Maritime Monday 241: Wicked Winds of Winter

Monkey Fist
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November 29, 2010


Watercolors by Derek Nobbs

Deep Sea News: 11.28.10 Oil Spill Roundup

As the publications roll out and the days roll on, we continue to learn more and more about the BP spill and its ongoing impacts. Lots of interesting stories to pique your interest this week:

Not happy with the conclusions of the Government’s National Oil Spill Commission, an independent group of academics known as the Deepwater Horizon Study group has insisted to the Times-Picayune that:

…even if nobody made that decision [to same money] consciously, BP has a corporate culture that “was embedded in risk-taking and cost-cutting,” and that played a role in the disaster.  Various investigations of the incident have found that BP was more than a month behind schedule and more than $40 million over budget on the drilling project, and that in the final days the company chose cheaper, faster ways to try to complete the project — by skipping key tests, by changing final steps to close off the well and by using a single tube to line the center of the well instead of a interconnecting series.

The ‘Should I eat seafood’ issue is far from dead—and rightly so… »

Bill Barratry’s Blog: A Date with History

THE Suez Canal opened to shipping 141 years ago this month. Its birthday on the 19th reminded me of my first two breathtaking encounters with the waterway.

imageAs a seventeen year-old cadet serving with a large British liner company, I entered the canal in a southbound convoy. At this stage of the transit, the canal is dead straight with high sand escarpments rising up on either bank. It is here that one is first made aware of the curvature of the earth. One can see the canal extending as far as the eye can see. Contrasted to this, are the high banks of the canal curving over the horizon on either side, demonstrating that the earth is indeed round.

The second encounter occurred the next day after a night at anchor in the Great Bitter Lakes. Cadets were in charge of the lifeboats and were responsible for ensuring that the ships biscuits, the condensed milk, the barley sugars and the water containers were in good order. They also had to check the condition of all the ropes and lifelines onboard each lifeboat.

It was while this fairly fresh seafarer was working in one of the starboard lifeboats that the second canal encounter occurred…


Rolex Auction Watch: Lt. Don Walsh’s 1958 GMT Master

November 25, 2010; – Continuing in our series of notable classic Rolexes hitting the auction block we have a new entry courtesy of Antiquorum. The auction house’s December 8th sale at its U.S. headquarters on Madison Avenue in New York City includes an exceptional and historically significant 1958 Rolex GMT- Master, ref. 6542, that belonged to Don Walsh, a Lieutenant of the U.S. Navy and Officer-in-Charge of the Navy’s famed bathyscaphe Trieste.

Wood’s 100 Old Navy Rum “Christmas at sea” vintage photograph competition

image“It’s time to dig out all your old navy photographs. Wood’s 100 Old Navy Rum wants to track down all those vintage and rarely seen photos of life on-board over the Christmas period and it has launched a nationwide search, offering entrants the chance to win £500 of Bosch tools.

In addition to the winning prize, the first 3 runners up and the first 3 entries will win a bottle of Wood’s 100 Old Navy Rum, the real original. Competition entries must be received by Sunday 5th December.

We want to see all those old pictures of Christmas on-board, be they happy, lonely, quirky or amusing. But they must be your own pictures, or that of a relative and should be accompanied by a sentence explaining what they mean to you.”

How to be a Retronaut is one of the judging panel for Wood’s “Christmas at sea” vintage photograph competition and the first six entries from readers of How to be a Retronaut will get themselves a bottle of Wood’s rum.


Bitter EndIt’s been COLD at Shipyard Cove in Friday Harbor »


Clip Art / Printer’s Ornament
United States Maritime Service Training Manual, Deck Branch Training, 1943, was created during the peak of US emergency growth in the merchant marine. As the Liberty and later Victory ships flowed out of the shipyards, this was one of the simplified manuals used to help farmers to become seamen. (online version)


Fragiles Fabulae; above: Phrosine et Mélidor – All images (c) Žilda  MORE »


Fred Hanson; The Sinking of the Vestris, 12 November 1928. Gelatin Silver Print. Hanson was a crew member on the Vestris. (via bluewaterblackheart)

History of The Cunard Line – The world’s most famous steamship line

imageCruising the Past – Cunard Line was the only company to continue regular transatlantic ocean crossings by liners after the 1970s. The French Line, Italian Line, the United States Line had gone out of business. Swedish America Line, Holland America Line along with Home Lines continued but only operating cruise ships.

Liner service between New York and Europe was only offered by Cunard. The QE 2 made numerous crossings into the 21st Century – making Cunard Line the only way to cross the pond and continuing the tradition of “getting there is half the fun.”

Of all the cruise lines in the market of today, perhaps the most venerable would be the Cunard line. A name that is synonymous with transatlantic crossing, the Cunard Cruise Ship Line is known in some capacity to just about everybody who knows anything about ships.


