Maritime Monday 230: Do Not Adjust Your Set

Mike Schuler
Total Views: 79
September 5, 2010

We thought we would provide this week’s Maritime Monday a few hours early, as we are so excited to just put last week behind us!  Again, we sincerely apologize for the unexpected downtime experienced.  We have been working tirelessly all weekend to get everything back up and running as soon as possible, and we’ll have another update for you all shortly.  Thank you for you patience and without further ado, Maritime Monday 230: ‘Do Not Adjust Your Set’ edition.

imageMaribor at Kakinada, India; June 2007 via SHIPSPOTTING – (SEE BIGGY)

imageThe Ships of Jonathan Atkin AKA ShipShooter: Beautiful Rena on the Columbia River »

imageWoopsie! A Chinese cargo vessel is sinking after it collided with a French oil tanker off the coast of east China’s Zhejiang Province on Tuesday. Photo: CFP

6 Missing after Oil Tanker & Cargo Ship Collide off China

UPI – Six people are missing after a French oil tanker collided with a Chinese cargo vessel off the coast of east China’s Zhejiang Province Tuesday, local authorities said. All seven people aboard the Chinese vessel fell into water after the collision that took place at about 11:10 a.m. near Ningbo City, and one was rescued, a spokesman with the Zhejiang Maritime Safety Administration said.

No oil spill was reported as the French vessel FLANDRE was not carrying oil when the accident happened. The vessel was traveling to the United Arab Emirates from a harbor in Ningbo, the spokesman said. Rescuers are searching the area for the missing person, he said. Local maritime affairs authorities are investigating the cause of the accident, the added.

Bitter End Gets the Short Arm Inspection

random drug test

What’s great about random drug testing is that it is indeed random.  With only one week left in the summer season, yesterday was my day to visit the local clinic for a test.  I asked if it was ok to snap a few shots with ye ole iPhone.

Another Oil Rig Explosion, and The Science of Dispersants

Big Ups to our buds over at Deep Sea News!  Last week’s series on dispersants (posted here) got snagged by the inimitable maven-of-nerd-core blog, Boing Boing.  Congrats one and all!

image Another oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico exploded today. All crew members survived. Right now, nobody knows whether or not the explosion caused a leak in any of the seven wells that the rig collects from. There have been reports of an oil slick on the water near the fire, but that could just as easily be from the finite amount of oil stored on the rig—which would still a spill, but a significantly less problematic one.

Other than that, there’s not really much information out about this right now. If anybody’s learned anything from Deepwater Horizon it seems to be that you’re better off, PR-wise, if you don’t have to correct everything you say two days later.

In case you missed it:

BP Removes Failed Blowout Preventer from Damaged Gulf Well

New Orleans, Louisiana (CNN) – BP removed the failed blowout preventer from atop its plugged well deep below the Gulf of Mexico, the company said Friday. The device was detached at 1:20 pm, BP spokesman Daren Beaudo said, and a vessel was slowly raising it from its position thousands of feet below the surface.

The removal “appears to have gone very smoothly and as planned,” Beaudo said. He added that steps also are being taken to reposition a drilling rig over the well site, in preparation for attaching a replacement blowout preventer on the well.


End of WWII–65 Years Ago Today

imageSailors aboard the battleship Missouri watch as Allied and Japanese representatives meet to have Japan formally surrender on Sept. 2, 1945 in Tokyo Bay.
imageMighty Mo –  On September 2, 1945 in Tokyo Bay, a Japanese Imperial delegation signed the instruments of surrender before the Allied Forces bringing World War II to its conclusion on the deck of the Missouri. Since 1998, the Missouri has been anchored in Pearl Harbor adjacent to the USS Arizona Memorial »

image Something Different (SD) is a joint venture of  tugster and coldisthesea.

Appropriation of Maritime Symbolism:

Doesn’t the yellow rattlesnake flag so common in recent political rallies have a maritime history?

What IS that maritime history?

