An older man who has been watching the entire time approaches me and tells me that he’s sorry that I lost control of my boat and that he’s sure it’ll wash up on the beach somewhere. I assure him that the boat is on autopilot, going exactly where it’s supposed to be going. “And where is that?” he asks. “Hawaii.” [more inside]
“if he were a man of strong mind, it only gave him fits; but a person of mere average intellect it usually sent mad.” That's what Jerome K. Jerome said about bagpipes in Three Men in a Boat. But here's 16 Songs Actually Improved By Bagpipes according to A.V. Club.
Pumpkin boats, whether captained by avant-gourd record-smashers or costumed squads of competitive squashbucklers, have sprouted up as part of fall festivals across North America. The splashing pumpkins have been spotted in Tualatin Oregon, Elk Grove California, Salt Lake City Utah, Cooperstown New York, Damariscotta Maine, and Lake Pesaquid in Nova Scotia, home of the Windsor Pumpkin Regatta.
The "world's largest ship" is named after a Nazi war criminal. Unsurprisingly a few people have a problem with that.
Meet Ulf. He lives north of the Arctic Circle and makes boat. He swims daily (brief male buttock shot), does household chores, and relaxes. Ulf is content. [10 minutes, Vimeo]
The land of fjords, trolls and vikings is a nation of 5 million people, and snow. Photographers like it, as do jumpers and skateboarders. Norway is pretty and has a long coastline due to the lovely crinkly edges, making it nice to sail in. There are islands such as the Lofoten archipelago, long train journeys, steep train journeys, the Northern Lights, ferry journeys that last 134 hours, road tunnels, cathedrals, more Aurora Borealis, mountains, lights, some skiing, sunrises and sunsets, cosy hotels, long walks and whales. And the Aurora. Their tourist board has an unfair advantage. Camping is nice, either with other people or on your own. Svalbard is quite north. Did we mention the scenery and Aurora?
So, your boat - the MS Pride of Calais or Ostend Spirit - is off to be scrapped. How do you park it at the scrap yard; delicately and gently? Maybe not.
A Sea Story: One of the worst maritime disasters in European history [....]
Another gripping account by William Langewiesche. (Previously: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9)
Another gripping account by William Langewiesche. (Previously: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9)
Immigrant boat headed to Italy, capsizes, more than 200 people in the water. A little more than a week after a boat sinking that killed over 300 people, the Italian navy has reported another boat is sinking. As refugees flow into the EU, looking for asylum, countries are torn between saving lives and stymieing the flow of people pouring into countries already under strain from austerity. [more inside]
Today, Danish shipping line Maersk took delivery of the new World's Largest Ship from Korean shipbuilder Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering. The M/V Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller, a 165,000 metric ton container vessel, that is too big (particularly with her 48 foot loaded draft) to call on most North American ports, employs novel design and operating strategies to radically lower shipping costs. First in the new "Triple E" class of 20 similar ships on order by Maersk, the Mc-Kinney Møller will initially support container trade between Asian and European markets. [more inside]
Shaped on all Six Sides: A short documentary about the craft and philosophy of wooden boat carpentry. [via]
While visiting Mexico on their 20th anniversary, one lucky couple captured a rare moment of wonder: Several killer whales frolicking in the wake of their boat. [via]
"For the vast majority of people who have done this work, it has been the hardest job they have ever done, and also the best job they have ever had. but if this work is not for you — if you consider it dull or drudgery or just too hard cuz you would rather watch TV or text someone, then please don't reply because you will have a miserable summer." - A Kennedy Seeks A Deck Hand ....on Cragslist.
Gorgeous time lapse footage of the journey of the M/V Matson Maunalei loading up in Honolulu and taking the 35 day trip to Long Beach. As you probably know, those containers on the merchant ship are filled with pallets, the single most important object in the global economy , previously. Shipping containers on Metafilter.
Got round about a hundred thousand dollars going spare? Then you'll be wanting a custom built shark/dolphin/killer whale sub/boat Seabreacher
Looking for a project for the winter? Have some spare room and hand tools? Why not build a boat? [more inside]
"One evening, I wander into the control room at about midnight. The watch officer and sonar operators are discussing an important philosophical question: would it be more painful to be struck by a whole tuna or a tin of tuna? This is never resolved. These epistemological issues can be sustained over weeks." Guardian journalist Stephen Moss spends a week aboard HMS Triumph, a nuclear-powered Royal Navy fast-attack submarine, and picks up some slang while he's there. Photographer Gary Calton was also there to document life aboard the boat.
Sounds from a Room is a series of live music performances streamed once a month from A Room for London, a boat installed on a London rooftop. [more inside]
"By setting up on a canal boat, we hope to promote a less hurried and harried lifestyle of idle pleasures, cups of tea, conversation, culture..."
In the U.K., sometimes the bookstore comes to you— on a barge. The Book Barge: a floating bookshop on a canal boat (57' Cruiser Stern) in Lichfield, Staffordshire. [The Guardian]
Carp Attack! SLYT, 1.13.
Jet Sprint: Jetsprint racing is a small V8-powered jet boat with a crew of two (a driver and a navigator) who must negotiate a set course through slough channels 12-15 feet wide and 3 feet deep at speeds up to 80 mph. The winners are those with the fastest times; the losers often don't even finish. [more inside]
250-year-old birch bark canoe found in barn to be returned to Canada. While we are on the subject, you could do worse than to spend an hour today watching this fascinating 1971 documentary on a Birch Bark Canoe builder. (Not terribly often you come across a video captioned in Cree.) More YouTube Birch Bark Canoe building goodness.
