Moby-Monday: Herman Melville’s Pew

Herman Melville's Pew by kodachromeslides on Flickr

Ever go somewhere and “feel” that you are really experiencing history. Well, the historic Seamen’s Bethel in New Bedford, Massachusetts is one of those special places. If you haven’t been there, make a plan to and when you do make sure you sit in Herman Melville’s pew. Who knows. maybe some of his inspiration will rub off on you.

I’m a member of the board of managers of the New Bedford Port Society and we own and operate the Seamen’s Bethel and I recently wrote Please Help Me Help the Seamen’s Bethel.

If you live anywhere in the area, I invite you to join me for a very special fundraising evening with Dylan Bustin and the Rum-Soaked Crooks on Thursday, October 21st in the historic Seamen’s Bethel.  You can buy tickets at http://bit.ly/bethelconcerts and 100% of the proceeds go to Seamen’s Bethel Restoration Project Fund.

We are well underway with the work to make sure that future generations will be able to experience history at the Bethel and Mariner Home too. Hope you can join us and support the effort too!

Photo credit: Herman Melville’s Pew by Patrick Mont (kodachromeslides on Flickr.com)

Moby-Monday: Herman Melville’s Ship Was Built In My Backyard

Herman Melville's Ship

This is a poster that we found a few week’s ago during a trip to the Mattapoisett Historical Society’s Museum and Carriage House. It reminded me that Herman Melville’s whaleship, the Acushnet was built in our backyard where 150 years ago six shipyards stood . Melville once referred to the Acushnet as “my Yale College and my Harvard.” Somethings never change; sailing a tall ship is still a valuable education.

Moby-Monday: “It is not down in any map; true places never are.”

Jeremy Wood is a multidiscipline artist and map maker whose diverse work offers people and places a playground of space and time. In October 2000 he began to explore GPS satellite technology as a tool for digital mark making on water, over land, and in the air. He makes drawings and maps of his movements by recording all his daily journeys with GPS to create a personal cartography. (from the artist’s website)

One of Wood’s projects included a walk though London along the quote: “It is not down in any map; true places never are.” Herman Melville, Moby Dick.

Jeremy Wood drawing

Also from the artist’s website.

The text was written over a period of three months from January 2005. The length of the line recorded on foot for the drawing was 44.2 miles, and the total distance traveled to make the drawing was 458.6 miles. I had two bicycle punctures with reinforced puncture resistant tires, the first of which happened 20 miles into a journey looking for locations that ended in having to push the bike home for 9 miles. After closing the body of the last letter, I headed as far north as the land allowed to a small pier on which the Greenwich Meridian is marked, and finished the drawing by circling around on the footpath at the edge of the River Thames for a full stop.

Via PowerMobyDick where you can find lots of other interesting Moby-Dick digital ephemera.

Whale of a Thank You Meg! (@powermobydick)

After nearly 60 always interesting and entertaining posts, Meg Guroff, the creator and curator of the amazing Power MobyDick, is taking some well deserved shore-leave from Sea-Fever’s Moby-Monday.

Meg’s got some exciting, new adventures underway, so she can’t be here every week.  But she has agreed to be a relief captain from time to time and we look forward to welcoming her back aboard as often as she can manage.

A new skipper will be taking over Moby-Monday and I’ll have an update on that soon.  And from time to time we’ll have some guest posts like Vassar senior english and art history major and New Bedford Whaling Museum intern, Evander Price’s great post today titled “Of Whales in Mountains…”

But today, I want to give a whale of a thank you to Meg for the incredible job that she’s done over the past year for Sea-Fever readers (including me)! Here’s something that Charlotte Cheshire created for one of her teachers which is cool and appropriate for Meg too!

Thar She Blows! Moby-Monday on the Horizon.

Logo illustration by Rockwell Kent copyright 2005 by the Plattsburgh State Art Museum.

You should have read Herman Melville’s classic American novel Moby-Dick in high school but chances are you didn’t. The dog might have eaten it or you might have left it behind on the school bus.  Heck, there’s lots of pages with lots of tricky nautical lingo and arcane whaling info. Who has time or interest for that in high school!

Well, now you’re a little older and a whole lot wiser and reading Moby-Dick, while still daunting, might be more interesting and manageable. But you are still going to encounter those tricky words and that’s where PowerMobyDick.com comes to the rescue.

PowerMobyDick is the work of Meg Guroff, a writer, who decided to tackle Melville’s classic. Meg, like the rest of us, was challenged by the language; however, unlike many of us me, she persevered and ultimately created one of the most impressive resources dedicated to a single work of fiction on the Internet. It’s an amazing project and here’s Meg telling the story in her own words.

Download MP3

I am so excited that Meg will be skippering a new Sea-Fever feature called Moby-Monday which you probably already guessed, is going to appear each Monday.  Meg is going to share some items of interest from the PowerMobyDick’s Cultural Fallout of the Week as well as anything else she chooses.

I’m excited to welcome Meg aboard and look forward to her first post next week. In the meantime, get yourself over to PowerMobyDick and start catching up on your high school homework!