Maritime Monday 219

Mike Schuler
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June 21, 2010


NY Mermaid Parade 2010 – Coney Island has such a distinct culture that the sixth boro (the watery parts between the five terra-boros) should just annex it.  More Photos on TUGSTER »


Smoke billows from a controlled burn of spilled oil off the Louisiana coast.  Photo: Sean Gardner/Reuters.   WASHINGTON POST PHOTO GALLERY »


BP agrees to $20b account to pay Gulf claims – (Pete Souza/ White House via Bloomberg)


Gas from the damaged Deepwater Horizon wellhead is burned by the drillship Discover Enterprise.  USCG Photo Petty Officer 3rd Class Patrick Kelley  [SOURCE]


Crew members from USCGC Harry Claiborne remove an oil covered boom.  US Navy photo by Mass Comm Specialist 2nd Class (AW/SW) Jonathan E. Davis [SOURCE]


Vessel Decontamination – NOAA’s National Ocean Service’s Deepwater Horizon BP Oil Spill (Set) on flickr » –from National Ocean Service on Facebook


Photo: Eric Gay / AP


Tony Hayward’s yacht, left, sailed in the J. P. Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race on Saturday. Chris Ison/Press Association, via Associated Press

As Oil Spews in Gulf, BP Chief Attends Glitzy UK Yacht Race

image “To quote Tony Hayward, he’s got his life back,” Rahm Emanuel said.

LONDON / ASSOCIATED PRESS – In what one environmentalist described as “yet another public relations disaster” for embattled energy giant BP, CEO Tony Hayward took time off Saturday to attend a glitzy yacht race around England’s Isle of Wight.

As social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook lit up with outrage, BP spokespeople rushed to defend Hayward, who has drawn withering criticism as the public face of BP’s halting efforts to stop the worst oil spill in U.S. history.

BBC: Boats that Built Britain; The Story of Britain and the Sea

image‘Bad weather is our chance, that’s when ships want pilots most’. Pilot Bartlett

Pilots commissioned vessels built for speed and seaworthiness. With a long list of pilots, competition was fierce and the first man to reach an incoming ship secured the job.

BBC – Sea Fever – The Story of Britain and the Sea focuses on maritime history, culture, economics and science and coincides with a new exhibition at the National Maritime Museum.

Painting: Pilot Cutter Cariad, built 1904. “First come, first served” by Admiral Richard Brydges Beechey; National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London. In 2006, Cariad was re-launched in full sailing condition after having undergone major restoration.


image BP to Kevin Costner: We’ll Take 32 of Your Oil Clean-Up Machines

80 Beats Science – Can Kevin Costner’s centrifuge–a device to separate oil from water at up to 200 gallons per minute–clean up the Deep Horizon spill? We reported on Costner’s clean-up gadget back in May when he convinced the Coast Guard and BP to test his technology, and now comes news that BP has ordered 32 of Costner’s devices to try out in the Gulf.

It sure makes for easy reporting; Costner’s handsome mug is certainly more appealing than oil-soaked sea life. But what are the actual chances that the actor’s device will work? Costner seems to recognize how implausible it all sounds.

Camera Survives Ocean Trip From Aruba to Florida

image MIAMI (June 14) Associated Press – Paul Shultz was walking along the pier of a Key West marina when he saw what looked like a rotting tomato pounding against the rocks.

The Coast Guard investigator waded ankle-deep into the water to fish out the ocean rubbish: a bright red Nikon camera, small enough to fit in the palm of his hand. Its waterproof plastic case was covered with six months’ worth of crusty sea growth, but the camera itself was almost pristine when he found it May 16. However, clues to tracking down its owner were few. So Shultz decided to test his investigative skills.


One of two one-ton masses of tarball material recovered south of Perdido Pass, Fla., by the crew of the lift boat Sailfish, on June 11, 2010. (Petty Officer 3rd Class John Walker, USCG)

Chocolate Pudding

image by Krista Kjellman Schmidt, ProPublica / June 15, 2010 – Although it resembles one giant bowl of fudge, today’s image isn’t as tasty. It actually shows a one-ton pile of tarball material recovered off of the coast of Florida. And what exactly is tarball material? According to NOAA, tarballs are “” that when mixed with water form what “looks like chocolate pudding.”

Dalai Lama Criticizes Anti-Whaling Protesters

imageTOKYO (AFP) – The Dalai Lama on Saturday criticized wildlife activists for staging what he said were violent protests over Japan’s hunting of whales.

The rebuke came as the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader visited Japan for an 11-day lecture tour.

