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Flotsam & Jetsam: A three-master with a pizza past

Victory Chimes is the only surviving Chesapeake ram schooner. Built by the George K. Phillips Co. and launched in 1900 as Edwin and Maude — named after the children of her first captain — the 172-foot (sparred length) ship carried lumber, grain, soft coal and fertilizer into and out of Chesapeake Bay until 1945, when she was converted to carry passengers. She was brought to Maine nine years later and given the name Victory Chimes. She operated as a charter vessel until 1984, when she was sold and taken to the Great Lakes.

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Her next owner was Thomas Monaghan, the founder of Domino’s Pizza. Monaghan named her Domino Effect and used her for employee incentive cruises. He also invested in an extensive restoration. In 1989 Domino Effect returned to Maine, and in 1990 she was purchased by her current owners, who renamed her Victory Chimes and returned her to chartering.

Recognized by the National Park Service as a National Historic Landmark in 1997, Victory Chimes was named the premier schooner of Maine’s sailing fleet in 1991. She was minted on the State of Maine quarter in 2002. Victory Chimes carries a Coast Guard Certificate of Inspection for 50 passengers. She is listed with Jonathan Chapman at Northrop and Johnson for $775,000.

Night-And-Day Vision

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FLIR’s Ocean Scout TK marine thermal camera creates images based on heat, not visible light, so boats, buoys and channel markers appear clearly in pitch darkness or bright sunlight. The submersible (IP67) thermal imager has 20-degree horizontal and 16-degree vertical fields of view, with a refresh rate of 9Hz. It also stores up to 1,000 thermal snapshots and records thermal video, which can be downloaded using the included USB cable. The Ocean Scout TK starts up in 5 seconds and lets you see objects as far away as 130 yards, including a person in the water. It retails for $600.

“We found some of the massive Porites colonies that were mostly dead during last year’s surveys had recovered some living tissue. Those massive coral colonies are ancient, typically many hundreds of years old, so it’s exciting to see that they have survived this extreme bleaching event.”

— Bernardo Vargas-Ángel, coral ecologist and leader of NOAA’s Coral Reef Ecosystem Program, after a year of high ocean temperatures damaged coral at the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument

Don’t miss the opening of Maine’s classic yacht racing season. The Camden Classics Cup runs from July 27 to 29, and the action includes a Friday night dock party and an awards presentation Saturday evening.

Toothbrushes on a mission

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Check out these nautical-looking bamboo toothbrushes — with BPA-free nylon bristles — made by Tara Shannon of Salvage Rights. The rubberized grips come in red, yellow or blue. Even better, $1 from every sale goes to the non-profit Homeless Not Toothless, which provides free dental care for the homeless. $8. Salvage Rights, New York.

Short But Sweet

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At the entrance to the Savannah River’s South Channel, 12 miles east of the port of Savannah, stands the smallest lighthouse in Georgia: Cockspur Island Light. One of five remaining historic beacons in the state, the 46-foot lighthouse was activated in 1855. It withstood the 1862 bombardment and defeat of Confederate forces at nearby Fort Pulaski during the Civil War and was retired from service in 1909, when ships began to use the river’s North Channel.

Cockspur Island Light was relatively untouched until a restoration began in 1995, which included a rebuilt base, and in 2007 it was relit with the installation of a solar beacon. It’s now part of Fort Pulaski National Monument.

1,259,994 …

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… number of people, to date, who have taken the BoatUS Foundation’s free Online Boating Safety Course.

MJM Yachts is offering two opportunities to sea-trial the outboard-powered 35z — an all-weather boat with a 50-plus-mph top end and a cruising range of more than 300 miles. Email Christopher Hughes at to set up an appointment for July 8 or 9.

Saved by Siri

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Three men were rescued, with a bit of virtual help, after their 18-foot Falcon fishing boat took on water and sank four miles off Florida’s Key Biscayne this past spring. The men weren’t wearing life jackets, but they were able to cling to a cooler they had on board.

Their cellphones were stored in a plastic jar, and luckily it floated within their reach. They attempted to call for help using an iPhone but couldn’t operate the phone with wet fingers. So they asked Siri, the iPhone’s virtual assistant, to call 911, and she obliged. A Coast Guard chopper located the fishermen and put a diver in the water, who stayed on-scene until Miami-Dade Police rescued the men.

This article originally appeared in the July 2017 issue.