The Scuttlefish

Love the Ocean. Wish you were here.

Category: bermuda

“I was Screaming Sea Shanteys and Shoutin’ at the Gods!” A Glimpse Inside John Lennon’s Sailing Diary.

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John Lennon. Bermuda Bound. Photo Source: Unknown. 

When I was a kid, I was a Beatles fanatic. I was turned onto the band, by my mom of all people, who for some reason gave me the album Magical Mystery Tour when I was maybe nine years old. For some reason too deep for my young mind to fathom, I literally wore out the vinyl grooves pondering its dense layers of sound and meaning. Yellow Submarine and Revolver would have the same effect. The band’s legend was always writ a little more large for me because my aunt lived in a building called the Oliver Cromwell, right across the street from the Dakota, which was home to John Lennon and Yoko Ono. She caught occasional glimpses of the pair ducking in and out of their home right there in front of Central Park. I always craned my neck when we walked by the Dakota, but never got my own glimpse. When Lennon was shot, 35 years ago yesterday, I remember my aunt telling me how for days it was nearly impossible to leave her building for of all the mourners. Even though I was only in eighth grade, I wished I could have been among them.

Today, Scuttlefish commodore Brian Lam hipped me to something I didn’t know about Lennon. He actually became a pretty hardcore sailor late in life. In fact, he credits a hairball journey in June, 1980 from Rhode Island to Bermuda with curing a debilitating bout of writer’s block. It was a voyage that inspired “Watching the Wheels,” “I’m Losing You,” and an early version of “Woman.”

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John Lennon and his son Sean. Photo source: Unknown. 

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This Little-Known Prickly-Faced Fish Might Be the Most Abundant Animal on Earth, According to Scientists

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Above: The bristlemouth, (genus Gonostomatidae). Photo: Rudie Kuiter/OceanwideImages.com.

This strange, spiky little mouth belongs to a fingerling-sized hermaphroditic fish that occupies the least explored depths of the sea, and may be the single most abundant fish on planet earth, scientists now say.

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The Navy Actually Knew Flight 19’s Location Before It Went Missing Around the Bermuda Triangle

 

The Disappearance of Navy Flight 19 over the Bermuda Traingle, as well as a 13-man Mariner rescue plane that went after them is well known. But I found this official Naval history page that busts up two of the most commonly held beliefs about the flight–and provides a sad fact that perhaps these men could have been saved.

Popular versions of the story of the Lost Patrol such as the preceding tale bear striking resemblances to one another, so much so that, because of re-occurring passages in all of them, one is led to believe that a certain amount of borrowing and embellishing from a single source has been performed over the 28 years since the incident occurred. And let us say now that this article is not a debunking piece, but simply a perusal of an incident that has grown to the stature of a myth a legend that begs to be more expertly examined.

The following account is based on the official Board of Inquiry report concerning the disappearance of Flight 19 and PBM-5, Buno 59225. The record consists of testimony of individuals, expert opinions and logs of the numerous radio transmissions.

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Something Rotten in Paradise: Diving Bermuda’s Gorgeous Shipwrecks

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Shipwrecks are tragic. Shipwrecks are also, for divers far removed from the disaster itself, a chance to explore what happens when nature has its eventual way with mankind and its puny machines. Bermuda’s waters are known for having plenty of wrecks, even considering the ones that didn’t disappear entirely.

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Tucker’s Cross: Gold and Swollen With Emeralds, This Was The World’s Most Valuable Sunken Treasure

Teddy is a descendant of Bermuda’s first governor, but he made his own fortunes by doing what so many have tried and failed at: Treasure hunting. He’s seen over a hundred wrecks around his home island and pioneered the technique of searching for wrecks by going up in a chair floated by a helium balloon and towed by a boat. Among all his research and diving work for places like National Geographic and The Explorer’s Club, his most notable find was that of a golden cross later named Tucker’s Cross, swollen with emeralds and found in shallow waters. In the 1950s, it was valued by the Smithsonian at $250k. That’s it above. Kinda.

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The Finest Map of Bermuda Is a Treasure Upon Itself

C.W. Hart, Jr. was a Smithsonian Curator. He’s also a fanatic collector of maps of Bermuda. Maps which have become almost treasure-like in their rarity themselves. Above is a map of Bermuda from 1630, which some believe to be the finest of all old maps of the isle. I very much like his attribution to the increased scarcity of Bermuda maps to the beauty of the island’s proportions, which approach the golden section or ratio.

Has there ever been a more evocative name than the Summer Isles? Islands where summer lasts for many months, and where a month or so of cool rain serves only to enhance the rest of the year? No matter that the name is really a corruption of Sir George Somers, who commanded the ill-fated Sea Venture in 1609, and no matter that the name was rejected centuries ago. When people ask why I collect Bermuda maps, I try to explain that it is because these maps keep me in touch with that enchanted place of incredible beauty. I cherish the memories of more than 30 visits over the past 42 years. I cherish the topography, the temperature, and the tempo of life. I don’t pay much attention to friends who smile and talk knowingly about the psychopathology of map collecting.

Collecting maps is an addictive hobby for many people. A few years ago, frustrated by the rising prices and short supply of Bermuda maps, I proposed that their popularity was due simply to the large number of people who have visited Bermuda and have recognized that there is something magical about this very civil place that gives one the impression of being in a large, well-tended garden. In addition, I proposed the somewhat metaphysical reason that the island’s shape just happens to approach that of a logarithmic spiral—a shape that is pervasive in nature and that has for centuries been associated with the golden section (also called the divine proportion), which is the ratio of 1 to 1.618—a concept that has influenced ancient, medieval, Renaissance, and modern architecture and art, and which is believed by some to be a universal measure of beauty. Whatever the reasons, maps of Bermuda are becoming increasingly scarce. In 1979 I saw the 1682 Bermuda map of van Keulen in Chicago and did not buy it because the price was $500; last year I saw a copy in London priced at the equivalent of about $13,000— roughly a 26-fold increase in 20 years. I wish my investments had done so well.


Strange Love Craft: The Bermuda Sloop

 

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BERMUDA RIG – Rainbow (William Starling Burgess, 1934 – photography: Morris Rosenfeld, 1937)

The Bermuda sloop is a sailboat inspired by its purpose and surroundings. The boat’s rigging, usually with sails ahead and behind of a single mast, was good at going upwind, which was useful since most of Bermuda’s trade with North America required such travel. The boat’s hulls were stiff, constructed from Bermuda cedar, making them light and strong and rot resistant. These attributes helped it succeed in fast open ocean running. Some would say the boats, developed in the early 17th century, are “the basis of nearly all modern sailing yachts.”

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Bermuda: Getting There Was Half the Fun

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Bermuda was one of the earliest tourism hot spots in the Caribbean. Before the jet age, only the rich could afford to visit Bermuda–here are the luxurious ways by which they arrived.

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