Maritime Monday 193

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December 21, 2009

Welcome to this 193rd edition of Maritime Monday.

You can find last week’s edition here »dredge Leiv Eiriksson

A spell of insomnia has Bowsprite musing about fatigue and keeping odd hours »

Peruse the USCG’s Crew Endurance Management literature. Reactions to it are on Towmasters and by NYTugmasters, with links to studies on the matter. Good reading on the experiences are found on Kennebec Captain and on Old Salt Shaker’s ‘rest in pieces’, ‘inhuman error’, and ‘groundhog day’.

The Nautical Institute urges mariners to report issues relating to fatigue as part of their database.


imageIranian container ship Zoorik, which was broken into two parts by strong waves after running aground off the coast near Zhoushan, Zhejiang province, China, seen on November 4, 2009. Thirty-seven people on board, including a 2-year-old boy, were rescued, Xinhua News Agency reported. (REUTERS/China Daily)
On the shoreline; Boston Globe Photo Essay »

image Portland Breakwater Lighthouse, also known as Bug Light, South Portland, Maine. For more, see  from nelights’ photostream on Flickr

imageKeith Johnson and his son Eric created this snow sculpture of the steamer Reserve, the favorite of many boats his father Captain Armand Johnson worked on and captained during his 36 year career at Columbia / Oblebay Norton. Captain Armand Johnson died this past December, and the sculpture is a fitting memorial. From Duluth Seaway Port Authority

Variable pitch propeller in dry dockVariable pitch propeller in dry dock.  Ships propellers may be relatively small compared to the vessels themselves, but they are still huge when seen in context next to a person. Here are the best images we could find of these impressive technological behemoths. See 12 enormous propellers »

imageBellingham, Washington Daily Photo: Alaska Ferry »

imageATLANTIC OCEAN – Crewmembers aboard the Boston-based Coast Guard Cutter Escanaba hold on to nets on the flight deck of the cutter when the ship rolls in 15-foot seas Thursday, Dec. 17, 2009. The 270-foot cutter is headed toward a Gloucester, Mass., lobster boat that became disabled more than 200 miles southeast of Nantucket, Mass. U.S. Coast Guard photo   12/18/2009: Mission Accomplished »  12/20/09: Not All Publicity is Good Publicity: Update to “Happy Ending for Gloucester Lobster Boat” »

imageTHE YEAR in PICTURES: NY, NY:  Airline passengers wait to be rescued on the wings of a US Airways Airbus 320 jetliner that safely ditched in the frigid waters of the Hudson River after a flock of birds knocked out both its engines on January 15, 2009. Boats of every shape and size came steaming in from all directions to render assistance. (AP Photo/Steven Day)

59° 56′ N has a chat with Brett Keil; shipping’s LinkedIn superuser »

Some people know Brett Keil as the tall and gregarious sales director for Maritime Executive magazine. Perhaps many others know him as the owner of the Maritime Executive group in LinkedIn – with 5,695 members and growing, one of the strongest and most lively in the shipping industry.image

What got him started and what made it work? What does he spend maintaining the group and what results has he seen?

Amsterdam: Nemo H2: Worlds First Fuel Cell Powered Canal Boat Launched »

linkClick Image to read full story on

Amver Maritime Relations has posted Video of Amver Rescue Near Bermuda »

image As promised we have an update on the Amver rescue of three French sailors 600 miles east northeast of Bermuda. Below is video from the United States Coast Guard C-130 aircraft. The video shows the difficult nature of these rescues and the bravery of both the crew of the rescue ship, Wellington Star, and the survivors.

Anchorage, Alaska: India-flagged Cargo Ship Adrift in North Pacific »

image A 740-foot cargo ship with 28 people on board is disabled and floating adrift in the ocean 544 nautical miles southwest of Adak this afternoon. It is encountering 30-foot seas and winds higher than 60 mph, the U.S. Coast Guard reports.

The ship, the APJ Suryavi, registered in India, was heading empty from China to the Columbia River in Oregon when the main engine failed and would not re-start, said Coast Guard Chief Petty Officer Michelle Melino in Juneau.

