Jeff Butterworth, (founder of Alien Skin Software) enjoys amateur underwater photography and recently gave some tips on it. With some practice you can get surprisingly good shots from the inexpensive Canon D10 waterproof camera (to 10 meters).
The Big Picture: Christmas approaches »
Deep Sea News: The 2011 Atlantic hurricane season officially ends on Nov. 30 and produced a total of 19 tropical storms of which seven became hurricanes, including three major hurricanes. This level of activity matched NOAA’s predictions and continues the trend of active hurricane seasons that began in 1995.
Three Super Post-Panamax cranes, made to handle the largest container vessels in the world, are brought through Elliott Bay and toward Seattle’s Terminal 18, Nov. 28, 2011, near Seattle. The cranes, made in Shanghai, China, will allow the Port of Seattle to expand the reach of unloading container ships to the maximum of 24 container widths. The cranes were transported aboard a ship specially outfitted for the transport of large and unusually sized cargo.
Sea Stories Redux by Cold is the Sea
right: E.A. (Edward Arthur) Wilson, 1886-1970. Illustration from Iron Men and Wooden Ships, a collection of Sea Chanteys, first published by Doubleday in 1924; from Howard Pyle and Norman Rockwell
left: Iron men and wooden ships (cover)
Victorious (1969) — The Royal Navy’s last airworthy Swordfish dips its wings in salute as Victorious is towed out of Portsmouth for scrapping in 1969
USS ENHANCE MSO 437; Aggressive Class Minesweeper: Laid down 12 July 1952 as AM-437 at Maritinolich Shipbuilding Co., San Diego, CA; Launched, 11 October 1952; Redesignated an Ocean Minesweeper MSO-437, 7 February 1955; Commissioned USS Enhance (MSO-437), 16 April 1955; Decommissioned, 31 December 1991; Struck from the Naval Register, 21 February 1992; Scrapped 6 March 2000 by Crowley Marine Services, Long Beach, CA.
A survivor from the ‘Elingamite’ beng transferred from HMS ‘Penguin’ – 15 November 1902
The crew of the cargo vessel the Swanland called the coastguard in Holyhead, north Wales,
on Sunday morning. Photo: Ken Smith/Athena Pictures
The Duke of Cambridge helped lead search and rescue efforts for eight sailors swept into the Irish Sea after their ship sank amid gale-force winds off the coast of north Wales.
He co-piloted an RAF helicopter which winched two men to safety amid the debris of their cargo ship, the Swanland, in the early hours of Sunday morning.
Rescuers later recovered the body of a third man from the Irish Sea off the Llyn Peninsula as fears grew for the remaining five crewmembers.
Scottish Maritime Museum: built by the Thames Ironworks Co. in Millwall, London in 1898 and soon after took up station in Irvine, where she was to remain in lifeboat service until 1914. She is an example of a double-ended, self righting sail and pull lifeboat, and relied on wind and muscle power for propulsion. This would have been extremely strenuous and dangerous work for the crew in bad weather.
Bligh was not born to the sea; his father was a customs clerk. But the navy was one of the few professions in Britain where a man with no money or connections could make good, and Bligh made the most of it. He rose to the rank of lieutenant and commanded one of Capt. James Cook’s ships on Cook’s third and last voyage to the South Seas.
In 1787, the admiralty chose to send a vessel to the South Seas to investigate the feasibility of transplanting breadfruit from that region to the West Indies. The choice of commander fell on Bligh, who was both an accomplished navigator and a veteran of one of Cook’s voyages.
Is Bligh a victim of history, or was he truly the monster portrayed in Hollywood? His career is the subject of an exhaustive study by New Zealand historian Anne Salmond…
Founded on August 1st, 1876 in Geelong as Huddart, Parker & Co. Pty. Ltd, by James Huddart, T.J. Parker, John. Traill, and Captain T. Webb. James Huddart’s uncle, Captain Peter Huddart had made his fortune importing coal for use in the Victorian goldfields. He was the first major operator handling coal from the port of Geelong. Mr. T.J. Parker, was a merchant who arrived in Geelong from London in 1853. T J Parker commenced as a ship’s agent for Howard Smith’s steamship ‘Express”, trading between Geelong and Melbourne.
By 1886 it had inaugurated the Melbourne-Adelaide shipping service and in 1882 entered the Sydney Melbourne trade. During the early 1890s its steamers were running to the principal ports of New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Western Australia and Tasmania, and in 1893 it was also trading with ports in New Zealand.
