MM October 10, 2011: The Russian Edition

Monkey Fist
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October 9, 2011

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Do You Like Movies About Sailors?

Long time readers of this column will surely remember our old friend Fred posting links to posts on the blog EnglishRussia that were of particular maritime or nautical interest.  That’s what got me following it way back when.  If you follow too, then you already know they post a good bit about ships, rust, decay, leftover weird Soviet-era crap, and the Navy.  Photos are whimsical and always of good quality, even if the captions are sometimes a little clumsy.  It all adds to the charm.  Here this week, I have collected what I think are the very best of EnglishRussia’s posts about ships and sailors for this week’s themed collection.  Avid readers will find little here they haven’t seen before. Newcomers will, I am certain, fall in love with this fine and quirky website.

Russian research ship catches fire off Norway coast

MOSCOW, October 10 (RIA Novosti)

A fire broke broke out on board the Russian research vessel Akademik Lazarev sailing some 70 nautical miles (130 kilometers) from the Norwegian coast, the Norwegian News Agency (NTB) reported early on Monday.

None of the 30 people on board the ship has been injured, the report said, quoting a spokesman for the Main Rescue Coordination Center for Southern Norway, Asbjoern Viste.

Three rescue helicopters and a firefighting vessel have been sent to the site. The cause of the fire, which broke out in one of the vessel’s cabins, is yet to be established.

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The Siemens dial telegraph constructed in 1860. Exhibition of Communication Artifacts »

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Magneto-Electric Telegraph – Patent drawing from George W. Beardslee’s Improvement in Magneto-Electric Telegraphs, August 4, 1863 (full size)

Dial or Dash? (-.. .. .- .-.. / — .-. / -.. .- … …. ..–..)

Union Forces used two types of telegraphy: the dial (or Beardslee) and the Morse. The dial telegraph could be set up quickly, giving it great flexibility. Operators needed to be literate but not as highly trained as Morse operators. Chief Signal Officer Albert Myer advocated the dial system; the Military Telegraph Service used the Morse system.

In his letter, Capt. C.M. McClure praised the capabilities of the Beardslee system, which had been successfully employed at Fredericksburg. By the end of 1863, however, the signal Corps moved towards the Morse system with its relatively stronger signal strength. When secretary of war Staton removed Myer as chief signal officer in November 1863, the military primacy of the Morse telegraph was complete. (page)

Beardslee Telegraph on wikipedia »

imageAlexander Stepanovich Popov demonstrated to the public his wireless radio receiver, which was also used as a lightning detector,on May 7, 1895. He proudly demonstrated his wireless receiver before a group of reporters on a stormy August evening in 1895. It was attached to a long 30 foot pole that he held aloft to maximize the signal.

When asked by one of the reporters if it was a good idea to hold this metal rod in the middle of a storm he replied that all was well. After being struck (and nearly killed) by a bolt of lightning he proudly announced to the world that his invention also served as a ‘lightning detector’. He demonstrated ship-to-shore communication over a distance of 6 miles in 1898 and 30 miles in 1899.

more » —  above right: Radio pioneer Alexander Popov on 1989 stamp »

Telegraph trivia: Before World War I, the Tropical Radiotelegraph Company (later known as Tropical Radio Telecommunications, or TRT) put radio telegraphs on ships for its owner, the United Fruit Company (UFC), to enable them to deliver bananas to the best-paying markets. Communications expanded to UFC’s plantations, and were eventually provided to local governments. TRT eventually became the national carrier for many small Central American nations.