Bitter End directs readers towards Another AIS site » and warns us all to Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid »

image Sea Shepards latest tactic will include music to scare the shit crap out of Japanese whale killers researchers:

Bethune said the eerie music, called “Tangaroa” or “Guardian of the Sea,” would be blasted through huge speakers and should be enough to scare off the bravest of men.

“It makes the hairs on your neck stand up — it’s very intimidating,” he said. “If we really go causing them some difficulties I’m going to put that track on.”

BlackPig chews the fat with his creator (or destroyer, insert higher power here) in God it’s Tough in Front of this Computer – Food for Thought »

BlackPig You might be there considering your own mortality and how to put an end to it at this precise moment (although reading this would be a bit of a risk at such a time – even I don’t think of this blog as a sort of scripted Happy Hour) but no matter what your state of mind you are still one of the lucky few, oh blessed band.

Take the time to look at the rolling waves, or smell the difference in the air under the trees, you know the sort of moments, soppy stuff…

Books Online: American Merchant Ships and Sailors by Willis J. Abbot 1902 »

image The daily life of those who go down to the sea in ships is one of constant battle, and the whaler caught in the ice-pack is in more direful case than the blockaded cruiser; while the captain of the ocean liner, guiding through a dense fog his colossal craft freighted with two thousand human lives, has on his mind a weightier load of responsibility than the admiral of the fleet.

In all times and ages, the deeds of the men who sail the deep as its policemen or its soldiery have been sung in praise. It is time for chronicle of the high courage, the reckless daring, and oftentimes the noble self-sacrifice of those who use the Seven Seas to extend the markets of the world, to bring nations nearer together, to advance science, and to cement the world into one great interdependent whole.

Complete text and original illustrations, for your reading pleasure…

Coast Guard News: 2009-2010 Icebreaking Season Commences »

image The Coast Guard conducts two major operations: Taconite and Coal Shovel. These operations ensure the most efficient movement of vessels through the entire Great Lakes region.

Operation Taconite, under the control of U.S. Coast Guard Sector Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., encompasses Lake Superior, the St. Mary’s River, the Straits of Mackinac, Lake Michigan and northern Lake Huron.

Coal Shovel, under the control of U.S. Coast Guard Sector Detroit, encompasses southern Lake Huron, St. Clair/Detroit River systems, and Lakes Erie and Ontario, and includes the St. Lawrence Seaway.

Copenhagen: Support for a Global Tax on Shipping and Aviation Grows »

imageTELEGRAPH.CO.UK:  If agreed at the tense Copenhagen summit, the money is likely to go towards a £100bn “climate aid” fund to help poorer states deal with global warming. Either a tax or emissions trading system specifically for these industries could provide up to a quarter of this amount.

The UK Government prefers the concept of global emissions trading over taxes on aviation and shipping. It is looking closely at plans to regulate both sectors more heavily to provide “innovative sources of financing” for the fund.

Dinner Bell: The Sustainable Ocean Project Wants You to Eat More Pests »

Sustainable Ocean Projects wants you to Eat More Pests

Cownose rays are a big nuisance in the sounds of North Carolina and the Chesapeake Bay. They eat delicious oysters and bay scallops, and schools of the fish can devastate entire beds of shellfish.

Two things can happen to help alleviate the ray’s pressure on shellfish: 1) rebuild shark populations to increase predation on rays (this is currently but slowly being done through regulation of the shark fishery); and 2) develop markets and a sustainable commercial fishery for cownose ray.

Europe: Ferry Operators Agree to Merger »

image Financial Times of London: Two of northern Europe’s largest ferry operators are to merge to create the continent’s largest operator by revenues, it was announced on Thursday after months of negotiations.

Denmark’s DFDS is to buy Norfolkline from its compatriate AP Møller-Maersk in a cash-and-shares deal worth €346m ($496m), Maersk announced. The combined operator would have had 2009 revenues of €1.48bn and earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation of €139m, the companies said.

gCaptain Forum Hot Topics:image

ITAR-TASS: Black Sea Storm Breaks Dry Cargo Vessel in Two »

SOCHI, December 20 – A powerful Black Sea storm has broken a dry cargo ship in two off the coast of Sochi, Semyon Mamoladze, the deputy director of the Sochi Maritime Port, told Itar-Tass.