Rum on board naval vessels goes back before the 1700’s and the tradition of offering all hands a tot of rum goes back to 1824. In making the tot official they brought down the amount issued each sailor from half a pint to 2 ½ ounces of pusser’s rum.
In case you were wondering, pusser is Royal Navy slang for a purser, a ship’s supply officer. the word became naval slang anything that is was supplied by the Navy, Pusser’s Rum is sometimes known as Nelson’s Blood, in honor of Admiral Nelson, the famous and arguably the greatest of the Royal Navy commanders it history.
In the 1960’s the pusser’s rum was supplied by Lamb’s distilleries.
At six bells, the bos’n’s call would signal “Up Spirits.” It was the end of work for the morning and with the call, everyone would head back to their mess deck, grab their mug and line up for their measure of rum. Everyone had their favorite mug or glass usually purloined from some bar.
In the 1970’s the Navy was not so much looking for “iron men” as they were seeking out people who could operate and maintain the increasingly technical weapons systems. It is tough to work your way through the electronics after a couple of tots so the Canadian Navy stopped this tradition in 1972, the last Commonwealth to do so.
RAF Empire Air Day, 1939 – Blackburn Aircraft – “Skua” advert: A cracking ad for the old Blackburn Aircraft Company, of Brough in East Yorkshire, in the 1939 Empire Air Day programme. A Skua seen above ships of the Royal Navy.
After working hard on the water all day, commercial fishermen have to fill out hand-written paperwork whether they’ve landed a full catch or caught nothing. The time-consuming paper reports can be frustrating, and many are looking forward to moving to an electronic reporting system. Electronic reports have recently been approved by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration as an optional replacement for paper…
Helpful Reminder of the Day: 45,000 people will be forced out of their homes this Sunday after a 4,000-pound unexploded World War II-era bomb was found in the Rhine River near the German city of Koblenz.
“[I]t has been known for some time that this type [of bomb] was dropped over Koblenz [by the British Royal Air Force],” said the city’s press office.
Refusing to risk any injuries, officials have ordered the evacuation of nearly half the city’s residents. According to explosives experts, the bomb, which was exposed due to the rain-deficient Rhine’s dipping water levels, could damage windows up to a half-mile away.
In addition to the British bomb, other unexploded ordnance, including a 275-pound American bomb and a German smoke grenade, was also discovered at the site.
That man seems to hold our interest, and inspire imitation, in ways other writers don’t. His personality and his travels continue to fascinate as much as, and perhaps more than, his fiction. A broad Gulf Stream of books about him flows on and on, year after year, leaving him, I fear, more read about than read.
This abiding interest in the man, as opposed to his books, has three causes: the undeniably adventurous and outsize details of his tragic life; his intentional cultivation of celebrity (and the resulting mountain of documentary records); and the fact that he wrote fiction so closely tied to the actual places, people and details of his life. We feel we know him because we have read his stories of protagonists very much like him doing things he actually did in places he really lived…
Jack Brown’s Seaplane Base is not just a tiny and incredibly busy airport. It is also a monument to a man who believed that every person should get to enjoy the thrill of holding the throttle on a single-engine seaplane.
After flying seaplanes during WWII, Brown began his extensive career as an flight instructor in Florida. After a solid career working for the US Air Force, Brown struck off on his own, finding a large plot near Winter Haven, Florida. Settling on Lake Jessie, Brown wanted to open a school dedicated to civilians, where they could experience the total freedom of taking off from water and controlling their own destiny in the cockpit.
Although Brown died in 1975, his sons took over his legacy, maintaining the seaplane base and the same friendly and encouraging attitude that made their father so well known. Besides being the site of extensive and neighborly flight training, Jack Brown’s base is also the busiest seaplane base in the world. At its peak, it runs nearly 27 flights per day totaling 10,000 per year.
Why does it burn when I pee?
Amor …. Pipe Smoking Sailor with Tattoos; by artist Javier Verdugo, Barcelona, Spain
Monkey Fist is a smack-talking, potty mouthed, Yankee hating, Red Sox fan in Baltimore, Maryland. In addition to compiling Maritime Monday, she blogs about nautical art, history, and marine science on Adventures of the Blackgang. Submit story ideas, news links, photographs, or items of interest to her at MM@gcaptain.com. She can also out-belch any man.
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