The Scuttlefish

Love the Ocean. Wish you were here.

Category: ships

40 Years Ago Today, The Edmund Fitzgerald Sank with 29 Crew Aboard “When the Gales of November Came Early”


Photo: AP/News Tribune files.

The Edmund Fitzgerald, a 729-foot iron ore carrier broke up and sank with all 29 crew aboard in 80 mph winds and 25 foot seas approximately 17 miles off Whitefish Point, Michigan in Lake Superior forty years ago today.

Watch an early news report on the tragedy followed by Gordon Lightfoot’s 1976 ballad, “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald,” which he wrote two weeks later after he felt that the ship and her crew had been dishonored by an NPR piece which misprinted the the vessel’s name:

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Watch an 1100-Foot Container Ship Bend and Twist in Rough Seas in the Indian Ocean

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Screenshot from video (below) taken aboard the Skagen Maersk.

There’s nothing structurally wrong with this vessel; if large ships like these–nearly a quarter of a mile long–weren’t designed to give way to pitching, rolling and yawing, they’d snap clear in half.

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Screenshot from video (below) taken aboard the Skagen Maersk.

Some vessels caught in high seas with heavy loads do break in half, like the MOL Comfort incident in 2013.


The 2005-built MOL Comfort experienced “hogging”, or convex longitudinal deformations before her hull snapped amidship off Yemen in 2012. Photo: Marine Log.

Watch video of the Skagen Maersk in high seas below, and read more about the vessel here.


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Wish You Were Here: Kayaking Through Abel Tasman National Park, New Zealand

Scuttlefish writer Owen James Burke is currently rambling around New Zealand in a camper van with a camera, surfboard and speargun in search of stories, waves and fish. We’re putting together a waterperson’s guide to the island nation, but meanwhile, we’ll be publishing stories and photographs, short updates along the way from the Yankee in Kiwiland. -CD

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The Cook Strait is a tricky but enchanting body of water. It’s best to get on it early in the morning before the afternoon breeze kicks up. Photo: Owen James Burke.

Find a kayak, shove off the gold sand beach into gin-clear water and weave your way between granite and limestone cliffs. That’s the first thing you have to do when you get to the shores of Abel Tasman National Park. the rest is up to you, but I assure you, there’s no shortage of wonders small or large.

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Semper Paratus: Watch The USCG Coordinate the Rescue of 36 Fishermen from a Burning Vessel. . .Over 2,000 Miles Southwest of Hawaii


Credit: USCG. Video below.

The United States Coast Guard’s 14th District in Hawaii is responsible for a 12.2 million square mile swathe of land and sea (that’s almost twice the size of Russia). When the 70 meter (230-foot) fishing vessel Glory Pacific No. 8 activated their EPIRB (Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon), it was the USCG’s responsibility to organize the rescue of the Papua New Guinea-flagged ship, which had caught fire 2,071 miles southwest of Hawaii.

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“The World’s Most Valuable Biscuit”: A Stale Old Cracker from the RMS Titanic Just Sold in Auction for $23,000


Photo: Henry Aldridge & Son.

James Fenwick, a passenger on the SS Carpathia, which came to the Titanic‘s aid, slipped the 103-year-old biscuit into a Kodak photographic envelope with a note: “Pilot biscuit from Titanic lifeboat April 1912.”

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Wish You Were Here: In an Attic on Gloucester Harbor, Massachusetts



Gloucester, Massachusetts is one of New England’s most iconic and historic maritime settlements. Lying so close to the fertile fishing and whaling grounds of Gorges Bank, Gloucester was quick to become a colonial hub, due equally to its proximity to the continental shelf and the stellar craftsmanship of its shipwrights’ schooners like the one above, the first of which was built in 1713.

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On the Road to Meet the Andaman Sea Gypsies. Part I: Yangon (Rangoon) and Dala, Myanmar (Burma). A Tale of Two Cities.

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Yangon (Rangoon), seen from Dala (Dalla). Photo: Owen James Burke.

I flew to Myanmar (Burma) to meet a group of seminomadic sea-dwelling peoples around the Bay of Bengal and the Andaman Sea collectively known as “sea gypsies”. But that didn’t get off to a great start. First, I was hung up in Yangon, and what I encountered there was a far grimmer, more harrowing reality than the one I’d set out to find.

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The ferry terminal in Yangon. Photo: Owen James Burke.

I landed in Yangon (as the capital city of Rangoon is now known to modern-day, militarized “Myanmar”), during a monsoon where people were sitting in plastic chairs along the sidewalk dining in a river of mud and street grit, and despite recent large-scale urban development, the streets—even in the town center—were dismally dark by any city’s standard.

I must have spent three hours in a taxi on the way home from the airport, otherwise a 25 minute jaunt across the city.

After finding a hotel, I dried off and began to wander the streets, ankle deep in mud, runoff and grit. Taking each step, I felt as good as blind. High-rise buildings may have been going up, but it seemed like the sidewalks hadn’t changed since Orwell was sipping and spilling gin and tonics on them.

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Watch a Mesmerizing 4K Time-Lapse of a Container Ship Crossing the South China Sea

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Screenshot from Toby Smith’s time lapse video below.

Shot in 4K resolution by photographer/reporter Toby Smith aboard the Maersk Gunhilde in the South China Sea during a crossing from Vietnam to China, this video is incredible. Just make sure to turn on 4K, if you have the bandwidth.

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