It was an unexpected end to an extraordinary chase. For 110 days and more than 10,000 nautical miles across two seas and three oceans, the Bob Barker and a companion ship, both operated by the environmental organization Sea Shepherd, had trailed the trawler, with the three captains close enough to watch one another’s cigarette breaks and on-deck workout routines. In an epic game of cat-and-mouse, the ships maneuvered through an obstacle course of giant ice floes, endured a cyclone-like storm, faced clashes between opposing crews and nearly collided in what became the longest pursuit of an illegal fishing vessel in history. (SLNYT)
Underwater pics mapped. Google Maps teamed up with XL Catlin Seaview Survey, NOAA's Office of National Marine Sanctuaries, and the Chagos Conservation Trust to put together an assortment of underwater views to explore. Previously. [more inside]
"Death #1: Devoured by bats. Death #2: Sailed too close to the Elder Continent; my ship, bones gained sentience." People have been discussing Sunless Sea, the nouveau-Roguelike game just released by FailBetter Games. What else are they saying? Rock, Paper, Shotgun: "...the most delicious collection of words in all of gaming." Eurogamer: "This is the video game at its most mystical and revealing." There is, of course, a trailer. [more inside]
Selected pages from Adriaen Coenen's Visboek, an illustrated guide to the strange and wonderful world of fish. No sixteenth-century mariner should leave shore without it. The National Library of the Netherlands has the complete book, with commentary.
Pictures have been going around of a small jelly like creature a fisherman pulled into his boat off New Zealand. The creature has been identified as a salp most likely Thetys vagina Salps may look like jellyfish but they are more closely related to vertebrates. [more inside]
A Speck in the Sea [NYTimes.com]: John Aldridge fell overboard in the middle of the night, 40 miles from shore, and the Coast Guard was looking in the wrong place.
An interactive version of Olaus Magnus’ 1539 Carta Marina, a map of the sea filled with the usual ( and unusual) monsters and creatures. (Slate)
Lava flow connects new islet with Nishinoshima island A new islet formed by volcanic activity in late November in the Ogasawara island chain far south of Tokyo (halfway to Guam) has now grown and connected to neighboring Nishinoshima island. Spectacular footage of magma eruptions. [more inside]
Zaria Forman uses oil pastels to draw amazing ice and water from places like Greenland, the Maldives, Israel and Svarlbard.
Is there any reason to think dolphins and humans have a special relationship? Sure, but it might not be a friendly one
If you tuned in to the live feeds of the Okeanos Explorer dives this past summer, you might really enjoy their highlights video. (links back to the same address as the original post but I thought the new material was worth it)
CreatureCast - Rhizocephala - a charmingly animated look at the lifecycle of rhizocephalan barnacles, one of the more horrifying (non-charming) parasitic crustaceans (likewise). NOT a practitioner of parasitic castration but still disturbing: The bobbit worm. Happy swimming!
This August, Washington state's Fish and Wildlife Commission banned giant Pacific octopus hunting (recreational harvesting) across seven popular scuba sites in the Puget Sound -- not because the species is endangered, but simply because the sea creature is revered by the Seattle community. The law went into effect on October 6. What triggered the ban? Therein lies a story. [more inside]
Ahoy, ye landlubbers! Set sail to swash yer buckles with Brawlin' Sailor [Flash], the latest effort from game developer Major Bueno. [Previously]
Gil Koplovitz took pictures of a strip club called the Nymphas Show Bar. One small detail: he did it while he was scuba diving off the coast of Israel.
In the deep sea, low oxygen levels, scarce sunlight, and freezing water limit the rate at which items decompose: Something that might survive a few years on land could exist for decades underwater. - ROVs photograph trash on the ocean floor.
For those that think they chose the wrong subject of the new Finding Nemo movie, there's always the true star of the show: Crush the turtle. [more inside]
A ro-ro ferry briefly "docks" at the island of Kimolos. Video. Everyone, and everything gets soaked.
Ronan keeping the beat | Sea Lion is First Non-Human Mammal to Keep a Beat | Study done at the Pinniped Cognition & Sensory Systems Laboratory.
seaQuest: what if we could learn to live on/underneath the oceans (or in orbit)? [previously(er)] [more inside]
Today it is an economic and even geopolitical necessity for oil companies, in order to maintain pipelines and offshore rigs, to send divers routinely to depths of a thousand feet, and keep them at that level of compression for as long as a month at a time. The divers who do this work are almost entirely male, and tend to be between the ages of twenty-five and forty. Were they any younger, they would not have enough experience or seniority to perform such demanding tasks. Any older, and their bodies could not be trusted to withstand the trauma. The term for these extended-length descents is “saturation diving,” which refers to the fact that the diver’s tissues have absorbed the maximum amount of inert gas possible.
