My friend Adrian Smith is a wreck diver and videographer who has started a Kickstarter campaign to fund an expedition to Bikini Atoll in the Pacific in order to document the warships sunk by a U.S. atomic blast in 1946. These WW2-era ships are the only ones ever to be exposed to close-range atomic blast (click the pic for a mind-blowing sense of how close).
To give you an idea of what these ships were exposed to, take a look at the water column of the mushroom cloud in this picture (or, even better, in this one). See the dark blotch on its lower right? That’s an aircraft carrier, lifted by the blast and standing on end.
Let me say that again. That’s an aircraft carrier. Liftedby the blast. And standing on end.
Among the sunken wrecks are the carrier Saratoga, the battleship Yamamoto (the flagship from which the Pearl Harbor attack was launched), the German battleship Prinz Eugen (which assisted the Bismark in sinking the USS Hood), and the U.S. submarine Apogon.
No comprehensive documentary exists of these historic vessels, and in recent years their erosion has accelerated. I think it’s very cool that Adrian is trying to get this documentary made. Here’s the Atomic Armada website. Fingers crossed for the expedition!
My favorite drink these days is a variation on a pre-Prohibition-era drink called a Whiskey Cocktail. It’s based on Jennifer Colliau’s recipe from Small Hand Foods.
The cocktail’s supposed to be made with bourbon (Buffalo Trace is recommended), but I use Bulleit small-batch rye. The Buffalo Trace has a lot of body, the Bulleit has a lot of character. It’s a preference thang.
Here’s the recipe, if you’re curious. Ingredients are listed in their pictured order, left to right.
1/4 oz simple syrup (1:1 sugar-to-water ratio)
1 dash Angostura bitters
1 dash orange bitters
2 oz. Bulleit rye (green label) or Buffalo Trace bourbon
1 lemon peel
Add simple syrup and bitters to an old-fashioned glass.
Add lemon peel and muddle moderately to release the oils.