These yellow flags with rattlesnakes you may have started seeing everywhere… they are not new.  I trace them back to the contrarian from Pennsylvania who played with lightning, yes… Benjamin Franklin.  He also extolled the health benefits of skinny-dipping and created bifocals, without which we older folk couldn’t exist.  His wit generated such gems as “fish and visitors stink in three days” and “beer is evidence that God loves us.”

Franklin liked rattlers, even proposed they become our national symbol because they were honorable beasts who –if they felt tread upon—would communicate, would rattle a warning of an impending strike if said-treading continued.

Cold is the Sea, here. By the way, I just couldn’t let the opportunity pass to link you to Kate Beaton’s excellent take on Ben Franklin’s conception of the Gadsden flag’s predecessor, the “Join or Die” political cartoon »

A piece of pottery at Coastal Carolina University on Monday, Aug. 30, 2010. The pottery was found in an archaeology dig near Kingston Presbyterian Church finding evidence of a naval stores industry that dates to the early 1800s. Photo by Janet Blackmon Morgan

Coastal Carolina University Dig Unearths Shipbuilding History

Work at Government Shipyard of Conwayborough stopped when the steam-driven vessel Maggie burned up at a dock on the Waccamaw River during an early May night in 1897.

The ship fire, which started around midnight, spread to some of the nearby warehouses as well as the shipyard. Reports from the time record the end of the Maggie, a Waccamaw Line ship that hauled cargo and passengers.

“We see this all over the world,” said Cheryl Ward, director of the Center for Archaeology and Anthropology at CCU. After evidence of a fire is found at an archaeological site anywhere on the globe, there typically is evidence in the soil layer above the charred layer that the destruction has been cleaned up and those using it have converted its use to something different.

Ward also does maritime archaeology and speaks with pride of the reconstruction of an Egyptian vessel discovered at a site she has worked in Egypt for decades. The Waccamaw, she said, contains what’s left of any number of vessels that sank in the county’s early English history.

Cosco Pacific Boosts First-Half Profit 82% as Economic Rebound Spurs Trade

Cosco Pacific Ltd., Asia’s third- largest container-terminal operator, said first-half profit rose 82 percent on recovering world trade and the sale of a stake in a logistics venture.

imageBloomberg – Net income rose to $189.9 million, or 7.96 cents a share, from $104.5 million, or 4.66 cents, a year earlier, the terminal operator said today. The company made an $84.7 million gain from selling its stake in Cosco Logistics Co. to its parent.

Cosco Pacific’s container traffic rose 19 percent in the period as a revival in consumer spending prompted retailers to restock Asian-made goods. Global container port volumes may rise 12 percent this year, with growth led by China, according to Alphaliner, a shipping-data provider.


Cruise Ship Clipper Adventurer Runs Aground in Northwest Passage

The Maritime Executive and reported about the recent grounding of the Amver participating cruise ship Clipper Adventurer.  According to reports, the Clipper Adventurer was sailing in the Northwest Passage when it struck an uncharted rock near Nunavut on Friday August 27, 2010.  The Canadian Icebreaker Amundsen was diverted to ferry the passengers to Kugluktuk.

imageDaewoo Targets Boom in Offshore Wind Power

Korean shipbuilding giant becomes latest engineering firm to set its sights on fast-expanding wind energy market

South Korean ship building giant Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering has announced that it is aiming to generate a third of its sales from wind power by 2020 as global demand for alternative energy continues to climb.

According to Bloomberg reports, the company is looking to diversify its revenue stream and generate sales of up to $7.5bn a year from its emerging wind energy operations by 2020.

Meeting the target would represent a remarkable performance from the firm given that it currently derives almost all of its revenues from shipbuilding and offshore equipment, with its wind energy businesses boasting annual revenues of just $25m.

EPA Rules Will Bar Ships from Discharging Sewage Near California Coast

EPA officials say the new rules taking effect next year prohibit cruise and cargo ships from releasing about 20 million gallons of sewage into coastal waters every year.

image August 26, 2010 / Los Angeles Times – New federal regulations will bar cruise vessels and large commercial ships from discharging sewage within three miles of California’s coastline, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced Wednesday.

