Maritime Monday for November 7th, 2016: The Storm with No Name

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November 6, 2016

Washington DC — 1953

The Perfect Storm: 25 Years Later

written by Sebastian Junger and published in 1997

New England Cable News – The Perfect Storm turned 1991 into the deadliest year at sea for Gloucester, Massachusetts, since 1978.

In the past 25 years, Gloucester has changed along with the people whose lives were directly affected by the storm.  See NECN Video Report

The 1991 Perfect Storm, also known as the The No-Name Storm and/or the Halloween Gale, was a nor’easter that absorbed Hurricane Grace and ultimately evolved back into a small unnamed hurricane late in its life cycle. Aside from tidal flooding along rivers, the storm’s effects were primarily concentrated along the coast. A buoy off the coast of Nova Scotia reported a wave height of 100.7 feet (30.7 m), the highest ever recorded in the province’s offshore waters.

In the middle of the storm, the fishing vessel Andrea Gail sank, killing her crew of six and inspiring the book, and later movie, The Perfect Storm. +

Gloucester, MA: Fisherman’s Memorial statue on Stacy Blvd. in Gloucester, Mass. Photo/John Blanding, Boston Globe staff

25 Years Ago, the Crew of the Andrea Gail was Lost in the “Perfect Storm”

Gloucester’s Andrea Gail, whose crew was lost at sea during a 1991 nor’easter, is remembered nationally through print and film, and personally in the seaside community.

At the heart of Gloucester, America’s oldest seaport, visitors will find an eight-foot-tall bronze fisherman at the wheel of his ship.

Engraved at the base of the Gloucester Fisherman’s Memorial are the names of more than 3,000 residents who were lost at sea and the following words: “They that go down to the sea in ships, 1623-1923.” Twenty-five years ago, one ship in particular gained national fame when it was lost during the “perfect storm” of 1991.

The “storm with no name” claimed the lives of six fishermen and the captain and crew of the Andrea Gail, a disaster that was later chronicled in Sebastian Junger’s bestselling book and a film starring George Clooney.  keep reading

wreck near Lanzarote, Canary Islands. photo by Shockin Goblin

Lanzarote’s Shipwreck

detail: PATRIS (ex. KING OTHON) shipwreck 1860. Kea Island – Photo by Yiannis Iliopoulos
Port of Split, Croatia; eastern shore of the Adriatic Sea (vintage postcard, c. 1900)

 Panorama view of Split and surroundings

Brodosplit shipyard is the largest in Croatia. It employs around 2,300 people and has built over 350 vessels; including many tankers, both panamax and non-panamax, as well as container ships, bulk carriers, dredgers, off-shore platforms, frigates, submarines, patrol boats and passenger ships. 80% of the ships built are then exported to foreign contractors. (wikipedia)

The Mersey Planet Canning Docks; Liverpool, England. photo by Dano-Photography

As a major British port, the docks in Liverpool have historically been central to the city’s development. Several major docking firsts have occurred in the city including the construction of the world’s first enclosed wet dock (the Old Dock) in 1715 and the first ever hydraulic lifting cranes. The best-known dock in Liverpool is the Albert Dock, which was constructed in 1846 and today comprises the largest single collection of Grade I listed buildings anywhere in Britain. Built under the guidance of Jesse Hartley, it was considered to be one of the most advanced docks anywhere in the world upon completion and is often attributed with helping the city to become one of the most important ports in the world. +

The Planet or LV23 Light Vessel as it was know on it’s station in the English channel, was the Last Manned Light Ship on the Mersey Bar and the last Manned Light Vessel on the English Channel. Now it is a Museum, Cafe Bar and beacon to the Merseyside Maritime Heritage. This famous piece of Mersey marine heritage is now back on the Mersey located in Canning dock, next to the Albert dock Complex, Liverpool.  more

The 141,000 ton container ship Maersk Edmonton, photographed against a dark, stormy sky somewhere in the North Atlantic – photo by Cycling Man
USNS Carson City (T-EPF 7) in Baltimore Harbor for Fleetweek 2016

Spearhead-class expeditionary fast transport operated by the Military Sealift Command; christened at the Austal USA shipyards on 16 January, 2016. more

FJ-1 Fury in 1947

Search for Sunken PAX Aircraft Continues in Chesapeake Bay

More than 200 sonar targets—some of which may represent parts of aircraft or debris fields—were found in August as underwater archaeologists continued their search for U.S. Navy aircraft lost in training exercises more than a half century ago off the coast of Patuxent River Naval Air Station, Maryland. An FJ-1 Fury lost in 1947—the year the fighter entered service, becoming the Navy’s first operational jet (only 30 were built)—was among the aircraft on the search list. keep reading

The first flight of the prototype XFJ-1 took place on 11 September 1946, with the first of 30 deliveries beginning in October 1947. Flown by Navy squadron VF-5A, the FJ-1 made the USN’s first operational aircraft carrier landing with a jet fighter at sea on 10 March 1948 aboard USS Boxer, pioneering US jet-powered carrier operations. Although ordered into production, the initial order for 100 units was trimmed to only 30 aircraft which were mainly used in testing at NAS North Island, California. more

