It may seem strange that we're kicking things off here on the Sea Heritage blog with a reference to the Sound of Music, a movie set in the Tyrolean Alps. Believe us, we understand. It originally felt just as odd referencing a musical in which one of the lead characters held a prominent rank in the Austrian navy.
Austria. Beautiful country. Lousy coastline.
That's what we're all about here at Sea Heritage: the coast, a coastal state of mind, and all the things that make it so intoxicating. When you come to The Seaway, you'll read and share in a combination of insights, facts, and feelings that together, define our connection to the sea and its story. We welcome and invite you to share yours with us! If you'd like to contribute, we'd love to hear from you. Share how the coast makes you feel, and why.
If our years at the helm have taught us anything, it's that this connection to a coastal state of mind distills to several key ingredients. In no particular order, they are:
Magic. The lure of a place. The forecast calls for snow showers. It's Tuesday morning and the first-cup-of-coffee buzz is wearing off. You lean back for a minute or two, to escape and be transported to a beach, far, far away. You're remembering, or you're imaging what it will be like when you finally make it. The sounds of a parade winding through the streets of Key West. Gumbo in New Orleans. The feel of grass underfoot as you cup a new cocktail, watching the sun set in Oahu. It's everything you remember, or imagine it will be.
Memory. The recollection. That destination wedding in Old Town, Caribbean. How hot it was that night, with the bowls of low light illuminating the stone walls and cobblestone streets, and palm fronds. The family vacation to Bermuda, when the kids were napping and the adults were, too. Full stomachs and sun tans, pink sand between toes and no sound but the distant buzz of the hot tub and the call of the gulls. Snorkeling and sun tans. For a moment all was balanced.
Mystery. The Great Undiscovered Stretch. It's where you've always wanted to go. Your parents always talked about the trip they took and what it was like to watch the plankton glow as the boat lay at anchor overnight in the channel. That sound the name of a far-off harbor makes in your mind as you think of what it's like to watch the sun set over dinner. The harbor that served for centuries as a hub of nautical commerce. It's the lure of a place that you can't quite put into words, but makes you promise yourself that someday, you'll get there.
History. The story. For us, it's a tale told twofold. First, it's the places, whispering their narratives through ink on paper and compass roses, across oceans of time. It's the channels in which Blackbeard hid, and New York Harbor in the Age of Sail. The sound of ships' bells and sails unfurling. It's when new harbors were discovered and where great battles were fought. Where riches were discovered and the seeds of many a family tree were planted. It's where your family has its roots.
And second, for us at Sea Heritage, it's been a labor of love. Since 1999, We've connected our community with hundreds of antique nautical maps and charts, each with their own story. In offices, rec rooms, clubhouses, living rooms, boardrooms, dens, libraries, and studies around the world, these restored works of art hang proudly. It's been our labor and love to restore them to their original glory and offer them at affordable prices, And if we had a nickel for every time we've heard "I've been looking all OVER for one of these!" we'd have retired within our first year of operation.
We haven't because we love it. And we know you do, too.
It's our story as well. We're delighted to welcome you to our community and know that one of the ties mentioned above binds you to our thinking. We're all in this together: the pirates, daydreamers, landlubbers and beach bums, sailors pro and amateur. Aspiring captains raising a glass to their chart, hanging over the fireplace.
So cheers! And be sure to spread the word. From the coast of Maine to Key West, Long Island Sound to San Francisco, New York City to Honolulu. Chesapeake Bay to Puget Sound, if there's a stretch of coast that speaks to you, we've also heard its call. It's our pleasure to offer our collection of antique nautical maps and charts and hope it's yours as well.
In loving memory of our founder, "Papa," Vincent Paul Cooney, Sr. (1940 - 2012)