Figurehead of the HMS Bounty; Tall Ships, Halifax – Posted By: Peter Zack


Karl Köster / Aus meinem Fahrtenbuch Ahoi, ihr Blauen Jungen


Casualties of war on the Shatt Al Arab river – deepwaterwriter – See also: Sand Land


101125-N-7103C-144 ; PACIFIC OCEAN – November 25, 2010
Culinary Specialist 1st Class Lemuel ManLogon from Stokton, Calif., prepares a traditional Thanksgiving feast on the aft mess decks aboard the aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73). GW is currently on a scheduled patrol in the Western Pacific. – U.S. Navy photo by Mass Comm Spec. 3rd Class David A. Cox – submitted by Cold is the Sea

Deep Water Writing: Thanksgiving in the Gulf

Thanksgiving is the best of holidays. Less commercialized and more principled than the rest. There is no pressure besides eating what you’ve cooked and, save for orphans and sailors, spending the day with family.

The deck department has it good today. I told the Boatswain to have the guys write in four hours of overtime. They’re all good workers and turn to nearly everyday so only standing their eight hours of watch and getting paid for twelve is the next best thing to a weekend. The engine department though doesn’t have it so good on this November 25th.

Diesel engines are difficult to work on when a ship is underway. Time in port for engineers, which has been in short order this trip, is packed with preventive maintenance and repairs. We’re sitting on the hook (at anchor) for two days awaiting cargo so what is an easy anchor watch for the mates and A.B.s is a hectic couple of work days for the engineers…


Happy Thanksgiving!War Dept. photo of servicemen enjoying Thanksgiving, circa 1918 (via mudwerks: retro babes, noir, etc.)


Inchon, Korea: Aboard USS ReposeThanksgiving Day 1952: Corporal Richard R. Hollander, U.S. Marine Corps, is assisted with his dinner by Lieutenant Junior Grade Caldie Green (Nurse Corps) U.S. Navy Library and Archives / Otis Historical Archives Nat’l Museum of Health & Medicine (submitted by mudwerks)


sawfish 1928


Map of the Persian Gulf; 14-15th Century AD

Maersk May Invest in Railways, Trucks in China, India on Asia Trade Growth

A.P. Moeller-Maersk A/S‘s container-terminal arm may invest in rail, truck or barge operators in China and India as Asian trade growth outpaces demand in the U.S. and Europe.

The company is considering acquisitions that will allow it to haul goods to ports, APM Terminals Chief Executive Officer Kim Fejfer told reporters in Singapore today. He declined to elaborate further on possible targets.

APM Terminals also plans to invest in Yangtze River ports as economic growth in rural China spurs cargo traffic along the nation’s longest river. Sea-cargo traffic in China, Vietnam, India and other emerging markets may grow 7 percent annually until 2015 compared with a 2 percent expansion in more mature economies, Fejfer said.


German Naval Adventure Stories by Otto MielkeSOS Schicksale deutscher Schiffe
(57 images)

Philly: Head of seaport museum charts new course

imageCapt. John J. Gazzola knows his way around the Camden-Philadelphia waterfront. He’s an authority on the tugboat business, on dredging the mighty Delaware and on running weekly barges to San Juan from Petty’s Island in Pennsauken.

But historic stuff generally tucked inside maritime museums? Not so much.

That changed three months ago when the Woodbury resident became president and CEO of the Independence Seaport Museum, a troubled attraction at Penn’s Landing in Philadelphia.

“I’m spending a lot of time with the curator,” said Gazzola, his voice registering disbelief that he got the job. “He is educating me about some of the exhibits and I’m educating the staff about the river. After 25 years on this waterfront, I never once set foot in this museum.”

Now, the 52-year-old skipper mans a desk, managing 30 employees and a $3.5 million annual budget.

“If the old model was working, the board would have hired another museum keeper,” he said.


A deserted shipyard is seen in Sanmen County of Taizhou City, east China’s Zhejiang Province, Oct. 18, 2009. (Xinhua/Tan Jin)

Ship building industry recovers after economic recession

In more than 40 years, the vast and deep ocean gave Li Changxian everything except worries. But ever since the inception of the global financial crisis two years ago, the 44-year-old billionaire has fallen in the blues.

Standing in the once-bustling Hongda Shipyard he run in Taizhou, Li Changxian put his hand on the rusty hull of an unfinished ship and wondered whether it would set sails at sea.

Li Changxian’s question also rang in the ears of the private shipyard owners in the coastal city, now a world manufacturing center of small and medium-sized vessels.

Li Changxian made his foray into the shipbuilding industry in 1997 by joining his uncle’s shipyard. Thanks to the fast-growing maritime market, Li soon earned a fortune and started his business with two partners in 2007.


Cloud and ship. Ukraine, Crimea, Black sea, view from Ai-Petri mountain. (Photo and caption by Yevgen Timashov)  – Big Picture »

Information Dissemination – Latest Events; Korean Peninsula

Several noteworthy events took place surrounding Korean Peninsula tensions over the last 24 hours. Reuters discusses the first two issues in this report.