At a news conference, he said he had told the US-based Sea Shepherd Conservation Society to stop its violent harassment of Japan’s whaling fleet.

Estimating How Much Oil the Gulf Spill Released

imageOil on water has many appearances. In this photo-image, acquired by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite on June 7, 2010, at least part of the oil slick is pale gray. A large area of oil is southeast of the Mississippi Delta, at the site of the leaking British Petroleum well. Traces of thick oil are also visible farther north.  (CONT.)


Official government estimates now say that around 27,000 barrels of oil per day have been pouring out of the damaged well in the Gulf of Mexico since the leak began. This estimate comes from the report of the Flow Rate Technical Group, a team of scientists from various government agencies and academia assembled by Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen to come up with definitive figures for the Gulf oil spill. BP says that approximately 15,000 barrels per day are being captured by a cap placed on the pipe. [Photo Credit: NASA Goddard MODIS Rapid Response / Holli Riebeek]

Coast Guard Seizes Shrimp Taken from Waters Closed Due to Gulf Oil Spill

Tuesday, June 15, 2010 / The Times-Picayune – The Coast Guard seized around 19,000 lbs. of shrimp from a boat fishing in a restricted area, the Coast Guard said in a news release. The shrimp was seized Sunday around 13 miles south of Belle Pass.

The Coast Guard said it received an alert that the boat Little Andrew was fishing in the restricted area and dispatched a response boat from the Grand Isle station. Coast Guard members boarded the “Little Andrew” for an inspection and found 19,000 lbs. of white shrimp on board. The Coast Guard said the shrimp “was returned to the sea.”

Dockwise to Assist BP in Oil Spill Clean-Up

Offshore Shipping Online – In a co-ordinated effort with T&T International Fire & Salvage and BP, Dockwise has delivered the semi-submersible heavy-lift vessel Mighty Servant 3 to the clean-up operation.

As one of the largest vessels of its type in the world, Mighty Servant 3 has been outfitted in Galveston, Texas, with an assortment of equipment focused on the collection of oil-saturated solid material and oily water.

The long-reach excavators will be able to collect solid debris that is saturated with oil. This debris will be collected and stored in a large containment area on the vessel’s extensive deck.  The skimming system will collect oil and then transfer it to a tank barge working alongside Mighty Servant 3.


Father’s Day: USS Hamilton DD141/DMS 18; WWII Minesweeper – In Praise of the Chorus Girls

by Monkey Fist

image My father grew up in Tacoma Park, Maryland, the youngest son of a stern German father.  After WWI, anti-German sentiment ran high in America, and my dad has told me stories of being chased down the streets, dodging rocks thrown by neighborhood children.  They sang wicked songs, made fun of his Teutonic surname, and ridiculed his family’s patriotism.

My father knew better.  His family had been in this country since 1749. His own “first American” ancestor fought bravely at Brandywine, and mustered out of the PA Volunteer Militia in 1788.  Another, my dad’s own grandfather, was permanently maimed and died young, still carrying shrapnel in his neck from a Civil War shell.  Still, Jerrys, Krauts, and Huns were objects of scorn well into the 1930s.

At the age of 16 my father lied about his age on the application and tried to join the Marines.  They took one look at that Deutschenamme, and assured him that he’d never set foot on European soil.  They couldn’t be certain where his allegiances might truly lie, and gosh, what if he found himself face to face with a cousin?  No, sorry lad, try the Navy recruiters office down the street.  There, he found success. Nineteen thirty eight; you’re in the Navy, now, son.

Five-Alarm Fire on a Ship at Port of Tampa Out After  Four-Hour Fight

image TAMPA — Tampa Fire Rescue had 143 firefighters on duty Wednesday morning.

At least 100 of them had a part in extinguishing a blaze that burned for hours on a 742-foot ship at the Port of Tampa. The main reason for the unusually high manpower: the need to rotate firefighters under a sweltering summer sun that sent five of them to a hospital for heat exhaustion.

The blaze started sometime before 9 a.m., when some of the 32 crew members with the Liberian-flagged Sophie Olendorff noticed smoke coming from a conveyer belt that had been off-loading rock and gravel for about a day. They tried to fight the fire, but realized they needed help.

  • more (including video) »
  • Blaze engulfs conveyor belt at Port of Tampa »

    New boat helped stop flames at Port of Tampa

    image A major fire at the Port of Tampa could have been much worse, but a new high-tech boat made fighting the blaze a lot easier. It was the rubber in several conveyor belts that caught fire Wednesday morning, making the flames tough to put out.

