May 22nd National Maritime Day

May 22nd National Maritime Day

Most countries economic development originated with the ships, and the men and women who sailed them, to grow. When there were no airplanes the only way to build trade with other countries was by what could be shipped out, and shipped in. With the world connected by merchant ships, there needed to be a strong navy to protect them. In World War 2 the allied countries were held together by their ability to ship war materials, and food, to those countries under siege. 250,000 Merchant Marines served during World War 2 with 6,700 (At least) perishing to get those needed supplies through. Today was created by the US Congress in 1933.

How to celebrate – Learn more about the foundations of our economy. Thank any sailors you see. Learn more about the maritime services.

July 22nd Hammock Day

Ah summer, it’s hot, maybe rainy and the kids are out of school. You will be under a lot of stress! So what’s the best way to relax? Gently swaying in the shade of a couple of trees while sipping your favorite beverage and maybe reading a book. It’s what the hammock was invented for! Well, not really but it works! Hammocks have been around since man decided he did not want to sleep on the ground. It is a cooler way to sleep, surrounding yourself an breeze available. They were also useful on ships. The hamock swayed with the rocking of the ships at sea allowing the occupant to not be trashed about and they could be raised and lowered as the need required, allowing for room in the tight quarters set aside for the sailors. Today was created by Bob Matthews who insists it is not a National holiday even though most sites show it as such. The day was created in 2008 for Holiday Insights during the “Dog Days” of summer.

How to celebrate – Buy a hammock. Check out all the different types of hammocks available. Pretend you are a pirate.

September 19th International Talk Like A Pirate Day

Sept. 19th International Talk Like A Pirate Day

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Rrrr… matey, speak up or walk the plank! Hoist those sails and prepare to get under way today with a true adventure of parley and codes (Really just more guidelines) with your friends, customers and fellow employees. (Or shall we call them shipmates?) So shiver me timbers, a-yast me hearties and remember to swab the decks before you go ashore.

The Capture of the Pirate Blackbeard, 1718
SSI39781 The Capture of the Pirate Blackbeard, 1718 by Ferris, Jean Leon Gerome (1863-1930); Private Collection; American, out of copyright

Created by Cap’N Slappy and Ol’ Chumbucket in 2008. However, John Baur and Mark Summer also claim to have created the day on September 19th, 1995. (Mark Summers wife’s birthday.)

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How to celebrate – Well, simple enough, talk like a pirate! Watch the new Disney “Pirates of the Caribbean” movie.  Make sure others know it is Talk Like A Pirate Day so people don’t think you really are one!

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July 22nd National Hammock Day

The hammock is one of the oldest beds in history, maybe even the oldest (other than rock). If mankind came from Africa originally, and that’s what experts seem to believe, then it would make sense that the hammock was in use long before anyone could claim it as their invention.

In the dense heat of the jungle, only a hammock would make sense. It would allow any air flow to come not only from above but from below as well. We already know the hammock was in use by the Native Americans found in the US.

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Hammocks can be made from nearly any material, are simple to put up, and they last forever. They were no stranger to the sailors that discovered America.

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Hammocks were the only practical way to make any sort of bed for all the sailors on board the tiny vessels they sailed. Hammocks could be stored overhead when not in use, making room for the other activities required to keep the ships sailing. The hammocks would gently rest the sailors to sleep, swaying with the ship as it was rocked by the ocean. It is also said, whether it’s true or not I am not sure, that rodents and other creatures tended to stay away from the hammock since they do not like the movement. There were times food was kept in a hammock like sling to avoid creatures that might otherwise make a meal out of it.

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While we view the hammocks as a sign of leisure on warm summer days, much of the rest of the world sees them as their actual bed. It’s hard to resist a hammock in the shade, gently swaying in the breeze, whether it is for a couple of hours or for an entire night.

How to celebrate – Find your own hammock and two trees. Try and make your own hammock from materials you have laying around the house. See if you can spend an entire night on a hammock.

March 30 Manatee Appreciation Day

Well, I have to start off with a song here…

OK, I couldn’t resist!…

Having worked for the Sea World Education Department eons ago, I have a fond place in my heart for these gentle giants. I saw daily what injuries they had to endure but I also saw how resilient they were.

I am happy that they receive their day in the spotlight!

If you have never seen a manatee in person before, it is a sight to behold. They are basically big, fat, grey teddy bears.

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How can you not love that ball of fluff…uh…I mean… blubber 🙂

This is why I find it amusing that they are associated with the tales of mermaids.

Legend has it that sailors at sea saw beautiful women swimming and beckoning them into the depths. In fact, even Christopher Columbus noted seeing such beauties – that is until they surfaced and he was quoted as saying they are “not half as beautiful as they are painted.”

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No one really knows why sailors thought they saw beautiful women. Was it possibly due to scurvy from all the sea water they drank – or maybe visions made up by love-sick men stuck at sea for months or years.

Manatees do continue to carry on one part of the legend though – they belong to the Taxonomic Order Sirenia – named after the songstress temptresses from folklore.

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