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Tuesday, December 1, 2020

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  • Maritime Musings (47) (X)

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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.

McMurdo Sound

Posted to Maritime Musings (by Dennis Bryant) on March 14, 2014

McMurdo Sound (approximately 35 miles long and 30 miles wide) connects the Ross Sea to the north to the Ross Ice Shelf on the coast of Antarctica due south of New Zealand. This body of water, frequently ice-covered, was discovered by Captain…

Battle of Actium

Posted to Maritime Musings (by Dennis Bryant) on January 23, 2015

After the assassination of Julius Caesar in 44 B.C., the Roman Republic was led by the Second Triumvirate, which consisted of Octavian (the adopted son of Julius Caesar), Mark Antony (the magister equitum of Caesar’s army), and Marcus Aemilius Lepidus (a political ally of Julius Caesar).

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.

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.

Cape Cod Canal

Posted to Maritime Musings (by Dennis Bryant) on July 15, 2014

The Cape Cod Canal is a seven-mile long sea level canal connecting Cape Cod Bay to the north with Buzzards Bay to the south. Maintained by the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), it has a minimum channel width of 480 feet and an authorized depth of 32 feet at mean low water.

Taiping Island

Posted to Maritime Musings (by Dennis Bryant) on June 24, 2014

The Spratly Islands are a group of islets, cays, atolls, and coral reefs located in the southern portion of the South China Sea. Taiping Island (also called Itu Aba Island) is the largest of these islets and the only one with fresh water springs.

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…

Austro-Hungarian North Pole Expedition

Posted to Maritime Musings (by Dennis Bryant) on November 22, 2013

Well into the nineteenth century, many believed that the region of the North Pole was open water, surrounded by floating ice. If one could only locate an opening in the ice, it would be possible to sail from the temperate region to the North Pole and possibly out the other side.

Cocos (Keeling) Islands

Posted to Maritime Musings (by Dennis Bryant) on November 15, 2013

The island group, consisting of two atolls and about 27 coral islands, was stumbled upon by Captain William Keeling (1578-1620) of the East Indiaman Susanna. In 1609, he was returning to England from the East India Company’s trading post on Java.

Fluyt

Posted to Maritime Musings (by Dennis Bryant) on November 5, 2013

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.

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.

BIO Hesperides

Posted to Maritime Musings (by Dennis Bryant) on July 16, 2013

The BIO Hesperides (A-33) is an ice-strengthened oceanographic vessel of the Spanish Navy. It is named for the nymphs in Greek mythology believed to tend a blissful garden in a far western corner of the world on the shore of the Oceanus. The ship, built in Cartagena, Spain, was commissioned in 1991.

MV Queen of the North

Posted to Maritime Musings (by Dennis Bryant) on March 22, 2013

The ro-ro ferry remembered as Queen of the North was built in Germany in 1969 and originally named MV Stena Danica. It operated between Gothenburg, Sweden and Frederikshavn, Denmark until 1974, when it was purchased by BC Ferries. Renamed MV Queen of Surrey…

CG 36500

Posted to Maritime Musings (by Dennis Bryant) on March 19, 2013

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…

Seahorse

Posted to Maritime Musings (by Dennis Bryant) on February 12, 2013

The seahorse (genus Hippocampus) is a true, albeit strange-looking, fish. It shares the family Syngnathidae with the pipefish. Like other fish, it breathes through gills. But it lacks scales. Its skin is stretched over a series of interlocking bony plates…