    Tampa Fire Rescue only got the multi-million dollar vessel, the Patriot, last fall and were still training on it when the fire broke out. Though it is still considered a training vessel for the time being, putting the Patriot into use Wednesday really helped in the battle.   Video: FOX 13 gets a tour »

Florida Considers Use of Genetically Modified  imageOil Eating Microbes

Bio-remediation Inc. is one company that uses natural organic microbes and has approval from Florida’s Department of Environmental Protection, according to their website. Florida’s Governor, Charlie Crist is considering using patented genetically modified bacterial microbes from Osprey Biotechnics, which is awaiting environmental approval.

On the other hand, while encouraging microbe growth with bio-stimulation on contaminated shorelines appears useful, unleashing oil-eating microbes themselves has produced less than stellar results.

Hawsepiper Rides the WAHbulance

Well, I’m back at work. Once again I left the serenity of my climate-controlled bedroom to return to my little steel floating box for another 4 weeks of adventure and hijinks.

image Anyhow, it was a pretty easy transit from The Ant Farm to my little metal box. New Jersey is home to a fairly efficient highway system, which is good, as close to New York, New Jersey is merely the Cloaca Maxima for the fabled city.

To celebrate my successful transit through New York City, I tend to shotgun a 16-oz monster energy drink, which makes me howl at the moon, foam at the mouth, and, I’m pretty sure, gives me the ability to fly and kill with my mind powers alone. Whatever it is, I drive through New Jersey and vibrate like a meth addict on check day. This is fun.

Jones Act: Maritime Politics Strain Gulf Oil Spill Cleanup

image Pressure is building for President Obama to lift a 1920 protectionist law so that high-tech foreign oil skimmers can help with the Gulf oil spill. Why are 1,500 available US oil skimmers not on the scene?

C.S. Monitor – On Friday, Sen., Kay Bailey Hutchinson (R) of Texas filed legislation to waive the Jones Act to welcome more high-tech foreign clean-up boats, saying the Jones Act is standing in the way. White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said last week “that we have not had [a] problem” with the Jones Act. At the same time, US marine interests complain that up to 1,500 US-flagged skimmers sit idle, and should be used first.

The Jones Act and BP Deepwater Spill

Kennebec Captain – On Fox and Friends the claim was made the Jones Act is hindering the cleanup of the BP Deepwater oil spill because foreign vessel which could be used in the cleanup are not allowed to assist .A scene  is shown of  some vessel  apparently idle because of the Jones Act.  It’s all bogus

Anyone making this claim should either supply specifics, what is the  name or names of any vessel that can assist but has been prohibited or…

  • more » (be sure to read the comments)

Maine: Theft Imperils Ship’s Mission to Greenland

image PORTLAND – The theft of a critical piece of scientific equipment from Portland’s waterfront is jeopardizing a research mission to Greenland to study the effect of global warming on the country’s glaciers.

Phineas Sprague, owner of Portland Yacht Services on Fore Street, is offering a $1,000 reward for the return of two transducer heads for a side scanning sonar.

The transducer head units, which are valued at $30,000, were stolen this month from the Gambo, a research vessel that has been docked at Portland Yacht Services while the ship is being outfitted for its mission to Greenland in July.

Mobile Bay: Port Remains Open Despite Reported Oil

MOBILE, Alabama (WALA) – The Port of Mobile remains open to commercial traffic with no anticipated closures or delays associated with the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. During an aerial inspection of Mobile Bay on Monday, oil was spotted on the south side of Gaillard Island, a dredge disposal island and brown pelican refuge inside Mobile Bay.

More than 160 Would-be Jumpers have been Talked Down from an Infamous Aussie Suicide Ledge by Man Who has Lived Across the Street for the Last 50 Years

image The Gap is a picturesque rocky outcrop in Sydney Harbor that also happens to be the most frequently chosen location for Australians to commit suicide, with an average of 30 jumpers a year – and 15 times that number who decide not to make that 90M leap.

Ritchie, 82, a former life insurance salesman who lives right across the street from the landmark, scans the ocean view while reading his newspaper. When he sees a likely jumper, Ritchie quietly engages them in conversation. Some accept his invitation to follow him home for something to eat or drink. Others slip out of his grasp, sometimes literally.

Navy Selects Scripps Institution of Oceanography to Operate State-of-the-Art Research Vessel

The Navy is providing more than $88 million to fund the design and construction of a new scientific research ship to be operated by Scripps Institution of Oceanography to advance science and education in the decades ahead and to further scientific knowledge necessary to the Navy and national security.

