable Sea Story

My podcasting partner and friend, Captain John Konrad has done an “Impeccable” job covering the recent confrontation between several Chinese vessels and a US Navy ship. Check out his FAQ post and this video if you want to learn more. (USNS Impeccable – Harassed by Chinese Navy + FAQ)

YouTube – USNS Impeccable VS China- FAQ

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Introducing the 2009 Pew Fellows in Marine Conservation

image Five marine experts based in the United States, China, France and Argentina are the recipients of the 2009 Pew Fellowship in Marine Conservation. The fellowship is awarded by The Pew Charitable Trusts. Each Fellow will receive $150,000 to conduct an innovative three-year project designed to protect global ocean ecosystems and marine life. The winners join more than 100 Pew Fellows in Marine Conservation from 29 countries around the globe.


Wen Bo – Protect endangered marine species from poaching and illegal trade through development of conservation networks in East Asia.


Pablo Boboroglu, Ph.D. – Promote penguin conservation by establishing an international coalition working toward sustainable management of marine activities and penguin conservation.


Matthieu Le Corre, Ph.D. – Research the foraging patterns of seabirds to identify oceanic hotspots of biodiversity in the tropical Indian Ocean for design of marine protected areas.


Fiorenza Micheli, Ph.D. – Assess human threats to Mediterranean marine ecosystems and promote conservation through existing and new marine protected areas in the region.


John Weller – Increase awareness of the Antarctic’s Ross Sea through web-based multimedia and science.

Congratulations to the 2009 Pew Marine Conservation Fellows and thanks for the important work they do to help protect our oceans!

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Maritime Art: J.M.W. Turner’s “Fighting Temeraire”

J.M.W. Turner is, without a doubt, my favorite artist of any age. I’ve spent many a day over the years standing in front of one or another of his mysterious pieces in the Tate Gallery in London breathing in the incredible atmosphere he created in his paintings. I used one of his images, Whalers 1845, for the frontpage of the Sea-Fever Consulting LLC website.

Today, Mary Tompkins Lewis, an author and art history professor at Trinity College, wrote a great essay for the Masterpiece column of the Wall Street Journal about one of Turner’s most powerful paintings, Fighting Temeraire. (The Tale of the Temeraire: A Great Painting Tells of the Ship’s Final Passage)

J.M.W. Turner's Fighting Temeraire

Lewis writes:

Under a pale sliver of a moon at left and a sun that hovers on the horizon of a sanguine sky at right, Turner’s majestic Temeraire glides soundlessly on the river’s broad, glass-like expanse. Powerless now and pulled by a stalwart, steam-powered tug, an icon of the new technology that had replaced it, the hulking ship seems wraithlike, its image all but disappearing into the waters that capture so clearly the tug’s reflection. A second steamer emits its own sooty trail in the background, and smaller sailing ships recede into the middle distance. Fog- and smoke-shrouded factories or storehouses appear on shore at right, and a skiff with tiny figures and a shadowed buoy float in the shallows closer up. There is little to distract us, however, from the arresting vision of the Temeraire on its final voyage, and the ineffable sense that we are witnessing the end of an era, a stately passage from an age that had harnessed human valor to one of machine-driven power. Turner’s “Fighting Temeraire,” in fact, is a history painting of the highest caliber.

Please read Lewis’ entire essay.

In a poll held by the National Gallery and the BBC Radio 4 Today programme, members of the British public voted “Fighting Temeraire” as the Greatest Painting in Britain.

If you want to experience this masterpiece in person, stop by The National Gallery in London. If you can’t get there, check out the cool interactive 3-D gallery Tate Britian’s website which is chockful of Turner information.

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FotoFriday: Surf’s Up, Down and All Around!

Clark Little is really into photographing waves. I mean literally! Check this image and the next one of him on the job.

sun curl

Clark shooting the shorebreak

Here’s a short video from Good Morning America! with the photographer.

YouTube – Clark Little on Good Morning America

Go to his website and be amazed by more. For all of the hard work he goes through to make these beautiful images, please consider buying one, they are really not expensive.

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Trash Talking from Captain Charles Moore (TED Talks)

I’ve posted about Captain Charles Moore’s The Algalita Marine Research Foundation before. (This Junk’s not Chinese)

I’m a huge fan of these TED Talks and while Captain Moore is the first that I’ve seen that reads his from a sheet of paper, the message get delivered. Please take a little more than 7 minutes to watch this. Thanks!

YouTube – Captain Charles Moore on the seas of plastic