Welcome to this 192nd edition of Maritime Monday.
You can find last week’s edition here »
Capt. Thomas W. Vilas, a San Francisco bar pilot, guides the CMA CGM Vivaldi container ship into the Port of Oakland. Bar pilots guide cargo freighters, container ships and tankers in and out of SF Bay and through the Delta to Stockton and West Sacramento’s deep-water ports. (Story below)
NY, NY: Scrapped vessels, now disintegrated, await a rise in scrap ferrous metal prices. More news & views from the Sixth Borough on Tugster »
R/V and Icebreaker Laurence M. Gould »
Join us as we journey to Palmer Station, Antarctica, host to the Palmer Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) project. This year we have expanded our blog to include posts from two teams; those conducting research at Palmer Station and those aboard the Laurence M Gould ice breaker which departs later in December. You can track the ship, explore the environment with Google Earth, view more photographs and enjoy videos.
German manufacturer Herrenknecht, a world leader in tunnelling technology, spent nearly twelve months building the two Tunnel Boring Machines that will excavate the Airport Link road tunnel.
The TBM will continuously install a full circle of concrete segments during the excavation process to provide lining and strong support for the tunnel. They are highly versatile and extremely safe to use when excavating softer ground but also have the ability to cut through rock that is 6-8 times harder than concrete.
The port on Muharraq island has berths where the water is 15 metres (50 feet) deep, meaning it can handle large container ships and cruise liners. The new container port will have a throughput of 1.1 million containers per year, but this figure is capable of expansion to 2.5m containers as required.
Recognising the impact that such a large expansion will undoubtedly have on Bahrain’s maritime industry, the GOP also launched several initiatives to strengthen the industry’s capabilities in the long-term. These include a complete review of Bahrain’s maritime legislation in order to enhance its regulatory framework and enable its Ship Registry become an open registry.
Bangladesh: Ship Breaking Sector being brought under law: 1000-bed hospital planned at Chittagong Port »
Shipping Minister Shajahan Khan yesterday disclosed the plan as part of comprehensive measures for the shipping sector, including legal cover for the growing ship-breaking industry and streamlining the waterway communications.
About the findings on the disastrous launch accident in Bhola, Shajahan Khan said they would not conceal the findings like in the past. All will be published through the media. He said the investigation time for the ferry accident has been extended by three days.
Piloting a freighter or an oil tanker across San Francisco Bay isn’t easy. First, there are the shallow waters, strong currents and shifting shoals. Then there are the underwater wrecks, cables and other obstructions capable of peeling back a ship’s hull.
The maritime industry considers the bay one of the most challenging places to work, and piloting there is not for the faint of heart. It takes years of technical training followed by even more years as an apprentice.
BBC Northern Ireland: Eco-friendly Cargo Ship Firm Invited to Downing Street »
A delegation from a Larne-based company developing eco-friendly cargo ships is to meet Prime Minister Gordon Brown.
"Our transition to a low-carbon economy will be a key driver of our future economic prosperity – B9 Shipping is at the forefront of this transformation."
B9 Shipping designs and manufactures cargo ships which are not dependent on fossil fuels. The first such vessel will be launched in 2012. It was one of 100 companies invited to Downing Street on Thursday evening for "embracing the low-carbon economy".
Carnival and other lines buck bad economy and order new ships to be built »
Carnival signed an agreement with Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri to build another sister ship to the newly-released Carnival Dream. The ship will also be built at 130,000 tons, same as the Dream, which gives indication that times when shipbuilding was on hold are now over for the major cruise lines. This order is Carnival’s first in over two years.
London, England — In a city where one can hardly see the horizon because of an almost constant cloud of filth and pollution, many Hong Kong residents have long given up on the idea of a clean, green life.
But one Australian company is trying to counter that, with the introduction in the city’s harbor, the second busiest in the world, of eco-friendly ferries that run on solar and wind power.
Uniworld, the river cruise company that specializes primarily in Europe river voyages, is to pull its brand new Nile cruiser, River Tosca, from service after a string of passenger complaints about the ship’s poor finish.
Uniworld president Guy Young admitted to Cruise Critic that the Egyptian shipbuilder was responsible for the poor finish. "These problems are primarily the damage done to the beautiful wood and mosaic floors (in the staterooms, corridors and restaurant) during the final construction period, because the builder did not properly cover and protect these floors before the ship was turned over to Uniworld," he said.
