Of Men and the Sea.

Pirates, schmirates. Let’s not get all caught up in other people’s booties, here. There’s more than just jollies and rogers to the boundless tumult of the deep blue. I say this with some embarrassment, having only now just purchased a copy of Pirates of the Caribbean on DVD, but my point here is that the truth, as some say, is indeed stranger than fiction.

One of the wonderful things about Flickr is its ability to convey a subscriber’s perception, eye, and life-path in a completely visual sense – the same way that LJ conveys (or has the ability to convey) with writing. On a recent expedition through the account of one of my favorite photo bloggers, I came upon an amazing coincidence, and an amazing meeting. One Mr. Fishing Phillip was posting some gorgeous historical photos of an old fishing vessel upon which he spent some years working as a youth, based in Scotland, out of Thurso. One of the shots shows him as a young man in the 1960s aboard the Primula, out on the open waves.


As it turns out, ccgd – who knows everything about everything, and likes oil rigs, to boot – had a grandfather who actually held a share of that same boat in the 1950s, and also a close friend who used to be its engineer. From coincidence springs correspondence, pictures of the boat and its crew, and a shared history, where none had been realized before.


Phillip recognized most of the old salts in these pictures, and before you know it, this conversation is a huge spectacle on Flickr. Another former crewman sees it and joins in the fray. And a story is told: of ships, of men, and of the sea. Three eras of sailors, never met but sharing similar memories. Arrgh, matey. It’s a delight to observe this serendip.


Follow the whole thread here, here, and here.

17 Responses to “Of Men and the Sea.”

  1. xgreenjudasx Says:
    November 22nd, 2005 at 7:12 pm

    It could be the gimlet talking but, the icon, the icon haunts my dreams!

  2. FunkyPlaid Says:
    November 22nd, 2005 at 8:16 pm

    Love the FISH LIPS!
    What is it about them that I love so much? I don't know, but they make me happy – oh, so happy.

  3. Anonymous Says:
    November 22nd, 2005 at 8:31 pm

    Those aren't fish lips!!

  4. thedarkcyde Says:
    November 22nd, 2005 at 7:52 pm

    ok. i must say : i'm liking this.

  5. FunkyPlaid Says:
    November 22nd, 2005 at 8:16 pm

    Figured you would.

  6. ubernacht Says:
    November 22nd, 2005 at 8:03 pm

    wow….i was completely engrossed reading the revelations!
    but one question….
    what the hell is a 'Woodbine'?
    as in:
    "…that's what 40 Woodbines a day does for you I'm afraid."

  7. FunkyPlaid Says:
    November 22nd, 2005 at 8:15 pm

    That'd probably be in reference to pipe bowls, as in 'a woodbine pipe'.

  8. anonymouseth Says:
    November 23rd, 2005 at 4:36 am

    woodbines are/were a cheap brand of cigs over here…

  9. FunkyPlaid Says:
    November 23rd, 2005 at 10:36 am

    Ah! Thanks for the factoid.

  10. hermiston Says:
    November 23rd, 2005 at 3:25 am

    Such a remarkable thread, and a charming insight into that industry, those people and those days. Did you notice that in all the photos the gents were always clean shaven? Lord knows if i was doing 4.30 to 21.00 shifts ah'd mibbe no bother. and it seems like such a dogged life to me, the sea off of Scrabster, as far up as Lerwick and back in a day; it is endearing to see them look back on it warmly, but also to see the same faces recur in the photos. The things to be found online, thanks for bringing this to us.
    Woodbines are nasty naval cigarettes. they have no filter tips. I tried them once…

  11. FunkyPlaid Says:
    November 23rd, 2005 at 10:39 am

    And that's a keen observation by you. Not that we bother to trim our whiskers as it is now, let alone in the tooth of a gale with giant squid lapping at the bottom of the boat. We can learn from these gentlemen, to be sure.
    Those people and those days, indeed. This is our addiction.
    And thanks also for the clearing up of our colloquial cigarette query.

  12. rachel_eurydice Says:
    November 23rd, 2005 at 12:51 pm

    Wow–maybe it's my soft spot for old men, put I found that touching to the point it made me a little teary-eyed.
    Besides that–simply fascinating. Old fishermen have the best stories.
    I must link to this post–too cool to keep to myself.

  13. FunkyPlaid Says:
    November 24th, 2005 at 10:29 am

    Yes. If I didn't violently puke when riding the tumultuous sea, I'd have been a salty dog of the highest calibre. Okay, maybe not.
    Link away! Share the love, scallywag.

  14. jacesan Says:
    November 23rd, 2005 at 3:45 pm

    This is a great example of why the internet kicks so much ass. Have you watched Master and Commander yet?

  15. FunkyPlaid Says:
    November 24th, 2005 at 10:30 am

    Seen it once, and while the story was fairly good, I can't get over my intense hatred for that doughy excuse for a lead actor. Really, I hate that guy.

  16. jacesan Says:
    November 24th, 2005 at 11:08 am

    Did he throw a phone at you too? 😀
    I have similar feelings toward Nicholas Cage and Tom Hanks.

  17. occular Says:
    November 24th, 2005 at 11:33 am

    Thanks for posting this – that's magical! I am fascinated with sailing in a strange way, and the history and the historical too.

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