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Monday, June 14, 2021

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Beaufort scale

Posted to Maritime Musings (by Dennis Bryant) on January 1, 2010

Admiral Sir Francis Beaufort, Royal Navy, (1774-1857) did not invent the wind scale that bears his name, but he significantly refined the scale and worked vigorously to expand its usage. In his position as Hydrographer, he was able to issue orders to commanding officers and masters of naval vessels…

AIS

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

The Automatic Identification System (AIS) was developed as a collision avoidance tool. It incorporates data from various onboard sensors, showing position, course, speed, etc. as well as the identity of the vessel, and transmits that information automatically and repeatedly in the VHF-FM bandwidth.

Edmund M. Blunt

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

Edmund March Blunt (1770-1862) was one of America’s first hydrographers. He published some of the first nautical books and charts in the United States. The “American Coast Pilot” was first printed in 1796. It went through 21 editions before being taken over by the federal government in 1867.

DUKW

Posted to Maritime Musings (by Dennis Bryant) on January 19, 2010

The DUKW was developed at the direction of the National Defense Research Committee and the Office of Scientific Research and Development for transporting troops and light cargo during amphibious landings. The initial contract was awarded to General Motors…

United States Customs Service

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

Back in the golden age of the Republic, prior to the imposition of the income tax, virtually the entire operations of the federal government were funded by customs duties imposed on imported goods and by duties on shipping. The second statute…

Hanseatic League

Posted to Maritime Musings (by Dennis Bryant) on January 12, 2010

The Hanseatic League started out in the 13th century as a loose alliance of trading guilds in German coastal cities, primarily Lubeck and Hamburg. Over time, they expanded throughout northern Europe, developing a virtual monopoly on maritime trade in the region.

Marine protected areas

Posted to Maritime Musings (by Dennis Bryant) on January 8, 2010

Marine protected area (MPA) is a fluid term with a range of possible meanings. For the most part, it is an area of the marine environment where human activity is regulated for the purpose of conserving and managing natural and cultural marine resources.

Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal

Posted to Maritime Musings (by Dennis Bryant) on January 5, 2010

What is now the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal started out as the Illinois and Michigan Canal in 1848. This was a lengthy (96 miles) water route from the Chicago River at Bridgeport to the Illinois River at LaSalle-Peru. It included seventeen locks and…

Maritime domain awareness

Posted to Maritime Musings (by Dennis Bryant) on December 29, 2009

The United States Government defines maritime domain awareness (MDA) as an effective understanding of anything associated with the global maritime domain that could impact the security, safety, economy, or environment of the United States. The…

Christmas tree ship

Posted to Maritime Musings (by Dennis Bryant) on December 25, 2009

Among the many traditions of the holiday season is that of the Christmas tree. Most such trees purchased in urban areas are grown in rural areas and transported in quantity to the city. While most trees are transported by truck, in the late nineteenth century and early twentieth century…

Inmarsat & IMSO

Posted to Maritime Musings (by Dennis Bryant) on December 22, 2009

Inmarsat (originally the International Maritime Satellite Organization) is a telecommunications company, offering global mobile services, primarily via geo-synchronous satellites. Established in 1979 at the behest of the International Maritime Organization (IMO)…

Execution dock

Posted to Maritime Musings (by Dennis Bryant) on December 18, 2009

During the era when Britain ruled the waves, the High Court of Admiralty was a force to be reckoned with. While the Admiralty Court served at the pleasure of the King, it was independent from the courts of the land. The major constraint on its…

Loss of the Argo Merchant

Posted to Maritime Musings (by Dennis Bryant) on December 15, 2009

On December 15, 1976, the oil tanker Argo Merchant grounded on Middle Rip Shoal in international waters approximately 25 nautical miles southeast of Nantucket Island. The tanker was en route from Venezuela to Boston carrying 7.7 million gallons of No. 6 fuel oil.

Territorial sea

Posted to Maritime Musings (by Dennis Bryant) on December 11, 2009

The territorial sea is the belt of coastal water extending from a nation’s baseline over which the nation exercises sovereignty. The baseline is usually the shoreline, defined more precisely as the mean low-water mark. In certain places, such as the mouth of a river or bay…

100% scanning – 50% dead

Posted to Maritime Musings (by Dennis Bryant) on December 8, 2009

As Congress was reviewing draft legislation to implement the recommendations of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States, someone made a suggestion. The proposal would require, by 2012, each maritime shipping container…

Rockall

Posted to Maritime Musings (by Dennis Bryant) on December 4, 2009

Rockall is the summit of an extinct volcano located in the North Atlantic Ocean west of Scotland, northwest of Ireland, south of the Faroe Islands, and southeast of Iceland. Claims have been made with respect to Rockall by the United Kingdom…

Vessel protection detachments

Posted to Maritime Musings (by Dennis Bryant) on December 1, 2009

The last few months have seen some vessels operating in high-risk waters of the Gulf of Aden and the Somali Basin employing vessel protection detachments to fend off piratical attacks. The detachments consist of a small number of armed military or civilian security guards.

Prime meridian

Posted to Maritime Musings (by Dennis Bryant) on November 27, 2009

The parallels of latitude are fixed by the rotation of the Earth. The only human involvement is the use of a 360 degree circle, starting at the equator. The degrees of longitude, although using the same 360 framework, could be commenced from…

Fresnel lens

Posted to Maritime Musings (by Dennis Bryant) on November 24, 2009

The Fresnel lens was developed by the French physicist Augustine-Jean Fresnel for use in lighthouses. It was based on previous work on development of a large burning lens. The advantage of the Fresnel lens is that it has a large aperture and a short focal length…

Magnetic poles

Posted to Maritime Musings (by Dennis Bryant) on November 20, 2009

Existence of the north and south magnetic poles was postulated long after magnetic compasses came into widespread use. Prior to that, many people believed that the compass needle was attracted either to a magnetic island in the far north or to the Pole Star (Polaris) itself.