Hannu builds boats. Not a really unusual thing (though getting rarer as time goes on). However, he concentrates on small, simple, easy to build boats with as little material as possible. Some, like a 18' canoe built from one piece of plywood, are simply amazing.
Soviet Russia American South, wild goose chases YOU. (SLYT)
The Cosmic Muffin is a boat that was once a 1939 Boeing 307 Stratoliner airplane that belonged to Howard Hughes. [more inside]
Long before Chelsea Piers was a sporting complex and the South Street Seaport a mall, the city was lined with active piers. The city's residents were amply employed by the shipping trade, but containerization needed more land than would ever be available in the city: Massive ports sprouted in Elizabeth and Newark, and ships disappeared from the city. Efficient cranes replaced longshoremen, and the time in port for ships shrank from about a week to about a day. "The technology changed the geography," says William Fensterer, a chaplain who has been with SIH almost since its new building opened in 1964. "It doesn't look like On the Waterfront anymore," he adds. When he started out, he says, he would wander on foot from pier to pier in Manhattan and Brooklyn and board ships, with nary a guard in site. But those piers have largely vanished. And along with them, the seafarer, once ubiquitous in New York, has become invisible.
If you're like me, you're in the market to buy yourself an island-sized boat, but you're not satisfied with the world's current inventory of formulaic, fuel-guzzling, cruise-ship-like mega-yachts. You might want to consider picking up a WHY 58x38, which offers 36,000 square feet of living space, a 120-foot "beach," three decks, and an 80-foot interior pool, topped by a vast solar panel array. It won't break your budget -- at a mere $151 million, it doesn't even crack the top four most expensive yachts in the world! [more inside]
A group of 25 homeless Polish men are building a boat with the intention of sailing around the world. Meanwhile, over in the New World, around 80 Providence, R.I. homeless people have formed their own government.
The NAVIS project is a multilevel international database for ancient ships of Europe. The database has very detailed information and pictures of ships from the 2nd millenium BC to the 12th century AD (found whilst trying to answer this AskMe). [more inside]
The Big River Show. So, you've decided spend your summer floating down the Mississippi River. You're going to need a 35-year-old pontoon boat, the proper attire, and something to snack on. Oh, and you might not want to go during a 500 year flood. [more inside]
"When I get the time when I'm not raking, whenever I'm near water, I'll beach comb for bits of wood, feather or anything else that appeals and make some boats."
Hannu's Boatyard is a site by a Finnish guy who offers free plans for two dozen simple plywood boats you can build, along with photos illustrating the build process of each. He also describes basic woodbending technique and some of the design process, in a pleasing writing style that makes me want to get off the internet and make things. My favorites: Portuguese style dinghy; tiny stubby halfpea; round, Welsh-style coracle -- if you click on no other link today, click on the coracle link and scroll down at least to the black and white photo.
Many Mefi members have wondered about how they should get from their private island to friends' private islands. Finally, SeaFalcon provides an answer. They have a built a wonderful vehicle that exploits ground effects to provide a rapid, efficient way to island hop. via
"Soon there would be no space left. But the cats kept coming. What could she do with them all? The solution turned out to be right outside Henriette's front door. If people could live on the houseboats which lined the canals, why not cats? And so came the idea to buy one for them." De Poezenboot.
Wade in the Water In 2004, Smithsonian Folklife Festival featured the maritime cultures of the Mid-Atlantic region, from Long Island to North Carolina. Now, this site gives a home on the web to the cultural documentation gathered for the festival -- music, recipes, stories and oral history, an interactive map, the occupational folklore and natural history of regional fisheries, photos, video, and more. The material, ably compiled by folklorists and educators, creates a lasting and very accessible archive of festival highlights as well as an excellent overview of the distinct coastal culture of the Mid-Atlantic. Don't miss the great menhaden net-hauling chantey Help Me to Raise 'Em (links to mp3).
The J.W. Westcott II delivers toilet paper, the occasional pizza, and, most importantly, mail to freighters making their way through the Great Lakes. And now it's the only boat in the U.S. to be assigned it's own zip code.
Dutch Abortion Ship Runs Aground in a figurative sense. It seems that there are issues with Dutch Law about providing their services off the Irish coast. At least the protests were minimal. Is there really a strong need for International Waters businesses? It makes me wonder what else would fly on a barge-based mall; Look out, Simons! It's the Mall of the Atlantic and we sell EVERYTHING!
No child slaves on board. Of course not. Because if I'm the captain of that ship, or the customer, or the supplier, and every newspaper, TV station and website around the world has been headlining the report of my boat and its embarassing cargo for a week, while I'm still at sea, it's time for some creativity, isn't it? I could have them pick up by another vessel in mid sea. Or, like my forbears in the trade, I could chain them all to something heavy, and toss them overboard. The remaining passengers will know that silence is golden, now, and for years to come. Whatever my decision, I can't complain I didn't have time enough to consider, prepare or execute. The flipside of the information age?
Anchors away! Abortions at sea. Another example of people trying to evade the confines of national laws.