The waves threw part of the Ara-1 ship to the beach in Sochi’s central district. The other part of the vessel remained at anchor.  The ship’s 13-member crew has been saved.

Japan Times: Waking up to a Shipwreck »

“It’s not every morning you look out and see 8,000 tons of steel on its side on the beach”

imageIt’s not every morning that a 169-meter-long ship gets knocked over by a giant wave and lands like a beached whale virtually outside the front door of your quiet seaside home.

The ill-fated Ariake had set out from Tokyo the previous evening bound for Okinawa. By 5 a.m. it was making its way through a storm off the shores of southern Mie Prefecture when it was blindsided by a huge rogue wave.

Kennebec Captain chimes in on gCaptain’s “ATB is Largest Ever to Transit Alaskan Waters” post with Crowley’s AT/B – Rule Beater »

image The question is why is Crowley using this rig, which is 600 feet long instead of a tanker? The answer is manning regulations.

Defenders of AT/B claim that they are not "rule-beaters" but have advantages over ships beyond lower crew and construction costs. If that was true wouldn’t you expect to see them outside the U.S.? In fact it is rare to see a tug and barge outside the U.S unless it is a specialized tow.

Lake Superior: Fraser Shipyards expansion gets $2 million in federal money »

image Fraser Shipyards is getting a big boost from the federal government as it expands its operations in Superior. The shipyard will get $2 million from an appropriations bill signed this week by President Obama. The money will go toward Phase Two of a three–phase, $10 million expansion. Phase One included dock wall improvements and the removal of an old dry dock…

Lloyd’s List DCN reports “No Deal for Shipping to Foot Climate Change Bill” »

image The International Maritime Organization looks likely to control the shipping industry’s emissions reduction strategy for the next 12 months at least.

This follows what has been described as a weak deal agreed to on Friday at the global climate change conference Copenhagen.

Manu’s Scripts Poor Ratings »

image We learnt almost all our seamanship from the old salts in Scindias, the company I was apprenticed to: Sukhanis, Cassabs, Serangs and Seamen/Helmsmen. Many were Gujaratis; most did not speak much English but were, I now realise, excellent seamen.

Later, I completed my sea time, moved on and forget all these seamen who had imparted skills to me that must have been learnt by their ancestors thousands of years ago. We officers failed those seamen, because we clambered on to higher things on their shoulders and forgot about them. The industry failed these seamen, because it did not take enough pride in their heritage and support them; some would have made excellent officers…

The Misunderstood Mariner offers up some nautical history context with I Saw Three Ships on Christmas Day »

The Misunderstood Mariner offers up some nautical history context with I Saw Three Ships on Christmas Day » The Christmas carol "I Saw Three Ships" dates from at least the 17th century, and may be another version of "Greensleeves," on which the carol "What Child Is This?" is also based. Like most Christmas carols, the song strives for a specific religious message, rather than historical accuracy. If someone actually saw three ships sailing into Bethlehem, they were most likely camels, the so-called "ships of the desert."

The eastern Mediterranean has enjoyed a bustling maritime trade almost since the beginning of recorded history. The Phoenicians sailed ships into and out of this area from 1500 BC to about 300 BC…

Modern Day Pirate Tales reports Al-Qaeda in Somalia: Naming Names »

image At a barely noticed conference earlier this month in Kampala, Uganda, the African Union’s Special Representative for Somali – Wafula Wamunyinyi – is quoted as saying that the presence of al-Qaeda in that country is real, something about which the world, "[S]hould be put on notice."

He claims that individuals have been recruited to the Somali-based group al-Shabaab from nations such as the United States, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Kenya, Uganda and the Sudan. These foreign fighters, according to Wafula, now number 1200, half of whom he claims are Kenyan…

USN Institute: National Security Strategy Due Date Long Since Overdue »

image When President Obama announced his decision to deploy 30,000 additional troops to Afghanistan, he presented a clear argument for why he believes U.S. national security is threatened by violence and extremism in that country and in the region.