The new ship — a new class of research vessel — is to be constructed and commence operations by 2015. It will be more than 200 feet long and able to operate continuously for up to 40 days at sea, a duration that will enable the ship to range across any ocean on Earth.

New York Times – Researchers Sail to the Spill Site

R/V Cape Hatteras Heads to Gulf Oil Spill for 10-Day Research Cruise

One journey I’ll be following closely over the next week is the voyage of the Cape Hatteras, a 135-foot research vessel operated by the Duke/University of North Carolina Oceanographic Consortium:

imageYesterday we were north of the well head and were close to some fires where they were burning off the surface oil. The black clouds of smoke billowing off the fire covered the sun and draped over our heads…”

As we reported here last week, scientists from these and other universities are sailing into the heart of the oil spill to study its environmental impact. After a stop in Gulfport, Miss., the crew departed Saturday for the spill site in the Gulf of Mexico and is blogging from the boat.

NOAA Ship Continues Study of Oil Spill

NOAA Ship Thomas Jefferson is on a three-week mission to research the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

image AP Texas / GALVESTON —The ship left Galveston Tuesday. The research vessel will use sophisticated acoustic and water chemistry monitoring instruments to detect and map submerged oil in coastal areas and in the deep water surrounding the BP well head.

Researchers will also take water chemistry measurements, samples near Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary and collect air samples in the areas around the well head and downwind of the spill site. The mission will build on research conducted in the vicinity of the spill earlier in the month.  [SOURCE]

Offshore Outlook: Offshore Companies Fight Back

image The BP oil spill already has resulted in several lawsuits filed by fishermen and other businesses that operate along the Gulf Coast. Now, several oil service companies and a shipyard are suing the Department of Interior claiming that the federal government illegally ordered the six-month deepwater drilling moratorium and putting a halt to exploratory drilling by 33 deepwater rigs. A hearing in federal court is set for June 21 in New Orleans.

Hornbeck Offshore Services initiated the lawsuit, which was joined by Edison Chouest Offshore and several its companies, and Bollinger Shipyards. The suit claims that Interior Secretary Ken Salazar’s report to the president, which was the basis for the moratorium, does not contain any findings or evidence of a “systemic” failure by rig operators, drillers or other participants in offshore drilling operations to comply with current regulations or existing permits.


Instructor Chris Detillier, left, talks with with students Dexter Vernon, of McComb, Miss., center, and Joshua Edwards, of Denham Springs, La., during an oil rig hazmat training exercise in Morgan City, La. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

Oil Rig Workers Forced to Job Hunt After Drilling Ban

MORGAN CITY, La. / Associated Press — Mr. Charlie has seen the up and downs over the years in the oil patch off Louisiana’s coast, but this could be the toughest slump of all. Earlier this week, the steel rig stationed on the Atchafalaya River graduated what could be one of its last classes of workers prepping for the rigors of offshore life.

President Obama’s six-month moratorium on deepwater drilling in the Gulf has sent shudders across the coast’s offshore oil industry — where no one knows just how extensive or long-lasting the damage to jobs may be.

Louisiana has long been indebted to the oil industry. Its thousands of good-paying jobs — offshore workers frequently earn $50,000 a year or more — counterbalance the low-wage tourism industry in the state’s southern tier of parishes.

But that changed — at least temporarily — after the oil rig exploded in the Gulf of Mexico…


President Obama stands with, from left, National Incident Comm. Adm. Thad Allen; Dauphin Island Mayor Jeff Collier; and Alabama Gov. Bob Riley, second right, as he takes a ferry from Dauphin Island, Ala., to Fort Morgan, Ala. on June 14, 2010. Photo: Charles Dharapak/ AP

Oil Spill Threatens, But Dauphin Island Ferry Keeps Running

The oil spill has changed a lot of things about Alabama’s coast, but the ferry between Dauphin Island and Fort Morgan still runs its hour-and-a-half loop. People still line up to get on, and there are often more vehicles than fit, meaning a long, hot wait until the next trip.

Rhode Island – Cranston Native Uses Lessons Learned in North Cape Spill


Providence Journal – Reddy got his start as a graduate student in 1996 doing award-winning research on Rhode Island’s own North Cape oil spill. Since then, he has balanced research of marine pollutants with a strong desire to explain the complexities of science and ocean issues to the public.

Thursday, he leaves St. Petersburg, Fla., on the University of Rhode Island’s research vessel Endeavor for 12 days in the Gulf of Mexico to collect data on the historic spill.

