Rick Spilman

Rick Spilman
Location
Jersey City, New Jersey, USA
Birthday
March 25
Bio
I am the author of a nautical thriller set in the last days of sail, Hell Around the Horn. I also the host of the Old Salt Blog. I have a background in ship operations, banking and corporate communications. I am an avid sailor and kayaker.

APRIL 15, 2014 8:14AM

Blood Moon Eclipse Lights the Sky

We posted recently about a rare lunar eclipse tetrad, a sequence of four total lunar eclipses, each six months apart.  The first of these total lunar eclipses was last night around 2:30 AM EST. I confess. I didn’t stay up. Fortunately others did and here is a wonderful selection of photos of… Read full post »

Photo: R. Spilman

Photo: R. Spilman

In March, we posted about “The Captain Rose House of 1773 & Kit Burns Rat Pit of 1870,” at 273 Water Street in Lower Manhattan. In addition to being the third oldest building in Manhattan, the building has a rich history as both the home of a prosperous/… Read full post »

Maritime New Zealand (MNZ) clearly has a sense of humor. Their new advertising campaign harkens back to the glory days of 1980s cop shows to remind us that, like bulletproof vests, lifejackets don’t save people’s lives unless they’re worn.

Lifejackets for life — MNZ’s laRead full post »

Sail maker Don Lucas at the South Australian Maritime Museum

Sail maker Don Lucas at the South Australian Maritime Museum

As part of a new exhibit, Rough Medicine: Life and Death in the Age of Sail, at the South Australia Maritime Museum, sail maker Don Lucas was asked to sew a shroud for a child, actually a child-sized manikin, fortunately, to represe/… Read full post »

The Navy’s Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) USS Freedom, the first of her namesake class and one of two different LCS designs, was recently deployed to Singapore for ten months in order to demonstrate the capabilities of the ship described by the Navy as a “networked, agile, stealthy sur… Read full post »

On January 9, 2013, we posted about the Seastreak Wall Street catamaran ferry, which slammed into a loading barge at Pier 11 in New York City’s East River in Lower Manhattan at 12 knots, injuring 80 of the 331 passengers and crew.  The 140 feet long and 30 feet wide ferry was operating… Read full post »

Photo:AP

Photo:AP

I will admit to having distinctly mixed feelings related to the rescue of the Kaufman family on their yacht ‘Rebel Heart.‘ I am obviously pleased that Lyra received medical attention. I am saddened that the boat that was their home was lost. I am impressed by the skill, ex/… Read full post »

Photo: Will Van Dorp

Photo: Will Van Dorp

Yesterday, we posted about the arrival of the World War II Destroyer Escort USS Slater at Caddell Dry Dock. The day before, the historic fireboat, John J. Harvey, left Caddell to return to her Hudson River dock after a month of refurbishment.  The fireboat built in 1931,/… Read full post »

Photo: Michael Sheehan

Photo: Michael Sheehan

Could the arrival of the the USS Slater, the last World War II destroyer escort still afloat in the United States, be a sign of spring in New York harbor?  We can only hope, although as the sky today remains about as gray as her paint, perhaps that/… Read full post »

Photo: Andrew Vaughan

Photo: Andrew Vaughan

The new construction/restoration of the Canadian schooner Bluenose II has not gone well.  Years behind schedule and millions over budget. Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil is calling it a “boondoggle” and is demanding an investigation into the project.  RRead full post »

Sailors watching the sky will see a total lunar eclipse on April 15th in the United States. This is the beginning of a rare tetrad, a sequence of four total lunar eclipses, each six months apart. While this will be one of nine tetrads occurring this century, in the three hundred… Read full post »

After a three year bidding process to attempt to find a new home for the historic cruiser Olympia, the Independence Seaport Museum has announced that it will keep the ship after all.

Four groups originally bid on taking over the ship but none were considered to be viable.  The museum also n… Read full post »

The illusive manaphin

The illusive manaphin

Yesterday was April 1st, often known as April Fool’s Day. (Our post on a dramatic man overboard rescue was definitively not a spoof.) Yesterday “Visit St Pete-Clearwater” issued a press release about a recent sighting of the legendary “ManaphinR/… Read full post »

Andrew Taylor, 46, from London, a crew member on Derry~Londonderry~Doire yacht, racing in the Clipper Round the World Race, went overboard in the Pacific at 23.43 UTC Sunday night in rough weather. He was sighted again at 00.55 UTC before being recovered at approx. 01.13 UTC (13.13 local time, 30 Mar… Read full post »

japan-whaling-1aGreat news. The UN’s highest court has ruled against Japanese Antarctic whaling. The Japanese have notionally supported the commercial whaling moratorium adopted in 1982 but have exploited a loophole which allows for whaling for “scientific research.”  As we posted last JuRead full post »

hobie

Image: Hobie.com

Hobart “Hobie” Alter died of cancer in Palm Desert, California on March 29th, 2014 at the age of 80.  In 1958, he revolutionized surfboard design by developing the foam-and-fiberglass surfboard. In the 1960s, he introduced multi-hull sailing to the mass market wi… Read full post »

MARCH 30, 2014 3:36PM

Sponges — Mother of Us All?

1spongeAll terrestrial life came from the sea, but how did life develop in the ocean? Professor Tim Lenton of the University of Exeter, who led a new study, said: “There had been enough oxygen in ocean surface waters for over 1.5 billion years before the first animals evolved, but the dark depthsRead full post »

article-2541485-1ABF52EB00000578-692_634x348Sarah Kirby went on a five night Caribbean cruise on the Carnival Destiny to celebrate her 30th birthday in October of 2012.  Partying with friends, she became very intoxicated.  Just after midnight, she went back to her stateroom and stepped out on to her cabin balcony to get some air. Â… Read full post »

Back in 2011, we posted about Kick’em Jenny, which in addition to being the name of a rockabilly singer as well as a Dutch Celtic Symfo-Folk group, is an active underwater volcano in the Lesser Antilles about 5 miles north of the island of Grenada.

Kick’em Jenny rises 4,265 ft above the… Read full post »

Photo: Kim Fuller

Photo: Kim Fuller

The April Smithsonian Magazine features photos of the SSV Oliver Hazard Perry and an article titled “Building a War of 1812 Warship.”   One can only imagine what Oliver Hazard Perry would have thought of the new ship that bears his name. After having had the LaRead full post »

Photo by Al-Alam

Photo by Al-Alam

Lights, camera, mock aircraft carrier.  We posted the other day about a strange mock Nimitz aircraft carrier apparently under construction in an Iranian shipyard.  The Iranian-owned Al-Alam News Network is reporting that the mock-up is being built for a film titled “Airbus/… Read full post »

graph-flightpathIt appears that the British satellite firm, Inmarsat, combined high tech analysis with very basic navigation to estimate the flight path of MH370, after all other other searchers had failed to find the plane.

The Prime Minister of Malaysia announced yesterday that Flight MH370 had crashed inRead full post »

ExvalOn March 24, 1989, the 210,000 dwt crude oil tanker Exxon Valdez sailed from Valdez Marine Terminal and entered Alaska’s Prince William Sound. At 12:04 am, the single hulled ship ran aground on Bligh Reef, resulting in the largest oil spill in United States history, prior to the DeepwaRead full post »

MARCH 23, 2014 5:02PM

Sylvia Earle — LEGO Aquanaut

Sylvia-earle-and-legoSylvia Earle is an American marine biologist, explorer, author, and lecturer.  In her illustrious career she has earned many honors, including being named by Time Magazine as as its first Hero for the Planet in 1998. She is National Geographic’s explorer-in-residence, as well as a m… Read full post »