Author Archives: seamarsh

Harbo & Samuelson–did they row all the way?

First Atlantic Row: Harbo and Samuelson in 1896 This risky activity has its origin in 1896 when two Norwegian fishermen departed Manhattan in a plank-on-frame 18-foot dory heavily-loaded with canned food and water. They landed on the Scilly Isles in … Continue reading

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After 70 Years, Katie Ford Sails on in British Columbia

In the summer of 2016, I received an email from the Canadian owner of the 44′ cruising yacht Katie Ford, inviting me to its 70th birthday party in Victoria B.C. This classic old sailing yacht was built in in 1946 … Continue reading

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Opinion: Clipper Race a “Sporting Cult?”

The Clipper Race changes lives–but at what cost? Joining the Clipper Race is a serious step that leads a novice or wanna-be sailor on a long, very expensive path away from family and friends into an isolated world full of … Continue reading

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The Cutty Sark Sails into the 21st Century

In 2008, the world’s only surviving clipper ship, the Cutty Sark, suffered a disastrous fire that came close to destroying the entire hull in its permanent drydock beside the River Thames in Greenwich. This news was especially shocking for me … Continue reading

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How the Taste for Tea Created the Tea Clippers

Tea reached Europe from China around 1560 on Portuguese and Dutch ships, but it was a latecomer to England. In London, coffee was the drink of choice among businessmen and Edward Lloyd’s coffee house became the center of shipping insurance. … Continue reading

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2007: Heart Transplant–Caterpillar Re-Powers Corps of Engineers Dredge Essayons

A story I wrote in 2007 for Diesel Progress magazine became an official Caterpillar press release titled Eight Cat® engines re-power the dredge “Essayons,” providing more power, improved efficiency, and emissions compliance for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. (Needless … Continue reading

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2017: Old Astoria Pilot Boat Arrow 2 Returns

The pilot boat Arrow 2 disappeared from the Astoria waterfront in 2012 and has been greatly missed by the seamen who admired its unique traditional hull shape and general low-tech appearance. There was much speculation about its final disposition: would … Continue reading

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WW II: Astoria’s Epic Minesweeper Years

Astoria Shipyard’s Minesweeper (YMS) Production Remembered The 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor last December gives us a chance to review the incredible history of the “war at home” in Astoria—a time when thousands of ordinary women performed … Continue reading

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In Praise of My Own “Retro” Bikes

The frames of all my bikes were designed 20+ years ago, so qualify as “retro.” Several of them are based on the early mountain bike, so here is a brief introduction to that design,followed by four of my “variations on … Continue reading

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The Flettner Rotor Makes a Comeback!

The new hybrid ship designs were pioneered in Scandinavia where ecological hydro-power has long been the standard for utilities. The public demand for more clean power use has led to the introduction of hybrid propulsion in several new ferries and … Continue reading

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