The whaling fleet lost in 1871 has been found

It seems that at least two of the whaling ships lost in the great Arctic whaling fleet disaster of 1871 have been found off the coast of Alaska.   It is believed that their discovery may lead  marine archaeologists to the sites of the other 30 odd ships lost that terrible autumn.  The loss of these vessels, 22 of which were from New Bedford, Massachusetts, helped further the end of the whaling industry in the United States.

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History coming to the big screen next year

Nathaniel Philbrick is one of my favorite historians.  I especially love his superb maritime history booksAnd it turns out that one of his books is being made into a movie.  Heart of the Sea is based on his book In the Heart of the Sea, in which Philbrick recounts the story of the Essex, a whaleship that was rammed and sunk by a sperm whale in 1820, far out in the Pacific Ocean.  Its crew was stranded in small boats for several months until they were rescued and in the meantime they had been forced to commit cannibalism.  The disaster served as inspiration for Herman Melville, who used it and his own experience on a whaler to help him create the novel Moby Dick.

The film, directed by Ron Howard, is set to be released sometime in 2014.   And there are at least three actors from Game of Thrones that are also in this film: Joseph Mawle (Benjen Stark); Donald Sumpter (Maester Luwin); and Jamie Sives (Jory Cassel).  Good Northmen all, and all dead, sadly.*  So that frees them up to be in this film.  I am looking forward to it.


*Technically, Benjen Stark is missing, but let’s just say that it isn’t looking good for him to be alive at this point.

There be WHALES here!

Or at least dolphins. Cetaceans of some kind for sure.

Yeah, I love me some whales.  Cetaceans of any kind, really, because porpoises and dolphins are also pretty cool.  On the rare occasions that I get out on the water, especially someplace like the Stellwagen Bank, I usually see at least a few.  Nothing spectacular, but still pretty cool to see stuff in the wild.  But I have never in my life seen anything like this mega-pod of dolphins spotted near San Diego.  It stretched across seven miles of ocean.  They think there may have been as many as 100,000 altogether.  Can you imagine?

Makes me want to go whale watching.  Or fishing.  Or both.  Just to be out on the water.