Officials say the new rules, which take effect next year, will amount to the nation’s largest ban on sewage discharge and will keep some 20 million gallons of sewage out of coastal waters every year.

EPA Ruling Could Keep Calif. Coast Cleaner & Shipping Industry in Check

If you read InvestigateWest‘s piece on the cruise industry  this month, or our own coverage of the industry , you know that what happens below deck ain’t nearly as pretty or clean or fun as what happens on deck.

But there was good news for the California coastline on Wednesday, when the EPA announced it is putting a spine into a spineless 2005 law that set out to restrict how and where ships can release pollutants–including untreated sewage–into the state’s shoreline and its waters, which extend three miles from the coast.

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Failed Search Deepens Mystery of Vanished  imageExplorers

Canadian scientists’ announcement Monday that they failed to find the final resting place of British naval hero Sir John Franklin deepened one of the most enduring mysteries of the Arctic.

In May 1845, Franklin set sail from England with 134 men aboard two ships, the Terror and Erebus, to search for the fabled Northwest Passage through the Canadian Arctic to the Pacific Ocean. Five sailors left the ship in Greenland. The rest were never heard from again.

Last week, a six-man government survey team, supported by the Canadian Coast Guard vessel the Sir Wilfrid Laurier and its near 50-man crew, surveyed hundreds of square miles of frigid sea floor hoping to succeed where some 100 other expeditions failed—discovering the fate of the ships and a crew whose demise has been attributed to factors from lead poisoning to cannibalism.

Film Prop Becomes Work Boat for UK Oyster Farm

image A landing craft used in the 2010 film adaptation of the Robin Hood legend has found its way to Bailiwick waters.

Pinewood Studios was selling off the boat just as the Herm Oyster Farm was looking for such a vessel. Chris Allsopp, from the company, said it became the perfect boat for the job but only after a lot of work.

He said: “It was matt black with wood panels and a castle turret and oar holes… It had sheepskin rugs over the seats and arrows in the side of it.”

imageOn April 29, 1975, as Saigon was falling to Communist North Vietnamese forces, a small U.S. Navy destroyer escort ship, the USS Kirk, played a dramatic but almost forgotten role in rescuing up to 30,000 South Vietnamese. Here, a member of the USS Kirk’s crew tends to a Vietnamese baby.

Forgotten Ship: A Daring Rescue As Saigon Fell

imageFirst of three parts

August 31, 2010 – For Americans, the lasting image of the end of the Vietnam War came from the nightly news. On April 29, 1975, television showed the evacuation of Saigon as U.S. Marine helicopters swooped down to the U.S. Embassy and the roof of a nearby CIA safe house to rescue the last 1,000 Americans in the city and some 6,000 Vietnamese and their families who worked for them.

But there was another evacuation that didn’t get as much attention. Tens of thousands of Vietnamese found other ways to escape in those frenzied few days. They left in boats and helicopters and headed to the South China Sea. They didn’t know if North Vietnamese jets would sink their boats or shoot the helicopters out of the sky.

They did know that the U.S. Navy’s 7th Fleet was out there, somewhere, and they headed out to the ocean hoping to be rescued. One of those U.S. Navy ships was a small destroyer escort, the USS Kirk. As the evacuation began, the Kirk’s military mission was to shoot down any North Vietnamese jets that might try to stop the Marine helicopters. The North Vietnamese planes never came.

The approximately 260 officers and men of the USS Kirk weren’t prepared for what happened next…


Giant Royal Navy Destroyer Looms Over Yacht Carrying £4m Worth of Cocaine

‘There was no argument’

With the full might of a Royal Navy destroyer looming over it, the skipper of this little yacht had little choice but to surrender.

DAILY MAILHMS Gloucester had been called in to intercept the yacht in the mid-Atlantic which was carrying £4million worth of cocaine. The destroyer, which was diverted to assist while heading south to the Falklands, was helping a law enforcement team from Cape Verde in the early hours of Friday.


