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Saturday, January 16, 2021

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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.

Ceuta

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

Ceuta is a small (seven square mile) autonomous city and Spanish enclave on the Moroccan peninsula that forms the southern side of the Strait of Gibraltar. It was ruled successively by the Carthaginians, Romans, Visigoths, and Muslims. During the reign of King Joao I of Portugal…

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.

Giant oarfish

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

The giant oarfish can grow to a length of 56 feet. It is seldom seen because it lives in deep ocean waters (to a depth of over 3,000 feet) and is rarely found in surface waters or near shore. Recently though two dead specimens were found just off the coast of southern California.

Lionfish

Posted to Maritime Musings (by Dennis Bryant) on November 8, 2013

The lionfish (pterois) is an 11-15 inch long venomous marine fish native to the western Pacific and eastern Indian oceans. Like some other species, it bears conspicuous colorization, primarily red, white, or black zebra stripes, to warn potential…

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.

Royal Arctic Line

Posted to Maritime Musings (by Dennis Bryant) on October 29, 2013

The Royal Arctic Line A/S was spun off in 1993 from the Greenland conglomerate KNI. It is wholly owned and heavily subsidized by the Greenland Home Rule Government to provide maritime cargo transport to and from Greenland and to keep the many isolated settlements along the Greenland coast supplied.

Akademik Lomonosov

Posted to Maritime Musings (by Dennis Bryant) on October 25, 2013

The Akademik Lomonosov is a large (474 feet long by 98 feet wide) barge being constructed in St. Petersburg, Russia as a nuclear power plant. It is named after the scientist and writer Mikhail Lomonosov (1711-1765), who, among other things, discovered the atmosphere of Venus and was a noted poet.

Sea salp

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

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.

Maeslantkering

Posted to Maritime Musings (by Dennis Bryant) on October 18, 2013

The Maeslantkering is a huge storm-surge barrier between the Nieuwe Waterweg and the Scheur River in the Netherlands. The waterway serves as the entrance to Europoort and the Rotterdam harbor. It also can provide access to storm waters to the interior of Netherlands…

Arctic Sunrise

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

The Greenpeace vessel Arctic Sunrise was launched in 1975 as the Norwegian sealing vessel Polarbjørn (Polar Bear). With dimensions of 162 feet (length), 37 feet (beam), 17 feet (draft), and 497 GT (gross tonnage), it has a maximum speed of 13 knots.

Nordic Orion traverses NWP

Posted to Maritime Musings (by Dennis Bryant) on October 11, 2013

The Panamanian-flag bulk carrier Nordic Orion was built in Japan in 2011. Managed by Nordic Bulk Carriers A/S of Denmark, the 75,603 DWT vessel carries dry bulk cargoes worldwide. On 6 September 2013, it departed Vancouver, British Columbia…

Georgy Sedov

Posted to Maritime Musings (by Dennis Bryant) on October 8, 2013

Georgy Sedov (1877-1914) was born into a fisherman’s family on the shore of the Sea of Azov. After finishing navigation courses in Rostov-on-Don and acquiring some sea time, he took an external degree in the Imperial Naval College and was commissioned…

Tamu Massif

Posted to Maritime Musings (by Dennis Bryant) on October 4, 2013

In the northwestern Pacific Ocean about 1,000 miles east of Japan lies the Shatsky Rise, an elevated portion of the seabed that covers an area the size of California. It was from the aircraft carrier USS Hornet that Doolittle’s Raiders were launched on 18 April 1942 in waters above the Rise.

Coast Survey Steamer Robert J. Walker

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

The steam vessel Robert J. Walker was built in 1844 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania for the US Revenue Cutter Service. Proving to be too slow and inefficient for revenue patrols, the side-wheeler was transferred to the US Coast Survey in 1848. It was named for Secretary of the Treasury Robert J.

Yong Sheng traverses NSR

Posted to Maritime Musings (by Dennis Bryant) on September 27, 2013

The motor vessel Yong Sheng is a nondescript geared general cargo vessel. Built in 2002 as the Dina-C, it has a gross tonnage of 14,357 and a deadweight tonnage of 19,150. It has been owned and operated by COSCO Group of China since 2006 and is registered in Hong Kong.

Upward Falling Payloads

Posted to Maritime Musings (by Dennis Bryant) on September 24, 2013

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the people who brought you the Internet, is seeking a different method of addressing the worldwide demands of maritime domain awareness in times of crises. While the US Navy is large, its…

Chinese Navigation Satellite Systems

Posted to Maritime Musings (by Dennis Bryant) on September 20, 2013

China has launched two constellations of navigation satellite systems. The first satellite in the BeiDou constellation was launched in 2000. BeiDou means “Northern Dipper”, the Chinese name for the astronomic constellation referred to in the…

IRNSS

Posted to Maritime Musings (by Dennis Bryant) on September 17, 2013

The Indian Regional Navigational Satellite System (IRNSS) is a planned domestically-produced satellite-based position, navigation, and timing (PNT) system under development by the Government of India. The government is concerned that it could…