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Thursday, August 5, 2021

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  • Maritime Musings (40) (X)

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USCGC Courier

Posted to Maritime Musings (by Dennis Bryant) on August 10, 2012

The US Coast Guard cutter Courier (WAGR-176) started life in 1945 as the M/V Coastal Messenger. It was built in the final days of the Second World War as an inter-island shuttle craft to move military and naval cargoes between the Pacific islands. The war ended before the new ship could be deployed.

SINKEX

Posted to Maritime Musings (by Dennis Bryant) on July 31, 2012

The United States Navy disposes of many of its old, obsolete, and decommissioned warships by sinking them in deep ocean waters. This practice, called a sinking exercise or SINKEX, involves removing toxic and hazardous substances to the maximum practicable extent…

Abel Tasman

Posted to Maritime Musings (by Dennis Bryant) on May 4, 2012

Abel Tasman (1603-1659) was a Dutch merchant and explorer. He is credited with the European discovery of Australia and New Zealand. He joined the Dutch United East India Company (Verenigde Oostindische Compagnie - VOC) in 1633 and was promptly…

What have we learned from the Titanic casualty?

Posted to Maritime Musings (by Dennis Bryant) on April 13, 2012

Late on the night of April 14, 1912, the “unsinkable” passenger ship RMS Titanic, on its maiden voyage from Southampton to New York struck an iceberg. It sank about three hours later, at about 2:20 a.m. on April 15, 1912. Of the 2,224 persons on board, 1,514 lost their lives.

Other experimental ironclads

Posted to Maritime Musings (by Dennis Bryant) on March 23, 2012

When the Union Navy learned that the Confederate Navy was building an iron-clad warship to threaten the wooden-hulled blockade fleet, it launched a crash project to build its own iron-clad warships. Of the 17 proposals submitted, the Union Navy selected three for construction.

Joshua James - Lifesaver

Posted to Maritime Musings (by Dennis Bryant) on March 16, 2012

Joshua James (1826-1902) served as a lifesaver for 60 of his 75 years. Born in Hull, Massachusetts, he joined the Massachusetts Humane Society (an organization modeled on the Royal National Lifeboat Institution – RNLI) at age 15 after his mother and one of his sisters died in a ship wreck.

Pensacola

Posted to Maritime Musings (by Dennis Bryant) on December 9, 2011

Pensacola is the westernmost city in Florida, nearly extending into Alabama. It is the homeport for a number of fishing vessels and small passenger vessels. One of its claims to fame is that it is the site of the first European settlement in…

Alfred Thayer Mahan

Posted to Maritime Musings (by Dennis Bryant) on September 16, 2011

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

Posted to Maritime Musings (by Dennis Bryant) on August 5, 2011

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.

Chesapeake & Delaware Canal

Posted to Maritime Musings (by Dennis Bryant) on June 14, 2011

A canal connecting Chesapeake Bay and Delaware Bay was envisaged as early as the mid-seventeenth century, when it was realized that the two bodies of water were separated only by a relatively narrow strip of land. A canal company was first founded in 1802…

Cruise of the Corwin

Posted to Maritime Musings (by Dennis Bryant) on June 10, 2011

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.

Nikumaroro

Posted to Maritime Musings (by Dennis Bryant) on December 21, 2010

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.

Back from the (almost) dead

Posted to Maritime Musings (by Dennis Bryant) on November 5, 2010

The requirement for scanning of 100% of maritime shipping containers in overseas ports prior to loading on a ship bound for the United States was enacted into federal law (with various caveats) by the Implementing Recommendations of the 9/11 Commission Act of 2007.

SOSUS-VENTS

Posted to Maritime Musings (by Dennis Bryant) on August 27, 2010

The Sound Surveillance System (SOSUS) is a US Navy program, initiated in the early 1950’s, to track Soviet or other potentially hostile submarines. It consists of a series of hydrophones strategically placed on seamounts and continental slopes…

Q-ships

Posted to Maritime Musings (by Dennis Bryant) on July 27, 2010

Q-ships were merchant vessels drafted into wartime service, armed with concealed heavy weapons and sent out to lure enemy submarines into combat. They were used extensively by the Royal Navy during both World Wars and, to a lesser extent, by the US Navy during World War II.

Limitation of Liability Act of 1851

Posted to Maritime Musings (by Dennis Bryant) on July 6, 2010

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.

Politics of response

Posted to Maritime Musings (by Dennis Bryant) on June 29, 2010

I work hard to avoid engaging in what might seem partisan politics (viewing much, but not all politics, as similar to street theater - entertaining and harmless but not to be taken seriously). After reflection, though, I have come to the conclusion…

St. Lawrence Seaway

Posted to Maritime Musings (by Dennis Bryant) on May 14, 2010

The St. Lawrence Seaway is a system of locks, canals, and channels providing a connection for ocean-going ships between the St. Lawrence River and Lake Ontario. Small vessels had historically traveled this route, although portage was often required around rapids…

USCG Districts

Posted to Maritime Musings (by Dennis Bryant) on April 6, 2010

The US Coast Guard adopted the concept of geographic districts when it absorbed the US Lighthouse Service in 1939. Previously, it had no formal segmentation of its chain of command based on geography. Rather, the chain of command was grouped around function.

AIS

Posted to Maritime Musings (by Dennis Bryant) on January 25, 2010

The Automatic Identification System (AIS) was developed as a collision avoidance tool. It incorporates data from various onboard sensors, showing position, course, speed, etc. as well as the identity of the vessel, and transmits that information automatically and repeatedly in the VHF-FM bandwidth.