Japanese Cars Delivery Fail

ENGLISH RUSSIA – This is the way how used Japanese cars are being imported. Sometimes the greed of the owners can’t make them stop to get just a few more cars on board and here’s the result…

There was a big buzz lately about Russian station UVB-76 which was known as a “buzzer” transmitting repeating beeping signals for as long as 30 years, and then lately a few times those were interrupted with strange coded voice messages. Now you can have a rare chance to see the place from where all those are coming from.

Light Traffic on NJ-Boston Marine Highway

image – When Columbia Coastal Transportation announced last week that it would end its short-sea shipping services between New Jersey and Boston, it made me wonder: What might this signal for the future of such “marine highway” projects across the country?

For the past 20 years, the company had been providing weekly service between Elizabeth, N.J., and Boston, moving containers by tug and barge. Columbia Coastal officials told The Journal of Commerce that container traffic between Boston and New Jersey ports had dropped significantly over the past three years due to a decline in trucking rates. Another factor was the development of international carrier service to Boston.

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  • See also: Built in America at U.S. shipyards by Ken Hocke
    August 30, 2010For many years now I’ve heard people say that the trouble with the U.S. is that the country doesn’t build anything anymore. Those people are looking back at Detroit, Pittsburgh and Chicago of the mid-20th century.  They’re not looking at the workboat industry in 2010. And I’m not talking about cruise or container ships. Those are built overseas to take advantage of cheaper labor costs and many are built in government subsidized yards. I’m talking about supply boats and crewboats, and tugs, barges and towboats — built in America by Americans who are paid a fair wage and given decent benefits. more »

MIT Invents a Swarm of Sea-Skimming, Oil-Collecting Robots

image This weekend in watery Venice, Italy, MIT scientists will demonstrate a creation called Seaswarm, a fleet of autonomous swimming bots intended to skim the water’s surface; each bot would drag a sort of mesh net to collect the crude sitting there. According to their creators, the machines will be able to find oil on their own and talk to one another to compute the most efficient way to tidy it up.

The Seaswarm robots, which were developed by a team from MIT’s Senseable City Lab, look like a treadmill conveyor belt that’s been attached to an ice cooler. The conveyor belt piece of the system floats on the surface of the ocean. As it turns, the belt propels the robot forward and lifts oil off the water with the help of a nanomaterial that’s engineered to attract oil and repel water [CNN].

Mammoth Ship Visits Georgia Port

image SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) Savannah welcomed the largest cargo ship that’s ever visited its bustling seaport. The French-flagged ship CMA CGM Figaro traveled the Savannah River to the nation’s 4th largest port Friday.

The mammoth vessel is nearly 1,200 feet long and can carry up to 8,500 cargo containers more than twice the carrying capacity of most ships that use the Savannah port. Port officials say the ship is so large that it can only navigate the Savannah harbor at high tide.

via Savannah Morning News

Meet the Portfire40!

image59° 56′ N / By Ryan Skinner – This summer TradeWinds published a list of the 100 individuals and/or teams that they find most powerful or influential in shipping. They called it the Power 100.

Shipowners and scions topped the list. Even if TradeWinds ran away from the idea, the Power 100 parallels the Shipping Wealth 100. Wealth may be equivalent to power or influence, as these can be bought. What’s to admire about that? Lloyd’s List has already announced more or less the same thing.


NASA’s Stunning Hurricane Pics Via Plane, Space Station & Satellite

80 Beats – These photos from the ISS were taken by an Expedition 24 crew member on Monday. They show Hurricane Earl (at this time a category 4 storm) as it passed just north of the Virgin Islands.

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(left) Keelmen Heaving in Coals by Moonlight (1835) at the National Gallery of Art. This is not the bog-standard snap-shot of the slug and slog of the industrial revolution that the title might suggest, no sir. Instead, under Turner’s touch, a night-time of toil is transformed into an addictive vision of lush loveliness.

Permanent Collection: Turner’s Keelmen Heaving in Coals by Moonlight

I was just in London and found time for Trafalgar Square, to see what was sitting on top of the famous Fourth Plinth. In recent years, this erstwhile empty pedestal (it was made in the 1840s to exhibit an equestrian statue that was never completed).