What was missing from the speech, however, was a sense of how and to what degree continued U.S. involvement in that region fits into the United States’ comprehensive national security agenda. That evaluation is the key to keeping U.S. foreign policy consistent and balanced, and should be based on the president’s national security strategy (NSS).

Almost one year has passed since Mr. Obama’s inauguration, and the White House has yet to issue that seminal document.

Navy takes ownership of speedy warship »

New Jersey: Cape May-Lewes Ferry Runs Aground on Sandbar at Low Tide »

MV New Jersey was carrying 35 passengers

Cape May-Lewes Ferry A Cape May-Lewes Ferry vessel and its 35 passengers were temporarily stranded on a sand bar Thursday night after the MV New Jersey ran aground at the mouth of the Cape May Canal.

Nobody was hurt and the ferry vessel, which became unstuck with the incoming tide, was not damaged, according Delaware River & Bay Authority spokesman Jim Salmon.

New Shipping Route Will Lead to Arabian Container and Bulk Freight Port Complex »

New Shipping Route Will Lead to Arabian Container and Bulk Freight Port Complex SAUDI ARABIA – The proposed development of 100 plus square kilometres to the north of Jazan City, along a Red Sea waterfront stretching 12 kilometres has reportedly commenced despite the current economic downturn.

Loans from the Saudi Industrial Development Fund running to over $150 million have been made available to companies like South Steel and China has reportedly supplied $5 billion so far with a promise of more to come.

Oceans: Cataclysmic Flood Could Have Formed the Mediterranean Sea in Mere Months »

Cataclysmic Flood Could Have Formed the Mediterranean Sea in Mere Months History shows that the Strait of Gibraltar has often determined access to (and thus control of) the Mediterranean, and that goes for the water itself, too. Around 5.6 million years ago the Mediterranean Sea almost completely evaporated when it became disconnected from the Atlantic Ocean.

This was due to uplift of the Strait of Gibraltar by tectonic activity, combined with a drop in sea level (New Scientist). When the strait sank just enough to reach the water level 5.3 million years ago, ocean waters began to cascade through and fill the sea.

It was the Africa-Europe tunnel project, an ambitious proposal to run trains under the Strait of Gibraltar and link the two continents, that led scientists to this conclusion. Rather than bearing a V-shaped bottom like river beds that formed gradually, analysis showed the Strait of Gibraltar’s to be more U-shaped.

Panama Canal and Port of Palm Beach Unveil Strategic Alliance »

image JOURNAL OF COMMERCE: Under the agreement, the ACP and the Port of Palm Beach may undertake a variety of activities to promote both the Port and Canal including joint advertising, competitive market analyses and data interchange. The agreement demonstrates each organization’s commitment to encouraging increased trade and meeting the needs of today’s maritime and shipping industries.

From the beginning, the Canal and the Port have experienced commonalities.

“Indeed, as some may not be aware, Colonel George Washington Goethals, chief engineer of the Panama Canal construction, is credited for the design and construction of the Port of Palm Beach,” said Mr. Oppel. “And both the Canal and the Port opened their doors to world commerce in the early 1900s, the waterway in 1914 and the Port in 1915.”

Savannah Container Traffic Grows 0.3 Percent »

JOURNAL OF COMMERCE: The Port of Savannah saw its second straight month of container traffic growth in November, but the brief peak season recovery slowed down sharply as import volume declined 13.8 percent. Savannah’s overall loaded container volume edged up 0.3 percent in November over the same month a year ago, the Georgia Ports Authority said.

That was behind the 7.5 percent spike upward the country’s fourth-largest container port saw in October, and on a month-to-month basis the port’s volume measured in loaded 20-foot equivalent units slipped 15.4 percent from October to November.

Science: Fiber-Optic Link Brings Undersea Science Data Onto the Web »

link to slideshow The world’s largest network of fully wired undersea science stations has gone live off Canada’s western coast. The NEPTUNE network has begun streaming data from undersea instruments and sensors located on the Pacific Ocean floor directly to the Internet.

