Mystic Seaport Announces 2011 Maritime Author Series

Jessica DuLong, the world’s only female engineer on a fireboat, kicks off the 2011 Maritime Author Series at Mystic Seaport on Wednesday, January 26.

The series runs Wednesday evenings (January 26, March 2, March 23 and April 27) from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the Museum’s G.W. Blunt White Building. Tickets are $65 ($50 for members) for the series and $20 ($15 for members) for individual programs.

A wine and cheese reception will be hosted at 5:30 p.m., followed by the author’s presentation at 6:00 p.m. and then a Q&A session. One attendee at each program will also win a free copy of the author’s book.

Tickets are available:

Featured speakers:

January 26: Jessica DuLong will discuss My River Chronicles: Rediscovering the Work that Built America; A Personal and Historical Journey, a memoir that details her career change from freelance journalist and dotcom executive to becoming the world’s only female diesel engine operator aboard a fireboat. In her book, DuLong describes first volunteering aboard the antique fireboat John J. Harvey then leaving her career for a job in the vessel’s engine room and a life along the ever-changing Hudson River—a transition that caused her to question what America was losing in its shift away from hands-on work. These questions crystallized for DuLong in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks when the retired John J. Harvey was called back into service and its crew pumped water to fight blazes at Ground Zero.

March 2: David Fisichella, an engineer who manages Shipboard Scientific Services at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, will discuss Seven-Tenths: Love, Piracy, and Science at Sea, a memoir that details his maritime adventures with his legally blind oceanographer wife, Amy. Throughout depictions of tumultuous weather, Somalian pirates and exotic ports of call, Fisichella’s book reveals the workings of the ocean and provides a first-hand account of the daily routine aboard a crowded science vessel. He further describes learning how scientists study ocean physics, why their research is so important and the necessity in getting an experiment done right the first time.

March 23: Roy R. Manstan and Frederic J. Frese will discuss Turtle: David Bushnell’s Revolutionary Vessel, their historical account of the first operational submarine designed to sink the British Fleet during the American Revolution. Through the careful analysis of historical records—including Bushnell’s own handwritten letters—Manstan, a mechanical engineer and former Command Diving Officer of the Naval Undersea Warfare Center, and Frese, a technical arts teacher at Old Saybrook High School in Old Saybrook, CT, were able to deduce the inventor’s thinking, understand what the device might have looked like, how it operated and what might have happened during its attack in New York Harbor in 1776. Frese’s students created a replica of the early submarine and put the Turtle through a series of operational tests at Mystic Seaport, confirming the authors’ research.

April 27: Eric J. Dolin, author of Leviathan, returns to Mystic Seaport to discuss his latest book, Fur, Fortune and Empire, an account of the development and impact of a fashion-driven fur trade from its inception in the early 17th century to the late 1880s. In his book, Dolin states that the westward expansion of the United States was caused not so much by “manifest destiny” or a thirst for empire, but by a chase after animals and by those who sought wealth and a living in the pelts of fur-bearing animals.

For more information:

Mystic Seaport: Maritme Authors

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