EagleSpeak: If the "’Sea [is] too large to prevent all piracy,’ admiral says"–then you have to make the sea smaller… »
International naval forces will never be able to completely secure the vast area of ocean where Somali pirates are hijacking ships off East Africa, the commander of the EU Naval Force’s counter-piracy efforts said Tuesday.
"The news of a few days ago of a 300,000-ton tanker being seized is illustrative of the problems in protecting and policing an area of the world’s oceans that amounts to an area of about 1 million square miles," said Hudson, the commander of the EU Naval Force’s counter-piracy operations.
North Western Europe is now awash with container port capacity.
Prior to the recession it was perceived that these facilities were needed both to cope with the huge annual increases in container volume and to handle the new deep-draft vessels carrying these containers. Indeed the situation in Rotterdam was so bad that in 2008 the port had to restrict the movement of empty containers through the port as there was nowhere to store them.
gCaptain’s Professional Mariners Forum has keyboards glowing red as contributors tally up their favorite Sea Songs »
- seamarshals wonders about Choosing a Maritime Protection Company »
- dougpine waves bye-bye to Loran »
- cmjeff asks if anyone is attending Kongsberg in New Orleans on the 18th? »
One hundred years ago this week the car ferry Marquette & Bessemer No.2 left Conneaut, OH for Port Stanley, Ontario loaded with railroad cars full of coal, steel and iron. Within hours after the ship sailed a massive storm hit Lake Erie. Temperatures fell from 40°F to 10° F in less than 24 hours. Seventy knot winds and blizzard conditions were reported.
On December 12th lifeboat #4 from the ship was found containing the frozen bodies of 9 crew members. Other bodies were found months later…
Warehouses holding everything from beer kegs to frozen chickens crowd the roadside along Highway 146 south of Houston, and a ferocious building boom is adding acres more, thanks to an even bigger project 1,800 miles away in Panama.
A $5.25 billion plan to triple the Panama Canal’s capacity finishes in 2014, opening the way to Houston for mega-sized cargo vessels that can’t squeeze through the canal’s current locks and don’t want to steam around South America.
The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has published a new consolidated edition of the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS), the most important of all the international conventions dealing with maritime safety.
The SOLAS Consolidated Edition 2009 provides a consolidated text of the SOLAS Convention, its Protocols of 1978 and 1988 and all amendments in effect from 1 July 2009.
In the Boat Shed has More of Matt Atkin’s photos of the boats and ships of Hong Kong’s harbours »
Here’s some more of my brother Matt Atkin’s striking photos from Hong Kong. Once again, I don’t think either of us can say much about what the boats are, but it’s fascinating to see shots of a working and dwelling boat-using culture so very different from the one we know here in cold, rainy winter-bound Kent.
I was surprised by Capt Adrashoff assertion that the Navy teaches it officers not to listen to the enlisted personnel, that was the case when I was in the Coast Guard thirty years ago, but I thought modern navy leadership might be a little more progressive, evidently that is not the case…
Prof. Fritz Vahrenholt, Chairman of the Board of Directors of RWE Innogy GmbH, says: "The building of our own construction ships will overcome one of the most important supply bottlenecks we face in the construction of wind farms at sea. These ships will give us a decisive time and cost advantage in the North Sea and further afield in implementing our ambitious plans to expand wind energy."
Clean-air guidelines banning older rigs and those without diesel particulate filters take effect Jan. 1. Many drivers says the changes are just too costly.
The bans are part of the much-acclaimed "clean trucks" initiative that authorities say has already cut toxic emissions about 70% since its introduction in October 2008 at the nation’s busiest harbor complex. Parallel state clean-air regulations also go into effect Jan. 1.
Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics: Analysis of Global Air, Sea, Road, and Rail Freight Transport Trends to 2014 »
The Handy Shipping Guide has been taking a look at anticipated future prospects for several countries in different continents and seeing what the economic crystal ball gazers see in the future. Study of predictions made for the past five years have, in most cases been largely well clear of the mark.
Many of the countries surveyed had ambitious plans for transport infrastructure development which have now been reduced, postponed or even cancelled. The price of fuel is, needless to say, a crucial factor in determining the cost of moving cargo nationally and internationally.
Logistics Management reports that The Ocean Liner Industry is Mounting a Major Campaign to State its Economic Impact, Timed to Coincide with a Collective Strategy to Raise Rates »
SAN FRANCISCO — Top tier carriers are hiking rates in all major trade lanes in 2010, in anticipation of the promised global economic recovery. A recent study commissioned by the World Shipping Council — using 2007 as its base year — argues that what is good for shipping is good for both workers and consumers.
