FYI: October 2003

FYI — October 2003
By Brad Dunn
 More of this Feature
• Part 1: The Mighty Ducks, Things We Like, and more
• Part 2: A Word With.., and more

 Related Resources
• News/FYI Index

They may have been built for the bathtub, but an orphaned flock of 29,000 rubber duckies has made an incredible journey across three oceans—after floating for more than 11 years. Keep a lookout: They’re expected to make landfall soon in New England.

The not-so-lucky ducks were accidentally cast into the Pacific Ocean from a container ship en route from China to Seattle, Washington, in January 1992. They were lost during a storm somewhere near the intersection of the 45th Parallel and the international date line.

The castaway critters, which also included rubber turtles, frogs, and beavers, drifted en masse along the Alaskan coast. Three years later they entered the Bering Strait and began a slow transit of the Arctic Ocean. After another five years, they reached Iceland, and by 2001, they passed the spot in the northern Atlantic where the Titanic sank, according to the Associated Press.

“Some kept going, some turned and headed to Europe,” said Curtis Ebbesmeyer, a retired oceanographer who’s been tracking the toys’ progress, according to the Greenwich Time. “By now, hundreds should be dispersed along the New England coast.”

Needless to say, the duckies and their friends have taken a pounding.

Originally stamped with the inscription “First Years” and dyed in a variety of bright colors, the smiley creatures are now completely bleached and battered. But many of the original 29,000 are still floating after their turbulent journey, and Ebbesmeyer says that the toys have helped oceanographers better understand the way surface currents behave.

The strange adventure also underscores how persistent some castaway cargo can be. In this case, 20 containers were lost; on average more than 10,000 containers go overboard every year. If rubber ducks can make it this far, so can more hazardous flotsam and jetsam.

“When trash goes into the ocean, it doesn’t disappear,” Ebbesmeyer said. “It just goes somewhere else.”

Number of guest appearances made by PMY editors on major TV or radio stations this summer. (Richard Thiel, “Out and About” on Sirius satellite radio; Diane M. Byrne, CNBC’s “Power Lunch”; and Elizabeth Ginns, Nautical Talk radio in Marshfield, MA.)

After a rigorous day of testing boats, diligent PMY editors, always on the cutting edge, often test yet another nautical innovation—the “Yacht-tini.” Designed and engineered by Grey Goose for the famous PMY/Sail party at the 2003 Miami International Boat Show, she’s a highly sophisticated, yet deceptively simple, piece of naval architecture.

Her body: 3 parts Grey Goose vodka, 2 parts Apple Pucker schnapps, and a dash of sour mix. Her fit and finish: one slice of Granny Smith apple. The verdict: After repeating the test numerous times, let’s just say that our editors were reeling with praise.

October Calendar
2-5. The International In-Water Boat Show in Boston, Massachusetts. (978) 777-4439.
2-5. The Boat Show in Tampa, Florida. (954) 441-3220.
4-5. The Long Island In-Water Boat Show at Tobay Beach, New York. (631) 691-7050.
16-19. The 32nd Annual Powerboat Show in Annapolis, Maryland. (410) 268-8828.
27-29. The IBEX Show in Miami, Florida. (207) 359-4651.
30-Nov. 3. The Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, Florida. (800) 940-7642.

Next page > A Word With..., and more > Page 1, 2

This article originally appeared in the September 2003 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.

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