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Peter the Great Meditating the Idea of Building St Petersburg at the Shore of the Baltic Sea. By Alexandre Benois.(1916)

Peter I the Great or Pyotr Alexeyevich Romanov (1672 –1725) ruled Russia and later the Russian Empire from 1682 until his death, jointly ruling before 1696 with his half-brother, Ivan V. He carried out a policy of modernization and expansion that transformed the Tsardom of Russia into a 5,000,000-square-mile (13,000,000 km2) Russian Empire and a major European power.

imageThe regular Russian Navy was originally established by Peter the Great in October of 1696. Ascribed to Peter I is the oft quoted statement: “A ruler that has but an army has one hand, but he who has a navy has both.” The symbols of the Russian Navy, the St. Andrew’s flag and ensign (seen to the right), and most of its traditions were established personally by Peter I.

The Russian Navy possesses the vast majority of the former Soviet naval forces, and currently comprises the Northern Fleet, the Russian Pacific Fleet, the Russian Black Sea Fleet, the Russian Baltic Fleet, the Russian Caspian Flotilla, Naval Aviation, and the Coastal Troops (consisting of the Naval Infantry and the Coastal Missile and Artillery Troops).

Recently approved, a rearmament program until 2015 puts, for the first time in Soviet and Russian history, the development of the navy on an equal footing with strategic nuclear forces. The program covering the period until 2015 is expected to replace 45% of the military inventory in the army and navy. “We are already building practically as many ships as we did in Soviet times,” First Deputy Prime Minister Sergey Ivanov said during a visit to Severodvinsk in July 2007.

The Russian Navy has suffered severely since the dissolution of the Soviet Union due to insufficient maintenance, lack of funding and hereby training of personnel and timely replacement of equipments. Another setback is attributed to Russia’s domestic shipbuilding industry which is reported to have been in decline as to their capabilities of constructing contemporary hardware efficiently. Some analysts even say that because of this Russia’s naval capabilities have been facing a slow but certain “irreversible collapse”.

keep reading »

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1971 Soviet postage stamp honoring the OryolOryol: 22 guns (launched May 1668, Caspian Sea) – Captured and badly burnt by Razin’s rebels 1670, thereafter left to rot. Considered as the first Russian European-type large ship of war and by tradition related to the line-of-battleships.

(rt) Russian 110-gun ship Imperator Aleksandr (1827) by Ferdinand Perrot. 1840. Oil on canvas

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Home of the Russian Northern Fleet »

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(left) Власть советам, мир народам 1986, Б. Скрябин – (right) by G. Shubin, 1962

sovietpostcards

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by N. Chertenkov, 1963

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Ship Repair In Russia »

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Soviet Navy 1976 – cool album with black and white photos of a guy serving in Soviet Navy and visiting some distant countries has been found somewhere on the attic under a coat of dust. (above and below)

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“This was a part of that ship easily separated from the vessel and turned into the rot.”

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How Do Russian Seamen Live?

It’s said that real sailors can’t live without the sea for long. Their salaries are high enough and it’s more difficult to get the same money while staying ashore. To start a carrier at sea a Russian needs to get the diploma of a navigator and study English. The first couple of contracts can be concluded with any company available. The next step will be working for a respectable company. The better specialist you are the higher salaries will be got. It is possible to cover the way from the bosun to the chief officer and earn up to 15 thousand Euro per month.

Some time ago the situation on the fleet was not that bright. The salaries were much lower and never paid in time both to sailors and first officers, who spent 6-8 months at sea. Many things changed since that time.

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above: Owls prefer migrating by ship

Over the history of its existence the Russian merchant fleet has seen the moments of boom and decline.  Still, many seamen are sure that their profession is the only right choice they could make.

left: Can can be filled with crawfish at the port in Turkmenbashi.

 

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above: “old and rotten vessel which is out-of-date, it can be engaged in the shipment of wood.”
below:
“Acceptance of goods at one of the port. The dock and the elevator are in a very bad condition. Meanwhile a new elevator is available but is never used.”

