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Sunday, May 26, 2019

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  • Maritime Musings (11) (X)

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Magnetic poles

Posted to Maritime Musings (by Dennis Bryant) on August 5, 2014

The magnetic poles are the two points on the surface of the Earth at which the magnetic field points vertically down or up (in the northern and southern hemispheres respectively). These points are located near, but not at the northern and southern geographic poles.

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…

Albatross

Posted to Maritime Musings (by Dennis Bryant) on August 14, 2012

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.

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.

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.

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.

Macondo well and Fukushima Daiichi

Posted to Maritime Musings (by Dennis Bryant) on April 15, 2011

The Macondo oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico (following the April 20, 2010 explosion and fire on the MODU Deepwater Horizon) and the reactor failures at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in northern Japan (subsequent to the March 11,…

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.

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.