According to WTS, the shipping industry handled $4.6 trillion in goods in 2007, generating , $436.6 billion in direct and indirect benefits to the world economy. Consequently, it provided 13.5 million jobs.
Maritime Journal: Hamburg port alliance plans for growth »
The Port of Hamburg is lowering its fees in an effort to secure future growth. In intensive talks with the port and shipping industry and upon the initiative of Senator Axel Gedaschko at the State Ministry of Economic and Labour Affairs, incentives have been developed to route additional shipping traffic through the Port.
At the same time, the public port infrastructure will be further expanded and improved to cater for future trade needs and growth.
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey might pay for brand new ventures by signing long-term leases with private partners so that it can keep growing during the recession, Executive Director Chris Ward said on Thursday. Limiting privatizing to new projects would mark a break with the authority’s past practice.
Credit analysts have said privatizing is better-suited to new projects because they are more risky than ones that are already built. Some of the early deals that were done, in Chicago and Texas, for example, have been criticized for enriching developers at the taxpayers’ expense.
Opinion: US Short-Sea Shipping; Barry Parker asks if it’s finally being taken seriously in the states »
In the United States, short sea shipping – or coastal freighting services for hauling non-bulk cargoes paralleling existing truck networks – is not a new idea: a few container feeder roll on-roll off (ro-ro) services have already carved out small niches.
However, that ‘niche’ will soon turn to a wedge, if upcoming legislation delivers all it promises.
Pollution Control: The Future Consumption of Shipping Fuels »
Over the last few months, during the build up the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP15) in Copenhagen, global fossil fuel emissions have been more intensely scrutinized across all industry sectors, writes Del Redvers, Head of Sustainability at BMT.
International shipping is the most carbon efficient mode of commercial transport per ton of cargo carried but with 80% of worldwide cargo transported by ship, total emissions are equivalent to those of a major national economy.
President Obama has said he intends to nominate California attorney David T. Matsuda as administrator of the Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration.
Obama on Monday announced his intention to nominate Matsuda—who has served as deputy and acting administrator since July—to lead the agency within the Department of Transportation that deals with waterborne transportation and maintains the National Defense Reserve Fleet as a ready source of ships for use during national emergencies.
Any nomination to the position is subject to confirmation by the U.S. Senate.
San Francisco: Foes Fail to Sink Berkeley’s Ferry Plans »
Berkeley is moving full-steam ahead with plans for a new ferry terminal, despite howls from windsurfers and environmentalists that the ferries will bring the marina more harm than good.
The terminal will be built, operated and paid for by the Water Emergency Transportation Authority, which also runs ferry terminals in Oakland, Alameda and Vallejo. The money comes from bridge tolls, federal funds and state bonds.
BROWNSVILLE — The USS Saipan, a 27,000-ton, Tarawa-class amphibious assault ship launched in 1974, arrived at its final destination Wednesday afternoon at the Port of Brownsville as it was nursed into a slip at International Shipbreaking Ltd.
Tugboats towed the 820-foot aircraft carrier, also known as a gator freighter, from its mothball berth in Philadelphia Oct. 28 to begin the long journey down the East Coast, around Florida and across the Gulf of Mexico. The Navy decommissioned the ship in 2007.
Somalia: Reuters reports Somali Pirate Gangs Lure Investors »
In Somalia’s main pirate lair of Haradheere, the sea gangs have set up a cooperative to fund their hijackings offshore, a sort of stock exchange meets criminal syndicate.
The gangs have made tens of millions of dollars from ransoms and a deployment by foreign navies in the area has only appeared to drive the attackers to hunt further from shore.
It is a lucrative business that has drawn financiers from the Somali diaspora and other nations — and now the gangs in Haradheere have set up an exchange to manage their investments.
St. Petersburg Times has The High Cost of Bringing the Biggest Boats to Port »
A trade group dominated by cruise lines argues that Florida pilots charge too much. Rates, the trade group says, are kept artificially high because pilots hold a monopoly over an essential maritime service.
State harbor pilots earn average annual compensation of $369,000, according to a study sponsored by the Florida Alliance of Maritime Organizations. That’s far more than professions with similar responsibilities, such as ship captains ($230,000) and airline captains (up to $225,000), the group says.
Maritime Christmas: Foss Waterway Seaport Event Organizers take some liberties with historical accuracy »
TACOMA, WASHINGTON: A swashbuckling version of jolly old Saint Nick is making his way to Tacoma again this year, putting a local maritime heritage spin on the global Christmas icon.
