Maritime Monday 221 – Red, White and Blue Edition

Mike Schuler
Total Views: 2
July 5, 2010

Welcome to the 221 edition of Maritime Monday.  You can find last weeks editions HERE.

This week’s photo’s come via the “Age of Steam” flickr set of Maritime Monday’s regular author, Monkey Fist (also of Casco Bay Boaters Blog).

*Battleship Connecticut 1907*

*Fastest Flyer – Seattle, Washington 1909 postcard*

*USS Vermont – 1904-1923 – Greetings from California postcard*

*USS Maryland in dry dock – Massachusetts 1905 postcard*

*The Maine Brand – Sparr Fruit Co. – California Fruit Label*

****View Monkey Fist’s full Age of Steam Flickr Set****

I thought this was America!?

Recently Senator John McCain introduced a bill that would fully repeal the Jones Act, claiming that the 1920 act hinders free trade and favors labor unions over consumers. View Bill.  In a press release posted to McCain’s website, he states:

This restriction only serves to raise shipping costs, thereby making U.S. farmers less competitive and increasing costs for American consumers. Read full Press Release

Tony Munoz, Editor-in-Chief of the Maritime Executive, offers his opinion on the matter by blasting Senator McCain in Marex’s new Tuesday Weekly Newsletter:

Dear Senator McCain:

With all due respect, it’s time for you to LEAVE Washington because the agricultural lobbyists have persuaded you to dispose of one of the most essential pillars of national security for profits. Keep Reading

There’s also a number of folks chiming in on this issue in Maritime Executives LinkedIn group.

Of course, gCaptain members aren’t keeping their mouths shut on this one.

Meanwhile, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi released this statement following House’s passage of a BP oil spill victims legislation, the Securing Protections for the Injured from Limitations on Liability, or SPILL Act.  How long did it take them to come up with that acronym??

Out of respect for the memories of those who died on the Deepwater Horizon, the House today passed bipartisan legislation to reform our maritime laws and to ensure appropriate remedies when corporations negligently cause maritime disasters.

Read full statement

Jones Act lawyer, Steve Gordon tells us a little more:

This bill would bring fairness to the families of seamen killed while on the job under DOHSA and the Jones Act and would also do away with an antiquated 1851 law that is constantly used to defeat the award of damages to seamen. It will now turn on the Senate and the Bills of Senators Schumer, Leahy & Whitehouse to see what the Senate does.

Speaking of the Gulf Oil Spill…

Hurricane Alex ripped through the Gulf ast week, hampering clean up and sending residents into a panic. Be prepared for the next one by checking out gCaptain’s “2010’s best websites for tracking hurricane’s“.


Do you have a brilliant idea to clean up the oil in the Gulf? Is BP just not returning those calls and emails you are repeatedly sending them? Don’t bother, submit your idea through the X Prize Foundation and get PAID!

The X PRIZE Foundation is considering, but has not yet developed, a multi-million dollar competition to help alleviate the effects of the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. We are currently consulting with experts and advisors on the viability of this potential competition to incentivize the development of rapidly-deployable methods for the clean-up of crude oil along our coastlines and within our oceans. has Oil Spill Whoppers:

The April 20 explosion that started oil gushing into the Gulf of Mexico has prompted a slew of claims and counterclaims about the disaster. What caused it, how it’s being handled, the history of drilling accidents in the area – all are subjects ripe for false or misleading statements by politicians and others.

We keep track so you don’t have to. Some of the lowlights so far, in no particular order. Keep Reading has a great photo collection, Oil in the Gulf, two months later.  Just in case you haven’t had your fix of devastating pictures coming from the Gulf, here is a 37 photo collection of recent photographs from the Gulf of Mexico, and of those affected by the continued flow of oil and gas into the ocean.  View the collection HERE.

A whale of a ship, I mean, the A-Whale, a ship billed as the world’s largest skimming vessel, arrived in the Gulf this week.  The Taiwanese-owned tanker-turned-skimmer is supposedly capable of skimming about 21 million gallons of oil per day, but the all important question remains; Does it work and, perhaps more importantly, will it be granted approval to join the cleanup efforts?

CNN’s Ed Lavandera takes a look around the world’s largest oil skimmer now in the Gulf of Mexico:

Kennebec Captain offers his thoughts on the vessels capabilities with “A-Whale – Pay by the barrel recovered, not by day“:

When I first saw a photo of the vessel “A Whale”  (Massive oil-skimming ship makes stop in Norfolk) it seemed so unlikely that I thought someone had photo-shopped the slots in the side. But it is for real, so here are some questions/thoughts:

In order for it to work at all, the slots must be kept at the proper depth. The ship’s draft will have to be controlled carefully. As the ship fills with oil, ballast would presumably be discharged to maintain the proper draft.

