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Tuesday, December 1, 2020

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USS Maine

Posted to Maritime Musings (by Dennis Bryant) on November 7, 2014

USS Maine (ACR-1) was built as an armored cruiser, but later designated as a second class battleship. It was specifically intended to counter the growing expansion and modernization of South American navies, particularly the launching of the Brazilian battleship Riachuelo in 1883.

Mascarene Islands

Posted to Maritime Musings (by Dennis Bryant) on November 4, 2014

In the western Indian Ocean from east of Madagascar to the Seychelles Islands is a large area of relatively shallow water. The ocean bottom there is referred to as the Mascarene Plateau. Due to volcanic activity, a series of islands formed on the plateau, but only a few remain above water.

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.

Port Chicago mutiny

Posted to Maritime Musings (by Dennis Bryant) on October 28, 2014

After the African-American sailors stationed at the Port Chicago Naval Magazine who had survived the explosion of 17 July 1944 had retrieved the remains of the 320 personnel who had died in the disaster and had cleaned up the worst of the debris…

Port Chicago explosion

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

The Port Chicago Naval Magazine was a US Navy facility located in Port Chicago, California on the south shore of Suisun Bay. It was built shortly after the US entry into World War II for the purpose of loading munitions on ships bound for the Pacific Theater.

Battle of the Shimonoseki Straits

Posted to Maritime Musings (by Dennis Bryant) on October 21, 2014

The Shimonoseki Straits constitute a narrow waterway between the main Japanese island of Honshu and its southern neighbor Kyushu. It was and is a vital route for vessels trading among the Japanese islands. Japanese ports were partially opened…

Attu Island

Posted to Maritime Musings (by Dennis Bryant) on October 17, 2014

Attu Island (known to Aleuts as Atan Island) is the westernmost island in the Aleutian Chain and is the largest island in the Near Islands group. Located nearly 1,100 nautical miles from the Alaskan mainland, it is only 650 nautical miles from the Kuril Islands, northeast of Hokkaido, Japan.

STS Sedov

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

The sail training ship Sedov was built in Kiel, Germany in 1921 as the Magdalene Vinnen II. It is a steel-hulled four masted barque and has an auxiliary diesel engine. Operated as a cargo ship by F.A. Vinnen & Company of Bremen, it carried cargoes of coal…

Heard Island and McDonald Islands

Posted to Maritime Musings (by Dennis Bryant) on October 10, 2014

Heard Island and McDonald Islands are a group of small islands located at the convergence of the Southern Ocean and the Indian Ocean. They lie halfway between Australia and South Africa and are about 1,000 miles north of the Antarctic continent.

MV Mikhail Dudin

Posted to Maritime Musings (by Dennis Bryant) on October 7, 2014

The 1996-built general cargo vessel Mikhail Dudin (2319 GT, 300 foot) flies the Maltese flag, but is owned by a shipping company in St. Petersburg, Russia. It is named for Mikhail Aleksandrovich Dudin (1916-1994) a Soviet writer and poet and reputed spy.

Sponge

Posted to Maritime Musings (by Dennis Bryant) on October 3, 2014

The sponges are simple sessile aquatic animals of the phylum Porifera with a porous baglike body and a rigid or elastic internal skeleton. They constitute one of the most basic multicellular members of the animal kingdom, having bodies full…

Henry J. Kaiser

Posted to Maritime Musings (by Dennis Bryant) on September 30, 2014

Henry John Kaiser (1882-1967) established a road paving company as a young man, and was one of the first to utilize heavy construction equipment rather than rely largely on manual labor. In the early years of the Great Depression, his company was awarded major contracts for work on the Boulder…

Manta ray

Posted to Maritime Musings (by Dennis Bryant) on September 26, 2014

The manta ray is a very large plankton-eating ray, having wing-like pectoral fins, horn-like cephalic fins, and a short whip-like tail. The skeleton is composed of cartilage. There are two species. The Manta birostris can reach a width of 23 feet from wingtip to wingtip and a weight of up to 3…

RV Mirai

Posted to Maritime Musings (by Dennis Bryant) on September 23, 2014

The Japanese Government’s oceanographic research vessel Mirai, at 8,687 GT and a length of 421 feet, is one of the largest vessels of its type in the world. The ship, originally named Mutsu when launched in 1970, was one of only four nuclear…

Sumner Increase Kimball

Posted to Maritime Musings (by Dennis Bryant) on September 19, 2014

Sumner Increase Kimball (1834-1923) was a Maine man, born and bred. Born in Lebanon, Maine, he was raised in nearby Sanford, graduated from Bowdoin College in Brunswick, admitted to the Maine Bar, and elected to the Maine Legislature. In 1862…

Lewis Nixon

Posted to Maritime Musings (by Dennis Bryant) on September 16, 2014

Lewis Nixon (1861-1940) was, among other things, a noted naval architect and shipbuilding executive. He graduated first in his class at the US Naval Academy in 1882 and was soon sent to the Royal Naval College, Greenwich to study naval architecture. He again graduated first in his class.

Franklin D. Roosevelt

Posted to Maritime Musings (by Dennis Bryant) on September 12, 2014

Franklin Delano Roosevelt (1882-1945) achieved his first political office when he won election as a New York State Senator in 1910. As a result of his vigorous support of Woodrow Wilson’s successful campaign for the presidency in 1912, Franklin was put forward as the Assistant Secretary of the Navy…

Piraeus

Posted to Maritime Musings (by Dennis Bryant) on September 9, 2014

The port city of Piraeus is located on the Saronic Gulf at the southwest end of the Attica Plain, seven miles from Greece’s capital of Athens. Its population of 164,000 makes Piraeus the fourth largest city in the country, but this belies its importance as the region’s busiest seaport.

Chambered nautilus

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

The chambered nautilus (Nautilus pompilius) is the principal species of the Nautilus group of the cephalopod family. Other family members include the squid, octopus, and cuttlefish. The nautilus is the only family member with an external shell.

RV Araon

Posted to Maritime Musings (by Dennis Bryant) on September 2, 2014

Under the auspices of the Korea Antarctic Research Program, South Korea operates two research stations in the Antarctic. King Sejong Station, established in 1988, is located on King George Island, the largest of the South Shetland Islands, seventy-five miles north of the Antarctic Peninsula.