The Scuttlefish

Love the Ocean. Wish you were here.

Month: January, 2015

Days, Weeks and Months Blurring Together. Inside the Bizarre, Globe-Spanning World of a Merchant Marine.

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Screenshot from Machado’s “Six Months at Sea in the Merchant Marine.”

So what the hell is a Merchant Marine? They’re nothing like they used to be, and the work is a far cry from that which was demanded on the Pequod or Old Ironsides.

The United States Merchant Marine is a fleet of civilian-owned merchant ships transporting cargo and passengers, during peacetime. In time of war, the Merchant Marine can become an auxiliary to the Navy, and although a Merchant Marine is still required to fulfill the duty of protecting one’s ship (most commonly from pirates), they are not called to combat but to deliver military personnel and cargo.

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Screenshot from Machado’s “Six Months at Sea in the Merchant Marine.”

“We sat watches on the stern at night, staring out into the darkness, chain-smoking and hoping that the pirates would leave us alone.”

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Watch: A Laguna Beach Paddleboarder Has a Close Encounter with a Pod of Killer Whales

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Screenshot taken from SummerSky‘s youtube video

Paddleboarder Rich German was off the coast of Laguna Beach, California when he encountered a pod of the largest of the dolphin species The orcas, apex predators which have been known to prey on other dolphins, whales and even sharks, grew very curious about Mr. German, and began to pass beneath him as he captured the encounter on video. Not that they’re known for attacks on humans apart from a few isolated incidents (outside of SeaWorld, that is), but he must have felt a slight chill at about 1:46 in the video as the orca breached, heading right for him.

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Screenshot taken from SummerSky‘s youtube video

Watch the video:

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Wish You Were Here: Cuevas Marmol (Marble Caves), Patagonia, Chile


Photo: Kristen Aguiar

A short boat ride from Puerto Rio Tranquilo, Chile lies the aquamarine Lake General Carrera and her cuevas marmol, or “marble caves” so enchanting that, if you’re making your way up, down or around the Patagonian Coast, would be a pure shame to miss.


When the lake is low, there’s enough clearance to explore the caves with kayaks and even small skiffs. Photo: Kristen Aguiar

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In Honor of the Coast Guard’s 100th Anniversary – The Little Known Story of North Carolina’s African American Rescue Crew


The Pea Island Surfmen were an outpost of all-African-American lifesavers on the Outer Banks of North Carolina, pioneers of what was to become the United States Coast Guard, which was commissioned 100 years ago today.


After the Civil War, maritime traffic increased along the eastern seaboard of the United States as industrialization proliferated, and as a result, so did the number of casualties at sea. In an effort to curb the loss of life, the United States Lifesaving Service was formed in 1871. Outposts sprang up all along the eastern seaboard, one such on Pea Island (est. c. late 1870s) on the Outer Banks of North Carolina, a body of water so notorious for its tortured waters that it was — and still is — dubbed “The Graveyard of the Atlantic.”

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Life in Salt: Amanda McLenon – Artist and Marine Biologist Who Makes ‘Paint Swim’

Blueheron Striper Chart

Great Blue Heron. Provided by Amanda McLenon.

Amanda McLenon is a passionate conservationist on a unique path. Her career has progressed from high school science teacher, to NOAA coral and Antarctica-based scientist, published author, to certified yoga teacher, fly-fisherwoman, and unexpectedly, a full time marine artist.

In 2009, she discovered her talent by reverse-painting a redfish on glass, which is still her most highly collectable work. Amanda’s artistic career has taken on a life of its own with commissions for fishing tournaments (2011 CFF RedTrout, 2011 Megadock, 2012 Carolina Billfish Classic) and invitations to exhibit at the Southeastern Wildlife Exposition, Piccolo Spoleto Festival, and several galleries.

In 2012 she received the prestigious South Carolina Lowcountry Artist of the Year Award. This year she will combine her passions as a 2015 Ambassador to the South Carolina Aquarium Sea Turtle Rescue Program.


“Folly” Loggerhead. Part of Amanda’s South Carolina Aquarium Sea Turtle Fundraiser.

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Watch the Harrowing Rescue of 5 Fishermen from a Sinking Vessel in Force 6 Winds off Scotland


Screenshot from officialCoastguard‘s youtube video

Last week, the 75-foot Irish fishing vessel Iuda Naofa was fishing for mackerel 48 miles off the coast of Scotland when she began taking on water and put in a call to the Coastguard for assistance, who delivered a salvage pump. But it was too late, the vessel was swamped, and began to sink.

Coastguard Duty Watch Manager Paul Tunstall wrote: “The weather conditions on scene were very rough seas with southerly force 6 winds, evacuating the five crew swiftly and safely before the vessel went down was a great achievement.”

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DANG jaws: Footage of Maui’s Jaws (Peahi) Living Up to Its Name


Screenshot from ACL Digital Cinema‘s Vimeo montage

Maui’s premier big wave break, Jaws, or Peahi, was in full form on January 21st and 22nd, as were photographers and drones. Note that the surfers featured are not using jet skis to catch these waves, but sheer man power, paddling hand over hand — something that was unthinkable until only a few years ago.


Screenshot from ACL Digital Cinema‘s Vimeo montage

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Sea Shepherd Wins $9.4 Million Donation, Rolls Out Blueprints to Commission “Ideal Ship”


Above: A rendering of the new vessel by Damen Shipyards Group. Photo: Sea Shepherd

The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society won a massive 8.3 million euro (over $9.4 million) donation in Amsterdam last night at Amsterdam’s annual Goed Geld Gala (Good Money Gala), and after two years of research are now placing an order with Dutch shipbuilder Damen for their “ideal ship” to expand their fleet and conservation efforts in the Southern Ocean.

“We are now able to proceed with the purchase of our dream ship and lift our conservation efforts to protect the Southern Ocean from illegal exploitation to the next level,” said Sea Shepherd CEO Alex Cornelissen, graciously accepting the donation. “We are extremely grateful to the Dutch Postcode Lottery and the people of the Netherlands for this very generous support.”

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