Rick Spilman

About me

Rick Spilman has had a fascination with ships and the sea for most of his life. His first novel, Hell Around the Horn, is due out this summer. Based on the voyage of a British windjammer in the particularly brutal Cape Horn winter of 1905, it is a story of survival and the human spirit in the last days of the age of sail. Rick is the founder and host of the Old Salt Blog. (www.oldsaltblog.com) An avid sailor, he has sailed as volunteer crew on the replica square-riggers “HMS ROSE” and “HMS BOUNTY.” He has been published in the Huffington Post, gCaptain, Forbes online, and several canoeing and kayaking print magazines. He was also a nautical columnist on the Clarion science fiction blog.

From my website

Remembering Robert Smalls – Slave, Captain of the Planter, First Black Captain in the US Navy & Congressman

Here is a story well worth retelling. An updated repost from 2012. The remarkable story of Robert Smalls. On May 13, 1862, Robert Smalls, a 23-year-old slave, who served as the pilot of the Confederate armed transport, CSS Planter, led eight fellow slaves in an audacious flight to freedom. They seized the CSS…

The Giant Shipworm Revealed — Not a Worm or an Eater of Ships, but Definitely a Giant

For years, naturalists have found the shells of giant shipworms, but have not located the giant shipworm itself. Last spring, that changed. Giant shipworms were discovered buried in the mud in a Philippine mangrove swamp.  Two important facts about the giant shipworm, whose scientific name is Kuphus polythalamia. They are not worms at all, but…

Remembering Captain William A. Martin — Black Whaling Ship Captain From Martha’s Vineyard

Photo: Jeanna Shepard As Black History Month winds to a close it seems worthwhile to recall Captain William A. Martin, the best remembered black whaling ship captain from Martha’s Vineyard. He is often referred to as the only black whaling captain from the island. Nevertheless, historian Skip Finley suggests that at least…

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