USS Coldbrook, a 5,104 ton 390 foot diesel-powered steel-hulled cargo steam ship wrecked on June 16, 1942 off Middleton Island in the Gulf of Alaska. A pair of Bald Eagles as well as hundreds of Black-legged Kittiwakes now nest on the rusting ship. (See also) – Photo by Cameron Eckert
The LOUJAINE is docked in the GBX Company’s section of Erie Basin. Previously named the ABU LOUJAINE, and before that the BAHMA, she was built in 1966, in Nagoya, Japan for the Saudi Arabian company Arabian Bulk Trade. Photo courtesy of Red Hook WaterStories

New digital museum highlights past, present and future of Red Hook

The history of Red Hook is now just a click away. Red Hook WaterStories, a new digital museum curated by PortSide NewYork – a living lab for better urban waterways – is looking to bring the maritime history of the waterside Brooklyn nabe to the masses with Including extensive historical research, vintage articles, maps and illustrations, the site will enable users to search for and read original sources along with essays written by the PortSide team directly on the site.  keep reading on Brooklyn Reporter

The perigee full moon appears red on the autumn sky from Salgotarjan, (near Budapest) Hungary, in 2015. Image Credit: EPA/Peter Komka / Pulse

Super-hype for this month’s Super Moon

The Moon hasn’t come this close to Earth since January 26, 1948, when it was 30 miles (48 kilometers) nearer. And it won’t be this close again until November 25, 2034. So, this Super Moon truly is a rare and special event. keep reading on

see also: A guide to the spectacular events that will fill the skies this month

Martin Williams, Senior News Reporter, Herald Scotland

Hawaii group bids to save Clyde-built ship from watery grave

Campaigners say they have new hope of saving the Scottish-built historic sailing ship the Falls of Clyde which was threatened with being towed out of a Hawaii harbour and being sunk. They have called on the authorities to halt any moves to consign the last remaining iron-hulled four-masted sailing ship in the world to a watery grave after a new naval architect’s report said it is not a safety hazard.

Launched in Port Glasgow in 1878, Falls of Clyde, now a museum ship, had been declared dangerous by the Harbors Division of the State of Hawaii Department of Transportation (DoT), which has rescinded its permit to reside in Honolulu harbour. keep reading

Falls of Clyde ca. 1900 – National Maritime Historical Society; Peekskill, NY – more

Falls of Clyde is the last surviving iron-hulled, four-masted full-rigged ship, and the only remaining sail-driven oil tanker. After twenty-one years as a British merchantmen, Falls of Clyde was purchased for US$25,000 by Captain William Matson of the Matson Navigation Company, taken to Honolulu in 1899, and registered under the Hawaiian flag. When the Republic of Hawaii was annexed by the United States in 1900, it took a special act of the United States Congress to secure the foreign-built ship the right to sail as an American flagged vessel. In 1973 the ship was entered into the National Register of Historic Places, and declared a U.S. National Historic Landmark in 1989. more on wikipedia

Falls of Clyde from forward, Honolulu, 2002. Photo by Stan Shebs. see full size on Wikimedia Commons
Barge Fatima passing through Amsterdam; seen from the Skydeck at A’dam Toren – photo by steeedm
MV Fingal Painted in “Dazzle” Pattern – Prince of Wales Dock, Leith, Edinburgh, Scotland. Photo by dun_deagh

As a memorial to ships which sailed the Atlantic 100 years ago in the First World War, four ships have been painted with different Dazzle designs. Two are on the Mersey, one on the Thames, and this one at the mouth of the Forth (home to the then Rosyth Naval Base a few miles upriver). 

This pattern has a Morse code message embedded within the design. more on the BBC

Financial Times: A contemporary dazzle ship docks in Leith

Chestertown, MD; photo by Michael Oberman

It all started back in November, 2001, when the newly launched schooner SULTANA and the PRIDE OF BALTIMORE II, took a casual sail together on the Chester River the weekend before both vessels “downrigged” for the winter. The combination of a stiff breeze, the fall colors at their peak, and thousands of waterfowl flying overhead, made it a day few onboard either vessel would soon forget. “We’ll have to do this again next year,” remarked both Captains – and so Downrigging Weekend was born.

Now in its 16th year, Sultana’s Downrigging Weekend Tall Ship and Wooden Boat Festival has evolved into one of the largest annual Tall Ship gatherings on the East Coast. (from)

USS Harpers Ferry (LSD-49) is the lead ship of her class of landing ship dock of the United States Navy. Photo by Greg Bishop.

Red flags indicate readying US Navy ships with the missiles, torpedoes and conventional ammunition required for deployment. Seal Beach Naval Weapons Station is the major southern California ammunition storage and distribution point for the Pacific Fleet.

photo by George Cathcart
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