Sea Stories - June 2021

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What We’re Watching

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It’s easy to take for granted the hard work that tugs and tugboat captains do day in and day out. Tugs don’t just assist large shipping vessels for close-quarters maneuvering; they also push and pull gargantuan barges, work in marine construction and more. Capt. Tim Boehmer is a tug skipper who primarily skippers massive bunker barges around the winding waterways of New Jersey, west of New York City. The barges, loaded with fuel oil, are moved alongside or nearby the large ships as most loading docks don’t have fuel available onsite. The barges are vital to shipping in the area. Boehmer’s YouTube channel, TimBatSea, provides an interesting perspective for viewers from the cameras he sets up inside the wheelhouse, each of which provides a different view as the professional skipper describes the maneuvers he is making. 

More salty reads

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Seashells by the Seashore
It’s a pastime many people enjoy: lazily wandering the edge of the ocean looking for surf-washed objects that have been worn by the sea. Humans have been collecting these keepsakes for centuries. In her new book, The Sound of the Sea: Seashells and the Fate of Oceans, Cynthia Barnett writes about the mesmerizing history of seashells and the animals that inhabited them while at the same time examining how these cast-off objects can tell a story about the dangers facing our oceans. Whether its ocean acidification weakening an animal’s shell or climate change warming the waters where they live, Barnett says that these creatures are trying to speak difficult truths to us. ($28, W.W. Norton & Company)

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Doin’ the Ditch
Cruising the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway is a bucket-list item for many boaters. A new e-book by Kathy Bennett Dove, A View Askew, provides a different perspective of the waterway while cruising aboard a 32-foot Grand Banks trawler. Bennett says the book is like a journal, written with some of the details you might find in a guide but also with short anecdotes, accounts of towns and ports visited along the way, and insights about birdwatching, bridges, scenery changes and how to stay occupied when held in port or at anchor by weather. You can find the e-book in the likely places: Amazon, Apple Books, Google Play and more. 

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Come Sing Along Me ‘Lads

Sea shanties—those percussion-heavy, easy-to-sing-along-with folk songs sung for hundreds of years by seafaring sailors—have been enjoying a bit of a renaissance since Covid-19 locked people in their homes and forced them to seek out alternative sources of entertainment. If you’re looking for some knee-slapping songs to put some salt in your socks, Spotify’s “Sea Shanties” playlist has more than three hours of the catchy tunes curated in one place for all to enjoy. 

This article was originally published in the June 2021 issue.

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