Krill Joy — Drone Video of Blue Whale Feeding
Old Salt Blog
by Rick Spilman
2d ago
Something to take one’s mind off the unpleasantness of current events. A repost. Krill Joy From Slate:This video catches a rare glimpse of a gigantic, lunge-feeding blue whale deciding on what’s for lunch. A nonintrusive drone from Oregon State University quietly observed the world’s largest animal in the Southern Ocean off Australia. Cruising along at 6.7 mph—according to Leigh Torres of the Marine Mammal Institute at Oregon State, who led the expedition—it spots a worthy mass of krill and flips on its side, mouth wide open, to plow into its unlucky meal at 1.1 mph. Rare images of blue whal ..read more
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King Harald “Blåtand” Gormsson, Bluetooth & the Jelling Stone Ship
Old Salt Blog
by Rick Spilman
4d ago
Remember King Harald “Blåtand” Gormsson? No? The king of Denmark and later Norway in the late 10th century. The name still doesn’t ring a bell?  His rune mark is embedded in your phone and possibly your earbuds and speakers. His nickname, “Blåtand,” means “Bluetooth” in English.   King Harald Bluetooth’s claim to fame is that he united Denmark and Norway. When Intel engineer, Jim Kardach, was working on a new wireless technology he was also reading a book about Viking history. He decided to name the new technology after the Danish king. Kardach was later quoted as saying, “Bluetooth ..read more
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WWI Anti-Submarine Warfare with Seagulls, Sacks and Hammers
Old Salt Blog
by Rick Spilman
5d ago
Anti-submarine warriors? One of the great things about writing historical fiction is discovering odd sets of facts, often buried in the archives, that capture both the desperation and the madness of a given time. Often, as the cliche goes, you just can’t make this stuff up. Here is an account of how the Royal Navy attempted to fight back against German submarines in World War I using trained seagulls and hammers. The schemes worked about as well as one might expect. An updated repost. For most of World War I, the Royal Navy had nothing to counter the threat of the German U-boats. The British ..read more
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Red Tide, Blue Waves
Old Salt Blog
by Rick Spilman
1w ago
Photo: Patrick Coyne With the advent of climate change red tide outbreaks have grown more frequent. A red tide occurs when certain types of algae grow out of control. The name “red tide” comes from the fact that overgrowth of algae can cause the color of the water to turn red, (as well as green or brown.) Red tides can be hazardous to human health and sea life. Some, though not all, red tides can be bioluminescent, putting on an amazing light show that turns the ocean waves a vivid neon blue.  A few years back, an outbreak of red tide off Newport Beach, California discolored the Pacific ..read more
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Strictly Scottish Dance ‘Battle of Trafalgar’ Medley
Old Salt Blog
by Rick Spilman
1w ago
I like it, even if I am not sure I understand it. Here is the Strictly Scottish dance team dancing a ‘Battle of Trafalgar’ medley at the BC Highland Games of 2023. Thanks to Frank Hanavan for pointing it out. Strictly Scottish dance ‘Battle of Trafalgar’ Medley at BC Highland Games 2023 The post Strictly Scottish Dance ‘Battle of Trafalgar’ Medley appeared first on Old Salt Blog ..read more
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Nautical Coincidence & Lifeboat Morality – Richard Parker and the Mignonette
Old Salt Blog
by Rick Spilman
1w ago
Here is another old favorite, a companion repost to yesterday’s repost of “The Unsinkable Hugh Williams – Truth Behind the Legend?” We recently posted in response to a video, “The Strangest Coincidence Ever Recorded?.”  It recounted how three men named Hugh Williams were each the only survivors of shipwrecks in the treacherousness Menai Straits off North Wales. More remarkably, two of the Hugh Williams escaped from shipwrecks on the same day,  December 5th separated by over a hundred years.  The video claimed that all three Hugh Williams’ ships sank on D ..read more
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Repost: The Unsinkable Hugh Williams – Truth Behind the Legend?
Old Salt Blog
by Rick Spilman
1w ago
I am traveling this week, so it seems like a good time to repost an old blog favorite, the remarkable story of the unsinkable Hugh Williams. There is a video bouncing around the web these days called “The Strangest Coincidence Ever Recorded?”   (The video is embedded at the bottom of the post.) It tells the story of a ship that sank in the Menai Strait off the coast of Wales on December 5, 1664. All 81 passengers died, except one. His name was Hugh Williams. Then on December 5th, 1785 another ship with 60 aboard sank in the Menai Strait. The only survivor – a man named Hugh Williams. In 1 ..read more
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Guest Post by Robin Denny: The Five-Masted Full-Rigged Ship Preussen
Old Salt Blog
by Rick Spilman
2w ago
Preussen under full sail We recently posted about the five-masted full-rigged cruise ship Royal Clipper, a modern sailing ship designed as an homage to the great five-masted windjammer Preussen. Here is a repost of a guest post by Robin Denny about the mighty windjammer:  With the Peking now back in her home port of Hamburg, perhaps it is opportune to mention another of the Flying P sailing ships, the great Preussen. A five-masted full-rigged ship, 482′ LOA, with square sails on all masts, she was one of the fastest sailing ships, matching the Clippers with speeds up ..read more
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The Mighty Windjammer Preussen — Animation From Mariner’s Mirror Podcast
Old Salt Blog
by Rick Spilman
2w ago
My wife and I are currently sailing as passengers on the cruise ship Royal Clipper, the second of only two five-masted full-rigged steel ships ever built. The first such ship was the mighty windjammer, Preussen, of 1902. The Royal Clipper, launched in 2000, was inspired by the Preussen. An updated repost. Here is an animation from a Mariner’s Mirror podcast about the Preussen, perhaps the greatest windjammer of the early twentieth century. One of the Flying P-Liners, built for the F. Laeisz shipping company in 1902, she was then the only five-masted full-rigged steel commercial sailing sh ..read more
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Women’s History Month — Remembering Mary Patten, Clipper Ship Captain
Old Salt Blog
by Rick Spilman
3w ago
As Women’s History Month comes to a close, it seems a good time to remember Mary Ann Brown Patten, the first woman to command an American merchant ship. An updated repost. The year was 1856. The ship was the clipper ship Neptune’s Car, bound for San Francisco from New York City. Mary’s husband Captain Joshua had collapsed, suffering from “brain fever.”  For 56 days, Mary took over the command and navigation of the ship. She faced down a mutiny and successfully brought the clipper into San Francisco. On her arrival, Mary was 19 years old and pregnant with her first child. Mary wa ..read more
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