May 14, 2008

Shipwrecks and Sea Disasters. A ghostly host of corroding skeletons at Dark Roasted Blend.
  • Fish tick, they really beautiful photos, but I can't enjoy them because I know about this place. In the shipyards of Alang, India they destroy men as well as ships. It happens here, as well. In Chittagong, Bangladesh the work is dirty and dangerous, the pay meager and the job is theirs for life, however long short that may be. Here are the pictures of hell on earth. And more of the story, for the strong of stomach. Sorry for derailing, but this is a story I think that needs to be told.
  • Ah, well done, good sir! But worthy enough to post again for those who may have missed it before, don't you think? Gads, only 2005? I'm thinking my memory is fading, fading fading fading
  • *waggles unregrown ovaries at fergittin' GramMa*
  • This kind of thing always makes me think of the song featured in this youtube video.
  • Oh, and on the subject of dodgey ship-breakers in South Asia... every so often, there's a NIMBY scandal about ship breaking in the West. In 2003-4 there was a proposal to scrap some old US Navy ships in Hartlepool in the UK. The breaking yards there desperately needed the work, had decades of experience and modern equipment and procedures. But the gutter press got wind that the ships had asbestos on them (like most ships of a certain age) and an 'environmental' campaign was launched to have them sent elsewhere. The protesters never specified where they thought the ships should be broken up. As it happens, this particular case is still awaiting resolution, but you can bet that if these ships don't go to Hartlepool, they'll go somewhere like Alang. But what the heck, our environment is protected, right? Sometimes people make me want to spit fire.
  • ...want to spit fire. *stares suspiciously at the Dreadnought Is that ASBESTOS lining in your mouth? gedouttahere and go post somewhere else
  • Seriously, I keed because otherwise I'd cry. I'm so embarrassed for my own country with our NIMBY philosophy.
  • )))))) (double bananas for both posters!) I found myself utterly hypnotized by these, and I don't fully understand why. I've never been a big nautical nut, I live in a landlocked state--there's just something so beautiful and haunting and eerie about these, combined with the awesome power of the sea, just fascinating. The ships claimed by the desert really gave me goosebumps. And that coal ship in the photo with the golf courses and buildings--is that for real? Great stuff, fish tick! And polychrome!
  • And now, of course, after reading GrandMa's comment, I feel like a tool. Never mind.
  • I don't think anybody needs to feel bad for seeing the beauty in these pictures. I am a big nautical nut, one of those people who knows what all the ropes are called and everything, and I think these pictures are great, even knowing all the things that I know. The truth is that the sea has always been a fugue of beauty and tragedy. Ships are these deeply human objects, often visually beautiful objects, which are like little capsules conveying humanity into a very dangerous and deeply alien environment. To a certain extent, they represent one of the best and most Romantic impulses of humankind, the impulse to push out from the comfortable and the safe, to break the circle of the horizon, and through the simple act of movement to assert that we cannot be contained. Through countless generations, and back to the dawn of our sentience, the simple boat has represented to us the impulse to grow and change and explore. And yet, being so intertwined with our history, the ship has also been with us in our darkest moments. It was in ships that slaves were brought to the New World. In ships, raiders and pirates transmitted fear and death. In ships, plagues and conquerors passed over the watery boundaries of the oceans. But most of all, in ships we faced down the terrible power of the sea, of nature at its most hostile and at its most unforgiving. Our impulse to go beyond our safe boundaries has made us fully human, but it has also given us great pain and hardship. We, today, are starting to abandon the sea. That is not to say that we don't use it: more shipping plies the oceans today than ever did in the past, but we are starting to forget it. Hardly anyone experiences the sea any more. We fly from continent to continent inside hermetically sealed metal tubes, where the sea is nothing but a sea of cloud, or a vague flat blueness far below us. And that is why we, as a society, have been so ready to abandon the mariner. For human beings still go down to the sea in ships. They haul our sneakers and our shiny cars, they haul our oil and our grain and shift our iPods and catch our fish. But we don't think about them any more. And so we don't protect them. As it always was, the poorest of the poor sail our ships. But today, unprotected by law or even the old custom of the sea they sail in the mighty fleets of Liberia and Panama and send a pittance home to their hungry families. And when those unseen ships die, no-one notices when they disappear up onto a beach somewhere. No-one asks after them, for no-one saw them in the first place. So, yes, by all means admire the beauty of the sea. Admire the beauty of a proud old ship and contemplate the meaning of its dereliction. For as go the ships, go human kind and if, once again, we can admire them then we will remember.
  • Here's one in New Jersey.
  • Dreadnought: well writ sir! Huzzah!
  • This from Dreads YouTube linkie: A tribute to my home and place of 'work' for almost six years....rode her to the scrap yard and was the last person to sleep onboard. That last night I made sure every light was blazing...I thank Jesus for that job. I don't know why, but that made me tear up--along with the music, of course. I don't think anyone has to feel badly about admiring the quality of the photos and the evocative and haunting beauty of abandoned ships. I just wish their demise didn't signify such a toll on the earth.
  • Here's riveting tale of how one ship, the Cougar Ace, was saved from wreckage by a handful of individuals. Seems appropriate.