SH 171 Summer-2020

Page 6

Deck Log


The Sea Endures

ho could have guessed after our spring issue came out, chock full of museum news and upcoming public events to plan for and look forward to, that none of these grand plans would come to fruition. None. In those first few weeks of our world shutting down, while some were battling for their lives, so many were on the front lines as essential workers, and the rest of us battled for some sort of normalcy, I found that my walks down to our little cove near where we live brought me the greatest sense of calm. My dog, happily bounding after a squirrel or two, has been oblivious to all my concerns and worry. And the sight that I relied on most of all was watching the water—its motions seeming so mundane if you aren’t paying attention, and so complex if you are. Which brings me to the selection of our front cover. I have been at the helm of this magazine for just shy of seventeen years, and in that time we have never run a front cover that did not include an image of a ship or boat or, in two instances, notable figures from naval history. I mean, if Lord Nelson doesn’t deserve his own front cover—who would? For this issue, we had plenty of compelling images related to articles in this issue, but I kept coming back to the sea itself to convey a sense of continuity. The power we see in water and waves evokes strength, danger, beauty—embodying at once both permanence and constant change. What better image to represent these properties than Relentless Sea by artist Don Demers, a master of painting maritime scenes and the seas in particular. When I asked him if we could use his painting, he immediately sent a digital image along, as he has done before whenever we’ve asked. This little interaction is indicative of our relationship with the maritime heritage community as a whole, a relationship without which Sea History could not exist. All content in these pages by outside contributors is donated, and the willingness of historians, authors, artists, photographers, museum personnel, and professional mariners to work with us for no payment other than the greater good is something we have learned we can count on. We often use the term “shipmate” to refer to people in this community with whom we have not been to sea, but whose Relentless Sea by Don Demers readiness to lend a hand, do what is needed and what is right with no expectation of compensation is what shipmates do all the time. We are thankful for having good shipmates, and trust that we are good shipmates in return. Examples of this community of friends can be seen all over this issue. Our editorial advisory board member and a former merchant mariner, Professor Sal Mercogliano, when asked if he could produce an article on hospital ships for this issue on short notice, did so without any hesitation. Jerry Roberts’s article on Mayflower required considerable effort on his part to research and write, but also the collaboration of Mayflower historian James Baker and vetting and images from Plimoth Plantation and Mystic Seaport Museum. Our book reviewers, who get few accolades, are always ready to tuck into a new maritime book and share their take on it with Sea History readers, and our reliable group of colleagues who run maritime museums and sail training ships keep us apprised of what is going on in their neck of the woods (of the sea?). You can trust that when the COVID-19 crisis is behind us, Sea History will be here with its regular feature articles exploring what’s going on in the maritime heritage community, and with Ship Notes entries and a calendar page full of events, news, and activities we can enjoy. Until then, we continue in our mission to bring you the stories of our maritime past and to stay in touch with you, our members, and the rest of our shipmates around the country and across the seas.—Deirdre O’Regan, editor 4

NATIONAL MARITIME HISTORICAL SOCIETY PUBLISHER’S CIRCLE: Peter Aron, Guy E. C. Maitland, Ronald L. Oswald OFFICERS & TRUSTEES: Chairman, Ronald L. Oswald; Vice Chairman, Richardo R. Lopes; President, Burchenal Green; Vice Presidents: Jessica MacFarlane, Deirdre O’Regan, Wendy Paggiotta, Nancy Schnaars; Treasurer, William H. White; Secretary, Jean Wort; Trustees: Charles B. Anderson; Walter R. Brown; Christopher J. Culver; William S. Dudley; David Fowler; William J. Green; Karen Helmerson; Denise Krepp; Guy  E.  C. Maitland; Capt. Jeffrey McAllister; CAPT Sally Chin McElwreath, USN (Ret.); CAPT James A. Noone, USN (Ret.); Richard Patrick O’Leary; ADM Robert J. Papp Jr., USCG (Ret.); Timothy J. Runyan; Richard Scarano; Philip J. Shapiro; Capt. Cesare Sorio; William H. White; Chairmen Emeriti: Walter R. Brown, Alan G. Choate, Guy E. C. Maitland, Howard Slotnick (1930–2020) FOUNDER: Karl Kortum (1917–1996) PRESIDENT EMERITUS: Peter Stanford (1927–2016) OVERSEERS: Chairman, RADM David C. Brown, USMS (Ret.); RADM Joseph F. Callo, USN (Ret.); George W. Carmany III; Richard du Moulin; Alan D. Hutchison; Gary Jobson; Sir Robin KnoxJohnston; John Lehman; Capt. Brian McAllister; Capt. James J. McNamara; H. C. Bowen Smith; John Stobart; Philip J. Webster; Roberta Weisbrod NMHS ADVISORS: George Bass, Francis Duffy, John Ewald, Timothy Foote, Steven A. Hyman, J. Russell Jinishian, Gunnar Lundeberg, Conrad Milster, William G. Muller, Stuart Parnes, Nancy Hughes Richardson, Joyce Huber SEA HISTORY EDITORIAL ADVISORY BOARD: Chairman, Timothy Runyan; Norman Brouwer, Robert Browning, William Dudley, Lisa Egeli, Daniel Finamore, Kevin Foster, Cathy Green, John Jensen, Frederick Leiner, Joseph Meany, Salvatore Mercogliano, Carla Rahn Phillips, Walter Rybka, Quentin Snediker, William H. White NMHS STAFF: Executive Director, Burchenal Green; Director of Development, Jessica MacFarlane; Accounting/Membership Associate, Andrea Ryan; Membership Coordinator, Nancy Schnaars; Senior Staff Writer: Shelley Reid; Executive Assistant, Heather Purvis; Membership Assistant, Irene Eisenfeld SEA HISTORY: Editor, Deirdre E. O’Regan; Advertising Director, Wendy Paggiotta Sea History is printed by The Lane Press, South Burlington, Vermont, USA.