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Wednesday, January 22, 2020

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  • Maritime Musings (23) (X)

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The 1929 Grand Banks earthquake

Posted to Maritime Musings (by Dennis Bryant) on March 24, 2015

At about 5:02 pm on Monday, November 18, 1929, a 7.2 magnitude earthquake struck beneath the Laurentian Continental Slope about 250 miles south of the island of Newfoundland. The water there is about 7,000 feet deep. The earthquake was felt as far away as New York, Bermuda, and Montreal.

Sea lily

Posted to Maritime Musings (by Dennis Bryant) on February 13, 2015

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.

Sea otter

Posted to Maritime Musings (by Dennis Bryant) on October 31, 2014

The sea otter (Enhydra lutris) is a member of the weasel family that ran away to sea. It is the smallest of the marine mammals and the only one that does not rely on fat (blubber) for warmth. Rather, it has the thickest coat of fur of any mammal – up to one million strands of hair per square inch.

Teak

Posted to Maritime Musings (by Dennis Bryant) on May 20, 2014

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.

Malacca

Posted to Maritime Musings (by Dennis Bryant) on April 8, 2014

The Strait of Malacca is named after Malacca, now part of Malaysia. In about the year 1400, Parameswana, the last Raja of Singapura, was expelled from the area around present-day Singapore by local rivals. He relocated to the fishing village of Malacca…

Elephant seal

Posted to Maritime Musings (by Dennis Bryant) on April 1, 2014

Elephant seals are large seals represented by two species, the northern elephant seal and the southern elephant seal. Both were hunted to near extinction through the end of the nineteenth century. The smaller northern elephant seal is found in the eastern portion of the North Pacific Ocean…

Excursion vessels in polar waters

Posted to Maritime Musings (by Dennis Bryant) on February 11, 2014

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.

Elisha Kane

Posted to Maritime Musings (by Dennis Bryant) on December 3, 2013

Elisha Kent Kane (1820-1857) was born in Philadelphia and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania Medical School in 1842. Joining the United States Navy as a medical officer, he served in the China Commercial Treaty mission of 1844, in the Africa Squadron…

Fort Zeelandia

Posted to Maritime Musings (by Dennis Bryant) on November 1, 2013

Once the Dutch decided to compete with the Portuguese and the Spanish for maritime commerce with East Asia, they jumped in with both feet. After establishing a base in Batavia (modern-day Jakarta), they focused on trade with China and Japan.

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…

Regional Scale Nodes Project

Posted to Maritime Musings (by Dennis Bryant) on August 9, 2013

The University of Washington is leading the Regional Scale Nodes Project for the National Science Foundation (NSF) Ocean Observatory Initiative. The cabled underwater research facility is being constructed off the Oregon and Washington coasts.

Stad ship tunnel

Posted to Maritime Musings (by Dennis Bryant) on May 10, 2013

In a move reminiscent of the Athos Canal, built 483-480 BC at the direction of the Persian Emperor Xerxes, or the Corinth Canal, built in the 1890’s by the Greek Government, Norway has tentatively approved construction of a tunnel through the…

Chinese research icebreaker Xue Long

Posted to Maritime Musings (by Dennis Bryant) on May 25, 2012

The Xue Long (Snow Dragon) is the premier polar vessel of the People’s Republic of China. It was built in the Ukraine in 1993 and modified upon its acquisition by China in 1994. Its major function is to serve as a resupply vessel and scientific research platform in the Antarctic and the Arctic.

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…

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.

Henry Hudson

Posted to Maritime Musings (by Dennis Bryant) on November 22, 2011

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

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…

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.

Perihelion

Posted to Maritime Musings (by Dennis Bryant) on January 4, 2011

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

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.
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