Carr: Dive! Dive! Dive!

By Michael Carr - “Come more to the left, now straighten out,” Steve directed. “On this wreck, the current comes in from the east, so you need to compensate for that extra drift before you drop the divers.” I was driving the twin-screw dive boat south, stemming the Gulf Stream’s western edge, alternating my glance between the chart plotter, sonar, compass, and vessel … [Read more...]

Carr: Helsinki to Miami Aboard Carnival Spirit

By CW4 Michael Carr - “This is your cabin sir,” pronounced the Carnival crewman. “Thank you” I replied, attempting to keep a low key and unemotional tone in my voice, but in my head, I was thinking, “Damn, this is way too nice for me, but whatever, I will be glad to take it.” My cabin was just aft of the Carnival Spirit’s bridge. Spirit was a newly launched 963-foot, … [Read more...]

Carr: LORAN Overboard

By CW4 Michael Carr - I had heard enough. This constant debate on the need for electronics. Someone would say, “Well, celestial is great, but you really need electronics, I mean what if it's raining, or too rough, or there is no horizon….?” At first, I would respond to these queries with politeness and a feeling of duty to clear the air. “Yes, of course, there will … [Read more...]

Carr: Lifeboat Training

By CW4 Michael Carr - We huddled behind the ship’s superstructure, momentarily escaping wind, rain and snow flurries. Soon, though, we would need to leave this protection, and move to the ship’s windward side where we would start lowering and raising lifeboats. Water temperature was in the 40s F and the air was close to freezing.  “OK, today is the day, your final … [Read more...]

Spinning in the Current: Turning a Barge Loaded with Buoys in the C & D Canal

“Canal Control, Canal Control, Canal Control, this is Army Tug 915, channel 13 over”. I speak slowly into the VHF microphone. One hand on the mike, my other hand controlling the throttles and rudders on the 60 foot Army tug with a 100-foot barge on her nose loaded with Coast Guard ice buoys. We are stemming a 3-knot ebb current off Dann Ocean Towing’s docks near the west … [Read more...]