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Giant Liners Occupying the Port of Odessa »

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above: Leningrad (Saint Petersburg)full size

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This seal pup sitting on the beach all alone looks very sad. Is having a reddish-brown skin and blue eyes a crime? Its family rejected the poor thing just because it was albino… These photos were taken on Seal Island (Sakhalin). Unfortunately, the seal is almost completely blind….
The Seal Pup Rejected By Its Own Family »

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Would you like to go to the North Pole on a huge ice-breaker, walk around the ship, feel the ice and drink the purest water in the world?  Enjoy the pictures made during an expedition that was participated by Russian citizens among others.

To The North Pole! »

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Seeing Off The Ships – preparation for the maneuvers on gun support river motorboats that take place in the Caspian Sea.

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The Hobby Of Ship Construction

imageNot everyone is ready to forget the history and heroic sea voyages of our ancestors willing to investigate the world even at the cost of their own lives. Some enthusiastic people search for abandoned ship drawings, build vessels and go to risky expeditions following the great investigators of the past. Russian revival of traditions is closely connected with the name of Victor Dmitriyev who lives in Petrozavodsk.

Petrozavodsk is located in Karelia in Northern Europe. In May Onega Lake, one of the biggest lakes in Europe. A historical shipbuilding club “Polar Odyssey” is located here.

Petrozavodsk is a capital of the Republic of Karelia that was founded in 1703 under Peter’s I decree who used to visit this place. Thus, it’s natural that traditions of historic shipbuilding are continued here. Peter I made a navy Empire from Russia. The shipwrights dream of making the Lake Tourism Empire out of Karelia where people could hire any ship they like.

Today the members of the club aim at development of native sea culture and formation of sea consciousness.

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Viking River Cruises Returns to its Roots With Revamped Russian Offering

LOS ANGELES, Oct. 6, 2011 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ — Nearly 15 years ago, Viking River Cruises was established with four Russian river cruise vessels and a company name to honor the Vikings that first traveled by longship to explore Russia’s waterways.

Since then, the company has grown to become the world’s leading river cruise line, offering passengers the opportunity to intimately experience destinations across Europe, Asia and Egypt like no other style of travel. As Viking River Cruises prepares to celebrate its 15th anniversary next year, the company today announced major enhancements to its Russian offering and a new microsite designed to inspire travelers to experience “the real Russia.”

keep reading »

A Not-So-Nice review of the New Russian Cruises: Worthington Returns to Russia »

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Colorful St. Petersburg of 1931

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A drowned ship in Abkhazia – Silent Places Left To Die »

Abkhazia is a disputed political entity on the eastern coast of the Black Sea and the south-western flank of the Caucasus. Abkhazia considers itself an independent state, called the Republic of Abkhazia or Apsny. The Georgian government and the majority of the world’s governments consider Abkhazia a part of Georgia’s territory

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In this post we’ll show you a small Soviet oil tanker, its interior and operating principle »

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crane monster and Icebraker Taymyr: Life in Remote Taymyr

icebreaker Taymyr  is a shallow-draft nuclear powered icebreaker, and the first of four similar vessels. She was built in 1989 for the Soviet Union in Finland, at the Helsinki New Shipyard by Wärtsilä, by order of the Murmansk Shipping Co.

The Taymyr was delivered to Russia for the installation of the reactor system. It has a nuclear-turbo-electric reactor giving up to 50,000 hp. This shallow-draft icebreaker is used mainly for clearing rivers, including their mouths and estuaries of ice and opening channels in order to make winter navigation possible. In the spring of 2011 a minor radiation leak was detected in the ships reactor ventilation system – the second such leak on board the vessel in as many years. The Taymyr returned to Murmansk under diesel power for repair. By then 6,000 litres of coolant had leaked from its nuclear reactor.

Map of the Russian Arctic

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Taymyr is a large peninsula located in the very North of Russia. Cold, No Joke.

The Taymyr Peninsula (Russian: Полуостров Таймыр, Таймырский полуостров) is a peninsula in the Far North of Russia, in the Siberian Federal District, that forms the northernmost part of mainland Eurasia and Asia. It lies between the Yenisei Gulf of the Kara Sea and the Khatanga Gulf of the Laptev Sea in Krasnoyarsk Krai, Russia.

