The New York Times has had an excellent series over the past several months entitled “The Outlaw Ocean”. The in-depth investigative pieces have examined everything from slavery in foreign fishing fleets to a 10,000-mile chase involving Sea Shepherd and a pariah fishing vessel.
The first four came out in quick succession over the summer, and Margaret and I enjoyed reading them out loud to each other while we were underway on the Chesapeake. Over time, the series slipped from our minds. Then, in late October the author, Ian Urbina, gave a talk at Downrigging Weekend in Chestertown, Maryland, which I attended while I was out working on Bear (I will be posting a video of the tall ships and other wooden boats from the festival soon). Just a few weeks later, another installment in the series, which we had presumed was already over, suddenly showed up on the front page of the Times. We gobbled that article up just like the previous ones.
This evening, the paper published still another article – the sixth – in the series. We have not read it yet, but it promises to be at least as good as the previous ones, on “Maritime ‘Repo Men'” who go after ships that are stolen, illegally detained, or in default.
If you are looking for something to read, you could do worse than checking out the series.