Book Review: A History of Sailing in 100 Objects

A History of Sailing in 100 Objects

A History of Sailing in 100 Objects

Have you ever wondered about the history of sailing equipment that we use every time we go sailing?

Well fear not, “A History of Sailing in 100 Objects” by Barry Pickthall will fill in some of the gaps, starting with the earliest known picture of a sail from about 3,500 BC on the Naqada II Pot to the GoPro camera in 2006.

Yes a bit eclectic in many ways but a nice read.  The book has the object explained with text on the left side and a picture of the object on the right side.  This bite size method makes the book easy to read and digest in short bits.

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Building an Aids to Navigation Demonstration Display


Aids to Navigation demonstration chart of Elliot Bay and Seattle, the Aids to Navigation are demonstrated using flashing LED’s. The lights flash with the same characteristic as the lights on the water.

This is an Aids To Navigation (ATON) display demonstration board I made, there are flashing LED’s to demonstrate selected ATON’s in the Elliot Bay area around Seattle Washington.

There are 27 Aids represented from just south of the Alki Lighthouse to the Shilshole Marina.  The chart is about 24 inches square.

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A monumental history

Interesting history of sea floor charting


On September 15, 2016, President Obama designated the first marine national monument in the Atlantic Ocean. The Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument includes two areas: one that includes four undersea mountains, called “seamounts” – Bear, Mytilus, Physalia, and Retriever; and an area that includes three undersea canyons – Oceanographer, Lydonia, and Gilbert – that cut deep into the continental shelf. These sea features have monumental histories.

Monuments map, by Leland Snyder, Office of Coast Survey Coast Survey cartographer Leland Snyder used several data sources to create this map of the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument.

Bear, Mytilus, and Physalia Seamounts were discovered by oceanographers with Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, and they were named for small Woods Hole vessels that began making forays into the deep sea in the 1950s. The Bureau of Geographical names does not know the origin of the name “Retriever Seamount,” but NOAA historian Skip Theberge thinks it was probably discovered and named…

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NOAA’s Secret Weather Sites


HADS Home page showing over 16,000 NOAA weather sites

Most sailors in the Seattle area are familiar with the West Point and Seattle NOAA weather sites on the internet. But did you know that those sites are only the tip of the iceberg so to speak of the over 16,000 NOAA weather observation sites. There is one at the Alki Lighthouse in West Seattle for example.

Finding the station closest to your location from the over 16,000 weather observation stations in the United States and Canada can be a bit of a challenge even if you have the secret handshake on where to start.  But lets give it a whirl.

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How Maritime Law Works- A Video Primer For Non-Lawyers

Maritime Law

Maritime Law

This is a short video on Maritime Law.  The video is a short overview of Maritime Law for non-lawyers.  It covers things like what country is a baby born a citizen of, short hint, in some cases the baby is a citizen of the country the ship they on is registered in!

Why the South China Sea is so confusing and difficult to fathom is also covered.

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Life Jackets Work!! But Only If You Wear It

Life-Jackets Float, You don't

Life-Jackets Float, You don’t

Last Saturday as we were putting out the fenders at the end of the sail, I heard a splash followed by a couple of expletive deleted words, a quick look around the boat indicated we were short one crew member.

One of the crew had dropped a fender overboard and dove in after it, well actually made a lunge for the dropped fender and slid out under the lifelines about mid-ship and into the water.

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Video: Four and a Half Minutes of French Lighthouses in Terrifying Storms

French Lighthouse in a Storm

French Lighthouse in a Storm

An amazing Four and a Half minute video showing the power and terror of the ocean and the lighthouses that stand to protect mariners.

The Lighthouses in the video are identified as being in the  Iroise Sea in Brittany on the West coast of France.  Wikipedia describes this area as one of the most dangerous seas in Europe.  Looking at the video I can understand why the area got it’s reputation for rough and dangerous.

Several years ago I traveled through the area on a 62 foot former Swedish Coast Guard Auxiliary Icebreaker Patrol boat (see Not a Sailing Trip ), I am quite glad that the weather was nicer and the seas much better than in the video.

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The Seattle Harbor Patrol – From 1877 To The Present

Seattle Harbor Patrol

Seattle Harbor Patrol – A patrol boat from the early years

The Seattle Harbor Patrol traces it’s ancestory back to 1877 when the Harbor Department was established.  It was ran by the Port Warden an elected official.

In 1912 they had one boat.

This is a nice video tracing the history of the Harbor Patrol from 1877 to the present, it is just over eight minutes and is a nice watch.

Thanks GaRRy for the link.

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