The network is expected to produce 50 terabytes of data annually, all of which will inform scientists about everything from earthquake dynamics to the effects of climate change on the water column, and from deep-sea ecosystems to salmon migration (Scientific American).

NEPTUNE will also feature a deep sea rover nicknamed Wally that will measure the temperature, salinity, methane content, and sediment characteristics on the ocean floor. The $100 million project will produce more than pretty pictures and a fire hose of data—it can also provide advanced tsunami warnings that could save both lives and money. TWIC Program Requires Disaster Recovery Plan » TWIC Program Requires Disaster Recovery Plan The need for a disaster recovery plan became obvious during the rollout of the TWIC program, where TSA was forced to suspend issuing cards to an estimated 1.2 million transportation workers nationwide due to a power failure in a TWIC data center in Annapolis Junction, Md., in October 2008, the report observed. The power failure resulted in the suspension of TSA issuing any new cards for weeks.

See also: TSA continues rudderless and leader-less on the Atlanta Journal Constitution

Sunday Times; Johannesburg: Somali pirates free 14 sailors »

image Pirates have freed 14 Filipino seafarers after more than one month in captivity off the coast of Somalia, according to the Philippines’ Foreign Affairs Department.

The Filipinos were among 21 crew members of the Greek cargo ship MV Delvina, which was also released by the pirates late on Thursday, the department said.

Towmasters: A Closed Labor Market Opening? Maybe »

image If you’re a tug-boater who has a job, congratulations, that’s wonderful! If you’re one who’s been out of work and is looking for another job, would you consider working outside the towing sector of the marine industry?

Congress is considering making it a requirement that the owners of U.S.-flagged uninspected fishing vessels “post” their job openings to Americans first before being allowed to hire foreigners to crew their vessels…

Don’t miss Installment 5 of Old School Plotting & Navigation Tools For The Discriminating Mariner »

Tugster dons his deerstalker and gets to the bottom of things in Outerbridge Mystery Solved »


Uganda joins International Maritime Agency »

image UGANDA has become the seventh non-coastal state and the 169th member to the UN International Maritime Organisation (IMO) after depositing an instrument of acceptance before the IMO secretary  general during the 26th regular session of assembly in London, the UK.

“Uganda is a non-coastal country and accesses the sea at the port of Mombasa and Dar-es-Salaam in Kenya and Tanzania, who are also our partners in the East African Community.  “We will benefit from services that accrue to any country that subscribes to IMO,” said Nasasira. stinks up the place with a post entitled Freedom Ship »

image Just when you thought cruise ships like our favorites, Oasis of the Seas and Norwegian Epic, were reaching the point of being over-excessive, something like this comes along. The idea is for a 4,000 foot vessel replete with every standard of a community, down to school and a hospital on board. She would circumnavigate the globe and allow for passengers to come aboard and depart via smaller vessels, and, get this, an airport on board.

UK: Port workers set to vote for strike action »

QUAYSIDE workers at Britain’s biggest container port today begin voting on the possibility of industrial action after rejecting a pay offer. It is understood the 2,700-strong workforce at Felixstowe was offered a one per cent pay rise – after earlier this year accepting changes to contracts which meant a “temporary pay cut” of between six and 11 per cent, depending what package people are on.

UK Maritime Makes Record Earnings »

TAIWAN NEWS: U.K. maritime services had a record 2.1 billion pounds (US$3.3 billion) in overseas earnings last year, the International Financial Services UK Maritime Makes Record Earnings London said.

The 40 percent jump from 2006 was led by ship-broking, with net exports up 23 percent to 948 million pounds, the London- based industry group said today in a press release for its Maritime Services report, published every two years. The Baltic Dry Index of commodity-shipping costs rose to a record in 2008 before ending the year down 92 percent as recessions curbed demand to ship commodities and other goods.

"The global economic downturn has contributed to an expected 10 percent drop in seaborne trade in 2009," Duncan McKenzie, director of economics for International Financial Services, said in the statement.