A marine chemist and director of the Coastal Ocean Institute at the prestigious Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, Reddy is part of a team from WHOI that will deploy a state-of-the-art submersible called Sentry to sniff out the underwater plume of oil southwest of the damaged wellhead and help map its dimensions.

Russia to Explore Continental Shelf This Summer

image In July, Russian Polar scientists will conduct a larger study of the Arctic continental shelf as part of the program “Boundaries of the Russian continental shelf”. The program is aimed at securing Russia’s right to the natural resources in the Arctic, RIA Novosti reports.

The main purpose of the study is to get a relief of the sea bottom, “in order to prove that this is our shelf, that it’s not coming from the Canadian side”, says Director of the Institute for Arctic and Antarctic Research Ivan Frolov.

Akademik Fedorov was the vessel that carried the mini-submarine “Mir” to the North Pole in 2007, when the Russian flag was planted on the sea bottom under the North Pole.

Sailor Abby Sunderland’s Dad Signed Her to TV Deal Before Her Doomed Voyage

Here’s a dose of reality.

The father of teen sailor Abby Sunderland told The NY Post that he’s broke and had signed a contract to do a reality show, “Adventures in Sunderland,” about his family of daredevil kids weeks after she set off on her doomed and dangerous solo sail around the globe.

Laurence Sunderland, a sailing instructor who lives in the middle-class Los Angeles suburb of Thousand Oaks with his pregnant wife and seven kids, opened their home to film crews four months ago.

Tony Hayward’s Worst Nightmare? Meet Wilma Subra, Activist Grandmother

image BP chief’s Congress grilling could be eclipsed by a Louisiana chemist, who for 30 years has represented local people against big oil

Guardian.UK – The long table at the back of Wilma Subra’s office in rural Louisiana is covered with stacks of paper, several of which look in danger of sliding into a heap on the floor. There are legal briefs, chemical lab reports and government memos. But if Subra had to sum up each stack in a single phrase, it might come down to this: public good versus toxic industry.

The paperwork generated by the oil spill catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico is beginning entirely to take over another whole room.

Undersea Robot Aims for 3-D Image of Oil Plume

Scientists geared up on Wednesday for a 12-day trip in the Gulf of Mexico with an undersea robot they hope will capture 3-D images of oil plumes from the BP spill.

Reuters – “The technology that we’re bringing to bear is perhaps more suited to interrogate the size, shape and chemical composition of those plumes than what traditional oceanographers have been using,” Reddy said by telephone from St. Petersburg, Florida.

Unofficial CG Blog: Another View of Our Deepwater Horizon Response

Thought some of you might be interested in another view of our actions.

Will ICS/NIMS have to be rewritten after Deepwater Horizon?

image Deepwater Horizon keeps coming to the forefront making it a little hard to ignore. This one is for my fellow ICS/NIMS gurus out there. I have taken a few above and beyond ICS courses, but I am not a guru. With that I ask those who are, or our readers who are willing to state their opinions on the subject, to check out the piece titled “Not Sure How the Joint Information Center Can Survive This.” (click thru for link)

In short it gives a perspective of how our own mandate of using the ICS system (I know, System system…) has failed us; perhaps at the behest of mixing politics with media…


Victory Ship SS LANE VICTORY – Launched: May 31, 1945; Length: 455 feet

Visit a Ship That Has Been Through 3 Wars

San Pedro, CA – It takes a great deal of enthusiasm to bring an old vessel up to the same standards when it was first launched, but the volunteers of the S.S. Lane Victory have managed to do that – and the work goes on.

Nestled under the huge expanse of the Vincent Thomas Bridge in San Pedro, this 10,750-ton cargo ship is rather dwarfed by the huge cruise ships that berth next door at the World Cruise Center, but its heart is every bit as big as those luxury machines.

The Lane Victory was launched in June 1945 just as World War II was coming to a close. She was “mothballed” two years later but was brought back into service for the Korean War. She rescued 7,000 men, women and children during that action, and there is a plaque on board thanking the crew for this work on behalf of the Korean survivors.


The morning sun rises over a work boat in Barataria Bay where the fight against the PB oil spill continues near Grand Isle, Louisiana.  EPA/TANNEN MAURY   [SOURCE]

VIDEO: US navy VS lighthouse on You Tube »


Lego Monster – I love the sloped hulls on these WW2 era US Navy 26ft whaler boats by Ed Diment. Great curves without clunky interior support structure. Very nice. from Fred Frye »


Pollutionl’homme d’aujourd’hui; (Éditions Hachette-1971)

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