The sea lily (Bourgueticrinida) is an order of marine animals referred to as crinoids. They are typically found in deep ocean waters (to a depth of about 18,000 feet). In their adult form, they are attached to the sea floor by means of a stalk.
The bark HMS Endeavour was built in 1764 as the collier Earl of Pembroke. A type known locally as a Whitby Cat, it had a broad, flat bow, a square stern, a long box-like body with a deep hold, and a flat bottom. Originally ship-rigged, it was…
Teak is the common name for the Tectona grandis, a member of the verbena family native to the hardwood forests of India, Burma (Myanmar), Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia. It is a large deciduous tree, growing to a height of 130 feet, with gray and grayish brown branches.
The fluyt or fluitschip was one of the first ocean-going ships built exclusively for commerce. Previously, ships tended to be built to perform the dual role of fighting battles and carrying cargo. Thus, their construction was fairly robust and they carried cannons, ammunition, and combat personnel.
The world was recently witness to a multi-national effort to rescue the Russian excursion vessel Akademik Shokalskiy after it was beset in wind-driven ice off the coast of Antarctica. The French supply vessel L’Astrolabe turned back from its relief effort.
The salp is a marine animal, a member of the subphylum Tunicata. It is a primitive member of the phylum Chordata, which includes all animals with dorsal nerve cords and notocords. Unlike most Chordata, though, the notochord is only present during the larval stage.
The Barents Sea is named for the Dutch navigator, cartographer, and explorer Willem Barents, who mapped the area during expeditions in the late 1500’s. Historically, the Russians referred to it as the Sea of Murmans. It is located north of eastern Norway and western Russia.
During the American Revolutionary War, British forces captured thousands of “rebels”. Those in uniform were accorded treatment somewhat akin to prisoner of war status. Those not in uniform, particularly the maritime privateers, were subjected to harsher conditions.
On 26 April 1956, the ship Ideal X departed Port Newark, New Jersey on a voyage to Houston, Texas. The ship had been launched in 1945 as the T-2 tanker SS Potrero Hills. The ship had made many voyages in the intervening eleven years, but this was different.
The US Coast Guard motor lifeboat 36500 is the only one of the many hundreds that were built between the 1930s and the 1950s to be placed on the National Register of Historic Places. On 18 February 1952, during a severe winter storm off Cape Cod…
The albatross is the largest of all birds in terms of wingspan (up to 12 feet). It can be found soaring above all ocean waters of the Southern Hemisphere and above the North Pacific. It is largely absent from the North Atlantic, probably due to loss of habitat.
Little is known of Henry Hudson prior to 1607, when he was hired by the Muscovy Company of the Kingdom of England to find a northern route to the Far East. He and a crew of ten sailed on the 80-ton Hopewell. They reached the east coast of Greenland and traveled north to the ice pack.
Alfred Thayer Mahan (1840-1914) was born at West Point, where his father was an instructor. After graduating with distinction from the US Naval Academy in 1859, he served blockade duty on a number of warships during the Civil War. Mahan was promoted at…
Georg Wilhelm Steller (1709-1746) was a naturalist and zoologist, noted for being the first European to set foot in what is now Alaska and for describing and documenting some of the unique animal life of the region. He was born in Windsheim, Bavaria and studied at the University of Wittenberg.
The United States Revenue Cutter (USRC) Thomas Corwin was built in Portland, Oregon in 1876, becoming the first federal government vessel built in the state. She was finished and commissioned in San Francisco in 1877. San Francisco remained her homeport for her entire period of government service.
The whoosh you experienced at about 1900 UTC on Monday, January 3, 2011 was the sun passing by on its closest approach to the Earth – a mere 91,402,505 miles away. This recurs every year, often at night when it can’t be observed. The date and…
Nikumaroro (previously known as Gardner Island) is a small coral atoll in the central Pacific Ocean situated just south of the Equator and just west of the 180th meridian. It lies in the Phoenix Island Chain and is part of the Republic of Kiribati.
The Limitation of Liability Act, now located at 46 U.S. Code sections 30501-30512, was adopted to provide shipowners a measure of protection if their ships were to cause injury or damage to others in cases where the shipowners have no privity or knowledge relative to the cause of the incident.
Live oak is a term used to refer to oak trees that are evergreen (retain leaves year-round, thus “alive”). There are a number of evergreen oak species and many are found in the southeastern United States (North Carolina to Texas). A mature live oak tree is massive…
The Thames Barrier is a 1,710-foot wide movable flood control barrier across the River Thames just downstream from central London. After a ten-year construction period, it was officially opened by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II on May 8, 1984.