The Scuttlefish

Love the Ocean. Wish you were here.

Category: mediterranean

“Beyond the West Horizon”: A 1950s Home Movie of a Round the World Sailing Voyage

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“There was never anything to suggest there were other humans on this planet” – Eric Hiscock on the couple’s TransPac voyage. Screenshot from Beyond the West Horizon.

Eric and Susan Hiscock, earlier pioneers of small-boat pleasure cruising, sailed around the world on their 30-foot cutter, Wanderer between 1952 and 1955 during a time when few took to the high seas for any reason other than necessity. The video below is a full-length feature on their journey as filmed and edited by Eric and Susan themselves.

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“I suppose that practically everybody who owns a small boat as a desire–a dream, you might say–to sail around the world.” – Eric Hiscock. Screenshot from Beyond the West Horizon.

The Hiscocks recorded Beyond the West Horizon together during their 3-year, 3-week journey round the world–their first of three. Out in the open ocean, they encounter only one other vessel throughout their entire journey. There was no radar, no emergency rescue and on all but a few stretches, almost all of the steering had to be done by hand, which meant very little sleep.

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Sailing through the Greek Isles. Screenshot from Beyond the West Horizon.

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Are Italy’s Eels Getting High on Secondhand Cocaine?


Photo via Hexapolis.

As scientists home in on microscopic pollutants damaging our waterways and wildlife, plastics have been at the forefront of the discussion. But a river running through Sarno, Italy (which just happens to be where my family comes from), is reportedly carrying about 15 grams of cocaine daily (valued at anywhere from about $600 to $1800 US worth, depending on who you know).

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Screenshot from The Verge’s video, “Italy’s eels have a coke problem”.

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How the Scientific Legacy of Inventor of the Aquarium Lies Lost on the Ocean Floor


Jeanne Villepreux-Power one of the world’s first female biologists, by Anne-Lan, from WomenRockScience

Most people don’t know the history behind modern day aquariums, either for use in our homes or for spectacular display at places such as the Charleston and Monterey Bay Aquariums. This simple device – something we today wholly take for granted – as always having been there, was devised by one of the first-noted female marine biologists, Jeanne Villepreux-Power.

After moving to Sicily, Italy with her new husband in 1818, 22-year old Villepreux-Power abandoned her career as a seamstress to intensely study the natural history of her new home. Entirely self-taught with no formal education beyond reading and writing, she observed the flora and fauna of the island. She was most drawn to the life beneath the sea, and through her interest in marine mollusks, she created what is thought to be the first aquarium in 1832. It’s surely one of the greatest contributions to the study of marine biology.

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Wish You Were Here: The Bay of Kotor, Montenegro, “Europe’s Southernmost Fjord”


Photo: Alexander Matyukhin/Shutterstock.

Often referred to as Europe’s southernmost Fjord, The Boka Bay, a Unesco World Heritage Site, is in fact a “drowned” river canyon around which the mountains not only build a unique landscape, but an enticing microclimate.


The bay is protected virtually 360° by wind and weather, but also happens to be one of the wettest places in Europe. Photo: Porto Montenegro.

North of the Mediterranean’s subtropical zone, the bay is heavily protected from winter weather by the mountains to the north, allowing for an abundance of Mediterranean vegetation not typically able to grow so far north.


“Our Lady on the Rocks”. Every year on July 22nd at sunset, locals sail out to deposit more rocks at the base of the manmade islet. Photo: Photo: Kiev.Victor/Shutterstock.

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Wish You Were Here: Faralya, Turkey

not a bad view to wake up to 😳

A photo posted by kate winsy (@katewinsy) on

San Franciscan stylist @katewinsy is wise; she’s escaping the city’s notoriously brisk, foggy summer for a little Mediterranean respite at Hotel Perdue near Faralya in Turkey. I wonder if she’s in search of someone who can dive up her lunch… -OJB

This Gaza Fisherman Was Gunned Down by Israeli Forces While Building an Artificial Reef


Fishermen on the Gaza strip who once had access to fertile grounds and steady income now earn an average of $19 for every three 24-hour shifts. Photo: Getty Images

Twenty years ago, Gaza’s fishermen were some of the wealthiest members of the Palestinian community, but in recent years as tensions escalate, Israel is responding by limiting access to premier fishing grounds, citing that the measures are necessary to prevent Hamas from smuggling weapons onto Israeli shores.

Fed up with watching his community’s catch continue to dwindle, one Gaza fisherman decided to built his own artificial reef. Tawfiq Abu Riyalah, 32, piled up used tires, wood, scrap metal and anything else he could find in an area well within an imposed 75 square mile zone in an effort to attract fish into their depleted grounds. On March 7th, while “seemingly well within the area in which he and his colleagues are allowed to operate,” reports the Independent, an Israeli gunboat appeared and opened fire on the fisherman, fatally wounding him.

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This Louisiana Couple Is Outfitting a Private Yacht to Save Refugees in the Mediterranean Sea


Above: The Malta-based Migrant Offshore Aid Station (MOAS) makes its first rescue in August 2014. Since, they’ve rescued more than 3,000. Photo: Barcroft Media /Landov

Every day, derelict ships, small wooden boats and even dinghies set out to sea from North Africa carrying refugees who are stuffed together “like sardines.” Record numbers of refugees from Africa and beyond are attempting the perilous passage across the Mediterranean in vessels unfit for the sea, but according to NPR, Amnesty International’s Matteo de Bellis has released a statement saying, “No European country has a search and rescue operation dedicated to saving migrants at sea, something that’s becoming a near daily occurrence.”


Louisiana businessmen, humanitarian, adventurer and MOAS cofounder Christopher Catrambone. Photo: Leila Fadel/NPR

Enter Lake Charles, Louisiana businessman Christopher Catrambone and his Italian wife. Catrambone and wife Regina were cruising the Mediterranean when she spotted a jacket floating eerily in the middle of the sea. Pointing it out to a crew member, she learned that it likely belonged to a refugee who perished during an attempted passage. After further research into the matter, the couple were appalled by the lack of sympathy in Europe for those struggling to escape conflict in Africa and the Middle East.

Since, the couple has relocated to Malta where they have purchased the Phoenix, a 40 meter, $8 million dollar yacht and hired crew to form a vigilante rescue operation, the Migrant Offshore Aid Station (MOAS). MOAS was only established last summer and it’s likely the only organization of its kind, but alone they’ve already saved thousands.

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Wish You Were Here: Searching the Mediterranean Coast for the Lost City of Atlantis


The view from Fira on Santorini, an island in Greece formed by a volcanic eruption around 1600 B.C. Photo: James Rajotte for The New York Times.

Join Mark Adams as he explores Spain’s Andalusian coast, Malta, and the Greek Island of Santorini in hopes of following clues that will lead him to the lost city of Atlantis. Adam’s journey is chronicled in his new book Meet Me in Atlantis: My Obsessive Quest to Find the Sunken City and in his guest article My Quest for Atlantis, featured earlier this week in the New York Times.

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