This year has seen another sea change with the current Plinth commission, which is called Nelson’s Ship in a Bottle. It’s a model of the HMS Victory, Admiral Horatio Nelson’s flagship at the Battle of Trafalgar, by British artist Yinka Shonibare and the first Fourth Plinth piece to tap into the historical currents of its context. Fifteen feet long and eight feet tall, the bottle (complete with giant cork; above right) was made by aquarium specialists in Rome.

image Recommended Viewing: Edward Burtynsky’s Aerial Oil Spill Photos

Flavorwire just posted aerial photographs of the Gulf Oil Spill by Edward Burtynsky, whose Oil series explores the effects of the substance on our daily lives. The images, taken during Burtynsky’s trip to the gulf in May, are just striking.

Premiering at Nicholas Metivier Gallery in Toronto, the photographer’s hometown, on September 16, photographs from the Oil Spill series share space at the gallery with Burntynsky’s Pentimento images, which documents the crude process of dismantling massive ships by hand on the beaches of Bangladesh.

ShipSpot; via

image So, guess who’s jumping on the bandwagon and starting their own blog, too. Okay, I’ll give you two guesses… No, it’s not Bill Murray, though I’m sure that would be interesting.

Instead, it’s me, Fairlane, starting my own blog which features, well, so far, some pretty ugly looking, beat-up ships…wait a second, I’m just ripping somebody off here…

Well, not really, the point of this blog is to take what at first glance may just seem to be a random, unexciting vessel, and uncover what sets it apart. Was that longliner fishing boat once a spy ship? Did a famous author once sail aboard that tugboat? Did that bulker once participate in a major news story?

Tidbits like these, and many more are all what I’m setting out to uncover as I spy a variety of unassuming vessels, so join in on the search for these random facts at ShipSpot.

S.Korea and US to Stage Joint Naval Drill

image SEOUL — South Korea said Tuesday it will stage a joint naval exercise with the United States next week, the latest in a series of drills aimed at warning North Korea after its alleged attack on a warship.

The anti-submarine drill will take place in the Yellow Sea from September 5 to 9, a spokesman for Seoul’s Joint Chiefs of Staff told AFP.

“Now we’re coordinating final details with the United States,” he said, declining to say which ships would be involved.

Yonhap news agency, quoted an unidentified military official, said the exercise would involve two US Aegis-class destroyers and a 1,200-tonne submarine plus South Korean corvettes and destroyers, but no aircraft carriers or nuclear submarines.

KOREA TIMES – Preconditions for Talks: Action-for-Action Approach Advisable for Korean Peace

North Korean leader Kim Jong-il has expressed willingness to resume the six-party talks and his stance to adhere to the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

Preconditions for resuming the talks: First, Pyongyang must apologize for its clandestine sinking of the South Korean warship which killed 46 sailors. It should pledge not to repeat the same hostile actions.

Second, it must take voluntary steps to dismantle its nuclear weapons. Third, it should also promise not to conduct nuclear tests or fire missiles while the talks are under way.

There is little possibility that Pyongyang will honor the preconditions.

South Korean Cargo Ship Accused Of Sinking Chinese Fishing Boat

9/2/2010 – The Chinese Foreign Ministry says a Chinese fishing boat sank in the Yellow Sea after a collision with a South Korean cargo vessel. The incident occurred in waters west off west-Gyengnyelbi islet, South ChungCheong Province, on Wednesday afternoon.

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu told reporters in Beijing on Thursday that inclement weather made it difficult for China’s emergency response team to carry out rescue efforts. South Korean Coast Guard has sent a patrol vessel and a helicopter in search of the missing fishermen.

imageShip Graveyard in Chittagong, Bangladesh, being from the blog for Intermediate Unit 3 at the Architectural Association, School of Architecture in London. MORE »

SteelGuru: Update on Ship Breaking Activity Last Week

Most pundits in the recycling industry expected the negative outcome from Bangladesh (Chittagong yards remaining closed until October), to soften prices in India and Pakistan.