"The word reclaim came up more than once to describe the rising tide. It is a revealing word, more narrative than simply descriptive: it hints at some larger backstory, some plot twist in a longer saga about our claims and the water’s counterclaims to the earth.… This story was already ancient when it was adapted for the biblical text—which is to say, it records a very old fear. Like all old fears, it has the uncanny feel of a vivid memory. It may be a memory of an actual flood in an actual Sumerian city, Shurrupal, ca 2800 B.C.E. In fact, it may be even older than that."
Maritime Monday. (No NSFW images in this link, but some weeks there will be a random picture or two of a topless mer-person or sailor.)
"If your science gives you a result you don't like, pass a law saying the result is illegal. Problem solved." [more inside]
Spanning one-ninth of the earth's circumference across three continents, the Roman Empire ruled a quarter of humanity through complex networks of political power, military domination and economic exchange. These extensive connections were sustained by premodern transportation and communication technologies that relied on energy generated by human and animal bodies, winds, and currents. Conventional maps that represent this world as it appears from space signally fail to capture the severe environmental constraints that governed the flows of people, goods and information. Cost, rather than distance, is the principal determinant of connectivity. For the first time, ORBIS allows us to express Roman communication costs in terms of both time and expense. By simulating movement along the principal routes of the Roman road network, the main navigable rivers, and hundreds of sea routes in the Mediterranean, Black Sea and coastal Atlantic, this interactive model reconstructs the duration and financial cost of travel in antiquity.
In 1984, The Voyage of the Mimi set sail on PBS, exploring the ocean off the coast of Massachusetts to study humpback whales. The educational series was made up of thirteen episodes intended to teach middle schoolers about science and math. The first fifteen minutes of each episode were a fictional adventure starring a young Ben Affleck. The second 15 minutes were an "expedition documentary" that would explore the scientific concepts behind the show's plot points. A sequel with the same format, The Second Voyage of the Mimi aired in 1988, and featured the crew of the Mimi exploring Mayan ruins in Mexico. [more inside]
The tuna-fisher Trevignon responded to a call for help from the Costa Allegra... if the crew of the Trevignon are like many other sailors I know, I bet they're swilling champagne and living the high life in Mahé. But the story may be a bit more controversial.
The BBC has produced a fabulous infographic showing the ocean zones: Sunlight, Twilight, Midnight, Lower Midnight, and The Trenches. The page also includes videos showing: what happens to material at 100, 1000, and 10,000 meters down; the animals living in the Abyssal Plains (described in a lovely Scottish accent); and the story of Jacques Piccard and Don Walsh going down to the Mariana Trench in 1960. No one has been back there since, but director James Cameron and Richard Branson are among the contenders who are going to make a go of it. (Rumour has it that Cameron intends to be the sole person in the sub, while Branson is just financing a team.) Meanwhile, the Doer team (backed by Eric Schmidt of Google), says it's all about the science and not just being first in this century's race. And there's even a yellow submarine for the rest of us, if by "rest of us" one means "has $250,000 to spare for a single trip". Don't forget to click the links at the top of the infographic page to see everything.
A whale of a tale. On Sunday, a jet-ski activist of Paul Watson's Sea Shepard gang (Eco-Pirate: The Story of Paul Watson Documentary) was water-cannoned into the Antartic by a Japanese scouter boat during filming of Whale Wars. The ICR presents a different side to Paul Watson as evidenced by their regular press releases. Greenpeace believes Paul Watson is an extremist.
Like a "modern-day pirate," 75-year-old Ray Ives has been diving for sunken treasure for decades. Wearing an ancient, bronze-helmeted diving suit, he searches the ocean floor and keeps a huge collection of marine salvage (including antique cannon balls, 'bottles, bells, swords, portholes and diving gear') in a shipping container "museum" at a British marina.
Ray: A Life Underwater: Vimeo / YouTube. (A short film documentary.) [more inside]
Ray: A Life Underwater: Vimeo / YouTube. (A short film documentary.) [more inside]
Saving Valentina. A group of five friends out boating on the Sea of Cortez discovered a young humpback whale entangled in fishing net and possibly near death. After about an hour of hard work they were able to free the whale, who proceeded to put on an amazing show for her rescuers. [Via]
"The shark not working was a godsend. It made me become more like Alfred Hitchcock than like Ray Harryhausen" - Steven Spielberg relives the filming of Jaws.
Warfare: An advancing front - "The US is engaged in increasingly sophisticated warfare, fusing intelligence services and military specialists" [more inside]
Here Be Monsters. "Three friends, on a drunken dare, set out in a dinghy for a nearby island. But when the gas ran out and they drifted into barren waters, their biggest threat wasn't the water or the ocean—it was each other." [more inside]
Law enforcement authorities are in awe of the new wave of narco "supersubs" that are being found in the jungles of Colombia. [more inside]
Japan has suspended its whale hunt after pressure from world governments and harassment by eco-vigilante group Sea Shepherd. Previously.
William Langewiesche writes an enthralling account of the hijacking of a French cruise ship in the Gulf of Aden by Somali pirates.
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