69° South: The Shackleton Project

This looks and sounds interesting.

The Shackleton Project is a series of dynamic tableau vivants inspired by Sir Ernest Shackleton’s 1914 Trans-Antarctic Expedition. Co-conceived by The Phantom Limb Company and The Kronos Quartet, this narrative installation-in-motion melds theatrical performance, puppetry, photography, and film with original contemporary music and an unconventional acoustic palette to create a stunning—and unprecedented—artistic and emotional journey.

69° South: The Shackleton Project

MassMoca

Saturday, March 13, 2010, 8:00 pm

Interview with Tall Ship Concordia Captain Bill Curry on Sinking

Here is the first interview I have been able to locate with tall ship Concordia’s Captain Bill Curry regarding the sinking. (via CBC Radio – Feb. 24, 2010)

It’s always good to hear directly from the person in charge.

Why I created this long post about Concordia sinking

Concordia by Wojtek Voytec Wacowski

It wouldn’t be unreasonable to ask why have I gone to great lengths to create this long post about the high school tall ship Concordia sinking. There are lots of reasons.

  1. Personal – I spent my high school years on a tall ship called Tabor Boy and launched The Tabor Boy Project, a website/living history project/social network, about that experience. So as a product of a long established, successful sail training program, I passionately believe in the power to transform young lives.
  2. Professional – I was the executive director of the American Sail Training Association from 2001 to 2008. During that period I had the opportunity to work with hundreds of different sail training vessels and tall ships from around the world.
  3. Professional/Personal – When speaking with the public or media at big tall ships events, I was invariably asked which was my favorite. As ASTA executive director, the only answer could be that “Like parents love their children,  I love them all equally.” (politically correct)  However, each sail training vessel and tall ship is unique in its own way and back on April 2, 2008, I wrote “I had the great fortune to spend my 4 years of high school sailing on a tall ship. If there was one educational sailing experience I could be jealous of, this (Class Afloat on Concordia) would be it.” By the way, I still feel that way today.
  4. Leadership – Over the years, I had the opportunity to work with Class Afloat’s founder Terry Davies and believe that it would be difficult to find another educational leader more professional and caring about young people and more knowledgeable about ships.  Similarly, my experience working with various captains and crew members of the Concordia was always very positive.  Leadership defines the success of a program and Terry Davies charted a proper course for Class Afloat.
  5. Reference – Today modern technology and media allow information to be distributed fast, far and wide. Unfortunately, accuracy isn’t always one of the characteristics but that might be a fair trade under many circumstances. Over time, inaccurate reports are generally weeded out and tossed aside.  I’ve attempted to collect as many of the stories told to and by the media as possible. Going back later and trying to find this kind of information would be a gargantuan task. Doing it in real time is slightly easier. This is the web and many of these links will die but overall the post can serve as a pretty comprehensive reference for anyone interested in learning more about the casualty.
  6. Lessons to Be Learned – The Concordia sinking is a sad story with a happy ending. And while it’s very early days in the investigation, it presents a great opportunity to try to figure out what happened without the usual high emotion that surrounds an incident involving casualties or fatalities. In some respects, this is similar to the Miracle on the Hudson. As Sergeant Joe Friday used to say, “All we want are the facts” and there are more than 64 individual stories that can be told today but which over time will consolidate into one overall narrative from which we will hopefully learn some valuable lessons for the future.

Up to this post, I’ve avoided editorializing, analyzing or making any judgement about what actually happened on the Concordia on February 17, 2010. I think that I’ll continue to leave the technical analysis to the professional investigators and others with more direct experience and knowledge about these things. I will continue to collect links about the sinking but anticipate (and hope) the pace of stories slows down so that I can get back to Sea-Fever’s regularly scheduled programming.  I will also try to interpret/translate some of the technical findings so that non mariners can get a better understanding of the issues. I believe my Tabor Boy and ASTA experiences leave me well suited to the task. Finally, I will continue to champion sail training because I believe more than ever that there is no greater teaching platform than the tall ship and or campus than the sea.

Could the Brig Prince William replace the Barkentine Concordia?

Prince William by David Rowley on Flickr.com

Hmmm, she suffered her catastrophic casualty less than a week ago but it seems that thoughts of the Concordia’s replacement might be in some people’s minds. (Probe to shed light on sinking of S.V. Concordia)

West Island College International began with a leased vessel and had the Concordia built in 1992. A second ship was leased to handle an extra-large enrolment last year, but the Concordia was the only vessel the company operated this school year, Mr. McCarthy said.

He would not say how much the lost ship was insured for, but noted that the tall ship Prince William, which is for sale, was a roughly comparable vessel.

Chris Law, chief executive of the U.K.-based Tall Ships Youth Trust, said the trust hopes to get about £4.5-million for the nine-year-old Prince William. She noted that building a new version of such a ship would cost nearly four times as much.

The Prince William needs a new home and Class Afloat needs a ship if it plans to continue. Makes sense to me.

Here’s a copy of the Prince William sales brochure

I wrote about the Prince William a while back. Brig Sale Away?

Concordia Rescue Photos via AMVER

Concordia Liferafts via AMVER blog courtesy of Mitsui O.S.K. Lines Ltd
Concordia liferafts via the AMVER blog courtesy of Mitsui O.S.K. Lines Ltd

The AMVER blog has posted several photos sent to them by program member Mitsui O.S.K. Lines Ltd.,  managers of the Hokuetsu Delight and Crystal Pioneer. Both vessels played a lead role in rescuing the 64 students and crew of the Canadian training ship Concordia which sank off the coast of Brazil last Wednesday, February 17th.

Being that IMO has designated 2010 “The Year of the Seafarer” these photos celebrate not only the success of the rescue but also the importance of enrolling in the AMVER program and looking out for fellow mariners.

You do not need to be a large commercial ship to be part of AMVER. Many smaller vessels like Concordia and the Sea Education Association’s SSV Corwith Cramer and SSV Robert C. Seamans participate too. If you own or operate a commericial vessel, do yourself and the entire maritime community a favor and sign up today!

To learn more about what AMVER does check outConcordia, AMVER, EPIRBs and At Sea Rescues and listen to episode 36 of the Messing About In Ships podcast You can also check them out on their website,  blog Twitter and download their iPhone App. No excuses to be informed and get involved!

Concordia’s Voyage and Sinking (Graphic from The Globe and Mail)

Concordia casualty graphic from The Globe and Mail

The Globe and Mail has a very useful graphic explaining how a microburst might have knocked Concordia down and caused her to sink.  Good article too. How a Fist of Wind Pushed Concordia Down. (Feb. 22, 2010)