UK TimesOnline: The ship with holes and a sail – to save fuel »

image Tough emissions rules and industry overcapacity are prompting bold innovations.

It may sound bizarre, but a plan to save the shipping industry involves poking big holes through the bottom of every cargo ship and tanker in the world’s 80,000-strong commercial fleet. Jorn Winkler and his company, Rotterdam-based DK Group, have already tried it out on one vessel, with interesting results…

UN Maritime Force Takes Part in Rescue After Ship Sinks off Lebanese Coast »

image CHINAVIEW.COM: Members of the maritime task force of the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) had rescued at least 35 survivors and recovered the bodies of eight others by 5 p.m. local time Friday, according to a press release issued by the peacekeeping operation. Three more people have been rescued by other ships in the area.

The cargo ship, known as Danny F II and carrying livestock, sent out a distress signal Thursday night after it capsized about 10 nautical miles from the northern Lebanese city of Tripoli. Media reports say the ship had been sailing from Uruguay to Syria.

UPDATE: Rescuers save nearly half of capsized ship’s 83 crew »

USCG: United States Coast Guard Rear Admiral Sandy Stosz First Female Coast Guard Academy Grad to Earn Flag Rank »

New rear admiral receives plaudits from MD Rep. Cummings

USCG Academy As the Chairman of the House Subcommittee on the Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation, Congressman Cummings took particular pride in the promotion of RADM Stosz.

Other female Coast Guard officers have been promoted to Rear Admiral and beyond, but none graduated from the Coast Guard Academy, which did not accept female candidates until United States service academies began to admit female students in 1976. RADM Stosz entered the Academy two years later, graduating in the Class of 1982.

USS CONSTITUTION designated as America’s Ship of State »

Link to Old Ironsides Passed in the first session of the 111th Congress, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2010 has been signed into Public Law 111-84. Included in this law is the designation of USS Constitution as America’s Ship of State.

The world’s oldest commissioned warship has a new web site!

Yale Environment 360: Climategate: Anatomy of a Public Relations Disaster by Fred Pearce »

image The way that climate scientists have handled the fallout from the leaking of hacked e-mails is a case study in how not to respond to a crisis. But it also points to the need for climate researchers to operate with greater transparency and to provide more open access to data.

The media blizzard that has descended on climate science since the hacking of hundreds of e-mails held on the webmail server at the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) of the University of East Anglia in Norwich, England, is set to become a case study — in public relations disasters, in the folly of incontinent electronic communication, in the shortcomings of peer review, and, very probably, in “how not to save the world.”

See also: Dr. Lubchenco Responds to Questions About Stolen Climate Emails »

Yorkshire Post: Couple Blasted by Rescuers After Sea Alert »

image A COUPLE in their 60s who had never sailed before have been criticised by rescuers for putting to sea in an ill-equipped motor cruiser in bad weather.

The man and woman, who had only bought the Lady 3 in Ripon, North Yorkshire, the day before, were rescued in the mouth of the River Humber on Saturday night after the 30ft vessel suffered engine failure.


This offshore tug has the luxury of a 3-watch system (the benefit of any voyage more than 600 nm): 4 on-8 off, 8 on-4 off.  Their breakdown is 0600-1000-1400-1800. “We do it this way so whoever cooks does not end up with the pots.”

Bowsprite: A New York Harbor Sketchbook You were on watch to see the sun rising, the smell of breakfast is cooking, the engine is loud, someone is hammering: it is time to go to bed.

So, don’t request a tug to blow their horn as they go by: there is always someone trying to sleep. They fight constant noise, vibration, light, motion, odors; are interrupted by drills — I just cannot imagine it. As one chief mate puts it: “…bear in mind that we work aboard vessels that are essentially designed to collide with things…”

One offshore tug chief mate said, “I don’t know how harbor guys do it. I had to do it for 2 weeks, and at the end, I couldn’t remember my name.”

Casco Bay Boaters has the Historic Ship of the Week: USS Nantucket IX-18 »


Until next week…


Submissions for future editions:

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