“We oppose any military act by any party conducted in China’s exclusive economic zone without approval,” China’s Foreign Ministry said in an online response to a question regarding China’s position on the George Washington participating in joint naval exercises.


Coupling – Quenames Morton Bouchard IV and Patapsco head upriver (more)


The reflection of the ketch-rigged sailboat Little Bear lights up the still waters at Southport Marina – South Portland, Maine – by Qvidja50 – see also: Mattea + HS Tosca & Champion

Two ships delivered to German owner

CHITTAGONG, Nov 26: Bangladesh’s leading ship building company, Western Marine Shipyard, delivered today two ocean-going vessels to its German owner, Grona Shipping GmbH Co KG.

Saiful Islam, chairman of Western Marine Shipyard finally delivered the twin vessels – Grona Ammersum and Grona Biessum – the ever-largest ships built by a Bangladeshi company to Markku Vedder, representative of Grona Shipping at a handing-over ceremony held at the Chittagong Dry Dock.


Staten Island Ferry, New York Harbor – April, 1959 (click to see full size)


German Comic book/adventure story Nick Nr. 022

Ship arrives in Guam with spiders

HAGATNA, Guam (AP) – A cargo ship from Honolulu arrived in Guam with hitchhikers – at least one large adult black widow spider and numerous baby kin. Stevedores found the spiders Tuesday after opening a hatch on the Matson MV Manukai. A University of Guam entomologist identified them as black widows, which are poisonous.

Officials said that once all but the affected cargo was off-loaded, the vessel would be fumigated. In July, authorities in the U.S. territory turned away a South Korean ship after thousands of spiders overflowed from its cargo.

Guam officials are especially sensitive to invasive species. A lone brown tree snake hitched a ride in cargo decades ago, and since then, hundreds of thousands of the creatures have populated the island.  /source

Ship charts a course for controversy as it awaits load

THE German ship that will carry 3000 tonnes of toxic waste from Orica’s plant at Botany Bay to Demark is sitting off the coast of Wollongong waiting to dock.

November 26, 2010 – The Beluga Fascination, a three-year-old 138-metre-long cargo ship, arrived from Port Pirie in South Australia yesterday morning.

Once it docks at Port Botany it will be loaded with 252 six-metre shipping containers and begin its six-week journey to Denmark, travelling south from Sydney to its first stop in Durban, South Africa, for refuelling.

The Beluga Fascination will sail around the Cape, up the west coast of Africa and around the top of Scotland before docking in the Danish port of Nyborg where its cargo will be incinerated by the hazardous waste company Kommunekemi.

Authorities are aiming to avoid disruptions from protests by environmental campaigners such as Greenpeace.

T/S State of Maine on final voyage

In case you missed it:

We’re sure that there quite a few readers of gCaptain that have fond memories of the T.S. State of Maine (ex USNS Upshur), which is why we wanted to pass along the link to the Facebook page that was recently set up by Captain Larry Wade, Master of the T.S. State of Maine, commemorating the history and memories of the the vessel that served as Maine Maritime training ship for 17 years.


Stamford Harbor, CTParade of boats ushers in Christmas season

Turkish cargo ship escapes Somali hijack attempt

Sunday, 28 November 2010 – Somali pirates attempted to hijack a Turkish cargo ship named “M/V August 26” Saturday night as it was sailing in the Indian Ocean.

Pirates’ hijacking attempt failed, when the crew was quick enough to sound the distress signal and lock themselves in the panick room. The Somali pirates fled the ship upon seeing the arrival of NATO Vessels who came to rescue “M/V August 26” upon reading the distress signal.


Norman Wilkinson, Transports under shell-fire, Suvla Bay, 1915 – (submitted by Tugster)


With the advent of sonar and air tracking during WWII, any form of camouflage proved to be useless; and the Vulcans quickly defeated the Nazis at the Alamo. And the rest, as they say, is history – Razzle Dazzle (more photos); devised by artist Norman Wilkinson


“Hello Again Sailor” by Screen Deb


(no information about this photo)


Lubber Soul?

You Can Thank Mariners for Rock-N-Roll

Deep Sea News – Jennifer Viegas at Discovery has an excellent piece on first use of the term Rock-N-Roll and the first Rock-N-Roll song.

“That’s All Right Mama” by Arthur “Big Boy” Crudup is the world’s oldest rock and roll song, according to Southeastern Louisiana University rock historian Joseph Burns, who also thinks this song could contain the first ever guitar solo break.

But more importantly, we can thank the maritime tradition for the term itself »

Water Wench Wednesday, The Holiday Edition on Scuttlefish

Adieu – Alfred Guillou c. 1892 (click to see full size)

Monkey Fist is a smack-talking, potty mouthed, Yankee hating, Red Sox fan in Portland, Maine.  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 [email protected].  She can also out-belch any man.

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