MMC Norilsk Nickel conducts mining operations in the area. The company conducts smelting operations in the area of the city of Norilsk, near the peninsula. The nickel ore concentrate and other products of the company are transported over a short railroad to the port city of Dudinka on the Yenisei River, and from there by boat to Murmansk and other ports.  MORE »

Taymyr Peninsula photographs »  |  Local History Museum of Taymyr »

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Back To Atomic Icebreaker “Lenin” – We have already written about this gorgeous vehicle, but there is another big collection of photos from outside and inside “Lenin”. We just have to show you them today. 5 pages of photos

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A Tour To Varyag Ship – Subchaser brigade number 44 of the Russian Pacific Fleet decorated with the Order of the Red Banner is dislocated in the very center of Vladivistok city next to the port. The building of the Fleet headquarter decorated with 4 big subchasers is located on the opposite side. The ships are then transferred to Gulf of Aden where they protect merchant ships from pirates.

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Ships of Vladivostok – Vladivostok is the largest sea port of Russia in the Pacific Ocean, it is the ideal place to enjoy the views of various ships

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A Visit To An Oil Platform – So, now we’re going to make an excursion to an oil platform. The platform is located in the sea near the Sakhalin island.

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A Ship-Repairing Factory In Bobruisk city in Belarus »

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Winter Sleep of the Ports »

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Russian sailing ship Pallada returns home after Pacific tour

VLADIVOSTOK, October 8 (RIA Novosti) – Russian sailing vessel Pallada returned on Saturday to the home port of Vladivostok after a three-month Pacific tour, RIA Novosti correspondent reported.

The ship, carrying over 100 cadets from Russia’s Far Eastern Primorye and Kamchatka territories, sailed from Vladivostok on July 1. The trip was dedicated to the 50th anniversary of Soviet cosmonaut Yury Gagarin’s space flight and the 270th anniversary of the discovery of “Russian America” by Russian seafarers.  MORE »

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Fyodor Fyodorovich Ushakov 1744–1817; the most illustrious Russian naval commander and admiral of the 18th century. The Russian Orthodox Church glorified him as a patron saint of the Russian Navy in 2000.  MORE »

Russian admiral saint’s relics brought to Corfu »

The Russian sailing-ship Svyatitel Pyotr (“St. Peter”) [below] has brought particles of the relics of Russian 18th -century admiral Fyodor Ushakov, who was canonized by the Russian Church several years ago, to the Greek island of Corfu.

In 1799, Ushakov liberated Corfu from French invaders. The ship anchored in the port of Kerkyra, so that Greeks could visit it and venerate the admiral saint. The ship came to Corfu to take part in annual celebrations, devoted to Ushakov. (TASS)

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see: Ushakov’s battleship St Paul (historic)

“Ushakov’s capturing the most formidable and impregnable naval fortress (Corfu) was an unprecedented case in history. In that battle he once again demonstrated his unsurpassed naval skill and talent as a commander while the Russian sailors – their perfect training and personal qualities. The success of that battle was, to great extent, the result of Ushakov’s ability to assess the current tactical situation and attack Corfu from sea first and only after that from land even though it was against the established naval traditions, which by that time had already become obsolete, in accordance with which navies were used to block only seaside fortresses.

“The Corfu battle went down in history as one of the most brilliantly fought naval battles. One little-known fact: during the assault of Corfu, French soldiers preferred to surrender to Russians rather than to Turks. They had all reason to do so because Turks were paid for each dead Frenchman. The Russians were more humane than their Turkish allies: they even bought out French prisoners of war from Turks in order to save their lives.”

The Naval Art (skill, genius) of Admiral Fyodor F. Ushakov »

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Stunning colour photos from the Victory Day (1945)

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source


Maritime Monday is compiled every week by Monkey Fist

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 and The Scuttlefish

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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