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Wednesday, June 16, 2021

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Joseph Conrad

Posted to Maritime Musings (by Dennis Bryant) on August 20, 2010

Joseph Conrad was born Jozef Teodor Konrad Korzeniowski on December 3, 1857 in Berdyczow, Russia to parents of Polish nobility. Orphaned at age eleven, he lived with relatives in Krakow until he was sixteen, when he began a maritime career.

Coast Guard executes convicted murderer

Posted to Maritime Musings (by Dennis Bryant) on August 17, 2010

James Horace Alderman had been convicted in federal court in Miami of the murder of two Coast Guardsmen and one Secret Service agent. Alderman was a notorious smuggler of alcoholic beverages – a rum runner – during the heyday of the Prohibition Era.

William Kidd

Posted to Maritime Musings (by Dennis Bryant) on August 13, 2010

William Kidd was born in Scotland in 1645. His early history is unclear, but he seems to have immigrated to the Colony of New York as a young man. In 1689, he was a crewmember on a pirate vessel in the Caribbean. The crew mutinied and sailed to the British island of Nevis…

Admiral Andrea Doria (1466-1560)

Posted to Maritime Musings (by Dennis Bryant) on August 10, 2010

Andrea Doria was born into an ancient Genoese family. At that time, Genoa was dominated by France. In 1503, Doria participated in the rising against France, compelling them to evacuate the city. For some years thereafter, he commanded the Genoese fleet…

USCG Marine Board of Investigation

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

The US Coast Guard investigates marine casualties for two purposes: (1) to improve marine safety by learning what went wrong; and (2) to determine if a professional mariner engaged in misconduct. The level of effort applied to the investigation varies with the seriousness of the casualty.

I caused the Gulf of Mexico oil spill

Posted to Maritime Musings (by Dennis Bryant) on August 3, 2010

Since the tragic explosion and fire on the MODU Deepwater Horizon and the large discharge of oil from the Macondo well, numerous government and private searches, followed intently by the media and the public, have searched for the cause. I now confess that it was me – I caused the whole thing.

Buoys

Posted to Maritime Musings (by Dennis Bryant) on July 30, 2010

The US Coast Guard utilizes a variety of navigational buoys. They may be constructed of metal, plastic, or foam. Regardless, they are deployed for the purpose of assisting in the navigation of vessels, indicating the location of channels and warning of hazards. There are seven basic types of buoys.

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.

Gerardus Mercator (1512-1594)

Posted to Maritime Musings (by Dennis Bryant) on July 23, 2010

Gerardus Mercator was a Flemish cartographer and craftsman of mathematical instruments. After producing traditional, but highly detailed, maps for some years, he undertook to design a map of the entire known Earth in a manner that would be useful to mariners.

The Whaleship Essex

Posted to Maritime Musings (by Dennis Bryant) on July 20, 2010

The sailing vessel Essex was a regular whaleship, like hundreds of others built in the United States during the peak of the whale-hunting era of the early 1800s. It was 87 feet in length, measured 238 tons, and was homeported in Nantucket, one of the centers of the whaling industry.

Juan Sebastian Elcano (1486-1526)

Posted to Maritime Musings (by Dennis Bryant) on July 16, 2010

Juan Sebastian Elcano was born in the Basque region of Spain in 1486. As a young man, he fought for Spain in conflicts in Italy and Algiers. After military service, he went to sea, quickly becoming master of his own ship operating out of Seville.

Coriolis effect

Posted to Maritime Musings (by Dennis Bryant) on July 13, 2010

The Coriolis effect is the apparent deflection of a moving object when viewed from a rotating frame of reference. An example is when two children on a merry-go-round try to throw a ball back and forth. In flight, the ball appears to the children to follow a curved path.

North American ECA

Posted to Maritime Musings (by Dennis Bryant) on July 9, 2010

On March 26, 2010, the IMO Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) formally amended Revised Annex VI of the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL Convention) to establish the North American Emission Control Area (ECA).

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.

Boatswain

Posted to Maritime Musings (by Dennis Bryant) on July 2, 2010

Nowadays, the boatswain or bosun is a term referring to the senior unlicensed member of the deck department of a ship. It is derived from the Old English word “batswegen”, meaning servant of the ship. The term was first documented in the Royal…

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…

Live oak

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

Live oak is a term used to refer to oak trees that are evergreen (retain leaves year-round, thus “alive”). There are a number of evergreen oak species and many are found in the southeastern United States (North Carolina to Texas). A mature live oak tree is massive…

Clipperton Island

Posted to Maritime Musings (by Dennis Bryant) on June 22, 2010

Clipperton Island is an uninhabited coral atoll in the eastern Pacific Ocean about 600 nautical miles southwest of Acapulco, Mexico. It is named after the English pirate and privateer John Clipperton, who waged a private war on the Spanish in…

Water bridges

Posted to Maritime Musings (by Dennis Bryant) on June 18, 2010

Water bridges, also called navigable aqueducts, were first developed by the Romans, but didn’t come into use again until 1690. That year, the Canal du Midi opened. The 150-mile long Canal connected the Garonne River (which flows into the Atlantic)…

Sidney Smith (1764-1840)

Posted to Maritime Musings (by Dennis Bryant) on June 15, 2010

Admiral Sir William Sidney Smith, Royal Navy, was a contemporary and fierce rival of Admiral Horatio Nelson. He first distinguished himself in the American Revolutionary War, as consequence of which he was appointed lieutenant of a 74-gun ship…