The sea state will change the relationship between the depth of the slots and the surface. Swell will cause the ship to pitch and roll which will constantly change the depth of the slots. Keep Reading

FLIR Technologies announced that recent tests to determine how well its thermal imaging cameras could see oil on water had outstanding results, and that FLIR maritime thermal imagers are providing valuable assistance to oil recovery crews working in the Gulf Oil Spill.  Read more at or WATCH THE VIDEO

In other news:

Guess what, people?  Drowning doesn’t look like drowning!

Mario Vittone goes viral! His article titled “Drowning doesn’t look like drowning went (and continues to go) viral on facebook with over 250,000 views!  In this eye opening piece, Mario shares with us some little known facts about what drowning actually looks like (hint: it’s not flailing arms and cries for help).  This is a must read for any parent or anyone else looking to spend time in and around the water this summer season.

[Drowning] is the number two cause of accidental death in children, age 15 and under (just behind vehicle accidents) – of the approximately 750 children who will drown next year, about 375 of them will do so within 25 yards of a parent or other adult.  In ten percent of those drownings, the adult will actually watch them do it, having no idea it is happening. Read the article HERE.

Good has a, er, good infographic detailing the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.  View the infographic HERE.

gCaptain has “Main anchor of historic ship arrives in Hong Kong“.  Last week, the main anchor of the historic ship Knock Nevis, aka Seawise Giant, aka Jahre Viking, aka…., arrived in Hong Kong for diplay at the Hong Kong Maritime Museum.

The Scuttlefish has “Salty ocean stories wanted” and “Yum: The modified new england clam bake recipe

Tugster has “651 Years of Tugs” and “Safe Travel“:

If you must travel this weekend or summer, be safe.  And you might consider taking your house with you . . . either the actual house or some some of it.

BitterEnd Blog has “Deployed Locall: Littoral Sesor Grid

The Monitor has “Sicily get’s kicked

Earlier today, the MSC Sicily suffer some sort of blackout, and loss steering, while under way in the St Lawrence river. The ship went out of the channel and was grounded around 10:30 this morning about ten mile south west of Sorel. The two tugs rushed to the rescue, and pull her off around mid afternoon.

The Wall Street Journal has “S.S. United States Saved From the Scrap Yard“:

The S.S. United States has been rusting at a dock in Philadelphia for years and was headed for the scrap heap. Now a preservation group has an agreement to buy the world’s fastest ocean liner. has more on the Asian Carp Crisis with “Carp battle could expand to a new front: Experts fear fish may cross rivers to Lake Erie

Reports that Asian carp are on the move in an Indiana River and could wash into Lake Erie means the war on the ferocious fish needs to expand, politicians and environmental groups said Thursday.

Asian carp have made it to the base of a dam near Huntington, Ind., miles farther up the Wabash River than previously thought.

The Boston Herald has details of the 87-foot-long whale watching boat, Massachusetts, that grounded on a well-known rocky ledge just outside of Boston:

The two-deck red, white and blue ferry-like vessel was carrying 174 people when it hit the outcropping known as Devil’s Back at about 10 a.m. Devil’s Back is a dangerous and shallow ledge that is well-marked on nautical charts and is visible at low tide.

Several passengers told the Herald the boat – going about 18 knots – veered out of the shipping channel when a barge being assisted by a tugboat approached. Keep Reading

BBC News has details of a cargo ship that caught fire off the coast of Scotland:

Firefighters battled through the night to contain the blaze which broke out on the Yeoman Bontrup at the Glensanda pier on the Morven peninsula on Friday.

The fire was brought under control on Saturday evening and salvage experts are now assessing the damage.

The blaze broke out on a conveyor belt used to load cargo onto the vessel.

It spread to the ship and set off an explosion involving gas cylinders on board. Keep Reading

Panbo has “Furuno supports whale slaughter? Or Sea Shepherd BS?

The Amver Blog has “Canada to track ships in the Arctic

The CG Blog is seeking comments on “What Should Every Coast Guardsman Know About Our History?“:

On 1 June, Peter Stinson asked “Can we build a shared experience for all Guardians?” We were not able to reach any consensus except that we needed a better appreciation of our history.

USNI Blog offers a civilians look into “Navy Life

Casco Bay Boaters Blog has a great illistration titled “Maine Maritime Academy Sailing Vessel Bowdoin” (shown below):

And with that, the gCaptain team hopes everyone had a happy, healthy and safe Fourth of July Weekend!  Happy Birthday, America!

Next week, Monkey Fist returns with her regularly scheduled edition of Maritime Monday.

Back to Main