Archive for January, 2008

Ships on legs — modern-day sheer hulks


A modern implementation of the sheer hulk:

Rising from stormy seas, the giant turbine towers of an offshore wind farm seem almost miraculous to the untrained eye. But how do you put them there?

Most boats do not have legs. But a jack-up barge has six, protruding high into the air when the ship is in transit.

Extending to a length of 48m from the bottom of the ship, and penetrating up to 5m into the sea bed, the “legs” of these ships provide a stable “ground” in a place where there is only roiling water.

As the legs push down, the ship is lifted above the waves. Purpose-built at a Chinese shipyard, the £60m jack-up barge MPIO Resolution is an extraordinary piece of engineering in itself. 

With a solid platform achieved, the windmill is fixed into place using a crane from the ship.


Full story at BBC

Save the mermaids

Save the Mermaids by Edward Horn

Endangered mermaids of Weekiwachee Springs.

Rowing for pleasure?


One guy rowing, four guys watching.

US Navy Mermaid cartoon caption contest

What’s the caption? Send us your ideas by midnight Tuesday – the winner gets free stuff!

Love the blog!  Many thanks for doing it.  Although I’m an east coaster, I even like reading about the west coast events.  Kudos!
My oldest son is in the Navy, so I follow Navy Times.  Their cartoonist recently put up a caption contest for a cartoon with a mermaid.  Well, merman more like it.  You might never use it, but I thought you’d get a chuckle out of seeing it.
Very best regards,

Thanks Buck, for the kind words and the find!  Readers can click the pic or the link to see the caption entries posted to date.

UPDATE (2/1/08):  Winning caption

Obviously Milton and Frank interpreted the order to “go drag the river” in different ways.

Winning caption by Lucy Hayes

Staten Island Boat Graveyard


Off the shore of Staten Island New York rests a veritable graveyard of decommissioned, scrapped, and abandoned ships of various sizes, ages, and states of decay. Things are constantly changing here; new boats are brought in and old ones are chopped up or sunk into the muddy banks of the harbor.

The beauty here is in the untouched rust and rotting wood, where weather and salt water accelerates the rate of decay, transforming these ships of the past into sculptures of steel rising from their watery grave.

 gallery of wrecks at opacity

Through Panama Canal In 75 Seconds

Through Panama Canal In 75 Seconds

Mermaid fishing lures


Hull Speed


Hull speed,

Not just a good idea, it’s the law.

The Mermen on the beach

The Mermen, San Francisco’s own contemporary surf gods,  perform “To be Naked and French is Always Hard”  at the LEAP Sandcastle Classic at Ocean Beach, while a guy with no self-consciousness [and a Tilley Hat] shows his moves. 

Not so Illustrious


Are the US and UK navies becoming wimpified?  Judge for yourself.

  1. Faulty fridge sends warship back to base 
    One of Britain’s biggest warships was forced to retreat back to base Wednesday — by fears about a fridge.  The aircraft carrier HMS Illustrious sailed out Wednesday from Portsmouth on the southern English coast, the home of the fleet, to join multi-national operations in the Indian Ocean.   But “Lusty” had to turn back because a refrigeration unit used to store meat was in danger of breaking down.  “The sensible thing is for her to come in and get that fixed before she goes off again,” said Royal Navy spokesman Anton Hanney.  “It wouldn’t be prudent for her to go off with the chance of the unit breaking down while she was in warmer climates and then engineers would have to be flown out to her to fix it.” [full story]
  2. Herndon Climb, other USNA rituals changing

    To reduce the possibility of injuries during the annual rite of climbing the Herndon Monument, the Naval Academy may limit the number of freshmen allowed to participate in scaling the grease-covered obelisk.

    The Herndon Climb is but one of the academy’s spring festivities that is being reviewed, and some will be curtailed or even eliminated.     “Similar to how our Navy looks at all traditions in the fleet, we are evaluating the Herndon Monument Climb to ensure the event remains a valid part of our heritage but it is conducted with professionalism, respect, and most important, safety in mind,” academy spokesman Cmdr. Ed Austin said yesterday.  [story, history,  photos, YouTube]

To me, this all seems bizarre.  Wasn’t it bad enough when the stopped the tot? I can’t believe that today’s naval men are so delicate that they can’t live without ice cream, or that the US Navy has such a fear of lawsuits from the plebe’s mommys if one of their precious snowflakes stubs a toe.  If they wanted ‘safety’ they should have gone into accounting.


San Francisco Ocean Film Festival


Get tix here.

Program info:

Opening night act:  The Mermen

Peter Mirow’s tacking outrigger model

NSL reader Peter Mirow has a number of vids up on YouTube of his sailing outrigger model.    See more at his blog posting.

Bilgemunky: Pirate-Core in Chicago


Gerard Heidgerken of and Bilgemunky Radio will be delivering a multi-media presentation at the Chicago History Museum on Saturday, February 23rd as part of the 2008 Chicago Maritime Festival. The presentation is titled “Pirate-Core: Sea Shanties in the 21st Century”, and will cover the evolution and current state of this contemporary spin on the the traditional sea shanty.

Gerard is one of many presenters at the 2008 Chicago Maritime Festival. Tickets to attend the festival are $10 (free for kids 12 and under) and may be purchased online or at the door. The festival is open from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The exact time for “Pirate-Core: Sea Shanties in the 21st Century” is not yet scheduled.

For more information, please visit

Void Ho

Featuring Mr. 1000 Days at Sea, Reid Stowe.

“Seriously, you do know smoking car body filler is NOT good for you right???”

Yarr. Just… yarr.