GMS said “While we did see a loss of confidence in these markets, no sales took place at lower prices.” It said “Supply of tonnage dried up this week as sellers began delaying their sales in anticipation of a Bangladesh comeback, end of Ramadan period and return of firmer prices. “

Ctg Ship-Breaker Fined for Ignoring Workers’ Safety

The Department of Environment (DoE) yesterday fined a ship-breaking yard at Sonaichhari under Sitakunda upazila Tk 7 lakh for ignoring workers’ safety and environmental pollution.

A team led by DoE Director (Enforcement) Munir Chowdhury fined Messrs Sultana Ship-Breaking. This is the first time a ship-breaking yard was penalized.

Munir said one worker was killed and four others were injured in a fire on July 12 while cutting an oil tanker of a ship at the ship-breaking yard.

Study: Antarctica’s “Achilles’ Heel” Ice Sheet Once Collapsed

image Similar populations of seabed-rooted animals separated by 1,500 miles of ice, researchers say, could mean that the West Antarctic Ice Sheet was once a trans-Antarctic seaway. This surprising find has also led researchers to wonder if a warming planet could again cause the thick ice sheet to collapse and give way to a swath of open water.

The team, which published their study in Global Change Biology, found similar but separated bryozoans–creatures also called moss animals–in both the Ross and Weddell Seas while conducting the Census of Antarctic Marine Life. Given that bryozoans don’t move all that much, lead author David Barnes suggests that the isolated populations came from the same, connected habitat.

Tallship Tenacious’ Decade with Jubilee  Sailing Trust

imageSouthampton-based charity, the Jubilee Sailing Trust (JST) is celebrating the tenth anniversary of the maiden voyage of the tall ship Tenacious.

Tenacious was the largest wooden tall ship in the world built during the last century. Its onboard facilities enable people with various physical disabilities to enjoy sailing.

Since 2000 the ship has sailed over 170,000 miles (275,000km), including six voyages across the Atlantic Ocean.

Thomas Over at 70.8% Describes in Moderate –Though Far from Complete Detail– His Recent Maine Quickie: Part 1; The Landing School

imageAfter going Down East, the intrepid small-craft enthusiast came in for a soft landing in Arundle, Maine. He spent the day running his hands over some lovely, smooth hulls and seemed especially enraptured with the hand-tooling.  While he has admired many a fine craft in his many, many years, the one that day towards whom he felt the strongest and most mysterious pull, proved too great a strain on his trailer hitch.

‘Tis much the pity, Mr. Armstrong, for certainly the lovely lasses of Maine were hoping to glimpse you glide astride the breaking surf and heave your keel securely and exhaustedly upon the drenched and rocky shores.  Anon, they were left disappointed.  That’s ok, they need something to yearn for as they stride the windswept cliffs.  Prostrate, wan, and inconsolable until you return, Cracker Jack!


Travelogue: Lock Up Your Daughters, It’s Whitby!image

Ever since I read Bram Stoker’s 1897 novel Dracula I had wanted to visit the pretty North Yorkshire seaside town of Whitby. The small fishing port – romantically positioned between a sometimes tragic North Sea (a teenager drowning off Whitby’s cruel waters the week after my departure) and the Brontesque Yorkshire Dales – features in the book as the eerie village in which the dastardly Count sucks the life out of poor Lucy Westenra before jumping the overnight sleeper to King’s Cross. Stoker visited the town a number of times, his account of Dracula’s dramatic arrival reputed to be based on a real incident in which the ship Demetrius ran aground on Whitby’s shore…its gruesome cargo of occupied coffins discovered by the local townsfolk in the first morning light.

The modern Whitby still manages to maintain a romantic atmosphere, the ruined skeleton of its clifftop abbey (below bottom – destroyed by Vikings in 867) dramatically silhouetted high above the harbour. The East Cliff’s atmospheric old cemetery and the historic, jagged-roofed fisherman’s cottages underneath endow the restless shore with a sense of mystery, danger and a strange other worldliness.

From The Whitby Seagull: Bram Stoker »

Much has been written about the importance of the town of Whitby. Tourists flock there to see the magnificent ruins of Whitby Abbey; the memorial to Caedmon (“the father of English poetry”), the magnificent monument to Captain James Cook who set sail from Whitby for the South Seas, and – of course – to sample the world-famous Whitby fish and chips.

