It seems eco-friendly cargo ships are slowly on the rise. Today i learned there is a full length documentary on Vimeo about one of these sailing vessels, the Tres Hombres; a bittersweet account of a voyage to transport supplies and aid to Haiti after the devastating earthquake: How Captain Longhair saved the World (HD, 42 min.).
Old Ships is a website packed full of evocative, interesting and historical pictures of old ships from A to Zambesi. It's a feast of all kinds of other vintage maritime images, including ports, docks, ferries, harbors, paintings, canals, rivers, maritime scenes, onboard pictures, shipboard menus, lots of great postcards and other old historical nautical memorabilia (even the ship's cat). [more inside]
Around Cape Horn - if you've ever wished for an authentic glimpse into the bygone era of the majestic age of sailing, this is it - a rare 1929 true adventure film about sailing a four-masted commercial barque around the Cape Horn during a huge gale. It was shot with a hand-cranked camera by Captain Irving Johnson who offers a spirited narration. 36 minutes, B&W
The United States Exploring Expedition, 1838-1842 — Authorized and funded by the U.S. government, six ships sailed with 346 men (including officers, crew, scientists, and artists) on a four-year scientific and surveying mission, logging 87,000 miles around the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian oceans. Two ships and 28 men were lost, and the Expedition's contentious commander Charles Wilkes was court-martialled for his erratic behavior, and was sued by former officers and crew members. During the Civil War in 1861, he boarded a British ship, seized two Confederate agents, and nearly provoked military retaliation by England (he was court-martialled once again in 1864 for insubordination.) Wilkes' 1845 Narrative of the United States Exploring Expedition and the Ex. Ex.'s journals were published by Congress, and some 40 tons of Expedition specimens and artifacts became the foundation of the Smithsonian Institution's collections. [Nathaniel Philbrick (video lecture) chronicles this almost-forgotten voyage in his 2003 book Sea of Glory (NYT review).]
The Skeleton Coast, so called for the whale skeletons that littered its shores when the whaling industry was at its peak, is now well known for the skeletons of shipwrecks. More. And a a bit of description here. Still, the coast is full of life. Each year hundreds of thousands of Fur Seals come ashore. (Video on this site of baby Fur Seal vs. a jackal.) (wp)
They that go down to the sea in ships, a really hauntingly beautiful collection of images of seafarers from the past. Some of the images have handwritten notes on the back as well. It's good to get a glimpse of the people and decades lived in by most of our grandparents. Who knows where all those digital images we all take will end up one day.
Heavy Seas is an all too brief gallery of terrifying photos of huge waves crashing down around large boats & drilling rigs. I wish it were a little longer, but I did think the photos were impressive, as one who has never been at sea in very rough weather.