Tuesday, September 18, 2012

1st Post 9/18/2012

MERCHANT MARINE INTEREST: A Poignant Hyperlink to Interesting Ship Wreck Pictures

File:Camille Ship Wrecks.jpg

Ships serve us longer than any other man made object other than buildings, anvils, certain hammers and a few other tools. Of all modes of transportation ships are designed with the longest service lives. Some aircraft carriers have served the United States nearly 50 years while the air craft carried aboard have been through as many as five generations of design. But for all their durability ships serve us in a hazardous  environment and often come to sad endings, with or without their crews that give the ship life. Below is a link that we found some time ago, a photo essay on 25 "haunting ship wrecks" from around the world. We found the site about the time that the wreck of the COST CORDOVA was in the news. The recent postings on the former Port of Montgomery , Alabama serve to remind us that not only do sailors and ships eventually come to an end, but even ports if not maintained can end too. Navigation is the the glue of civilization , and the technology that showed us the shape of the  world, and then linked it into today's global web of commerce. The artifacts of our craft from schooners under full sail, to giant tankers, and air craft carriers are majestic to behold when in their element and in operation. Perhaps it is the former majesty of these objects that make them so "haunting" to behold in repose.

 U.S.History contains several incidents where Calvary veterans went to extremes to protect their horses when the Army sought to dispose of them as "equipment" or "live stock". To these old Calvary men their horses were "fellow veterans". As we write this, we are aware of an on going project by military dog handlers to assure that their canine "partners" are "retired" back to the United States to adoptive families ready to provide special care and not disposed of like equipment. Sailors are as fond  of their ships as Calvary men were of their horses or military dog handlers are fond of their dogs. But most naval and Coast Guard ships end up scrapped, or used as targets eventually. Of the select few, a tiny number of truly famous ships sometimes make it to museum status. Merchant ships get  the shabbiest treatment of all. Often they are left as slowly rotting corpses exactly where they met their ends.  People who own great works of art know that humans are capable of "loving" inanimate objects and truly grieving over their ruin. Look over this linked photo essay and see if you can imagine the time when these haunting hulks were the pride of their designers, owners, and crews. Look at the setting where they came to final rest. You know that abandoning these hulks where they are photographed in a number of these shots violated environmental laws. We recover and properly dispose of human bodies, should some of these ships have been left where we now find them without prosecution of the owners? There is more than one reason to call these photos "haunting". Click on the link below to contemplate these relics of the maritime past.

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