Whitby has an additional claim to fame, albeit one that has led to a few misgivings and a healthy plate of misinformation: Dublin-born author Bram Stoker visited the town while working on his novel Dracula (published in 1897) and set three important chapters of his book (6-9) in the seaside town. The exact nature of this visit and the impact it had on his novel can be ascertained through an examination of two primary sources: Stoker’s working notes for Dracula (published in 2009) and the novel itself.  keep reading »


Underwater Cities: 12 Sci-Fi Visions & Real Design Ideas

Whether it’s adventure or necessity that ultimately propels us to venture beyond our shores and build new communities in the sea, we’ve got plenty of space to work with: over 70% of the Earth is covered with water. The world’s oceans can provide a dreamy setting for all manner of submerged societies, from self-sustaining utopian cities to ultra-modern inverted ‘skyscrapers’ and museums. These 12 ideas range from science fiction to theoretically achievable projects, possibly leading to the world’s first permanent aquatic abode.

USS Harmon, First Navy Ship Named After an African-American, Is Commissioned Today in 1943

imageWhen trouble’s cooking on the high seas, who better to come to the rescue than a mess attendant? Mess Attendant First Class Leonard Roy Harmon, who worked in the kitchens on the USS San Francisco, earned several posthumous honors for his bravery during the Battle of Guadalcanal, including a naval ship named in his honor. The USS Harmon, commissioned today (Aug. 31) in 1943, was also the first Navy ship named after an African-American.

Harmon was born Jan. 21, 1917, in Cuero, Texas. He enlisted in the Navy in 1939 and trained at the Navy Mess Attendant School in Norfolk, Va. At the time, this was the only Navy career path available to African-Americans and people of Asian-Pacific Island heritage. All job categories were opened up to all applicants regardless of race a few years later in 1942.

After completing his training, Harmon was assigned to the USS San Francisco, where he worked his way up to mess attendant first class. It wasn’t until the Battle of Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands in 1942, however, that Harmon was able to demonstrate what he was truly capable of.


Used Tire Art: The Rubbery Mutants of Ji  Yong Ho

Korean artist Ji Yong Ho uses pieces of used tire to create rubbery artworks he refers to as mutants.

imageAccording to Ho, recycled tires help capture the spirit of the animals because “rubber is very flexible, like skin, like muscles.”

These tires are just the beginning of  Betsabeé Romero‘s body of work. You owe yourself a visit to the site to check out all the tires, car

parts, photography, etc. Nice, nice stuff, and unusual.

via DudeCraft »

Wouldn’t it be cool to have those artists take a stab at ship fenders and dock bumpers?


Photo by Stuart Pearce (link) – May the Scientific Method be with You

During construction (of the whale model), workmen left a trapdoor within the whale’s stomach, which they would use for surreptitious cigarette breaks. Before the door was closed and sealed forever, some coins and a telephone directory were placed inside — this soon growing to an urban myth that a time capsule was left inside. The work was completed — entirely within the hall and in full view of the public — in 1938. At the time it was the largest such model in the world, at 28.3 m in length, though the construction details were later borrowed by several American museums, who scaled the plans further. (Wikipediamore »

Death in Space by Mary Roach:

The U.S. has plans for a manned visit to Mars by the mid-2030s. The ESA and Russia have sketched out a similar joint mission, and it is claimed that China’s space program has the same objective. Apart from their destination, all these plans share something in common: extraordinary danger for the explorers. What happens if someone dies out there, months away from Earth?  more »

image Devastator AM-318 Photo Scrapbook Images


image11711111[1] Monkey Fist is a smack-talking, potty mouthed, Yankee hating, Red Sox fan from Portland, Maine.  In addition to compiling Maritime Monday, she blogs about nautical history, marine science, art, current events, and coastal New England life on Casco Bay Boaters blog & Tumblr. (NEW!)
Submit story ideas, news links, photographs, or items of interest to her at [email protected].  She can also out-belch any man.

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