Captain Claus is a perfect blend of a traditional Santa and a 19th century-era tall ships captain. He wears a long, oversized cuffed red and white coat, tricorn hat and sword.
Times of India: Chorao Locals Paralyze Ferry Services »
PANAJI: Demanding better ferry services and a fourth ferry boat on the busy route linking Ribandar to the island, Chorao islanders paralyzed the ferry services on Chorao-Ribandar and Chorao-Pomburpa routes on Wednesday till just after noon.
The strike began at 7am with the shouting of slogans at Maddel jetty and the ramp opposite Pomburpa. The agitated villagers, who were continuing Tuesday’s peaceful day-long protest by resorting to more direct action on Wednesday, called off their strike just after noon following an assurance by river navigation department minister Ramkrishna Dhavlikar that a fourth ferry craft would be pressed into service later.
Early in 2007, Lloyd’s Register began research into the implications of nuclear propulsion to tankers, bulk carriers, container ships and cruise ships. The initiative was built on Lloyd’s extensive experience in the traditional nuclear industries and from studies which led to the formation of its Rules for the Nuclear Propulsion of Ships.
Over the years, there has been a steady, slow development of nuclear propulsion for merchant ships — principally with ice breakers — but also extending to a lash barge carrier and a containership.
Federal authorities, responding to one state’s environmental concerns in another has ordered the US Army Corp of Engineers to shut down the Chicago Canal, and with it, the barge trade moving needed household fuel and road salt.
The US Army Corps of Engineers want 10 days to kill the Asia carp, a fish considered too big and dangerous for the Great Lakes.
Wall Street Journal: Shippers Brace for New Tax on Fuel »
BRUSSELS — Shipping companies, already crimped by a global trade slump, fear that the Copenhagen climate summit will deliver another hit: a tax on bunker fuel, the thick, sulfuric low-grade oil that powers ships.
In anticipation of a levy, the industry has developed a flurry of new technologies ranging from a giant kite that functions as a sail to aerodynamic paint, and are making simpler adjustments such as sailing more slowly.
Wish You Were Here: Maritime Photography Competition 2009 »
The Sunday Express has teamed up with Old Pulteney Single Malt Whisky for our fifth annual contest open to amateur photographers. The winner will receive £2,500 and a trip to the Pulteney Distillery in Scotland.
We are looking for striking images that epitomize Britain’s coastal landscape and our nation’s relationship with the sea. Every picture must have a maritime theme. From a classic photograph of a yacht sailing into the sunset, or a surfer catching the perfect wave, to a rugged image of fishermen coming into shore, they must be high quality, creative images that have a story to tell.
Last year’s winner: Laurence Cartwright’s “Sunstar over West Pier” picture »
World Shipping Council launches redesigned website in effort to increase awareness about the liner shipping industry »
The liner shipping industry has announced the launch of a redesigned website aiming to provide the public with a more comprehensive overview of the industry, its contribution to trading nations’ economic health, and the status of current policy issues, including the environment and security.
The project was undertaken by the World Shipping Council (WSC) as a continuation of the public awareness campaign started at the end of 2007 with the creation of the Container Shipping Information Service (CSIS).
“I demand snacks!”
At the very eastern part of Russia, where lands of the USA and the Russian Federation are nearly adjoining, and only a small neck splits these two spacious countries, there is the Chukotka peninsula and the Chukotka autonomous district. The place isn’t so populated, and we cannot say for sure what kind of inhabitants it has more, people or white bears.
Historic Ship of the Week: The Southern Pacific Ferry “Solano”
The Solano was a large railroad ferryboat which operated across the Carquinez Strait between Benicia and Port Costa in California.
It was constructed and operated by the Central Pacific Railroad to ferry entire trains on the Central Pacific transcontinental line to and from the San Francisco Bay Area. Before its sister ship, the Contra Costa, was constructed, the Solano was the largest ferryboat ever built.
It was 424 feet long and 116 feet wide (129 by 35 m) and was capable of carrying entire passenger trains or a 48-car freight train and locomotive. It was in service from 1879 to 1930.
By 1927, the two ferries reached their maximum capacity. On May 31, 1928 the Southern Pacific, successor to the Central Pacific in operations of the ferries, authorized construction of a railroad bridge from Benicia to Martinez just east of Port Costa. The railroad bridge opened in November 1930. It continues to serve the Union Pacific and Amtrak railroads.
Following the opening of the railroad bridge, the Solano and Contra Costa were dismantled and sold for scrap. However, what remains of the Solano can still be seen where it was scuttled to create a breakwater near Antioch, California.
See also: The Railroad Ferry Solano »
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